Friday, January 06, 2017

This Could End With a Bullet

Former CIA director James Woolsey bailed out on Donald Trump yesterday.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, a veteran of four presidential administrations and one of the nation's leading intelligence experts, resigned on Thursday from president-elect Donald Trump's transition team because of growing tensions over Trump's vision for intelligence agencies.

Woolsey's resignation as a Trump senior adviser comes amid frustrations over the incoming administration's national security plans and Trump's public comments undermining the intelligence community.

People close to Woolsey said that he had been excluded in recent weeks from discussions on intelligence matters with Trump and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the incoming White House national security adviser.

Trump choosing to get his intelligence from Gen. Michael "Alternate Reality" Flynn is not going to go down well with America's massive intelligence/national security apparatus.

Prominent Republican officials in top echelon spots at America's intelligence agencies released open letters before Trump won his party's nomination and again before he sort of won the election, warning that the Great Orange Bloat was a threat to America's security and a danger to world peace. Now, in just two weeks, he'll have his hands on America's nuclear launch codes even as he outright rejects the views and evidence put forward by the intelligence community.

Sorry but I still think this could end with a bullet.


Scotian said...

I would not be at all surprised. A point I had been making for months before the debacle of Nov 9 2016 was that the "black" world had to be really really disturbed by the idea of President Trump given what they would have to be aware of given the nature of their work and world. Since the "election" of Trump (and I use air quotes because I do not consider this a legitimate nor honest win based on the Russia involvement AND James Comey's unheard of intervention days before the election in a manner that had entirely predictable results) I have been assuming that the part of the world most absolutely freaked out by this possibility wasn't the left, wasn't the right, wasn't the Dems, wasn't the GOP. No, it was the "black" world, the Intelligence Community.

They cannot afford to allow themselves to be too blinded by partisanship and ideology because it not only interferes with their ability to do their jobs (bad enough) but because it can cause them to make fatal mistakes, to their work and to their lives and the lives of those they care about. I grew up with close family in this world, and have been fascinated by it since childhood and have spent a lot of time understanding it as best one can without the access and clearances.

So I am more than a little familiar with the ways of that world, and normally I would be saying to you that you are being hyperbolic and over the top in suggesting this could end up with a bullet coming from that part of the western world. Normally. We however do not live in normal anymore, and I fear you are right, and worse, I find myself in the highly uncomfortable and disturbing place of actually finding a part of myself hoping for it.

As bad as I find Pence on so many levels, he lacks the kind of unpredictable insanity Trump has repeatedly shown, along with his massive insecurity issues with his tender overblown ego. Pence would be a social policy nightmare and not the most stable foreign policy leader, but he would likely be within some basic norms for GOPers left to his own devices. Trump literally could destabilize a world order of structure that has kept this planet and our species from wiping ourselves out first in the Cold War and then in its end the release of all those decades of pent up energy from that decades long experience. And while I do not think most Trump supporters see this, including his post Nov 9 converts within the party, I do think the IC does, and that means I find it more than plausible they would act in the manner you suggest.

Better to be seen as some sort of live (or even dead) assassin who saves the world from the Orange Insanity than to see everything so many millions have worked for over so long thrown away and all the lives sacrificed along the way made worthless and futile.

Yes, I really do think the IC is in a very uncomfortable and terrifying place. LEOs may like authoritarians, most serious IC people I've ever known, not so much.

Anonymous said...

I trust the 'intelligence community.' Not at all compulsive liars. When they torture people it hurts them more than it does the 'evil doers'. When they overthrow democratic governments they had it coming. When they train death squads, they're just clearing out the deadwood.

I love the fact that whenever I, or anyone else, talks on the phone, sends an email or posts some comment on some idiotic blog they have that information stored away in some database somewhere. It makes me feel safe. I love Big Brother!

Scotian said...

Anonymous@4:09 PM:

You love your own fantasy, not the reality. That is like saying every person that wears a military uniform is some sort of violence enamored risk junkie with no sense of morality nor ethics. Sure you can find examples of such within those world, sometimes in fairly senior levels, but that is more a function of human nature than anything else.

The serious people, those that truly live and commit to working in the world of silence and secrets, most of them are people that do not deserve what you just did. What you did is how the right wingers paint anyone not of their own mentality on this sort of thing, and help them with their propagandizing the world and any of their foes, which we both are, if we clearly come from different perspectives here.

All power can be abused, and all too often is so, sometimes with the noblest and best intentions, sometimes by the design of the most disgusting veniality, but in either it is not as black and white as you make it out to be. Not even close, and by doing so in as dismissive a manner as you did, to a post that was meant to be serious and nuanced, well, it shows not your sophistication, not your insight, just your childlike view of the world in such simplistic terms.

We are living in truly uncertain and dangerous times, and you make it sound like more of the same. This isn't more of the same anymore. If you can't see this that is bad enough, worse yet though is if you do but fail to either grasp the wider import or worse lack the caring beyond how it affects your own narrow perspective on things. Or yet other equally unpleasant options, I really cannot know your core motives for anything, ,I can only judge by what you present for us all, and judging by that you got this.

Some of us take this seriously, and realize this is far less simple than some would have it appear, and that is at the best of times, which these assuredly are not, at least not once we have President Trump in truth. To quote VP Biden recently, Grow UP.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks, Scotian. Well put.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

Well, Anon reveals himself, yet again, to be the ill-tempered, foul-mouthed troll whose natural affinity for Trump is so predictable. I really must speak to his mum and get his basement computer privileges revoked.

Scotian said...

De nada MoS.

Seriously, this is one area where my patience for fools and twits is very low. I was not exaggerating in the slightest my history regarding the black world, and I find such stupidity being interjected into what is a very serious discussion and situation more than a little irritating, as my reply to anonymous clearly demonstrated. As always I call them as I see them, and in this case that is exactly how I see it.

Anonymous said...

Scotian could get off his high horse and Anon who spews obscenities could grow up.
Both are right in the narrow sense, though.
What Scotian forgets to properly discuss is the overall path in which those "black" world (or "open world" a.k.a. US army) forces are directed. And by whom. Relatively few people occupying position of power, acting as as clique, can dramatically skew the course of history.
Do names like Pearle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Bolton, Cheney ring the bell?
P.S. Apparently Woolsey was close with Rumsfeld

The Mound of Sound said...

A..non, you've neatly fingered the cast of PNAC, The Project for the New American Century. They weren't part of America's intelligence community when they surfaced during the Clinton years. Rather they were a decidedly bellicose ideological movement. Their manifesto, published on their web site, was - no exaggeration - chilling. Bush brought PNAC's Cheney into the White House and Cheney brought the others. Once inside they established a parallel "intelligence" apparatus that seemed to mainly operate to defeat the CIA, DIA, NSA by intercepting and "revising" the intelligence allowed to reach Bush.

I vividly recall stumbling across the PNAC web site toward the end of the Clinton era. It was profoundly disturbing stuff including advocating the use of force against any nation or group of nations that might at any time in the future be seen to rival America's military or economic dominance.

What I'm suggesting is that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Feith, Pearle and Libby aren't helpful to your argument.

Scotian said...

Why THANK you MoS, you saved me the bother of explaining why his examples were all the same toxic crew and did not make his argument. As well, I would have thought it obvious, no indeed central/core to, the overall argument I was making about how the black world is controlled by the civilian leadership that has them so freaked out over Trump in the first place especially when compared to how even relatively sane foreign policy agenda kooks, on both left and right, can go and the general shape and plan accordingly. Trump doesn't fit that parameter though, which is, why, I find myself in the unusual position of seeing myself agreeing with you about there being the real chance of his Presidency not only ending via a violent means, but triggered by said domestic black community or a close ally's! Worse yet, I find a part of myself hoping for it, something no western political leader has ever truly made me feel/desire in my entire life. Not feel sorry for if it happened, sure, but actively desiring it, even if only as that ashamed we can have within us? No, that's a new one for me.

Adam L Silverman, who is one the front pagers at in the US is also both well informed and well experienced with this world in the American community. In a somewhat related comment reply he made to someone I just read which actually caused me to check back to this specific thread sums up a lot of this. This is a very serious man who has spent his life working in the public policy realm in these areas and while more in the white side of the security side of things clearly well familiar and at least somewhat experienced in the black as well to the limits he can expose, with the realities of the deep and dark side too. I'm quoting it here for you because I think it is very much on point:

"I’m sure some of them are on heavy Maalox usage. Others are not self aware enough to know what is really driving them. What needs to be understood is that for the foreseeable future the US is likely facing a toxic leadership situation. I wish it was otherwise. I hope it is otherwise, but hope is not a strategy. As I wrote in several comments early today: you want the President to succeed. This is overall, not on any specific item or part of a specific President’s agenda. You want him to be effective. Because a President that fails and is ineffective is not good for the US, our partners, and/or our allies."

I find it interesting we both were well aware of the PNAC document and agenda/members back in the Clinton years, and had much the same reaction to it. When GWB became President and I saw who Cheney was filling his Office with, I knew it was going to be bad. Once 9/11/01 happened I knew it was a matter of time. indeed, I was initially surprised they went after Afghanistan and in such an intelligent manner (of course turns out they ran off of plans from the Clinton years done by CIA), but the first signs of the turn to Iraq, and I knew EXACTLY what dark road we were about to head down. Like others, I played Cassandra over this, but we all know the end result.

I love folks who say I'm the one on the high horse just because I insist on trying to play fair with reality and I also try to have informed opinions on matters before I pontificate/opine on them. I know, an old fashioned standard, but there you go. I really love it when the one thing they claim I get right and then apparently not right enough is not only wrong, but is the actual core of the argument put forward in the first place. That takes a special kind of snowflake to pull THAT off.

Anonymous said...

Mound and Scotian both somehow missed my post scriptum.

...core members of the PNAC including Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Zoellick, and John Bolton...