- Nov 28, 2014
- Reaction score
There is a big gaping hole in what your saying. The president does not always have the luxury of having the time to go through the bureaucratic circles to get things done. He is given executive privilege that allows him to make decisions in real time. What your suggesting is more perilous to the nation than what Trump is accused of.You are conflating two separate issues: the authority to declassify and the requirement to go through a formal process. As I understand it, from everything that's been posted, as the CIC the President has the authority to declassify anything. However,here's nothing I have read that exempts him/her from going through the formal process. The EO applied to Trump, unless you have evidence that he amended the EO to say that the Prez can secretly, without any process or notification, declassify anything at any time.
As others have pointed out, it makes zero sense to imagine that it's possible to declassify something secretly. If you don't tell anyone, if the relevant agencies are not notified, how is the secret in question declassified? The relevant definition from Oxford for the term, "classified" reads: (of information or documents) designated as officially secret and to which only authorized people may have access. The President cannot declassify something just for him/herself. They cannot declassify a single copy of something.
I would ask whether you really want as President someone who doesn't understand not just the process but the necessity for the process of declassifying. A President is not a dictator; they have to be a team player. One reason to have a process is so that the proposal to declassify something allows agencies to weigh in; there may exist ramifications to a declassification that the President has not considered and might want to be aware of. This is how adults operate in a complex world. It's not a "I imagined it to be declassified and it magically was". Everything has consequences and responsible actors want to know to what those are before deciding how to proceed.