Empty Desks at the NSC by Larry C Johnson

Larry Johnson-5x7
Looks like President Trump finally realizes that he is working in a snake pit. When he took office on January 20, 2017, he left an enormous cadre of Obama/Hillary sycophants in place. He could have (and should have) moved them out and reassigned them to the bureaucratic equivalent of Siberia. But he did not. Take the case of Tina Kaidanow, who headed up the Bureau of Counter Terrorism when Trump took over. Rather than asking for her resignation she was put in as the number two person in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs. 

In September 2018 Kaidanow got another promotion:

Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, a longtime State Department official and a key player in recent reforms to America’s arms sales process, is heading to the Pentagon.

Kaidanow will be crossing the river and entering the Pentagon as the next director of international cooperation, an office under the department’s reconstituted Acquisition and Sustainment office.

Tina Kaidanow

Tina Kaidanow

Tina is emblematic of the Deep State. I would not be surprised if her name surfaces in the Ukraine matter. She will do everything in her power, in my opinion, to sandbag Donald Trump.

Under President Obama the number of CIA officers "detailed" for temporary duty at the National Security Council swelled to around 200. That makes for an enormous number of bodies walking the halls of the Old Executive Office Building. When Donald Trump was inaugurated the CIA boosted the number to closer to 300. Gone are the old days when CIA officers eschewed partisan politics and focused on serving the elected President. The current crew is heavily politicized and most have an anti-Trump bias.


Starting last week President Trump began shedding CIA detailees. The CIA officers who counted on showing up to work at the Old Executive Office Building aka OEOB were told their services were no longer required and they should go back up the river to their offices in McClean, Virginia.

If you get a chance to visit the OEOB their are lots of empty, unoccupied desks this week. This is not a temporary change. It is a long overdue move. President Trump finally realizes he is surrounded by partisan seditionists and is eliminating their access and influence. About time.

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31 Responses to Empty Desks at the NSC by Larry C Johnson

  1. Fred says:

    Larry,
    On a similar note a DIA “contractor” was arrested to leaking to the press. In this case the reporter he was screwing.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/09/defense-intelligence-agency-worker-arrested-for-leaking-to-reporters.html
    Didn’t anyone learn anything from Strzock and Page? How many more loose zippers are out there? Did he do like the FBI contractors during the Obama administration? Don’t tell me, his boss didn’t know a thing about what was going on……
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/politics/judge-rebukes-fbi-surveillance/index.html

  2. Diana C says:

    Thanks for writing this. I’ve been wondering if Trump had not done what he should have done when he first got into office, especially in regard to intelligence.
    Can he do some of that “pest control” now and remove all the little Obama bugs?

  3. vig says:

    If you get a chance to visit the OEOB their are lots of empty, unoccupied desks this week.
    hopefully there are new efforts in place to make sure no consciously or unconsciously ideological member of the swamp, borg, blob gets in.

  4. Larry, I can only hope that you are correct. Agree, it is about freaking time he started doing this.

  5. Factotum says:

    Trump-Pence 2020 – let the deep state clean-up work continue. We get it and we know this takes time over several committed administrations, even well beyond Trump. Such are the civil service job protections already into the system – easy to add insiders but very, very hard to eliminate them. Trump, we have your back.
    Yes, civil servants should not lose jobs for partisan reasons, but they should not also abuse their jobs for partisan reasons. We can protect both – time to replace unionized government workers going every which way against Sunday for their own self-interests with a new and neutrally protective Civil Service Act – this can be a bi-partisan effort. .

  6. Eliot says:

    Clinton has the same problem in his first term. He was a neophyte and the permanent bureaucracy played him.

  7. MP98 says:

    Short of some technology, there are no “classified” secrets anymore.
    Background investigations are a joke;Brennan was a Communist who voted for Gus Hall.
    People are randomly given access to massive databases – see Chelsea Manning.
    The FBI (Famous But Incompetent) CI star – Strzok – is a bumbling nitwit who compromised himself by using a government cellphone to send thousands of texts to his lover.
    Don’t forget Snowden,a contractor at the NSA – the No Security Agency.
    The Chinese and Russians are dying laughing at this mess.
    It’s obvious that the “professionals” of the national security establishment are not just incompetent, but grossly stupid.
    But remember, they’re VERY IMPORTANT people who risk their lives every day.
    And never forget 9/11 – brought to you by the CIA and FBI.

  8. confusedponderer says:

    Factotum,
    re: “Trump-Pence 2020 – let the deep state clean-up work continue.
    I am somewhat less optimistic about this than you are. It is after all a challenging thing that has to do with actual reality and requires attention.
    Think about what Trump’s & Pence’s “cleaning up the swamp” meant practically.
    It meant making coal and oil friend Scott Pruitt head of the EPA, an agency he had sued some 30 times or so and wanted to abolish and who practically prohibited to use wicked phrases like ‘human caused climate change’. Yuck!
    As if that wasn’t embarassing enough Pruitt topped this by claiming that US coal is different from the coal in the rest of the world since its burning does not cause CO2.
    That is so blatantly stupid, inane and absurd that we’d likely have politely laughed him out of the class in the 6th grade.
    The guy under Pruitt at the EPA to oversee the so called superfunds to clean up super environmental mess was, some time before that job, sentenced by a finance oversight agency to never ever work in a bank again.
    I have no idea what he did but the verdict in its way speaks for itself. Perhaps a reliability problem short of crime? So under Trump and Pruitt to have that guy having an eye on taxpayers money was ok? Unsuitable for any banks but … perfect for Pruitt and the EPA?
    Or take Pompeo. In his own way he hummed a similar tune when he iirc uttered that Trump was … chosen by God to protect Israel.
    No Mr. Pompeo, Trump was chosen by electors in the electoral college, who by no means are God, and US presidents are iirc not elected to protect Israel.
    IMO that’s the “cleaning that evil godless democrat liberal witch hunting coup swamp” in the ‘muddy the water approach’.
    If I look at Trump’s reaction to the impeachment process (think of his recent fury rampage at the press conference with the finish president) that is unlikely to improve.
    And that draining the swamp will not go well in the future – even (or much less so) if Trump is impeached and kicked out of the Whitehouse. Trump’s sucessor would be Pence, who’d likely will pardon Trump of whatever or everything. IMO Pence is similar to Trump, but he is less of a peacock and more quiet.

  9. Fred says:

    MP98,
    “never forget 9/11”
    You mean all those citizens of Saudi Arabia were not really Saudis and not inspired by thier interpretation of Islam. You sound like a standard internet expert.

  10. prawnik says:

    “Trump-Pence 2020 – let the deep state clean-up work continue.”
    If Trump were planning to “drain the swamp(tm)”, he should not have waited until a year from the 2020 elections to get started.

  11. Factotum says:

    Draining the swamp? Start with decertifying current mega public employee unions and their eventual elimination completely as antithetical to the business of taxpayer funded government.
    Prohibit any member of Congress who benefited from any public employee union/PAC contribution – cash or in kind, from voting on any form of government employee benefits or collective bargaining contracts.
    Reform the Civil Service Act. Nit-picking a single individual you do not agree with misses the point. If this person is your newly appointed boss under the current election mandate, carry out those wishes and do not use prior administrative policy for personal sabotage.

  12. Factotum says:

    Compelling analysis why we must continue to expose and drain the deep state swamp. It was a direct Obama legacy to weaponize the deep state in the event Romney won in 2012. The Obama weaponization of the whistleblower statutes is now used in full force against Trump: https://www.redstate.com/stu-in-sd/2019/10/11/whistleblowing-twists-turns/

  13. catherine says:

    What would I do to save my butt if I were Trump?
    I’d go back to my original (but mostly insincere) playbook on draining the swamp and take the heat off myself by holding a series of bully pulpit talks and spill everything it is possible to spill on the political corruption that has gone on in this country….congress, past presidents, names, instances, domestic, foreign…..everything….and the cost of it.
    All this corruption (excluding what we don’t about..yet)is already out here, all he needs is a team to bring it together.
    I wouldn’t do any yelling about my own situation but I would have the populace ready to pickup torches and pitch forks.
    If he could incite a citizens march on the DC incest tank I could overlook his other faults.

  14. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    No, Fred, I think that he is saying that the FBI, & CIA, despite having enough of the pieces to stop 9/11, didn’t. He said they were stupid & incompetent, remember,not that they DID 9/11.

  15. Factotum says:

    Appointing 150 new federal judges, including two new SCOTUS judges since he was sworn in is …draining the swamp.
    Eliminating mountains of federal regulations is ….draining the swamp.
    Using EPA against the city of SF for being a hazardous waste dump …is draining the swamp.
    This list of he accomplishments is long and deep. He fired Comey. He fired McCabe… both actions were draining the swamp. He pushed back on Democrat open borders, DACA and amnesty………all insider swamp moves by the Democrat public sector unions.
    Is there a reason you overlook everything Trump has already done, or are you just “concerned” because Trump has not yet eliminated the government employee unions yet? As much as I would like to see that happen, I know it will not happen over night. If you want something done well, it will take time and building strength and momentum.
    At this point Trump has been boxed in from doing even more by Obama’s string of federal judges. But look how that log jam is finally breaking up. Give Trump another 4 years, another 150 new judges and a few more SCOTUS picks and then report back here.
    Trump is a chess player. I admire that quality about him, not obvious with first or superficial impressions. Stand back a bit and get off the soapbox.

  16. confusedponderer says:

    catherine,
    re: What would I do to save my butt if I were Trump?
    Well dear catherine, my magic crystal ball, fueled by coffee, proposes this:
    He’ll be himself – being always treated utterly unfair, being witch hunted & couped, being hunted by fake news, talking through a megaphone, self defence tweet with covfefes or other new words, insult people who won’t vote for him anyway, fire critics – and, of course, play a lot of golf.
    Since taking office on Jan. 20, 2017, Mr. Trump has reportedly been on the grounds of his golf courses or played golf elsewhere 237 times since becoming President, and that’s as of Oct. 5, 2019.
    https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfnewsnetteam/2019/10/05/how-many-times-president-donald-trump-played-golf-in-office-103836/
    Just to help – here you can keep an eye on Trump’s golf count …
    https://www.trumpgolfcount.com/

  17. Fred says:

    Jersey,
    We couldn’t say bad things about Muslims then, it would have been politically incorrect. Now it’s just Islamaphobic.

  18. Factotum says:

    Trump displays remarkable vigor for a man his age. Can’t begrudge him time on the golf course at all. Good for him. He certainly is not know to be a reclusive slacker like the former golf-playing WH resident.

  19. confusedponderer says:

    Factotum,
    re vigour, given his age and diet it is indeed remarkable that Trump has already about “double out-golfed Obama” in less than a year.
    https://www.businessinsider.de/what-trumps-diet-is-like-review-2018-1?r=US&IR=T
    It also explains why he likes golf cars about as much as golf sites. Sports surely is splendid, to a point. It’s a little less splendid when you have that reputation to cheat a lot.
    That written, if golf playing qualifies for presidency, or predisency, why not go and get Tiger Woods? He’s very likely also better at golf and has a better haircut too.

  20. paul scott says:

    Excellent

  21. paul scott says:

    Excellent

  22. Fred says:

    CP,
    You should see the fine people of FEMA indicted for fraud surrounding Puerto Rico disaster recovery. Notice how that story no longer matters?

  23. Factotum says:

    confusedp, it must have been a long, hard past three years for you. Trump will win in 2020, so how can we help you get through the next five?

  24. Tony Papert says:

    But why do you pick on Kaidanow especially?

  25. Because I have first hand knowledge of her partisanship and anti-Trump position. She exemplifies the problem of termites in the woodwork.

  26. confusedponderer says:

    Factotum,
    ah, that’s an easy one – spare me penal taxes on bourbon.
    A little more serious:
    (A) Trump has apparently a reputation of cheating at golf.
    (B) I recall that that remarkable healh assessment that attested Donald excellent health, splendid genes, a long to be expected life and iirc stable ingeniousness was only signed by his doctor – and writen by Trump himself.
    It’s these small things like (A) and (B) that are suspect IMO.
    Who cheats on so little things – will he be honest with the big things?
    A man who says he is a stable genius may in fact be a demented moron. A man who says he is so rich that can count all his money may just be broke or incapable of counting. When someone says something is super clear and simple it’ may just be the opposite.
    As a teenager I was send to a customer of a christian journal to collect the fee – and he, an old turk, was drinking beer, said he had no money and asked me through his sons if I wanted to read the koran. Not exactly what I had expected from a customer of a christian magazine.
    On the other hand in 2017 I was also called ugly by a furious blind woman for telling her that, no, it was not 1945.
    The point is – when some things look odd they likely are odd.

  27. Bob Saccamanno says:

    Maybe they don’t like the fact that his very first act as president was to rant about his crowds and paint the members of the community as his fanboys after only a glancing moment to notice those stars whose sacrifice should have been his focus. And the myopic malignant naval gazing never ceased from that moment. Whatever problems with group-think in Washington does not excuse this hollowness at the top. There’s an Arabic expression “رجل فارغ” that describes him perfectly.

  28. Bob Saccamanno says:

    *navel

  29. confusedponderer says:

    Factotum,
    re “Trump is a chess player. I admire that quality about him, not obvious with first or superficial impressions. Stand back a bit and get off the soapbox.
    Trump is a chess player? Is he indeed? I am a little surprised. But then, there are a couple ways to play chess and some may fit his observable preferences. What comes to my mind immediately …
    (1) defeat the enemy tactically (requires attention)
    (2) then there is brute force (pawn roller)
    (3) strict offense (requires attention)
    (4) strict defence (requires attention)
    (5) demanding immediate unconditional complete surrender
    (6) fight the the opponments’s mind and so his will and skill in fight
    (7) threaten the enemy with truly great and unmatched wisdom
    (8) hit the enemy with the the chessboard on the head
    (9) fire the opponent
    (10) tweet the opponent away
    Trump IMO is a (2) (5) (7) (8) (9) and (10) type.
    I for my part got along ok with (1) (2) (3) (4) and occasionally (6).
    As for “Give Trump another 4 years, another 150 new judges and a few more SCOTUS picks and then report back here.
    You’re an optimist I see. You’re really sure you’ll like that and do you understand what that will mean practically?
    I read that a few weeks ago a black man in the US was released from prison after a dozen or so years in jail for repeated crimes. His third crime was iirc stealing chocolate. I am conservative but still think that life jailtime for, say, a triple chocolate thief, is a little excessive.
    It’s not so much about punishment but about retaliation.
    I doubt that more helps more. That doesn’t work wih alcohole, let alone drugs, and it doesn’t work with jail time. In that future such things will be normal.
    Trump pardoning Joe Arpaio, found in trial to be guilty of criminal contempt, is an indication here. But then, who’s right per se has no requirements for trivialities like civil rights or fair trials.

  30. Fred says:

    CP,
    He cheats at golf! My, I wonder if he lies about fishing and women? At least he didn’t tell us “They’ll great us as liberators” or “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” As to his health, according to the Social Security life expectancy calculator he’s got, wait for it, 12 years! So, just like the rest of us, he’s doomed.
    https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/longevity.cgi

  31. confusedponderer says:

    Fred,
    you don’t get the point.
    It’s that difference in lies and reasons, or, more simple – between idiocy and vanity.
    #1# Idiocy:
    BoJo some time ago blathered that he had “ended terrible EU tyranny with rules about how to treat fishes”. Well, such rules about how to treat fishes usually have reasons beyond arbitrary whims of Eurocrats.
    There for instance is a rule in the Netherlands and Germany for Matjes – that it must be frozen. It’s not because we like freezing fish but it’s for a good reason: It is so because freezing will kill off worms and other likely inhabitants of the fish, an important point since Matjes is usually eaten raw.
    The reason for that rule is health protection. Few sane people are so lonely that they want the company of worms. That’s facts part 1.
    Facts part 2, lost on BoJo, is that the rule he ‘liberated the EU tyrannised UK from’ to was actually a UK fish & health stuff rule. Oopsie.
    It also means that without these rules eating fish in BoJo land will be less safe. There was no “liberation from EU rule tyranny”, just stupid blathering and needlessly re-creating an actually solved health risks for britons, and then lie about it.
    It does not come as a surprise to me given that as a reporter BoJo was fired three times for freely inventing B***S*** stories from nothing.
    #2# Vanity:
    When Trump cheats at golf that’s likely because he needs to which then means he doesn’t play that well after all. Why does he do that? Because he wants to, perhaps needs to, win. He wants to be seen as playing golf well.
    When Trump writes a health assessment of himself and lets it sign by his doctor, then he wants it to, perhaps needs it to express him as being super healthy and all that (when he isn’t?).
    Trump doesn’t want anyone to see his tax and business numbers, while of course he was an extraordinaire business superb big deal grand master, despite being bankrupt five or six times. Likely he really likes that image and perhaps needs it emotionally.
    Now I presume that when one does such things that way there is is something to compensate for.
    As a result of Trumps recent letter, Sultan Erdogan has today insulted Trump. Trump sent Erdogan a letter announcing that Mike Pence and Robert O’Brien are to, damn it, “negotiate” with Erdogan over syria.
    Ankara answered that Erdogan would only talk with Trump, not with surrogates like Mike Pence and Robert O’Brien, and that the letter after reading had been throwed straight into the garbage.
    Well, in effect both idiocy and vanity leads to be people getting laughed at, but the similar dysfunctional side effect comes from different reasons.

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