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Former intelligence chiefs: Trump’s removal of experts is deeply destructive to our nation’s safety


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Just one example of Trump's long term damage to the country:

Former intelligence chiefs: Trump’s removal of experts is deeply destructive to our nation’s safety

Joseph Maguire, John Brennan (interim), Michael Leiter, Matthew G. Olsen, Nicholas Rasmussen, Andrew Liepman (acting and deputy) and Geoffrey O’Connell (principal deputy) are former directors of the National Counterterrorism Center. Michael V. Hayden is former director of the CIA and former principal deputy director of national intelligence. James Clapper was director of national intelligence.

The United States — and the world — faces a historic threat to its health, well-being and economy. The global covid-19 pandemic challenges all of us: the public, cities, states and, of course, the federal government. But as we collectively fight this deadly disease, the intelligence institutions that help protect us all from current and future threats are also under attack from an insidious enemy: domestic politics. We cannot let the covid-19 pandemic be a cover for the deeply destructive path being pursued by the Trump administration.

The most recent illustration of this unprecedented attack is the continuing dismissal of career intelligence professionals — officers who have ably served both Republican and Democratic administrations regardless of their personal political stripe. Specifically, the unceremonious removal this week of the leadership of the National Counterterrorism Center. The NCTC, though not as recognized an entity as its intelligence community counterparts such as the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency, is one of the crown-jewel creations of the United States’ post-9/11 reforms.

Created to “connect the dots” and coordinate U.S. counterterrorism operational planning, the NCTC brings together representatives from across the federal government to maintain critical watch lists, monitor threats in real time and make sure that the disparate elements of the massive federal bureaucracy respond in a coordinated fashion. In short: Since 9/11, the NCTC has helped do for counterterrorism what the U.S. government is now trying to piece together against its new viral threat.

Although we were heartened to see President Trump nominate an experienced Special Operations officer to serve as the next Senate-confirmed director of the NCTC, we are deeply dismayed — and perplexed — as to why he would simultaneously gut the center’s leadership of critical institutional knowledge. The NCTC’s just-dismissed acting director, Russell Travers, began his career as an Army intelligence officer more than 40 years ago. He stood up the NCTC’s predecessor organization while the embers of Ground Zero still smoldered. He built the terrorism watch list from a set of index cards into the envy of countries around the world (and, it should be noted, as the model for the president’s own aspirational watch list to screen travelers to the United States for threats other than terrorism). Travers and his deputy, a career National Security Agency officer, were the epitome of what we strive for in national security: nonpartisan experts who serve the president and the American people with no regard to personal politics.

Now both are gone, to be replaced by as-yet-unnamed acting heads who will undoubtedly know less and who will be more beholden to the intelligence community’s politicized leadership. The next acting heads might or might not be gone themselves in a matter of months if the president’s nominee is ultimately confirmed. In the meantime, who manages the critical security tasks, including watch-listing and ensuring that the government-wide counterterrorism structure remains well integrated?

Even amid public health concerns, we cannot be distracted from how deeply destructive these removals are to our nation’s safety. To be clear: This is not just about protecting a few senior officers. These unceremonious removals send a damaging message across the intelligence community. Every current officer sees that speaking truth to power in this administration is an immediate career-killer. Every young recruit will conclude that joining the intelligence community is little different from signing up for any other politicized element of the federal bureaucracy. Countless more talented young Americans will decide that federal service, indeed public service, is not a worthy calling.

We do not suggest that post-9/11 reforms should be etched in stone. All healthy institutions should evolve with changing circumstances, and the NCTC as well as the rest of government must adapt as circumstances change. But the gutting of the intelligence community’s experienced professionals is not reform. It is politicization, pure and simple. It is destructive of our nation’s ideals, and it puts us all at risk.

Congress must reinvigorate the strictest of oversight to preserve what is left of the country’s prized, apolitical intelligence community. Post-9/11 reforms happened for a critical reason: The U.S. bureaucracy wasn’t prepared for a new era of threats. Indeed, the NCTC is a model of how the government should work in close coordination and with unity of effort in response to a crisis. It provides critical lessons for today’s challenge. The administration’s continued politicization of intelligence pulls the nation further from this goal, making us more vulnerable to the next national security threat regardless from where it emanates.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/former-intelligence-chiefs-trumps-removals-of-experts-are-deeply-destructive-to-our-nations-safety/2020/03/20/b16e7e06-6ac3-11ea-abef-020f086a3fab_story.html

Edited by homersapien
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Intelligence reports warned about a pandemic in January. Trump reportedly ignored them.

As Trump reportedly received intelligence reports about the seriousness of the coronavirus threat, he continued to downplay its severity in public.

US intelligence officials reportedly warned President Donald Trump and Congress about the threats posed by the novel coronavirus beginning in early January — weeks before the White House and lawmakers began implementing stringent public health measures and as the president minimized the threat posed by the virus in his tweets and public statements.

The fact those warnings were largely disregarded — something first reported by the Washington Post’s Shane Harris, Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey, and Ellen Nakashima — suggests Trump administration officials failed to take action that could have prepared the health care system to handle an influx of patients, helped Americans avoid mass social distancing, and saved lives.

Top health officials first learned of the virus’ spread in China on January 3, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials’ warnings became more and more urgent, according to the Post — and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA’s intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about Covid-19.

All the while, Trump downplayed the virus publicly, telling the public the coronavirus “is very well under control in our country,” and suggesting warm weather would neutralize the threat the virus poses.

Privately, Trump reportedly rebutted health and intelligence officials’ attempts to get him to take action to prepare communities in the US while rebuking officials who were delivering sober risk assessments.....

Read the rest at:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/3/21/21189179/coronavirus-trump-intelligence-reports-warned-pandemic

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More than 100 national security professionals break with tradition and endorse a presidential candidate — Biden

March 18, 2020 at 6:22 p.m. EDT

More than 100 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations. They noted that their policy views cover a spectrum and as officials they “have often been in opposition, sometimes bitterly, with each other.”

But in a letter published online Wednesday, they expressed a shared belief that Trump’s approach to leadership has undermined the country’s role in the world. “His reelection would continue this downward spiral and will likely have catastrophic results,” say the signatories, most of whom have never publicly endorsed a candidate for president.

Read the letter signed by dozens of national security professionals endorsing Biden

Doug Wise, a former CIA clandestine officer and former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, broke a career-long vow to serve in silence by signing the letter.

“We need to restore courtesy, respectability and consensus decision-making based not on the personal interests of Donald J. Trump but on the personal interests of Americans,” said Wise, who retired in 2016 after 48 years of government service.

Wise, who leans Republican, said that he has never voted for president, content to trust in the American democratic system “to produce a good president and commander in chief.” But the system has failed, he said. So this November, he said, he will cast his first vote for president — for Biden.

Larry Pfeiffer, former senior director of the White House Situation Room and a former chief of staff to then-CIA Director Michael Hayden, said he leans Republican. “If Donald Trump wasn’t running, and it was Mitt Romney versus Joe Biden, I’d be endorsing Mitt Romney,” he said. “And I probably wouldn’t be public about it.”

Pfeiffer, who served five presidents dating to Ronald Reagan, said he sees himself as nonpartisan, so much so that endorsing a candidate feels like “an unnatural act.”

Margaret Henoch, a former CIA officer who joined the agency in the Reagan administration, agreed that a public endorsement is “absolutely” unheard of for career professionals. But these are not normal times, she said.

Henoch said her endorsement is “not political.” It’s driven by a desire to restore “the stability of the country and the world and the respect for the role and function of government” in a democratic society.

Paul Rosenzweig said he was a Republican but became an independent in 2017 because “the standard-bearer for my party no longer represented the values that I think the party should stand for.”

“Even though I am sure I will disagree with much of what [Biden] does, I am also certain that the overall result will be far superior under Biden than under Trump,” said Rosenzweig, who served as a senior policy adviser at the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and as a senior counsel to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in the Clinton administration.

James R. Clapper Jr., a former director of national intelligence who entered government service in the Kennedy administration and retired in 2017, has voted “both ways” in federal elections. He considers himself a “Democrat domestically and a Republican in the foreign and national security realm.”

He, too, said he would vote for Biden. “I just think he would represent, if elected, a restoration of normality to the country,” said Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who served in five Democratic and five Republican administrations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/more-than-80-national-security-professionals-break-with-tradition-and-endorse-a-presidential-candidate--biden/2020/03/18/448bdde6-6943-11ea-b313-df458622c2cc_story.html

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Huh. This thread's been up since Saturday and not a single reply from the clown car? Interesting. 

Dear Leader has told them the intelligent community are all conspiring against Him.

And they actually believe it.

Edited by homersapien
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Response to the #realclowncar: I've exposed one of your lies already this evening. Want another dose? I'm ready just ask. ;D :comfort:

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Job well done, they needed to be removed. What Trump removed was bunch of bureaucrats that thought they'd call the shots instead of following policy as dictated by the president.  Check your history. Truman fired General MacArthur for the same type of rogue thinking.

Edited by Mikey
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On 3/25/2020 at 9:22 AM, homersapien said:

See what I mean?

Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

What I see is you and loofy's dumb and dumber display. Not much else from the #realclowncar. Just a different day. :comfort:

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2 hours ago, Mikey said:

Job well done, they needed to be removed. What Trump removed was bunch of bureaucrats that thought they'd call the shots instead of following policy as dictated by the president.  Check your history. Truman fired General MacArthur for the same type of rogue thinking.

What a stupid, mindless response. :no:

General MacArthur = one (1) man who disobeyed direct military operational orders by the president.

This letter was written by seven former directors of the National Counterterrorism Center, one former director of the CIA and principle director of national intelligence and one director of national intelligence.

Plus, "more than 100 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Trump has greatly damaged the intelligence system of this country for purely political reasons - the professionals in the intelligence system won't provide him the twisted intelligence (lies) he demands to support him politically.

You are a complete fool for supporting that.

 

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4 hours ago, homersapien said:

What a stupid, mindless response. :no:

General MacArthur = one (1) man who disobeyed direct military operational orders by the president.

This letter was written by seven former directors of the National Counterterrorism Center, one former director of the CIA and principle director of national intelligence and one director of national intelligence.

Plus, "more than 100 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Trump has greatly damaged the intelligence system of this country for purely political reasons - the professionals in the intelligence system won't provide him the twisted intelligence (lies) he demands to support him politically.

You are a complete fool for supporting that.

 

Sorry Homer, no DNI or CIA has the right to run a coup.  That is what damages the nation. Not Trump.

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5 hours ago, homersapien said:

What a stupid, mindless response. :no:

General MacArthur = one (1) man who disobeyed direct military operational orders by the president.

This letter was written by seven former directors of the National Counterterrorism Center, one former director of the CIA and principle director of national intelligence and one director of national intelligence.

Plus, "more than 100 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Trump has greatly damaged the intelligence system of this country for purely political reasons - the professionals in the intelligence system won't provide him the twisted intelligence (lies) he demands to support him politically.

You are a complete fool for supporting that.

 

Don't be surprised to find a handful of these partisan butthurt bureaucrats behind bars in the near future.   

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8 hours ago, homersapien said:

What a stupid, mindless response. :no:

General MacArthur = one (1) man who disobeyed direct military operational orders by the president.

This letter was written by seven former directors of the National Counterterrorism Center, one former director of the CIA and principle director of national intelligence and one director of national intelligence.

Plus, "more than 100 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Trump has greatly damaged the intelligence system of this country for purely political reasons - the professionals in the intelligence system won't provide him the twisted intelligence (lies) he demands to support him politically.

You are a complete fool for supporting that.

 

I'm afraid you are serious. Look: When a subordinate employee refuses to follow policy set by his superior, he will be fired. These guys thought they had the right to set policy. They did not. Now they are fired and it's good riddance to bad rubbish.

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15 hours ago, AUFAN78 said:

Don't be surprised to find a handful of these partisan butthurt bureaucrats behind bars in the near future.   

Could it be that the best defense is a good offense?  Curious timing.

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30 minutes ago, I_M4_AU said:

Could it be that the best defense is a good offense?  Curious timing.

Perhaps, but I wouldn't read much into it. People don't like getting fired. 

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Important note: the intelligence community as a whole includes 854,000 people. 100 butthurt individuals are relatively meaningless. The article attempted to capture the imagination of the clueless. It obviously worked.

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17 hours ago, jj3jordan said:

Sorry Homer, no DNI or CIA has the right to run a coup.  That is what damages the nation. Not Trump.

That's insane. 

Equating a "deep state" fantasy of a incompetent, narcissist psychopath with the opinions of over a hundred career intelligence professionals with long and varied experiences protecting the country is crazy.  

 

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13 hours ago, Mikey said:

I'm afraid you are serious. Look: When a subordinate employee refuses to follow policy set by his superior, he will be fired. These guys thought they had the right to set policy. They did not. Now they are fired and it's good riddance to bad rubbish.

Exactly what policy are you talking about?

Revealing the truth about Russian interference in our elections?

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5 hours ago, homersapien said:

That's insane. 

Equating a "deep state" fantasy of a incompetent, narcissist psychopath with the opinions of over a hundred career intelligence professionals with long and varied experiences protecting the country is crazy.  

 

Nope. Insane is watching and listening to Clapper and Brennan and refusing to see their hatred of Trump, and their attempts to get him removed from office.    There is no truth to Russian interference in our election. Facebook ads hardly qualify and some of them were for Hillary and after the election. So, no. The deep state is there, still, mostly on the left but some on the right. Denial of this is an indictment of your intelligence and mental state. Sorry your last three years had been so terrible for you. It has been much better for the vast majority of the country and the world. 

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8 minutes ago, jj3jordan said:

Nope. Insane is watching and listening to Clapper and Brennan and refusing to see their hatred of Trump, and their attempts to get him removed from office.    There is no truth to Russian interference in our election. Facebook ads hardly qualify and some of them were for Hillary and after the election. So, no. The deep state is there, still, mostly on the left but some on the right. Denial of this is an indictment of your intelligence and mental state. Sorry your last three years had been so terrible for you. It has been much better for the vast majority of the country and the world. 

For the record. the last three years have been great and no, I didn't vote for Trump. I just tend to be an optimist. No way I could live with daily hate in my heart.

Love life, it goes fast. Peace out.

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30 minutes ago, FJ McCrory said:

What does this have to do with Auburn. Looks like someone is using aufamily.com to promote their own Trump derangement. 

Brand new mindless sycophant! 

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16 hours ago, jj3jordan said:

Nope. Insane is watching and listening to Clapper and Brennan and refusing to see their hatred of Trump, and their attempts to get him removed from office.    There is no truth to Russian interference in our election. Facebook ads hardly qualify and some of them were for Hillary and after the election. So, no. The deep state is there, still, mostly on the left but some on the right. Denial of this is an indictment of your intelligence and mental state. Sorry your last three years had been so terrible for you. It has been much better for the vast majority of the country and the world. 

That's insane.

 

 

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