President-elect Donald Trump planned to restructure America’s ailing intelligence community by trimming it of unnecessary appendages and restructuring it to be less “politicized” and bureaucratic — and thus more effective.
“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world (is) becoming completely politicized,” an unnamed official familiar with the president-elect’s plans told The Wall Street Journal. “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”
The proposal included, among other things, reducing staffing at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Virginia-based headquarters and possibly even axing the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was established in 2004 to boost coordination between various intelligence agencies.
Both retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, who were tapped last month to serve as Trump’s national security adviser and CIA director, respectively, reportedly helped the president-elect draft the proposal.
This unprecedented announcement came amid Trump having unleashed a flurry of criticism on social media against President Barack Obama’s intelligence agencies, accusing them of having flubbed their investigations into the hacking last year of the Democrat National Committee and the compromise of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email.
It was the president-elect’s belief that, contrary to what the intelligence agencies claimed, the Russian government was not responsible for the hacked emails later published by WikiLeaks.
In defending this position, Trump has routinely pointed to the claims of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Julian Assange said “a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta” – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
Not everyone supported this assessment.
“(T)o propose changing the CIA’s operational structure because of loose allegations of politicization — claims based on nothing more than the agency’s willingness to contradict the president-elect’s preferred version of events — would be a mistake of the highest order,” California Rep. Adam Schiff announced in a statement, as noted by The Hill.
A number of current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials reportedly agreed, with one stating, “It’s pretty horrifying to me that he’s siding with Assange over the intelligence agencies.”
However, some evidence favored the president-elect’s version of events. According to Investor’s Business Daily, intelligence officials have failed to offer concrete evidence proving Russian hacking — to the point that Obama’s decision to expel Russian diplomats over these claims looked “like ‘Alice in Wonderland’-style justice: sentence first, verdict afterward.”
While Trump’s reported plan was indeed unprecedented as well as controversial, it seemed to be far more well thought-out than most were willing to acknowledge.
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H/T The Daily Caller