A Common Misconception

Many of my liberal friends and relatives (yes, I do have some of those) on Facebook have been posting claims that the reason we are having problems with the coronavirus is because President Trump dissolved the office at the White House responsible for disaster preparedness. It’s an odd claim, and I wondered when I heard it what it was based on–all fake news is based on part of a story–just not always the part that is true.

Today Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining exactly what was done.

The article explains:

But according to Tim Morrison, the former aide to whom direction of this office was assigned, the office was not “dissolved.” It remains in operation under Morrison’s successor.

Writing in the Washington Post, Morrison states:

When I joined the National Security Council staff in 2018, I inherited a strong and skilled staff in the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate. This team of national experts together drafted the National Biodefense Strategy of 2018 and an accompanying national security presidential memorandum to implement it; an executive order to modernize influenza vaccines; and coordinated the United States’ response to the Ebola epidemic in Congo, which was ultimately defeated in 2020.

It is true that the Trump administration has seen fit to shrink the NSC staff. But the bloat that occurred under the previous administration clearly needed a correction. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, congressional oversight committees and members of the Obama administration itself all agreed the NSC was too large and too operationally focused. . . .

The reduction of force in the NSC has continued since I departed the White House. But it has left the biodefense staff unaffected — perhaps a recognition of the importance of that mission to the president, who, after all, in 2018 issued a presidential memorandum to finally create real accountability in the federal government’s expansive biodefense system.

(emphasis (underline) added in Power Line article)

The article at Power Line Blog continues:

As part of the effort to make the NSC more effective, the Trump administration created the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, a consolidation of three directorates into one (the three were arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense, which obviously overlap). Morrison says “it is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented.” (Emphasis added) But, “if anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.”

The article concludes:

Morrison, then, is not an apologist for Trump. He’s an ally of Bolton, his boss at the NSC whom Trump has attacked. Reportedly Morrison has been called “Bolton without a mustache.”

Morrison concedes that some of the criticism of the president’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is “warranted,” though “much [is] not.” (The odds are strongly against any leader not making mistakes in responding to something as unprecedented as this pandemic.) But the claim that Trump dissolved the pandemic response office isn’t just unwarranted. It is fake news.

As you can see, the claims being made by the political left and their allies are simply not true. They are simply another attempt to turn the country over in November to one of two grumpy old men who will undo what progress has been made in shrinking government and bringing manufacturing back to America.

One Reason Hillary’s Email Server Matters

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about an interview Hugh Hewitt did with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. If you have wondered why Hillary Clinton’s private server is such a big deal, this might explain it.

The article reports:

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says, “I think the odds are pretty high” countries like Iran, China, and Russia hacked Hillary Clinton’s email server.

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, the former CIA director said “the Pentagon acknowledges that they get attacked about 100,000 times a day.”
(RELATED: Obama’s Former Defense Sec: Obama ‘Has Centralized Power’ In An ‘Unparalleled’ Way [VIDEO])

Hewitt asked Gates, “[A]re you surprised by the news that continues to come out about the former Secretary of State’s server and the fact that the intelligence community’s inspector general has said there was a lot of very highly classified information on her server?”

“Yeah, that’s a concern for me,” Gates said. “I never used email when I was head of CIA or head of the Department of Defense. As I used to joke, I didn’t want to have some chief of station overseas email me and say he was going to do something if I didn’t get back to him in three hours, and I would get back from a five hour hearing to discover I was two hours too late.

The information on Hilllary Clinton’s server was at a level that a leak would have put intelligence gathering methods and people at risk. Having a private server was foolish at best and dishonest at worst. The goal was probably to protect herself from those pesky Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which might have revealed some of the monetary deals made while she was Secretary of State. Instead, she put the safety of Americans at risk to hide her dishonesty. She is not the kind of person we want as President.

When Politics Is More Important Than National Security

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about the problem with security leaks in the Obama Administration. After the killing of Osama Bin Laden, there were a number of details about the operation leaked that put members of our armed forces in danger. Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke out about the dangers of these leaks at Camp Lejeune in May 2011.

Some of Secretary Gates’ statement is posted on YouTube:

Speaking to Marines at Camp Lejeune on Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern over the safety of the Navy SEALs who killed Al Qaeda chief, Osama Bin Laden. The threat of retaliation against the elite and classified SEAL squadron – SEAL team 6 – has increased after operational details were leaked to the press by the Obama administration.

A helicopter crashed in Afghanistan in August 2011, killing 30 Americans, most of them belonging to SEAL team 6. We have no way of knowing whether the helicopter was attacked because the enemy knew who was on board.

The article at the Daily Caller reports:

Unfortunately, the Bin Laden leaks have not turned out to be isolated incidents. In early May, after the disruption of a terrorist plot in Yemen, reports surfaced concerning the reported role of British intelligence in the operation. This leak was especially serious in that it risked the trust caveat that underpins America’s most important (but increasingly sensitive) intelligence relationship.
 
There have been two more sensitive leaks recently. The first is the leaking of the President’s strategy for dealing with terrorists. Why in the world would you release your strategy for winning a war to the enemy while the war is still going on? The second story had to do with the role America played in the recent cyber attacks on Iran. The Obama Administration needs to learn how to be quiet. This will only invite major retaliation from the people impacted by the attack.
 
The Daily Caller concludes:
 
Faced with these leaks, we should demand two things from the government. First, classified material must be restricted to those officials who need it. The president should make clear to his political appointees that the unauthorized disclosure of this material is absolutely unacceptable. There must not be a divided approach where government workers are punished for leaks, while appointees feel free to disclose restricted information as they please. Second, where leaks do take place, the Justice Department must conduct investigations to identify those responsible and pursue punishment against them. These two steps would bring some rational purpose back to the way in which intelligence material is handled in Washington.

In the space of just over a week, Obama administration officials have leaked significant elements of two critical national security endeavors. In disclosing this information, the officials responsible have asserted Obama’s re-election in precedence to the demands of national security. This is a disgrace that must not be allowed to continue.

I understand that this is an election year, but that is no excuse for risking American national security in the campaign.

 
 

 

 

 
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