Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Putting the Pieces Together

Quite possibly the most important event in the history of the world happened yesterday and no one is talking about it.

It’s important because it involves the United States, the most powerful country in the history of the world.

It’s of particular importance to U.S. citizens because it affects their lives. I don’t mean their day-to-day routine; I mean whether they live or die.

The American president less than two weeks ago swore an inaugural oath to protect America “from all threats foreign and domestic”. Remember those last three words.

The National Security Council (NSC) exists to protect America from threats from abroad and from within the homeland. Normally the latter would conjure images of foreign spies or sleeper agents plotting against us from within.

Until now, the Director of National Intelligence (who oversees the intelligence agencies like the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (who oversee the four branches of our military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) had a permanent seat on the Principals Committee - the last stop before taking a major national security decision to the president. This makes sense, of course.

But the new American president has made two shocking changes to the composition of the NSC: the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will no longer have a permanent place. Instead, the Trump White House says, they’ll be “invited” to meetings when it’s appropriate. This begs the question, When would their presence not be appropriate at a national security meeting?

The answer is when the definition of “national security” is rewritten. What if it no longer was defined as foreign threats against America from without or within the country? What if internal dissent, i.e., any opposition to administration policies, were redefined as a threat to national security within the purview of the NSC?

That might explain the president’s second shocking change to the composition of the NSC: the appointment of his political advisor Steve Bannon – previously a propagandist for the alt-right white nationalist and anti-Semitic publication Breitbart News – as a permanent member of the Principal’s Committee of the NSC at the same time the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have lost their permanent positions, now relegated to be occasional guests by invitation only.

What perceived threats might a hatemonger like Bannon “protect” us from? What recommendations would he give a delusional president who sees massive inaugural crowds that don’t exist; five million illegal voters who don’t exist; thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the fall of the twin towers, who don’t exist; and the nonexistent threat of massive Mexican illegal immigration at a time when such Mexicans have been leaving the U.S., not coming to it?

Make no mistake: this could very well be the beginning of an apparatus to squelch any domestic dissent against a fascist regime. And in the uproar over other Trump administration actions, no one has noticed. That’s how fascism starts. And by the time citizens do notice, it’s too late.

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