What We Really Need Is a ‘Domestic Threat Assessment’

Here is my Monday column from Real Clear Politics. It’s my take on last week’s disgraceful performance by the top members of President Trump’s intelligence team as they sold out the president before Congress. As the president himself said, maybe they need to go back to school.

What We Really Need Is a ‘Domestic Threat Assessment’

By Frank Miele

One of the more foolish things the government of the United States does is invite senior members of the national intelligence community to testify publicly before Congress in a so-called “unclassified” worldwide threat assessment.

It is foolish for the simple reason that information, like money, is fungible. Once shared it cannot be contained for one purpose only. The idea that the possessors of classified intelligence can disclose unclassified intelligence without reference to that classified material is naive, which not surprisingly is also the word that President Trump used to describe his intelligence chiefs following their appearance before a Senate committee last week.

In their testimony, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel went out of their way to undercut the president’s policies on Iran, Russia, China, North Korea and Afghanistan, which are among the most important foreign hotspots. Who exactly does that benefit? Certainly not the president whom they serve.

The takeaway, according to the headline atop a Washington Times report, was that the “Intelligence chiefs’ ‘threat assessment’ refutes Trump assertions.” You would probably get similar headlines from almost every news organization, but as a former copy editor, let me begin with a correction. To “refute” is to prove something wrong. That didn’t happen. What we got was not evidence that President Trump is wrong, but rather opinions that disagreed with his. Of course, it is not surprising that the national media don’t know the difference. Most of the media elites believe that whenever they open their mouth, they have disproven Trump by fiat. Numquam Trumpus.

It is unfortunate that members of the president’s own administration believe the same thing, but it is by their words and actions that we have fortuitously come to realize there is something called the Deep State — an establishmentarian clique of permanent bureaucrats who run the government to promote the interests of themselves and their allies rather than the American people.

Therefore, when Director Coats publicly disagreed with the president he serves, it behooves us to ask hard questions about Coats and whom he benefits by undermining President Trump. When Coats says North Korea won’t give up nuclear weapons, isn’t he giving comfort to the enemy? When he claims that Iran is abiding by the 2015 nuclear deal, isn’t he giving cover to the most dangerous nation in the Middle East? When he worries that ISIS is “intent on resurging,” does he really think the president doesn’t know that? But more importantly, does Coats think that we should give ISIS control of our foreign policy? Are we to remain in Syria forever because we have a sworn enemy there?

These questions are not rhetorical. They raise the serious issue of whether U.S. intelligence agencies owe their loyalty to the U.S. president. You can make the case that they owe their allegiance to the Constitution, but according to the Constitution that is the same thing. As members of the executive branch, they are subordinate to the president and serve his foreign policy. We have one president at a time, and the intelligence chiefs serve him, not the other way around. If they don’t understand that, then they are part of the problem — part of the threat, so to speak, to our Constitution.

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Which brings me, in a roundabout manner, to my proposal for a domestic threat assessment. Considering the forces arrayed against the president and the American people, this seems to be much more imperative than a worldwide threat assessment. I won’t try to prioritize the threats, but certainly the intelligence agencies are near the top of the list. Since at least 2005, they have pooh-poohed the Iranian nuclear threat by totally misjudging the evidence. As I wrote in 2007, “If global geopolitics were a television sitcom, then the government of the United States would be Boss Hogg, and Mahmoud and the gang in Tehran would be the Dukes of Hazzard. We may have more money and power, but them Duke boys always seem to get the last laugh.”

Add to their general incompetence (remember the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?) the open war that the intelligence agencies have waged against President Trump in the politically motivated Russia hoax, and you would certainly be justified in thinking that they represent the greatest internal threat to our republic, but there are others that need to be considered, too.

Oh, wait — I’m not done with the “intelligence” agencies yet! I could not move on without talking about the FBI’s outrageous early-morning armed assault against Roger Stone and his wife just over a week ago. As many as 27 armed federal agents, 17 SUVs, two armored vehicles and two amphibious assault vehicles surrounded Stone’s Florida home to arrest the 66-year-old raconteur and political provocateur on charges of — wait for it! — lying to Congress. Heck, why should only Congress get to lie with impunity? To make matters worse, there is every reason to believe the FBI tipped off CNN, so the blatantly anti-Trump news channel could have a camera crew on hand to record the Gestapo-like assault. Probably not what J. Edgar Hoover had in mind when he wrote about “The Enemy Within,” but, yes, I definitely think the FBI deserves its very own spot on the list of domestic threats.

Next up has to be the Opposition Party. No, not the Democrats, but rather the mainstream media, which have set themselves up as defenders of the republic against the dangers of traditional morality, religion and legislation. …

Read the rest here, including more on the Fake News Media and the rest of the threats.

Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To see more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Also please considering leaving a review in support of my conservative commentary on one or all of my book pages at Amazon! Thanks!

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9 Replies to “What We Really Need Is a ‘Domestic Threat Assessment’”

  1. You nailed it! The deep state might be unhappy with you. Others are in same politically incorrect boat.
    Sunday night Fox News Life, Liberty and Levin, described how higher ups in DOJ and FBI are corrupting our individual liberties. Pentagon, Congress, FAANG and mass media fit the same bill.
    Yes, God help patriotic citizens and soldiers preserve our Constitution.

    1. Thanks for your input. Not worried about myself or my safety, but do pray for President Trump to survive his enemies’ wrath. #MAGA

  2. “Who exactly does that benefit? Certainly not the president whom they serve”
    I thought they served the American people who pay their salaries and the Constitution, to which they swear their allegiance.
    They do not swear allegiance to the President, though they may serve at his pleasure. This is not 1984 where the truth changes from day-to-day just because our (dear) leaders may change their mind.
    If the CIA, or NSA or Joint Chiefs believed in 2016 that North Korea was a threat or that Iran was violating their commitments under whatever agreements existed at the time, then they had an obligation to say so and not defer to Obama…. And they have the same obligation now.

    Their are things such as facts, estimates and opinions and some of them may change based on the person analyzing them and some (such as facts) do not.

    While I might like everyone to see things the same way as I do, I don’t want people to lie to me because I have trouble with other opinions or inconvenient facts.

    1. Giving candid advice is one thing; undermining the president is quite another. They give advice; the President makes decisions. If they don’t like them, they should quit.

  3. Is there any indication they are not carrying out his wishes? We are discussing their testimony and, as you pointed out, they gave candid (and we must assume, their best) advice to the questions asked.

    President Trump said that time would show them to be naive, but never said that they weren’t doing their jobs.

    These are all people he appointed based on their qualifications and knowledge, hopefully. If there are better, more qualified people, he should hire those better people but if he just wants to hear “yes”, I’m sure he can get any number of those advisors.

    I think the problem goes back to the question of who these people serve and at whose pleasure these people serve – two very different answers.

    1. My initial point, I believe, is that the idea of an “unclassified” threat assessment is idiotic. You are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. So first and foremost, the intelligence chiefs should not be put in this position. Secondly, because they are part of the Deep State working as an “instance policy” to undermine the president, they should not be trusted in any regard!

  4. Since these are all people (I believe) appointed by President Trump why do you believe they are part of the “deep state”? Is President Trump part of this “deep state” and, if not, why did appoint members of this group to lead various agencies? Is everyone who works in government, no matter who appoints them, co-opted to be part of this organization?

    Can someone disagree with a policy and not be part of the “deep state”? So, for example, where President Reagan differed in policy from President Trump does that mean one of them is part of the “deep state”? And, if not, how do you know who is part of the “deep state” and who has an honest policy difference?

    I am sure the testimony of everyone of those heads of National Security vetted their speeches and answers so there was no information that could give “aid and comfort”. Just writing “deep state” seems like an excuse to talk about personalities instead of the issues.

    A discussion about should there being public briefings of non- secret material is one thing, as is a discussion of whether an appointee should be permitted to disagree with the official line in public bu5t those discussions can be held without resorting to conspiracy theories.

    1. If you don’t know the answers to these questions you are probably on the wrong website. I suggest you try Huffpo.

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