National Security

Reading time – 4:49  .  .  .

If you’ve watched the news you’ve heard the worries expressed by knowledgeable people that Trump’s refusal to allow Biden’s people access to information during the transition was putting our nation at risk. The most persuasive warning I’ve seen is from Susan Rice, who has been on both the incoming and outgoing sides of presidential transitions. Read her clear and well-reasoned comments here. She ends with,

“Tragically, but not surprisingly, Mr. Trump appears determined to take a final wrecking ball to our democracy and national security on his inevitable way out the door.”

Speaking of wrecking balls bashing our democracy, have a look at what Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is doing to sabotage our economy on his way out the door.

While Trump has backed off enough to allow the beginning of Biden’s transition, damage has already been done. It’s critical that you see what Trump is doing to your democracy and your security.

Whatever his self-serving reasons, he’s putting you at risk. If you think that risk is far away, ask the opinions of the survivors of the Tree of Life Synagogue or the Mother Emanuel AME Church massacres or the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Read the threat assessments of ISIS, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China and our home grown white supremacists who commit a minimum of 67% of our domestic terrorism. There are bad guys who just might want to do us harm and who may think that our lack of preparedness due to Trump’s transition temper tantrum is just the right time to take action.

Example: Trump has foolishly announced a troop withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan, the very thing for which he repeatedly excoriated President Obama. And as he’s weakening our troop strength he’s simultaneously announcing his plan (or at least desire) to bomb Iran’s nuclear facility. You don’t suppose the Iranians might be a bit upset about being bombed or being threatened with bombing and might want to hit back, do you? Bear in mind that our forces will have been reduced in the area and we’ll be in a transition to our new administration that Trump has hobbled. And also bear in mind that Trump’s transition refusal means that Biden and his people will begin their work partially in the blind and without Senate approved cabinet leads. They’ll have to lead the military starting from this Trump-caused ignorance and hobbling of our military missions. Those very troops are the ones on whose heads Putin put bounties and for whom our Commander in Chief said and did nothing to protect them. His silence said plainly that Trump doesn’t have their backs, and Biden will have to start from the hole Trump put us in. Who benefits?

Example: We have an agreement with 34 nations – the Open Skies Treaty – that allows aerial observation for the purpose of detecting and deterring bad behavior, like troop build-ups near a border, placement of missiles and more. It allows us to overfly Russia. We execute that operation with a pair of OC-135B aircraft specially fitted out for the job. Trump just withdrew us from the agreement and has ordered the immediate demolition of these aircraft. If a foreign nation took those actions against us we’d call that an act of war. What is the proper term for when the President of the United States undermines our national security in that way, blinding our Department of Defense, as well as those of our allies? Note that Biden will have to lead our foreign affairs without the benefit of those eyes in the sky. Who benefits?

For more on the effects and dangers of Trump’s intransigent temper tantrum, watch or listen to The Inter-Generational Politics Podcast with Jill Wine-Banks and Victor Shi, as they interview Chris Lu, former United States Deputy Secretary of Labor and Assistant to the President. Whatever your worries about the consequences of Trump stiff-arming the incoming Biden/Harris administration, I assure you that things are worse.

You might want to mention your concerns to your Republican Senators and Congressperson, because right now nearly all of them are enabling the damage Trump is doing.

It Ain’t Conservative when
    • The President drives us into a $1.9 trillion debt
    • The President fails to protect our troops against a foreign enemy
    • the President sides with the leader of a foreign enemy over our 17 intelligence agencies.
    • The President installs know nothing dweebs to head our key government departments
    • The President tries to manufacture evidence of fraud in order to steal an election he obviously lost
    • The President essentially ignores a pandemic and allows hundreds of thousands of Americans to die
    • The President creates trade tariffs that cost over 75,000 American jobs and he has to shovel money to farmers in welfare payments because he’s alienated a key trading partner
    • The President aggressively alienates allies
    • The president attempts to pressure state election officials fraudulently overturn the will of the people and appoint Trump friendly elecors

It isn’t liberal either.

You already know that there is more – pages more. Apologies if I’ve missed some of your favorites. What is significant is not that Trump has done all these un-American, anti-conservative, anti-progressive things. We’ve known from the start that he is all show and no go. What is significant is the monumental cowardice of Republicans in Congress to stand up to him and stop his attack on our safety and our democracy.

Even now, in the face of Trump’s self-inflicted victimhood and baseless attempts to overturn a free and fair election, most Republicans are either silent about the election or are gaggingly disingenuous in their refusal to speak to the topic. They are masters of verbal blather to change the subject. These cowards are afraid of their constituents or Trump or both and haven’t the integrity to speak against what they know to be wrong. That ain’t conservative. It’s cowardice.

Gotta wonder if Trumpism is the righties’ way of making good old fashioned conservatism look moderate to liberals in order to create a better bargaining position for themselves.

Nah. Not a chance. They’ve just gone full bore coward and have abandoned any tiny shreds of integrity they once possessed. And their groveling is making true conservatives sick.

Sold Out MAGA

You don’t think that Trump, his campaign operatives or any MAGA opportunists might do anything, say, fishy, do you? I mean, those guys play by the rules and would never take advantage of a true believer, right? Maybe not so right.

The Trump campaign partnered with Phunware, Inc. and President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign was powered by their

“smartphone app that allowed staff to monitor the movements of his millions of supporters and offered intimate access to their social networks.”

“Further, they can use the app to fundraise for the president’s future political ventures, stoke his base or even build an audience for a new media empire.

“The app lets Trump’s team communicate directly with the 2.8 million people who downloaded it — more than any other app in a U.S. presidential campaign — and, if they gave permission, with their entire contact list as well.” [emphasis mine]

That’s from the Los Angeles Times. Read the article to get a deeper view into the horrid reality of there being nothing so low that Trump won’t go there. And be sure to give your MAGA friends and relatives the heads up that they’ve been hacked. By Trump.

Many thanks to JA for the tip on this story.

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3 Responses to National Security
  1. David L. Lindgren Reply

    Jack, I appreciate all of your research into the dangers of the Trump hindering of the Biden team taking over and the potentially dangerous decisions during this transition.

    But after reading in depth the Biden team’s plans and getting a glimpse of the underbelly organization for Biden that apparently has been going for some time, I think that we need to shift our energy and attention to what constructive steps can be taken, sans Trump. Most of Trump’s maneuvers are diversions to not accept defeat – “You are Fired!” Let’s develop the confidence that we need to foster change and support the constructive steps that are coming our way. Building trust and faith!

  2. John Calia Reply

    I’d love to hear your explanation of how Mnuchin’s actions are endangering the US economy.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      Please click through and read what Paul Krugman has to say. Mnuchin’s undermining of confidence makes no sense, if your thinking is focused on what’s best for America.