The Trump Administration is Succeeding
Recently, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote an Op-Ed piece called What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like.
Brooks makes the point that the Trump Administration is losing in the polls, that Trump himself appears increasingly unhinged and histrionic and the staff is enmeshed in internecine warfare. He concludes by saying:
The likelihood is this: We’re going to have an administration that has morally and politically collapsed, without actually going away.
This is not only bullshit, but it is exceedingly dangerous bullshit.
I agree that by all standard measures, the Trump administration is failing. Trump himself is failing to do the expected job of a President and appears to be fundamentally unfit to do this job. Yes opinion polls are at extreme lows, and political appointments are starting to be blocked. News stories are circulating as are a record level of leaks.
My point is this: all standard measures are useless.
Playing a Different Game
The problem with all of this pundit-driven news analysis is that it’s like asking a soccer commentator in 1972 to analyze who was winning the Munich Olympics — the Israeli soccer team, or the Black September terrorists who kidnapped and killed eleven of their athletes and coaches and a police officer after a 16-hour standoff. They are analyzing a game according to rules that are irrelevant. They don’t get it. They think Trump and Bannon are playing soccer, by the rules of soccer. Trump was not hired to do the job of a president, he was hired to be a wrecking ball to destroy the Washington establishment. By that measure he is doing a great job, and is certainly not failing.
“Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they” — I believe by “they” he means liberals and the media, already promoting calls for his ouster — “get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
Hope is not a Solution
The rest of this article consists of a series of conjectures and speculations based on the words of Steve Bannon. I am not asserting that this is what will happen next. I am asserting that if anything remotely resembling the scenario described below happens, the consequence is the end of the United States as we know it. Because the consequences of this possibility are so severe, awareness of this possibility and discussion of how it can be prevented need to happen, now.
I hope to God I’m wrong and this is all a paranoid fantasy.
Turning the NSC into the KGB
The political pundits and news media are absolutely blind to what they are doing. All of the histrionics of Trump are a smoke screen for something much more dark and along the lines of “Dick Cheney, Darth Vader and Satan”. There are a handful of key intelligence systems such as Echelon that can be used to wiretap at extreme scales. With the power to wiretap all members of Congress and the general public, the Administration will have the ability to aggressively pursue a McCarthy-esque purge of congress and the ability to silence political opposition.
Deep Gov Backlash
Newsweek reported on the wiretap protocol and technology used by the NSA to detect the deception of Flynn which led to his ouster as NSC Adviser. Newsweek quoted here:
The rules for handling an intercept of a conversation between an official of the American government and the target of surveillance differ in some substantial ways from those used for average citizens. The recording would be deemed “raw FISA-acquired material,’’ some of the NSA’s most highly classified information. Then that recording or a transcript of it would be read into one of the four surveillance programs codenamed RAGTIME. There are RAGTIME-A, -B, -C, and -P. Most likely, according to one former government official with ties to the intelligence community, the conversation would have been analyzed through RAGTIME-B, which relates to communications from a foreign territory into the United States (the Russian embassy is considered sovereign land of that country). The conversation could not have fallen under RAGTIME-A, because that involves only foreign-to-foreign communications. RAGTIME-C deals with anti-proliferation matters and RAGTIME-P is for counterterrorism. (This is the infamous warrantless wiretapping program, with “P” standing for the post-9/11 law, the Patriot Act.)
At the moment, it appears as if Bannon has not been able to seize control of the intelligence apparatus (as evidenced by the ouster of Flynn and the leaks — but when he does we will have an intelligence agency modeled after the KGB operating in the United States.
Kompromat: Political Control via Intelligence
The KGB playbook for this is called “Kompromat” and it consists of obtaining compromising intelligence on anyone, political ally or opponent. I won’t comment on the widespread rumors that Putin has kompromat on Donald Trump, but rather that this technique is a well known part of the Putin KGB playbook. A recent example would be to understand the implications of having intelligence briefings on a politician like former house speaker Dennis Hastert. Hastert as we know is one of few United States congresspersons to be sentenced to prison for raping young boys. With similar intel on sitting legislators, the ability to control congress significantly improves for the administration.
Admiration for the “Killer” Putin
In Russia, the political opposition to Putin has been completely silenced through a suspected bold widespread campaign of assassinations including beatings, stranglings, poisonings and public shootings. When asked by Fox News why he admired Putin who was described as a “killer”, Trump told Fox News “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?” So the mood in the white house is not above applying such techniques. The role of the CIA in “targeted killings” in the case of Al Qaeda operatives is well documented, in the case of foreign leaders it’s certainly suspected. Putin was described by Trump as admirable because of his “great control over his country.”
Assassination can permanently eliminate both foreign and domestic political opposition and establish the 50 year government envisioned by Bannon. From his perch within the National Security Council, Bannon now has the authority within the National Security Council (NSC) to authorize the assassination of US citizens, as was already done in the case in September of 2011 when a CIA drone strike was approved against Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda militant who was born in New Mexico.
What Bannon needs is a patriotic puppet that can be used to stand in front of the intelligence agencies, while the true power resides with him. This is why Flynn was ousted and why both Petraeus and Harward refused the job of National Security Adviser. From TheHill.com:
“Whoever it is that would agree to take that position certainly should do so with some very, very significant assurances that he or she would have authorities over the personnel of the organization, that there would be a commitment to a disciplined process and procedures,” Petraeus said at the Munich Security Conference.
Officials told the WSJ that the White House wasn’t open to Petraeus’s demands.
Update: H.R. McMaster was appointed today as National Security Adviser. It appears that McMaster was given control over his staff by the White House. If it’s true, it’s possible that Priebus (politics) is getting leverage over Bannon (ideology).
Reality TV and Social Media Smokescreen
The narrative that the administration is failing is missing the point and falling for the social media smokescreen Trump is creating. Those who are underestimating the intelligence of the administration are missing the point deeply. All of the crazy behavior is a smokescreen, and a very shiny attractive target for news media, social media and pundits. Even dramatic cabinet appointments can be seen as a sideshow to misdirect the attention of the people from the seizure of the intelligence apparatus that can be used to control this country. There is a fool sitting at the table and it isn’t Trump or his cronies. Yes Saturday Night Live is funny. But they aren’t laughing and neither should we be. All the narratives that Trump is mentally defective, crazy or foolish are based on the assumption that he and his team are not deliberately manufacturing this reality television program for other purposes.
Note that both Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are successful media executives, Trump himself being a successful reality TV actor and Bannon having made money twice on Seinfeld and then again on Breitbart news. These are people who understand the power of media and are using it to advantage.
Executive Orders and Wartime Powers
By destabilizing the geopolitical order and creating a war of civilizations in the Middle East it increases instability and the potential for war and expansion of the possibility of spectacular acts of terrorism. This would allow the Administration to acquire the equivalent of wartime powers without the consent of congress. Francis Biddle, F.D.R.’s attorney general wrote “The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime president,” about the 1942 decision to put Japanese-Americans into concentration camps in the US. Today, February 19th 2017 is the anniversary of the date that President Franklin Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This reads in part:
Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.
Engineering a Reichstag Fire Event
Another historical parallel would be the Reichstag Fire Decree (German: Reichstagsbrandverordnung) in which the mysterious burning of the German Reichstag triggered the suspension of civil rights and led to the Enabling Act of 1933, which was the legal enactment of dictatorship in Germany.
Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State
On the basis of Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence: § 1.Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
Suspension of Due Process, Speech, Civil Rights
If you read the preamble text of Executive Order 13769, nicknamed the “Muslim Ban” you will see a similar rationale for the suspension of civil rights of due process.
Executive Order 13769 of January 27, 2017
Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows
Even without a war or terrorist attack, the Administration can use the combination of legal and lethal force to take control of the intelligence services, or to create a shadow intelligence service using a subset of loyal operatives from existing agencies.
Dick Cheney, Darth Vader and Satan
Bannon himself said it most clearly, he intends to establish a 50 year reign and compared himself to Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII, the king who usurped the power of the church and changed the foundation of the authority for the British monarchy. He states clearly that he benefits from “them” getting it wrong and being blind to what they are doing. His admiration for Dick Cheney, Darth Vader and Satan and the admiration and ties of this administration to Vladimir Putin’s Russia (Putin himself was a 16 year veteran of the Russian KGB) make it clear which way the puck is going.
The goal of this writing is to raise awareness of a possible scenario that the News Media appears to be missing, and to begin a discussion about how prevent such an outcome if it were already underway.
If you’re interested in this effort, please share this article and comment below.