So how many Venezuelans get tortured because the NYT revealed Trump 'coup' meetings?

Does the New York Times have any shame? The newspaper that famously put Fidel Castro in power has handed a loaded weapon to the Cuban dictatorship's pawn, Venezuela, by publishing news that the Trump administration met with coup-minded military people from Venezuela.

Here is the story:

The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.

Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.

The White House, which declined to answer detailed questions about the talks, said in a statement that it was important to engage in “dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy” in order to “bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro.”


Well, what a fabulous blueprint for the notoriously torture-minded Maduro regime to round up suspected opponents, throw them into his dank dungeons, and torture and kill them? The New York Times said so, so it must be true.


That’s the grim fate that awaits probably thousands as the monster dictator now has his excuse. A good NGO or human rights organization ought to be taking names, but we know they won’t.

What happened again? Trump officials met with people who want democracy in Venezuela. They heard this group, and they decided not to sign on.

Not a serious story.

What it really was was a pointless effort to Get Trump, because revealing this secret is perfect fodder for making Trump look bad in front of Latin American governments, painting him as a crazy man who’s all in for coups d’etat, inhibiting his dialogue with opposition forces because he runs a leaky ship, and discrediting him among Latin America’s “respectable.” Pay no attention to those exploding power stations, that missing water, those opossum-infested pregnancy wards in hospitals, those thousands of refugees pouring over the borders, or those machete fights for garbage scraps among starving gangs.

Trump, of course, unlike his predecessors, does Get Things Done, as the Jerusalem embassy opening and the pending peace on the North Korea peninsula show. But merely meeting with opponents of the nightmare Maduro regime and discussing the restoration of democracy is hardly an act to cudgel him with. It is, however, something that must be kept secret for the sake of the freedom-loving Venezuelans, given the violence of the existing regime as it stands and its brutal determination to remain in power.

What we can expect now are roundups of dissidents, along with numerous reports of torture and execution. All because the Times wanted to Get Trump.

Pedro Burelli, a former Venezuelan PDVSA state oil company board member and expert observer of the scene, tweeted these superb tweets to the Times itself, calling out its irresponsibility:







Here’s another problem, highlighted by political observer Steve Nadler, who notes that some lawbreaking seems to be going on:

The NYT article states:


"The account of the clandestine meetings and the policy debates preceding them is drawn from interviews with 11 current and former American officials, as well as the former Venezuelan commander.”

Assuming these discussions concerning a coup in Venezuela were classified and the security clearances of the American officials who provided such information to the NYT was a necessary condition for their having such information, how are at least some of these reveals not violations of the Espionage Act?

Let me cite a portion of a January 6, 2018 article by Andrew McCarthy as the basis for my question above.

"The Espionage Act (section 793 of the federal penal code) prescribes a sliding scale of classified-information offenses, from the most to the least serious. Let’s put aside the red herring of the Clinton emails case, gross negligence — at subsection (f), the bottom of the scale.

The principal felony offense in Mrs. Clinton’s case is the willful retention or transmission of classified information — subsections (d) and (e) of the act. To prove this offense, the prosecutor must prove that the official 1) had possession of the information, 2) had “reason to believe [it] could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation,” 3) transmitted it to an unauthorized person or place, or failed to deliver it on demand to an authorized government agency, and 4) acted willfully, which means acting intentionally and with an understanding that one’s actions are wrongful.

Two things to notice. First, there is no requirement to prove an intent to harm the United States. The statute calls only for an awareness that the information could be used to hurt the U.S. or benefit a foreign nation. To be guilty, the official does not need to want that to happen; she must merely be aware that it could happen. Of course, every government official who is privileged to hold a security clearance is well aware of this. Making the official aware of it and having the official expressly acknowledge her awareness are essential parts of the indoctrination that is a condition of getting the clearance. And thus every government official with a security clearance knows it is wrongful to transfer classified information to a person not authorized to have it or to a place where its storage is not authorized."

It seems to me that something has to change to prevent disclosure of information of this sort to the media, including regular lie detector tests of everyone holding such clearances should be instituted, and more aggressive pursuit and prosecution of such leakers.

What we have here from this, is a crazed media effort to Get Trump that is so overwhelming, espionage laws are being trampled and dissidents are being endangered. We didn’t used to see this sort of thing happening, but the New York Times is famous for empowering dictators, as it famously did with Cuba. With a mission to Get Trump, it’s operating true to form in empowering Venezuela.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky and Steve Nadler

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