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Posts Tagged ‘National Security Council’

The following is an opinion piece / editorial appearing on “The Washington Post” web site (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
It was written by: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alexander Vindman and is titled: “Coming forward ended my career. I still believe doing what’s right matters.
The specific link to the editorial is:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/01/alexander-vindman-retiring-oped/
No ownership by me or this site is claimed, implied or intended.
After 21 years, six months and 10 days of active military service, I am now a civilian.  I made the difficult decision to retire because a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies forever limited the progression of my military career.
This experience has been painful, but I am not alone in this ignominious fate.  The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed.
A year ago, having served the nation in uniform in positions of critical importance, I was on the cusp of a career-topping promotion to colonel.  A year ago, unknown to me, my concerns over the president’s conduct and the president’s efforts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy were precipitating tremors that would ultimately shake loose the facade of good governance and publicly expose the corruption of the Trump administration.
At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment.  Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.
Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents.  Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished.  The president recklessly downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as it swept through our country.  The economic collapse that followed highlighted the growing income disparities in our society.  Millions are grieving the loss of loved ones and many more have lost their livelihoods while the president publicly bemoans his approval ratings.
There is another way.
During my testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, I reassured my father, who experienced Soviet authoritarianism firsthand, saying, “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”  Despite Trump’s retaliation, I stand by that conviction.  Even as I experience the low of ending my military career, I have also experienced the loving support of tens of thousands of Americans.  Theirs is a chorus of hope that drowns out the spurious attacks of a disreputable man and his sycophants.
Since the struggle for our nation’s independence, America has been a union of purpose: a union born from the belief that although each individual is the pilot of their own destiny, when we come together, we change the world.  We are stronger as a woven rope than as unbound threads.
America has thrived because citizens have been willing to contribute their voices and shed their blood to challenge injustice and protect the nation.  It is in keeping with that history of service that, at this moment, I feel the burden to advocate for my values and an enormous urgency to act.
Despite some personal turmoil, I remain hopeful for the future for both my family and for our nation.  Impeachment exposed Trump’s corruption, but the confluence of a pandemic, a financial crisis and the stoking of societal divisions has roused the soul of the American people.  A groundswell is building that will issue a mandate to reject hate and bigotry and a return to the ideals that set the United States apart from the rest of the world.  I look forward to contributing to that effort.
In retirement from the Army, I will continue to defend my nation.  I will demand accountability of our leadership and call for leaders of moral courage and public servants of integrity.  I will speak about the attacks on our national security.  I will advocate for policies and strategies that will keep our nation safe and strong against internal and external threats.  I will promote public service and exalt the contribution that service brings to all areas of society.
The 23-year-old me who was commissioned in December 1998 could never have imagined the opportunities and experiences I have had.  I joined the military to serve the country that sheltered my family’s escape from authoritarianism, and yet the privilege has been all mine.
When I was asked why I had the confidence to tell my father not to worry about my testimony, my response was, “Congressman, because this is America.  This is the country I have served and defended, that all my brothers have served, and here, right matters.”
To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream.  I believe that in America, right matters.  I want to help ensure that right matters for all Americans.
  —    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Vindman was a career U.S. Army officer who served on the National Security Council as the director for Eastern European, Caucasus and Russian affairs, as the Russia political-military affairs officer for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as a military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
The above opinion piece / editorial is titled: “Coming forward ended my career.  I still believe doing what’s right matters.
It appears at “The Washington Post” web site (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
The specific link to the editorial is:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/01/alexander-vindman-retiring-oped/
This reprint appears without the knowledge or consent of the Washington Post for purely public information purposes.  No ownership by me or this site is claimed, implied or intended.
If you are financially able to subscribe or support the Washington Post or any local or national news media, please do so.  A free press is one of the few things left protecting our democracy and freedoms.
[I personally consider Lt. Col. Vindman to be a genuine American hero and I am grateful to “The Washington Post” for sharing this important viewpoint with Americans and with the world.  —  KMAB]
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“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something — but we are not getting something,” the National Security Council source told Newsweek.  “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.”
  —  James LaPorta
From his article: “Exclusive: Official Who Heard Call Says Trump Got ‘Rolled’ By Turkey and ‘Has No Spine’
Appearing on website: https://www.newsweek.com/
The specific article is at: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-official-who-heard-call-says-trump-got-rolled-turkey-has-no-spine-1463623
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Britain’s Ambassador to Washington has described Donald Trump as ‘inept’, ‘insecure’ and ‘incompetent’ in a series of explosive memos to Downing Street.
Sir Kim Darroch, one of Britain’s top diplomats, used secret cables and briefing notes to impugn Trump’s character, warning London that the White House was ‘uniquely dysfunctional’ and that the President’s career could end in ‘disgrace’.
His bombshell comments risk angering the notoriously thin-skinned President and undermining the UK’s ‘special relationship’ with America.
In one of the most sensitive documents, Sir Kim writes: ‘We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.’
He also says that he doesn’t think Trump’s White House will ‘ever look competent’.
In reference to Trump’s ability to shrug off controversies in a life which has been ‘mired in scandal’, he says that the President may nonetheless ’emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like [Arnold] Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of The Terminator’.
The document, sent ahead of a National Security Council discussion on the UK-US relationship, paints a damning picture of the President’s personality and leadership style.
It says media reports of ‘vicious infighting and chaos’ inside the White House – dismissed by Trump as ‘fake news’ – are ‘mostly true’.
And referring to allegations of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia – since largely disproved – the memo says: ‘The worst cannot be ruled out.’
The Foreign Office last night said that the British public ‘would expect our Ambassadors to provide Ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their countries’.
A spokesman added: ‘Their views are not necessarily the views of Ministers or indeed the Government.  But we pay them to be candid, just as the US Ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities.
‘Of course we would expect such advice to be handled by Ministers and civil servants in the right way and it’s important that our Ambassadors can offer their advice and for it remain confidential.
‘Our team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt that these will withstand such mischievous behaviour.’
In the confidential memo – marked ‘Official Sensitive’ – the UK’s most important diplomat accused Trump of ‘radiating insecurity’, filling his speeches with ‘false claims and invented statistics’ and achieving ‘almost nothing’ in terms of domestic policy.
Earlier, Sedwill had sent Sir Kim an outline presentation for the meeting.  Sir Kim thought the slides ‘looked good’.  There was just one point he felt he needed to correct: ‘My only disagreement with the slides: I don’t think this Administration will ever look competent,’ he declared.
And while the President would deride media stories about such chaos as ‘fake news’, Sir Kim privately advised his bosses in London to believe what they were reading in the newspapers . ‘The stories about White House knife fights are, we judge, mostly true: multiple sources and confirmed by our own White House contacts.  This is a uniquely dysfunctional environment.’  He warned Whitehall to be braced for more presidential outbursts including the use of ‘immoderate, sometimes offensive, language’, like his attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
‘There is no filter,’ Darroch advised. ‘And we could also be at the beginning of a downward spiral, rather than just a rollercoaster: something could emerge that leads to disgrace and downfall.’
But while warning Whitehall that Trump’s White House could collapse under the weight of scandal, he also urged the British Government not to write Trump off.
The President, he noted, has been mired in scandal most of his life but has always survived.
The above (extensive) excerpts were taken from a newspaper article titled: “Britain’s man in the US says Trump is ‘inept’:  Leaked secret cables from ambassador say the President is ‘uniquely dysfunctional and his career could end in disgrace’
The article was written by: Isabel Oakeshott
The article appears in: “The Mail On Sunday
Published: 17:01 EDT, 6 July 2019 | Updated: 04:29 EDT, 7 July 2019
The following link is to the entire article:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7220335/Britains-man-says-Trump-inept-Cables-ambassador-say-dysfunctional.html
[I would encourage everyone to read the article in full to better understand the background of the diplomat and the story itself.  Portions of the article appear in multiple locations.  This article is the original source material.  —  KMAB]
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