Sunday, April 2, 2017

Trump—Putin / Russian Saga Continues: Trump Wants to Control Intelligence Ops

Trump Wants Total  Control Himself
(May get Bannon and Kushner to re-model it)
[click image for larger view]

NOTICE: This post is very long – but I strongly believe it is perhaps the most-critical subject to date that I have ever posted about here:

This story from the AP is very troubling and extremely disturbing on this subject:

It appears that President Donald J. Trump wants to follow the Vladimir Putin/Russian model used by other strong-armed dictators to run the nation’s well-established intelligence operations as a one-man show.

That is, Trump wants total control of and over the entire American intelligence community (IC) and all 16 major agencies and sub-divisions presently under the umbrella and leadership of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI):

1.  Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
2.  Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
3.  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
4.  National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA).
5.  National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
6.  National Security Agency (NSA).

Introduction to American Intelligence Community:

The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is a federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and national security of the United States. Member organizations of the IC include intelligence agencies, military intelligence, and civilian intelligence and analysis offices within federal executive departments. The DNI reports directly to the President of the United States. Among their varied responsibilities, the members of the IC collect and produce foreign and domestic intelligence, contribute to military planning, and perform espionage. The IC was established by Executive Order 12333, signed on December 4, 1981, by then President Ronald Reagan.
As of 2010, there were some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies in 10,000 locations in the United States that worked on counter-terrorism, homeland security, and intelligence. The IC as a whole includes some 854,000 people holding top-secret clearances. As of 2008, the DNI reported that private contractors made up 29% of that workforce and accounted for 49% of their personnel budgets.
Key points from the above article follow to fit the blog – the whole article is at the link – it’s quite long (my emphasis added):

1.  Suspicions are that President Donald J. Trump is seeking to manipulate America's spy community for political gain.

2.  Trump challenges the integrity of most, if not all U.S. intelligence agencies and key officials.

3.  Trump has moved to exert more control over those agencies – he even as we all recall, brazenly accused Barack Obama of using those agencies to monitor his presidential campaign at Trump Tower (I Note: Has been widely disputed).

4. Trump faces allegations that it funneled secret intelligence reports to the top House Republican Intel Chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) – Note:  More on Nunes and all that is further on this blog). That House committee is looking into Moscow's interference in the 2016 election (I Note: Has been widely confirmed).

5. Trump's approach to dealing with the nation's spy agencies appears to be based, at least in part, on the White House's anxiety over the Russia investigations, which threaten to seriously weaken his presidency (I Note: Thus, he feels he needs to control the situation and thus the agencies – that is the Putin approach with for example running and funding RT in Russia – the state-funded and run media web).

6. There is deep distrust about the intelligence community among Trump’s top political advisers who want to push major change: Stephen Bannon (formerly CEO of Breitbart) and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who knows zero, squat, nothing about government, let alone intelligence) (More on that below also), plus a few other newcomers who have never dealt with classified information or covert programs.

The former head of both the CIA and NSA, Michael Hayden says: “This all reveals a chasm of ignorance about how stuff is done.”

On that note: Close political advisers Bannon and Kushner initially sought to put Wall Street billionaire Stephen Feinberg in charge of a review of the intelligence agencies to review and explore eliminating the DNI office which is the umbrella agency created after 911 attacks for the purpose “to streamline and coordinate all American intelligence agencies.” Many around Trump view the DNI unnecessary and bloated used to “manipulate or distort information” and that is needs to be eliminated – it has to go they say.

However, that view after a review by the current newly appointed DNI, former Senator Dan Coasts (R-IN) vigorously opposes that view. Coats is now leading the review, though it does not include potentially scrapping the office that he now runs.

(I note: I wonder why not that difference in attitude with the other Trumpets? Oh, yeah. Coats now knows how important the DNI and agencies are, unlike novices like Trump, Bannon, Kushner, and the others who do not. It is amazing what insight does for one, isn’t it?).

Some now say: “This effort is going to be more on the trim and optimize as opposed to dismantle,” (says L. Roger Mason, Jr., an executive with the nonprofit Noblis and a member of the Trump transition team that focused on the national intelligence directorate).

Thus, Trump is now looking for other ways seize the reins of the intelligence in the country with these possible changes:

1.  Have raw intelligence sent directly to the president for his daily briefings instead of an analysis of information compiled by the agencies in his daily brief.

2.  The change would give Trump and White House advisers more control about the assessments given to him and sidelined some of the conclusions made by intelligence professionals.

(I Note: In other words they take the basic raw data and make it fit their agenda – not necessarily what the dozen or so agencies assess is more concise and complete).

3. That focus and approach of accessing raw intelligence rather than hard more comprehensive review appears to have been a priority for Michael Flynn – now under scrutiny by the House and Senate intelligence committees. , who was ousted as national security adviser after less than one month on the job. H.R. McMaster now charge of the NSC is expected to exert more control over the NSC but he has found himself struggling to overcome skepticism among Flynn holdovers who have the ear of Bannon – that could be a huge problem for McMaster.

(I Note: This ties into the Nunes scandal and W/H leaks also seen below: Earlier in March, some CIA leaders raised concerns with McMaster about an intelligence director on his staff (Ezra Cohen-Watnick).

Then McMaster moved to replace Watnick, but Watnick appealed to Bannon and Kushner directly and they got Trump to intervene to save Watnick’s job – now look how that turned out.

Former director Hayden said Trump and his advisers appear to be missing the fact that such sensitive and critical intelligence information is collected to give the government insight into the thinking of foreign powers that can be used to Washington's advantage, and Mr. Trump would have had access to much of this information even before it was leaked to Nunes, Hayden added: “These people wrote the reports NOT for the Obama administration but for the American government, with full knowledge that whatever they were writing would be accessible by any president-elect or then as president.”

Now here were are with Trump wanting to run the whole show himself and use advisers cut from his same cloth.

As I said, that is Putin's approach and style and method; pure and simple: one-man strong arm tactics. That is how all dictators run their countries, whether a Putin (or past Stalin) in Russia; or a Kim, Jung-un in North Korea; or a Bashar Al-Assad in Syria; or, some other wannabe warlord or tyrant in Yemen, or someplace else in a radically controlled non-democratic war-torn land.

But, certainly that must never be allowed here in the United States now or ever, period…!!!

If it were to happen (it must not), then it would be tantamount or analogous to seeing a criminal, or bunch of criminals run and control the police, investigators, lawyers, judges, juries, and appellate courts to gain the outcome that favors them and that in turn would enable them to get what they wanted: Absolute power and control. That is not the America I know or that I want – what about you?

Stay close to this one … it’s a biggie as they say.

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