As the Ukraine phone call saga unfolds, those of us following the drama have become aware of a new term, “The Interagency.” The Interagency, is the de rigeur term for what has improperly become a decision making component of the National Security apparatus that bypasses or in extreme cases, overturns the Article II authority of the President of these United States. This unelected group of individuals representing different agencies (hence the term, “Interagency”) appears to believe that they, by virtue of their vast knowledge and experience, should be the rightfully making foreign policy decisions, not the duly elected President.
This attitude has become so prolific, that serving military officers seem to believe that their opinions outweigh those of The President. Moreover, they appear to believe that they, not The President, actually get to determine U.S. Foreign Policy. Witness the opening statement to Congress by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a mid level staffer on the National Security Council, emphasis mine
In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to U.S. government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine’s prospects, this alternative narrative undermined U.S. government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.
“…harmful to U.S, government policy.” Where does this young officer get off?! Doesn’t he know that according to Article II of the U.S. Constitution, that it is The President of these United States who determines foreign policy? Doesn’t he know from his attendance at the Army’s Command and General Staff Officer Course that he is a staff officer? Doesn’t he know that his role is merely advisory? Apparently not.
Giving him a huge benefit of the doubt, I believe at some time in the past, he possibly did. But like many in the deep state, those who were once apolitical, he has become enamored of his own abilities and his own place in the government universe. I believe these folks truly believe that they, not the elected officials who happen to pass through every four years, should be determining the course of U.S. foreign Policy and Intelligence. They, after all, are ever so much more qualified to decide such things…at least that is what’s apparent from Vindman’s testimony.
“The Caine Mutiny,” starring Humphrey Bogart showed a version of this in the microcosm of a United States Navy Destroyer/Minesweeper during World War II. Interestingly enough, it was the “temporary help,” Naval Reservists called to the colors, who were revolting against the authority of the Regular Navy Captain in command over them. However, the fundamental theme is the same, revolt against lawful authority fostered by an unbridled belief that The Interagency should be able to overrule the lawfully appointed/elected, Commander/President.
As Lieutenant Harvey Greenwald, played by Jose Ferrer, said at the “victory party” after a Court Martial acquitted the officers of mutiny,
I have a guilty conscience…and it’s making me sick!…You’re learning Willie. You’re learning you work for the captain not because you like the way he cuts his hair, you work for him because he’s got the job, or you’re no good!”
He then calls out the real instigator of the mutiny, Lieutenant Keefer, calling him a coward and telling him to meet him outside if he wants to do anything about it. Full video below.
To be clear, I’m not talking about the leftists that permeate every level of the bureaucracy. I am however, talking about Military Officers and never-Trump Republican civilian bureaucrats who cannot accept that President Trump was duly elected and that they owe him their loyalty. I’m talking about all the Lieutenant Keefers out there who malign and obstruct President Trump at every opportunity for their own self aggrandizement, or their misplaced loyalty to The Interagency. Like Lieutenant Greenwald I say, “You’re no good!”
Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.
Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583
You can find his other Red State work here.
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