Presidential petulance ignores intelligence

Tom Camfield
Blogger
Posted 7/26/19

THIS TIMES WEB SITE SPEAKS VOLUMES. Open it and scroll through its charts and bits of text. I’m using it as perspective for my remarks here. See: …

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Presidential petulance ignores intelligence

Posted

THIS TIMES WEB SITE SPEAKS VOLUMES. Open it and scroll through its charts and bits of text. I’m using it as perspective for my remarks here. See: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/16/us/politics/all-the-major-firings-and-resignations-in-trump-administration.html

I find additionally enlightening some of the countless lesser employees who fall by the wayside after being unable to serve the public while also fulfilling the personal loyalty demands of Donald Trump—those who have been fired outright or resigned out of the futility of it all. Such as one I mentioned recently: Rod Schoonover, a State Department intelligence official who was blocked by the White House from submitting written congressional testimony on climate change.

Donald’s disdain for science due to its conflict with his alternate reality already is legendary. And I suspect that it is inspired in part by his egocentricity, which demands that he vigorously defame anyone who shows signs of being more intelligent than he.

So it came through clear as a bell to me when the news July 12 (Washington Post) announced “the sudden removal of NASA’s head of human exploration William Gerstenmaier . . . a clear sign the White House is increasingly frustrated with the agency’s pace in efforts to return humans to the surface of the moon.”

Donald arbitrarily has decided to cut four years off the target date.

The original goal for this achievement had been 2028. So why now the sudden rush? The story noted: “Donald Trump’s administration [meaning Donald] is laser-focused” on 2024, “which would come during a second term of his presidency, should he be re-elected.” In other words, Donald, dumb as a post when it comes to science, is less concerned about the efficiency of a moon project than with the possibility of his being able to somehow take credit for it.

There’s an abundance of irony in that disaccord—when one factors in Donald’s ignorance and the personal inconvenience to him of the reality of anything scientific. He disavows Global Warming but won’t be taking any blame for climate change as it worsens.

The news story continued: “The ousting of one of the longest-serving stalwarts in the agency shows how far the White House and NASA’s politically-appointed leadership are willing to go toward disrupting NASA,” pointing to attempts to break through the bureaucracy many think has stifled its exploration efforts for years.”

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas). chairwoman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, blasted the decision to so abruptly remove someone with Gerstenmaier’s “enormous institutional knowledge.”

It was Vice-President Pence who announced the expedited moon-landing target date from 2028 to 2024. Unnamed officials are reported to have said, “Pence and others in the White House” have “become livid” over the slow pace of the NASA project. These “others” obviously are Donald Trump, whom I picture as vaguely expecting NASA to tighten a couple of screws, point a manned rocket at the next full moon and fire it off.

AND SPEAKING OF INTELLIGENCE, the word on the street is that Donald is considering ousting Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence. Apparently the factual information Coats has been providing doesn’t harmonize with what Donald’s been hearing from his home planet.

Donald has been stewing for months since Coats testified before Congress in January. He publicly contradicted Donald’s optimistic forecast about the chances North Korea will agree to give up its nuclear weapons. Coats apparently doesn’t consider Trump’s self-professed “great gut instinct” to be a major source of critical information.

“Dan’s a great guy but the president doesn’t listen to him anymore,” said one source. Donald has called the intelligence agency “an unnecessary bureaucratic layer.” While he can’t do away with the office completely, he appears to be looking to “downsize” it. For Coats’ position he already has interviewed Fred Fleitz, who seemingly would be more of a “yes” man. Fleitz, who has been critical of Coats via Fox News, also is an anti-Iran hard-liner and chief of staff for hawkish John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor.

Coats has stated: “I am focused on doing my job, and it is frustrating to repeatedly be asked to respond to anonymous sources and unsubstantiated, often false rumors that undercut the work of the intelligence community and its relationship with the president. I am proud to lead an IC singularly focused on the vital mission of providing timely and unbiased intelligence , , , in support of our nation’s security.” Uh-oh! That “unbiased” bit is what is doing you in, Dan.

Donald is weeding out unbiased intelligence one intellectual at a time. But it
doesn’t seem to be making him any wiser.

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Tom Camfield

Speaking of Donald and intelligence. In attempting to defend Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, our fearless leader said on July 30: "Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump, and I know nothing."

I think the pubic can agreee with that—except for those among us who have been brain-washed beyond redemption.

Wednesday, July 31
Tom Camfield

And, of course, Donald did just fire the Director of National Intelligence, referred to in this blog, whose emphasis on accurate evaluation was in conflict with his own desired imaginary reality.

On some days Donald proclaims that 2 plus 2 totals 5. On other days he may decide that it's 6. Insist that's it's 4 and he'll label you "unpatriotic." If he's having an especially bad hair day, you might even wind up "anti-semitic."

Thursday, August 1