February 19 - Who is Minding the Store at the NSC?; The Press as "An Enemy of the People"; Trump's War on Whistleblowers

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Part 1

We begin with the vacuum at the top of the chain of command following the forced resignation of General Flynn as National Security Advisor. Now after two prominent people turned the job down, we assess the candidates on the short list, three of whom are generals and the other a controversial former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton. Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration and is the author of “A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction”, joins us to discuss the turmoil in the White House with qualified candidates turning down President Trump because of his refusal to take Stephen Bannon out of the chain of command and allow the new NSC Advisor to pick his own staff and report directly to the president.

Lawrence J. Korb

Part 2

Then we examine the unfortunate historical examples of the use of the term “enemy of the people” that President Trump called “The FAKE NEWS media” in a tweet which prompted Senator John McCain to warn “the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press”. Russian expert Mitchell Orenstein, a professor in the Slavic Department at the University of Pennsylvania joins us to discuss what it meant if Josef Stalin called you “an enemy of the people” and the paradox that in terms of the checks and balances against Trump’s autocratic tendencies, we have to rely on the CIA, the Pentagon and a hawkish Senator who Rand Paul has criticized saying “we’re very lucky John McCain is not in charge because I think we would be in perpetual war”.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with a whistleblower about Donald Trump’s fury at leakers following his warning that “The spotlight has finally been put on the lowlife leakers! They will be caught”. Peter Van Buren, a 24 year veteran Foreign Service Officer who led two State Department Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and was punished for blowing the whistle on massive waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “When It’s Time to Blow the Whistle” and the fact that a government official’s oath of service is to the Constitution, not to a political leader.

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