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Thread: Ratcliffe Was Scratched In The Starting Gate

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    Default Ratcliffe Was Scratched In The Starting Gate

    Democrats tint everything with conspiracy involving the intelligence community.

    Democrats began infiltrating intelligence agencies at the beginning of the Cold War. Had they been more successful before the Soviet Union imploded Americans would be speaking Russian today. After the Cold War ended Democrats did get control of every intelligence agency.

    At long last those Democrats entrenched in the intelligence community might finally be rooted out and sent packing. Americans can only hope and pray that President Trump and John Ratcliffe get it done. Add AG William Barr to the mix and things are looking better for Americans than it looked in decades.

    https://www.justplainpolitics.com/sh...ence-Community

    The importance the New World Order crowd place on the controlling the intelligence community is the reason John Ratcliffe never got out of the starting gate:

    Updated: President Trump on Friday abruptly dropped his plan to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe as the nation’s top intelligence official. Read the latest.

    WASHINGTON — The White House is planning to block Sue Gordon, the nation’s No. 2 intelligence official, from rising to the role of acting director of national intelligence when Dan Coats steps down this month, according to people familiar with the Trump administration’s plans.

    The decision to circumvent Ms. Gordon, who has served as the principal deputy director in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will probably upset Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. They have expressed doubts about Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, who is President Trump’s choice to be the next Senate-confirmed leader of the agency.

    Mr. Trump did not allow Ms. Gordon to personally deliver a recent intelligence briefing after she arrived at the White House, according to a person familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence, Amanda J. Schoch, said Ms. Gordon was not blocked from attending any recent briefing, but she declined to comment about what happened inside the Oval Office.

    Opposition in the White House to letting her serve as acting director has raised the question of whether she will be ousted as part of a leadership shuffle at the intelligence director’s office that will be more to Mr. Trump’s liking.

    A federal statute says that if the position of director of national intelligence becomes vacant, the deputy director — currently Ms. Gordon — shall serve as acting director.

    But there appears to be a loophole: The law gives the White House much more flexibility in choosing who to appoint as the acting deputy if the No. 2 position is vacant, said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who specializes in national-security legal issues.

    Ms. Gordon will retire if told by the White House that Mr. Trump wants someone else in the deputy’s role who could then rise to fill the vacancy created when Mr. Coats departs, according to officials.

    Mr. Ratcliffe, an outspoken supporter of Mr. Trump, has thin national security experience relevant to overseeing the work of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. The scrutiny that he is now receiving also brought to light that he exaggerated his résumé when running for office.

    Ms. Gordon, who has served more than 30 years in intelligence posts at the C.I.A. and other agencies, has not been officially informed by the White House that Mr. Trump intends to name someone else to oversee the intelligence agency until the Senate confirms a new director of national intelligence, officials said.

    But the White House requested this week that the office provide a list of senior officials who worked for the agency, according to a senior administration official — a move that was interpreted as another sign that it is looking beyond her for people who could be temporarily installed in the top position.

    When Mr. Trump posted tweets Sunday announcing that Mr. Coats would step down on Aug. 15 and that he intended to nominate Mr. Ratcliffe, the president hinted that Ms. Gordon might not automatically become the acting director in the interim, saying an acting director would be named soon.

    I should have seen this coming.

    Those tweets prompted concern on Capitol Hill that Mr. Trump would circumvent Ms. Gordon. The next day, Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee, expressly referred to the fact that he looked forward to working with Ms. Gordon, calling her “a trusted partner.”

    Warner wants a loyalist who is loyal to him and to the United Nations:

    On Friday, Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who is the committee’s vice chairman, said that the law was “quite clear” that the acting role goes to the deputy when the director of national intelligence leaves and that Ms. Gordon had the Senate’s confidence. “It’s outrageous if the president is hoping to pass over this extremely qualified and experienced individual, the highest-ranking woman in O.D.N.I., in order to install a political loyalist as acting director,” he said.

    You better believe they are out to get him:

    Ms. Gordon’s experience is not necessarily a point in her favor for the White House, where Mr. Trump and his allies view the permanent bureaucracy of national security professionals with suspicion as a so-called deep state that may be out to get him.

    Mr. Trump and House Republicans have made clear that they believe a broad reorganization of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is needed. Administration officials and House Republicans also have said they would like someone at the agency who will work well with Attorney General William P. Barr, who has ordered a review of the intelligence agencies’ support for the F.B.I. as the bureau sought to understand Moscow’s covert efforts to tilt the 2016 election, including any links to the Trump campaign.

    There appears little chance that the Senate, which is currently gone for its summer recess, will swiftly confirm Mr. Ratcliffe, in light of the bipartisan skepticism about his qualifications and questions about the honesty of his résumé.

    The White House has bypassed the legally prescribed usual order of succession to appoint acting officials at several agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. It has obtained the approval of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to not follow succession statutes by instead invoking the complex Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

    Under the Vacancies Reform Act, a president may pick someone other than a No. 2 official to serve as acting head of an agency so long as that appointee is either a sufficiently senior official at the same agency or is currently serving in a Senate-confirmed position in the broader executive branch.

    Mr. Chesney noted that certain language in the 2004 law that created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is written more restrictively and in a way that he said strongly indicates Congress did not intend for the Vacancies Reform Act to be available for filling the position of director.

    However, he also flagged a complexity — one that resonates with the White House’s request for a list of senior officials at the office. According to the person familiar with internal thinking, the White House specifically wanted a list of “cadre” officials, meaning employees who work directly for the director’s office rather than employees of other agencies who are merely on a temporary assignment.

    An alternative, less obvious interpretation of the law, Mr. Chesney said, could be that a president may use the Vacancies Reform Act to install some senior agency official other than the No. 2 as acting director, so long as that appointee worked directly for the office and was not a detailee.

    He said that while this maneuver would require what he portrayed as a dubious interpretation of the law, it could create a way for what he viewed as a “happy result” — letting Ms. Gordon remain in place. The broader danger, he said, is that if the White House moves to bring in outsiders in both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, there would be no one atop the intelligence community who had “the benefit of a career person who knows how to run the place.”

    For now, Ms. Gordon continues to perform the duties of deputy director, an official said. On Friday, she was speaking at a security conference in Salt Lake City.

    Trump Won’t Let No. 2 Spy Chief Take Over When Coats Leaves
    By Julian E. Barnes and Charlie Savage
    Aug. 2, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/u...ue-gordon.html

    Losing control over the intelligence community frightens Democrats more than losing a liberal seat on the Supreme Court. President Trump’s fight to wrest control over the Director of National Intelligence from the global government crowd will not get 1/100th of the coverage a Supreme Court nominee gets. Needless to say whatever time television gives to coverage it will advance the U.N.’s worldview.

    Count on one thing. Democrats and RINO will turn Trump’s decision to appoint his own acting director into a bloodbath if need be. That is why I am hoping Trump will appoint his choice when Congress is on its August recess. Democrats will play hell trying to remove Trump’s choice after they return to town.

    Let me close with a connection between nuclear treaties and our intelligence community:

    And arms control experts say it's not difficult to convert existing air- or sea-based systems into the ground-based missile the Pentagon plans to test. "It is not a significant engineering task," said Jon Wolfsthal, director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and a former nuclear expert for the National Security Council under the Obama administration. "It's well within the capability of major defense contractors and the army to pull off."

    The end of the INF pact leaves the US and Russia with just one nuclear arms agreement, the New START Treaty, which governs strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems for each side. If New START isn't renewed or extended by 2021, the world's two largest nuclear powers would have no limits on their arsenals for the first time in decades.

    President Donald Trump's ambivalent comments about New START and national security advisor John Bolton's well-known dislike for arms control treaties have given rise to deep concern about a new nuclear arms race.

    US formally withdraws from nuclear treaty with Russia and prepares to test new missile
    By Veronica Stracqualursi, Nicole Gaouette, Barbara Starr and Kylie Atwood
    Updated 1:10 PM ET, Fri August 2, 2019

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/polit...sia/index.html

    Trump’s biggest mistake was not firing all of those Clinton-Obama holdovers as soon as he was sworn in; most especially not firing all of those holdovers planted in key positions in intelligence agencies.

    This article by Jon Wolfsthal is pro-START (anti-Trump). The excerpt is critical in understanding intelligence community thinking. To be precise —— the thinking of Cold War holdovers.

    The agreement entered into force in 2011 and will expire on February 5, 2021. However the agreement can be extended by executive agreement for up to five years, a step that would not require further Congressional approval. (The extension provision was included in the Treaty approved by the Senate.) Both the Joint Chiefs and the U.S. intelligence community support such an extension. Russia, for its part, has repeatedly and unconditionally offered to extend the agreement.

    However, key administration figures see two flaws in New START. For Ambassador Bolton, it is an arms control agreement. As others have pointed out, there is a long line of dead treaties in the national security adviser’s wake, and he apparently wants to add New START to the list. The other flaw, this time in the eyes of Donald Trump, is that the treaty was negotiated under President Obama. As with other agreements that have the full support of the U.S. military and intelligence community, including the Iran nuclear deal, Donald Trump appears willing to undo anything achieved by his predecessor as some kind of ego-driven vendetta.

    A US-Russia-China Arms Treaty? Extend New START First
    By Jon Wolfsthal
    May 2, 2019

    https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/201...-first/156693/


    I am wondering if Mikhail Gorbachev is interfering in the Senate confirmation process.

    Mikhail Gorbachev slammed President Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia that the former Soviet leader established with former President Reagan in 1987, saying in a Sunday interview with Interfax that Trump’s decision was not the work of “a great mind.” The New York Times reports that Gorbachev characterized the decision as a threat to global peace, arguing that “Under no circumstances should we tear up old disarmament agreements. Is it really that hard to understand that rejecting these agreements is, as the people say, not the work of a great mind.

    Mikhail Gorbachev: Trump’s Withdrawal From Russian Nuclear Treaty Is Not the Work of ‘a Great Mind’
    Published 10.21.18 6:29PM ET

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/mikhai...f-a-great-mind

    Whenever Gorby is in favor of anything our intelligence professionals better be against it.

    Incidentally, Nutso Nancy Pelosi and Mikhail Gorbachev have been as thick as thieves for close to 30 years.

    In 2006 the old Commie dictator praised then-Senator Clinton when he revealed that he occasionally conferred with her by telephone. He said:

    "She is a great woman, and she has some legitimate ambitions."

    By - The Washington Times
    Wednesday, March 13, 2002

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...-041010-6675r/

    Good ‘ol Gorby clearly considers Hillary Clinton’s loyalties “. . . the work of a great mind.”
    The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible. Eric Hoffer

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    I would call it Intelligence Agency Treason


    Ratcliffe Falls to Intelligence Agency Imperialism

    I would call Trump’s acts a yellow streak:


    President Trump’s withdrawal of the nomination of U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to be director of national intelligence on Friday is the latest of his acts of deference to an Intelligence Community that hindered his election and plays a key role in the ruling class’s subversion of his presidency.

    The identical talking points of politicians and pundits who railed against the Ratcliffe selection spooked Trump, and reflect the increasingly important domestic political role that the CIA and the FBI (though not the National Security Agency, which is mostly military) play within America’s ruling class.

    Presumably and inexplicably, the president will nominate yet another person to oversee that complex who will answer to itself and not to constitutional authority.

    The echo chambers of the Democratic Party, the establishment Republicans, and the media alleged that Ratcliffe would have been Trump’s defender. But these are the very people who have been trying to to take Trump down. We do not know what was in Ratcliffe’s mind, or in Trump’s. We know that the issues involved are bigger than either man. The agencies and the ruling class of which they are part would oppose with equal vigor any outsider who might disrupt their prerogatives.

    The following explains those prerogatives’ bases, and hence why challenging them should become a national priority.

    More than other parts of the modern administrative state, (or the deep state, or whatever you prefer to call it) and by virtue of the secrecy in which they must operate, these agencies have been able more vigorously to assert the classic claim that their officials are entitled to special deference because they know more than ordinary Americans and their elected officials. But their claim to special expertise is largely counterfactual.

    For all the wizards who have hidden behind the CIA’s and FBI’s curtains, this is old news. Nothing could be further from the truth than the assumption (prevalent even at Fox News) that 99 percent of their officers are competent patriots who keep us safe. No. In reality, they are standard-issue bureaucrats who count on the public’s credulity for their privileges. Given their proclivities, we should be grateful for their incompetence.

    The CIA, from its very founding, has filled the chasm between the mountain of what it claims to know and the mole hill of what it does know, by pretending that its opinions are facts. Politicians, press, and public are supposed to take its statements, that typically start with “we believe . . . ” or “we have high confidence that . . . ” as if they were founded on reliable secret sources. In fact, the CIA’s human intelligence, based as it is on “official cover,” has always been as ignorant as it has been gullible. Modern encryption has much reduced traditional communications intelligence’s usefulness. But agency people parry inquiry into the basis of their opinions by jutting the chin and asserting that any clarification would put lives in danger.

    Almost invariably, those of us who have had the power to push through this pretense have found it to be cover for politics, or for incompetence, or for garden-variety corruption. Or all of the above. Revelations in the course of the war on Trump about the networks of the agency’s friends of friends in cushy sinecures around the world are nothing new to congressional overseers who have kept track of these relationships.

    The FBI used to be different. That began to change beginning in the late 1970s under William Webster. After 9/11, as the FBI took on more a more obvious political role under Robert Mueller, the differences between its culture and CIA’s narrowed considerably.

    Concern for influence within and service to the ruling class became its leadership’s foremost concern, closely following the felt need to assert sufficiency in the face of circumstances that showed its insufficiency. Its inability to perform the anti-terrorist mission that had become primary—the failure to find out who bombed the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, who mailed the 2001 anthrax letters, to notice the obvious warnings of the Boston Marathon bombing (to name but a few) led the bureau toward the same paths taken by the CIA of integration into the ruling class, of dishonesty, and whoring after political influence.

    The Intelligence Community’s war on Trump is focusing national attention on the agencies’ incompetence and corruption. As the Justice Department’s investigations into the agencies’ interference in domestic politics unfold, the public should pay attention to how their conspiracies neglected basic competence, how they disregarded the need for even the mere appearance of truth—never mind truth itself—and how reliant they are on their own sense of entitlement.

    Their coordination with the media was and remains impressive in its thoroughness and efficiency; as were the number of people feeding the same talking points to the media apparently independently and authoritatively. They planted stories, then used them as the bases for investigations, the very existence of which they used to foment yet more stories. But the transmutation of innocent events into causes celebres through mere addition of luridly presented pretend-detail are marks of low-grade agitprop. These people were playing with the political destiny of a great nation, and acted like the spoiled self indulgent little people they are.

    These people, whose workaday products are of even lower quality, are the ones to whom we entrust—excluding the cost of military intelligence—some $50 billion, as well as the presumptive power of secrecy. These are the people who have claimed the right to decide with whom elected congressmen, senators, and presidents may discuss the nation’s secrets.

    President Trump’s reticence and the delusions of Fox News notwithstanding, it is time for the American people to demand adult supervision for these sorcerers’ apprentices.

    Ratcliffe Falls to Intelligence Agency Imperialism
    By Angelo Codevilla
    August 2nd, 2019

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/08/02/r...y-imperialism/


    Since this thread is about the intelligence community, I would like to hear intelligence professionals weigh in on Hong Kong.


    Trump must challenge China over Hong Kong
    by Washington Examiner
    August 03, 2019 12:00 AM

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/o...over-hong-kong

    In my opinion there is not much President Trump can do unless he is willing to interfere in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation. That is not going to happen. Democrats will not go against Communist China. More to the point, Democrat-appointed intelligence professionals are the only so-called Americans who would agree with China’s interference in this country’s affairs.


    Trump must challenge China over Hong Kong
    by Washington Examiner
    August 03, 2019 12:00 AM

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/o...over-hong-kong

    Trump’s hands are tied in Hong Kong. Conversely, trustworthy agents in the CIA can best help the people in Hong Kong by doing what the CIA is supposed to do best: Devise and execute clandestine plots to protect this country’s interests.

    Trump does have one option of a sort. He can look to Ronald Reagan for guidance.


    . . . Xi Jinping who thinks he is Leroy Brown and a whole lot meaner than a junkyard dog.




    The folks demonstrating in Hong Kong better find a way to lock their junkyard dog in a cage if they want to hang onto a modicum of freedom:

    https://www.justplainpolitics.com/sh...18#post2908118

    My point: RR tongue-lashed Gorbachev who was a much meaner junkyard dog than is Xi Jinping:


    What Reagan told Gorbachev

    Likewise, the movie short-changes credit on the human-rights side. While it shows that Charlie Wilson had rightly and quite commendably informed Congressional liberals about the horror of Soviet-made booby-trapped toys blowing limbs off Afghan children, Ronald Reagan went much further, directly excoriating Mikhail Gorbachev for this vicious tactic. Reagan courageously did so, to the shock of his moderate advisers, in his first one-on-one with Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit in November 1985.

    An angry, seething Reagan -- as emotionally attached to the Afghan suffering as was Charlie Wilson -- concluding his reprimand of Gorbachev by snapping at the Soviet leader: "Are you still trying to take over the world?" Gorbachev was visibly shaken, staring at Reagan in silence, mouth agape, with a stunned expression. Reagan arms control director Ken Adelman, a witness, called Reagan's words in that exchange the most "harsh indictment of Soviet behavior ever delivered to the top Soviet man." Reagan biographer Edmund Morris reported that the only person who appeared more flabbergasted was the State Department note-taker.

    January 12, 2008
    Whose War? Separating Fact from Fiction in 'Charlie Wilson's War'
    By Paul Kengor

    https://www.americanthinker.com/arti...fact_from.html

    Remember that Gorbachev was one of the Communist dictators responsible for the nine years of brutality the Afghan people suffered at the hands of Soviet Communists. The war, and the unbelievable savagery, was started by Leonid Brezhnev and continued under Gorbachev. To hear Gorbachev’s admirers tell it the old butcher never did a bad thing in his life.

    Here is an idea for a CIA plot for intelligence mavens: Rig it so the United Nations International Criminal Court charges a guilty Communist warmonger with war crimes?
    The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible. Eric Hoffer

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    UPDATE



    The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible. Eric Hoffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flanders View Post
    I would call Trump’s acts a yellow streak:
    Trump's yellow streak is getting wider:

    Donald Trump Supports Expanding Background Checks; No ‘Political Appetite’ for Assault Weapons Ban
    by Charlie Spiering
    7 Aug 2019

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...t-weapons-ban/
    Last edited by Flanders; 08-07-2019 at 02:29 PM.
    The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible. Eric Hoffer

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    Ratcliffe had no intelligence background nor was he thought of as a qualified candidate, even by rightys. He was another Trump terrible choice who showed Trump loyalty. That is the qualification he cares about. The choice was shocking to the rightys too.
    When it came out how bad he was, Trump was asked about why he does not vet. He actually said the press does it for him. Can you imagine that? It is crazy.

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