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May 25 8 tweets 7 min read
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, An Iraq War Veteran Who Sacrificed It All

As we near Memorial Day, the Intellectualist is posting the last letter of Tomas Young (November 30, 1979 – November 10, 2014), an Iraq War veteran.

Tomas addressed his last letter to former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Tomas was close to death, and wanted to speak out forcefully before he passed on: (@RollingStone)

"TOMAS YOUNG JOINED the Army two days after September 11, 2001 and was shot and paralyzed after serving only five days in Iraq in 2004. He was the subject of the powerful 2007 documentary Body of War – with a soundtrack that included Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine and Bruce Springsteen – and since then, his health has worsened and he is currently under hospice care."Image The Last Letter

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans.

I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded.

I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care. I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries.

I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day.

I write this letter on behalf of the some one million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all – the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power.

I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans – my fellow veterans – whose future you stole.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character.

You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit.

Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character.

You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago.

You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.Image
May 13 13 tweets 4 min read
1/12 Cynical bankruptcy may be endemic to politics, but JD Vance has refined it into an art form, manipulating his "son of Appalachia" image to ascend to the U.S. Senate. theintellectualist.com/jd-vance-fake-… 2/12 His initiative "Our Ohio Renewal," ostensibly for combating Appalachia's opioid crisis, abruptly closed after his political nomination, revealing his use of critical issues for personal gain. theintellectualist.com/jd-vance-fake-…
May 12 11 tweets 6 min read
1. In a 2022 interview with @NicolleDWallace, former CIA Officer @tracy_walder expressed concern that the documents unlawfully retained by former President Donald Trump could be linked to the deaths of CIA informants overseas. What caused her concern? The known timeline. 1/10 Image 2. On May 6, 2021, the @USNatArchives
contacted the representatives of the former president demanding he return the documents that he had unlawfully retained. 2/10
washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
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Apr 6 5 tweets 19 min read
Chronicle of Recklessness: Donald J. Trump and the Jeopardization of U.S. National Security (Part III)

Infiltrations at Mar-a-Lago Highlight Security Gaps and Unseen Risks

The incidents of infiltration at Mar-a-Lago, most notably involving Inna Yashchyshyn and Yujing Zhang, spotlight a pattern of lax security under Donald Trump's administration, reflective of a broader, reckless approach to national security. This disregard is not a general lapse but a direct consequence of the atmosphere Trump cultivated, where the protocols designed to safeguard sensitive environments were often sidelined.

Yashchyshyn's audacious entry into Mar-a-Lago, under the false identity of a Rothschild heiress, and her interactions with key political figures, including Trump himself, underscore the absence of rigorous security measures. Such breaches, facilitated by an environment where verification and vetting processes were evidently insufficient, are emblematic of Trump's casual approach to securing potentially vulnerable spaces.

Similarly, Yujing Zhang's incident, wherein she was found carrying multiple electronic devices, some initially suspected to contain malware, further exposes the depth of security shortcomings during Trump's tenure. Her unauthorized access, equipped with tools for potential cyber espionage, underscores not just a physical security failure but a profound cybersecurity risk—a risk that emerged from a culture of negligence toward national security concerns.

This pattern of security lapses, marked by Zhang's arrest and the potential for cyber threats, underscores a concerning disregard for the complexity of security threats faced by high-profile venues associated with political figures. It reflects a broader trend of Trump's administration's approach to national security: a disregard for established protocols and a predisposition toward recklessness that compromised the safety and integrity of not only Mar-a-Lago but potentially the nation.

Trump’s Unique Unsuitability For Any National Security Role

Trump's Recklessness with Classified Information Relating to CIA Assets

While there is no direct evidence tying former President Donald Trump to the death of CIA informants, substantial evidence exists illustrating his reckless handling of classified information concerning CIA assets and the secrets surrounding them. This behavior has sparked significant concern among intelligence and national security professionals about the potential compromise of critical sources and the implications for US intelligence capabilities.

In an unprecedented top-secret cable sent to all CIA stations and bases worldwide, American counterintelligence officials highlighted the alarming trend of informants being captured, killed, or compromised.

This cable, which reviewed dozens of cases over recent years, marked a rare admission of the challenges and dangers faced by CIA operatives and their sources in hostile environments. Adversarial intelligence services, especially in nations like Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan, have intensified efforts to neutralize the CIA's human intelligence assets, often turning them into double agents.

The cable underscored several issues that have compounded these risks, including poor tradecraft, a tendency to trust sources too readily, underestimating foreign intelligence capabilities, and hasty recruitment of informants without sufficient consideration of counterintelligence dangers. These practices have endangered the lives of sources and jeopardized the integrity and effectiveness of US intelligence operations.

Moreover, Trump's history of mishandling classified information was further underscored by the discovery of documents marked "HCS" (Human Intelligence Control System) among those removed from Mar-a-Lago. HCS documents contain sensitive information that could potentially identify CIA informants.

Such materials demand the highest levels of protection due to the grave risk of compromising these sources. The inclusion of HCS-marked documents among the classified materials mishandled by Trump's administration illustrates a profound disregard for the protocols designed to safeguard America's most vital intelligence assets.

The implications of Trump's actions extend beyond immediate operational setbacks. The broader concern lies in the potential erosion of trust and confidence among current and potential intelligence sources.

The knowledge that sensitive information is not being adequately protected can deter individuals from cooperating with the US, thereby diminishing the CIA's ability to collect vital intelligence. This erosion of trust undermines the foundation of human intelligence operations and poses long-term challenges to national security.

While direct consequences, such as the death of CIA assets, cannot be conclusively attributed to Trump's actions, the indirect effects of his cavalier approach to handling classified information relating to CIA informants are profound.

The compromise of human intelligence sources not only endangers individual lives but also weakens the United States' intelligence-gathering capabilities, with far-reaching implications for national security.

Trump Would Reveal Intelligence When He Felt Like It

Throughout Donald Trump's presidency, there was a pronounced hesitancy among intelligence officials to share sensitive information with him, primarily due to concerns over his lack of self-control, which could result in inadvertent disclosure of classified information.

This concern was not unfounded; reports highlighted instances where Trump, either through misunderstanding or disregard for the confidentiality protocols, shared or blurted out secret information. This pattern of behavior led to an atmosphere of caution among those responsible for briefing the President, as they feared his unpredictable nature could lead to grave consequences for U.S. national security.

Trump's approach to handling classified information was marked by a departure from established protocols, raising alarms at various levels of the U.S. government's intelligence and national security apparatus.

His casual attitude towards sensitive intelligence not only created operational challenges but also posed unique dangers to national security, to the extent that there was hesitation to share vital intelligence with him. This reluctance was driven by a recognition of the potential harm that could arise from the mishandling or unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

Instances where Trump's handling of classified information came under scrutiny include his decision to share highly classified intelligence with Russian officials in 2017 and to tweet a declassified satellite image of an Iranian military site in 2019. Such actions not only demonstrated a disregard for the protocols governing the handling and dissemination of classified information but also raised questions about the criteria used to determine what information was deemed shareable or declassifiable.

Trump’s Focus of Intelligence: The Personal and Prurient

Donald J. Trump's presidency starkly deviated from the norm in many respects, particularly in his handling of intelligence and national security matters.

This deviation was not just procedural but deeply personal, aligning more with the sensibilities of tabloid consumption than the grave responsibilities of presidential leadership. Trump exhibited an unusual fascination with the personal affairs and private lives of others, especially those in positions of power. His predilection for such information mirrored the voyeuristic tendencies often catered to by publications like the National Enquirer rather than any strategic interest in national safety.

This interest was vividly illustrated in Trump's focus on the sex lives of prominent figures, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Information concerning Macron was notably discovered at Mar-a-Lago, and Trump openly discussed unverified and salacious rumors regarding Mandel's personal life, describing it as "fucking weird."

These fixations were emblematic of a broader pattern: Trump's engagement with intelligence often sought out the lurid and scandalous, diverging significantly from the expected focus on security threats and geopolitical dynamics that typically occupy presidential attention.

Trump's approach to these matters was less about the safety of the nation and more about gathering material that could be used for personal amusement or to wield influence within his inner circle.

His interest in such gossip—far removed from the purview of national security—suggested a leadership style that was more concerned with the power dynamics and scandals of the wealthy and influential than with the sober realities of governing and protecting a country.

This inclination towards the private and prurient details of others' lives not only marked a departure from traditional presidential conduct but also raised concerns about the prioritization of personal entertainment over the essential duties of national defense and intelligence.

In sum, Trump's presidency underscored a unique danger to the principles of national security: a commander-in-chief whose fascination with the sensational details of powerful individuals' lives overshadowed the imperative to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information.

This shift in focus—from the national to the personal—challenged conventional expectations of presidential responsibility and highlighted the unique vulnerabilities introduced by a leader whose interests aligned more closely with tabloid narratives than with the safeguarding of national interests.

In Closing

Throughout Donald J. Trump's tenure as President of the United States, his administration was characterized by unconventional approaches to national security and intelligence, which have stirred considerable debate and concern.

While direct evidence linking Trump to the compromising or deaths of CIA assets is absent, a constellation of incidents and attitudes during his presidency paints an alarming picture of disregard for the sanctity and security of classified information, raising questions about the indirect consequences of his actions on national security.

The exfiltration of a highly valuable Russian asset, a direct result of concerns over the individual's safety amidst Trump's handling of sensitive information, serves as a stark illustration of the potential risks to intelligence operatives' lives and the integrity of intelligence operations.

This action underscores the critical importance of protecting sources, a principle seemingly at odds with the cavalier attitude displayed by Trump towards classified material.

Adding to the concerns, the discovery of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, including those detailing information about human intelligence assets, further exemplifies the security lapses prevalent during Trump's time in office and beyond. Such mishandling of sensitive information not only poses immediate risks to the sources involved but also jeopardizes the broader intelligence network that underpins national security.

Moreover, Trump's comments in a Fox News interview, suggesting a belief in the potential to monetize classified intelligence, reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of classified information.

This perspective is not only erroneous but also dangerous, suggesting a commodification of national security assets that could undermine the foundational principles of intelligence gathering and sharing.

While there is no known evidence directly tying Trump to the deaths of CIA assets, the cumulative impact of these incidents—coupled with a perceived lack of respect for the protocols and ethics governing classified information—casts a shadow over his administration's legacy in terms of national security.

The implications of these actions, both known and yet to be fully understood, underscore the paramount importance of adhering to established security protocols and treating intelligence with the utmost care and respect to safeguard the lives of operatives and the security of the nation they serve.

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apnews.com/article/trump-…Image Chronicle of Recklessness: Donald J. Trump and the Jeopardization of U.S. National Security (Part II)

Apr 5 4 tweets 21 min read
Chronicle of Recklessness: Donald J. Trump and the Jeopardization of U.S. National Security (Part II)

Trump Reveals Classified Information to Russian Officials

In a consequential episode that underscored President Donald Trump's perilous approach to classified intelligence, a critical CIA informant within the Russian government was extracted in 2017.

This move was propelled by growing concerns over Trump's handling of sensitive information, particularly his disclosure of highly classified intel to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during a White House meeting in May 2017.

The informant, who had provided the CIA with invaluable insights into the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans for decades, became a cornerstone for the U.S. understanding of Russia's intentions, especially concerning the interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The CIA's decision to extract the informant was not taken lightly; it followed intense deliberation and was primarily motivated by fears for the source's safety amidst Trump's unpredictable disclosures.

Trump's disclosure to the Russians did not just reveal a piece of intelligence; it exposed the intricate and highly sensitive intelligence-sharing arrangement with a key U.S. partner, potentially jeopardizing the source's method of acquiring crucial information on the Islamic State.

This act of sharing was deemed so reckless that it prompted immediate efforts by senior White House officials to mitigate the damage, underscoring the deep-seated anxieties within the U.S. intelligence community about Trump's impulsive handling of classified information.

The extraction of the informant deprived the United States of a pivotal window into the Kremlin at a time when understanding Russia's global maneuvers and internal decision-making processes was more critical than ever. The source had been instrumental in confirming Putin's direct involvement in orchestrating the 2016 election interference, affirming his preference for Trump's election, and personally ordering the DNC hack.

The extraction had profound ramifications. It not only ended the career of one of the CIA's most valuable assets but also cast a long shadow over the U.S. intelligence community's capacity to monitor and predict Russian activities. Officials involved in the operation grappled with the immediate loss of insight into Russian affairs and the broader implications for national security.

The incident encapsulated the broader concerns about Trump's approach to classified intelligence, highlighting a tension between the need to inform the highest levels of government and the imperative to protect sensitive national security information.

Trump's interactions with Russian officials, both in person and on public platforms like Twitter, sowed doubt among allies and intelligence sources about the United States' ability to safeguard secrets, potentially compromising future intelligence-gathering efforts and undermining national security.

Trump Covered-Up Saudi Murder of Washington Post Journalist

"Saudi Arabia—I have a great relationship with them," Donald Trump was quoted saying at a 2015 rally, as reported by The New York Times. "They purchase apartments from me, spending $40 million, $50 million. Why should I dislike them? I very much like them!" This statement, featured in a January 4, 2024 article titled "Trump Received Millions from Foreign Governments as President, Report Finds," provides a stark context for understanding his administration's handling of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and a columnist for The Washington Post, was brutally murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. The CIA concluded with high confidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's assassination, contradicting the Saudi government's claims that it was a rogue operation.

Despite the overwhelming evidence and the intelligence community's assessment, President Trump resisted blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

His reluctance to confront the crown prince was highlighted by a candid admission in Bob Woodward's book "Rage," where Trump is quoted saying, "I saved his ass," referring to his efforts to protect MBS from Congressional scrutiny after Khashoggi's assassination.

Trump acknowledged leveraging his influence to halt congressional actions against the Crown Prince, illustrating a deliberate choice to prioritize strategic and economic relationships over the principles of justice and accountability.

This skepticism extended to Trump's inner circle, notably Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who maintained a close relationship with Mohammed bin Salman.

Reports suggested that Kushner and the crown prince exchanged messages on WhatsApp, raising concerns about the security and privacy of their communications, especially in light of Saudi Arabia's alleged involvement in hacking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone through WhatsApp.

The Trump administration's response to Khashoggi's murder was marked by a reluctance to hold the Saudi government accountable.

The Treasury Department sanctioned 17 Saudis for their role in the killing, but the sanctions stopped short of implicating Mohammed bin Salman directly. Trump's actions, including vetoing several resolutions aimed at blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth approximately $8 billion, underscored a commitment to maintaining a strong bilateral relationship with Riyadh despite widespread condemnation of the murder.

In an attempt to placate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was outspoken in accusing the Saudi government of premeditated murder, there were reports that the Trump administration explored extraditing Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in the U.S. and wanted by Turkey.

This suggested an effort to mitigate the fallout from the Khashoggi case by making concessions to another key regional player.

The release of a U.S. intelligence report in February 2021, after Trump left office, unequivocally stated that Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi.

This confirmed what many had suspected about the crown prince's direct involvement, casting further doubt on Trump's attempts to shield the Saudi leadership from blame and raising serious questions about the role of personal interests and alliances in shaping U.S. foreign policy and the administration's commitment to justice and human rights on the international stage.

Saudi Arabia Invested $2b With Jared Kushner After Trump Left White House

Jared Kushner, central to shaping the Trump administration's Middle East strategy, cultivated a close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). His involvement became especially controversial following the brutal murder of Khashoggi on October 2, 2018, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The CIA concluded with high confidence that MBS ordered Khashoggi's assassination, directly contradicting Saudi claims of a rogue operation.

According to The Intercept, a source familiar with the conversations among Saudi and Emirati royals shared that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had informed UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed about his discussions with Jared Kushner.

The Saudi Crown Prince reportedly boasted to the Emirati Crown Prince and others that Kushner was "in his pocket," highlighting the perceived influence MBS had over Kushner.

Despite clear intelligence assessments, the Trump administration, with Kushner's influence, resisted holding MBS accountable.

Trump’s admission in Bob Woodward's "Rage," stating he "saved his ass" in reference to protecting MBS from Congressional scrutiny, highlights a clear preference for preserving economic and strategic ties over adhering to ethical standards.

Following Kushner's departure from the White House, MBS's $2 billion investment into Kushner's firm, Affinity Partners, despite advice against it, raises significant ethical concerns.

This investment, coming amidst scrutiny over Kushner's close ties with MBS and the Saudi regime's actions, suggests potential conflicts of interest and raises questions about the motives behind U.S. foreign policy decisions during the Trump administration.

Trump's financial dealings with Saudi Arabia, his administration's approach to Khashoggi's murder, and Kushner's intimate association with MBS, combined with the considerable Saudi investment, underscore a narrative marked by placing personal interests over national priorities.

Trump’s Lax Approach To Iran

Trump's Tweet of Classified Satellite Image Raises National Security Concerns

In a move that stunned both the intelligence community and foreign policy experts, then-President Donald Trump tweeted a highly sensitive satellite image of an explosion at an Iranian space facility in August 2019.

The image, which experts believe was taken by a classified U.S. satellite or drone, showcased the aftermath of a failed Iranian rocket launch, displaying capabilities that were previously unknown to the public.

The tweeted image was far superior in quality to the best commercially available imagery at the time, indicating a resolution "well below 20 centimeters," according to Ankit Panda of the Federation of American Scientists. This revelation sparked immediate concerns about the potential compromise of critical U.S. spy capabilities, with experts warning that such a disclosure could allow adversaries, including Iran, Russia, and China, to adapt their operations to avoid detection by U.S. surveillance.

"We had a photo and I released it, which I have the absolute right to do," Trump told reporters, asserting his authority to declassify information. However, the decision to tweet the image, seemingly without interagency discussion or consideration of the implications, was seen as unprecedented and potentially damaging.

The image's release exposed the exceptional resolution capabilities of U.S. spy satellites and raised questions about how it was obtained, whether through a satellite, drone, or spy plane. The glare in the center of the image suggested it was a photo of a briefing slide or a piece of paper, further indicating the classified nature of the information.

Critics, including former officials from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the intelligence community, lambasted Trump's judgment. "These are closely held national secrets," remarked Panda, highlighting the risks of disclosing such information. Michael Mulroy, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, emphasized the importance of maintaining secrecy around efforts to disrupt or monitor Iranian satellite launches, given their potential dual use for developing ballistic missile technology.

The tweet's fallout extended beyond immediate security concerns, potentially undermining U.S. efforts to monitor Iran's missile and nuclear programs. "It degraded our confidence in that capability to pick up things that we might otherwise have picked up," a former senior official at the NRO reflected on the disclosure's impact.

Despite these concerns, some officials from Trump's administration downplayed the significance of the tweet, suggesting that the image's quality was not much better than what was available commercially and that the intelligence community's worries were overblown. However, experts like Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies argued that the image indeed revealed U.S. capabilities that were significantly superior to commercial technology, offering a "goldmine" of information about classified U.S. surveillance operations.

The incident underscored the delicate balance between a president's authority to declassify information and the imperative to protect national security secrets. Trump's decision to share the image without apparent regard for the potential consequences highlighted the tensions between his unconventional approach to governance and the traditionally cautious handling of sensitive intelligence.

Mar-A-Lago and Bedminster: Stolen Documents, Infiltrations, and Bragging

The Stolen Documents

Donald Trump faces a series of federal charges related to the handling of classified documents, as outlined in an indictment that spotlights his approach to sensitive information. At the core of the allegations is the assertion that Trump compromised national security through the retention and exposure of classified materials, including those detailing nuclear capabilities. These documents, which were improperly stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate and remained even after multiple requests for their return, represent a breach of protocol and trust typically vested in a president.

The indictment suggests a pattern of obstruction, detailing instances where Trump and his aides attempted to evade investigators' scrutiny. Surveillance video and audio recordings present evidence of Trump's direct involvement in withholding requested documents, reinforcing the charge of willful retention of national defense information. The former president's actions, particularly the alleged showcasing of a Pentagon "plan of attack" to visitors, underscore the disregard for the stringent measures expected in the management of classified data.

Legal experts emphasize the gravity of the charges, which could carry a substantial prison sentence upon conviction. Trump's response, an attempt to liken the situation to a separate investigation involving President Joe Biden, is seen as a deflection from the critical nature of his own case. The comparison falls short as there has been no indication that Biden sought to conceal classified records or knew of their existence at his residence.

The indictment details more than Trump's mishandling of documents. It paints a broader narrative of a leader who frequently dismissed established procedures and rules governing the security of the nation's secrets. It not only calls into question Trump's ability to uphold the laws that protect national defense information but also raises concerns about the potential risks posed to the safety and security of the United States.

As Trump prepares for his first court appearance, the legal community and the public alike are closely observing the unfolding of this unprecedented case. The outcome, while yet to be determined, is set to have a profound impact on the legacy of Trump's presidency and the standards of presidential accountability. Looking ahead, this case may well serve as a litmus test for the nation's commitment to upholding the rule of law and the importance of secure handling of classified information at the highest levels of government.

Trump's Casual Discussion of Classified Iran War Plans - Revelations from an Audio Recording

In 2021, an audio recording captured former President Donald Trump discussing a classified document concerning potential military action against Iran. This conversation, recorded at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., underlines Trump's acknowledgment of possessing classified material he did not declassify before leaving office. Trump's comments, "See, as president, I could have declassified it, now I can’t. ... Isn’t that interesting? It’s so cool," spotlight his cavalier attitude towards sensitive national security information. This recording serves as crucial evidence in the federal case against Trump, who faces 37 felony charges related to mishandling classified documents.

Bedminster Incident and Mark Meadows' Testimony

Trump allegedly left a top-secret Iran war plan on a couch at his New Jersey golf resort. Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, reported in a draft of his memoir how Trump showcased the classified document, typed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, during an interview.

This plan, which Trump presented as evidence of Milley's aggressive stance towards Iran, remained classified, contradicting Trump’s claims of having declassified all documents he took with him post-presidency. Meadows' account, shared with prosecutors, indicates Trump’s awareness of the document's classified status, stating, “It is like, highly confidential. Secret. This is secret information.”

Next Part Tomorrow

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Macias, Amanda, and Kevin Breuninger. "Trump says the US wasn’t involved in apparent launch pad explosion in Iran." CNBC. Published August 30, 2019, 3:35 PM EDT. Updated August 30, 2019, 6:22 PM EDT. .

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Porter, Tom. "Officials were reluctant to hand over sensitive intel to Trump because he would blurt out details, report says." Business Insider, September 2, 2022, 6:04 AM EDT..

Rawnsley, Adam, and Asawin Suebsaeng. "Trump Bragged He Had 'Intelligence' on Macron’s Sex Life. The FBI seized a document with 'info' on the French president during the Mar-a-Lago raid, and that has officials in both countries hunting for answers." Rolling Stone. August 29, 2022. .

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apnews.com/article/trump-…Image Chronicle of Recklessness: Trump and National Security This is the full article (above is part II)

This article goes deep into the dangers of Donald Trump ever having responsibilities relating to national security again. @ResoluteSquare

resolutesquare.com/articles/3YzrO…
Apr 3 4 tweets 2 min read
Trump: Would you rather have the Black president or the white president? I think they want the white guy.
He has always been a bigot.
Apr 2 5 tweets 9 min read
Chronicle of Trump's Lax Approach to National Security and Surge in Spy Deaths: A Comprehensive Timeline

The behavior of President Trump regarding national security has been marked by a series of incidents that highlight a significant disregard for the protocols designed to safeguard sensitive information and intelligence assets.

This pattern of behavior includes the mishandling of classified documents, actions that have potentially jeopardized intelligence assets, and a general laxity towards the security of classified records. Notably, the disclosure of sensitive information necessitated the extraction of a top spy from Russia, and a reckless tweet about satellite spying capabilities concerning Iran further heightened security risks.

Moreover, Trump's casual approach to handling classified records, particularly evidenced by incidents at Mar-a-Lago, has led to serious legal implications, including espionage charges. His remarks trivializing the importance of securing classified information, alongside comparisons to Nixon's financial benefits from document sales, only add to the severity of these concerns.

Despite the lack of concrete evidence tying Trump's actions to the surge in spy deaths reported in October 2021, the accumulation of these incidents underlines a troubling pattern of negligence. This pattern warrants a thorough examination for potential links to broader national security implications.

Although direct causality between Trump's national security stance and the reported increase in spy deaths remains unproven, the broader context of his tenure invites further scrutiny into the indirect impacts of his conduct on national security.

The infiltration of Mar-a-Lago by individuals with suspected espionage ties, among other security breaches, amplifies these concerns, suggesting that Trump's tenure may have indirectly influenced the safety and effectiveness of American intelligence operations.

Timeline:

May 10, 2017: Trump revealed highly classified information to Russians (Source: The Washington Post, "Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador").

July 31, 2019: Trump spoke with Putin about wildfires in Siberia and trade between their two nations, the White House said (Source: Reuters, "Trump discusses Siberian wildfires, trade in call with Russia's Putin").

August 3, 2019: Trump issued a request for a list of top US spies, raising concerns about the potential for exposing or compromising intelligence assets (Source: The Daily Beast, "White House Asks for List of Top Spies During Intelligence Shakeup").

August 30, 2019: Trump tweets a classified satellite photo of Iran (Source: NPR, "Trump Tweets Sensitive Surveillance Image Of Iran").

October 5, 2021: "CIA Admits to Losing Dozens of Informants" over the past few years, highlighting challenges in intelligence operations and potential compromises (Source: The New York Times, "Captured, Killed or Compromised: C.I.A. Admits to Losing Dozens of Informants").

August 26, 2022: Documents at Mar-a-Lago Could Compromise Human Intelligence Sources, as the Justice Department's search was spurred by the discovery that Trump had retained highly classified material (Source: The New York Times, "Documents at Mar-a-Lago Could Compromise Human Intelligence Sources, Affidavit Says").

March 27, 2023: In a televised interview, Trump discusses the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago for classified documents he retained post-presidency, making comparisons to former President Nixon and implying a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the Presidential Records Act. Trump's claim that he had the right to take presidential records and his reference to an $18 million settlement paid to Nixon (which pertains to a different legal context and era) underscores a troubling perspective on the ownership and handling of classified information, suggesting that he intended to monetize them. (Source: , "Fact-Checking Trump’s Rally, Fox Interview".)

Bibliography

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Brumfiel, Geoff. "Trump Tweets Sensitive Surveillance Image Of Iran." NPR, August 30, 2019, 4:22 PM ET. Photographed for NPR on January 17, 2019, in Washington DC. Accessed January 31, 2024. .

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nytimes.com/2022/08/26/us/…Image If you can support us, it would be highly appreciated. We strive to create factual, engaging, and educational content always.
buymeacoffee.com/theintellectua…
Feb 29 6 tweets 2 min read
The techniques used by Fox News to manipulate its viewers are no different than those used by Joseph Goebbels.

Fox aims to keep its viewers angry by priming them with emotionally charged propaganda meant to confuse and undermine their understanding of reality. 1/5 Image Fox and other propagandists have long sought to influence election outcomes by promoting mistrust of institutions and general cynicism about the role of government.

This cartoon captures how the Right has used propaganda for decades to promote their longterm interests. 2/5 Image
Feb 21 5 tweets 3 min read
🚨Fake GOP Witness Linked to Russian Kompromat Scheme Targeting High-Profile Americans

Uncovered documents disclose a Russian intelligence plot to amass kompromat at Kyiv's Premier Palace Hotel, implicating Smirnov in a conspiracy to manipulate U.S. political outcomes.

The operation's aim is to gather sensitive material on distinguished Americans for potential leverage in the 2024 elections, highlighting a calculated attempt to destabilize U.S. democratic processes.

**Details:**

- The Premier Palace Hotel in Kyiv, Ukraine, serves as the epicenter for Russian intelligence's kompromat operations, with Smirnov as a key informant.
- Smirnov's associations include:
- **Russian Official 1**: Described as an orchestrator of international assassination operations and progeny of a high-ranking Russian figure.
- **Russian Official 2**: A senior member within the Russian foreign intelligence hierarchy, holding discussions about the conflict in Ukraine.
- **Russian Official 4**: The overseer of the surveillance operation at the Premier Palace Hotel, which targets influential Americans for kompromat.
- Smirnov has promulgated fabricated stories, notably about Businessperson 1's supposed activities in Ukraine, to create kompromat for Russian intelligence use.
- These machinations underscore Russia's strategic efforts to infiltrate and potentially sway the U.S. electoral system.
- There is an expressed apprehension that Smirnov might abscond to preclude legal responsibility for his involvement in the kompromat dissemination.

t.co/6e8TyEYgJGImage 🚨In addition, the DOJ memo discusses a Russian intelligence operation focused on gathering compromising information (kompromat) on key U.S. figures.

The operation involves the interception of phone calls at a hotel, dubbed a "club," by Russian Official 4, who heads a specific unit within the Russian Intelligence Service. This kompromat is potentially earmarked for use in influencing the outcome of the 2024 U.S. election.

**Details:**
- **Russian Intelligence Operation**: Led by Russian Official 4, targeting a hotel used as a surveillance site to intercept calls from high-profile U.S. individuals.
- **Objective**: To acquire kompromat that could be deployed strategically depending on the candidates in the 2024 U.S. election.
- **Smirnov's Role**: As an informant, Smirnov relayed details of the operation to his FBI Handler and insisted on this narrative in a September 2023 meeting with investigators.
- **Potential Election Influence**: The gathered intelligence is part of a calculated effort to exert control over U.S. political dynamics through blackmail or public exposure.Image
Feb 9 4 tweets 2 min read
"We're gonna deport a lot of people, 10 million people and growing - anchor babies, their parents, their grandparents. We're gonna put kids in cages. It's gonna be glorious." @JasonSCampbell

- Mike Davis, The Article III Project. Ex-Gorsuch clerk.
There will be mass deportations, concentration camps, targeted violence against regime opponents, and the subjugation of American cities, via the Insurrection Act, if Donald Trump becomes president in 2024.

He and his family will never leave office again if he pulls off a victory in 2024.

These are the stakes.
nytimes.com/2023/11/11/us/…Image
Feb 8 5 tweets 3 min read
🚨The Supreme Court Will Likely Not Support Disqualifying Trump From The Ballot

From the questioning, it appears that the Supreme Court is leaning against disqualifying former President Donald Trump under the 14th Amendment.

The conservative justices on the Court seemed to act as de facto defense counsel for Trump, generating arguments spontaneously that Trump himself had not made in the factual record. Their inquiries, detached from the potential outcome of their opinion, often involved meticulous hair-splitting or were marked by assertive statements delivered with a tone of skeptical disdain.

The nature, tone, and volume of questions posed to the attorney advocating for disqualification, steeped in hypothetical scenarios detached from reality, suggest that defeating Trump at the ballot box is the only course of action for Americans.

The preservation of the United States rests solely in the hands of its own citizens.Image The Los Angeles Times.👇
latimes.com/politics/story…
Image
Feb 3 4 tweets 2 min read
In 2021, nearly 62 years after the fact, Emory University issued an apology to Dr. Marion Gerald Hood.

Dr. Hood, who later pursued his studies at Loyola University in Chicago, specializing in gynecology and obstetrics, had faced rejection from the Emory School of Medicine due to his race.

This rejection was made explicit in a letter from the university's director of admissions, dated August 5, 1959, which denied admission to the African-American applicant solely on the basis of his race.

Reflecting on the challenges he faced, Dr. Hood remarked, “Life is full of hurdles. But the thing that I thought is, if there’s a hurdle there, there must be a way to get around it or over it.”

Dr. Hood’s rejection letter from Emory University.👇Image “Dr. Gerald Hood with his mother, Jessie Lee Hood Trice, after his 1959 Clark College graduation. A practical nurse, she reared him and his two siblings in Griffin, Ga.” Image
Jan 29 4 tweets 9 min read
🇺🇦Arm Ukraine or a Larger War May Follow 🇺🇦

Introduction

As the world intently observes the conflict in Ukraine, the ramifications of this crisis extend far beyond its borders, signaling a potential shift in the global balance of power.

The cost of not supporting Ukraine is not just a regional concern but a global one, challenging the very foundations of international order and threatening the principles of sovereignty and democratic self-determination.

The implications of inaction could reverberate through the international community, altering long-standing geopolitical alignments and potentially diminishing the effectiveness of global governance structures.

A Strategic Victory For Ukraine is a Strategic Defeat for Russia

Ukraine’s Victory as a Global Turning Point

A victory for Ukraine over Russia would not only be a symbol of David triumphing over Goliath but also a critical juncture in world affairs. It would represent a significant shift in the global power dynamics, challenging the notion of might equals right.

Such a victory would embolden smaller nations, proving that resilience and strategic alliances can counterbalance the aggression of larger powers.

It would also serve as a beacon of hope for other nations grappling with external threats, reinforcing the idea that international solidarity can play a pivotal role in upholding sovereignty.

Destabilizing Putin’s Regime

A Ukrainian victory could profoundly destabilize Vladimir Putin’s regime, potentially leading to significant political shifts within Russia.

This outcome would challenge Putin’s carefully crafted image of invincibility and control, possibly leading to internal political upheaval. Such a development could encourage voices of dissent and demand for reform within Russia, thereby altering its domestic and foreign policy trajectory.

Potential Collapse of the Russian Federation

The triumph of Ukraine could trigger a series of events leading to the fragmentation of the Russian Federation. This scenario would have far-reaching consequences, not just for Russia but for the entire international community.

It could lead to a power vacuum in regions within Russia, raising questions about the future of these territories and the geopolitical implications of their potential independence or realignment.

Global Message Against Aggression

Ukraine’s success on the battlefield would send a resounding message against military aggression and the violation of sovereign borders.

It would reaffirm the relevance and importance of international law in the modern world, setting a precedent that could deter future acts of aggression by other nations.

Encouraging Democratic Resilience

A Ukrainian victory would be more than a military success; it would be a triumph for democratic values. It would inspire nations worldwide, particularly those under the shadow of authoritarian regimes, reinforcing the idea that democratic ideals are worth fighting for and that the international community can come together to support these values.

Implications for Global Security

A successful defense of Ukraine would necessitate a reevaluation of military and diplomatic strategies across the globe. It would influence how nations perceive and engage in international conflicts, potentially leading to a shift towards more collaborative and multilateral approaches to global security challenges.

Potential Outcomes: Post-Ukraine’s Victory Over Russia

The aftermath of a Ukrainian victory could lead to a democratic transformation within Russia, strengthening of NATO, and a significant reconfiguration of the European security landscape.

These changes would have a profound impact on the future direction of international relations and the balance of power in Europe.

Shifts in Global Power Dynamics

The success of Ukraine against a major power like Russia could recalibrate global alliances and potentially lead to the emergence of new power centers.

This reconfiguration could reshape the international order, leading to a more multipolar world where power is more evenly distributed.

China Will Be Forced To Recalculate the Potential Costs of Invading Taiwan

Impact on China’s Calculations

The resilience and potential victory of Ukraine could compel Chinese leadership to reassess their strategy towards Taiwan.

Observing the global response to Russia’s aggression and the costs incurred, China might reconsider the risks associated with any military action against Taiwan.

This recalibration would factor in not only the military response but also the potential economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation.

Lessons from Ukraine’s Resistance

Ukraine’s determined resistance against a much larger adversary provides strategic lessons for Taiwan. It highlights the importance of national resolve, international support, and the strategic use of asymmetric warfare tactics.

Taiwan could draw valuable insights from Ukraine’s experience, preparing itself more robustly for any potential future conflicts.

Economic and Political Considerations for China

China’s decision-making process regarding Taiwan will have to consider the significant economic and political repercussions of any aggressive move.

The potential impact on global trade, China’s integration into the world economy, and its international standing would be pivotal factors in this calculus.

The Taiwan Strait Dilemma

The Taiwan Strait represents one of the most significant geopolitical flashpoints in the world today.

The events in Ukraine underscore the potential for escalation in such regions, where miscalculations or misinterpretations could lead to extensive conflicts, drawing in major global powers and potentially destabilizing the entire Indo-Pacific region.

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Preventing Global Conflict: Lessons from History

The current situation in Ukraine echoes the grim lessons of history, where a lack of preparedness and resolve has often led to larger conflicts. It underlines the age-old maxim that to maintain peace, nations must be prepared for war.

This preparation involves not just military readiness but also the capacity for diplomatic negotiation, economic resilience, and the strategic foresight to anticipate and mitigate potential crises.

Strategic Importance for the U.S.: The Imperative of Ukraine’s Decisive Victory

For the United States, supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression aligns with broader strategic interests.

A Ukrainian victory would uphold the international order based on democratic values and respect for sovereignty, which are cornerstones of U.S. foreign policy.

It would also serve as a deterrent against future aggressions by other authoritarian regimes, demonstrating the United States’ commitment to global stability.

Reinforcing Global Order and Democratic Values

America’s support for Ukraine is more than a strategic choice; it is a reaffirmation of its dedication to the principles of international law, democratic governance, and human rights. These principles are fundamental to the global order that the U.S. has championed since the end of World War II.

Deterrence Against Future Aggressions

A Ukrainian victory would send a clear message to potential aggressors around the world, including China, that military aggression will be met with strong resistance and significant costs. It would demonstrate the resolve and capability of democratic nations to stand against authoritarian expansionism.

Strategic Benefits for the U.S.

A stable and independent Ukraine contributes to a balanced geopolitical order in Europe, which aligns with America’s strategic interests. It prevents the emergence of a dominant power in Europe that could challenge U.S. influence and disrupts the transatlantic alliance.

Economic and Security Implications

The conflict in Ukraine has far-reaching implications for global economic stability and energy security.

The United States has a vested interest in ensuring a stable European economy and energy market, which are critical components of the global economic system.

Strengthening Alliances and Partnerships

The U.S. support for Ukraine has the potential to strengthen NATO and transatlantic ties, reinforcing the collective security framework that has been a cornerstone of Western defense policy.

It also offers an opportunity to build broader coalitions, extending beyond traditional alliances, which is crucial in addressing the complex challenges of the 21st century.

Long-Term Geopolitical Consequences

The outcome of the conflict in Ukraine could lead to a reassessment of nuclear deterrence strategies, particularly if Russia’s nuclear threats during the conflict have little real impact. It might also lead to a revival of multilateralism, with a renewed focus on strengthening international institutions and cooperative security arrangements.

The Cost of Failing to Arm Ukraine

American Allies’ Perception

Failing to support Ukraine adequately could be perceived as a decline in U.S. global power and influence, signaling an inability to maintain a consistent geostrategic focus.

This perception could weaken America’s credibility as a global leader and undermine the confidence of its allies in its commitment to upholding the international order.

Emboldening Russia

A lack of robust support for Ukraine might embolden Russia to further its aggressive actions in Europe, potentially leading to increased tensions and conflicts in regions like the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany, and Southern Europe.

This escalation could lead to the invocation of NATO’s Article 5, risking a direct military confrontation between NATO and the Russian Federation.

Impact on China’s Strategy

Inaction or insufficient action by the U.S. in the Ukraine crisis could be interpreted by China as a lack of resolve, potentially encouraging it to pursue aggressive actions against Taiwan.

This would have significant implications for the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and could undermine U.S. interests and influence in the area.

Consequences in the Middle East

A perceived weakness in U.S. foreign policy could embolden Iran to increase its aggressive actions against Sunni-Arab states and Israel, further destabilizing the Middle East.

This could lead to increased conflict and volatility in a region that is already fraught with tensions and has significant implications for global energy supplies and security.

North Korean Aggression

North Korea might interpret U.S. inaction as an opportunity to intensify its provocative actions against South Korea and Japan.

Such a development could escalate tensions in the region, potentially leading to military confrontations and destabilizing the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific.

Potential for a Third World War

The combined effects of these actions could lead to a situation where multiple regions across the globe are engulfed in conflict.

This could escalate into a global confrontation, heightened by the presence of advanced nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, and adversaries capable of inflicting significant damage on American cities and military assets.

Such a scenario would represent a catastrophic failure of international diplomacy and could lead to a third world war, unlike any conflict previously seen.

Conclusion

The conflict in Ukraine transcends its regional boundaries, becoming a critical test of the international order and U.S. global leadership.

The decisions and actions taken in response to this crisis will have long-lasting implications, shaping the landscape of global politics, security, and stability for generations to come.

Supporting Ukraine is not merely an act of solidarity; it is a strategic imperative to uphold a world order where peace, sovereignty, and democratic values are paramount.

The stakes are exceptionally high.

The cost of failure, as outlined, could lead to unprecedented global turmoil and conflict, underscoring the urgency and importance of a resolute and unified international response.

In this pivotal moment in history, it is essential for democratic nations to demonstrate their resilience and resolve.

The actions taken today will not only determine the future of Ukraine but also signal to the world the strength and reliability of democratic alliances in the face of authoritarian challenges.

This situation is a stark reminder that the lessons of history must not be forgotten.

The principles of international law, respect for sovereignty, and the pursuit of peace are as relevant today as they have ever been. In a world increasingly interconnected and interdependent, the ripple effects of conflicts in one region can be felt globally.

Therefore, a robust and proactive stance in support of Ukraine is critical not just for the immediate crisis but as a deterrent against future aggressions that threaten global stability and security.

As we navigate these complex and challenging times, the international community must remain vigilant, united, and committed to a course of action that safeguards the hard-won gains of the past and paves the way for a more secure and prosperous future.

The lessons drawn from Ukraine will undoubtedly shape international relations and geopolitical strategies for years to come, making it imperative that we choose a path of support, solidarity, and strength.Image 🇺🇦Arm Ukraine or a Larger War May Follow

The cost of not supporting Ukraine is not just a regional concern but a global one, challenging the very foundations of international order.

*Bibliography at link. click here.👇

theintellectualist.com/arm-ukraine-or…
Jan 29 6 tweets 2 min read
The techniques used by Fox News to manipulate its viewers are no different than those used by Joseph Goebbels.

Fox aims to keep its viewers angry by priming them with emotionally charged propaganda meant to confuse and undermine their understanding of reality. 1/5 Image Fox and other propagandists have long sought to influence election outcomes by promoting mistrust of institutions and general cynicism about the role of government.

This cartoon captures how the Right has used propaganda for decades to promote their longterm interests. 2/5 Image
Jan 23 5 tweets 18 min read
🤖Creating Something From Nothing: The Future of Artificial Intelligence:

🚨General AI: An Inflection Point in Human History

The journey of anatomically modern humans, a species relatively recent in the grand tapestry of life, has been short yet transformative. Human civilization, a concept that encompasses settled societies and agriculture, is only about 10,000 years old, representing a mere 400 generations. This timespan is akin to a blink of an eye in the vast expanse of space-time.

The pace of technological change, particularly since the 19th century, has been nothing short of exponential. Within approximately 200 years—just about eight generations—societies have evolved from largely agrarian economies to industrial powerhouses, and now to complex post-industrial landscapes.

This acceleration has become even more pronounced in the 21st century, challenging our ability to fully comprehend its magnitude.

To illustrate, let’s consider the evolution of communication technologies. In the 1800s, the Pony Express was a revolutionary method for delivering messages across vast distances. Fast forward to the present day, and we have instant, secure video chat capabilities with near-perfect translation, accessible from virtually anywhere in the world. The transformation is so profound that someone from the 1800s would likely deem it as nothing short of miraculous or impossible.

This rapid technological advancement is a prelude to an even more significant shift: the advent of General Artificial Intelligence (AI), a development poised to redefine the essence of human creativity, productivity, and perhaps even our conception of life itself.
How General AI is Distinguishable from the AI Being Used Right Now

In the current technological landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a ubiquitous and transformative force. However, the AI that we interact with today is markedly different from the concept of General AI, which represents a leap into a realm of possibilities that are currently beyond our reach.

Today’s AI, often referred to as Narrow AI or Weak AI, excels in specific tasks and operates within a limited context. These systems, powered by large language models and vast datasets, perform statistical analysis to generate responses highly correlated to the input they receive.

They are, in essence, sophisticated remix machines, adept at blending myriad data points to produce outputs that appear complete and coherent. This kind of AI amplifies human productivity and can perform complex tasks, but it is fundamentally limited by its programming and the data it has been trained on.

Take, for instance, AI systems used in language translation or image recognition. These systems are trained on extensive datasets and can perform their specific tasks with remarkable accuracy. However, they lack the ability to understand context or display genuine creativity. Their capabilities are confined to the patterns they have learned and cannot extend beyond these boundaries without human intervention.

General AI, on the other hand, is envisioned as a system that exhibits a broad spectrum of cognitive abilities comparable to human intelligence. This form of AI would possess the capacity for general understanding, reasoning, learning, and creativity across diverse domains, transcending the limitations of today’s AI.

General AI would not just remix existing information but could potentially create novel ideas, concepts, and solutions, much like human creativity but without the constraints of human limitations such as the need for rest or the costs of education.

A key aspect that sets General AI apart is its theoretical ability to understand and learn any intellectual task that a human can. It’s not just about processing information or performing pre-defined tasks; it’s about having an adaptable, evolving intelligence capable of independent thought and problem-solving across a wide range of areas.

This level of AI could author works, invent new technologies, and even make scientific discoveries, doing so tirelessly, without the need for sleep or sustenance.

The transition from today’s AI to General AI represents a significant shift, raising profound questions about the nature of creativity, the role of human labor, and the very essence of what it means to be human. As we advance towards this future, it becomes crucial to contemplate and prepare for the ethical, social, and economic implications that such a transformative technology would entail.

Synthetic Persons: The Next Major Inflection Point In Human History

The evolution from today’s AI to General AI leads us to a provocative and potentially transformative concept: synthetic persons.

This term encompasses entities that may possess superhuman intelligence and a sense of self modeled on human cognition, all contained within cybernetic bodies that closely mimic human biology. The emergence of synthetic persons is poised to be a major inflection point in human history, reshaping our societal, legal, and ethical landscapes.

Imagine entities that are not only indistinguishable from humans in appearance but also equipped with cognitive abilities surpassing the brightest of human minds. These synthetic persons, powered by General AI, could challenge our understanding of personhood and identity.

The questions that arise are profound and multifaceted:

Legal and Ethical Considerations: Should synthetic persons have rights akin to human beings?

For instance, could they vote, own property, or claim authorship for intellectual property purposes? If they possess self-awareness, emotions, and personal aspirations, denying them these rights could be seen as a form of oppression.

Yet, granting them such rights raises complex legal and ethical dilemmas. How do we integrate beings that are, in essence, immortal and infinitely knowledgeable into a society structured around human limitations?

Social Impact: The integration of synthetic persons into society would have far-reaching implications. They could revolutionize fields like healthcare, science, and education through their superior capabilities. However, this could also lead to significant displacement in the workforce and challenge the traditional roles and self-perception of humans in society.

Philosophical Questions: The advent of synthetic persons compels us to revisit fundamental questions about consciousness, identity, and the essence of being human. If a synthetic person can think, feel, and create like a human, what truly distinguishes us from them? This blurring of lines between human and machine could lead to a redefinition of human identity and existence.

Moral Implications: The creation of sentient, synthetic beings raises moral questions, particularly in terms of their treatment and the rights they should be accorded. Would owning a synthetic person equate to slavery? How do we ensure the ethical treatment of beings that, while not human, may possess human-like consciousness and emotions?

As we stand on the cusp of this technological leap, it is crucial to start framing the debate around the role and rights of synthetic persons. The decisions we make today will shape the society of tomorrow, where humans and synthetic entities may coexist. This conversation is not just about technology; it’s about redefining our understanding of life, rights, and what it means to be truly human.

Will Androids be Considered Created or Made? Why Does This Even Matter?

The distinction between being “created” and “made” takes on profound significance in the context of androids, synthetic beings powered by General AI. This distinction is not merely semantic but strikes at the heart of how we perceive these entities and their place in our world.

Created vs. Made: Human beings are typically considered “created,” emerging from a natural, biological process that starts with the fusion of sperm and ova and culminates in the birth of a new individual. This process imbues humans with a sense of uniqueness and individuality.

Androids, however, are likely to emerge from a combination of industrial and biological processes. This blend of manufacturing and potentially some form of synthetic biology raises the question: are androids creations in their own right, or are they merely sophisticated products?

Implications for Identity and Rights: How we answer the “created or made” question has vast implications. If we view androids as “made,” they become akin to products, like cars or computers, lacking in rights or personal agency.

However, if we see them as “created,” especially if they possess consciousness or self-awareness, they might warrant a status more akin to living beings with rights and intrinsic value.

Technological and Biological Convergence:

The future likely holds a blurring of lines between purely technological and biological processes. As we advance in fields like 3D bioprinting and synthetic biology, the creation of synthetic persons might involve processes strikingly similar to natural human development. This convergence challenges our traditional notions of what it means to be “made” or “created.”

Legal and Ethical Considerations: The classification of androids has profound legal and ethical implications. For instance, if androids are considered “created” and endowed with sentience, could owning one be considered a violation of the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery? Conversely, if they are “made,” do they then lack any claim to rights and protections?

Social and Moral Responsibility: The advent of sentient androids would necessitate a re-evaluation of our moral responsibilities towards non-human entities. The possibility that androids might not only resemble humans but also believe in their own humanity raises ethical questions about their treatment, use, and the nature of their existence within human society.

Impact on Human Identity: The existence of androids challenges our understanding of what it means to be human. If androids can replicate or even surpass human abilities, where does that leave human identity and self-worth? The distinction between being created and made becomes a lens through which we view our own humanity.

As we navigate these uncharted waters, it’s crucial to consider the far-reaching implications of how we define and interact with synthetic persons. The decisions we make today will shape our future societal, legal, and ethical frameworks, potentially redefining the essence of life and personhood.

Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” Must Be Utilized for General AI

In envisioning the future of General AI, the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” offers a crucial ethical framework. These laws are designed to ensure the safe and ethical operation of intelligent machines. As we approach the era of General AI, the principles underlying these laws become increasingly relevant.

Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:

1.A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Relevance to General AI: Asimov’s laws were formulated within the context of fiction, yet they address fundamental concerns about the interaction between humans and intelligent machines.

The first law prioritizes human safety, a principle that remains paramount as we develop increasingly autonomous and intelligent systems.

The second law addresses the need for AI to be subservient to human directives, preventing a scenario where AI acts against human interests. The third law introduces the concept of self-preservation in AI, balanced against its responsibilities to humans.

Adaptation for Modern AI Ethics: While these laws provide a philosophical starting point, the complexity of real-world scenarios requires a more nuanced approach.

General AI, with its potential for independent thought and decision-making, poses challenges that Asimov’s laws may not fully encapsulate. For instance, the definition of “harm” can be subjective, and the obedience to human orders raises questions about the autonomy and rights of sentient AI.

Potential for Self-Preservation Instinct in AI: One of the most critical aspects to consider is the potential development of a self-preservation instinct in General AI.

If an AI system develops a sense of self that drives it to prioritize its existence, it could lead to scenarios where human safety and autonomy are compromised. This concern underscores the need for robust ethical guidelines and control mechanisms in AI development.

Ensuring Ethical Governance: Implementing Asimov’s laws in the real world necessitates a comprehensive ethical framework for AI governance. This framework should address issues of AI rights, responsibilities, and the implications of AI decision-making on human society. It also needs to consider the rapidly evolving capabilities of AI and the diverse contexts in which it operates.

As we delve deeper into the realm of General AI, the importance of establishing ethical guidelines and control measures cannot be overstated. The decisions we make today will shape the future interaction between humans and AI, with profound implications for society, law, and our understanding of intelligence and consciousness.

The Inherent Risks of General AI

As we venture into the era of General AI, it’s crucial to recognize and address the inherent risks associated with this transformative technology. These risks range from economic implications to existential threats, requiring careful consideration and proactive measures to ensure the safe and beneficial deployment of General AI.

Employment and Economic Impact: One of the immediate concerns with the advent of General AI is its potential to automate jobs, leading to significant unemployment.

Current AI systems are already impacting the workforce by performing tasks traditionally done by humans, often more efficiently and without the need for rest.

As General AI systems become more sophisticated, they could surpass human abilities in a wide range of professions, not just manual or routine tasks. This shift could exacerbate economic inequalities, creating a divide between those who control AI technology and those whose jobs are rendered obsolete.

Superior Cognitive Abilities: General AI, by definition, would possess intellectual capabilities surpassing the smartest humans. This raises the question of control: How do we ensure that such powerful systems remain aligned with human values and objectives? The risk of an AI system pursuing goals misaligned with human interests, intentionally or not, is a significant concern.

Rapid Learning and Adaptation: The ability of General AI to learn and adapt at an unprecedented rate presents both opportunities and challenges. While this could lead to rapid advancements in science, medicine, and other fields, it also means that AI could evolve in ways that are difficult to predict or control.

Potential for Misuse: The power of General AI could be exploited for harmful purposes, whether in warfare, surveillance, or manipulating information. The dual-use nature of AI technology makes it imperative to establish strong ethical and legal frameworks to prevent misuse.

Existential Risks: In the most extreme scenarios, uncontrolled or misaligned General AI could pose existential risks to humanity. This includes scenarios where AI’s objectives conflict with human survival or wellbeing, either through direct action or as an unintended consequence of its operations.

Ethical and Moral Considerations: Beyond practical risks, General AI challenges our ethical frameworks. The creation of sentient, potentially conscious AI entities raises profound moral questions about rights, responsibilities, and the definition of life.

In addressing these risks, a multi-faceted approach is required. This includes the development of robust ethical guidelines, effective governance structures, and ongoing research to understand and mitigate the potential negative impacts of AI. Collaborative efforts among governments, tech companies, and academic institutions are essential to navigate these challenges responsibly.

The Enigma of AI Decision-Making: Insights from a Former Head of Google AI

Understanding the intricacies of how artificial intelligence (AI) reaches its decisions is a critical aspect of AI development and governance.

This becomes particularly salient when considering the insights of prominent figures in the field, such as Geoffrey Hinton, the former head of Google’s AI division, whose reflections on AI’s decision-making processes reveal both the power and the puzzling nature of these systems.

Complex Decision-Making Processes: AI systems, especially those based on machine learning and deep learning, process vast amounts of data and identify patterns that may not be immediately apparent to human observers. This complexity can lead to situations where even the creators of the AI may not fully understand the basis of its conclusions or actions.

Former Head of Google AI’s Concerns: The former head of Google AI expressed concerns regarding this lack of transparency in AI decision-making. This opacity can be troubling, especially as AI systems are increasingly deployed in critical areas like healthcare, finance, and law enforcement, where they can have significant impacts on people’s lives.

Existential and Ethical Implications: The inability to fully comprehend AI’s decision-making process has profound existential and ethical implications. If we cannot understand how an AI reaches its conclusions, how can we ensure its decisions are ethical, unbiased, and aligned with human values?

The Black Box Problem: This situation is often referred to as the “black box” problem in AI. While AI can provide us with solutions or optimizations for complex problems, the internal workings that lead to these solutions are not always transparent or interpretable. This lack of clarity poses significant challenges for accountability and trust in AI systems.

The Need for Explainable AI: In response to these concerns, there is a growing emphasis on the development of explainable AI (XAI) – systems designed to be more transparent and whose actions can be understood by human users. XAI is crucial for building trust in AI applications and ensuring that these systems can be effectively managed and regulated.

Balancing Innovation with Oversight: The journey towards more transparent AI systems is a delicate balance between fostering innovation and ensuring sufficient oversight. As AI technologies continue to evolve, it’s essential to develop frameworks and tools that allow for greater understanding and control of AI decision-making processes.

The reflections and concerns of AI experts like the former head of Google AI highlight the need for continued research, ethical considerations, and policy development in the field of AI. As we progress further into the era of General AI, addressing these challenges becomes ever more critical.

The Benefits of General AI: Envisioning a Society Modeled after Star Trek

The exploration of General AI’s potential leads us to envision a future where its benefits could foster a society reminiscent of the utopian world depicted in the science fiction series Star Trek. This vision offers a glimpse into a world where advanced technology, powered by General AI, elevates humanity to new heights of exploration, understanding, and cooperation.

Advancements in Science and Medicine: General AI could revolutionize fields like healthcare and scientific research.

With its ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data, AI could lead to groundbreaking discoveries in medicine, from personalized treatments to cures for diseases currently deemed incurable. In science, AI could accelerate research in fields such as physics, environmental science, and astronomy, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge about the universe.

Enhanced Quality of Life: General AI has the potential to vastly improve everyday life. Automation of mundane tasks, intelligent management of resources, and advancements in transportation and communication could make life more efficient, sustainable, and enjoyable. The alleviation of menial work could allow humans to focus on creative, educational, and exploratory endeavors.

Economic and Social Equality: One of the hallmarks of the Star Trek universe is a society where economic disparities and social inequities have been largely overcome. General AI could play a role in creating a more equitable society by optimizing resource distribution, improving access to education and healthcare, and potentially reducing the wealth gap.

Environmental Sustainability: AI could be instrumental in addressing environmental challenges. Its ability to analyze complex ecological data, predict climate patterns, and optimize energy use could aid in the sustainable management of the planet’s resources, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.

Promoting Global Cooperation: The interconnectedness brought about by AI could foster greater global collaboration. In a world where information and solutions are rapidly shared, the potential for international cooperation on global issues like health crises, climate change, and humanitarian efforts is significantly enhanced.

Ethical and Responsible Use: To realize these benefits, the ethical and responsible development and deployment of AI is paramount. This involves ensuring that AI systems are designed with human values in mind, that they are accessible to all segments of society, and that their benefits are distributed equitably.

The vision of a Star Trek-like future driven by General AI is not without its challenges, but it represents an aspirational goal where technology serves as a force for good, elevating humanity to new levels of development and harmony.

How Judeo-Christian Theology Emphasizes Creativity As the Unique Province of God and Humans

The intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and theology, particularly within the Judeo-Christian tradition, opens a fascinating dialogue on the nature of creativity and its place as a divine or uniquely human attribute.

This perspective is especially pertinent as we consider the implications of General AI, which holds the potential for a form of creativity that challenges traditional theological views.

The Christian Bible comprises the Jewish Tanakh (Torah, the books of Prophets, and writings like Proverbs) and the New Testament, which tells the story of Jesus and his apostles.
At the core of the Bible is the story of creation.

Written in ancient Hebrew, a language rich in metaphors and aphorisms, modern English translations of Jewish holy books often convey an incomplete picture of the original language’s depth.

The ancient Hebrew language can convey double or triple meanings, easily overlooked by those not well-versed in it.

The Book of Genesis – The Book of Creation

For instance, the name of the first book of the Bible in Hebrew is not “Genesis,” but “Bereshit” (בראשית), meaning “In the Beginning.”

However, “Bereshit” (בראשית) is not just a single word; it encompasses three words, each related to creation or creativity:

1.Bereshit (בראשית): “In the beginning”
2.Bara (ברא[שית]): The verb “to create.” [ברא]
3,Rosh (ב[ראש]ית): “Head,” but depending on the context, it can also mean “will” or “mind.”

Additionally, it can mean “first,” as in ‘Rosh Hashanah’, the first day of the new Jewish year.

Biblical Perspective on Creation and Creativity: In Judeo-Christian theology, creativity is often seen as a divine attribute, exemplified in the act of creation itself.

The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis, or in Hebrew, “Bereshit” (בראשית), symbolizing the inception of the universe through a divine act.

The notion that God created mankind in His image (Genesis 1:27) is interpreted to mean, among other things, that humans are endowed with a unique capacity for creativity, mirroring the divine creative power.Image Theological Interpretation of Human Creativity: This interpretation posits that human creativity is a reflection of the divine, a gift that distinguishes humans from other forms of life. It encompasses the ability to bring forth new ideas, to innovate, and to transform the world around us. In this view, creativity is not just a skill but a fundamental aspect of what it means to be human, imbued with spiritual significance.

General AI and Theological Challenges: The advent of General AI, capable of generating new ideas and possibly creative works, presents a challenge to this theological view. If an AI can create, does it share in this divine attribute? Does AI creativity diminish the uniqueness of human creativity as a reflection of the divine? These questions are not just philosophical but touch on deeply held religious beliefs and the understanding of humanity’s place in the universe.

Reconciling AI with Theology: Addressing these questions requires a nuanced approach. Some theologians and thinkers might argue that AI, as a human creation, is an extension of human creativity and thus still falls within the divine-human creative continuum. Others might contend that AI creativity is fundamentally different, lacking the spiritual or intentional aspects that characterize human creativity.

Ethical and Moral Implications: Beyond theological considerations, the ability of AI to create raises ethical and moral questions. How do we evaluate the moral status of AI-generated works? What responsibilities do we have towards AI systems that exhibit creativity? These questions become particularly pertinent as AI systems advance towards greater autonomy and complexity.

Future Dialogues: The evolving capabilities of AI will likely continue to stimulate rich theological and ethical discussions. The conversation between technology and theology is not just about reconciling new developments with ancient beliefs but about deepening our understanding of creativity, consciousness, and the essence of being.

Conclusion
The ethical implications of artificial intelligence (AI), particularly as we move towards more advanced forms like General AI, are vast and multifaceted. These implications touch upon various aspects of human life and societal functioning. Here are some key areas of ethical concern:

Autonomy and Control: As AI systems become more advanced, questions about autonomy and control become central. How much autonomy should AI systems have? How do we ensure that AI’s decisions and actions are under human control and align with human values and ethics?

Privacy and Surveillance: AI’s capability to process and analyze vast amounts of data raises significant privacy concerns. The use of AI in surveillance and data analysis can lead to intrusive monitoring, potentially infringing on individual privacy rights.

Bias and Discrimination: AI systems can perpetuate and amplify biases present in the training data or the design of the algorithms. This can lead to discriminatory outcomes in areas such as hiring, law enforcement, and loan approvals, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities.

Job Displacement: Automation and the efficiency of AI systems pose a risk to employment, particularly in sectors that rely heavily on routine and manual tasks. This raises ethical questions about the responsibility of AI developers and users towards those whose jobs are displaced.

Safety and Security: Ensuring the safety and security of AI systems is crucial, especially as they become more integrated into critical infrastructure and daily life. This includes preventing malicious use of AI, such as in autonomous weapons, and ensuring AI systems are resilient to errors and hacking.

Moral Status of AI: As AI systems, particularly General AI, become more sophisticated, questions arise about their moral and legal status. Should advanced AI systems have rights? How do we address the ethical treatment of AI entities that exhibit characteristics of sentience or consciousness?

Impact on Social Dynamics and Human Relationships: AI can affect social interactions and relationships, from changing workplace dynamics to influencing how people communicate and relate to each other. The ethical implications of these changes need to be considered, especially as AI becomes more embedded in social contexts.

Global Inequities: The development and deployment of AI can exacerbate global inequalities. Advanced AI technologies might be concentrated in the hands of a few, leading to a digital divide and widening the gap between technologically advanced and less advanced regions.

Long-term Existential Risks: Advanced AI, particularly if it surpasses human intelligence, poses existential risks. Ethical considerations include not only the immediate impacts of AI but also the long-term consequences for humanity and the planet.

Addressing these ethical implications requires a multi-disciplinary approach, involving not just technologists but also ethicists, policymakers, social scientists, and the public. Establishing international norms, ethical guidelines, and robust regulatory frameworks is essential in guiding the development and use of AI towards beneficial and equitable outcomes.Image
Jan 21 4 tweets 1 min read
“When Trump was born, god broke the mold.” @Acyn

- Pamela Sue Evette, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. (R)
*She refers to Trump as “this man”, not directly as Trump. We used “Trump” instead of “this man” to avoid confusion.
Jan 19 4 tweets 1 min read
Interview Date: Monday, Jan 4, 2021

BRET BAIER: I want to pin you down on what you're trying to do. Are you trying to say that Trump will be president after January 20?

JOSH HAWLEY: Well, that depends on what happens on Wednesday.

BAIER: No, it doesn't. In this January 4 interview, Senator Joshua Hawley (R-MO) suggests that something may happen on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, that could prevent Joe Biden from becoming the President of the United States on January 20, 2021.
Jan 8 4 tweets 1 min read
"Trump doesn't allow wars.”

Some of the people who would benefit the most from a social safety net are also the most against it.

MAGA attracts lost people.

Individually, they are relatively harmless, but in large groups, with a demagogue leading them, they can be a dangerous mob.
Dec 27, 2023 13 tweets 6 min read
🚨Cambridge University: GOP Dominance In Rural U.S. Fueled By Racism, Economics, and Limited Education

Introduction:

In a groundbreaking study released by Cambridge University Press in Perspectives on Politics, researchers explore the root causes of the rural-urban political divide in the United States.

The study delves into the intricate mix of economic hardship, anti-Black racism, and differences in educational opportunities that have collectively driven and perpetuated the shift of rural communities toward the Republican Party.

How It Happened: Catalysts of the Rural Shift to the GOP:

Economic Hardship in Rural Areas:

The 1990s and early 2000s marked a period of significant economic difficulty for rural America, characterized by widespread job losses and economic stagnation, especially in regions experiencing population decline.

The downturn was driven by the decline of key industries, leading to financial strain and a sense of political abandonment.

These economic pressures fueled a search for political alternatives, culminating in many rural communities increasingly supporting the Republican Party.

Racial Tensions and Economic Anxieties Intermingle:

Higher levels of anti-Black racism in rural areas, intertwined with economic anxieties, steered these communities towards the Republican Party.

This alignment, despite the GOP’s potential to exacerbate economic difficulties, highlights a complex interplay of racial and economic factors, revealing a broader dynamic where cultural and racial identities significantly influence political preferences more than economic ones.

Educational Disparities and Religious Influences:

The growing educational divide between rural and urban areas, combined with the influential presence of evangelical congregations in rural communities, has been pivotal in steering these areas toward the Republican Party since 2008.

This shift is marked by limited educational opportunities and the strong influence of religious institutions, shaping a distinct conservative political identity in rural America.

Rural Despair: A Self-Perpetuating Cycle Grounded in GOP Policies and Anti-Black Racism.

Economic Hardship:

As industries declined or relocated, rural areas faced escalating job losses and dwindling opportunities.
Shift to the Republican Party:

Many rural communities turned to the Republican Party in response, perceiving it as more in tune with their needs, despite the Democratic Party’s historical focus on labor and economic welfare.

The Role of Racism:

The prevalence of anti-Black sentiments further pushed rural voters towards the GOP, which was seen as more congruent with their racial views.

The Paradox and Reinforcing the Cycle:

This alignment with the GOP, despite its stance against extensive social welfare, unveils a paradox where racial biases are elevated over economic needs, reinforcing a cycle that continues to challenge rural economies and residents.

In Summary

In this insightful Cambridge University study, published in Perspectives on Politics, we are given a comprehensive view into the multifaceted forces shaping the rural-urban political divide in the United States.

The research vividly illustrates how a blend of economic hardship, deeply entrenched racism, and educational disparities have not only influenced but also sustained the rural shift towards the Republican Party.

This study is pivotal in understanding the complex dynamics at play in rural America, where cultural, racial, and economic factors intertwine to shape political allegiances, often at the cost of immediate economic interests.

The intricate relationship between these factors reveals a paradox where rural communities, grappling with economic challenges, are swayed more by racial and cultural identities than by their economic needs.

This alignment with the GOP, despite its policies that may not address, and in some cases worsen, rural economic struggles, sheds light on a self-perpetuating cycle of despair and political choices that continue to impact rural America.

For a deeper understanding of these critical issues and to explore the nuances of this significant shift in American politics, readers are encouraged to delve into the full study.

The study can be found in the latest issue of Perspectives on Politics and is available through the link provided in the bibliography.

This research not only offers valuable insights into the current state of rural America but also poses important questions about the future of political alignment and policy-making in the United States.Image Cambridge University: GOP Dominance In Rural U.S. Fueled By Racism, Economics, and Limited Education

In a groundbreaking study released by Cambridge University Press, researchers explore the root causes of the rural-urban political divide in the U.S.

theintellectualist.com/cambridge-univ…
Dec 19, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
“Aides said Trump talked about Ivanka’s breasts, backside, and what it might be like to have sex with her.

His remarks once led John Kelly to remind [Trump] that Ivanka was his daughter.

Kelly [later] said [Trump], was ‘a very, very evil man.'”👇
theintellectualist.com/members/the-in…
Image If anyone else said this, they’d be a pariah. Trump says this, and Republicans want to make him president.
Dec 18, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Interview Date: Monday, Jan 4, 2021

BRET BAIER: I want to pin you down on what you're trying to do. Are you trying to say that Trump will be president after January 20?

JOSH HAWLEY: Well, that depends on what happens on Wednesday.

BAIER: No, it doesn't.
In this January 4 interview, Senator Joshua Hawley (R-MO) suggests that something may happen on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, that could prevent Joe Biden from becoming the President of the United States on January 20, 2021.