National Security Council Redo: What is Trump Plotting?
There is an obvious reason why President Trump Changed the National Security Council. By excluding the foreign threat oriented Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Trump can use the NSC to concentrate on domestic security plans. During the campaign, and with the current immigration pause plus extreme vetting, Trump scapegoated Muslims as causing all domestic threats and violence. I will point out that this is not so. Trump also scapegoated Mexican immigrants, and that may also be part of this.
Trump’s anti-Muslim threats included monitoring Mosques, putting Muslims on a list, maybe carding them, and now copying contact lists and media accounts of immigrants. For all we know, he might even use torture, since it is the CIA and Military that won’t allow him to do that overseas.
Remember, Trump wanted to force Apple to construct a backdoor to iPhones for the San Bernardino attacker, and then extend it to any local law enforcement investigations. It’s not clear what court okays would be required for this violation of privacy. Since Trump has 103 federal judiciary appointments to make, he could easily guarantee this.
We also note that Trump’s immediate launch of the Muslim immigration ban, causing so many problems, was supposedly that otherwise terrorists would come in right away. Since screening for visas and immigration and green cards took a long time, terrorists couldn’t just jump on a plane and come here.
Actually, just now, acting attorney general Sally Yates was just fired for not enforcing Trump’s temporary travel law, since she did not think that it was constitutional. New addition to the NSC, Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, used to work for Jeff Sessions, who will become Attorney General, despite his voting against all civil rights legislation. This shows how much Trump needs a private NSC to carry out possibly illegal monitoring plans.
So Steve Bannon, previous Breitbart alt-right CEO, and Trump’s Chief Strategist, will replace the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, unless foreign military matters require the General’s presence. I think Reince Priebus said that Bannon was qualified to replace the Chairman, as a military expert. I’m not going to criticize Bannon’s loyal seven years of Naval service on a destroyer, but it doesn’t match the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Corps. Gen. Joe Dunford’s, 40 years of leadership, including Iraq and Afghanistan, the two war zones that we are still involved with.
Steve Bannon helped Steve Miller draft the Muslim Ban. It is not typical of the “businessman” Trump to reward such a failed launch of Bannon’s Ban with an elevation to the NSC.
It’s been well publicized that nobody in the US has been killed by a terrorist from the seven immigration delayed countries. Businesses and Universities have advised their workers and students and scholars from these seven countries not to travel. Now that permanent resident green card holders are sort of exempted, subject to a somewhat ill defined re-entry interview, part of that problem may be eliminated.
Muslims are a much misaligned religious group by Breitbart and by alt-right hate mongers. The Trump campaign included such themes, as well as extreme exaggerations about immigrants from Mexico. Trump never denounced such groups, and probably never will, since he keeps exaggerating Muslim and Mexican immigrant threats to appeal to his followers.
The real threat of domestic violence, as just occurred in Quebec, is Trump’s followers thinking that assaults against Muslims are now allowed by Trump’s election and recent actions. There was also a mosque burning in the US, and many reported assaults against Muslims in the US.
We must remember that the 9/11 catastrophe and the Boston Marathon bombing arose because of a lack of communication between US domestic and foreign intelligence agencies. Removing our Intelligence Director from domestic NSC discussions will allow such errors again.
I know that the above speculations sound incredible for a President to impose, but we have had a month of outrageous Trump appointments and actions, which prove that a wiser Trump 2.0 remake is not in the works.