Time for Trump to Get Rid of McMaster

Apparently, President Trump was not aware of the decision by national security adviser H.R. McMaster to grant senior Obama official Susan Rice top-secret security clearance.  This disturbing news was revealed by Sara Carter of Circa News, who documents the letter that notified Rice that such powers gave her "unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her 'need-to-know' requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure."

Carter asserts that "[t]he undated and unclassified letter from McMaster was sent in the mail to Rice's home. Trump was not aware of the letter or McMaster's decision, according to two Senior West Wing officials and an intelligence official, who spoke to Circa on condition that they not be named."

I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a 'need-to-know' to access any classified information contained in items you 'originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving,' as National Security Adviser[.] The letter also states that the 'NSC will continue to work with you to ensure the appropriate security clearance documentation remains on file to allow you access to classified information.'

Circa revealed in "March that during President Obama's tenure, top aides – including Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch – routinely reviewed intelligence reports received from the National Security Agency's incidental intercepts of Americans abroad. They were doing so by taking advantage of rules Obama relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats[.]"

In June, "the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Rice as part of the committee's larger investigation into the unmasking of Americans under the Obama administration.."

Apparently "[u]nder the law, and under certain conditions, it is common practice for some senior government officials to be given the unfettered access to classified information, and their 'need to know' is waived under 'Executive Order 13526 Section 4.4 Access by Historical Researchers and Certain Former Government Personnel.' But the White House officials told Circa that under the current congressional investigation, and given President Trump's ongoing concern that members of his team were unmasked, Rice's clearance should have been limited to congressional testimony only or revoked until the end of the investigation."

In fact, such breaking news may confirm Soeren Kern's April 2017 assertion that "[t]he decision to select Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond 'H.R.' McMaster to replace retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security advisor is setting into motion a cascade of other personnel decisions that, far from draining the swamp, appear to be perpetuating it."

Concerns about McMaster were highlighted by Hugh Fitzgerald in February 2017, when he wrote that "one hopes that the Senators before they vote will take the opportunity to examine [McMaster's] understanding of Islamic terrorism," since McMaster emphasized that "terrorist organizations like Daesh ... cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to incite hatred and justify horrific cruelty against innocents."

Fitzgerald asserts that this description of the Islamic State "as 'cynically using a perverted interpretation of religion to incite hatred and justify horrific cruelty against innocents' is most peculiar," since it shows McMaster's belief "that Islam properly understood cannot possibly inculcate anything that might 'incite hatred and justify violence' against non-Muslims."  Fitzgerald emphasizes that he is "not sure which would be worse: that [McMaster] may think he must pretend to believe this nonsense in order to avoid being accused of Islamophobia and to safely rise high in the Washington ranks, or that he really believes it."

At the time, Fitzgerald exhorted senators to "find out what McMaster thinks Islam, mainstream Islam, teaches and how it differs from that 'perverse interpretation' to which he keeps referring. The exchange ought to be instructive."  Consequently, "[i]t would be perfectly appropriate for the Senators to ask General McMaster what 'perverse interpretation' of Islam he thinks the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda labor under, to explain exactly where the terrorists' interpretation of Islam distorts or veers away from the basic tenets of Islam[.]"

In March 2017, Raymond Ibrahim further exposed McMaster's perspective on Islam, which included  "troubling remarks – such as 'the Islamic State is not Islamic[.]'" Equally troubling to Ibrahim was the "hearty endorsement" McMaster gave to a 2010 book titled Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat.  Written by CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, the book had many claims "the Obama administration followed to disastrous results that were incorrect and problematic."

For starters, Aboul-Enein asserts that only 'militant Islamists' – ISIS types who behead, crucify, massacre, and burn people alive – are the enemy. 'Non-militant Islamists,' however, are not.

It is the Militant Islamists who are our adversary. They represent an immediate threat to the national security of the United States. They must not be confused with Islamists.

Ibrahim emphasizes that "[t]his theme, which the author expresses in convoluted language – at one point he urges the reader to appreciate the 'the divisions between Militant Islamists and between Militant Islamists and Islamists' (p.176) – permeates the book. In reality, all Islamists share the same ultimate goal of global Islamic hegemony. They differ in methodology – but not in their view of us as the enemy to be crushed."

Yet, McMaster "wholeheartedly endorsed this book as 'excellent' and 'deserving a wide readership.'"  It was clear that "McMaster was comfortable affirming the Islam-is-a- religion-of-peace doctrine."  In fact, McMaster rejected "a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaled a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world, thus repudiating the language regularly used by both President Trump and Michael T. Flynn."

In February 2017, when early suspicions existed about McMaster's approach to Islam, Brian Thomas exposed the burgeoning ideological differences within the White House when he highlighted Dr. Sebastian Gorka's point that "Islam is the problem and the United States is locked in an ideological conflict."  Thus, "it is the key failing of U.S. efforts to fight terrorism that we have not understood the importance of ideology."  Rather, there exists a "systematic subversion of the national security establishment under the banner of inclusivity, cultural awareness and political correctness." 

Fast-forward to August 2017 and Adam Kredo reports that "an ongoing staffing purge being conducted by White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has thrown the West Wing into chaos, according to more than half a dozen Trump administration insiders who told the Washington Free Beacon that McMaster has been targeting long-time Trump loyalists who were clashing with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration."

Consequently, as documented by Daniel Greenfield, "McMaster had purged Derek Harvey, one of the NSC's best people on the Middle East, for trying to fire Obama holdovers."  In addition, "Bannon and Trump, according to White House officials, pressed McMaster to fire a list of Obama holdovers at the National Security Council who were suspected of leaking to the press. The list of names was compiled by Derek Harvey, a former Defense Intelligence Agency colonel who was initially hired by Flynn. McMaster balked. He refused to fire anyone on the list and asserted that he had the authority to fire and hire National Security Council staff."  Greenfield explains that "McMaster keeps using that authority to purge patriots from the NSC. Rich Higgins, a top official of the National Security Council was fired last month after arguing in a memo that President Trump is under sustained attack from subversive forces both within and outside the government who are deploying Maoist tactics to defeat President Trump's nationalist agenda."

'Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed,' the memo warns. It argues that this has led 'Islamists [to] ally with cultural Marxists,' but that in the long run, 'Islamists will co-opt the movement in its entirety.'

'Because the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives … These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum, and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies.'

Moreover, "Higgins had also 'pushed for declassification of documents having to do with radical Islam and Iran ... as evidence of the Obama administration's links to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups."  Higgins's firing is further discussed by Rosie Gray at the Atlantic.

Greenfield states that "you have to wonder whether [McMaster] isn't emerging as a national security threat."

According to Rush Limbaugh, "[w]hen McMaster was chosen by Trump to be the national security director, Never Trumpers in the conservative movement and establishmentarians in Washington all celebrated[.]  In fact, the establishment Washington loves [McMaster]."  That alone should have been a warning sign.

And then there is Caroline Glick, who highlights the following salient points:

  • McMaster is deeply hostile to Israel and constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power.
  • McMaster pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall as well as pressuring Trump to cancel his visit to the Western Wall.
  • McMaster supports Obama's Iran deal.
  • McMaster fires all of Trump's loyalists and replaces them with Trump's opponents like Kris Bauman, an Israel-hater and Hamas-supporter whom McMaster hired.

The kicker is that it was Senator John McCain who recommended McMaster for the position. 

It is in the interest of American security and her allies that McMaster hear the words "you're fired."  The sooner, the better.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

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