The Gutted, 'Unnerving' State of the Agencies Supposed to Keep the U.S. Safe

And among them, only the vacancies, empty offices and officiating officials multiply, creating a dangerous vacuum in the country’s security and intelligence apparatus, which seems to be getting worse every day. Since last Wednesday’s violence in the Capitol, nearly a dozen national security and intelligence officials have left in protest of the president’s actions in inciting the mob. The problem only exacerbates a longstanding problem, however: Throughout his presidency, Trump has relied on “action” beyond compare, filling jobs for far longer than Congress intended – sometimes years.

The practice has severely understaffed its agencies and often staffed with people who are seriously underqualified for the positions they occupy.

“We’re so far down the chain of people who don’t normally get promoted to these positions that it raises bigger questions about whether they’re being competently managed in such a serious security situation,” said Carrie Cordero, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security that has carefully followed up the Trump administration’s longstanding job openings. “As a former terrorist, I worked on Al Qaeda in the early 2000s, and this security situation is just as tense for me as it was at certain times when the US government mobilized to prevent an event. It’s annoying. “

Empty seats and paralysis at the DHS secret service unit were already considered Reason for the unwillingness of the government for last week’s rally. ABC News reported, “Had the DHS Intelligence and Analysis Bureau been at full capacity for the past few months, the US Capitol Police would have had a clearer picture of the” specific and credible “group violence threats they plan on Wednesday’s rally to participate. “The intelligence unit is just one of many components of the agency – including four of the country’s seven largest law enforcement agencies, as well as the Capitol Police itself, whose chief resigned after the department’s miserable failure last Wednesday – that have been without a leader for months. The leadership positions at DHS are so empty that they are currently led by the Assistant Attorney General.

Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Control – who had been his primary legal adviser – Resigned Wednesday night after less than two weeks This means the country’s third largest law enforcement agency, which has never had a Senate-approved director during the Trump administration, will begin Thursday with its fourth chairman since August.

In the Pentagon, Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper after the November elections; in the judiciary, Attorney General Bill Barr resigned solemn and polite at Christmas time after the President was dissatisfied with his opposition to the investigation into Joe Biden’s family; most recently acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf, who never could convincing a court that he was legally in the office First, he strangely resigned Monday night, catapulting FEMA Director Pete Gaynor to the sixth head of the department in just four years.

Below this top rung, the leadership gap worsens in all three departments: DHS and Justice Rank down the entire cabinet department of the government in relation to the top positions occupied; The DHS has not even filled a quarter of its Senate-approved roles, the judiciary not even two out of five. Meanwhile, the Pentagon barely breaks 50 percent.

The Trump administration will end up without a Senate-approved chairman at DHS for most of the past two years. It has an assistant assistant director who appears to have also been employed illegally, and with the departure of Wolf, whose primary role was Undersecretary of State for Strategy, Policy and Plans, all four of his undersecretary roles are vacant.

The three most important border and security authorities are as good as gutted: The immigration and customs authorities (ICE) have eight heads of state and government in four years. When Trump traveled the US-Mexico border for the last time on Tuesday, he was accompanied by Mark Morgan, Head of Customs and Border Protection, who has “filled” the job for so long that he is no longer legally “incumbent” Commissioner “can and is instead technically the Agency’s Chief Operating Officer, while he acts as the” Senior Officer performing the Commissioner’s duties “.

CISA, the government’s primary civilian cybersecurity agency, which has long been a rare corner of stability amid the revolving doors of DHS, was gutted as its leadership after the elections confronts the president’s baseless claims about the choice. His director, Deputy Director and Cybersecurity director’s assistant they were all collected, and only in the last few days the White House away his head of public affairs. (With the President’s account suspended by Twitter, CISA Director Christopher Krebs will be the last government official forever fired from @realdonaldtrump.) In the past few weeks, CISA has been at the forefront of Russia’s massive SolarWinds hack – without its normal leadership.

The Justice Department has an acting attorney general – Jeffrey Rosen, number 2 in the department – and no one in the third or fourth position of the department. There’s no assistant attorney general to run the criminal division, even with FBI agents across the country fanning out to arrest people suspected in last week’s Capitol attack and prosecutor’s task forces on one of the biggest efforts The department has been preparing assistant civil rights attorney since fighting ISIS in 2015 as well resigned the morning after last week’s Capitol riot.) Two of the agencies joined the government after January. 6 Crisis Response, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will end the Trump era next week without a Senate-approved leader. DEA blew through four acting leaders in the past five years; ATF has not had a Senate-approved leader since the iPhone 6S was released in 2015.

The Pentagon facing increasing criticism There are numerous vacancies to fill in dealing with last week’s pro-Trump protests in the capital and the delays in activating the National Guard to rescue the beleaguered Capitol. Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist on the National Security Council, was installed as chief of staff after the Esper shot Bid the transition efforts and aroused controversy because it had so little to do with the history and mission of the building that it was one Email signature that lists itself as “Chief of Staff of the Defense Minister and the War Ministry”, which has not existed since 1947.

Another important Pentagon role is currently being filled by controversial Trump employee Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the 34-year-old who was appointed Acting Undersecretary for Intelligence Defense in November and oversees the Pentagon’s three intelligence agencies: the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

These short-term and long-term “actions” are problematic on several levels, not least because they lead to cascading changes to fill vacant positions. Within the government, a “deputy” is not analogous to a “substitute” vice-president who takes over the president. In fact, the role of the “deputy” in the organization chart is often the most important, the person in charge of the day-to-day running of the Cabinet Department while the secretary is in charge of politics. Forcing a “proxy” to step in as “acting” is often associated with significant costs for the operation and effectiveness of the company.

In other cases the “acting” minds simply appear unqualified. Confusingly, when Esper was fired, Trump turned over the Senate-approved Pentagon Vice-President to appoint Christopher Miller, who served as Assistant Assistant Secretary at the Pentagon last year until he was appointed head of the National Counter-Terrorism Center in August. Not only did Miller catapult more than half a dozen high-ranking officials to lead the nation’s military, but his old position coordinating the nation’s terrorist threat intelligence is being re-occupied by a temporary acting director amid one of the most worrying terrorism windows in the U.S. since the ISIS campaign in 2015.

“The fact that the vacancies are so bad is compounded by the fact that he’s laid off so many layers of leadership that he’s on the ‘D-Team’,” said Cordero. “Every administration has actions – what is unusual is that the quality of the people is so much lower than you normally expect because you are now in the fourth or fifth level.”

Across the government, leaders are simultaneously trying to counter the impending threat, manage the response to last week’s violence, and investigate and arrest its instigators – as well as teaching and handing their work over to those leaving Responsible for the security of the nation at noon Jan. 20 – You are understaffed, understaffed and perhaps most worryingly trying to steer these new agency-command relationships with little understanding or background.

Nothing to mention is that Trump’s instigation of last week’s unrest has also left the country vulnerable to external threats. On the White House National Security Council, a number of resignations have come through the office since the Capitol storm last week: Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger was one of the first Government officials announced in protest, followed by half a dozen others, including senior officials supervise Africa, Europe, Russia, defense policy and their efforts to track down weapons of mass destruction.

It is not just the vacancies and the acting leadership that pose a problem. In many cases, even the Senate-approved leadership is the weakest ever: it is the director of the National Intelligence Service, John Ratcliffe obviously not qualified that the Trump administration had to withdraw his nomination when he was first hired for the job. The talent bank ready to fill positions like this is also astonishingly bare: one of Ratcliffe’s top advisors is Cliff Sims, a past aide quit a job published in the White House a All-rounder, Team of vipersabout the horror of Trump and his circles sued Trump for retaliation against him. Yet Sims is now back to work in the office of the Director of National Intelligence because there are so few people willing to do it.

Biden, meanwhile, is being sworn in at the Capitol itself, on the same scaffolding and platform that were overrun by protesters last week. While intelligence will have control of the event, all three of Capitol Hill’s top security positions, the chief of police, and the House and Senate non-commissioned officers were dismissed or resigned in the hours following last week’s attack.

But the revolving doors on the government couldn’t stop anytime soon. Traditionally, career actions, or even politically appointed officials, await Senate endorsement from the new administration’s candidates – remember, Obama’s Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates awaits the arrival of Rod Rosenstein or Jeff Sessions in her early days as acting Attorney General waited for the Trump administration when it refused to defend the Trump administration’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, which was declared unconstitutional. It seems clear, however, that the Biden team will themselves deploy instant acting officials in key roles to ensure a clean break with the Trump administration without the loyalty, politics, competence, goodwill or commitment of current officials to trust for democracy.

Biden’s move to introduce temporary measures across the government is in part due to unusual delays and necessary Pull foot Biden will likely have Senate committees overseeing Cabinet nominations historically few Cabinet Official – maybe not even – ready on January 20th. That means there may be up to three different leadership teams rotating in the top US security posts in the coming weeks – when Trump’s team ends, a Biden team of incumbent executives will take over at noon on January 20, and ultimately the Senate-approved candidates Slip into the roles in the coming days and weeks.

The Biden Junction released a statement on Wednesday afternoon regarding the looming security concern: “The team is working with the current government to gain as much information as possible about the threat picture and preparations to deter and defend against violent interference or attack. The new team is also focused on laying the foundations for a smooth transfer of power that will ensure continued scrutiny and control over the homeland security and law enforcement components of the US government. “

Presidential transitions are strained and often exposed to serious threats in the best of circumstances. Even with “normal” inaugurations, thousands of law enforcement agencies and military personnel come to the capital to secure the events. They run through the city’s sewers and soar in the sky above them. During Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, authorities dealt with an Islamist extremist threat so serious that one suspect of the conspiracy was chased by police officers into Heathrow Airport and another hours before the inauguration in Africa a tense polygraph exam was subjected. Incoming administrators figured out how to react, and the president-elect was made a statement to read whether bombs exploded or an attack on the National Mall took place during his inaugural address.

When Biden took office, DC officials were so concerned about the potential for violence that they have now left one step further: Faced with the dual threat of Covid and armed insurgents, they urge people to stay completely at home. This is simple advice for Biden’s nominees as they are not allowed to show up for work just yet.

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