First, before I begin, let me supply some calming music so my blood pressure doesn’t give me a stroke.
Okay, that’s better.
Now, I’ve spent a lot of time researching our intelligence community and I’m hardly an unqualified fan of the job they’ve done for our country since the Japanese surrendered in 1945. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that most of what they do is important. I think they need good solid leadership from a president with a good moral compass. If provided that, they will give us much less reason to worry and go about their job of providing us with good analytical research and an early warning on threats we may face.
They’re a force to be reckoned with in their own right, as are sophisticated spy networks in all the countries that have them. Managing them is not a task for a coward or a simpleton. President Obama’s record has been mixed, better than any president since Carter, but disappointing in many ways, too.
But Trump is completely out of his depth and it already shows.
Only one member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is dealing with the CIA and the 16 other offices and agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, four U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Geoffrey Kahn, a former House intelligence committee staffer, is the only person named so far to Trump’s intelligence community “landing team,” they said. As a result, said one senior career intelligence officer, briefing books prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center, and 13 other agencies and organizations are “waiting for someone to read them.”
This is not how a nuclear-armed nation with soldiers stationed is dozens of countries handles a transition of power from one government to the next. This is absurd.
People want us to remember Pearl Harbor and remember 9/11, which are things we should obviously do. It’s hard enough to guard against sneak attacks when you’re trying. Who knows what are in all those briefing books?
And the Trump team is all geared up to humiliate President Obama by voting to destroy the Affordable Care Act before he can even leave office, but they can’t read what the intelligence community has to say about the state of the world?
Trump on Tuesday received only his third intelligence briefing since he won the Nov. 8 presidential election, despite an offer from President Barack Obama of daily briefings, three of the officials said.
Trump can’t even be bothered to have a briefing. Will that change once he’s inaugurated?
“It seems like an odd time to put issues like cyber security and international terrorism on the back burner,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.Previous administrations, the official said, were quicker to staff their intelligence teams, in part because they considered intelligence issues critical to setting foreign policy, defense and budget priorities.
So, a pattern is being set early on. Act quickly and spitefully with no plan and no intelligence.
This is dangerous enough that people should really try to focus on it rather than on what Trump is tweeting about at the moment.
If something happens because Trump is leaving our guard down, he’ll use it to crack down on minorities and break more laws. It seems like every time a Republican becomes president something catastrophic happens within months. Reagan survived an assassination attempt. Under Poppy, the Soviet empire began to crumble and we wound up in Panama. With Bush we had 9/11. What will it be with Trump?
Whatever it is, he’ll never see it coming.