During the U.S. election, there was plenty of chatter about how dangerous it would be for Trump to have control of America’s nuclear arsenal. Over and over again we were reminded by the Clinton campaign and others about how dangerous this would be. While Trump is certainly temperamental, I seriously doubt he’s unstable enough to start firing off nuclear missiles like they were bottle rockets. Besides, there is a military in the United States that I have a feeling would not be OK with firing nuclear weapons around. Much more concerning and rarely mentioned is Trump getting a hold of the largest intelligence network ever created. Trump has the ability to enrich himself and his family with access to intelligence, he also has the ability, if he sacks his opponents in the community, to make dissent virtually impossible in the U.S. Trump doesn’t need the nuclear codes, much more valuable is the ability to stay in power once he gets in power. For years, people who were concerned about the capabilities of U.S. intelligence had warned that new powers and new surveillance laws shouldn’t be created with the assumption that whomever was in charge would be a reasonable person but rather to consider that someone unreasonable and a tyrant might one day use such powers to benefit themselves. And here we are, with a big unknown in Trump.
Way back in the 1970s Senator Frank Church told the American public on NBC that the surveillance capabilities at that time were such that should a dictator ever take hold, resistance would be impossible. That was in the 1970s, how about now? We should consider the intelligence services as a potent weapon, one that could be used for defense sure, but one that could equally be used against the domestic population. Where’s the kill switch for the NSA’s network? Should there be one? Should there be more safeguards? These are the questions we should be asking. If you can use the intelligence services to benefit yourself, you’ll always have those nuclear codes.