Accuracy in Media

“Could your Congressman pass an FBI background check?” is the question posed on the cover of the DVD version of Trevor Loudon’s new film, “The Enemies Within.” In fact, however, the FBI only provides background information about federal employees, not elected officials. In Mrs. Clinton’s special case, there was an opportunity to recommend prosecution of her over her mishandling of classified information, but FBI Director James Comey declined, keeping her presidential campaign alive.

At the Commander-in-Chief Forum on Wednesday night, Mrs. Clinton demonstrated how much of a security risk she is. She acknowledged that “…the State Department system was hacked.” She explained, “Most of the government systems are way behind the curve. We’ve had hacking repeatedly, even in the White House.” Then she added, “There is no evidence my system was hacked.”

The State Department was hacked but her emails were somehow protected? This is almost as mind-boggling as her flip-flop on whether she ever received a briefing on handling classified information.

Not to be outdone, Donald J. Trump began by noting, “I look today and I see Russian planes circling our planes,” referring to hostile Russian military actions. But he went on to say, “I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin. And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia.”

Then he added, “Take a look at what happened with their fighter jets circling one of our aircraft in a very dangerous manner. Somebody said less than 10 feet away. This is hostility.”

So how will Trump deal with this hostility? He didn’t say. Instead, he preached cooperation with Russia.

Asked about Putin, he said, “I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, Okay?” He added, “I think I’d be able to get along with him.”

On what possible basis does he make such a claim?

Trump released a letter in which 88 retired staff and flag officers endorsed his candidacy. It calls for “a long-overdue course correction in our national security posture and policy” and says, “As retired senior leaders of America’s military, we believe that such a change can only be made by someone who has not been deeply involved with, and substantially responsible for, the hollowing out of our military and the burgeoning threats facing our country around the world.”

There is nothing in the letter recognizing the threat posed by Russia.

One name that is not on the list is retired Air Force General Philip Breedlove, former head of U.S. European Command. Russia, he says, has to be recognized “as the enduring, global threat it really represents.”

Breedlove says, “Moscow is determined to reestablish what it considers its rightful sphere of influence, undermine NATO, and reclaim its great-power status. That desire has been evident since 2005, when Russian President Vladimir Putin called the collapse of the Soviet Union ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [twentieth] century’—a preposterous claim in light of that century’s two world wars. It is through this prism that the West must view Russian aggression.”

Trump seems dangerously naïve regarding the Russian threat. Hillary Clinton isn’t any better, since she and Obama engineered a failed Russian reset in 2009.

The question that must go beyond the two major presidential candidates is whether the intelligence community failed to understand what Putin meant in 2005 when he called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [twentieth] century.”

A couple of years before Mrs. Clinton’s Russian reset, a very important book came out, entitled, Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War, based on interviews with Sergei Tretyakov, the former Russian spymaster based at the U.N. Tretyakov was quoted as saying, “I want to warn Americans…You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR (i.e., KGB) is trying to destroy the U.S. even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War.”

Mrs. Clinton may not have read the book because one of her top associates, former Time magazine journalist and top Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott, is depicted as a dupe of the Russian intelligence service.

This is the same Strobe Talbott who had Mrs. Clinton’s direct email address when she was secretary of state. The New York Times noted that Talbott, who now heads the Brookings Institution, had written to Hillary Clinton directly, expressing concerns that “time-sensitive messages” were not getting through the State Department email address of Hillary chief of staff Cheryl D. Mills.

Despite his role as a former official with controversial Russian intelligence contacts, Talbott was one of those given “privileged status” in Mrs. Clinton’s world.

At the time, the publication of the Comrade J book raised serious questions about security procedures at the Department of State. Those questions have only increased over the years with the damaging revelations about Mrs. Clinton’s use of private emails to communicate classified information.

Yet Trump throws the issue away by sounding even softer on Vladimir Putin now than Mrs. Clinton used to be then.

For his part, Putin continues to broadcast his intentions. Russian jets have been buzzing American ships, and now a Russian jet has flown within 10 feet of a U.S. Navy spy plane. Inexplicably, Trump denounces that while praising Putin, even saying that the authoritarian ruler is popular in the polls.

The question Trevor Loudon needs to ask is, “Could Clinton or Trump pass a background check?” The answer is they don’t need to. Yet, one of them will win and follow another security risk into the White House.

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  • Denise

    The question needs to be, ‘Exactly why do we need to cooperate and find a relationship with the Kremlin on global matters?’ Shouldn’t the question be, how about Putin cooperating with the West and NATO after all these years? Has anyone read the book HOW TO CATCH A RUSSIAN SPY? Anyone remember the huge spy swap we did with Russia? Has anyone read the Mitrokin files released last year? Arafat? Abbas? And lastly, is there really a pass or fail on background checks for security clearance or is that process now, just that a check on the box that a check was done? Thanks for the article Cliff and Trevor….well done.

  • Jack Parsons

    Since Crooked Hillary has testified that she didn’t know that “C” stands for “classified”, that she thought it was a means of alphabetizing paragraphs, she rates as unelectable.

  • IronChefSandwiches

    Which Security Risk for President?

    Here’s the choice.

    Candidate A: An older woman who treated EMail correspondence the way her 2 immediate predecessors did, which is to say slightly sloppily, BUT who never even came close to disseminating classified material and has never been part of a criminal investigation, even though you’d never know that by reading “Accuracy” in Media.


    Candidate B: An immature narcissist with delusions of grandeur who flies into spittle-flecked rage whenever anyone has the temerity to question him, who has shown no evidence of being reliable when it comes to keeping his mouth shut, and who is trusted by less than 25% of the population.

    The answer is obvious. Luckily, Drumpf is going to get his butt handed to him in November, so Kincaid can continue to make money passing this piffle off as “newsworthy”.

  • Steven Barrett

    The Siberian Candidate has a twin, Mike Pence. One might’ve thought he would’ve wisely held his nose and ducked this mess Trump created for himself and let the so-called “top” of the Half-baked “Democrat” turned GOPer, aka Der Donald.
    The more we learn about Trump, the more we learn about the extreme dangers of electing a man who has deliberately chosen to keep his homework to the barest minimum so he can get by with a so-called “gentleman’s C” and graduate. That’ll work in college, but is this the kind of minimally self-disciplined leader we want to take a chance on by putting him in the Oval Office? Well, you and I know the answer. I just hope the real Democrats and other more patriotically inclined Americans who are willing enough to put a book or more before their eyes dealing with the real complexities about defense and foreign policy matters will be successful enough to help convince enough fellow Americans to avoid making the mistake of electing a guy who gets all the facts he feels he needs from watching the idiot box.

  • terry1956

    Well Romney was right in saying that Russia is our largest enemy and I will add China is our second largest enemy who stands a far better chance of ruling the world and the US than Russia although that is what Russia wants also but Russia is down about seventh place of the many a hole control freaks with the ability to gain control.
    Of those total a holes the International Chamber of Commerce( the US Chamber is a top member although many local chambers don’t support the aim of the ICC) is currently in the second lead of the ability to take over the world via a roundtable consensus rule of a few top multinational corporations.
    The Chinese Communist Party is in third place replacing the Trots and their fellow travelers of International Socialist who are now in Fifth place with the EU and UN technocratic/bureaucratic fascist tied in competition with each other for Fourth Place and a goal to get the lead as all the a holes want.
    The Muslim brotherhood is in Sixth place of a holes who want to rule the world but if Hillary is elected and her health is bad enough then the MB could move up to second place with a possible first place.
    Russia would be seventh place under Putin of the low life control freak a holes who want to rule the world and just about every country, profession, business sector, race, sex, faith and antifaith has 1 or more of these a holes but the number one group today which has the most power is the US Congress which like it’s third place contender the Chinese Communist party has no standards other than increasing the power and wealth of its members, their family and friends.
    Yes one could say that was true about the second place contender and the fifth place contender but in general they would be wrong because in general the ICC members actually think the world would be better off if the top corporations ruled the world and the same with the Fascist Bureaucrats in the EU, the UN, as well as other competing subgroups of Fascist Technocrats/Bureaucrats including those in the US, state, county and local governments( especially in county and local governments with mostly ” civil service” employees.
    The civil service of the UK is one of the worst and with a far longer history of pushing their fascist agenda .
    Yes of course there is many of the fascist who are just taking advantage of their opportunity to move up the power and wealth of their family but unlike the US Congress and the Chinese Communist Party that is not the main concern of most of the Technocrat/Bureucrat Fascist or most of the members of the ICC.
    The Aim of all Patriot Americans should be to throw road blocks up against all the a holes who want to rule the world and three must is getting the US out of the UN, out of the WTO and out of NATO.
    Some advise to the people in the EU and NATO now?
    It would be best for you to end the EU as a commerce regulating group and have a federation for defense without the US,Canada, the UK and Turkey.
    The same idea for the UK,Canada,Austrlia, New Zealand and maybe a few other commonwealth nations.

  • Steven Barrett

    If Donald Trump seems so enamored with Britain’s far more draconian laws concerning press freedoms, why should it surprise anybody with half a working mind to learn the New Yorker has an affinity for “stronger” leaders than ours? Has it dawned on him that there’s no legal way in hell President Obama or any other elected president could ever amass the kind of strength Vladimir Putin has at his disposal? Putin’s not making up his administrative wishes and whims as he goes along. This guy was in on the development of the same Constitution he points to which allows him to take measures no American president, with or without legal precedent or laws allowing him or her to do so, actually would. What’s stopping a president from trying to reinstate the terribly unpopular Alien and Sedition Laws that brought John Adams’ political career to a sudden end. (Though he did face legit threats at the time, no less from Alexander Hamilton.)
    It all rests on popular will moreso than anything else. No matter how many seats on Capitol Hill one party holds, no matter who occupies the Oval Office or what the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court looks like, any move to reinstate the A & S Laws or ones similar to them or Britain’s where politicians can initiate countersuits for statements mocking them, as Trump has strongly insinuated he’d like to obtain . . . just proposing this nonsense could be fatal to the life of any executive who foolishly pushed for it. Ah, but Putin doesn’t have to worry about that. Hell, no Tzar or General Secretary or President of Russia ever did to the best of my knowledge. It’s not the Russian way of doing things. Apparently enough, enough of them don’t seem to mind the watered-down freedoms Russian parties are able to enjoy in an increasingly “go along with us, or else, get outta here” Russia of recent yore. Enough Russians don’t seem to mind, according to Trump and/or whatever press clippings he’s getting from Russia, that the invasion of Crimea turned their nation into an international pariah, that the Ukrainians are proving themselves capable of standing up to the Kremlin’s might … but if Trump’s been given these clippings, I hate to think what he was using them for. Wrapping fish, lining bird cages or worse. Maybe that’s what he’ll do to intel briefing docs that don’t leave him with a smile every morning.
    Putin is not another return to Stalin, although if Trump did his homework and noticed that Stalin was able to paper-up some pretty impressive polling numbers, (even in death, too) . . . but Putin is beginning to resemble the frustrated Alexander III more and more as each day passes. Alexander, Russia’s last real strong man Czar, died in 1888, a fairly young man, no less. But he managed to get the Trans-Siberian RR finished and that was major military accomplishment, notwithstanding the fact it meant losing lots of innocent lives in the process, much like Stalin’s big industrialization drives and of course his genocidal famine laid on the Ukrainians. They love to beat up on the Ukrainians don’t they? Is this the kind of “strength” Trump wants us to cozy up to like he is? Putin doesn’t want a return to Soviet style communism because even he knows that was a loser financially and while he’s suffering some losses now in a virulently capitalistic Russia which has re-embraced the old Boyar system of oligarchs, Putin’s bright enough to know nostalgia’s pull for a stronger Slavic empire with the Russians calling all the major shots has its limits. And this is why he’s cozying up to one of our biggest symbols of American capitalism, The Donald.
    LOL, the only “re-education camps” I’m worried about coming from the Russians today is one where the crazy notions of Ludwig von Mieses will be shoved down kids’ throats during economics classes and the Russian Orthodox Church will be granted legal primacy over all other faiths in all other parts of a world split up and led by Trump and Putin. After all, last week Trump did promise to toss out the LBJ law banning political rabble-rousing from the pulpit as the price for maintaining tax free status. Can’t bite the hand that feeds ya, brothers n sisters. Under Putin’s cozy arrangement with the Orthodox, just criticizing the government and the Orthodox for coming down hard on non-Orthodox Christians for obeying the commands of Jesus to spread the word … well, now you know there’s only one version of that word that’s allowed to be spread, and it better be in Russian.
    If Putin’s new best friend makes it into the White House, be very alarmed about the snail’s pace your liberties will be attacked and the piecemeal way a Trump administration will go about chopping it up. Like the proverbial frog that’s placed in the pan with simply warmed over cooking oil at first, gradually Moscow will want the heat turned up and Putin’s pal who admires his strength, will see to it that one by one our liberties will be taken away from us and before we know it, hell’s bells, it’ll be illegal for anybody to be caught humming the tune of “Bobby McGee,” and singing outloud, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
    We don’t want our would be leaders to become out of control adversaries of Moscow, but at the same time, there’s no room for bum kissers like Putin’s Trump.
    The next time Cliff wants to handicap which pol Putin really has no respect for, perhaps he ought to give it a rest on Strobe Talbot, a man who’s long been a Czarist-size pain in Putin’s rear. Vladimir need not worry if his American pal Trump beats Clinton. At least not according to a very interesting article by Paul Abrams, appearing in today’s HuffPost. ( This one’s going to hurt those in Trump-land.