Operational Security is Painless, It Brings on Many Changes, and John Bolton Can Take or Leave It if He Pleases…

Ambassador John Bolton, the Assistant to the President – National Security Advisor (APNSA) and the Frank Burns of American national security professionals, is also a master of operational security!

For those that can’t quite make that out:

And now the close up!

That says:

3) Afghanistan -> welcome the talks; 5,000 troops to Colombia

Nothing like the element of surprise when violating the War Powers Act!

Bolton has to be one of the absolutely stupidest national security professionals ever. Anyone want some action on whether he was one of the 30 people that were denied a clearance by the professional adjudicators and then granted one by Carl Kline, just like Jared Kushner was? He makes Alcibiades pushing the Athenian government to invade Sicily look like a military genius fusion of Pericles, Julius Caesar, Sun Tzu, and Clausewitz! And I don’t want to hear from you Jomini fan boys in the comments either! Keep it to yourselves you freaks!

Open thread!

100 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Legal pads ok.
    Emails are treason.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    cain says:

    Seriously, so now we’re going to get involved in a land war in Venezuala? Christ, we are really a stupid nation. We can’t seem to help ourselves and get involved in the stupidest of ventures. I can understand we dont’ want China and the Russians in our sphere of influence, but good golly… there has to be other ways.

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    This fvckin’ guy…..

  5. 5
    B.B.A. says:

    wtf I love Maduro now

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    Even if we did take a decade or four off to go play in the sand, we do jungle warfare really, really good. What could possibly go wrong? (Besides turn an entire continent anti-US.)

  7. 7
    ssdd says:

    Nobody can get the truth out of me because even I don’t know what it is. I keep myself in a constant state of utter confusion. — Col. Flagg

  8. 8
    jimmiraybob says:

    This smacks of a set up. Only one note on an entire page, legibly written, right side up and pointed at a camera? Magic 8 ball says harrumph.

  9. 9

    Adam, any word on Russians in Venezuela? I saw a report of 400 Vagner troops, but then some confused reports saying no, or that maybe they were regular military.

    Here’s an article saying that US military action in Venezuela is likely to lead to an occupation. I think most of us could have guessed that, but the article works it out in detail.

    Seems to me that we should wait and see how things go, and maybe STFU even if we’re making plans to intervene if necessary.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cain: Because what your really want is a fight with Speaker Pelosi right now over whether you have actual authorization to invade and conduct contingency operations in Venezuela from Colombia.

  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    Not sure why Raquel Welch and Dick Cavett are in my RH column but I’m pretty okay with that. Now what happens when I press “post”?

    ETA Damnit, she’s gone, Jim!

  12. 12
    cain says:

    Also, the millenials and gen zs are never goign to understand that scrawl.. since we don’t do cursive anymore :D

  13. 13
    MomSense says:

    I hate all these neo CONs.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Last I saw of the reporting is that Putin had 400 Wagner mercenaries sent to Venezuela to support Maduro. Of course, as with all things Putin and Wagner, those could be actual mercenaries, they could be current Russian Special Forces presenting themselves as Wagner mercenaries, or they could be a combination of the two.

    I fully expect that if the administration tries to do this, that Pelosi is going to yank the leash hard.

  15. 15

    Oh, and “all options are on the table” is pretty much the state of affairs as long as Trump is in office. They change from minute to minute.

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    I’ll see your Jomini and raise you a Charles Beresford.

  17. 17
    Fair Economist says:

    Alcibiades was brilliant. The Syracusan Expedition would probably have succeeded except that he got kicked out if Athens by his enemies and raced to Syracuse to get them organized to resist. Whomever he was working for started winning the war. Don’t insult him by comparing him unfavorably to Bolton!

  18. 18
    jacy says:

    I am glad there’s not an actual competition for the worst person in this maladministration. It could never be definitively decided and as the choices kept oscilliating back and forth, it would create a black hole that just sucks everything inside out. (NOT MEANT TO BE REAL SCIENCE — next to calculus, physics was my worst subject)

  19. 19

    Yet another war Bolton wants, and Trump is too cowardly to give him. Thank goodness.

  20. 20
    Chyron HR says:

    It’s times like this I’m glad we elected the Man Of Peace.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    Question for Adam:

    I saw this comment over at LGM concerning the 2020 presidential race:

    In addition to all other considerations, Trump has installed loyal toadies as Attorney General and FBI Director. All other candidates—Republican, Democrat, Narcissist—best be prepared to face oppo research conducted by the US and Russian governments.

    Has this possibility already been discussed in a previous thread? If so, I missed it.

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    @Chyron HR: The folks over at Lawyers, Guns, & Money like to post a screenshot of a 2016 Maureen Dowd column entitled “Donald the Dove, Hillary the Hawk”. Its thesis has …not aged well.

  23. 23
    Cermet says:

    @cain: Read that as oil – lots, and lots of oil; better still, essentially off our coast. Further, the most massive tar sands in the world. An invasion will pay for itself – what could go wrong?

  24. 24
    rp says:

    Will Greenwald ignore this or argue that it’s Obama’s fault for not prosecuting the Bush administration for war crimes?

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Fair Economist: Alciabides turned coat. Traitors don’t get compliments.

  26. 26
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @cain: W’s anti-Chavez moves early on damaged chances for US influence in Venezuela?

  27. 27
    germy says:

    @rp: GG wanted Obama to prosecute himself for war crimes.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I haven’t discussed it. I don’t see Director Wray as a toady based on how he’s conducted himself since becoming FBI Director. Whitaker certainly is. And I expect Barr will be too. At this point anyone that accepts an appointment will be one.

  29. 29
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    How far would you say Bolton is willing to go to violate democratic norms and laws to get the wars he desperately wants?

  30. 30

  31. 31
    B.B.A. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: and if they do, none dare call it…I’ll come in again.

  32. 32
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @trollhattan: Wasn’t that essentially done in the 1920s??

    Aided by Reagan and HW’s actions?

  33. 33
    Chyron HR says:


    Its author has not aged well.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I look forward to the day that Bolsanairo has Greenwald scarfed up and sent to a reeducation camp.

  35. 35
    West of the Rockies says:

    Does such a person not have an iota of awareness that 5,000 troops represent 5,000 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers? People are just game pieces on a fold-up board to such men.

  36. 36
    laura says:

    Jeez, it’s not as though an ill thought out military misadventure to steal a valuable public resource could go wrong, or create a humanitarian crisis on our border or result in some unfathomable blow back, so Elliot and John, have at it.
    So much damn winning and making great of America….

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: He will go all the way!

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @West of the Rockies: Narrator: John Bolton did not have an iota of awareness.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:


    Read that as oil – lots, and lots of oil; better still, essentially off our coast. Further, the most massive tar sands in the world. An invasion will pay for itself – what could go wrong?

    Well, it ain’t our oil.

    At current prices, it ain’t profitable for us to take it.

    I know that Republicans must be snorting coke, doing meth, and shooting up opiods like muthafuckas, but occupying and administering a country ain’t as easy as they think.

    US as undisputed world pariah. Wow. I’d like to see Trump wear that one.

  40. 40
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I get the sense from you that he himself is pretty stupid. He wouldn’t be a mastermind, but would he be willing to engage in some kind of coup that would remove Pelosi and other obstacles like her from power? I suppose that would depend on what form that coup would take and by what means.

  41. 41
    dmsilev says:

    Just wanted to point out that Venezuela’s population is north of 30 million people, putting it in the same general ballpark as Iraq. What, exactly, are 5000 troops supposed to accomplish there?

  42. 42
    Radiumgirl says:

    Is he literally that stupid? Really? How does he manage to put his pants on every day?

  43. 43
    chopper says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    i celebrate his entire catalog.

  44. 44
    chopper says:


    yeah, cause we all know how great syncrude is. that shit’s liquid gold, it is.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    Mr. Bolton clearly learned at the knee of Chris Kobach. //

  46. 46
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:
    WP would let me edit:

    I’ve read that Bolton opposes the International Criminal Court and other liberal institutions that somehow impugn on US national sovereignty. Is there evidence to suggest that he’s anti-democratic as well, for the sake of power? That he would similarly attempt to circumvent and deny the legitimacy of domestic small L liberal institutions when it suited him? Like the court system, Democratic Congress, and Democratic-controlled state governments?

  47. 47

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I think that’s exactly correct. We’ve had enough leaks out of the administration to suggest that Bolton has pushed for every military action imaginable, and gotten nowhere. That he would carry around a note about what he wants to happen, but which has no connection to actual reality or policy, seems downright inevitable to me.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    Rand Paul will bravely put a halt to these shenanigans!

  49. 49
    karen marie says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: We can only hope so. Venezuela has oil and Trump needs more, bigger distraction from his imploding presidency.

  50. 50
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    I don’t know, the handwriting’s a little hard to read…it could also be “welcome the taliban.” Why does John Bolton love the taliban so much? Why does he hate the troops?

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    Have mercy, Adam.

    Put that jackhole’s face below the fold.

  52. 52
    debbie says:


    Moves? He congratulated the leader of the coup before it had succeeded, and when the coup ended in failure, he looked like a chump of the first order. That’s not a move; that’s just stupid.

  53. 53
    lgerard says:

    And Frank Gaffney, the Col, Flagg of national security, just visited the White House and gave his valuable input as part of the Ginni Thomas traveling midway of freaks.

    The best people!

  54. 54
    hells littlest angel says:

    He makes Alcibiades pushing the Athenian government to invade Sicily look like a military genius fusion of Pericles, Julius Caesar, Sun Tzu, and Clausewitz!

    Top that, Dennis Miller!

  55. 55
    NotMax says:

    Really ought to change my name to NewCassandra after being roundly pooh-poohed each time I deigned to say “Keep an eye on Venezuela” over the last year and a half as regards this woebegone administration.

  56. 56
    hells littlest angel says:

    I look forward to Larry Kudlow explaining that war in Venezuela will drive down the price of cocaine.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: No, John Bolton is not going to disband Congress.

  58. 58
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    “Ginni” Thomas is a real piece of work:

    In 2017, she held a speech saying the left wants “to extinguish our rights,” that the left “moves its forces across our country,” and that the NFL was “mainstreaming anti-Americanism” because some NFL players kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial discrimination. She harshly criticized Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell as “useful idiots” for “LiberalFascists” because they did not condemn violence on the left during the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. She has made videos for the Daily Caller where she wondered whether “cultural Marxists have already won in our country.”

  59. 59
  60. 60
    karen marie says:


    After Colombia signed an agreement with the United States offering the location for seven military bases, Colombia’s constitutional court declared it unlawful in 2010 and prevented their materialization, a decision accepted by President Juan Manuel Santos, who had led the negotiations as Minister of Defense. Furthermore, the US military was expelled from Ecuador in 2009, where it maintained a facility in Manta. Peru and Panama started negotiations, but ultimately refused to host formal US bases.

    It appears, however, that Columbia’s government is run by people who would be happy with the distraction of hosting an invasion force from the US.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I am not amused! Awf wif someone’s ead!!!

  62. 62


    Besides turn an entire continent anti-US.

    South America stole our name*, they had it coming.

    H/T: Randy Newman, Political Science.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Special Counsel Mueller, your table is ready!

  64. 64
    justjack says:

    I am sure Jomini would judge this a concentration of farce.

  65. 65
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Flashing notes about possible troop movements around like it’s his grocery list? Not only should these people not have security clearance, they should not be trusted with the cookie money for a girl scout.

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    His hotel serves chicken nuggets and Big Macs?

  67. 67
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Alciabides turned coat.

    Kicked out of Athens. Kicked out of Sparta.

    Just last week Poynter ran an article with the thesis, “if you’re being criticized by both sides you’re doing a good job.”

  68. 68
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Obviously not. He doesn’t have that kind of that power in the first place. What I meant to ask was whether Bolton himself detests liberal democracy itself and wouldn’t mind seeing the US become a dictatorship, as long as he got to send troops everywhere, blowing foreigners up?

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Steak prepared as hockey puck with a sauce tomato ketchup served with a side of Mother Trump’s french fries…

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @justjack: I actually like Jomini, I was just being a smartass.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gelfling 545: Got to fund the Girl Scouts. They’re the only properly funded, properly resourced uniformed service we have in the US. We may well need them to go operational given that the conventional forces of all the Services and the special operations forces of all the Services are all tapped out.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: I saw that. Idiots!

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I have no idea. I’ve never met him. And am grateful for that.

  74. 74
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Automatic tampering!

  75. 75
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Ok. I thought you might have had some insight or something on him, given your profession.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Don’t skimp, it’s a double order of fries.


  77. 77

    @hells littlest angel:

    I look forward to Larry Kudlow explaining that war in Venezuela will drive down the price of cocaine.

    This would make Larry Kudlow very happy.

  78. 78

    @NotMax: No, burnt steak.

    ETA: I see Adam got there first with a much better description(shakes fist and yells, “Silverman”).

  79. 79
    Jager says:


    He’ll have two scoops of ice cream with the “Death (dare I wish) by Chocolate” cake. Is Melania still out of town? Maybe old Rog lined the boss up with a dinner date.

  80. 80
    Mike in NC says:

    Jared seen whispering in Fat Bastard’s ear: “Pops, they got lots of oil! We’ll be welcomed as liberators!”

  81. 81
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You have to admit that even though he was a scoundrel- he was good at it.

  82. 82
    HinTN says:

    @ssdd: Security at its finest!

  83. 83
    MomSense says:


    Gigi supported Bush. He wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  84. 84
    HinTN says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Would you go all the way for the USA?
    Would you go all the way for the USA?
    Would you go all the way for the USO?
    Lift up your dress if the answer is no.

  85. 85
    HinTN says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank goodness for small favors.

  86. 86
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: To pave the way for 5,000 more, of course.

  87. 87
    Ken says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Bolton may have personal reasons for opposing the International Criminal Court.

  88. 88
    ewrunning says:

    Very amusing and, at once, horrifying. I recall an incident in the late 1980s when a senior career State Department official (Ron Spiers) appeared on the cover of the American Foreign Service Association’s magazine or State’s in house magazine with the National Intelligence Daily open on his desk. As I remember, it was clearly legible as a Secret/NOFORN piece on Lebanon. Those of us laboring in the trenches of State’s Intelligence and Research (INR) Bureau, whose offices were regularly visited by Diplomatic Security officers anxious to dish out security violations, found the whole incident highly illuminating. This was also about the same time Elliot Abrams was driving one of INR’s Deputy Assistant Secretaries out of the Department, allegedly for leaking, but really for questioning the wisdom of Reagan administration policy in Central America.

  89. 89
    Uncle Omar says:

    @Brachiator: “…occupying and administering a country ain’t as easy as they think.” Just look at the United States.

  90. 90
    Gravenstone says:


    (Besides turn an entire continent anti-US.)

    Sorry dude, we’ve been working on that since at least the mid-19th century.

  91. 91
    neldob says:

    Where is Elliot Abrams when we need him?

  92. 92
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Special Counsel Mueller, your table is ready!

    Sheesh, read that as “your table saw is ready” before my eyes hit the word “is”.
    Mr. RS has been on my mind, a lot, for a while. (Yeah, R. Mueller wants Stone alive.)

  93. 93
    Bill Arnold says:


    This smacks of a set up.

    That’s my guess too. (only 75 percent though.)
    Motive unclear (if so). Perhaps to probe Venezuela’s alertness level?
    (I try to avoid even glancing at other people’s notes; have gotten into subtle trouble for it.)

  94. 94
    JR says:

    With this current crop of numbnuts we would be lucky to have George McClellan back.

  95. 95
    lynn says:

    Feels like Reagan and Lebanon. Sure he was told it was not safe…but he did it anyway.

  96. 96
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    This feels like more “Pown the Liberatards”, what exactly will 5,000 troops do in a country that size?

    You can almost hear Bolton yuck it up with his pals

    John laughing “Won’t the left be pissed if we invaded Venezuela?”

    Crony “Tell me about it, I mentioned the idea to one of the general and the guy’s face turned red he was so angry, he was yelling at me, called me a clueless moron, I mean, wow dude chill out. People are to combative these days”

  97. 97
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Adam L Silverman: reading the wiki on Jomini he sounds like the antithesis of Bolton.

  98. 98
    AxelFoley says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @germy: I look forward to the day that Bolsanairo has Greenwald scarfed up and sent to a reeducation camp.

    Ain’t gonna lie–I’d like that very much.

  99. 99
    ottercliff says:

    3. Pick up lucky charms and prune juice on the way home

  100. 100
    Sebastian says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Come sit by me. I was labeled with bloodlust for saying that. Glad I am in good company.

    Fuck those fuckers. All of them.

Comments are closed.