While scrolling through the latest youtube video’s today I ran into this clip of Leon Panetta former Director of the CIA/White House Chief of Staff and Mike Pompeo the current Director of the CIA discussing the all infamous Trump tweets. Now before moving further in this post let me attempt to briefly add some context; When Trump took office to become the 45th President of the US in January 2017, many people NOT just in the United States but around the world were watching with “shock and awe…XXXX”) and you’re free to fill in the blanks. But then there was a way to out of this conundrum; a way to overcome the anxiety about a leader with a temperament of a psychopath; the approach was to surround him (“ring fence him” if you like) with top notch advisers, particularly in key departments like the FBI, the CIA and the White House’s National Security Council. Mike Pompeo was seen as one of those steady hands needed at this crucial time to help steady the ship and provide some impartial/professional advice to the President. Having personally watched his performance during the Benghazi Hearings he seemed to be quite methodical and efficient in his questioning and even many Democrats assumed he would be a great choice to take charge of the CIA and was embraced as such. Today however and after watching this clip I can honestly say that this view has been smashed to smithereens. Why? Well, because of the suggestion that he makes in this clip that Trump tweets are rather helpful from a security standpoint which is mind boggling to say the “very” least. Worse yet is the logic he uses to support this proposition and it goes something along the lines of;
- It allows us to understand command/control issues & how his message resonates around the world.
- It allows us to have an opportunity to make America safer (though he used quite a complex sentence-that’s the gist of it)
- Security threats pre-existed the Trump administration, so you can see where “message discipline” got us (i.e. message discipline is the least of our worries)
Now for me to listen to statements like that from the Head of the CIA is, and I use the term advisedly, an absolute “disaster”. Government departments are (or should be) built on ethos/standards that take decades of experiences/leadership to develop/evolve. Great institutions like the CIA & FBI have by and large steered clear of the politics of the day so that they’re more effective in carrying out their duties. But when we see this institution being represented by a leader with views that seem to directly contradict basic operational principles of the CIA it makes you wonder/fear for the future of these institutions because it is clear they are increasingly being driven by ideology rather than the simple/straight forward good of the nation, away from the impurities of ideology/partisanship.
What does this all mean?
Well this is a snapshot of what is happening in many countries around the world where alt right has been allowed space in mainstream politics, including the UK. In brief there is a real threat of core government institutions with long standing traditions of independence in serving the nation away from partisan politics are slowly being contaminated by ideologues that have a much narrower agenda; all this based on a convenient yet flawed narrative of taking down the establishment. This trend cannot be stopped unless the alt right ideology is kicked out of our political system beginning with the current Conservative government which is jam packed with champions of this ideology. This is precisely why BREXIT views are more than about pure economics, it’s about where the country is heading in terms of ideological trend. I still happen to believe we are on safe grounds because Brits by and large do not subscribe to this sick ideology, however we must never be complacent in our resolve to challenge it where ever it may be based argument and our core values that do not change but may/should evolve.
This is a time in history where we see the current American model of governance only to learn lessons – plenty of lessons – particularly in terms of how they got there, but we deliberately choose to go in the opposite direction.
Talk About Extreme Vetting of Immigrants – Would be More Useful to Start Applying Extreme Vetting to Politicians to Establish Their Qualifications, Experience & True Loyalties/Ideology if We Are to be Effective in Protecting Our Democracy