Category Archives: national security

Bolton discounts POTUS 45 return

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is no secret to anyone who reads this blog that John Bolton is far from my favorite public official.

He served for a time as national security adviser to the one-time Liar in Chief. Then he got fired, or he quit, or something in between happened.

He now says that the 45th POTUS won’t run make another run for the White House in 2024. He also said recently that the former Imbecile in Chief is “unfit for public office.”

Hmm. Really? Do ya think?

Of course Bolton is correct on that presumption. He found out the hard way, I suppose, when he took the job as national security adviser. He sought to give advice to the POTUS on threats to the nation, only to be rebuffed for reasons no one can quite grasp.

I am inclined under normal circumstances to wonder why Bolton didn’t declare his former boss’s unfitness for office in real time, while he was serving in the White House. Then it occurs to me: It wouldn’t matter to the base of Republicans who continue to hang onto POTUS 45’s every hare-brained pronouncement.

Whatever, Bolton’s view today of the ex-POTUS is worth more than a bucket of spittle.

Border madness must be handled

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am going to concede that conditions on our nation’s southern border need attention, they need serious repair, they need an administration that is willing to get tougher than it has been so far.

A neighbor of mine is a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who is leaving soon for a temporary-duty assignment southeast of Laredo.

He describes the situation on the border as “an out of control mess.”

My neighbor blames President Biden’s administration for it. He didn’t say so directly, but I believe he endorsed the Donald Trump administration policy of rounding up undocumented immigrants, fast-tracking their status while being held and then sending them back to the country from which they fled.

The Biden administration approach is more an “open border” matter. I reminded him that the border isn’t “open” and that Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are stopping illegal immigration every single day.

He acknowledged that but said that the Biden administration’s more tolerant policy is enticing people to flee to this country.

I get that Joe Biden has taken a dramatically different approach to undocumented immigration than the one used by his immediate predecessor. However, I will not accept the notion that our borders are “open” and available for anyone to enter this country.

My neighbor, though, is joining other DPS troopers to assist local and federal law enforcement officials in doing their job. He believes this DPS involvement will last a while, that the situation along our border is too grave to clear up over the short term.

He is a bright young man. I will accept his diagnosis of the problem.

However, I am going to swallow the hook that contends that an “open border policy” is to blame for it.

This matter needs a concerted federal and state effort to resolve. I am going to hold out hope that Gov. Greg Abbott will resist the temptation to hurl blame and insults and will get to working with the president and his team to resolve this matter.

Yes, open a Jan. 6 probe

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – to the surprise of no one who reads this blog regularly – is someone I admire greatly. She demonstrated it again today.

Why? She declared her intention to ramrod the creation of a blue-ribbon, bipartisan, independent commission to examine thoroughly the events that led to the insurrection that occurred on the Sixth of January.

She intends to find out who was responsible for it, why the rioters/terrorists did what they did, on whose instruction, their purpose … all of it.

Pelosi aims to have this commission follow the lead of the 9/11 commission that President Bush created after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. That panel, led by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, formulated a detailed response to what went wrong. It also recommended the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. I also should add that we haven’t been hit by foreign terrorists since that dreadful day.

We have, though, been plagued by domestic terrorists, the likes of whom stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 intending to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election, which produced a winner not named Donald John Trump. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in 2019 that domestic terror groups posed a greater threat to our national security than monstrous outfits such as ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Must we get to the root of what happened? Must we find out whether the rioters were answering some nefarious call to arms by the then-president of the United States, who told them he would be among them as they marched on the Capitol Building, only to watch it unfold from the White House?

Yes, the speaker of the House is seeking answers to questions that are troubling many millions of Americans.

Time for thorough examination

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump’s impeachment trial is over.

The ex-president will walk away and hole up in his luxurious resort way down yonder. Fine. Good riddance.

However, the wreckage that befell the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 needs a careful examination. Recall that in the wake of 9/11, President Bush formed a blue-ribbon, bipartisan commission to look carefully at how to eliminate the kind of national security breach that occurred on that terrible day. The commission, led by Republican former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean and Democratic former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana, resulted in — among other things — the creation of a new Cabinet department, Homeland Security.

The results? We haven’t been hit in that fashion in the two decades after that attack.

Why not form a similarly constituted commission now to take a deep dive into the myriad causes of the riot that erupted on the very day that Congress was meeting to certify the 2020 presidential election? As bad as the event unfolded, it could have been much more tragic.

We need to examine how the security broke down and search for remedies to repair it. We need to examine carefully reports of its pre-planning, who was involved, and seek to root out their motives. There needs to be a careful, thorough and unvarnished accounting for all the factors that led to this monstrous attack on our democratic process … and on the very free-election foundation of our government.

President Biden has many contacts associated — past and present — with the federal government. Surely he can find competent, reasonable, fair-minded individuals to serve on this committee to start peeling away the conspiratorial layers that produced this heinous attack.

We need answers and solutions to how we can prevent a recurrence of this monstrous act.

Fight the home-grown terrorists

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Domestic terrorism has entered the current political debate.

It is about damn time!

For the past four years, we have paid too little attention, or exerted too little emotional capital on the scourge of domestic, home-grown, corn-fed terrorists who hide in plain sight in our midst.

They presented themselves in full force on the Sixth of January when they marched to Capitol Hill, smashed their way into the Capitol Building, killed five human beings and threatened to stop the democratic process of certifying the results of a free and fair election.

President Biden has introduced the term “domestic terrorists” to the current lexicon, reviving it in the face of what the entire world witnessed early this past month.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told congressional committee members in 2019 that domestic terrorists posed an exponentially greater threat to Americans’ security that foreign terrorists working for, say, ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Did the Donald Trump administration act on that statement? Did it call out the proverbial cavalry to answer the call to root out the terrorists? No. It didn’t. Instead, we heard the president of the United States say in 2017 that there were good people on “both sides” of a dispute that erupted in Charlottesville, Va., between counter protesters and — get this — the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Yep. Donald Trump sought to elevate the Klansmen and Nazis to the same moral level of those who fought against them.

That cannot continue. Thank goodness we now have a president, Joe Biden, who knows better than to utter such moronic rhetoric out loud. You see, words have consequences and it is time this nation deal forthrightly with the terrorists who live among us.

The leadership required to commence that fight has just taken office in Washington, D.C. I believe the battle must be fought at least as long and hard as we are fighting the overseas enemies … and we mustn’t back away from calling what they are.

Terrorists.

No briefings for Trump

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

“I’d rather not speculate out loud. I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?”

That about sums it up. President Biden has declared that Donald J. Trump, his immediate predecessor, won’t get intelligence briefings.

Biden says Trump shouldn’t get intel briefings (msn.com)

Indeed, what is the point of giving this information to someone who placed so little value on the daily presidential briefings to which he was entitled when he held the office? None, as far as anyone can tell.

It’s usually customary to give immediate past presidents these briefings. It is meant as a courtesy to the individual who had immediate access to the most sensitive information in the country until the moment he left the presidency.

Trump, though, has engaged in some of the most hideous behavior imaginable since losing his re-election bid in 2020. He has not — and may never — accepted the results of the election. He has not yet congratulated President Biden specifically.

And, of course, he egged on the terrorist mob to storm Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. We know what happened on that terrible day.

Give him presidential intelligence briefings? No way, man.

No briefings for ex-POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Millions of us are aware of all the norm-busting practices of Donald Trump’s administration, starting with Trump’s refusal to receive “daily presidential briefings” aimed at alerting him to national security needs and potential crises.

Here’s another norm that needs shattering into a million little pieces. Former presidents often are given national security briefings from their successors. Donald Trump should not get anything of the sort from President Biden’s administration.

Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, through his reckless use of Twitter — prior to it being yanked — to say things that could jeopardize our national security. He had that infamous meeting in the Oval Office with Russian visitors and blabbed about security issues relating to Israel’s defense posture.

I have noted several times that Trump is unfit to be president. He’s only got two days left before he hightails it to Florida. He will stand trial in the U.S. Senate for the second time. This allegation deals with incitement of insurrection.

Does this clown need to know the nation’s top secrets once he becomes a private citizen? Not a chance!

Giving former presidents intelligence briefings is not a requirement. It has been a common practice. Former presidents at times are given those briefings to alert them of what might lie ahead and also to solicit advice on how they might handle a situation that could arise.

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Trump is untrustworthy and must not be allowed access to anything regarding national security.

I could not agree more. Keep this individual as far out of the loop as one possibly can do.

A ‘new America’ awaits?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Take a long look at the picture contained in this brief blog post and I fear you are going to presume that this is the look of the new America.

It came to my Facebook page via Nancy Seliger, whose husband — Kel Seliger — reported for duty the other day as a state senator serving in the Texas Legislature.

The heavily armed individuals you see are on guard against potential violence at the Texas Capitol Building in Austin, where 181 members of our Legislature are meeting for the next 140 days to enact laws that govern us.

The riot that erupted Jan. 6 in D.C.? The one that killed five people and damaged the nation’s Capitol Building? The attack on our democratic system of government?

The terrorists who conducted that calamitous attack are vowing more of the same at capitols across the nation. That includes ours in Austin, ladies and gents. Thus, we have heavily armed security personnel on guard.

This is disgusting, reprehensible and is a vile statement of the nature of our political discourse in the Age of Donald Trump. Thankfully and not a moment too soon, that age is about to end. Trump will be gone from the White House.

I am saddened to presume that the anger he stoked for four years isn’t likely to subside just because Trump is no longer in power. Oh, how I hope to be wrong on this matter, but my fears continue to be fueled by FBI reports of alarm bells sounding. They could be hailing further spasms of uncontrolled violence.

Just as 9/11 spawned a new era of travel in this country and around the world, I fear that the Jan. 6 attack on our democratic system has produced a new era that requires such deterrence against those who would take political protest to these deadly extremes.

Let us pray for a return to sanity.

Get to the root of the Capitol Hill riot

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Those of us who are old enough to remember it likely would provide the same answer to this question: What is the most serious security breach in our nation’s history?

I would answer: 9/11. Terrorists flew three passenger jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and could have crashed a fourth jetliner into the Capitol Building were it not for the bravery of the passengers who fought them for control of the jet and crashed it into a field in Pennsylvania.

The tragedy of 9/11 prompted a thorough investigation into what went wrong and it produced some important reforms in the fight against international terrorism.

Now we have another monumental security breakdown staring us in the face. It occurred this past Wednesday when rioters stormed up Capitol Hill and ransacked the Capitol Building. They sent members of Congress – as well as Vice President Mike Pence – scurrying for cover. They were gathered to perform a pro forma constitutional act of ratifying the Electoral College vote that declared Joe Biden elected president of the United States. Donald Trump sought to contest that result and, well, he has contested it in hideous fashion!

Now comes the question: What in the name of national security happened and how did the D.C. Metro Police Department, the Capitol Police, and the Secret Service not respond more forcefully and quickly to the mayhem that was unfolding?

I am one American patriot who believes we need to create another blue-ribbon, bipartisan commission to study in detail what went wrong and provide solutions for how to prevent this kind of tragedy from recurring.

I also am one of millions of Americans who was horrified at what I watched on my TV screen. Donald Trump exhorted the rioters to march on Capitol Hill and “take back” the government. The rioters began their march and then all hell broke loose.

A commission charged with finding answers would have many questions to probe. They include:

  • Given Donald Trump’s threat that “something big” would occur on Jan. 6, why wasn’t the Capitol Building swarming with security personnel who could repel the advance of the rioters?
  • Why did some of the cops appear to many of us seem to assist rioters into the building?
  • Others have posed this notion, but I’ll repeat it here: Had the rioters been ransacking the Capitol been Black Lives Matter protesters, there is little doubt that police would have reacted much differently than they did with the pro-Trump mob. The question: Is that a valid assertion?

Was there a massive breakdown in security of our nation’s government? I want answers. I believe a blue-ribbon commission given free rein to search for the truth can provide the answers we need to hear.

BLOGGER’S NOTE: A version of this blog was posted initially on KETR-FM’s website.

Senate steepens Biden’s hill to climb

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As if President Biden doesn’t already have a steep hill to climb when he takes office in 10 days …

The U.S. Senate will not have confirmed a single one of his Cabinet nominees by the time he assumes the presidency. Why? Well, senators have been consumed by matters involving the hideous antics of Biden’s immediate predecessor, Donald Trump.

The president-elect has been rolling out his nominees systematically since winning the election. He has completed that task, along with naming top staff-level appointees who do not require Senate confirmation.

It would be in the nation’s best interest for senators — who return to work no later than Jan. 19 — to focus immediately on confirming the president’s national security team. That would include the secretaries of defense, state and homeland security along with the director of national intelligence and the CIA director. We also might want to toss in the treasury secretary for good measure, given that our economic strength remains a key component of our national security.

Too many Republican senators, I am saddened to point out, have swallowed the “widespread voter fraud” lie that Donald Trump fed them as he fought to cling to power. hey have taken their eye off the task at hand, which is to help ensure a smooth transition of power. One of those senators happens to be the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who now surrenders that title to Democrat Chuck Schumer when the next Congress returns to work.

I don’t have any doubt that President Biden, with his vast government experience, will be able to navigate through the initial stages of the presidency without a full complement of Cabinet officials on hand.

The onus belongs to the Senate, though, to ensure that the new president is staffed fully as soon as is humanly possible.

Because, unlike Donald Trump, the new president will actually listen to and heed the advice he receives. The national security team is foremost among the advisers on whom he will rely.