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Sat Aug 10, 2019, 09:46 PM

Cabinet chaos hits top spies

Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN
Updated 8:11 AM ET, Sat August 10, 2019

... The President's effort to place a political loyalist as the nation's director of national intelligence to "rein in" the community caused turmoil at the top of the national security apparatus.

Trump's July 28 tweet that Dan Coats would be out as director of national intelligence on August 15 set a two-week timer. The man Trump had wanted for the job, Rep. John Ratcliffe -- a Texas Republican who had auditioned on national television when he dressed down special counsel Robert Mueller at congressional hearings -- excelled at political loyalty, the most important attribute for Trump.

But he turned out to have a resume too thin for Republicans in the Senate. Ratcliffe withdrew from consideration for the post.

Trump then leapfrogged Sue Gordon, a career spy who had been Coats' deputy, to instill a retired Navy admiral and former SEAL commander, Joseph Maguire, as the acting director of national intelligence. Maguire had been serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center ...


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struggle4progress Aug 10 OP
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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 09:47 PM

1. Temporary chief calms unease over shakeup -- for now

By MARTIN MATISHAK 08/09/2019 06:26 PM EDT

For a brief period this week, the U.S. intelligence apparatus was just days away from losing decades of experience at the top, with nobody in the wings poised to take over.

Now intelligence veterans are expressing relief at President Donald Trumpís decision to tap former Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire as the nation's interim spy chief ó calling Maguire a steadying hand for an administration that has frequently left its national security leadership in flux ...

Trump announced Thursday that Maguire will become acting director of national intelligence starting Aug. 15, when current Director Dan Coats and his deputy, Sue Gordon, are both set to depart. Trump turned to Maguire after the failure of his initial plan to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as Coats' replacement, which had fueled concerns that the president was seeking to install a partisan loyalist in a job created to address the intelligence failures exposed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Maguire, 67, is the current leader of the terrorism intelligence center, which falls under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. His selection comes after several months of instability in several key national security posts, including more than half a year without a confirmed Defense secretary and the continued presence of an acting secretary at the Department of Homeland Security ...


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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 09:50 PM

2. Intel vacancies put Americans in danger

08.09.1911:47 AM

SUE GORDON WAS a name Americans were never supposed to know ó the exemplar par excellence of the legion of career, nonpartisan officials who devote a lifetime to anonymous government service. A former Duke basketball player, Gordon dedicated her life to US intelligence. She rose through the ranks as part of the first generation of women to assume top roles, becoming a deputy director of the CIA, then deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and, most recently, serving for nearly three years in a role known as the principal deputy director of national intelligenceóthe nationís No. 2 intelligence leader, and the top career intelligence official in the US government.

Well-respected, personable, and a quiet, behind-the-scenes leader, she is ó hands down ó one of the most thoughtful, smartest, and impressive people Iíve encountered in a dozen years of covering intelligence and national security. Iíve always felt more confident in Americaís safety after listening to her talk.

Her forced departure by President Trump, announced last night, is only the latest shuffle of top national security posts under this administration. The pattern began in Trumpís first weeks in office, with the firing of the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, and the dismissal of the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement the same night, followed within days by the firing of the chief of the Border Patrol ...

The writing had been on the wall that Gordon would not be allowed the chance to be acting DNI ó as she is lawfully supposed to ó because she was insufficiently Trumpian. With Gordon out, Trump has named the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Joseph Maguire, to take over as he continues to recruit a permanent intelligence chief ...


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