Today’s Security FAIL

Iran had a missile blow up on the launch pad a couple of days ago, and the folks who do open-source intelligence (OSINT) have been looking at open-source overhead photos, trying to figure out what happened. I put in a guess or two.

This afternoon, a really great photo showed up in our Twitter streams. All those guesses and questions were answered. Caution for those holding clearances: The image may be classified.

You can see the reflection of a camera flash in the middle, and another reflection on the right side. Looks like someone took a cell phone photo of an intelligence briefing.

The photo’s resolution is far beyond what we all were looking at. It’s clearly from a spy satellite or drone overflight. The OSINT people have identified a spy satellite that was overhead at about the time indicated by the shadows on the photo.

It’s also possible to infer the aperture and resolution of the camera used. Looks to me like nobody’s decided whether it was a drone or a satellite yet. Nobody in OSINT, that is. Presumably Iran, Russia, and China are on it.

The President just released a load of classified information for the purpose of dragging Iran. That’s it. That’s the whole purpose. Oh, and this.

I am seeing the usual “The President can declassify anything he wants.” That’s correct only in the sense that if he were brought up on the charge of endangering the national security, he could make a case based on the regulations that, since he is the ultimate authority on classification. However, since the purpose of classification has to do with national security, other presidents have conferred with national security personnel on the implications of releasing information before declassifying it. There’s also a paper trail to be filled out. Anyone want to bet that wasn’t done?

More from NPR and Washington Post.






97 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Trump has been doing shit like this since he was elected and the media never cared before, so I’m skeptical that they’re going to care now.

    And Republicans care even less, so it’s not like we’re any closer to a successful impeachment.

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    I obviously don’t know what I’m looking at, but is the accident in fact “catastrophic”?

  4. 4
    PJ says:

    It’s clear the only security Trump gives a rat’s ass about is his own – if, in his mind, doing something makes him look more impressive, that is the only consideration. (This is aside from whatever instructions he may take from Putin.) Thus, the accelerated decline of the general welfare, the economy, our voting security, and, above all else, our system of alliances, international goodwill, and national security.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    IANAn engineer, but I think that may be considered a catastrophic failure because the rocket was destroyed. Fortunately, you don’t need to have any loss of life for something to be classed as a catastrophic failure in engineering.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    Well. we know he wants his intel briefings in pictures, and now we know why.

    Entertaining thread here:

    He did. But it was still a bad idea; possible reveal of US intelligence capabilities for… what… an attempt to troll Iran? https://t.co/dkGdDSctQ1— Daniel Nexon (@dhnexon) August 30, 2019

  7. 7

    @debbie: Yes. There are burn marks off to the right, and a number of structures are damaged. The missile was probably destroyed, but it’s been removed.

  8. 8

    @Roger Moore: Oh, you laugh Roger; there is NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT than proper email server management. //

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Considering the snootiness of the final sentence in Trump’s tweet, I assumed it wasn’t. Thanks for the correction.

  10. 10
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Right. NASA had catastrophic failures in the first years of the space program, but they recovered and persevered. I’m wondering if Trump realizes that?

  11. 11
    Josie says:

    One Day! I would like to have just one day in which he doesn’t do something evil or stupid. You would think that would not be too much to ask, but here we are. It is just exhausting.

    ETA: Thanks, Cheryl, for keeping us so well informed.

  12. 12

    @Roger Moore:

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    @Josie:

    One Day! I would like to have just one day in which he doesn’t do something evil or stupid. You would think that would not be too much to ask, but here we are. It is just exhausting.

    Amen.

  14. 14
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: We have only the best Senators here.

  15. 15
    Another Scott says:

    HST Faq:

    If the Hubble Space Telescope pointed to Earth, what resolution would the images have?

    Hubble’s so-called angular resolution — or sharpness — is measured as the smallest angle on the sky that it can resolve (i.e. see sharply). This is 1/10 of an arcsecond (one degree is 3600 arcseconds). If Hubble looked at the Earth — from its orbit of approximately 600 km above the earth’s surface — this would in theory correspond to 0.3 metres or 30 cm. Quite impressive! But Hubble would have to look down through the atmosphere, which would blur the images and make the actual resolution worse. In addition, Hubble orbits the Earth at such a rate that any image it took would be blurred by the motion. In the past Hubble was pointed towards Earth several times to calibrate some of its instruments.

    That’s 1980s technology. Presumably the DoD can do much better than that now, and nobody is really surprised that they can.

    Just my guess, anyway.

    Still, Donnie and his minions have no business releasing such images – especially not to gloat over Iran’s (temporary) failure.

    Grr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  16. 16
    chopper says:

    I am seeing the usual “The President can declassify anything he wants.”

    may technically be legal, but is fucking stupid. but yeah at least he didn’t use a private email server.

  17. 17

    @TenguPhule:
    Too bad about your crazy Congresscritter, though.

  18. 18

    @Another Scott:
    Cliff Stoll had an interesting comment about this in The Cuckoo’s Egg. He was talking about the Hubble to some of the people he had encountered through his dealings with the CIA, and one of them said something like “imagine if you pointed it at the Earth”. He took this as a sign that their top-of-the-line spy satellites had similar performance, and this was back in the 80s. They may have trouble getting a bigger mirror in space, but I’m sure their adaptive optics have improved enough to eliminate problems with atmospheric turbulence.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    I am seeing the usual “The President can declassify anything he wants.”

    I was just about to speculate about when this weak defense might pop up. Trump supporters are ridiculously easy to anticipate.

    Still, Trump’s antics are sad and tiresome.

    I wonder if anyone advised him not to send a Twitter message?

  20. 20
    tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat) says:

    When does it stop? When can I get off?

    Seriously, how does revealing intelligence capabilities not reach an impeachable offense? Even if the dem candidates hammer this or one or two of the media mention this it fades because there’s another outrage coming up right behind. All of this stuff needs to be tied together in a narrative that resonates. None of this is normal and we need to say that over and over again. This is Not Normal!

  21. 21
    JDM says:

    @chopper:

    I am seeing the usual “The President can declassify anything he wants.”

    may technically be legal, but is fucking stupid. but yeah at least he didn’t use a private email server.

    While I doubt many MAGAteers would grasp the analogy, you can row your dinghy into the hurricane in Florida, but should you?

  22. 22
    Bill Arnold says:

    If every accusation is (also) a confession, does an Iranian launch fail mean that DJT is impotent, or that the US caused the failure, or something else?

  23. 23
    dmsilev says:

    @Roger Moore: At least some of the optics on HST are supposedly derived from recon sats. The main mirror being the biggest piece as I understand it

    (manufacturing SNAFU aside, presumably…)

  24. 24

    @chopper: I have been arguing with a colleague about this on Twitter, and I think I’ve got what’s wrong with it.

    It’s true that the President is the source of classification authority, and as such can classify and declassify material using his judgment. But he has also sworn an oath of office,

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    Faithfully executing that office would, I think, include protecting national security. Not sure it includes dragging the Iranians.

  25. 25
    Another Scott says:

    @Roger Moore: Wikipedia has a lot of details and some fantastically sharp pictures.

    It’s amazing what they could do in the 1980s. Who knows what they can do now…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  26. 26
    TS (the original) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    BUT HER EMAILS!

    followed by

    If Obama had done this …

  27. 27
    VOR says:

    @Roger Moore: one of the new telescopes, maybe the James Webb, was created after NRO basically gave NASA some excess inventory. Couple $B worth of telescopes. Probably they old stuff

  28. 28

    @Brachiator: Or not to bring a phone into the briefing room?

    That’s one of the things I wonder about too. There are people involved in these briefings and such who know the rules and the reasons for them. Do they ever say anything? Are they advised by their higher-ups not to? Does he scream at them if they do?

    A former Obama official tweeted this afternoon that if he had done such a thing, he would have been in handcuffs in no time at all.

  29. 29
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yup.

    As and broad and lacking specificity as the oath he took is, he’s violated just about every single day.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  30. 30

  31. 31
    Evil Paul says:

    Gah. Hadn’t heard about this. Now I’m forced to wonder…
    The reflected camera flash, does that mean he whipped out his phone in the middle of an Int briefing (which would have been conducted in a secure location) to snap a pic to Tweet? Is the guy giving the presentation protesting? Did anyone else in the room say something? Or do they just watch helplessly because they’ve given up trying?
    Why did he have his phone in a briefing like this???

  32. 32

    @Another Scott:

    Wikipedia has a lot of details and some fantastically sharp pictures.

    Including a quote from The Cuckoo’s Egg.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    @tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat):

    I’m with you. It’s fuckinbullshit.

  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    I think I’m going to make a list of every single instance of impeachable conduct that I can think of – must be hundreds of counts going back to lying about inaugural crowd, just to get a number, and tweet it at Nancy SMASH and every other Democrat congresscritter. I’ve been very much supportive of their take it slow strategy, but this feels like the last straw for me.

  35. 35

  36. 36
    The Moar You Know says:

    Seriously, how does revealing intelligence capabilities not reach an impeachable offense?

    @tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat): The man has committed quite a few. That’s not the problem.

    How will he be convicted? You are not allowed to answer “the GOP will do the right thing” because that will not happen.

    (thinking of changing nym to “Broken Record” as it seems every thread here needs this posted at least once)

    Please stop bringing up impeachment as a solution for the manyfold problems this so-called president presents as current conditions will not allow it to happen.

  37. 37
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    Another layer of baffling stupidity: From the writing quality, Trump did not type or even dictate this tweet. Who would do so from his account and why?

  38. 38

    @Mary G: That’s good, maybe you can convince some of the holdouts. Cause right now, not only wouldn’t Trump be removed by the Senate, the vote to impeach in the House would fail.

  39. 39
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Another Scott:

    That’s 1980s technology. Presumably the DoD can do much better than that now, and nobody is really surprised that they can.

    I was told at the time that Perkin-Elmer was chosen as the NASA Hubble contractor because they had the most experience building space telescopes. Here’s some detail (though not about that).
    The testing error that led to Hubble mirror fiasco (18 August 1990)
    The diffraction limit (proportional to mirror/lens size in dimension of interest) is pretty much absolute (at a given wavelength), though you can play some tricks if you have a good guess about what you’re looking at. (Again from a-few-decades old tech-talk memories.). Improvements in adaptive optics are important. There have also been longstanding stories (backed by amateur astronomer observations) of multiple-satellite space telescopes; haven’t found a source in a quick search but this is fun: Meet the Amateur Astronomers Hunting for Spy Satellites (Daniel Oberhaus, Tim Mele, 06.27.19)

  40. 40
    Another Scott says:

    @Bill Arnold: It’s kinda weird (in a weird-not-weird way) that NASA had a (presumably correct) backup mirror made by Kodak that they never used. Because of course they did.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore: House Reps are a different story, it was a bad year for candidates then. We have a better replacement now.

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    does an Iranian launch fail mean that DJT is impotent, or that the US caused the failure, or something else?

    The answer is of course yes.

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    Any bit of intel that Fat Bastard gets is passed on to Putin within 10 minutes. Been that way since Day One.

  44. 44

    @Bill Arnold:

    There have also been longstanding stories (backed by amateur astronomer observations) of multiple-satellite space telescopes

    There’s no obvious reason why you couldn’t make a design with a segmented mirror like the Keck telescopes. The mirror segments would be stacked for launch and then deploy into their final geometry after they reached orbit. Getting the alignment right would be very challenging, but it seems like the kind of thing you could solve by throwing enough money at the problem. That would let you get a much larger mirror than current designs.

    OTOH, it’s not obvious that better resolution is really what’s needed. 80’s tech can apparently resolve things a few inches across from orbit; how often do you need to do a lot better than that? It seems to me that it would make more sense to devote your effort to designing satellites that had better performance in other areas- higher data rate, multi-spectral imaging, higher sensitivity so they could take usable pictures at night, harder for enemies to track, etc.

  45. 45
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Big deal.

    Don’t overreact, it’s not he wore a tan suit.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Do they ever say anything? Are they advised by their higher-ups not to? Does he scream at them if they do?

    The answer is of course yes.

  47. 47

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Tan suits actually seem to be a recent Presidential tradition, I’ve seen pics of George W, Clinton, George H.W. and St. Ronnie in tan suits. Obviously there’s something different about that Obama fella.

  48. 48
    VOR says:

    @VOR: Here is a link to the Wikipedia article on NRO’s 2012 donation of a pair of “better than Hubble” telescope assemblies. None of the electronics were included so NASA had to create those. Neither telescope has made it to space yet. Note: I was wrong, these have nothing to do with the James Webb Space Telescope. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_National_Reconnaissance_Office_space_telescope_donation_to_NASA

    From the Wikipedia article: “While NRO considers them to be obsolete, the telescopes are nevertheless new and unused. All CCDs and electronics have been removed, however, and NASA must add them at its own expense. When the telescopes’ specifications were presented to scientists, large portions were censored due to national security. An unnamed space analyst stated that the instruments may be a part of the KH-11 Kennen line of satellites which have been launched since 1976, but which have now been largely superseded by newer telescopes with wider fields of view than the KH-11. The analyst stated, however, that the telescopes have “state-of-the art optics” despite their obsolescence for reconnaissance purposes.”

  49. 49
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Faithfully executing that office would, I think, include protecting national security. Not sure it includes dragging the Iranians.

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    If you’re wondering why Trump’s tweet was a very bad idea, and what other countries (and the open source community) can learn from it, read this:

    THIS was my first thought on reading about this latest stunt: It wasn’t done to rile the Iranians, it was more likely done to share classified info with Putin or someone else he’s in cahoots with.

    I’m assuming that by now, the IC is routinely limiting his ability to officially communicate substantive information to his allies in Russia, Israel, and SA in all the ways they legally can. But today Mr. Impulsive realized he could send them all tangible confirmation of our surveillance capacity, easily triangulated by date/time, coordinates, notations etc that these countries can now use against us (Or one of our REAL allies who provided it to us) at a future date.

    No matter what people say, I don’t understand what legally entitles a man who has been declared “a Russian asset in the Oval Office” to have unlimited declassification power. There HAS to be some recourse.

    Except, I have the sinking feeling that like every other thing keeping him in office it is because the Founders never dreamed this kind of traitorous cabal would happen to us.

  50. 50
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I just had a thought – Presumably the people giving the briefings are not giving the absolutely best imagery, details of the sources-and-methods, etc., because they know he’s a security risk. E.g. his meeting with Kislyak in May 2017. I assume that is briefings will be tightened up even further as a result of this inexcusable act.

    Grr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  51. 51

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    I don’t understand what legally entitles a man who has been declared “a Russian asset in the Oval Office” to have unlimited declassification power.

    He received a majority of the EC vote and is President. He can declassify anything he wants as long as he’s President, even the location of Walt Disney’s frozen head*.

    *I’ve said too much, I’ll probably get a visit from this guy tonight.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump’s reckless declassifying of classified information for clearly frivolous reasons is yet another impeachable offence. In fact, he has all along been using his presidential powers frivolously when not using them maliciously. He is a clear and present danger to his office.

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    Dorian has already hit Category 4. Earlier than projected. Woo boy.

  54. 54
    Chris T. says:

    I think people should ask the administration, and/or its supporters: “Explain to me why it’s a good thing that Trump keeps exposing our military secrets to the world.”

  55. 55
    tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat) says:

    @The Moar You Know: Whether the Senate will go along isn’t the point. We need to hammer home that everything he does is not normal and it is endangering us. Every single time he does something, democrats have to tie it to a strong single message. He’s betraying his oath of office. Repeat it over and over.

    More and more dems are getting on board the impeachment wagon. More and more Rs are retiring. We need to take the Senate, no question. Make the environment for R Senators toxic. Make them defend Trump. Keep up the drumbeat that nothing he does is normal and he’s betraying his oath. Impeachment will work its way through or the election will be upon us. The result has to be the same, get him out of office any way we can.

  56. 56
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:
    I find it hard to believe that Trump had an inspiration that complex, especially since he did not write this tweet. On the other hand, he could easily have gotten instructions from his handlers to do stuff like this, and it seemed like a good time to tell an aide to tweet about the photo. That would explain the meaninglessly trivial tone. Trump does not do deadpan.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    I just had a thought – Presumably the people giving the briefings are not giving the absolutely best imagery, details of the sources-and-methods, etc., because they know he’s a security risk.

    Of course, if this is true, it creates an intolerable situation. You cannot have people deciding to withhold information from the person tasked with the job of protecting the country because they fear he is incapable of protecting the country.

  58. 58

    @Elizabelle: Looks like it’s track more north than the earlier projections, may not hit Mar a Loco.

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    Keep in mind that Orangemandius’s IPhone and Android phone are “unsecured”, so it’s pretty much a given that Putin and Xi are listening in on every meeting and conversation.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    You cannot have people deciding to withhold information from the person tasked with the job of protecting the country because they fear he is incapable of protecting the country.

    Trapped between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

  61. 61
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator: Supposedly he only wants pictures (and captions with his name somewhere) in his briefings. He doesn’t like details, so don’t give him any more than necessary.

    Even brainiacs like Carter and Obama could only digest summaries of all the issues going on in the world – there’s too little time in the day to do otherwise. They depended on sensible aids and advisors to prepare sensible briefings. The people preparing Donnie’s briefings just have to work (much) harder to satisfy Donnie, while also working to protect national security per their own oaths – it’s the same kind of job no matter who is getting the briefings.

    That’s my understanding, anyway…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  62. 62
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    he could easily have gotten instructions from his handlers to do stuff like this, and it seemed like a good time to tell an aide to tweet about the photo. That would explain the meaninglessly trivial tone.

    Totally agree–that is really a very plausible scenario. Some folks who seem to be able to decode his Tweets think this was a Dan Scavino authored post, possibly including the picture and now T-balz is just covering for him. If so, he’s likely broken the law on some level. Maybe someone in the FBI or IC will decide to pursue it and charge the MF’r.

    Looks like the Pardon Lines are gonna go around the block of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue come December 2020

  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    Such a stable fucking genius.

    /facepalm

  64. 64
    kindness says:

    Was the CIA involved in JFK’s assassination? Depends what you mean by ‘involved’. I don’t think they did it. I think they knew/heard about it and chose not to stop it. Some of those boys were pretty mad about the whole Bay Of Pigs thing. They probably thought they were just protecting the institution. What’s it going to take to set off the current group? They know Putin’s involvement with Trump, old and ongoing. They see what Trump has done to every ally we have. Burn them. They see money going back and forth. I figure they see a lot. I don’t pray for violence but Trump is courting it. Karma happens.

    That call saving the institution may just be coming from inside the house.

  65. 65
    Balconesfault says:

    @Evil Paul: would not be shocking at all to me if anytime Trump is not in a secure location his phone is being hacked and monitored by foreign governments.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    Supposedly he only wants pictures (and captions with his name somewhere) in his briefings. He doesn’t like details, so don’t give him any more than necessary.

    Again, this underscores the absurdity of the Trump administration. Trump is supposed to make decisions vital to the US. If he is incapable of doing so, or is capable but insists on having information dumbed down to the point that it is effectively unusable, then he is putting the country at risk.

    And at some point, the people responsible for briefing him may be in effect substituting their judgement for his. This again, is an intolerable situation.

    The point is to provide the president with the information he needs. If advisors must protect the security of the information, they are failing in their jobs. Worse, if allies no longer share information that they fear may be compromised, again the nation may be placed in danger, even if everyone otherwise tries to do the best job possible.

  67. 67
    James E Powell says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Trump has been doing shit like this since he was elected and the media never cared before, so I’m skeptical that they’re going to care now.

    I’m curious to know if there are Democratic staffers who continually hammer the press/media with this.

  68. 68

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    If so, he’s likely broken the law on some level.

    If he did it with the approval or under the orders of the President, who is the final authority on classification, it’s probably legal. These things would have been illegal under previous presidents, because those presidents followed standard classification guidelines. It’s not illegal* to break someone’s window, climb in, pile their electronics in your arms, and take them away – if the person who owns the home invites you to do it.

    *Unless you’re black**.
    **A joke that is too unpleasantly true to be funny.

  69. 69
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @kindness: except they LIKED JFK. They really redeemed themselves in his eyes with the Missile Crisis. Their mistake was not taking Oswald seriously when he was talking about shooting someone, including Kennedy, while in Mexico City.

  70. 70
    Mary G says:

    Time for respite:

    My sister got a call from animal control today. Her cat Tom-Tom has been found. He was missing for almost five years.— Cindi B. in NH (@UtahMomsLife) August 30, 2019

    We brought to the vet a stray living in our neighbor's garage. It had a chip! It had disappeared from its home 7 years before and migrated across I-5 to get to our neighborhood. Reunited on Christmas Eve.— Kris H-G (@Ignatz_Maus) August 31, 2019

    Both were micro-chippped, and one person in the thread says that the ASPCA gave a microchip reader to every precinct in NYC.

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    I’m impressed Trump knew how to take a photo and attach it to a tweet.

  72. 72
    Cameron says:

    @Another Scott: What would lead you to believe that anybody involved with Trump’s briefings either cared or knew about national security?

  73. 73

    @Brachiator:

    The point is to provide the president with the information he needs. If advisors must protect the security of the information, they are failing in their jobs. Worse, if allies no longer share information that they fear may be compromised, again the nation may be placed in danger, even if everyone otherwise tries to do the best job possible.

    Yeah, but what ya gonna do? The intelligence folk cater to the client’s wishes.

  74. 74

    @Martin: Our standards have really diminished.

  75. 75
    PeakVT says:

    Utterly unexcusable.

    Lock him up.

  76. 76
    frosty says:

    @Mary G: If you do make a list, send it to Cheryl or Adam to post so we can hammer our Reps and Senators with it too.

  77. 77
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Another Scott:

    Presumably the people giving the briefings are not giving the absolutely best imagery,

    The resolution of the image puts a bound on the imager resolution. Can’t be worse than what shows in the image.
    (This is just in addition to the other comments.)

  78. 78
    Another Scott says:

    @Cameron: Not everyone in national security is a political appointee. The Civil Service still exists.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  79. 79
    kindness says:

    Because of Trump the US is probably not getting anyone else’s ‘A’ data. They’ll share the C grade stuff with him because they know (as we see here) he can’t be trusted with sharp objects let alone intel stuff. I pity our CIA folk. They’re in a bind.

  80. 80
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    If he did it with the approval or under the orders of the President, who is the final authority on classification, it’s probably legal.

    Even if he didn’t do it on the orders of the Preznit, we all remember the outing of Valerie Plame. Clearly Dubya retroactively declassified that info [on Darth Cheney’s orders] and so Scooter Libby didn’t break the law.

  81. 81

    @Another Scott: All the briefers are walking a very fine line. I’m not sure how they do it in detail, probably varies with the situation.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    RSA says:

    Jesus. When Trump pulled out his phone to take that picture, every military person and career civil servant in that SCIF was thinking, “If I did that I’d go directly to jail.”

  84. 84
    Another Scott says:

    @Bill Arnold: Maybe we’re talking past each other a bit, but there are tricks one can do to make higher resolution images from lower resolution sensors. And just one can always [just] convert a 16 MB TIFF into a 100 kB JPEG for a presentation…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  85. 85
    spanky says:

    This isn’t trump’s work. The removal of all classification data shows that. There’s still something very curious about this whole episode. It’s not simply a case of trump blurting out classified data, but I can’t put my finger on what’s off about it.

  86. 86
    chris says:

    Breaktime! A moment of cute:

    This is what a fully grown Least Weasel looks like. It’s the least amount of weasel one can be while still being a weasel pic.twitter.com/vZsxFT2495— 𝖂𝖗𝖆𝖎𝖙𝖍 (@therottingking) August 28, 2019

  87. 87

    @Another Scott:

    there are tricks one can do to make higher resolution images from lower resolution sensors

    Yup, pixel shifting; that’s how the new Sony A7RIV can get a 240mp shot from a 61mp sensor. It does require the subject to be relatively stationary.

  88. 88
    Another Scott says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Or, fancy image processing based on lots of physics with lots of computing horsepower. Presumably.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  89. 89

    @Another Scott: True, I’m getting ready to head out on the road, new moon tonight!

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    Khef says:

    Who typed the tweet? He didn’t.

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    OldDave says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Indeed the newer model runs have the storm either crossing the coast line some 60 miles north of Mar-a-lago (GFS) or staying offshore (ECMWF).

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Bringing an unsecure phone into a SCIF and taking pictures of anything in the SCIF is the type of thing that gets one suspended, one’s clearance stripped, and one prosecuted for stealing classified information.

    Also that phone is going to be confiscated and wiped and somebody’s email and social media locked up and quarantined for the next few weeks while security staff go through it tracking down the spillage. Along with a lot of their contact list.

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @RSA: Hell yes. Forget about actually taking the picture. Just having the phone in there is a violation that should cost somebody their clearance if not their job.

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    sukabi says:

    @The Moar You Know: the Republicans will jump on board the impeachment train when one of drumpfs tweets / proclamations is tied directly to a large loss of upper class Caucasian Americans lives.

  95. 95
    trnc says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Tan suits actually seem to be a recent Presidential tradition, I’ve seen pics of George W, Clinton, George H.W. and St. Ronnie in tan suits. Obviously there’s something different about that Obama fella.

    Surely, you are not referring to his very, very tan skin?

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    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    It also says the best of ability. You think his abilities are better than this? Because I’m pretty sure that they are NOT.

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    Mike Furlan says:

    If the photo is classified, and you repost it, you can be prosecuted for distributing classified information. Just because it is publicaly available doesn’t make it legal for retransmission. How about that, Trump could arrest any of his enemies who retweet the picture he tweeted in the first place.

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