Submitted to VT by the Washington Post
Leon Panetta, former defense secretary and director of the CIA, writes in Washington Post Opinions: When the report came out that the United States had intelligence that the Russians were paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops and that the White House had not decided what to do about it, President Trump tweeted: “Nobody briefed or told me, [Vice President] Pence, or Chief of Staff [Mark Meadows] about the so-called attacks on our troops.”
Wrong answer, Mr. President. The fact that you or your staff were not “briefed” on this critical intelligence does not excuse the White House for its failure to take action to defend our troops. The answer is not “nobody briefed or told me.” The answer is: What is the United States going to do about it?
Full op-ed: https://wapo.st/3gavcYS
- When I was defense secretary, the toughest duty I had was to deploy our forces into harm’s way. It was essential that they had all of the support and weapons they needed to accomplish the mission. But in addition, they must have the latest intelligence on the enemy they are fighting so they are prepared for the worst consequences. This is not about who did or did not brief the president. It is about life and death.
- For the sake of those who lost their lives because of Russian bounties, someone must be held responsible. If the president was not briefed as he should have been about this critical intelligence, then his staff must be held accountable.
- The president seems to enjoy the symbols and displays of military power, particularly on the Fourth of July. But even he should understand that the real strength of our military is not in our fancy weapons or ships or planes or technology. It is the men and women who are willing to fight and die for our country and their patriotic families who support their courage and sacrifice who represent the real strength of America.