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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Authoritarian Regime Could Imperil U.S.

By Donald Moskowitz


December 27, 2016
Tuesday PM

resident-Elect Trump is setting the stage for a rocky Presidency filled with conflict, bickering, turmoil, miscalculations, and potential diplomatic and military confrontations. He is constantly involved with responding to criticism by recklessly tweeting antagonistic comments to the American public and the world. It seems he might not have adequate time to fulfill his Presidential responsibilities if he has to spend all that time tweeting out nonsense. His tweeting is demeaning the stature of the Presidency, and it encourages people to resort to cyber bullying.

Trump is approaching the Presidency just like he ran his business and his TV show. He is playing "Apprentice" and conducting interviews and hiring or dismissing candidates for positions. In many cases he is making people jump through his hoops just to satisfy his ego. He is directly involved with making deals with companies, but this is not the primary responsibility of our President. Developing and implementing domestic and foreign policy initiatives and overseeing the operation of the federal government should be his major focus. So far, with his disdain for intelligence briefings and his lack of intellectual curiosity, I fear we could be in deep trouble in the world, and our adversaries, including Russia and China, could take advantage of Trump's ego and his lackadaisical attitude towards the intelligence briefings.

Two of Trump's picks for high level positions in his regime are extremists with possible fringe views. Advisors Stephen Bannon and Michael Flynn have made bigoted statements and promoted conspiracy theories.

Stephen Bannon, Trump's choice for chief strategist and senior counsel, was CEO of Breitbart News. Breitbart News is an extreme fringe news organization that espouses white supremacist views. Bannon and Breitbart News have made inflammatory statements against gays, Asian Americans, blacks, Muslims, Jews and women. At a book party held by Bannon at his Capitol Hill townhouse on November 12, 2013, a reporter, Ronald Radosh, stated that Bannon said "I'm a Leninist". Bannon said " Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, all of today's establishment." Is Bannon and Trump intent on destroying the Republican Party and its leadership?

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is Trump's choice for National Security Advisor. Flynn has made disparaging remarks about Muslims and Jews. He was fired from his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014 because of his poor management skills and his terrible leadership style. He had an unauthorized internet connection in his office at the Pentagon when he headed up the DIA. Flynn provided classified information to other countries while he was a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan. The Army investigation and review by the Defense Department concluded Flynn was not authorized to divulge the classified information. Flynn is a rogue off-the-wall dangerous general.

Bannon and Flynn should not be in positions of power in any administration.

Trump's children, Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric, and his son-in-law Jared, are on the President-Elect's transition executive committee. They are involved in the decision making process that determines who will be in the Trump administration, and it appears they will continue to be involved in the affairs of state when Donald takes the helm at the White House. The American people did not elect a Trump family committee to run our country.

Another major concern is the conflict of interest that exists between Trump's vast business interests and the presidency. Trump is handing the reins of his businesses to his sons, but it appears they will be heavily involved in providing advice during his Presidency.

As a side note I am amazed and concerned that Trump accused California, Virginia, and my home state of New Hampshire of voter fraud. He maintains millions of illegal votes were cast against him, which is ridiculous. I am sure election officials in the various states would have caught widespread illegal voting.

In New Hampshire we elected a Republican governor and a Republican House of Representatives and Republican Senate. Surely,, all of those so called illegal voters would not have voted for any Republicans. Furthermore, when my wife and I voted we were asked for our names and addresses and then we had to provide our drivers licenses for verification of our personal information.

It appears Trump is going to have an arrogant rogue authoritarian administration. He is filling positions with people who were loyal supporters during the Presidential campaign, but they are not necessarily qualified and fit to fill the positions. He is loading up his regime with former military personnel, including three former generals, and others who are part of the wealthy business elite. I am sure he wants to give orders to them, have them respond "yes sir", and not question his absolute authority. This is setting the stage for an administration with the trappings of the military/industrial/financial complex, and it does not bode well for our country. The administration is laced with disgruntled and discontented people.

The media reported the CIA conducted an investigation of Russian interference in our Presidential election and found significant hacking of Democratic information. The CIA analysis showed the Russian hacking negatively impacted Clinton and helped Trump win the election. Trump and his transition staff subsequently denounced the CIA report and referenced the CIA's past supposed mistake about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. It is incredible to me that a President is taking the side of Communist Russia and criticizing a U.S. intelligence agency that is responsible for our national security. This can only alienate CIA personnel who Trump must rely on to provide critical intelligence on Russian and other adversaries in the world. He is setting himself and the country up for huge problems in the world.

The big question is, does Trump and any potential cabinet members and advisors have a relationship with Russia that would adversely impact decisions made by the Trump administration and endanger our national security? Will Trump and his administration stand up to Russian aggression, Russian cyber warfare and Russian political and economic maneuvering in the world that has a negative impact on the U.S. and our allies? It doesn't look good right now. Trump admires Putin; Tillerson, the potential Secretary of State, has a number of joint ventures in place between Exxon/Mobil and Russian oil companies; Flynn, potential National Security Advisor, is pro-Russian; and Bannon, senior consultant to Trump, is inspired by the views of Lenin, the founder of Russian Communism. Trump invited Russia to hack into Clinton's emails and they responded by hacking into our election for President.

All of these issues loom very large in a Trump Presidency and could create chaos, constant controversy, and national and world insecurity in a potential authoritarian administration. Our Democracy and freedom could be in peril.

P.S. My family and my wife's family have a long patriotic history in the US. My wife, the former Elizabeth Jones, and I have had a close family member serve in every war from the Civil War through the Gulf War, and I have voted in every election since 1960. This is the first time I have been concerned for the safety and security of our country.

Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

About: Former AG2 and LT, US Navy

Received December 17, 2016 - Published December 27, 2016




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