Trump Chooses Army General H.R. McMaster for National Security Adviser

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, February 20, 2017:

On Monday, the White House announced Army Lt. General H.R. McMaster as the replacement for Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser.

McMaster was not one of the top candidates suggested by administration sources after President Trump’s first choice, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, declined the position. Over the weekend, President Trump began interviewing three new candidates, along with the current temporary occupant of the position, retired General Keith Kellogg. McMaster was one of the three, along with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen.

According to the White House announcement, Kellogg will continue serving under McMaster as chief of staff for the National Security Council.

Thomas Ricks at Foreign Policy predicted McMaster would be Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser on Monday morning, describing him as “smart, energetic, and tough.”

“He has good combat experience, he was a good trainer, and he led the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment well in his deployment to Iraq, most notably in pacifying Tell Afar, to the west of Mosul,” Ricks wrote, adding that McMaster was supported to a “surprising degree” by people who had worked for him in the past.

McMaster is the author of a highly-regarded book on Vietnam, Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chief of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. The book strongly argues that military leadership should be willing to stand up to civilian political leaders when war is not waged successfully, and also criticizes Vietnam-era military leadership for becoming distracted by bureaucratic infighting.

McMaster’s leadership at the famed Battle of 73 Easting in Operation Desert Storm was an important part of the U.S. military’s resurgence, poetically described as “exorcising the ghosts of Vietnam” at the time. In that battle, a vastly outnumbered American unit defeated Iraqi forces with superior tactics, coordination, and technology, without suffering a single casualty. Last February, McMaster wrote an extensive account of the battle, and the lessons it provides for future conflict, for The National Interest.

He is noted as an advocate of both strong conventional military forces and cyber-warfare capability. Concerned by cuts to both manpower and equipment modernization, he warned the Senate last year that “we are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries… our Army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.” One of the lessons he recommends learning from the Battle of 73 Easting, a quarter-century on, is that American forces may never again have such a pronounced technological advantage over enemy ground forces.

One of the adversaries McMaster particularly worries about is Russia. Defense One reported in May 2016 that he believes the Ukraine conflict has “revealed that the Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat vehicles, and have learned sophisticated use of UAVs for tactical effect.”

McMaster feared American military planners have invested too much effort in “winning long-range missile duels,” proclaiming such tactics of limited use against the “dispersion, concealment, intermingling with civilian populations… the ability to disrupt our network strike capability, precision navigation and timing capabilities” demonstrated by Russian forces in Ukraine. He was also concerned about Russia’s advantages in battlefield artillery.

He was also concerned about Russia’s advantages in battlefield artillery, including their use of cluster munitions, thermobaric warheads, and heavy use of electronic warfare, citing reports of Russia’s astonishing effectiveness at shutting down Ukranian tactical radios, drones, and even the electrical fuses on their artillery shells. Even the vaunted American technological edge in air supremacy, tanks, and armored fighting vehicles has dangerously eroded, in McMaster’s estimation.

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Democrats, ‘Never Trumpers’ Thrilled at Prospect of Harward as National Security Adviser

Robert Harward / DOD

Robert Harward / DOD

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 16, 2017:

An ally of potential national security adviser Robert Harward is soliciting resumes from a who’s who of Republican foreign policy insiders and says the retired admiral and former Navy SEAL plans to revamp the White House’s National Security Council following the resignation earlier this week of Michael Flynn, according to an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Mary Beth Long, a former CIA officer and official in the George W. Bush administration, recently emailed a handful of prominent foreign policy leaders in Washington, D.C., to gauge interest in serving under Harward.

Long, who signed a letter critical of Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign but later changed her opinion of the New York real estate developer, said in the email that “Bob Harward is going to ‘start over’ at the NSC in about two weeks.”

Republicans and Democrats alike have championed the selection of Harward, who served on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration and is close to Defense Secretary James Mattis. This includes several former Obama administration officials such as Tommy Vietor, who served as the NSC’s spokesman under Obama.

But Long’s email, as well as the positive reception of Harward among former Obama officials, has spooked several current officials who worked under Flynn. They are concerned that Harward is planning to wholly revamp the NSC and remove staffers close to Flynn’s former team.

Harward “plans a housecleaning of Trump’s National Security Council staff,” read the headline on an article Wednesday in Foreign Policy.

These fears come at a time when multiple reports indicate that there is disarray among team Trump and fractures among its senior staff.

A restructuring of the NSC at this time could harm the Trump administration and contribute to further disarray inside the White House, according to sources familiar with NSC deliberations who spoke to the Free Beacon late Wednesday about the matter.

Long informed her colleagues included on the email, many of whom also opposed Trump during the campaign, that she could help secure them a spot under Harward. It is unclear if Harward is aware of the effort.

Long said the email was meant to help the Trump administration tap the best minds for a job in the White House.

“I feel an obligation to do what I can to help them do what they do best ‘serve their country and the President’ if permitted,” she told the Free Beacon, adding the email was sent to “true professionals in the field” who would benefit the Trump administration.

“Please let me know (and please don’t think this is an endorsement—I leave that to you, just didn’t want the opportunity to pass if it is given),” Long wrote in her email to the group of Trump critics. “You all have worked so very hard.”

Inside the White House, current staffers are worried that a reshuffling so early on will hamstring an administration that is already struggling to maintain control of the public narrative.

The NSC in particular could find itself behind the curve if Harward brings in his own team of confidantes.

Those already working on and with the NSC have spent months planning their course of action and have worked to identify elements of the administration still staffed by those who oppose Trump.

Multiple reports have indicated that the leaks targeting Flynn were in part spread by Obama administration loyalists still working within the government.

Those inside the White House fear that a massive overhaul would turn back the clock and erase some of the work already taking place inside the White House, according to those sources familiar with current NSC deliberations.

“I never informed my colleagues that I could ‘help secure’ them jobs,” Long wrote in an email to the Free Beacon after this article was published. “In fact, I specifically state that this is not an endorsement and that I would provide the resumes if ‘given the opportunity.’ These are dedicated and talented professionals whose work is exceptional and who welcome the opportunity to serve their country. The article inaccurately characterized the recipients of the email as ‘Never Trumpers’ and both the purpose and intent of the email.”

Three candidates emerge to replace Flynn as national security adviser

Vice-Admiral Bob Harward, Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Vice-Admiral Bob Harward, Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Fox News, February 14, 2017:

President Trump’s embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night and three names have emerged as possible replacements.

Vice Adm. Bob Harward is one name that has come up to replace Flynn as national security adviser, and the leading candidate to get the job, a senior official told Fox News.

Harward is a U.S. Navy SEAL, but also has a previous relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Harward was the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command under Mattis and was also the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.

He also served on the National Security Council for President George W. Bush and commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center.

White House sources described Harward as the “toughest guy in the SEALs” and a “real rock.”

A senior administration official added that if Howard is the choice to replace Flynn, he could be in place by the end of the week.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. has been floated as a permanent replacement for Flynn. Trump named him the acting national security adviser after Flynn resigned.

Kellogg is a decorated U.S. Army veteran, having served from 1967 to 2003. He earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device and the Air Medal with “V” device during his time in the Vietnam War.

Kellogg was chief operating officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, the interim governing body following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. He previously worked as executive vice president of research and technology for Virginia-based information technology firm CACI International, which works as a contractor for defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies.

Another name floated as a possible replacement for Flynn is retired Gen. David Petraeus.

Trump routinely dropped Petraeus’ name during his election campaign. Trump said that Petraeus was punished more severely for leaking classified documents to his mistress than Hillary Clinton was punished for setting up a private email server during his time as Secretary of State.

READ: MICHAEL FLYNN’S LETTER OF RESIGNATION AS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

Petraeus was briefly considered for the secretary of state job, but was passed up because of his rocky tenure as CIA chief and the possibility that he wouldn’t be confirmed in the Senate because of those issues.

According to the Washington Examiner, Bush’s former national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Tom Bossert, a former national security aide under Bush have been considered a Flynn’s replacement. The paper added that Adm. James Stavridis, a dean at Tufts University, is also on the table.

Flynn’s resignation ended speculation about his fate following reports he had misled Vice President Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia.

Flynn conceded that discussions of sanctions may have come up during several calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition period leading up to Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

He acknowledged that he gave “incomplete information” about those discussions to Pence who, apparently relying on information from the national security adviser, initially said Flynn had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy.

Whoever emerges as Trump’s choice will take the helm of the National Security Council at a time when the young administration is grappling with a series of national security challenges, including North Korea’s reported ballistic missile launch. The president, who was joined at his Mar-a-Lago estate by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, voiced solidarity with Japan.

The White House is also dealing with fallout from the rocky rollout of Trump’s immigration executive order, which has been blocked by the courts. The order was intended to suspend the nation’s refugee program and bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

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Petraeus would be a disaster — a stalwart of the old establishment in an administration that said it would “drain the swamp.”

In May 2016, he published what was essentially an anti Trump screed, saying that proposals to restrict immigration from Muslim countries that are hotspots of jihad terror shouldn’t even be made, so as to avoid offending Muslims.

He was in favor of using al Qaeda jihadis to defeat the Islamic State, which would give us a region full of al-Qaeda jihadis with American weapons and materiel who hate the United States and want to destroy it. (This is essentially what we have now in Syria, where Obama armed “moderates” who were really al-Qaeda jihadis.)

When he headed up the international coalition in Afghanistan, he said that Florida pastor Terry Jones’ plan to burn the Qur’an was “hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible.” He warned that the Qur’an-burning would endanger American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He issued a statement saying that he hoped “the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”

I opposed the Qur’an-burning, but not for the reasons Petraeus did. I don’t like the burning of books. And I’d rather that the contents of the Qur’an, and the ways that jihadists use those contents to justify violence, be known. However, Jones was free to do what he wanted to do. Petraeus would have done better to have told the Afghans that in America we have freedom of speech and expression, and that we put up with speech and expression that we dislike without trying to kill the speaker.

He has never shown evidence of having a clue about the jihad threat.

Flynn Resignation Raises Tough Questions for FBI, Intel Services

Michael Flynn

Breitbart, by Joel Pollak, February 14, 2017:

The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Monday evening raises troubling questions about the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the intelligence services.

Flynn ostensibly resigned because he provided Vice President Mike Pence with “incomplete information” about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador, which turned out to include a discussion of recent sanctions, contrary to his earlier denials. Trust is crucial; the resignation was warranted.

That said, the sanctions were largely bogus, and were applied not just to punish Russia for spying on the U.S. (both countries clearly spy on each other), but to substantiate the Democratic Party’s sore-loser conspiracy theory that Russia was responsible for electing Donald Trump.

There is no concrete evidence to support that theory, and there is no evidence (yet) that Flynn did anything but discuss sanctions in the most general terms. He did not break the Logan Act, nor any other law, apparently.

Whether Flynn deliberately concealed the contents of his conversation from Vice President Pence, or merely forgot what had been said, he was “caught” because the Department of Justice had been eavesdropping on the conversation. And one of the officials responsible for ordering the eavesdropping was none other than Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who forced President Trump to fire her when she defied her duty to enforce his executive order on immigration, however, controversial.

Four possibilities emerge. One, which the media and the Democrats (largely one and the same) clearly believe, is that Flynn really was a potential Russian plant, perhaps indicating much deeper Russian penetration of the campaign and administration.

A second possibility is that things really are what they seem, on the surface, to be. Russia’s unusual response to the sanctions — declining to retaliate — was so bizarre that it warranted investigation, which then raised legitimate suspicions about Flynn.

The remaining possibilities are more worrying. The third explanation is that President Obama deliberately, and cleverly, used the bogus sanctions as a “blue dye” test to expose which strings Russia might try to pull to relieve them. Flynn, with a prior relationship with the Russian government, may have been a natural, innocuous point of contact — or perhaps something more.

The fourth and most worrying explanation is that the government was not merely monitoring the communications of Russian diplomats, but of the Trump transition team itself. The fact that the contents of Flynn’s phone conversation — highly sensitive intelligence — were leaked to the media suggests that someone with access to that information also has a political axe to grind.

Democrats are clamoring for a deeper investigation of Russian ties to Trump. But the more serious question is whether our nation’s intelligence services were involved in what amounts to political espionage against the newly-elected government.

We know that there are hundreds and perhaps thousands of federal bureaucrats already using shadow communications systems. How far does that “shadow government” go?

The FBI, CIA and other agencies ought to reassure Congress, or come clean.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Study Reveals 72 Terrorists Came From Countries Covered by Trump Vetting Order

refugee-terrorismCenter for Immigration Studies, by Jessica Vaughan, February 11, 2017

A review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand in stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who have blocked the president’s order on the basis that there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in.

In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. Using open sources (because the Obama administration refused to provide government records), the report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born. The report is no longer available on the Senate website, but a summary published by Fox News is available here.

The Center has obtained a copy of the information compiled by the subcommittee. The information compiled includes names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence, and immigration history.

The Center has extracted information on 72 individuals named in the Senate report whose country of origin is one of the seven terror-associated countries included in the vetting executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Senate researchers were not able to obtain complete information on each convicted terrorist, so it is possible that more of the convicted terrorists are from these countries.

The United States has admitted terrorists from all of the seven dangerous countries:

  • Somalia: 20
  • Yemen: 19
  • Iraq: 19
  • Syria: 7
  • Iran: 4
  • Libya: 2
  • Sudan: 1
  • Total: 72

According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror-prone countries. Three came in on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa.

At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens. Ten were lawful permanent residents, and four were illegal aliens.

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Some opponents of the travel suspension have tried to claim that the Senate report was flawed because it included individuals who were not necessarily terrorists because they were convicted of crimes such as identity fraud and false statements. About a dozen individuals in the group from the seven terror-associated countries are in this category. Some are individuals who were arrested and convicted in the months following 9/11 for involvement in a fraudulent hazardous materials and commercial driver’s license scheme that was extremely worrisome to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, although a direct link to the 9/11 plot was never claimed.

The information in this report was compiled by Senate staff from open sources, and certainly could have been found by the judges if they or their clerks had looked for it. Another example that should have come to mind is that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who attacked and wounded 11 people on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. Artan was a Somalian who arrived in 2007 as a refugee.

President Trump’s vetting order is clearly legal under the provisions of section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which says that the president can suspend the entry of any alien or group of aliens if he finds it to be detrimental to the national interest. He should not have to provide any more justification than was already presented in the order, but if judges demand more reasons, here are 72.

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Sebastian Gorka Defends Trump’s National Security Actions

Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, defended the president’s national security decisions Wednesday on CNN.

Host Jake Tapper asked Gorka what to make of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s statement earlier in the day to Iran that the country is being “put on notice.”

“Well, it’s a very simple signal: there’s a new sheriff in town,” Gorka said. “His name is Donald J. Trump, and we are not going to follow the policies of the prior administration, which really facilitated Iran in terms of getting more muscular, releasing those billions of dollars, and also bringing the JCPOA agreement, which also was disastrous in terms of our allies and security of the region.”

“So it’s sending a very simple message: this is a new dawn, a new day for relations with Iran.”

Tapper tried to ask Gorka if Iran would be emboldened to go ahead and produce nuclear weapons if Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal.

“This is the great irony that people talk about how an action here in America in the White House or in the Congress will suddenly change the aggressive nature of Iran,” Gorka said. “This is a nation that is already going up to our naval vessels, is harassing our naval vessels, our friends’ vessels in the Red Sea, is firing upon Saudi ships.”

When Tapper asked Gorka if the immigration ban by Trump was going to help the Islamic State, Gorka lambasted the assertion.

“I would say that any document signed or executed in the United States makes no difference to ISIS. ISIS believes you are an infidel, Jake, and you should be beheaded or convert to Islam,” Gorka responded. “Whether or not a president signs something or not is utterly irrelevant to that attitude.”

“The idea that what we do here, that they’re suddenly going to surrender or give up or recruit less is absurd,” Gorka continued. “They wish to have a global caliphate, Jake. That’s all that they wish to do.”

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Gaffney: Sanctuary Cities Are ‘Magnet’ for Illegals, Don’t Make Us Safer

AP

AP

Breitbart, by John Hayward, February 1, 2017:

Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy president, praised President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on Wednesday’sBreitbart News Daily.

“He seems like a most impressive man,” Gaffney told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Following a clip Marlow played, Gaffney said, “The law is not my area of expertise, needless to say – but he, I believe, has epitomized over his distinguished career an approach to judicial practice which that clip you just ran spoke to: that it is not the role of judges to make the law. It is to apply the law, to assure the equitable application of the law.”

“That’s a refreshing change from what we’ve been seeing a lot of from the bench, including the Supreme Court, of late,” Gaffney continued, “a necessary corrective, especially in regards to replacing one of the most eminent, most capable, and most important checks on that practice, namely Antonin Scalia, who Judge Gorsuch is being called to replace on the Supreme Court, of course.”

Marlow asked Gaffney about the spectacle of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) throwing Breitbart News reporter Neil Munro out of an event that was supposedly dedicated to “tolerance” and “inclusion.”

“A couple of quick points on this, Alex,” Gaffney said. “One, among the governments that has tied the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, to terrorism is the United States government. In fact, in the Holy Land Foundation trial – 2007-2008, largest terrorism financing trial in the country’s history – CAIR was identified by an FBI agent, based upon wiretaps conducted by the FBI back in the day when it did that sort of thing, of a meeting. It turned out to be the founding meeting of this organization CAIR, and it involved representatives of a group the Brotherhood itself has identified as a part of their organizations, the Islamic Association for Palestine, on the one hand, and representatives of Hamas. What the federal government contends in court, and four different federal judges affirmed, was that CAIR is Hamas.”

“So there’s that. And then there’s this point that you’ve made, and I think it’s apt, that the most intolerant people on the planet, bar none, are the jihadists – who seek often in this country, doing business as the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, that everybody must be very tolerant of them,” he continued.

“It’s absurd. It’s obscene. And unfortunately, to the extent that these guys have gotten away with it for this long, under, I’m sorry to say, Republican and Democratic administrations, they have managed to become influential in our policy-making process, to the point where we are largely, willfully, blind to the real threat that they represent,” he warned.

“So yes, I do hope that this is another of the things that Donald Trump will attend to here shortly, namely designating the Muslim Brotherhood as what it is: a terrorist organization, which I hope will speak volumes about the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other front groups operating in this country under its banner,” he said.

Marlow referenced Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s appearance on Breitbart News Daily the previous day, in which he denounced the Left’s use of Muslims as pawns in its identity-politics games.

“Zuhdi’s a remarkable man, and I am very proud to have him as a friend,” Gaffney said. “I think he’s absolutely right about that. I think the corollary, of course, is that the Islamists are using the Left, as well. They’re using them as cover for what is, according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s own secret plan – written back in 1991 as a report to Cairo, the mothership, the headquarters, not meant for our eyes, called the ‘Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group.’ People can go look at it, download it for free at SecureFreedom.org. It is a fascinating read.”

“What it makes very clear is the Muslim Brotherhood’s mission in our country is destroying Western civilization from within, by the hands of what you might call the infidels,” he said. “Among the infidels that are most helpful to them, if you’re trained as I was in fighting the old Soviet Communists, think of them as ‘useful idiots’ or ‘useful infidels,’ the term that Daniel Pipes has coined. But whatever they are, they are helping the Islamists in their efforts to take us down, and the Islamists are helping the Left in doing just that. They have a very different vision of what should come next, of course, but they are making common cause.

“And it is bizarre, since among the pillars of the Left, let’s recall, are groups like feminists – as we saw in the streets of Washington and elsewhere recently – and Jews, and homosexuals, and people of various minority faiths, people who leave their faiths. These are all, especially Muslims, regarded as, you know, the enemy by this so-called ‘Religion of Peace.’” he pointed out.

“I want to emphasize, there are people like Zuhdi Jasser who don’t agree with this, that don’t practice sharia, as we’ve talked about often, that animates this very intolerant, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic, and anti-American, anti-constitutional program of the Islamists. But it is really appalling that the Left is helping, in so many ways, normalize and socialize and otherwise advance this toxically anti-American agenda. It’s what we see, of course, most immediately in this effort by Donald Trump to stop – these are my words, but I think this is what it is, at the end of the day – to stop importing more jihadists into the United States. The vast majority of the American people support it,” Gaffney said.

Marlow moved to the subject of President Trump’s executive order on immigration by playing a comment from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the effect that “sanctuary cities” enhance American security because they attract a large number of illegal aliens who can serve as confidential informants to the police when other illegal aliens commit crimes.

“I think what we’re watching is an effort to defy common sense,” Gaffney commented. “Most of us who have common sense recognize that bringing more people into this country who aren’t just violent jihadists who want to blow things up, or shoot people, or rape people for that matter…I’m just worried, frankly, as I said earlier, about the people who have been engaged in what I think of as kind of ‘pre-violence’: the sharia supremacists who seek to build the infrastructure that supports a violent kind of jihad, that insists that people don’t assimilate into our country, don’t become like Zuhdi Jasser, part of the American fabric and dream.”

“They’re a problem, and we don’t need more of them,” he contended. “I think that’s what Donald Trump is trying to do with his pause and trying to assess how do we enhance our vetting process? How do we keep those kinds of people out?”

Gaffney said that goal was “eminently sensible” and scoffed at the efforts of people like Pelosi to “cast themselves as the people who are protecting us by preventing the police from being able to identify and remove folks as part of an overall law-enforcement effort, who are engaged in that kind of behavior.”

“To suggest that somehow we’re all going to be safer if we actually keep the magnet for people coming here illegally – some of whom, I have to say, are engaged in probably actual or pre-terrorist activity – this is a ridiculous position to strike,” he said. “I think Donald Trump is absolutely right to insist that we shut down these sanctuary cities, that we insist that our cities and our states enforce the law, not undermine it to possibly great detriment of public safety and even the national security.”

Gorka Debunks ‘Muslim Ban’: Most Populous Muslim Countries Left Out of Trump Executive Order

screen-shot-2016-09-04-at-8-48-57-am-640x480-1

Breitbart, by John Hayward, January 31, 2017:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka made his final appearance as national security editor for Breitbart News on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily–and his first asdeputy assistant to President Donald Trump.

In his new capacity, Dr. Gorka naturally addressed the biggest news of the day, President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. SiriusXM host Alex Marlow pointed to a Rasmussen poll that found 57 percent public support for the supposedly outrageous order.

“It’s quite remarkable, Alex, how the media elite – what we call the ‘chattering classes,’ or what Ben Rhodes, the former deputy national security adviser, called the ‘echo chamber’ or the ‘sounding box’ – they really still don’t understand what happened on November the 8th, and how the backbone of America, the common man, the average voter simply wants to see a return to common sense,” Gorka said.

“We are at war with global jihadism,” he continued. “We’ve arrested or killed more than 125 ISIS terrorists in America since the Caliphate was redeclared two-and-a-half years ago, from Mosul. They want things like the Berlin attack, the Nice attack, the double Paris attacks, not to happen on U.S. soil. So they understand that we need to review all our immigration policies and build a wall. It’s really that simple, Alex.”

“Your critics on the Left would say this is about seizing the moral high ground for the next terror attack. What is your response to that?” Marlow asked.

“I would say playing politics with the safety of American citizens is reprehensible,” Gorka replied. “The fact is, we know that ISIS has declared in English, in its publications, in its videos, ‘We will use the refugee streams and mass migrations to insert our jihadis into your cultures.’ We know at least one of the attacks in Europe involved an individual with refugee status, traveling on a false Syrian passport. These are not matters of opinion. These are the cold, hard facts.”

“What we need to recall is, we’ve had here, even in the United States, the Boston attack,” he said when Marlow asked about terrorist actions carried out by refugees. “I worked on the Boston attack for the Department of Justice as an expert. Remember, these individuals came from the former Soviet Union. They came as refugees or asylum seekers. They went through the system and were approved.”

“Likewise, you look at San Bernardino, another individual who went through the system and was approved. And at the time – just think about this – the federal authorities looking into her visa application couldn’t look at her public Facebook pages! That was deemed an intrusion of privacy. That by itself tells you we have to review the system,” he said.

Gorka strenuously denied allegations that Trump’s immigration policies are rooted in xenophobia.

“There’s just one argument that destroys this accusation of any kind of xenophobic intent behind this executive order,” he said. “If this had anything to do with a specific religion, if this had anything to do with Islam, how is it that the most populous Muslim nation in the world, Indonesia, is not one of the seven nations affected? How is it that the largest Arab Muslim nation in the world, Egypt, is not on the list? Surely they would have been included. No, this is about real threats from nations where groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS are active. It’s about national security, Alex.”

Marlow asked if there was “any potential for more countries to get added to the list.”

“Well, the irony is, we are using the list that was developed by the last administration because the last administration realized that these are the primary nations of concern,” Gorka replied. “Why? Because if you look at Syria, Iraq, Libya, that’s where ISIS was created. If you look at al-Qaeda that people forget is still out there, they are incredibly active in countries like Yemen and Somalia.”

“Strategy is the art of prioritization,” he explained. “We have prioritized. That’s why we started with this seven. And it is the President’s prerogative to add or remove countries from this list because the 1950s act says it is the President who decides who comes into this country, based on which standards. That is his mandate.”

Trump left countries with high terror risk off his banned list

Taliban militants train in a lawless region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2011. EPA

Taliban militants train in a lawless region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2011. EPA

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, January 28, 2017:

Afghanistan is conspicuously absent from the list of terror-prone countries in President Trump’s indefinite immigration ban, even though al-Qaeda has reopened terrorist training camps there and Afghan immigration factors into recent homegrown terrorism, including the Orlando and Chelsea attacks.

Trump signed an executive order on Friday temporarily blocking entry into the US for immigrants and nonimmigrants from seven Muslim countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — until the government can tighten security procedures to screen out terrorists under Trump’s proposed “extreme vetting” program. It would also completely stop the processing and resettling here of Muslim refugees from ISIS hotspot Syria.

“It’s countries that have tremendous terror,” Trump explained. “And it’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems.”

Leaving Afghanistan — as well as high-risk Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — off the list may prove shortsighted, however.

A new Pentagon report reveals that 20 terrorist groups, including ISIS, are now operating in Afghanistan, mostly along the Pakistan border. It notes that “the Taliban and other insurgents have gained territory over the past two years,” as President Obama withdrew US troops, and now control almost 40 percent of the country.

Al-Qaeda, meanwhile, has built massive new terrorist training camps — including one 30-square miles in size, the largest training facility the Pentagon has seen since 9/11 — signaling the group is gearing up to repeat its pre-9/11 horror of exporting terrorism from Afghanistan.

Lost in the noise over Syrian refugees and the terrorist threat they pose is the growing wave of Afghan refugees hitting our shores, as Afghanistan descends into its own civil war. As the security situation has deteriorated, Afghan immigration has surged.

Afghan refugees have fled the country as it’s descended further into civil war.Getty

Afghan refugees have fled the country as it’s descended further into civil war.Getty

Between 2013 and 2015, the last years reported by the State Department, the total number of Afghan refugees admitted to the US actually outpaced the number of Syrian refugees admitted: 2,324 vs. 1,823. The number of Afghan refugees resettled in US cities — namely, New York, Houston and Sacramento — jumped 21 percent in 2015, after increasing 14 percent in 2014. Afghans reported as admitted in the first three months of 2016 had already exceeded State’s projection for the entire year. Meanwhile, another 10,000-plus Afghans are seeking asylum here.

And these are just the permanent resettlements and do not include the thousands of Afghans that Homeland Security is admitting as “temporary immigrants.” US visas issued annually to Afghans have nearly doubled under the Obama administration, soaring from 2,454 in 2008 to 4,156 in 2015, the latest year for which data are kept.

Few in Washington are raising alarms about the largely uncontrolled influx of these Afghan immigrants, but the security risk is just as great.

Though their numbers are relatively small next to the projected flood of Syrians, “some may cause trouble,” as they have in Germany, which is deporting 12,000 Afghan refugees after some carried out terrorist attacks there, said David North, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

It’s not that there aren’t legitimate refugees among these Afghan nationals. The problem is there’s no vetting procedures in place to reliably sort the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” As a result, the government’s screening system has repeatedly failed to ID jihadists and other turncoats who have betrayed the hospitality extended to them by this country.

Recent examples include: Afghan refugee Hayatulla Dawari, who got as far as naturalization before authorities learned of his involvement with an Afghan terror group and convicted him in 2014; and Afghan refugee Sohiel Omar Kabir, who was sentenced in 2015 to 25 years in federal prison for providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill Americans.

Chelsea bomb suspect Ahmad Rahami was radicalized after a 2014 trip to AfghanistanAP

Chelsea bomb suspect Ahmad Rahami was radicalized after a 2014 trip to AfghanistanAP

Nor does the government monitor these immigrants once they arrive. Investigators now believe Afghan-born Ahmad Khan Rahami, the accused New York City bomber, was radicalized after returning from a 2014 trip to Afghanistan, where his father reportedly once fought as a “mujahedeen.” Afghan-American Omar Mateen, the Orlando terrorist, also maintained Afghan connections through his father, an open supporter of the Taliban.

Our military exchange program is another major hole in security involving Afghan immigration that virtually nobody is talking about. The Pentagon can’t even keep track of the Afghans it brings here for military training exercises designed to help them go back and defend their homeland.

Alarmingly, at least 45 Afghan soldiers have disappeared in the US over the past two years while training at military installations. Many of these AWOL immigrants, who came here on special visas, have extensive training in weapons and explosives. Homeland Security has joined the military in the hunt for the missing Afghans.

Further raising security alarms, the Taliban has infiltrated the Afghan security forces supplying these immigrants. Penetration is so deep that, according to the Pentagon report released earlier this month, the Taliban obtain much of their weapons and ammunition, as well as gasoline, from US-supplied Afghan soldiers.

“Taliban commanders give instructions to their forces to buy weapons, ammunition and fuel from the Afghan army and police,” the report reveals.

It also disclosed that from January 2015 through August 2016, there were 101 insider attacks in which Taliban or other insurgents posing as Afghan security personnel turned on fellow Afghan security force members, killing 257.

Saudi nationals also get a pass under Trump’s restrictions. In fact, they may continue to be ushered in as “trusted travelers” and bypass the normal security process under a deal Obama struck with the kingdom that opened the floodgates to more than 709,000 Saudi students and other visa-holders since 2009. It’s as if 9/11 never happened and 15 Saudi terrorists never infiltrated the country on rubber-stamped visas.

Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

Trump Terrorism Platform May Contain Two Contentious Proposals

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Update: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the CIA black site proposal was not a White House document and Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts reports that the document was just a draft produced by a transition team that will most likely never be adopted.

Daily Caller, by Saagar Enjetti, January 25, 2017:

President Donald Trump may pave the way for the return of the CIA black site program and explore designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, The New York Times reports.

Trump’s draft executive order reportedly includes revoking detainee’s access to the International Red Cross at Guantanamo Bay, and would lift former President Barack Obama’s executive order closuring all CIA prisons. The draft order does not explicitly reopen any of the CIA prisons, but instead would ask Trump’s national security advisors to offer him recommendations on how to proceed.

Trump’s order would similarly continue the Bush Administration’s policy of holding and prosecuting detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Obama tried desperately to close the prison throughout his presidency, and transferred hundreds of prisoners to other countries. Trump said during the Presidential transition that he was displeased with Obama’s transfer of detainee’s, indicating he will likely keep the prison open.

Another expected Trump executive order will direct Secretary of State designate Rex Tillerson to determine whether the U.S. should designate the Muslim Brother political machine a terrorist organization. The Muslim Brotherhood is a political party in several Arab countries whose ideology is linked to radical Islamic elements such as al-Qaida.

Tillerson indicated in his confirmation hearing that he considered the Muslim brotherhood a threat to the U.S. saying, “The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran.”

U.S. allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and have pushed the White House to follow suit for years. Critics of the designation say the Muslim Brotherhood are simply an Islamist political party, that does not share in extremist ideology.

Breitbart national security editor and Fox News contributor expected to join Trump White House

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Business Insider, by Oliver Darcy, January 24, 2017:

Sebastian Gorka, the Breitbart national security editor and a Fox News contributor, is expected to join President Donald Trump’s White House, a source familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

The source said that the position is likely in the National Security Council. A Fox News spokesperson said the network terminated Gorka’s contributor agreement when he informed executives of his new position.

Gorka, who has written stories for Breitbart since early 2014, was a founding member of the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs and has been awarded the Joint Civilian Service Commendation, according to a bio on his website. (He recently made his website private.) The national-security analyst is the author of “Defeating Jihad,” a New York Times best-seller.

He was also the vice president for counterterrorism and irregular warfare at the Threat Knowledge Group, and he said in a July Breitbart story that he had written policy papers for Trump. He was paid by the campaign for policy consulting, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Gorka’s expected move to the National Security Council further represents Breitbart’s expanding role inside the Trump White House.

The website’s chairman, Stephen Bannon, served as Trump’s campaign CEO and now works as White House chief strategist. On Sunday, it was reported that Julia Hahn, a hardline immigration writer for Breitbart, was also expected to join the Trump White House as a special assistant to the president.

Neither Gorka nor the White House responded to multiple requests for comment. A spokesperson for Breitbart was also not immediately available for comment on Tuesday morning.

Also see:

Security Is Job No. 1

NYPD counterterrorism personnel patrol Times Square, December 29, 2016. (Reuters photo: Andrew Kelly)

NYPD counterterrorism personnel patrol Times Square, December 29, 2016. (Reuters photo: Andrew Kelly)

President Trump, when it comes to radical Islam, don’t ‘build that wall!

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 21, 2017:

Say this much for Washington: The Swamp knows how to do pageantry. Beginning on Thursday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery, the solemn and joyful rituals of a presidential inauguration overwhelmed the clown show — on Capitol Hill, where brickbats aimed at Trump’s cabinet nominees left marks mainly on the Democrats who hurled them, and on the streets, where the radical Left’s tantrums couldn’t even sour the mood, much less spark the revolution.

As Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States, American pride in peaceful transfers of power, so historically remarkable, seemed to melt away the rancor. Self-absorbed House Democrats who skipped the proceedings — confounding a celebration of America with an endorsement of a president they reject ex ante — rendered themselves invisible beyond their intentions.

None of us should be naïve. For Americans, the inauguration of a new president is a “we hit life’s lottery” moment. We could, after all, have been born in Bentiu or Helmand or Aleppo. But it is just a moment. We can hope we draw strength from it, and patriotic resolve to remember what unites us. Then we go back to the bitter divisions of our day-to-day.

In the two and a half months since President Trump’s stunning victory on November 8, speculation over how he would manage those divisions — or pour more gasoline on them — has dominated the public debate. That is to be expected. It has been an anxious interregnum: one presidency winding down, unconstrained by political concerns and unabashed about its inner radicalism; a new presidency in waiting, making a splash here and there but powerless to direct policy.

Much of the speculation is idle. Yes, there are matters of enormous consequence before us, the collapse of Obamacare perhaps the most immediate. But presidencies are never judged by what is on the president’s desk when he first enters the Oval Office. Donald Trump’s presidency will be judged by things that haven’t happened yet, by how he reacts to events, especially the unexpected — the Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the 9/11.

Neither success nor failure is guaranteed. In the here and now, what matters is whether the new president is setting himself up for success — and, more important, setting the country on a path to security whatever may come.

So, let’s talk security.

In his ambitious inaugural address, President Trump vowed that the United States would “eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth.” That is ambitious, to say the least. What we call “radical Islam” is not so radical on much of the earth. What makes it “radical” here in the West is the subject of dispute. According to Washington, it is the practice of violent jihadism. For those with eyes willing to see, though, it is the ideology that animates the jihad: the belief in a divine mission to implement sharia — Allah’s law and blueprint for how life is to be lived, as classically understood for more than a millennium.

A bedrock of that ancient law is “oneness.” From a theological standpoint, the oneness and indivisibility of God. From a philosophical standpoint, the oneness of and indivisibility of life — the rejection of the Western principle of separate political and spiritual spheres. And from a strategic standpoint, the oneness and indivisibility of the mission: jihadists, jurisprudents, imams, and activists all working toward the single aim of governance by sharia norms.

The mission does not accept such Westphalian impediments as national boundaries. It seeks a global caliphate. It grasps that tactics must vary from place to place — in Islamic societies, an iron fist works best; in the West, stealth attacks and exploitation of civil liberties to advance sharia’s anti-liberty agenda, each reinforcing the other. But the objective never changes.

It is crucial to understand this because a unitary enemy is not effectively fought, let alone eradicated, by a compartmentalized response. Yet that’s what we’ve tried: A counterterrorism that walls the jihad off from its sharia-supremacist inspiration. A counterterrorism that for too long walled intelligence agents off from criminal investigators, ensuring that neither side saw the full scope of the threat. A counterterrorism that must be dragged kicking and screaming to the term “radical Islam,” and to this day cannot agree on what it means or to whom it applies.

Rest assured, the enemy labors under no such self-imposed confusions.

President Trump takes the helm with the high confidence of a man unafraid to speak hard truths, unbound by tried-and-failed approaches. That is reason for hope. Yet there is also reason for worry.

If media reports are to be believed, there is already some dissension in the national-security ranks. Competing power centers in our multi-layered counterterrorism agencies are a fact of life in every administration. But indications are that the Trump administration is resolving them by contriving divisions of authority that may make org-chart sense but could undermine security. Instead of one national-security adviser responsible for a comprehensive assessment of the threat, responsibility is to be divided between one adviser for foreign counterterrorism and one for protecting the homeland.

Here’s hoping the new administration rethinks that arrangement. It is a poor fit for what we are up against. The enemy uses its foreign jihadist operations to inspire domestic attacks. It exploits the atmosphere of intimidation generated by both to demand concessions in foreign negotiations, international tribunals, and the councils of our government. It is a unitary, global threat. It has to be seen as such and confronted as such.

Today is a day of hope. In due course will come the events by which our new president is judged. Our sharia-supremacist enemies will test him, and he will need to respond, fully aware of who they are and what they are trying to achieve. He campaigned promising to “Build That Wall.” No doubt, some walls are required for America’s protection. When it comes to radical Islam, though, President Trump will find that walls are often the problem, not the solution.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

UTT Throwback Thursday: Jihadis, CVE, and Congressman McCaul

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, November 17, 2016:

The Countering Violent Extremism or CVE is a program created in Britain by the Muslim Brotherhood.

cve

The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic jihadi organization whose stated goals in their by-laws are to “Fight the tyrants and enemies of Allah” in order to establish an Islamic State under sharia (Islamic Law).  In North America they do this by waging “Civilization Jihad” by OUR hands to “destroy Western civilization from within.”

CVE is a hostile information campaign and a double-agent program brought from Britain to the United States by FBI and DHS leadership approximately 10 years ago.

CVE’s purpose is to ensure Muslim Brotherhood leaders are exclusively used by the U.S. government as the liaison for all matters pertaining to Islam and terrorism so the MB controls the narrative in this war.

The Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul of Texas, is dutifully fulfilling his obligation to do the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding and leading the charge to “combat violent extremism.”

Mr. McCaul ensured funding for CVE and pushed to create the Office of Countering Violent Extremism at the Department of Homeland Security.

But what is violent extremism?  How often do “terrorists” claim they do what they do in the name of “violent extremism?”

Never.

We face an enemy that exclusively states they are Muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah to establish and Islamic State (caliphate) under sharia (Islamic Law).

So long as our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies chase “violent extremists” they will chase U.S. military veterans, white supremacists, and all other sorts of people – but not Muslims committing jihad.

cve2

Exactly the intent of our enemy, and exactly the focus of DHS efforts.

As a matter of fact, the former Program Manager for the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism and Technical Support Office (CTTSO) and Irregular Warfare Section, Richard Higgins, stated on national radio in June 2016:   “When you look at the deliberate decision-making process of the United States government as it relates to radical Islam, that deliberate decision-making process is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

CVE is one of the major tools our enemy is using to get and keep our national security apparatus in such a state of strategic incoherence and Congressman McCaul is its biggest cheerleader.

It is also instructive that Mike McCaul has demonstrated an inability to determine friend from foe when it comes to basic terrorist groups like Hamas.  Calling the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) a “moderate” Islamic organization even though evidence and facts reveal CAIR is Hamas, is dangerous and unprofessional when you are the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Photo signed by Congressman Mike McCaul for Hamas leader Mustafa Carroll reads:  “To Mustafa at the Council on American Islamic Relations, The Moderate Muslim is our most effective Weapon. Michael McCaul, TX-10”

Photo signed by Congressman Mike McCaul for Hamas leader Mustafa Carroll reads: “To Mustafa at the Council on American Islamic Relations, The Moderate Muslim is our most effective Weapon. Michael McCaul, TX-10”

When a leader like the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee legitimizes a terrorist (Hamas leader) like Mustafa Carroll – leader of Hamas in Texas – that leader (McCaul) demonstrates his utter incompetence in this war.

Thanks Congressman McCaul.  We can add your name to the growing list of U.S. government officials batting for the other team – whether you understand it or not.

Report: Frank Gaffney, 2 Others Replace Mike Rogers on Trump Transition Team

Frank Gaffney (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Frank Gaffney (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Update: Gaffney – I just got the Bannon Treatment myself after someone falsely claimed that I had been appointed to the Trump transition team.

NewsmaxBy Todd Beamon, November 15, 2016:

Former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, who was dismissed Tuesday from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, was replaced by former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, according to news reports.

Gaffney, 63, who is a Newsmax contributor, established the nonprofit Center for Security Policy in Washington in 1988. His naming to the Trump team was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Under President Ronald Reagan, Gaffney served in the Defense Department as assistant secretary of defense for International Security Policy.

He also was deputy assistant secretary of defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy under Assistant Secretary Richard Perle.

Rogers, former House Intelligence Committee chairman, was being considered for CIA director, the Journal reported.

He was among several transition team members brought aboard by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was ousted Sunday over the Bridge-gate scandal.

Others replacing Rogers were California Rep. Devin Nunes and former Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, according to the report.

In response to news of Gaffney’s appointment, Brookings Institution fellow Tom Wright posted this on Twitter:

***

And Clare Lopez is being considered for Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor.

Words cannot express how happy I am to see this so I’ll just leave this here:

The next great battle for conservatives: Keeping RINO insiders out of the administration

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Conservative Review, by Daniel  Horowitz, November 13, 2016″

It’s no secret that Donald Trump is as much of a blank slate on policy as anyone who’s ever been elected president. Both supporters and opponents of the president-elect agree that Trump is still very malleable on many issues and has a lot to learn about both foreign and domestic policy. This is why it is critical for conservatives to win the ‘battle of personnel’ in the coming days. Failure to land conservative outsiders in key cabinet and advisory roles would be akin to failing to establish control of the beach head during the Normandy invasion. We can dream of our policy battles once we get a footing on land, but if the same RINO insiders who broke the system are allowed to control the administration, we will immediately fall back in the sea, rendering the entire election moot.

While many conservatives were and remain apprehensive about Trump’s commitment to conservative values on some issues, the appeal most saw in him was a figure who would bulldoze the failed elites and rid the system of its barnacles. This sentiment was perhaps epitomized during the debates when Hillary Clinton would proudly tout her decades of experience. Trump simply retorted, “Hillary has experience, but it’s bad experience.” It gets back to Bill Buckley’s old adage – “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” Nowhere is this more evident than with foreign policy, national security, and immigration. Almost everyone with experience in these fields within government has been on the wrong side of these issues and harbor views so divorced from reality that even random names in a telephone book would make better decisions. Yet, these same failed insiders are now gravitating to the transition team like a fly on stink and are looking for jobs.

The first challenge is to appoint a chief of staff who is not only resolute and organized but who shares the vision of the movement Trump has led. A good first start is to reject calls from establishment figures to name RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to this top advisory role.

Additionally, failure to keep the following people out of the administration would tarnish the entire appeal of a Trump presidency:

Chris Christie – potential pick for Attorney General

Just take a look at CR’s issue profile of Chris Christie and it will become clear that this man has been pushing liberal views on fiscal, social, and foreign policies for years. He was rabidly pro-amnesty before he latched himself onto Trump. The notion that someone with his principles and mindset would clean out the Justice Department is a fantasy. The notion that a man who appointed liberal judges as governor would fight legal battles against the rainbow jihad is an exercise in pink unicorns. Christie would be better suited at the Department of Transportation where he can manage traffic on the bridges.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) – potential pick for DHS Secretary

There is no doubt that the issues of immigration and Islamic terror are the two biggest factors in Trump’s win. This is why it’s so important to keep McCaul away from DHS. As we’ve chronicled in this column, McCaul has done nothing to fight the open borders crowd, and in fact, proposed terrible immigration bills as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. This is the exact sort of “bad experience” the voters want Trump to reject.

More importantly, McCaul has been a leader in the promotion of “Countering Violent Extremism,” which is subversion agenda advanced by North American Muslim Brotherhood affiliates to obfuscate any mention of Islamic terrorism. This is the very willful blindness that Americans so desperately wanted to change with the outcome of this election. Appointing McCaul to head Homeland Security would continue to empower groups like CAIR at a time when they must be banned from government. McCaul famously wrote a note to a top CAIR official suggesting that his organization is moderate and an effective weapon against terrorists.

Ambassador to Saudi Arabia would probably be a more appropriate position for Mr. McCaul.

Bob Corker – Secretary of State

There is no better example of elevating the arsonist to firefighter than the prospect of appointing Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) to head the State Department. Even in past Republican administrations, the State Department has served as a fifth column promoting the ‘America last’ agenda. This is why it is even more critical to place someone with an outsider’s mindset in the office of Secretary of State more than any other position. Bob Corker is the worst possible choice.

Corker is every bit as responsible for the Iran deal as Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. His views on foreign policy in general reflect the very inside-the-beltway mentality that must change with a new administration.

As I chronicled in my dossier on Corker back when he was being considered for Vice President, the Tennessee senator has sandbagged us on amnesty, taxes, Dodd-Frank, and the START treaty – just to name a few issues. Appointing Corker to any position of prominence, much less Secretary of State, would undermine Trump’s entire movement and reflect an exercise in making the establishment elites great again.

But maybe if Trump appoints him to a cushy ambassadorship, it could free up his Senate seat for conservatives …

Mike Rogers – National Security

Former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) is heading up the part of the transition team responsible for national security. He is rumored to be in the running for CIA Director or Director of National Intelligence. If there was ever a politician who emblematized the disease of “Washington insiderism” and represents the failure of Republicans to hold Obama accountable for his perfidious foreign policy, it’s Mike Rogers.

As Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rogers put out such a weak report on the Benghazi scandal that it was tantamount to a cover-up. As Trey Gowdy said at the time, Rogers didn’t even interview eye witnesses before he issued his report. In May 2014, ace national security report, Eli Lake, reported that Rogers downright opposed the formation of the Benghazi Select Committee and seemed to be defending the Obama administration.

Why was he siding with Obama?

While we might never get the full story, the details that are out in public should automatically disqualify Rogers to serve in the administration. In June 2014, Judicial Watch reported that Rogers’ wife, Kristi, who was a top executive at the British-based security contractor Aegis Defense Services, helped win major security contracts for her group. “Libya also was an area of activity for Aegis, Ms. Rogers’ company. As Rep. Rogers assumed control of the Intelligence Committee, an Aegis subsidiary, Aegis Advisory, began setting up shop in Libya,” wrote Micha Morrison of Judicial Watch.

Read the full report from Judicial Watch, which raises serious questions about a conflict of interest in Libya.

Rogers bizarrely announced his retirement and said he planned to pursue a career in radio, a move that shocked a lot of people in Washington. Yet, now he is groveling for a position in the new administration. What happened to his radio career?

If people around Trump plan to elevate a man like Mike Rogers to a top national security or intel post, they as may as well replace him with Huma Abedin.

In summary …

The key for Trump is to avoid the mistakes of the past and to NOT automatically rely on insiders. Everyone expects Trump to look outside the box for Cabinet positions. That is in fact his mandate. There are plenty of smart, qualified conservatives who have not been infected by the elitist Kool Aide and the corruption of Washington. And if he is ever short on staffing options, he should remember Bill Buckley’s advice and pull out a telephone book before he taps the very people that have endangered our national security.