Let’s say you are president.
Make that president-elect. Let’s say you’ve had many grueling months of a brutal and bitter campaign, racking up time zones on your personal plane, putting your global business empire on the back burner — a must-do to make the country your empire. What to do in preparation?
This president-elect thing is good duty. Let's say you entertain a whole bunch of mightys and powerfuls – Mitt Romney! Kanye West! Before all that inauguration stuff happens, it’s a great opportunity to decide if you want the job.
One of the amazing things about being president-elect: You get a chance to find out how things work – governing stuff.
Pentagon stuff. National security stuff.
So, you’re president-elect, and CIA experts have prepared intricate daily briefings for you. Heck, they’ll come right to your Manhattan office tower if you want and tell you everything they know.
Would you say, “Heck, yes. Bring that on. This should be juicy.”
Or would you say, “I’m, like very smart, and I don’t need that stuff.”
Which would you say?
Let’s just say you said, “Heck, yes, tell me everything” and the CIA told you everything it knew, or at least suspected. It is designed to be the nation’s eyes and ears overseas, after all.
What would you like to know about, with the national security mechanism of the world’s mightiest nation at your beck and call?
What about this weird-sounding place in Syria, this Aleppo thing? Bad things coming down there, says Twitter.
Let’s say you’ve always admired Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, as he’s pals with another guy you think “es muy macho,” Vlad Putin. Would you like to know how efficiently Assad’s troops are tamping down dissatisfaction in Aleppo? Hugely efficient, Twitter says.
Whatever. It would be fascinating to know what the CIA knows about how efficient Assad’s being.
Then there’s this hacking thing, this thing about Russia trying to influence the election you just won — not only about hacking into your opponent’s communications but actually trying to hack into state elections systems.
It’s just an allegation. Putin would never do it, you know. But it would be fascinating to know what the CIA suspects. Wouldn’t you’d think?
Let’s say you were too busy running for president than to read what Time magazine reported in September, that the Arizona secretary of state went so far as to shut down the state’s entire voter base to install security measures after an attempted hack by a Russian group called Fancy Bear.
Even if you thought Putin was a great guy, would you want to hear from these CIA dudes why they think Putin participated directly in hacking attempts to benefit your campaign?
It’s one thing to hear it from the corrupt, scum-sucking media. Wouldn’t you want to hear it from the people with some authority? Heck, the CIA might say this has been misreported. Then you could tweet some more about the lying New York Times and Washington Post.
Really, get all the good stuff and then reveal all those media lies.
Even if you didn’t want to do that, wouldn’t you want to have the available skinny?
I know: As some in your family have been telling you, in a lot of ways the presidency would be a step down from what you’ve been doing. The White House is squat and old. Its only views are of glowering Lincoln and that obstructive Washington Monument. Plus, Washington is a traffic nightmare.
But just from an information standpoint, from a knowing standpoint, what a trip. This presidency thing is fascinating, it you decide to take it.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.