As the international community is consumed by the impact of Covid-19, there are signs of the impact of the pandemic on the body politic. There is change throughout the international community, particularly the decline of the influence and power of the United States; the fragmentation of the European Community; the weakening of the transatlantic system; the increased influence of China; and the dire impact on Third World countries and their refugee problems. At home, the Trump administration’s “destruction of the administrative state” has made the battle against the virus far more difficult.
Not only has Trump fired the IG of the IC Michael Atkinson and trashed him in public, he also fired the captain of the aircraft carrier the Theodore Roosevelt for expressing concerns about a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship. But more insidious is the move to bottle up embarrassing revelations of willful ignorance and serial incompetence by placing Grenell in as the head of the Directorate of National Intelligence with Devin Nunes’s protege Patel as his deputy. We will also discuss the warnings by the recently-fired Michael Atkinson issued in his heartfelt statement on Sunday urging potential whistleblowers inside the government that the American people are …”counting on you to use the authorized channels to bravely speak up – there is no disgrace in doing so. Please do not allow recent events to silence your voices”.
For far too long, the United States has been wastefully spending its precious budgetary resources on a nineteenth-century military strategy and a strategic arms policy that has brought no advantages to the American people. For the past three decades, our national security policies have been ineffectual and irrelevant to the genuine threats we face today. These threats do not emanate from Russia or China. Rather, they stem from an underfunded and highly vulnerable public health system, a cyber world that is out of control, and a crumbling infrastructure.
The Department of Justice’s Inspector General report of the FBI’s Russian investigation has fully exposed one more dangerous aspect of the steady abuses of national-security surveillance against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 of the national security abuses of the National Security Agency exposed the massive surveillance of U.S. citizens in the expanded campaign against terrorism. Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the DoJ, has highlighted the abuses of the FBI and the misuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court over an extended period. It will require a comprehensive and bipartisan congressional reform program to gain control over national-security wiretapping.