Hillary’s National Security Alliance for Quivering Over Bank Prosecutions

Fresh off being caught lying about rolling her eyes in response to calls for Palestinian rights, Neera Tanden has rolled out something called the National Security Leadership Alliance. Best as I can tell, it exists mainly on paper right now — I couldn’t even find it on CAP’s site yet. But it seems designed to fear-monger about what will happen if Trump becomes Commander-in-Chief.

The project, called the National Security Leadership Alliance, will be funded by C.A.P. Action. It will feature a roster of major members of the foreign policy and national security community, including two retired four-star generals; Leon E. Panetta, the former C.I.A. director; Madeleine K. Albright, the former secretary of state; Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general; and Carl Levin, the former Michigan senator. All have endorsed Mrs. Clinton.

There will be an effort to highlight precisely what, in the military arsenal, Donald J. Trump would have access to as president. Mr. Trump has been criticized for his views on foreign policy, criticisms that have been central to the case that Mrs. Clinton has made against him in an effort to describe the stakes of the 2016 presidential election. The Center for American Progress is led by a top outside adviser to Mrs. Clinton, Neera Tanden, and the new project seeks to put a spotlight on what officials are calling a progressive foreign policy vision.

I’m perfectly okay with fearmongering about Trump. But let’s look at this lineup. It features the woman who said letting half a million Iraqi children die was worth the price of enforcing sanctions against the country. It also includes a guy, Panetta, whose exposure of the identities of Osama bin Laden killers’ to Hollywood producers serves to reinforce what a double standard on classified information Hillary (and Panetta) benefit from.

But I’m most curious by a “national security” team that includes both Eric Holder and Carl Levin, especially given the NYT focus, in announcing the venture, on Brexit.

“I think what brought us together is obviously a lot of concern about some of the division and polarization that we’re seeing in the world,” Mr. Panetta said in an interview. “We know we’re living in a time of great change and uncertainty.”

But he added, “The concern we have is we see these forces of division that are prepared to throw out the fundamental” principles of foreign policy in the United States over many decades.

“What we’re learning from ‘Brexit’ is that there’s a price to be paid in terms of letting out emotion dictate policy instead of responsible leadership,” he said, referring to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. “We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Leon Panetta, in rolling out a venture including Carl Levin — who as head of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations worked tirelessly for some kind of accountability on bank crime — and Eric Holder — who ignored multiple criminal referrals from Levin, including one pertaining to Goldman Sachs head Lloyd Blankfein — says the lesson from Brexit is that we can’t let emotion dictate policy but instead should practice “responsible leadership” guarding the “fundamental principles of foreign policy in the United States over many decades.”

Of course, as David Dayen argued convincingly, to the extent Brexit was an emotional vote, the emotions were largely inflamed by elite failures — the failures of people like Eric Holder to demand any responsibility (Dayen doesn’t deal with the equally large failures of hawks like Albright whose destabilizing policies in the Middle East have created the refugee crisis in Europe, which indirectly inflamed Brexit voters).

Again, I’m okay if Hillary wants to spend her time fearmongering about the dangers of Trump.

But to do so credibly, she needs to be a lot more cognizant of the dangers her own team have created.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

11 replies
  1. wayoutwest says:

    I think the establishment fear of Trump has more to do with him not being sufficiently hawkish and imperialist but this spin of dangerous CIC Trump is the only way to spread fear because attacking him for not being a warmonger would probably backfire besides being absurd.

    I have trouble with your last sentence, anytime someone puts Hillary and credibly in the same sentence I gag.

  2. Dan says:

    The Queen and her Court have no clothes.

    The DNC is so clueless, they don’t even know most of these people have been discredited in the public’s eye. What a disgusting list of miscreants. Was Kissinger not available?

    I also wonder if Levin and Ellison know they are part of this.

  3. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    EW: “Again, I’m okay if Hillary wants to spend her time fearmongering about the dangers of Trump.

    “But to do so credibly, she needs to be a lot more cognizant of the dangers her own team have created.”

    Self-awareness isn’t really a thing for Queen Hillary and her minions. Nor is credibility.

  4. Ol' Hippy says:

    I came out of 30+ years of drinking about two years ago to discover the real reason, or at least a big part, was the government I worked to support. It indeed is run by a bunch of crazy psychopaths. I just may go back to drinking again, at least I won’t see the fiery end coming.

  5. Evangelista says:

    OK, I have to endorse this “National Security Alliance” proposal of Hillary’s “top outside advisor”. It is the first really first-rate campaigning-tactic the “Hillary for Commander-In-Chief” camp has come up with. And it deserves it first-class rating: How better to force Donald Trump to reveal his first insticts in regard to military arsenal than to give him as qualified and deserving a hit-list as ever was and ever has existed? It’s like tempting a hypoglycemic six-year-old with a handful of lollipops: Does Trump have the self-control those who trust him assume, or will a campaign-contest between him and Hillary be no more than a choice between equals (except that Trump is less shrill and shows a fine and fun creativity in his rhetorical adjectivity)…

  6. bevin says:

    They are trying to goad Trump into taking steps to show that he is just as much inclined to risk a war as Clinton is. They want him to “arm” himself with a bunch of warmongering Strangeloves himself. And he might just be daft enough to do so.
    What they fear is Trump running on a platform of “minding America’s business” and closing down some of those incredibly expensive bases.
    It is a measure of the success of the ‘bi-partisan, foreign policy’, that came in we are always told with Senator Vandenberg, that there hasn’t been an isolationist major party candidate since 1936.
    If Trump ran on a peace and plenty, bring back the jobs platform Hillary would be crushed.
    And the world would be a better place.

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