In looking at today’s news leads I was surprised to find that one of the top stories was that the “twitterverse had exploded” (not necessarily a bad thing) over the fact that Hillary Clinton might have revealed classified information in the third debate. The concern seemed to be that in demonstrating her knowledge of actual Commander In Chief protocols she had revealed classified information – speculation being that it was from an intelligence briefing.
First off, let me say that is utter nonsense. In my book Surprise Attack I cite numbers of open sources – going back to the early 1960’s – that give specific details about ICBM launch times and about the actual sequence of events, along with the timing and protocols required for launch. One of the most often discussed topics in all of those sources and for that matter in the press is the so called “3 AM call” in which the sequence of events from missile strike detection to Presidential launch authorization is within a 15 min time frame and the National Command Authority (President/SecDef) has no more than four to five minutes decision making time.
This scenario has appeared in dozens if not hundreds of fiction novels and stories, over some five decades. If those going to twitter had gone to Google or even Amazon with a word search we could have saved the twitterverse – truly not the best place to go for fact checking.
The good news is that Clinton knows how these things work and the parameters for the CIC in regard to national security at such a level. In Surprise Attack I discuss a series of incidents which demonstrate that a good number of our former presidents and national security advisors really did not know the protocols/constraints and were never trained on such things. Generally the SecDef has had a clue; no Vice President appears to have had any idea of such matters and things only get worse as you go down the down the chain of designated successors.
In terms of a classified reveal, Clinton’s remarks simply show she knows what she is talking about in regard to such matters.
Which I must say is a lot better than most of the commentary that I read in the news articles on the issue. Frankly I was pretty amazed to see that mainstream media folks carrying some sort of national security byline seem to have done a very poor job in addressing the question.
OK, so I’ve attacked the twitterverse and returned to attacking the main stream media – probably enough for the day.