Another Flunky Takes Over Another Agency

Thank you for the radio handbook translated into English.

The man appointed by Donald Trump to head the US global media agency that oversees Voice of America and other state-funded broadcasters has carried out a purge of career officials at the top levels of the organisation and installed Trump loyalists.

The action by Michael Pack appeared to confirm fears that Trump wanted to turn the US Agency for Global Media into a loyal state broadcaster of the kind normally found in authoritarian societies.

Pack, a conservative film-maker and ally of right-wing ideologue Stephen Bannon, fired the heads of Middle East Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Open Technology Fund according to CNN, which quoted an official as calling the dismissals the “Wednesday night massacre”. The head of VOA resigned after Pack won Senate confirmation.

Pack has installed Emily Newman, a former adviser to the Department of Homeland Security, as the new chief of staff, according to CNBC.

Newman issued an all-staff memo announcing the new hierarchy and telling them: “Until further notice, no actions are to be taken, and no external communications are to be made, without explicit approval” of the new executives.

Trumpo will borrow “experts” from his buddy Vlad to help rearrange priorities for the new Voice of Fearless Leader.

8 thoughts on “Another Flunky Takes Over Another Agency

  1. Fait Accompli says:

    Donald Trump’s acting head of the Bureau of Land Management, says local authorities should have primary law-enforcement authority on federal land.
    The director, attorney William Perry Pendley publicly undermined the agency’s rangers, saying they should defer to local law enforcement. He could be putting rangers in danger with his words.
    The bureau oversees 247 million acres of public land, roughly the size of Texas and California combined, more land than any other federal agency. The bureau has not had a Senate-confirmed director since Trump took office.
    Interior Secretary David Bernhardt sidestepped the Senate confirmation needed for the appointee who runs the bureau and appointed Pendley as acting director in July 2019.
    Trump nominated Pendley in June to become the director after PEER and Western Watersheds Project, another environmental watchdog, sued over the appointments of Pendley and the deputy director of the National Park Service.

    “The Renegade Sheriffs : A law-enforcement movement that claims to answer only to the Constitution.”
    “Contentious Federalism: Sheriffs, State Legislatures, and Political Violence in the American West”

  2. Cassandra says:

    America’s intelligence agencies risk slipping back into dangerous pre-9/11 habits, a recently departed top counterterrorism official is warning in his first public remarks on the matter.
    Russell Travers, who ran the National Counterterrorism Center, the U.S. government’s hub for analysis of counterterrorism intelligence, was so alarmed that he detailed his concerns, much of which remain highly classified, to the intelligence community’s inspector general. About a week later, he was summarily ousted, he says — and the Trump administration official who fired him didn’t explain why.
    “U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner, heads of the Senate intelligence committee, voiced their support for whistleblowers on Friday after a former counterterrorism official fired by the Trump administration filed a complaint.
    The senators’ joint statement reflected concern from both Senate Democrats and Republicans over the politicization of U.S. spy agencies under President Donald Trump with the appointments of loyalists to leadership positions.
    A congressional source said their statement was prompted by a complaint about political interference in the intelligence process made by Russell Travers, a veteran intelligence officer ousted recently as acting chief of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).”
    “I’m a former civil servant. We are professionals, not a ‘deep state.’” NYT Op-Ed by Russell E. Travers (7/14/20)

    • p/s says:

      “My 42-year career began during the Carter administration and involved service to seven presidents: four Republicans and three Democrats. Most recently, I had the privilege of leading the dedicated professionals of the National Counterterrorism Center; over four decades, I worked throughout the intelligence community, on the National Security Council and overseas.
      …This country has its hands full. As Americans grapple with the legacy of our historical demons, our failures to address the needs of large swaths of our population and the challenges of covid-19, we still need to confront long-standing questions about our nation’s role in the world, the interconnected nature of global challenges and even the adequacy of our governmental structures. As Theodore Roosevelt said, we need people “in the arena” working these issues; our civil servants do exactly that.
      It has been a privilege to serve.”
      Russell E. Travers, former acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

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