Everyone knew that President Trump ordered the drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. We also know that Mike Lee and others were furious because they were not given the classified information that was used to make that decision. Mike Pence put this in perspective. He told Savannah Guthrie that they could not share with Congress some of the “most compelling” intelligence behind the administration’s decision to kill Soleimani because doing so “could compromise sources and methods.”
Perhaps to put this in perspective, it is important to note that the same briefing given to the Senate was given to the House. That obviously included the “gang of eight.” These are the eight members of congress who are allowed access to classified information because of their superior position. The standard for people appointed to such positions is that they have the character to put the country above partisan politics. How else could anyone possibly trust them with access to such information?
The members of the gang of eight are:
United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Adam Schiff, Devin Nunes
United States Select Committee on Intelligence: Richard Burr, Mark Warner
Leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives: Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy
Leadership in the United States Senate: Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer
The real problem is that Democrats have appointed people to position of power who simply cannot be trusted. Is there anyone in either party who really thinks Adam Schiff can be trusted? While one could argue that Pelosi and Schumer, although highly partisan, would protect classified information, few could say the same about Adam Schiff. He is notorious for leaking classified information and for deliberate lies and misrepresentation. Any President would be insane to trust him.
Hence the problem, if you can’t brief Adam Schiff, you can’t brief anyone. While Rand Paul and Mike Lee probably could be trusted, they are not the only ones in the room.
There is also something else. The speed at which the U.S. moved to find and take action against Soleimani is incredible. He knew he was a target and odds are his whereabouts was one of the most closely kept secrets in Iran. It would be naïve to assume that some great new facial recognition software made this possible. For one thing, it is unlikely that this could have been done in time to take any action. The intelligence that allowed the U.S. to take out Soleimani had to be very special. In addition, while CNN and MSNBC thought Iran had launched World War III, it is clear that the Trump administration knew better. The United States not only knew when to send all those airmen to bunkers, they knew, in advance, that this was not a serious threat.
In contrast, Iran was clearly terrified about the U.S. response, which is why they apparently shot down a civilian airliner by mistake. It would be foolish to underestimate the importance of the intelligence involved. I can’t imagine anything that would be more vital to protect. It is too bad that so many of our congressional representatives, on both sides of the aisle, are having trouble understanding this.