There is a dark side to President Barack Obama’s legacy on national and international security matters that will enable President-elect Donald Trump to damage America’s political institutions as well as its standing in the global community. President Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer and an expert in constitutional law, was insufficiently scrupulous in protecting our moral obligations, creating an ironic and unfortunate page in U.S. history. Instead of making the “world safe for democracy,” the clarion call of President Woodrow Wilson one hundred years ago, President Obama contributed to the furtherance of a national security state and a culture of secrecy.
When the Relationship Between the President and the C.I.A. Is Politicized, Both Sides Lose
The tension between President-elect Donald J. Trump and the Central Intelligence Agency is without precedent in the agency’s 70-year history. Presidents and the C.I.A. must trust each other if the intelligence community is to provide objective views of global events to enable presidents to make informed decisions.
If November was the “stepping off” point, then December is the “hurtling towards the hard landing” of January’s Trump presidency. Libertarians, and what remains of the Left who took cold comfort in the candidate’s expressed wish to draw in America’s military talons must today be nervously eyeing Mr. T.’s Manhattan aerie as one after another military man is added to his foreign policy cast of hawks; even as the bellicose Commander-in-Chief to be runs roughshod over diplomatic norms and protocol niceties.
President-elect Donald Trump probably never read Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey’s “Seven Days in May” in 1962 and never saw John Frankenheimer’s film version in 1964, which dealt with the threat of a military coup due to opposition to a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.