January 24, 2018

IF DONALD WANTED US TO KNOW THE TRUTH HE'D DECLASSIFY IT ALL:

Release the Memo and Release the Evidence : In a climate of increasing distrust and bitter partisanship, Americans need access to all the facts. (David French,  January 24, 2018, National Review)

Release the memo, but don't stop there. Release the memo, the underlying evidence that allegedly supports its conclusions, the FISA-court applications that launched the Russia investigation, any additional relevant FISA-court applications, any relevant FISA-court opinions and orders, and any other class or category of classified information that allegedly substantiated DOJ concerns about Trump-campaign collusion with Russia.

Releasing the memo alone isn't enough. Reportedly, it mainly consists of so-called top-line conclusions. In layman's terms, these are conclusions the authors reached based on evidence the authors don't include in the memo itself. In other words, it's reportedly a summary document. In my military life, I've seen memos like this, and they can have their uses, but they require not just a high degree of trust in the authors but also a level of accountability -- an ability to check the authors' work.

Absent trust in the authors or access to the underlying evidence, a conclusory memo can be worse than useless. If released, the fact that it was formerly "classified" gives it an air of authenticity and mystery that its contents might not deserve. There are copious amounts of mistaken or exaggerated classified information and conclusions circulating within the federal government, and a "classified" stamp is not a certification of accuracy.

Posted by at January 24, 2018 7:55 PM

  

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