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Focusing on Trump With "A Withering Gaze"

By       Message James Wall       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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The Wall Street Journal reported that Kelly's appointment "would put a military commander who directly supervised U.S. operations in Central and South America in charge of one of the president-elect's signature platforms: securing the border between Mexico and the U.S."

DHS was created by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The WSJ further notes that DHS has more than 240,000 employees, making it the government's third-largest cabinet agency. Its duties includes "counterterrorism, disaster response, cybersecurity, and border and immigration controls. The Secret Service, which protects the president, is also part of DHS."

In the Trump administration, "the agency also would be at the forefront of efforts to deport illegal immigrants who have entered the U.S. from Mexico and to block the entry of certain refugees from the Middle East, should Mr. Trump act on pledges he made during his presidential campaign."

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A third general in the security leadership would be Trump's national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn, shown here in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. This position does not require Senate approval.

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An Associated Press story in Fortune says:

"On issues of national security and intelligence, no one is likely to have more influence in Donald Trump's White House than retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn.

"Yet Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, has gained prominence in Republican politics by fueling conspiracy theories and Islamophobic rhetoric that critics warn could create serious distractions -- or alienate allies and embolden enemies -- if it continues.

"'His job is to ensure that the White House is focused at all times on all of the threats that the United States faces abroad,' said Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. She said she was 'deeply troubled' by a Flynn tendency to promote fake news stories on his Twitter feed."

Three retired generals on the government case, and counting (two of them require Senate confirmation). They are Mattis, Kelly and Flynn. Sounds like a law firm ready to take your case for a very high fee of trust in a time of tension and uncertainty.

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President-elect Trump has chosen his generals, who now will help him with security at home and abroad. That is the assignment the voters gave our next president. It is his decision to make, pending, in two instances, Senate approval.

These generals and the President who chose them, will demand close scrutiny at a moment in history which resonates with earlier moments in history, described by Charles Dickens in the opening line of his A Tale of Two Cities:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."


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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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