Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
Better late than never; but dang, this is really late. – The Washington Times reported on Wednesday that National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien is finally getting around to radically reducing the staff of the illegal leak factory and nest of subversion that is the National Security Council. This is a job that should have been done during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, but didn’t because President Trump’s first pick for the job, General H.R. McMaster, was himself a deep state leaker, and his second choice, John Bolton, was a neocon whose only interest was in finding ways to keep us in interminable wars in the Middle East and trying to provoke new ones.
With Mr. O’Brien, who just came into the job this past September, the President appears to have finally found a man who understands the internal threat the NSC staff have represented to this Administration and is focused on ending that threat. The way to end it is to rid the agency of its myriad subversive staff, and the best way to do that is with a massive, targeted down-sizing. From the Washington Times piece:
The White House National Security Council staff is being downsized sharply in a bid to improve efficiency within the policy coordinating body by consolidating positions and cutting staff.
A second, unspoken thrust of the overhaul is a hoped-for end to what many critics see as a string of politically damaging, unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information. Leaks of President Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders and other damaging disclosures likely originated with anti-Trump officials in the White House who stayed over from the Obama administration, according to several current and former White House officials.
White House National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien is leading the NSC reform effort. He revealed in a recent interview with The Washington Times that 40 to 45 NSC staff officials were sent back in recent months to the agencies where they originally worked, with more likely to be moved out.
Not surprisingly, the NSC staff became absurdly bloated during the Obama Adminstration – which bloated every agency of the federal government – as the secretive, radical control freaks on the Obama senior staff attempted to centralize functions better done within the State or Defense Departments (or, frankly, not done at all) within the White House:
Under President Obama, the NSC staff mushroomed to as many as 450 people. Mr. O’Brien plans to cut the staff to fewer than 120 policy officials by early next year.
The downsizing will be carried out by consolidating positions and returning officials to agencies and departments such as the CIA, the State and Defense departments and the military.
Mr. O’Brien noted that the NSC had a policymaking staff of 12 in 1962 when President Kennedy faced down the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis. During the 2000s and the George W. Bush administration, the number of NSC staff members increased sharply to support the three-front conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism.
However, it was during the Obama administration that the NSC was transformed into a major policymaking agency seeking to duplicate the functions of the State and Defense departments within the White House.
“The NSC staff became bloated during the prior administration,” Mr. O’Brien said. “The NSC is a coordinating body. I am trying to get us back to a lean and efficient staff that can get the job done, can coordinate with our interagency partners, and make sure the president receives the best advice he needs to make the decisions necessary to keep the American people safe.”
In the Obama administration, NSC officials wielded enormous power. NSC staff members were known to telephone commanders in Afghanistan and other locations in the Middle East with orders — a violation of the military’s strict chain of command, said military officials familiar with the calls.
The problems with disloyalty and leaking on the NSC staff have been myriad since the day President Trump assumed office. McMaster was an Obama loyalist to begin with, and refused to do any house-cleaning during his two years in the job, and Bolton was simply disinterested in getting the crucial house-cleaning done.
The poster child for the NSC’s disloyalty to the current Administration and propensity for leaking classified information is, of course, Alexander Vindman, who became a key witness for the Democrat impeachment clown show. Although O’Brien said in November that Vindman would be rotated back to his previous job at the Department of Defense, he remains on the NSC staff today. Hopefully, he will be one of the early casualties of this downsizing.
The subversive nature of many on the staff at the NSC has been an intolerable situation since Day 1 of the Trump Administration. It is long past time someone began to address it. Kudos to Mr. O’Brien for being the guy to finally get it done.
That is all.
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