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SCARY: MYSTERIOUS national security threat has people freaking out

SCARY: MYSTERIOUS national security threat has people freaking out

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-OH) requested that President Biden declassify information regarding what has been characterized as a “serious national security threat.”

Turner believes that a national public discussion will help the country properly respond.

However, the matter isn’t urgent, nor should people panic, according to the ranking Democratic member of the same panel, Jim Himes (D-CT).

Turner issued a statement:

“Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has made available to all Members of Congress information concerning a serious national security threat.”

This would normally guarantee a leak, more on that below.

“I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the Administration, and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat.”

This doesn’t sound as though some kind of extra-terrestrial invasion is imminent. Late Tuesday, Turner sent a “dear colleague letter,” stating that the committee had information it wanted to share with the entirety of Congress on “an urgent matter.

The “urgent matter” pertains to a destabilizing foreign military capability that should be known by all Congressional Policy Makers,” according to a report in The Hill.

This actually sounds far scarier than an extra-terrestrial invasion. In a world with hypersonic missiles, developing countries on the brink of obtaining nuclear missiles, and an aging national electrical grid that is open to attack, the threat could be surprising and is presumably significant.

But why a national discussion? It makes so much sense and is also so unusual. These decisions are usually made in the Situation Room, deep underground somewhere near the White House and nowhere near a reporter.

For now, security is as tight as can be. The letter is only allowed to be read in a “SCIF” (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) room. Perhaps the information will not be leaked. Perhaps it will.

The report notes that “Himes held back criticism of Turner but said, ‘Thanks, Mike,'”when a reporter noted the panic being caused by the statement. So, it appears as if there is significant disagreement on the best method of handling the matter.

Himes stated:

“Look, Mike is right to highlight this issue. But it’s so sensitive that [we’re] right now not publicly discussing. And I don’t want people thinking that, you know, martians are landing or that your Wednesday is going to be ruined. But it’s something that the Congress [and] the administration does need to address in the medium to long run.”

Well, that is certainly comforting. Mars is out. The Zeta Reticuli system remains in play.

But in all seriousness, the fact that this is a medium to long-run question is somewhat comforting. There is time for contemplation, expert evaluation, and public discussion, all invaluable.

One never has too much information or too many good ideas.

The Hill reports that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was “surprised” that Turner wanted the information publicly available since the White House was in the midst of organizing a briefing on the matter.

Is it possible that members of Congress are panicking — appropriately — at a level greater than the White House? Yes. Or their hair may be on fire due to a situation that the White House understands with greater clarity.

Sullivan stated that the White House had reached out to Congress members. who must be informed of any national security threat or significant national action taken — ideally, at least — before the White House takes action.

This is serious but still… well, we’ll see. Hopefully.

The Hill’s report also includes another Sullivan statement — one that sounds somewhat defensive:

“This  administration has gone further and in more creative, more strategic ways dealt with the declassification of intelligence in the interest of the United States than any administration in history.”

Yeah, but this is a medium to long-term threat. It is not the “usual” intelligence — or so it would seem.

Currently, at least as reported by The Hill, only the above can be said definitively. The wildcard, of course, is the national discussion. That is weird.

Speculation is both pointless, endless, and somewhat irresistible. Is it the possible use of nuclear weapons in a highly limited way? Again, it might involve direct attacks on the U.S. electrical grid. There is always the possibility of a cyberattack or attack on the net, and war might be the proper prevention or response.

Maybe sings of an asteroid the size of Texas hitting the Earth in 2060? We just don’t know. And I’ll stop my speculation there.

The possibilities are near endless. Speculation is nearly worthless.

Meanwhile, let’s wait to see what eventually leaks – or is officially released — about this “threat,” whether it’s immediate or medium-term.

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author

Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here:

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