Trump vs. the CIA
The unanimous rejection of the Trump administration’s efforts to reinstate the ban on travel from seven Muslim countries will lead to the first test between this White House and the intelligence community, particularly the CIA. The three-judge panel indicated that the travel ban did not bolster national security in the United States and that there was “no evidence” that anyone from the seven countries had committed terrorism in the United States.
Return of the Torturers: Back to the Crime Scenes of the Past
The Trump administration has signaled that it is willing to return to the heinous crimes of the past two decades, including torture and abuse, secret prisons, and extraordinary renditions. The appointment of Gina Haspel as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency clearly indicates that the use of torture, including the use of waterboarding, which has been endorsed by the President, the national security advisor, and the CIA director, could once again be a major part of the U.S. campaign against international terrorism.
“Mad Dog” Mattis Just Another Pussycat
Donald Trump pointedly drove to the Pentagon on Friday to close U.S. borders to refugees from around the world; to block families indefinitely fleeing the slaughter in Syria; and to suspend immigration from seven Muslim countries. With Secretary of Defense James Mattis smiling over his shoulder, Trump established a religious test for refugees from Muslim countries and ordered that Christians and others from minority religions would be granted priority over Muslims.
Speaking Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 3-5:30 pm at the UDC Law School in DC
Our next meeting of the Nation Magazine Discussion Group in DC will focus on the history of US-Russian relations, and how the Cold War between capitalism and communism appeared to end, but now seems to have resumed and is intensifying between two nuclear super-powers who both threaten democracy in an increasingly multi-centered world which could easily escalate into a hot war over Syria, Ukraine or somewhere else.
David Ignatius, the CIA’s Apologist-in-Chief
There is universal agreement that President Donald Trump’s “advertisement for himself” in front of CIA’s memorial wall on Saturday was an unmitigated disaster for both the vainglorious president and the Central Intelligence Agency. But there are always favorable reviews to be found.