THE REAL TRAGEDY OF HARVEY AND OUR NATION.

By
Harry C. Blaney III
 
The people of Texas deserve to have the full support of the federal and State and local governments in a time of unmitigated disaster. If only their president had not proposed cutting disaster assistance, striped federal experts assessments on the impact of climate change and taken down EPA and NOAA data on climate change from their web sites and put in charge of EPA and Energy agencies those that at war with science and truth. Sad also that the Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been a disaster as a governor denying essentially climate change and not prepared his state for its likely impact and supported a candidate for president who cares not a wit for those most in need and denies climate change.
 
Trump should be ashamed (he is likely beyond that emotion) of his actions in gutting all the programs that he now needs to help Texas and Louisiana recover from this ununprecedented catastrophe. How will he pay for recovery which will take perhaps a trillion federal dollars? Will it be from cutting programs for the middle class and poor, or increasing as he should taxes on the extraordinarily rich and the many loopholes for the very rich? Or will it be cutting the trillion dollars proposed for new nuclear weapons our nation does not need? This will be decided when the Congress comes back in September. Watch them closely!
 
Texas is and will be a “disaster” for itself due to its blind politics of science denial and indifference, but the “least among us” do not deserve to be in danger or lost without help. Not all local governments were in fact for the polices of the State run by a GOP right-wing Governor. Houston is run by a Democratic Mayor who clearly is overwhelmed but fully engaged and caring. Trump on the other hand could is directly responsible for what we see, not least by proposing to cut funds in 2018 for FEMA the key agency for the federal response to catastrophes.
 
As with much of our other major challenges, this “un-natural act” and its impact on our citizens needs compassion and wise heads that truly understand how dire are the risks to our nation and the world of ignorance, and indifference to human needs. Our people have rallied to Harvey’s destruction and affected people, but only the federal government has the resources to make whole the tragedy of this situation. The test will be in two-three years from now if the feds will still be in “full court press” to help recovery?
 
At this dark time I think of the great Italian poet Dante’s images in his epic “Divine Comedy,” for him the bottom of Hell was a very cold place, not hot, for the coldness of the heart’s of those doing truly evil and traitors to their Lords…as it seems Trump is to our Constitution, laws and values and to those most in need.
We welcome your comments!!!

THE TRAJECTORY OF TRUMP’S BEHAVIOR HAS ACCELERATED TOWARDS SELF DESTRUCTION!

By

Harry C. Blaney III

Adding to the commentary of my last post, unbelievably Donald Trump has just doubled down in the last three days or so going yet further towards a very dark zone where our nation’s integrity, constitution and laws are at risk. There seems no ceasing of his aberrant and threatening behavior toward especially the institutions and officials carrying out the necessary requirements of our constitution, the process of justice and laws in America and protecting our security.

Here is a brief list of some of Donald Trump’s actions which reinforce that the man has lost or never had any level of rationality that he might have had before becoming president.

Here is a brief list without any doubt, shows a man with complete disrespect for morals, the rights of others, our laws and most scary tendencies to act as if he were America’s authorized elected dictator:  He has continued an even higher level attacks on AG Sessions and now Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III as he did with former FBI Head James Comey. He has now threatened “a red line” if Mueller looks at Trump’s financial dealing which he needs to do to see what connection exists with Russian financing and is within his authority of his Department of Justice mandate. Trump and his family have hired a large team of outside lawyers not to just defend Trump and his people but to attack Mueller and his staff, a sign of a desperate man.

He has, not least, suggested that he has complete unquestioned rights of pardons….hinting that includes himself. He continues to attack “Fake News” about Russian contacts and still refuses to tell us what he said to Putin in his G-20“solo” meeting. His family has repeatedly held back information on their security clearance application forms on meetings with Russian agents. But now he seems to promise pardons for others like those of his campaign staff, including all those who took part in the June 2017 meeting with Russian agents to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton and meetings with the now-former Russian Ambassador. One must now wonder if this statement is a way of getting silence or inducing lies from these individuals about his own role in all of this which is also being discussed?

Thus it is hard to not interpret these as the acts of a cornered guilty man.

All this, especially the Trump Tower meeting in June, with the background of a promise to tilt the election towards Trump are not going away. That event could raise the specter of possible felonies combined with questions about what secrets or deals he might have again shared with Putin that we know not of.

But also our national security is equally at great risk over Trump’s questionable and poorly thought through dealing with our allies some who he has insulted. The same goes with his approach to North Korea, on climate change, on degrading democracy at home and abroad. This is now old hat but we need to ask how can we repair the damage he has done to our respect and leadership?

In place of reaching out to Russia to restore peace and to reduce the chance of nuclear war, Trump has focused on statements of aggression towards Iran, withdrawing US support for our Syrian allies and ignoring Syrian President Assad and Russian deliberately killing of innocent civilians. He continues supporting the most brutal dictators in the world, and undermining democracy of our allies and our own democratic institutions.

No progress has been made, or it seems even attempted, to negotiate a reduction of nuclear weapons and address the problem of accidental war and use of such nuclear weapons. This should be the main priority of both sides. Some believe our show of “weakness and unilateral gifts’ to Trump will encourage Russia towards further acts of infamy and destruction, and continued efforts aimed at America losing its global influence. But engaging with them in an open way on reducing risks must be tried.

 His recent statements, tweets and further revelations of a number of new areas of possible collusion or shady dealings with Russians reinforce these views. Recently, even against his own views, he has had to accept a just slightly watered down version to get his agreement, of a new Congressional bill that takes some of his power to unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia, perhaps for fear that it would be an acknowledgment of Congresses’ lack of trust in him to act in America’s interest.

The totality of Trumps acts and statements and the now unquestionable actual meetings of his people with Russian agents combined with lies about these contacts and their multiplicity may not yet be the last word we will hear. These all have led now to the more often raised questions of possible criminal indictment or even impeachment as now not a totally outlandish outcome.

So much for “making America great.” We need a leader that will move toward a stable and cooperative future for both nations and supporting our democratic allies, not one that is bent on inflecting even more conflict and instability and more authoritarian rule abroad….and even here in the USA.

We welcome your comments

Synopsis of National Security News: 9/10/10 – 9/17/10

New START Treaty:

The Committee on Foreign Relations voted 14-4 to approve the New START treaty. Sources say that a floor vote on the treaty will likely occur during the post-election, lame-duck session during November.

Afghanistan:

Afghanistan is preparing for legislative elections on Saturday, September 17. Hundreds of polls were preemptively closed both as a security measure in the more dangerous Taliban-heavy areas and as an anti-corruption tactic to prevent the ballot-stuffing that was ubiquitous during last years presidential election.

North Korea:

US and South Korea are softening their approach to North Korea away from sanctions and military exercises and in favor of a resumption of aid and diplomatic talks.

Iran:

The US has accused Iran of bullying nuclear inspectors into misreporting their findings. This is in response to the recent Iranian ban placed on two nuclear inspectors.

Europe:

The head of the MI5, British internal security service, warns that Al-Qaeda has the determination and means to attack the UK.

Compiled by Grant Potter, CIP National Security Intern

Synopsis of National Security News: 9/3/10 – 9/10/10

Afghanistan:

  • Customers made a run on Kabul Central Bank amid allegations of corruption and a flurry of resignations by high-ranking members of the Central Bank. This panic was compounded by the fact that people were already planning on withdrawing money to celebrate the completion of Ramadan. The Central Bank is important as it provides the salaries for the local Afghani security forces.
  • Riots broke out in Afghanistan in response to the proposed Koran burning planned by Florida pastor Terry Jones.
  • The US has denied the request by NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen for 2,000 additional troops to serve under the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Iraq:

  • A new compromise has the potential to break the deadlock in the Iraqi Parliament which has been unable to form a coalition government since elections took place in March. The proposed plan would limit the powers of the Primer Minister, currently held by Nuri al-Maliki, to appease his chief political rival Iyad Allawi.
  • President Obama formerly ended combat operations in Iraq on August 31st. Approximately, 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq to serve as assistance for local security forces.

North Korea:

New START Treaty:

  • Former secretaries of state, George Shultz (under Reagan) and Madeleine Albright (under Clinton), signed an op-ed in the Washington Post encouraging the Senate to approve the New START treaty.

Intelligence Reform:

  • A lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was dismissed on Wednesday after the CIA invoked the state secrets privilege. The plaintiffs were the alleged victims of “extraordinary rendition”, the policy of transporting suspected terrorists to foreign countries to be tortured for information by local intelligence services at the behest of the CIA.

Compiled by Grant Potter, CIP National Security Intern



What’s going on in the national security realm?

Week of 8/2/10 National Security News Summary:

Afghanistan:

  • Pentagon demands that Wikileaks remove the leaked classified Afghan war documents from their website, arguing that they endanger U.S. national security.  Others argue that the documents gave out little information that was not already generally known.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an investigation into a U.S.-backed anti-corruption task force, following the arrest of several senior Afghan officials on graft charges.

Intelligence Reform:

  • Late Thursday (8/5/10) James R. Clapper was confirmed by the Senate as the new Director of National Intelligence. Will he be the first individual to have the necessary authority to fulfill the broad responsibilities of the DNI or will this position continue to act as just another layer of bureaucracy?
  • Will the Washington Post’s series “Top Secret America” be influential in encouraging governmental reform? One Post reporter hopes so but is doubtful… What do you think?
  • This week an independent Pentagon panel has released a report on how we can get a better grip on intelligence spending.

New START:

  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has postponed their vote on the ratification of New START to mid September.  The battle looms over the ratification of the treaty due to opposition by many Republicans who want $100 billion for weapons “modernization”.  New START supporters say these expenditures would be both unnecessary and wasteful.

Compiled by Tess Strumwasser
Summer 2010 CIP National Security Intern