I try to avoid news about the goings on in the United States, especially when they don’t concern post-secondary education, but the ongoing fiasco has just reached new heights. For those unaware (all two of you, who’ve likely been deliberately trying to avoid any of this, apologies in advance) the FBI recently executed a search warrant on former President Trump’s resort home, recovering many boxes of documents, including some with classified, secret and even top secret material that he had in his possession, despite it not being allowed by law, and despite his and his legal representations that he had already returned all documents taken from his time in office.
Defense raised so far include assertations that, as president, he’d declassified all those documents as he removed them from the Whitehouse (though there’s nobody who seems willing to attest that he actually did that), that the documents were planted by the FBI and a Deep State mechanism obsessed with bringing him down. And that it’s not really that big a deal anyway, as everybody takes home work now and again.
But all that is essentially window dressing to the important news that came out today as a judge ruled that the inventory of what was found should be unsealed due to an overwhelming public interest. What’s concerning about what was released isn’t what was found so much as what was evidently missing. To start, the inventory notes that in many of the boxes, beyond classified and other government documents were items of clothing and books. That these national secrets of the US were being treated as if they were in your standard packing boxes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a lot of boxes of paper around here too, some of them probably even have some clothes in them. But none of them have any sort of classified information, and that makes a difference. Even more concerning, however, is that over 50 folders were found labelled either classified or “Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide” that were empty. I think it’s a fair assumption that they didn’t start off that way, so where the documents that were in them have gone is concerning.
Bad news for the United States, but what does it have to do with us? Well, we don’t know exactly what kind of information was in those classified documents. Some of it could have been names of Canadian agents that the US intelligence service deals with, or detail reports of joint activities that American special forces may have taken on in conjunction with special forces of other nations (like Canada) or maybe it was just the flight plans of important diplomats to meetings with US representatives. The point is that this has clearly become an international affair, if only because there’s no information as to what types of information have been compromised. And that makes it our problem as well. Which means that Trump has succeeded in his fondest wish once more, he’s now become something the entire world has to pay attention to again—at least for a little while.
Meanwhile, this week, we’ve got a student interview who came up with an interesting answer to our question of “What would you do as AU’s new president,” and also hopes to enhance her AU experience by making some new contacts. Check it out and drop Amy a line in our latest “Minds We Meet”. We’re also featuring Barb Godin giving us her experience with becoming a self-published author of multiple books, and comparing that route with traditional publishing. Plus, we have a new reflection from Elisa about what “maybe” means, scholarships, events, advice, a muse on the nature of creativity that’s worth the read, as is Marie Well’s look on fashion becoming addition, and more. So, enjoy the read!