As per Article II of the Constitution, the President of the United States has the executive power invested in him, and he oversees all executive branch agencies that fall under his purview. That is, unless the President is Donald Trump, apparently.
As Donald Trump works through his first year as President, he has experienced a great deal of resistance and mutiny from the intelligence agencies he oversees. The leaks to the press have been nothing short of an all-out revolt against the Commander-in-Chief by rogue operatives who spitefully seek to do nothing more than undermine the legitimacy of the office.
The agencies have gone so far as to effectively tell the President who he may and may not call upon for advisory roles; they do this by denying security clearances, despite the President himself having cleared such individuals.
The most recent example of this is evidenced by a New York Times article from July 8, in which they reported that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had failed to report certain meetings with some Russians. Angelo Codevilla, writing for The Federalist, finds this finding “ominous,” but for a different reason than the left-wing newspaper does.
Given that the nature of a security clearance is of a classified nature, why was the Times able to publish this information unless the intelligence agencies wanted to undermine the administration?
That is exactly what they hope to do, and in doing so they completely flip the nature of the Constitution’s arrangement of the executive branch, where the President is the head of the agencies in the executive branch (that only makes sense, does it not?).
Someone in the intelligence community leaked Kushner’s questionnaire to the press, and the implication is that the agencies were threatening to revoke the clearance because of what they found. It was not an idle threat either, as these agencies have actually done this exact sort of thing before.
On February 11, the CIA withdrew the clearance of top National Security Council adviser Robin Townley, telling the press it refused to work with him because he had criticized the agency. Never mind that the president had appointed him. President Trump’s passivity regarding the agencies’ arrogation of power over security clearances amounts to acquiescence to a change from constitutional to bureaucratic government.
By acting in such a way, the entire structure of the executive branch is completely flipped upside down. Anyone who recognizes how governments, businesses, families, nature, etc. work in reality understands that this kind of rebellion is not sustainable and will severely damage the political, and as well as the national security systems.
The President oversees these agencies, not the other way around. If the Presidents clears a person, the agencies are not to just go rogue and effectively reverse that clearance. Codevilla notes that the agencies have no right to act in such a way.
By what right does anyone in any agency tell the elected president of the United States with whom he can discuss what? If there were such a right, who would confer it, and to whom? The president of the United States’ right to command the executive agencies, especially on foreign affairs and defense, comes from Article II of the Constitution and from his election. Whoever takes over what he might know and from whom would be sovereign over him, the Constitution, and the voters.
And why are we seeing this kind of behavior? According to Codevilla (with whom I sincerely agree), it comes back to the “bipartisan Party Of Government, supported by its progressive constituency in the country.”
Progressivism’s bedrock belief is that expert elites in and out of bureaucracies are the rightful rulers over unsophisticated voters. Making intelligence the very substance of presidential decision-making, leaving only the ceremonial final act to the Oval Office’s occupant, has been CIA’s ambition from the beginning.
What we are seeing here is really not surprising, if one really thinks about the nature of Progressivism. Donald Trump did not run as a member of the Party of Government; he did the opposite. The Left believed him, his supporters believed him, and the intelligence community which he now oversees believed him. Unfortunately, due to Progressivism’s inherently elitist and condescending nature, anyone who is not an “expert” cannot be understood as a person of wisdom or competence.
Hence, they literally need to undermine him.
Asserting the right to grant or withhold clearances to persons cleared by the president’s own choice is the ultimate manifestation of progressive ambition. The Trump administration’s needless acquiescence in this assertion combined with grousing about it defies explanation.
The President needs to address this, now. Even if you are not a supporter of Donald Trump for President, the institutional damage that the intelligence community is inflicting goes beyond left-wing vs right-wing. It erodes the foundation of the country’s government, and foments contempt between the citizenry and the State.
Granted, there must be transparency; that is not being debated. But the war against the President by his own intelligence agencies must be ended before more irreparable damage is done.