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Subject: More Alternate Facts rss

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Andre
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/opinions/david-axelrod-i-woke-...

Straight from the man whom Spicer used, as partial justification for setting a place for Steve Bannon at the NSC. But he confirms that Spicer's statement was untrue.

I am beginning to believe there is nothing this Administration won't simply make up, if it suits their needs. With alternative facts being presented almost every day, the press will continue to show them to be untrue. If Trump thinks that the media coverage will become more favorable any time soon, he is sadly mistaken. Their scrutiny will only intensify, as it should.
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Julius Waller
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So in the interest of fair debate - Obama did have David Axelrod sometimes at the NSC. Bush deliberately kept Karl Rove totally out because he didnt want life and death decisions being politicised. Bush was in the extreme - no politics - position and Obama an in the middle - yes sometimes but not always - position.

So arguably we are seeing a shift in a process that is some time coming whereby we dont only rely on the say so of army generals and snoops but take into account the views of the politicians in life and death decisions. Granted a lot of people will have precious little faith in Bannon's politically strategic valuable insights but that doesnt answer the question:

Is it necessarily a bad thing that political views are taken into account when looking at National Security? Should we go exclusively by the say so of military?
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Josh
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TrustyJules wrote:
So in the interest of fair debate - Obama did have David Axelrod sometimes at the NSC. Bush deliberately kept Karl Rove totally out because he didnt want life and death decisions being politicised. Bush was in the extreme - no politics - position and Obama an in the middle - yes sometimes but not always - position.

So arguably we are seeing a shift in a process that is some time coming whereby we dont only rely on the say so of army generals and snoops but take into account the views of the politicians in life and death decisions. Granted a lot of people will have precious little faith in Bannon's politically strategic valuable insights but that doesnt answer the question:

Is it necessarily a bad thing that political views are taken into account when looking at National Security? Should we go exclusively by the say so of military?


Yes. Security is a complex and messy thing as it is. We see in other spheres what happens when politicians turn security choices into political choices under the guise of 'security.' I am under no ilkusion it doesn't haplen to some extent already but it would be foolish to enshrine it.
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Christopher Yaure
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TrustyJules wrote:
So in the interest of fair debate - Obama did have David Axelrod sometimes at the NSC. Bush deliberately kept Karl Rove totally out because he didnt want life and death decisions being politicised. Bush was in the extreme - no politics - position and Obama an in the middle - yes sometimes but not always - position.

So arguably we are seeing a shift in a process that is some time coming whereby we dont only rely on the say so of army generals and snoops but take into account the views of the politicians in life and death decisions. Granted a lot of people will have precious little faith in Bannon's politically strategic valuable insights but that doesnt answer the question:

Is it necessarily a bad thing that political views are taken into account when looking at National Security? Should we go exclusively by the say so of military?


Julius - you seem to have misunderstood the Obama/Axelrod situation. Axelrod states that he attended some sessions, but did not speak. This implies not that political views were taken into account in making National Security decisions, but that National Security decisions were taken into account by the political side.
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Julius Waller
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actuaryesquire wrote:


Julius - you seem to have misunderstood the Obama/Axelrod situation. Axelrod states that he attended some sessions, but did not speak. This implies not that political views were taken into account in making National Security decisions, but that National Security decisions were taken into account by the political side.


Actually I disagree there - I may be deemed an extreme sceptic but you cant make me believe that Axelrod was only there so he could defend the Presidents actions later on and stayed silent throughout. At the very least the coffee break might have been an occasion where something might be said or at the beginning or end of the meeting if not outright within.

Even if we take the fact he was present but silent at face value its a question of a creeping change in policy. First he is present without speaking then his successor is present and speaking. Bush's POV was at least clear - Rove isnt there and neither directly or indirectly influences the proceedings. Axelrod admits that his presence was not uncontroversial and that he would leave when it was felt his presence might inhibit debate. Ergo I maintain my position that Trump is merely escalating a development that has been some time a-coming.
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Andre
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I think the security of the country should be apolotical, to the greatest extent possible. Like Obama before him, Trump would be relying on an experienced team of professionals to deliver him the info required for his decision making process, but Steve Bannon brings no knowledge to the table, regarding security issues. He has no experience in that area, has never worked in that area before, etc.

His purpose there is, presumably, to give Trump another point of view. But the view is PURELY political, with no grounding in the issues that the pros wade thru every day. I don't necessarily take issue with his presence at the table, but other important characters have been thrown out of their seat at the table, positions that are important to hear from, when big decisions have to be made by Trump. Putting them into a "we'll call you if we need you" position is foolhardy, in my opinion.
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Julius Waller
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Lets not make this about Bannon's vaunted (dis)abilities because it may degenerate into a liberal versus conservative discussion. I'm just going from the principle whether a strategic political adviser is a good or bad thing to have present.I am further presuming that the person in question will act to the best of his/her ability and not abuse information and what not.

Just sticking to the principles - I hear what you say that everything needs to be seen completely apolitically and factually. Problem is the politics around an issue are sometimes more important than the military viewed prerogatives. Axelrod acknowledged he was there so he could defend the presidents actions better and some decisions may have so far reaching political consequences that the cure is worse than national security problem.

Carter got into hot water when his military mission to liberate the hostages in Iran went wrong. Johnson got off lightly on his invasion of the Dominican republic but is generally seen as the one who based on NSC insights sank America deeper into the Vietnam quagmire. Quite a few NSC measures may be very unpopular politically and undermine a presidents ability to act in NSC or other areas. Certainly Obama's serial drone assassinations served NSC purposes but required very careful political management. I think the jury is still out how people will look back on that aspect of Obama's tenure. So I think the political strategist can bring a few things:

- first like Axelrod said - he is fully briefed and understanding of the way a decision was arrived at so he can defend the POTUS;
- second he can give a perspective to the NSC members as well on the likely political fall-out and agree management measures so that there is coordinated communication there;
- third in extreme cases perhaps one should back off from an action if the politics around it are too toxic or undesirable. Let me mention just an extreme example: Israel is deemed a security risk for the US and no longer defensible (neither of which is a true let me add quickly). Therefore on NSC basis it is decided to withdraw support for Israel in all forms military. Obviously such a decision could be argued on a factual basis but the outcome would be completely unacceptable. I am not saying this could be a frequent occurrence but sometimes you need to do the right thing even its the foolhardy thing from a military or security perspective.

So why not have that view at the table? If the NSC arguments arent strong enough to bypass the politics fine - if not - perhaps reconsider the action?
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Christopher Yaure
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Julius (not quoting to avoid a wall of text) - well thought out analysis, but I disagree. The NSC does not make the decisions, they make recommendations to the President, who makes the decisions. Separately, the President will receive input on the politics from his political advisers. The recommendation from the NSC should be an expert opinion, based on known facts and inferences. Their recommendation and analysis should not be shaded by perceived poltical issues.

Compare to a pharmaceutical where advice on a new product is provided by the scientists and researchers. Marketing has an important part to play in the final decision, but the recommendation and analysis from the experts should not be shaded based on perceived marketing issues.
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James King
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Steve Bannon Told Daily Beast Reporter in November 2013 That He (Bannon) Was "A Leninist Who Wants To Destroy The State"



First responses are always the most honest, the most off-the-cuff, and the most candid. The same goes for what Steve Bannon told a Daily Beast reporter a little more than three years ago in November 2013....


> Excerpts from the August 22, 2016 Daily Beast news story by Ronald Radosh entitled:

Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me Back In 2013 That He Was "A Leninist Who Wants To Destroy the State"



I met Steve Bannon — the executive director of Breitbart.com who’s now become the chief executive of the Trump campaign, replacing the newly resigned Paul Manafort — at a book party held in his Capitol Hill townhouse on November 12, 2013.

We were standing next to a picture of his daughter, a West Point graduate, who at the time was a lieutenant in the 101 Airborne Division serving in Iraq. The picture was notable because she was sitting on what was once Saddam Hussein’s gold throne with a machine gun on her lap.

“I’m very proud of her,” Bannon said.

Then we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today.

“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.

Shocked, I asked him what he meant by that.

“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.

While riding on the Metro to Bannon's November 2013 book party, I'd read an article that had just been posted on "National Review Online" and in TownHall.com by Thomas Sowell, the conservative economist, in which he opposed the tactics used by the Tea Party in shutting down the government. He favored the intent of the Tea Party but strongly opposed its tactics.



Thomas Sowell

"The only question," Sowell wrote, "is about the tactics, the Tea Party's attempt to defund Obamacare." Their actions did not fit the standard set by Edmund Burke, he wrote, of a "rational endeavour." There was no chance of making a dent in ObamaCare or defunding it when Democrats controlled the Senate. and the public created a "backlash against that futile attempt," so that "there was virtually nothing to gain politically and much to lose."

I then asked Bannon whether or not he had read Sowell's piece, since Bannon was in favor of the very Tea Party tactic that Sowell had criticized.

“'National Review' and 'The Weekly Standard',” Bannon said, “are both left-wing magazines, and I want to destroy them also.” Bannon added that “no one reads them or cares what they say.” His goal was to bring down the entire establishment including the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress. He went on to tell me that he was the East Coast coordinator of all the Tea Party groups. His plan was to get its candidates nominated on the Republican ticket and then to back campaigns that they could win. Then, Bannon said, when elected they would be held accountable to fight for the agenda he and the Tea Party stood for.

If they didn’t, Bannon said, “We would force them out of office and oppose them when the next election for their seats came around.”



Former U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor

That, essentially, was the tactic employed when Republican U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor was ousted by a far right candidate, virtually unknown college economics professor Dave Brat, in his Virginia district’s primary.

It was also the path Donald Trump’s supporters took in Wisconsin, when hoping to duplicate their successful tactics in Virginia, they ran a candidate in the Wisconsin Republican primary against Speaker Paul Ryan in his own district.



U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert

There are a few Republicans that Bannon does respect. One of them is U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert, the fiery congressman from Texas, who was also at the party. Gohmert, who is part of the self-proclaimed anti-establishment wing of the Republican Party, was an ally of Ted Cruz in the government shutdown.

Trump’s decision to take on Bannon indicates that he wants to wage his campaign along the lines laid down by him — that of destroying the Republican leadership and the Party as we know it. Trump’s behavior thus far has been compatible with Bannon’s belief in Leninist tactics.

As the Bolshevik leader once said, “The art of any propagandist and agitator consists in his ability to find the best means of influencing any given audience, by presenting a definite truth, in such a way as to make it most convincing, most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.”

Only one question remains: Knowing this, why do leaders like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and others, who regularly condemn Trump’s statements but yet still endorse him, stick with such a self-defeating approach?

They will only end up helping Bannon and company cast them into oblivion and finish their hostile take-over of the GOP....


I emailed Steve Bannon last week recalling our 2013 conversation, telling him that I planned to write about it and asking him if he wanted to comment on or correct my account of it.

Bannon responded, “I don’t remember meeting you and don’t remember the conversation. And as you can tell from the past few days, I am not doing media.”


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Christopher Dearlove
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Shadrach wrote:
TrustyJules wrote:
So in the interest of fair debate - Obama did have David Axelrod sometimes at the NSC. Bush deliberately kept Karl Rove totally out because he didnt want life and death decisions being politicised. Bush was in the extreme - no politics - position and Obama an in the middle - yes sometimes but not always - position.

So arguably we are seeing a shift in a process that is some time coming whereby we dont only rely on the say so of army generals and snoops but take into account the views of the politicians in life and death decisions. Granted a lot of people will have precious little faith in Bannon's politically strategic valuable insights but that doesnt answer the question:

Is it necessarily a bad thing that political views are taken into account when looking at National Security? Should we go exclusively by the say so of military?


Yes. Security is a complex and messy thing as it is. We see in other spheres what happens when politicians turn security choices into political choices under the guise of 'security.' I am under no ilkusion it doesn't haplen to some extent already but it would be foolish to enshrine it.


We don't even need other spheres. See Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell and the "dodgy doossier". (British politics, but for the USA.)
 
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