#8490232 at 2020-03-20 18:10:31 (UTC+1) Q Research General #10870: They Thought They Could Run! KEK Edition
Trump Has Now Replaced 6 Senior Intel Aides
WASHINGTON-The acting chief of the National Counterterrorism Center and his deputy were fired Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest in recent personnel changes that have alarmed current and former officials worried that President Trump is politicizing the U.S. intelligence community.
RussellTravers [above right, during Senate testimony in 2018], a veteran counterterrorism official who took charge of NCTC last summer, was dismissed by Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence, the people said. The White House nominated a new head of NCTC on Wednesday, tapping Christopher Miller, a Pentagon counterterrorism official.
Mr. Grenell, formerly the ambassador to Germany, is seen as a Trump loyalist who has scant intelligence experience. He was named to his post after his predecessor, Joseph Maguire, a retired Navy vice admiral, was berated by the president over how a subordinate briefed lawmakers about Russia's potential goals in interfering in the 2020 election
#8480682 at 2020-03-19 23:42:42 (UTC+1) Q Research Edition #10858: Anons You Are Moar Than Ready Edition
March 19, 2020 05:22 PM
Richard Grenell: Acting counterterrorism chief retiring, not fired
"The acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center is retiring in the latest Trump administration shakeup.
RussellTravers, who took over the organization after Joseph Maguire departed to assume the role of acting director of national intelligence, is leaving after more than 40 years of government service, a spokesperson confirmed on Thursday. He made his decision known to Richard Grenell, Maguire's replacement as acting spy chief, who denied a report citing former officials who said Travers and his deputy were fired.
"We are grateful for acting Director Russ Travers's many years of service to the American people. Russ told acting Director Grenell he wanted to retire and that he did not want another assignment," Amanda Schoch, assistant director of national intelligence for strategic communications, told the Washington Examiner.
"Russ's willingness to step up and serve as the acting director of NCTC multiple times is an example of his commitment to serve this vital mission. He has given NCTC many years of great service," she added.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also confirmed the acting deputy director, Peter Hall, would return to the National Security Agency.
President Trump intends to nominate Christopher Miller, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism, to fill the permanent director role at the NCTC. Schoch said the decision to nominate Miller has been "well received across the intelligence community" and that, if confirmed, he will "bring a new vision" to the center.
Falling under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the NCTC was set up following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and its mission is to "integrate" the national counterterrorism effort.
The statement followed a report from the Washington Post that cited former U.S. officials claiming Travers's exit could be part of a purge by the administration. The report said Travers and Hall were fired, an assertion that Grenell publicly denied.
"Not true," Grenell said, referring to a tweet by the story's author. "And Ellen is refusing to update her erroneous story with ON THE RECORD quotes from DNI press officials. This is a concerning pattern."
With the threats posed by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda greatly diminished, the size of the NCTC force, which is the largest part of ODNI, is under review.
Schoch said Grenell and other ODNI officials have been looking into reform recommendations from former directors. "Our hope is that these reforms will posture NCTC to lead the counterterrorism mission into the future," she added.
Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany and a staunch ally of the president, was named acting DNI in February after Maguire resigned. Trump renominated GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas for the permanent DNI role, and he awaits Senate confirmation.
The latest ODNI realignment comes after the director of the government's Office of Personnel Management abruptly stepped down on Tuesday.
#2740629 at 2018-08-26 09:14:45 (UTC+1) Q Research General #3461: No Name Is No Moar Edition
By Greg Miller
December 22, 2017
His tenure as a top U.S. counterterrorism official coincided with the rise of the Islamic State, a wave of attacks in Europe, and a surge in terrorist recruiting through online propaganda.
But as Nicholas Rasmussen approached the end of his five-year run at the National Counterterrorism Center this month - including three years as director - he voiced concern that efforts to protect the United States from mass casualty attacks are being undermined by the nation's policies on guns.
"We find ourselves in a more dangerous situation because our population of violent extremists has no difficulty gaining access to weapons that are quite lethal," Rasmussen said this month. "I wish that weren't so."
His remarks represent a moment of rare candor by a senior U. S. intelligence official on an issue that is politically charged. Rasmussen, who has often tempered his public comments to avoid controversy, made the statement during a final briefing with reporters before his scheduled departure from NCTC on Friday.
[The jihadist plan to use women to launch the next incarnation of ISIS]
Rasmussen, who is retiring, was among the few high-ranking holdovers from the Obama administration to remain in place for the first year under President Trump. He held senior positions at NCTC and the White House in both Republican and Democratic administrations during a 27-year career in government.
The Trump administration has not signaled who will replace Rasmussen at NCTC. The job will be held on an interim basis by the center's deputy director, RussellTravers, officials said.
The center was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks amid sweeping reforms aimed at helping to improve coordination among spy agencies and the sharing of critical information about terror plots.
Those changes - combined with new laws, the war in Afghanistan, covert CIA operations overseas and massive investments in airport security in the United States - are widely credited with degrading al-Qaeda and reducing U.S. vulnerability to attacks of 9/11 magnitude.
The past decade, however, has brought new dangers driven by a surge in gun violence in the United States, including several high-profile attacks classified as acts of Islamist terror, without any comparable mobilization of resources or response. Counterterrorism officials have quietly voiced frustration about the matter for years.
"We definitely talked about it a lot," said Matt Olsen, who was Rasmussen's predecessor at the counterterrorism center. Rasmussen served as his deputy before stepping into the director position in December 2014. "For some it was a source of frustration that we couldn't do more."
Aspects of U.S. policy seem "irrational" when viewed from the counterterrorism perspective, Olsen said. Individuals who appear on the terrorism-related "no-fly" list are barred from boarding aircraft, Olsen said, but not purchasing a gun.
Agencies that scour databases for clues that radicalized individuals might be close to committing violence would probably be more effective if they could monitor weapons purchases, Olsen said. "But we really don't do that, because guns are just a third rail issue."
Gun rights proponents argue wider possession of firearms can help stop terrorist attacks. Some of the deadliest shootings in the United States in recent years, including the October attack in Las Vegas, were carried out by gunmen with no apparent tie to terrorist groups.
[Las Vegas: Six teens and the wounds they carry]
Rasmussen emphasized he could not offer any political solutions and law enforcement and national security agencies need to remain focused on preventing the spread of violent ideology - a mission he said has been complicated by anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Recent terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States have been built around crude plots using vehicles or other means to achieve mass casualties. Still, Rasmussen said, the connection between the abundant availability of weapons and the potential for violence is a simple calculation for counterterrorism analysts.
"More weapons, more readily available, increases the lethality of those that would pick them up and use them," he said. The United States' security measures and more integrated Muslim population are often credited with helping the country to avoid attacks like those in Paris and Brussels in recent years.
But Rasmussen said his overseas counterparts are sometimes astonished by the United States' approach on guns. He described a recent conversation with a security official in a country - presumably in Europe - with a significant radicalization problem.
"If we faced our terror threat with your level of access to firearms," the official said, according to Rasmussen, "We'd be in big trouble."