Electronics Ban Threat is Part of Highly Classified Information Revealed by Trump to Foreign Minister and Ambassador of Russia

A s frequent travelers await what is rumored to be an imminent ban on most electronic devices in passenger cabins aboard airplanes operating on flights from undisclosed airports in Europe to the United States, amongst the information which Donald Trump — who is the current president of the United States — allegedly revealed to two representatives of the Russian government is highly classified information from an unidentified partner who is a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

That information is supposedly what prompted the ban on electronics currently in effect on approximately 50 flights to the United States from ten airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Electronics Ban Threat is Part of Highly Classified Information Revealed by Trump to Foreign Minister and Ambassador of Russia

“Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office”, according to this article written by Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post. “It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.”

Permission was not granted by that aforementioned partner — an unidentified ally which has inside access to the operations of the Islamic State — for the United States to share that vital information with Russia. If found to be definitively proven as fact, Trump revealing that information may not be against the law — the president of the United States does have “broad authority to declassify government secrets” — but it may endanger that partnership as well as have consequences to the national security of the United States.

“The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government,” according to the aforementioned article.

The Department of Homeland Security of the United States recently disclosed the consideration of banning large electronic devices from bags carried aboard the passenger cabins of airplanes on flights between Europe and the United States; but details of those measures have not yet been discussed at this time — and the implementation of that expanded electronics ban could occur as soon as later this week.

Summary

According to the aforementioned article, Trump cast the countermeasures in wistful terms. “Can you believe the world we live in today?” he said, according to one official. “Isn’t it crazy?”

Yes. Right. Just as crazy as during such lesser events as the Crusades or World War II — including the Holocaust. Why people think that the events of today are worse than ever is beyond me. The craziness may come in different forms and occur in different parts of our planet — but the world in which we live has always been crazy as long as humans occupied it.

Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he felt that giving whom he felt was a partner of the United States critically sensitive information might in the long term be beneficial to the national security of the United States, as both Russia and the United States view the Islamic State as a crucial threat; but reports in the media are basically inferring otherwise in this story which is still developing at the time this article was written. Besides, my main concern is that what Trump is accused of doing might possibly affect us frequent travelers even more adversely in the future if commercial air security is proven to have been compromised as a result.

In my opinion, imposing the expansion of that electronics ban to flights from Europe will create a disproportional countermeasure which will be significantly more counterproductive than effective with regard to the balance between security and the right to travel freely — especially as there are rumors bandied about that the electronics ban may eventually cover all flights to, from and within the United States. To me, that is like using nuclear weapons to kill a roach…

…and if that expanded ban on electronics becomes a reality, minor revisions may be applied to it — but do not look for it to be rescinded in the foreseeable future, as the majority of passengers in the United States are still taking shoes off and carrying liquids in a plastic one-quart transparent zippered bag. Combine that with the recent increased scrutiny of food products and paper products and the more invasive groping techniques of secondary screening, we have an air travel experience which is increasingly inconvenient to the point of moving the threshold of not flying as a passenger becoming a reality for more and more passengers.

I may consider voting my increasing displeasure regarding the evolution of air security with my wallet by suspending my own travel for an indefinite period of time — and if we all collectively did that, we could send a message that we find the increasing policies to keep us “safe” to be unacceptable and perhaps changed to measures which are simultaneously more effective and less imposing for passengers.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Electronics Ban Threat is Part of Highly Classified Information Revealed by Trump to Foreign Minister and Ambassador of Russia”

  1. DaninMCI says:

    This has officially been denied by the White House. I think we always lice in crazy times. Right now it is crazy how the media is on a witch hunt. I think we need to be very careful about what we believe from media sources that used to be reliable. They all seem blinded by personal agenda these days.
    While I hate the idea of the electronics ban, and have had it effect my travels to the middle East already, I don’t think we know the entire gravity of the threat.

    1. Joe C. says:

      Yes, I agree that we shouldn’t believe what the media says and that they’re on a particular agenda and not reporting things accurately. They’ve lost credibility tobme. There are some things that Trump is doing that I think are great, and other things he’s doing that I disagree with. I would say that if the information about the threat is classified, that means we don’t know what is involved. If they are taking such strong actions like this, it’s very possible that the threats are very serious. In one sense, we didn’t see a strong action taken like this by Bush or Clinton before 9/11 took place. If we did, it’s very possible 9/11 may not have taken place, but we would have seen everyone crying and complaining about it, similarly to how everyone is crying and complaining about the current electronics ban. Hopefully the electronics ban will prevent a situation like 9/11 from happening again.

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