原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.vemp.tw 翻譯:后羿A射日 轉載請注明出處
論壇地址:http://www.vemp.tw/bbs/thread-480943-1-1.html



In early September 2017, in the eighth month of the Trump presidency, Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs and the president’s top economic adviser in the White House, moved cautiously toward the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

2017年9月初,特朗普就任總統的第八個月,前高盛總裁、白宮首席經濟顧問蓋瑞•柯恩小心翼翼地走向白宮橢圓形辦公室的堅決桌。

In his 27 years at Goldman, Cohn—6-foot-3, bald, brash and full of self-confidence— had made billions for his clients and hundreds of millions for himself. He had granted himself walk-in privileges to Trump’s Oval Office, and the president had accepted that arrangement.

柯恩身高6.3英尺,禿頂、傲慢又自信滿滿,在高盛工作的27年里,他幫客戶賺了數十億美元,也幫自己賺了數億美元。憑借自己的良好口碑,他為自己贏得了隨意進入特朗普橢圓形辦公室的特權,總統也接受了這種安排。

On the desk was a one-page draft letter from the president addressed to the president of South Korea, terminating the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement, known as KORUS.

辦公桌上放著一份信的草稿,只有一張紙,柯恩迅速看了一下信的內容,這是寫給韓國總統的信,信中提到要終結美韓自由貿易協定(KORUS)。

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The ability to detect a launch in seven seconds would give the United States military the time to shoot down a North Korean missile. It is perhaps the most important and most secret operation in the United States government. The American presence in South Korea represents the essence of national security.

7秒內監測到朝鮮發射的洲際導彈,美軍就有足夠的時間予以擊落。這可能是美國政府最重要也是最秘密的行動。美國在韓國的軍事存在是美國國家安全的根本。

Withdrawal from the KORUS trade agreement, which South Korea deemed essential to its economy, could lead to an unraveling of the entire relationship. Cohn could not believe that President Trump would risk losing vital intelligence assets crucial to U.S. national security.

韓國把美韓自由貿易協定看做經濟基礎,撤回這份協定會導致美韓關系的全面瓦解。這樣的話,美國國家安全生死攸關的情報資產可能會喪失,柯恩不敢相信特朗普總統竟然會冒這個險。

This all stemmed from Trump’s fury that the United States had an $18 billion annual trade deficit with South Korea and was spending $3.5 billion a year to keep U.S. troops there.

這一切都源于特朗普的憤怒,因為每年美國對韓國的貿易赤字高達180億美元,維持美軍在韓駐扎的費用是35億美元。

Despite almost daily reports of chaos and discord in the White House, the public did not know how bad the internal situation actually was. Trump was always shifting, rarely fixed, erratic. He would get in a bad mood, something large or small would infuriate him, and he would say about the KORUS trade agreement, “We’re withdrawing today.”

盡管每天都有關于白宮混亂和不和諧的報道,但是公眾并不知道白宮內部局勢到底有多糟糕。特朗普一直在變,很少有固定的想法。他的情緒一直很壞,多大的事都能激怒他,不管大事還是小事,對于美韓自由貿易協定,他會說:“我們今天就退出。”

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Porter, 6-foot-4, rail-thin, 40 years old and raised a Mormon, was one of the gray men: an organization man with little flash who had attended Harvard and Harvard Law School and been a Rhodes Scholar.

波特身高6.4英寸,瘦得像麻桿,四十歲,信奉摩門教,也是一位灰色人:一位有點閃光的“組織人”,年輕時在哈佛大學法學院讀書,曾經是位羅茲學者。

Porter later discovered there were multiple copies of the draft letter, and either Cohn or he made sure none remained on the president’s desk.

波特后來發現這封信還有好幾份復印件,不過柯恩和波特確認這些信不會出現在特朗普的辦公桌上。

Cohn and Porter worked together to derail what they believed were Trump’s most impulsive and dangerous orders. That document and others like it just disappeared. When Trump had a draft on his desk to proofread, Cohn at times would just yank it, and the president would forget about it. But if it was on his desk, he’d sign it. “It’s not what we did for the country,” Cohn said privately. “It’s what we saved him from doing.”

柯恩和波特認為這將會是特朗普總統最沖動也是最危險的命令,幸好兩人聯手破壞了這份命令。那封信和相關的文件都消失了。當特朗普在辦公桌上校對文件草稿時,柯恩有時會把文件抽出來,而總統就會把文件的事忘了。但是如果文件出現在了辦公桌上,他就會簽字。柯恩私底下說:“我們這么做不是為了國家,而是為了救他。”

It was no less than an administrative coup d’état, an undermining of the will of the president of the United States and his constitutional authority.

這不僅僅是一場行政政變,更違背了美國總統的意志,侵害了總統的憲法權威。

In addition to coordinating policy decisions and schedules and running the paperwork for the president, Porter told an associate, “A third of my job was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas that he had and try to give him reasons to believe that maybe they weren’t such good ideas.”

波特告訴同僚,除了協調決策,安排時間表和為總統提供文書工作,“我的工作還有第三個任務,那就是盡量處理總統的非常危險的想法,并試圖說服總統也許這并不是好主意。”

Another strategy was to delay, procrastinate, cite legal restrictions. Lawyer Porter said, “But slow-walking things or not taking things up to him, or telling him—rightly, not just as an excuse—but this needs to be vetted, or we need to do more process on this, or we don’t have legal counsel clearance—that happened 10 times more frequently than taking papers from his desk. It felt like we were walking along the edge of the cliff perpetually.”

另一個策略是拖延、耽擱,引用法律限制。身為律師的波特說:“不過拖延事情或者壓根就不提是正確的做法,不過這不是理由,因為這需要經過審查,不然的話我們就要走很多流程,或者我們沒有法律顧問指導,這種情況比從他辦公桌上拿走文件的頻率多十倍。我們感覺每天都走在懸崖邊上。”

There were days or weeks when the operation seemed under control and they were a couple of steps back from the edge. “Other times, we would fall over the edge, and an action would be taken. It was like you were always walking right there on the edge.”

幾天或者幾周的時間,行動看起來都在控制中,他們離懸崖只有幾步之遙。“我們每天都處在危險的邊緣,必須要采取行動。這種生活就像每天都走在懸崖邊上。”

Although Trump never mentioned the missing September 5 letter, he did not forget what he wanted to do about the trade agreement. “There were several different iterations of that letter,” Porter told an associate.

盡管特朗普從未提到過9月5日丟失的信,但是他沒有忘記自己要怎么處理美韓貿易協定。“那封信有好幾種不同的版本,”波特對助理說。

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“Send me the draft,” he told him. “If we’re going to do this, we cannot do it on the back of a napkin. We have to write it up in a way that isn’t going to embarrass us.”

“把草稿給我,”波特告訴庫什納,“如果我們打算這么做,就不能把內容寫在餐巾紙的背面。我們必須寫得清楚點,這樣才不至于太尷尬。”

Kushner sent down a paper copy of his draft. It was not of much use. Porter and Cohn had something typed up to demonstrate they were doing what the president had asked. Trump was expecting an immediate response. They wouldn’t walk in empty-handed. The draft was part of the subterfuge.

庫什納把草擬好的信發了過來。當然這沒有大的用處。波特和柯恩打印出了一些東西來證明他們正在按照總統的吩咐做。特朗普希望立即回應。不過波特和柯恩可不是空著手來的。草稿不過是計謀的一部分。

At a formal meeting, the opponents of leaving KORUS raised all kinds of arguments—the United States had never withdrawn from a free trade agreement before; there were legal issues, geopolitical issues, vital national security and intelligence issues; the letter wasn’t ready. They smothered the president with facts and logic.

在一次正式會議上,退出美韓貿易協定的反對者們提供了各種各樣的理由,美國沒有退出自由貿易協定的先例;這會引起法律糾紛,造成地緣政治問題,引起致命的國家安全和情報問題;信還沒有準備好。他們用事實和邏輯抵制總統決定。

“Well, let’s keep working on the letter,” Trump said. “I want to see the next draft.”
Cohn and Porter did not prepare a next draft. So there was nothing to show the president. The issue, for the moment, disappeared in the haze of presidential decision making. Trump got busy with other things.

“好吧,接著寫信吧”特朗普說道,“把修改后的草稿給我看一下。”
柯恩和波特沒有準備另一份草稿。所以,總統什么也沒有看到。所以,暫時的,這個問題在總統的決策迷霧中消失了。特朗普去忙其他事了。

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American military and intelligence assets in South Korea are the backbone of our ability to defend ourselves from North Korea. Please don’t leave the deal.

美國在韓國的軍事和情報資產是我們防備朝鮮的基礎。請不要放棄。

Why is the U.S. paying $1 billion a year for an anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea? Trump asked. He was furious about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, and had threatened to pull it out of South Korea and move it to Portland, Oregon.

為什么美國每年要為韓國的導彈防御系統支付10億美元?特朗普問道。他對部署在韓國的薩德系統非常憤怒,威脅要將薩德系統撤回,部署到俄勒岡州的波特蘭市。

“We’re not doing this for South Korea,” Mattis said. “We’re helping South Korea because it helps us.”

“我們不能這么對韓國,”馬蒂斯說,“幫助韓國就是幫助我們自己。”

The president seemed to acquiesce, but only for the moment.

最后,總統是勉強同意了,不過也只是一時而已。

In 2016, candidate Trump gave Bob Costa and myself his definition of the job of president: “More than anything else, it’s the security of our nation. . . . That’s number one, two and three. . . . The military, being strong, not letting bad things happen to our country from the outside. And I certainly think that’s always going to be my number-one part of that definition.”

2016年,還是總統候選人的特朗普告訴科斯塔他理解的總統工作:“最重要的是國家安全;這是第一位的,然后才有第二第三。軍事實力一定要強,不能讓外面不好的事情發生在我們國家。我當然認為這是我對總統定義中最重要的部分。”

The reality was that the United States in 2017 was tethered to the words and actions of an emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader. Members of his staff had joined to purposefully block some of what they believed were the president’s most dangerous impulses. It was a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful country in the world.

然而現實卻是,2017年的美國受制于語言和行為過度情緒化、善變、經常有出乎意料之舉的領導人。他手下的人自覺地聯合起來,阻止總統做出危險的沖動之舉。這就是世界最強大國家的行政管理權利的精神崩潰。