Central Intelligence Agency

The 80th Congress (1947-1949) Vs. The 118th Congress (2023- )

It has often been claimed that the 80th Congress (1947-1949) under President Harry Truman was unproductive, or as Truman claimed it in his 1948 Presidential campaign, a “Do Nothing” Congress.

While it is true that the Republican dominated 80th Congress worked against Democratic President Truman and his “Fair Deal” proposals, most notably passing the anti Labor Taft-Hartley Act over the President’s veto, in reality a lot was accomplished in that Congress.

The following actions were accomplished:

The Truman Doctrine
The Taft-Hartley Act
The Presidential Succession Act
The National Security Act–including the Defense Department at the Pentagon in Virginia, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, separate Department of the Air Force, and the Central Intelligence Agency
The Marshall Plan
22nd Amendment to the US Constitution

At the same time, NOTHING significant has been passed into law in the present first session of the 118th Congress, making it the least productive in modern times since the Great Depression 1931-1933 72nd Congress, split between a Democratic House of Representatives and Republican Senate under President Herbert Hoover!

Infuriating Attack Of Mike Pompeo On Randi Weingarten And Teaching Profession!

There are many outrageous, irritating utterances that emanate from Republicans and conservatives about all kinds of issues and individuals.

But the attack of former Secretary of State and former CIA Director, and future Republican Presidential contender Mike Pompeo against Randi Weingarten and the American Federation of Teachers is the most infuriating statement imaginable.

Pompeo, insanely, termed Weingarten the most dangerous person in the world, more than Kim Jong Un of North Korea, Chinese President Xi Jinping, or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pompeo must be considered totally crazy with such an utterance, and should be disqualified from running for or winning the Oval Office.

This is not just a personal attack on a woman who has dedicated her life to education, as head of the United Federation of Teachers from 1998-2008, and as head of the American Federation of Teachers from 2008 to the present. Weingarten has devoted herself to promoting the rights and conditions of the teaching profession.

This is a field in which we are losing more teachers than replacing them, due to the effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic. But also there is the outrageous interference of right wing groups and ignorant parents who think they know more about what the curriculum should be in science, history, literature than educators who are trained to promote knowledge, truth, facts instead of myths, and to promote empathy, compassion and tolerance of others who are different than any of us.

Pompeo, like many right wing extremists, does not want students to learn about the truth of American history, the mistreatment of native Americans, African Americans, and other marginalized groups, but he is promoting narrow mindedness and intolerance, a threat to future harmony in this multi racial, multi ethnic society.

He is also, for sure, attacking Weingarten because of her liberal Jewish heritage and promoting Christian nationalism, which sees Jews as a group that should be proselytized to convert to Christianity. His pro Israel advocacy is phony, and he is supportive of the extremism in Israeli society, which has now led to Benjamin Netanyahu coming back as Prime Minister, while under criminal indictment. One can be pro Israel and support its right to exist, but does not require that all Jews or other decent people must accept the injustices represented by Netanyahu and his Orthodox extremists who look at Arabs as subhuman.

There is also an element of misogyny and homophobia that is part of Pompeo’s mantra, as Weingarten is a lesbian, and married to a Reform woman rabbi.

So all of the ugly elements–anti intellectual, Christian nationalism, misogyny, homophobia—of Mike Pompeo are to be condemned as horrendous.

And by attacking Weingarten, Pompeo also endangers her life and safety, and likely will cause threats that will require security, totally beyond the pale.

Fascinating Senate Race In Utah: Evan McMullin Running As Independent Against Mike Lee, And Mitt Romney Remaining Neutral!

One of the most interesting and fascinating Senate races in 2022 is in heavily Mormon Utah, where Republican Senator Mike Lee, who has emerged as a MAGA Republican, despite being very critical of Donald Trump six years ago, faces a challenge NOT from a Democrat, but from an Independent Republican who ran for President in 2016 in protest against Donald Trump’s candidacy.

McMullin won 21.5 percent of the vote in 2016 in Utah, and half of one percent of the total national vote, close to 750,000 votes. And in 2020, he endorsed Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. McMullin had been a CIA agent, and believed Trump was a danger to national security.

When McMullin decided to run against Mike Lee, the Democratic Party in Utah agreed to stay out of the race, and right now, the polls indicate a very close race, with Lee only ahead by 4 percent, and more than ten percent of the voters still undecided.

McMullin, a strong conservative with principle, and never a Trump loyalist, has pledged he will not join the caucus of either the Republicans or Democrats if he wins the seat.

And the controversy over this race is magnified by Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, refusing to take a stand and endorse his Senate colleague, Mike Lee. This is causing an uproar, but remember Romney voted to convict Trump in both impeachment trials, and has been condemned by Donald Trump.

This race of Lee vs McMullin will certainly be one of the most intriguing Senate races in November!

An Amazing Week For Joe Biden And Democrats!

The past week has been an amazing time for Joe Biden and the Democrats!

Many are saying it is the best week of Joe Biden’s Presidency, and accomplished by “Reconciliation”, meaning just on a party line vote in the US Senate.

All Democrats were finally united, and Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie breaking vote against united Republican Party opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act, taking action on climate change, taxes, and health care.

While this is much less than the proposed “Build Back Better” proposals of a year ago, it is still seen as a major piece of legislation, and many observers have declared that, along with earlier legislation, it makes Joe Biden in many ways the most accomplished President on passage of major bills since Lyndon B. Johnson!

But also, in the past week, there was major job growth of more than a half million, double what was expected, and the job losses in the pandemic have now been totally wiped out!

The veterans health care legislation, to deal with exposure by millions of veterans to burn pits during their military service, finally was passed after a temporary reversal by many Republicans, but forced by criticism to reverse their negative votes.

Also, the successful elimination of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by action of the Central Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan was a significant action, for which the President gains kudos.

Also, gas prices have dropped for six weeks, and more than a dollar over that period, so in many areas below $4 a gallon.

And finally, the decision of Kansas voters to insure abortion rights remain in their state constitution is a major victory that will have an effect on the fight to overcome the Supreme Court’s horrendous decision in Dobbs V Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24!

Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Josh Hawley And Other Republicans Back Putin In Ukraine Crisis—Crazy!

In the midst of the Ukraine Crisis promoted by Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, we are seeing insane developments!

Former President Donald Trump; his former CIA head and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Missouri Senator Josh Hawley; and a multitude of other Republicans and Trumpites, incluidng the Fox News Channel evening talk show hosts, are praising Putin, showing no concern about Ukraine, and attacking Joe Biden in the midst of the worse foreign policy emergency since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962!

Just try to imagine what Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Senator Barry Goldwater, or Senator Joseph McCarthy would say, if they saw the Republican Party selling out to the Russians, a nation that has always been a menace and threat to American democracy!

The refusal of many Republicans to back President Biden in the midst of a massive emergency situation is a scenario that undermines our ability to deal with the danger of Ukraine being overrun by Russian military forces, in a manner not seen since World War II!

Christopher Wray, Gina Haspel, Michael Rogers And Dan Coats, Heads Of Intelligence Agencies, Strongly Disagree With Donald Trump On Major National Security Threats

The heads of the national intelligence agencies testified in open session before Congressional committees on Tuesday, and warned of the dangers to national security that exist in an unsafe world.

Christopher Wray, head of the FBI; Gina Haspel, head of the CIA; Michael Rogers, head of the NSA; and Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, warned that America faced great threats from Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS, and Iran, making clear that they did not agree with President Donald Trump, who has undermined all intelligence, and says none of these nations and forces, except for Iran, are a threat.

Ironically, the three Intelligence heads said Iran is actually keeping the nuclear agreement that Donald Trump has given up, despite the support of the Western democratic nations–Great Britain, France, and Germany–for continuation of that agreement.

The “love affair” of Trump for Kim Jong Un; the trust and secret meetings that Trump has had with Vladimir Putin; the rocky relationship between the US and China; and the attitude that ISIS is no longer a threat in the Middle East, are alarming, and yet all Trump says in response to the intelligence conclusions is to say that these people need to go back to school.

It is Trump who is truly dangerous and too trusting of authoritarian nations, when he has no experience, no background, no knowledge on international relations, and is causing undue threats to the future of American foreign policy as a result.

Instead, Trump sees the Border Wall issue with Mexico as more of a national security threat, when none of the intelligence agencies see any threat on the Southern border, and dismiss the whole issue of the Border Wall as unnecessary.

We have a President who is truly warped in his views, dangerous to the nation, and could be leading us down a road toward true disaster, which could be far worse than September 11.

And we have to wonder why he engages in secret diplomacy without translators or note takers in meetings, many unreported, with Putin, and it all makes one think of the film from 1962, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.

We cannot afford to have such an uneducated and morally and ethically challenged President as Donald Trump in authority much longer, without a disastrous effect on America and its future.

Even Mike Pence, with all of his horrible social views on many issues, cannot be imagined to be likely to follow the same foreign policy as Trump, were he to succeed to the Presidency. We are at a point where he may be the only likely alternative, but better for American national security and safety than Donald Trump.

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

The Death Of The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, At Age 94

This blogger woke up this morning to the news that the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, had died last night (November 30) at age 94, and five and a half months.

He had the longest life span of any President, although former President Jimmy Carter will surpass him in age on March 22, 2019.

Bush was one of the most experienced Presidents, with a tremendous resume particularly on national security and foreign policy issues. This included being a Houston, Texas, Congressman; United Nations Ambassador; Republican National Committee Chairman; Second Chief of the Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China; Central Intelligence Agency Director; Vice President of the United States for two terms under President Ronald Reagan; and President of the United States for one term from 1989-1993.

Bush was an honorable, decent man, who knew his own shortcomings and admitted to it, but although he was the first Vice President to succeed his President by election since Martin Van Buren in 1836 after Andrew Jackson, he was unable to win a second term, losing to future President Bill Clinton, in an election which included businessman Ross Perot, who managed as an independent candidate to win 19 percent of the vote. This led to Bush having the second worst defeat for a sitting President, with 37 percent, only ahead of President William Howard Taft in 1912, gaining only 23 percent of the vote in a three way race with Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Bush will be best remembered for his leadership in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; his helping to end the Cold War with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and usher in the unification of Germany; the promotion of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada; the concept of a “Thousand Points of Light” to encourage local activism to solve problems; the signing into law of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal opportunity for those Americans with disabilities; and the appointment of two Supreme Court Justices, David Souter and Clarence Thomas.

His decision to support tax increases caused a challenge by conservatives, led by Pat Buchanan, in the primaries of 1992, which he overcame, but that plus the recession America was suffering at the time of the election, along with the challenge of not just Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot, making the campaign a three way race, led to his defeat.

Bush lived to see his son George W. Bush become President, only the second such situation, after John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and he had nearly 26 years of retirement, and the longest Presidential marriage, until his beloved wife Barbara died in April, after 73 plus years of a devoted couple, who brought up five children.

Bush is ranked near the middle of all Presidents, generally between 17 and 20, depending on the poll of 44 Presidents, with his failure to win a second term a factor in why he has not risen higher.

His impact on America, however, has been massive, and it is likely his ranking among Presidents will rise in the coming years.

Don McGahn Is The New John Dean: Trump And Nixon Scandals Become Linked In History

Forty five years after John Dean, the White House Counsel under President Richard Nixon, revealed the illegal actions of his boss in the Watergate Scandal, now we are learning for certain that Don McGahn, the White House Counsel under Donald Trump, has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, on the actions of his boss.

The difference is that McGahn has engaged in such cooperation for at least the last nine months, while Dean delayed such cooperation, and eventually served a short term in prison as a result, while McGahn clearly wants to avoid that.

So the idea that everyone around Trump is willing to “take a bullet” for Trump is now shown not to be the case, and it is likely that others around Trump will abandon their loyalty to Trump, realizing that he is a “sinking ship”, and that they can still recover some of their reputation and dignity by working against their boss, as he has absolutely no loyalty to them.

Donald Trump is self indicting as he continues to rant and rave on Twitter, including many bursts of anger as this posting is being formulated, as he realizes the future is gloomy, as evidence of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violations of the Emoluments Clause, and other crimes has been gathered by Mueller. Trump also realizes now that his son Donald, Jr, and his son in law Jared Kushner, and many of his cabinet members and other advisers, are in danger of being indicted.

With Omarosa Manigault Newman and Michael Cohen adding to Trump’s grief, he is now besieged on all fronts, but while the process to remove him from office moves forward, there is great concern about the dangers of him creating a foreign policy or national security crisis, and trying to shut down the Bill of Rights, and declare martial law.

Trump is clearly very mentally ill, and it is essential that the military, behind the scenes, and particularly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, work to prevent any dangerous actions by the President, and prevent him from ordering a nuclear strike. And the top national security personnel, in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the Director of National Intelligence need to block any rash actions by Trump that threatens American democracy.

Donald Trump’s Hostility Toward And Attacks On National Security And Intelligence Agencies Could Backfire On Him

Donald Trump has declared “war” on national security and intelligence agencies, whose commitment is to protect the United States against all domestic and foreign threats.

Trump is doing this to try to end the investigation into the Presidential Election of 2016, and the evidence showing Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and the widespread corruption of the Trump family and his close associates outside the family. This includes the most incompetent, corrupt, and abusive set of Cabinet officers in all of American history.

By removing the security clearances of past national security and intelligence officials, Trump is endangering the United States in future foreign policy and terrorism threats, as the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of these many top officials would be very useful in a crisis.

This seems all contrived by Trump, who has made it clear that he is trying to shut down the inquiries into his election and actions in office.

Trump’s hostility and and attacks could backfire on him in more ways than one.

It is not wise to “mess around” with patriots who devote their lives and careers to protection of the homeland internally and externally.

The alienation that has developed could cause committed people to take action behind the scenes to undermine Trump’s ability to succeed in his conspiracy against the American people.

And while no one can say that intelligence and national security agencies plot to remove Presidents, one cannot be certain of that.

There are, after all, conspiracy theories that claim that rogue agents in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) possibly had plotted against President John F. Kennedy, leading to his assassination in 1963, and also to take down President Richard Nixon in the Watergate Scandal in 1974.

While this author totally rejects such conspiracy theories, who can say that it might not be true in the past, and might be an avenue of opportunity for those dedicated patriots who see Donald Trump as a real threat and danger to America?

IF any element felt that Donald Trump was too cozy with Vladimir Putin, and was indeed collaborating to undermine American defenses against an authoritarian dictator as Putin is, who can say it would not be seen as the “patriotic duty” of such elements to remove the threat, even at their own personal danger?

This sounds like a novel or film, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.

“Fooling around” with national security and intelligence agencies and personnel is certainly an unwise, reckless move by an arrogant, out of control President, and he might not like the end result!

So Donald Trump, be forewarned, before you have gone over the boundaries that the professionals in national security and intelligence deem acceptable, as that might lead to tragic results!