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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post Newspaper’

The following is a copy of an editorial / opinion piece written in:  The Washington Post, a newspaper who’s motto is: “Democracy Dies in Darkness
[I am copying the editorial in full and without permission of the Post.]  You may find the original at their website: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-saved-155-lives-on-the-hudson-now-lets-vote-for-leaders-wholl-protect-us-all/2018/10/29/554fd0e6-d87c-11e8-a10f-b51546b10756_story.html?utm_term=.17f98bb84493
The title was:  “We saved 155 lives on the Hudson.  Now let’s vote for leaders who’ll protect us all.
The opinion piece was written by:  Chesley B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger III  (Mr. Sullenberger is a safety expert, author and speaker on leadership and culture.)
And is dated:  October 29, 2018
Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154 people to safety as the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, which suffered bird strikes, lost thrust in the engines and was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River.  Some called it “the Miracle on the Hudson.”  But it was not a miracle.  It was, in microcosm, an example of what is needed in emergencies — including the current national crisis — and what is possible when we serve a cause greater than ourselves.
On our famous flight, I witnessed the best in people who rose to the occasion.  Passengers and crew worked together to help evacuate an elderly passenger and a mother with a 9-month-old child.  New York Waterway took the initiative to radio their vessels to head toward us when they saw us approaching.  This successful landing, in short, was the result of good judgment, experience, skill — and the efforts of many.
But as captain, I ultimately was responsible for everything that happened.  Had even one person not survived, I would have considered it a tragic failure that I would have felt deeply for the rest of my life.  To navigate complex challenges, all leaders must take responsibility and have a moral compass grounded in competence, integrity and concern for the greater good.
I am often told how calm I sounded speaking to passengers, crew and air traffic control during the emergency.  In every situation, but especially challenging ones, a leader sets the tone and must create an environment in which all can do their best.  You get what you project.  Whether it is calm and confidence — or fear, anger and hatred — people will respond in kind.  Courage can be contagious.
Today, tragically, too many people in power are projecting the worst.  Many are cowardly, complicit enablers, acting against the interests of the United States, our allies and democracy; encouraging extremists at home and emboldening our adversaries abroad; and threatening the livability of our planet.  Many do not respect the offices they hold; they lack — or disregard — a basic knowledge of history, science and leadership; and they act impulsively, worsening a toxic political environment.
As a result, we are in a struggle for who and what we are as a people.  We have lost what in the military we call unit cohesion.  The fabric of our nation is under attack, while shame — a timeless beacon of right and wrong — seems dead.
This is not the America I know and love.  We’re better than this.  Our ideals, shared facts and common humanity are what bind us together as a nation and a people.  Not one of these values is a political issue, but the lack of them is.
This current absence of civic virtues is not normal, and we must not allow it to become normal.  We must rededicate ourselves to the ideals, values and norms that unite us and upon which our democracy depends. We must be engaged and informed voters, and we must get our information from credible, reputable sources.
For the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican.  But I have always voted as an American.  And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses.
When I volunteered for military service during wartime, I took an oath that is similar to the one our elected officials take: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  I vowed to uphold this oath at the cost of my life, if necessary.  We must expect no less from our elected officials.  And we must hold accountable those who fail to defend our nation and all our people.
After Flight 1549, I realized that because of the sudden worldwide fame, I had been given a greater voice.  I knew I could not walk away but had an obligation to use this bully pulpit for good and as an advocate for the safety of the traveling public.  I feel that I now have yet another mission, as a defender of our democracy.
We cannot wait for someone to save us.  We must do it ourselves.  This Election Day is a crucial opportunity to again demonstrate the best in each of us by doing our duty and voting for leaders who are committed to the values that will unite and protect us.  Years from now, when our grandchildren learn about this critical time in our nation’s history, they may ask if we got involved, if we made our voices heard.  I know what my answer will be.  I hope yours will be “yes.”
[Please vote on Tuesday 6 November 2018.  Just as importantly, help get out the vote!  Encourage you friends and family to vote.  If you know of someone  who needs assistance in getting to their polling place, please offer that aid.   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Scary And Wonderful
2016 #AmnestyDon Hears The Polls
2015 Dare The Improbable
2014 All Together Now!
2013 This Road
2012 Profit
2011 God Is Personal
2010 Playoff Fever Gets the Best of Me…

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[The following is an opinion editorial appearing in the Washington Post on 16 August 2018.    —    KMAB]

Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President

Dear Mr. President:
Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known.  Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John.  He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.
Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.
Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.
A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization.  A good leader sets the example for others to follow.  A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.
Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities.  Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.
If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken.  The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.
William H. McRaven
Retired Navy Admiral
McRaven was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014.
He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
[Between 1974 and 1978, I served in the U.S. Army and had a Top-Secret clearance granted in relation to my duties.  I certainly no longer have this clearance.  But, if I did…  You could “revoke my security clearance, too, Mr President”!!    —    KMAB
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On This Day In:
2017 Try Not To Run Short, Too
2016 I Feel The Same (Thankful)
2015 It Couldn’t Hurt
2014 Sir, I Have Reasoned It Out!
2013 What Are We Becoming?
2012 Miracles
2011 “W” Finds A Nut!
2010 No Strain At All, But I’m Not Sure About Stress…
An Evening at the Pavilion…

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[The following is an opinion / editorial written by former Director of the CIA — John Brennan, titled:  “I will speak out until integrity returns to the White House
The editorial appeared in the Washington Post Newspaper on 1 June 2018.  It also appeared on the Post website:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/
The specific link to the editorial is: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/john-brennan-i-will-speak-out-until-integrity-returns-to-the-white-house/2018/05/31/afbccafa-64e8-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html?utm_term=.7a7512618b79
All rights are reserved by the Washington Post.  I am posting the editorial on my blog site in its entirety simply because I feel an urgent need to address (to “speak out” about) the problems with the Trump Administration.
For those not familiar with the name, John Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017.
  —  KMAB]
My first visit to the Oval Office came in October 1990, when I was a 35-year-old CIA officer.  Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait two months before, and President George H.W. Bush wanted to discuss the implications of a U.S.-led military coalition that would ultimately push the Iraqis out.
I remember the nervousness I felt when I entered that room and met a president of the United States for the first time.  By the time the meeting ended, his intellectual curiosity, wisdom, affability and intense interest in finding the best policy course to protect and promote U.S. interests were abundantly evident.
Over the next quarter-century, I returned to the Oval Office several hundred times during the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  The jitters that accompanied my first Oval Office visit dissipated over time, but the respect, awe and admiration I held for the office of the presidency and the incumbents never waned.  The presidents I directly served were not perfect, and I didn’t agree with all of their policy choices.  But I never doubted that each treated their solemn responsibility to lead our nation with anything less than the seriousness, intellectual rigor and principles that it deserved.  Many times, I heard them dismiss the political concerns of their advisers, saying, “I don’t care about my politics, it’s the right thing to do.”
The esteem with which I held the presidency was dealt a serious blow when Donald Trump took office.  Almost immediately, I began to see a startling aberration from the remarkable, though human, presidents I had served.  Mr. Trump’s lifelong preoccupation with aggrandizing himself seemed to intensify in office, and he quickly leveraged his 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. address and his Twitter handle to burnish his brand and misrepresent reality.
Presidents throughout the years have differed in their approaches to policy, based on political platforms, ideologies and individual beliefs.  Mr. Trump, however, has shown highly abnormal behavior by lying routinely to the American people without compunction, intentionally fueling divisions in our country and actively working to degrade the imperfect but critical institutions that serve us.
Although appalling, those actions shouldn’t be surprising.  As was the case throughout his business and entertainment careers, Mr. Trump charts his every move according to a calculus of how it will personally help or hurt him.  His strategy is to undercut real, potential and perceived opponents; his focus is to win at all costs, irrespective of truth, ethics, decency and — many would argue — the law.  His disparagement of institutions is designed to short-circuit legitimate law enforcement investigations, intelligence assessments and media challenges that threaten his interests.  His fear of the special counsel’s work is especially palpable, as is his growing interest in destroying its mandate.
For more than three decades, I observed and analyzed the traits and tactics of corrupt, incompetent and narcissistic foreign officials who did whatever they thought was necessary to retain power.  Exploiting the fears and concerns of their citizenry, these demagogues routinely relied on lies, deceit and suppression of political opposition to cast themselves as populist heroes and to mask self-serving priorities.  By gaining control of intelligence and security services, stifling the independence of the judiciary and discrediting a free press, these authoritarian rulers followed a time-tested recipe for how to inhibit democracy’s development, retard individual freedoms and liberties, and reserve the spoils of corrupt governance for themselves and their ilk.  It never dawned on me that we could face such a development in the United States.
On the international front, Mr. Trump pursues policies that are rooted in uninformed campaign promises, a determination to upend actions of his predecessors and an aversion to multilateral engagements.  His ad hoc and frequently impulsive approach to national security is short-sighted and dangerous, as allies and partners are left uncertain about U.S. strategy and objectives.
The impact of the Trump presidency will be felt for many years to come.  Most worrisome is that his use of falsehoods, his mean-spirited and malicious behavior, and his self-absorption will be emulated by many young Americans — indeed, young people globally — who look to the president of the United States as a role model.
The damage also will be felt by the millions of Americans who believe in Mr. Trump because of their concern about being left behind in a rapidly changing globalized world.  These Americans have a legitimate gripe that politicians and political parties of all stripes have failed to deliver on the promise that America is the land of opportunity for all, irrespective of race, creed or place of residence.  At a time when deep-seated fears of socioeconomic and cultural change need to be addressed honestly and without prejudice, Mr. Trump grandstands like a snake-oil salesman, squandering his formidable charisma and communication skills in favor of ego, selfishness and false promises.
Many have condemned my public criticism of Mr. Trump, arguing that as a former CIA director, I should bite my tongue.  My criticisms, however, are not political; I have never been and will never be a partisan.  I speak out for the simple reason that Mr. Trump is failing to live up to the standards that we should all expect of a president.
As someone who had the rare privilege of directly serving four presidents, I will continue to speak out loudly and critically until integrity, decency, wisdom — and maybe even some humility — return to the White House.
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On This Day In:
2017 To Laws, Not Office Or Individuals
Beast / General / Civil
2016 Patronage
2015 For Blogs, Too!
2014 Righteous Anger
2013 An Irish Blessing
2012 But Is It Worth It?
2011 Let Us Start

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