On Monday, something very important happened for the country relevant to national security in general and certainly the impact of the origination of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell made a historic choice and named a woman, Lora Shiao, a widely respected and longtime intelligence expert, to lead the National Counterterrorism Center.
Ms. Shiao’s appointment as acting director of the NCTC marks the first time a woman will hold that position. This is important not because of that fact alone, but because it indicates we have a DNI who will embrace and elevate all talent. In addition to Ms. Shiao, Newsmax reported, “Clare Linkins, formerly the director of strategic operational planning for NCTC, will move into Shiao’s previous job as the NCTC’s new executive director.”
The Trump administration elevating two women to lead the nation’s counterterrorism efforts has been yawned at by legacy media and liberals confirming, once again, that the left’s claim to be the champion of women is limited to a cynical, manipulative slogan.
Moreover, we are watching the Trump administration’s reformation of a bureaucratic establishment that, consciously or subconsciously, preferred people like John O. Brennan and James Clapper to define and ultimately politicize our national intelligence apparatus.
We’ve seen the result of that hyperpartisan destruction of a previously well-regarded national intelligence community during the 2016 election and through the Trump presidency. Mr. Grenell’s appointment as acting DNI was a clear statement by President Trump that a house cleaning was in order so the American people could once again trust the intentions and actions of our intelligence apparatus’ leadership.
One of the upsets of the establishment with the Trump election is that he was not part of the club. More frighteningly, Mr. Trump would become the new keeper of the secrets. For some reason, the establishment on both sides of the aisle remains disturbed by that little fact.
Unsurprisingly, various former intelligence officials have made new careers standing on a molehill pretending to be Cassandra, warning that all that change and new leadership would signal the destruction of all that’s important.
In speaking with the DNI’s office, I learned the final decision to appoint Ms. Shiao and Ms. Linkins to their new positions was made prior to noon on Friday, March 20. That evening at 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time, according to the publication date and time stamp at The Washington Post, the newspaper published an opinion piece with no fewer than nine former intelligence officials taking credit and clinging on.
Greg Miller, the “National Security Correspondent” for The Post, tweeted this about the piece, “Trump fired Joe Maguire as DNI a month ago. Now he and practically every other living ex-DNI or NCTC chief has signed onto this piece warning that Trump is putting the nation in peril.”
Mr. Miller has something quite wrong in that tweet. Confirmed with the DNI office, Mr. Maguire wasn’t fired. He chose to retire.
So let’s see, the man who has been replaced by Mr. Grenell, and others who are no longer part of the intelligence apparatus for various reasons, are hollering that no one else but them can be trusted. Got it. The Post’s slogan is “Democracy Dies In Darkness.” So why have they kept from their readers the fact that someone involved in that opinion piece smear of the administration’s intentions was replaced by Mr. Grenell and possibly has a personal ax to grind, as well as individuals who are under Justice Department investigation?
Two of the people featured as writers of this narcissistic Chicken Little screed, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Clapper, are being scrutinized by U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal probe into the Trump-Russia investigation.
The Washington Examiner reported late last year, “The secretive Justice Department inquiry into the Trump-Russia investigation origins now includes former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok and British ex-spy Christopher Steele.”
The height of irony, however, is the fact that their main allegation is that the Trump administration is “politicizing” the intelligence community. That is more than rich coming from the characters making the complaint. It was their politicizing of the intelligence community that the Trump administration is now working feverishly to reverse.
The Trump administration moves forward with groundbreaking decisions about leadership, elevating individuals who perhaps had not been partisan enough for the swamp to be considered for leadership in the past.
The DNI’s office noted about Ms. Shiao and Ms. Linkins: “They are well-respected career intelligence officials, with deep analytic, operational and leadership experience serving in the Intelligence Community (IC) and are recognized for their focus and commitment to workforce issues, including recruitment, development, retention and morale. Under their direction, NCTC is well-postured to lead the counterterrorism mission into the future.”
Many people note when you’re being attacked, it indicates you’re over the target.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Grenell both remain under constant assault by a bureaucratic establishment that sees them, correctly, as determined reformers. With Ms. Shiao’s appointment, we also see an understanding of the fact that one can be a part of the intelligence community and not be part of the swamp. Those are the people who deserve to finally be in leadership. Perhaps that kept these two women out of power in the past, but thankfully we have a sign that being committed to America first is no longer a hindrance.
• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.
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