What Hayden said about use of nukes!


Donald J. Trump's decision:
Long ago and far away, Joe Scarborough interviewed General Michael Hayden about the use of nukes.

Hayden is former Director of the National Security Agency, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. As such, he knows even more than Mika or Willie.

It was August 3, 2016. Four weeks earlier, on July 5, James B. Comey—Comey the God—had launched the first of his irregular attacks on Candidate Clinton.

Your favorite major cable news stars don't criticize top insiders like Comey. The god's attack was explicitly endorsed on the Maddow Show, then allowed to stand undiscussed for the rest of the summer and deep into the fall.

Four weeks after that first attack, Scarborough spoke with Hayden. He started by making an unsettling claim about Candidate Donald J. Trump, who he'd aggressively fluffed and plumped until earlier that same year:
SCARBOROUGH (8/3/16): I’ll have to be very careful here.

Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked—at one point, "If we have them, why can't we use them?"


SCARBOROUGH: That’s one of the reasons he has, he just doesn’t have foreign policy experts around him.

BARNICLE: Trump— Trump asked three times—

SCARBOROUGH: Three times, in an hour briefing, why we cant use nuclear weapons.
This morning, Scarborough re-aired the videotape of the interview. When he spoke with Hayden, he asked, in effect, about the possibility of fail-safe procedures should a President Trump decide to use a nuke, whether on a store which won't stock Ivanka's full line or on a foreign nation.

If Trump decides, what happens next? This was the key exchange:
SCARBOROUGH: So General Hayden, I want to ask one more time, and it may be classified, but the steps. Donald Trump decides to use a nuclear weapon. What is the time frame between his decision and when the nuclear weapons are launched?

HAYDEN: Joe, it's scenario dependent, but the system is designed for speed and decisiveness. It's not designed to debate the decision.
This morning, Scarborough replayed the tape of this conversation. Morning Joe doesn't seem to have posted that part of this morning's program. You can see most of the tape from last August here.

That warning from Hayden occurred last August. Luckily, we liberals believed it when we were told that Candidate Clinton couldn't lose, so we sat around, mugging and clowning and enjoying ourselves, as we awaited Comey's final pair of attacks.

Donald J. Trump ended up in the White House. Since that time, we've continued to dither and diddle, bravely declaring him a liar.

Is Donald J. Trump a liar? The problem with Trump is vastly more serious. It goes to his mental health.

For twenty-five years, our liberal team has twiddled its thumbs, and slept in the woods, as the groundwork for our current situation was relentlessly laid.

We just haven't been a serious group, though we've been quite self-impressed.


  1. We women haven't been diddling and dithering, we've been marching, sending money to 2018 candidates, organizing and writing and calling our representatives, showing up at Town Halls, and otherwise trying to influence government.

    You speak for yourself, Bob Somerby! Maybe you diddled. We didn't.

  2. Our current situation is being dictated by Russia. Somerby's own favorite, Bernie, is being funded by Russian donations and the bots are still churning out dissent from the left to keep our party divided. Meanwhile, you criticize the liberal media establishment, much as Bernie has been attacking liberals on his speaking tour. Yes, the groundwork has been laid, but Maddow isn't the problem. Somerby is.

    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerAugust 10, 2017 at 1:43 PM

      Wow. Poor Bob and his 25 or so followers is undermining the work of the "true" liberals, like the multi-millionaire mass media clown, Rachel Maddow. Who knew?

    2. Wow. It's another Bob-Whisperer with his one-note song again.

  3. That's just a smear; sadly, you're now participating in a smear campaign, Bob.

    Do you have a transcript of those alleged conversations with "a foregin policy expert"? Or, do you always trust everything 'Joe' says on his show?

    And for a more reliable - far more reliable - evidence of Mr Trump's attitude towards nuclear weapons, you may want to read his 1990 Playboy interview. It might explain why he was asking those questions.

    1. At first Mao tried to make factual arguments that were invariably inaccurate and false; he was corrected each time and lost credibility. Since then Mao has mostly stuck with opinions, which are harmless and bemusing as their impact is limited to himself. He's basically doing a Steve Bannon maneuver - head down and straining for the tiny empty goal that is out of reach.

      Here is an interview with Trump in 1990 that provides more insight than the Playboy one. In this interview Trump walks out because he is being mildly challenged on his casino venture, the one that went bankrupt the following the year. Trump is so certain of himself that he is unable to respond to criticism (watch him twitch and stammer as the interviewer presses him), and yet he is completely wrong and completely fails:


      Trump's 1990 Playboy interview does not explain why Trump misunderstands the use of nuclear weapons. In the interview Trump seems to scoff at the idea of nuclear weapons being a deterrence (seems to because his language is poor and hard to decipher). He also worries that our nuclear computers and equipment won't function properly. None of this explains "If we have them, why can't we use them?" Here is what Trump said in 1990:

      Trump: I think of the future, but I refuse to paint it. Anything can happen. But I often think of nuclear war.

      Interviewer: Nuclear war?

      Trump: I've always thought about the issue of nuclear war; It's a very important element in my thought process. It's the ultimate, the ultimate catastrophe, the biggest problem this world has, and nobody's focusing on the nuts and bolts of it. It's a little like sickness. People don't believe they’re going to get sick until they do. Nobody wants to talk about it. I believe the greatest of all stupidities is people's believing it will never happen, because everybody knows how destructive it will be, so nobody uses weapons. What bullshit.

      Interviewer: Does any of that fuzzy thinking exist around the Trump office?

      Trump: On a much lower level, I would never hire anybody who thinks that way, because he has absolutely no common sense. He's living in a world of make-believe. It’s like thinking the Titanic can't sink. Too many countries have nuclear weapons; Nobody knows where they're all pointed, what button it takes to launch them. The bomb Harry Truman dropped on Hiroshima was a toy next to today's. We have thousands of weapons pointed at us and nobody even knows if they're going to go in the right direction. They've never really been tested. These jerks in charge don't know how to paint a wall, and we’re relying on them to shoot nuclear missiles to Moscow. What happens if they don't go there? What happens if our computer systems aren't working? Nobody knows if this equipment works, and I've seen numerous reports lately stating that the probability is they don't work. It's a total mess.

      Interviewer: And how would President Trump handle it?

      Trump: He would believe very strongly in extreme military strength. He wouldn’t trust anyone. He wouldn't trust the Russians; He wouldn't trust our allies; He’d have a huge military arsenal, perfect it, understand it. Part of the problem is that we're defending some of the wealthiest countries in the world for nothing... We're being laughed at around the world, defending Japan

    2. The interview explains perfectly well why he might be asking what mechanisms prevent military from using nuclear weapons. It's right there. If you had a few working brain cells, you'd understand it immediately. But since you don't - sorry, I can't help you.

      And anyway, my comment was addressed to Bob.

    3. Mao - are you saying Trump's question is about the shape of our nuclear equipment? That's laughable. It's not right there.

      Trump is saying why not use nuclear weapons since we have them. He qualifies "why can't we use them" with "If we have them". Trump is not asking about any mechanism at all.

      During the campaign trump was asked what his priority was amongst the nuclear triad. Clearly not knowing what the nuclear triad is, he responded:

      “To me, I think nuclear — the power, the devastation is very important to me.”

    4. As I already said, 'we have them, why can't we use them' is not a quote. Not from a video, or tape, or a transcript. It's just Joe's story. And it's clear from the interview that the guy is concerned about safeguards, thinking that a nuclear war could start incidentally, unintentionally. And it's actually a known concern, that a nuclear war might start by escalation from small tactical nukes. So, asking about safeguards ('what prevents the military from using tactical nukes already deployed?), however you might phrase the question in a private conversation, seems like a natural thing to do.

    5. ...I guess, in simple terms: we know neither the exact phrase, nor the context. Consequently anyone can choose their own interpretation, but it's all meaningless.

    6. Consequently, real meaningless drivel from the fake-Chinese troll in search of a spellchecker that works.

  4. Well, another day, another liberal-bashing from The Daily Howler.
    What is the solution to the current dilemma? What is the dilemma?
    Better Dem candidates? Sure, OK. Liberals "fighting" more, rather than sitting on their arses?
    I don't know any libs who sat this one out or didn't fight. But, OK.
    Somerby may or may not be aware of the structural problems facing Democrats.
    House districts are gerrymandered such that they are something like 90% safe for the incumbents.
    The 'solid South' (where I live) used to vote 100% Democrat. Now they vote 100% Republican.
    Remember, Bob, what LBJ said after he worked to get the voting rights and civil rights acts passed?
    He said that the passage of those bills would lose the South for the Democrats for a generation.
    He was in a position to understand the political, cultural, and social dynamics of the South. He was himself
    a Southerener who used the "n"-word frequently. Only his time estimate was wrong...it's been more than a generation.
    My southern state will NEVER vote for a Democrat, despite Trump, and regardless of the quality
    of the Dem candidates running, and despite the high percantage of people on Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
    (I say "never"...it's possible, but it's a real uphill battle...abortion is a big issue too).
    Yes, conservative media (Fox News, Limbaugh, et al) appeal to an already-existing
    "conservative" mindset, but those media entities (and the RNC) have engaged in a 50-year campaign
    of propaganda and disinformation which has poisoned the minds of many voters, playing on their fear and paranoia.
    Also, corporate ownership of almost all media entities is a serious problem...the right-wing FCC is just about to allow the pro-Trump
    Sinclair Group to operate in 72% of all media markets, including mine, where the local station is forced to do pro-Trump stories
    several times a week. (Normally, the FCC wouldn't allow such monopolistic ownership.)
    What about centrist or moderate or socially-liberal Repubs? Where do they go? The Repub party is getting more and more extreme.
    Need I also mention the Citizens United decision, which basically allows unlimited money in elections?
    The "liberal" media that you chastise so vehemently faces a real uphill battle against the behemoths on the right.
    So, how do you counter all of this? Fox will go on lying and propagandizing and paying Hannity $30,000,000/year
    while you belittle Rachel Maddow
    for, for example, "assuming" something that isn't 100% proven but nonetheless seems fairly obvious, or acts "cute" sometimes, etc.
    Perhaps libs aren't as willing to fund disinformation with massive infusions of cash to defraud the American public.
    ..Or is that you call "fighting"?
    "We" mustn't call Trump a Liar, that's a big no-no, etc, etc. ..unfair to the Trump snowflakes. But we get to accept
    being called communist/Marxist/Stalinist/traitor etc with a smile on our face??? Just because we support a minimum wage?
    (An editorial saying exactly that was in my local paper last week).
    Maybe we should all take your advice, Bob, and declare the liberal media failures and while we're at it,
    let's just call all liberals failures, shall we? That's the fighting spirit, right?

  5. Bob, stop lying by calling yourself a liberal. You're not. You're a bitter old southern conservative white guy.

  6. As far as liberals sitting the last one out, I know some. As far as Democrats sitting out midterm elections and letting Teaparty Republicans install the worst politicians in history in Congress and state legislatures, that has been a national scandal for decades.
    We know ALEC has almost reached a point where they can rewrite the Constitution. How much have you heard about this from libel media?

    1. I think you mean "liberal" media, assuming there is such a thing, even in Casa Grande.

    2. I think he may well have meant “libel” media.

      After How He Got There, it would fit....

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