‘Stone cold crazy’: Bannon seizes role from generals

Posted by | January 30, 2017 06:00 | Filed under: News Behaving Badly Politics War & Peace


The whirlwind first week of Donald J. Trump’s presidency had all the bravura hallmarks of a Stephen K. Bannon production.

It started with the doom-hued inauguration homily to “American carnage” in United States cities co-written by Mr. Bannon, followed a few days later by his “shut up” message to the news media. The week culminated with a blizzard of executive orders, mostly hatched by Mr. Bannon’s team and the White House policy adviser, Stephen Miller, aimed at disorienting the “enemy,” fulfilling campaign promises and distracting attention from Mr. Trump’s less than flawless debut.

But the defining moment for Mr. Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers.

In theory, the move put Mr. Bannon, a former Navy surface warfare officer, admiral’s aide, investment banker, Hollywood producer and Breitbart News firebrand on the same level as his friend, Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, a former Pentagon intelligence chief who was Mr. Trump’s top adviser on national security issues before a series of missteps reduced his influence.

But in terms of real influence, Mr. Bannon looms above almost everyone except the president’s son-in-law, Jared D. Kushner, in the Trumpian pecking order, according to interviews with two dozen Trump insiders and current and former national security officials.

“The last place you want to put somebody who worries about politics is in a room where they’re talking about national security,” said Leon E. Panetta, a former White House chief of staff, defense secretary and C.I.A. director in two Democratic administration.

“I’ve never seen that happen, and it shouldn’t happen. It’s not like he has broad experience in foreign policy and national security issues. He doesn’t. His primary role is to control or guide the president’s conscience based on his campaign promises. That’s not what the national security council is supposed to be about.”

That opinion was shared by President George W. Bush’s last chief of staff, Josh Bolten, who barred Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s political adviser, from N.S.C. meetings. A president’s decisions made with those advisers, he told a conference audience in September, “involve life and death for the people in uniform” and should “not be tainted by any political decisions.”

Susan E. Rice, President Barack Obama’s last national security adviser, called the arrangement “stone cold crazy” in a tweet posted Sunday.

Republicans and democrats are equally agog:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he’s concerned about the reorganization.

“I am worried about the National Security Council who are the members of it and who are the permanent members of it,” he told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. “The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history.”

Former senior aide to Pres. Barack Obama David Axelrod said, “I never sat on NSC principals comm. I sat on sidelines as observer on some issues 2 gain an understanding of decisions. Bannon’s new ground.”

Former vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine said on Sunday that the NSC now “sadly has some really questionable people on it,” including Bannon.

Republican former Defense Sec. Robert Gates said that Trump’s reshuffle of the NSC is a “big mistake,” although he is more concerned, he said, about the removal of the Joint Chiefs chairman and director of intelligence that the addition of Bannon.

“(A)dding people…never really bothers me,” he told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. The removal of key officials, he said, is his “biggest concern.”

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Copyright 2017 Liberaland
By: dave-dr-gonzo

David Hirsch, a.k.a. Dave "Doctor" Gonzo*, is a renegade record producer, video producer, writer, reformed corporate shill, and still-registered lobbyist for non-one-percenter performing artists and musicians. He lives in a heavily fortified compound in one of Manhattan's less trendy neighborhoods.

* Hirsch is the third person to use the pseudonym, a not-so-veiled tribute to journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, with the permission of his predecessors Gene Gaudette of American Politics Journal (currently webmaster and chief bottlewasher at Liberaland) and Stephen Meese at Smashmouth Politics.

48 responses to ‘Stone cold crazy’: Bannon seizes role from generals

  1. Suzanne McFly January 30th, 2017 at 07:21

    It’s the end of the world as we know it…..but I don’t feel fine.


    • anothertoothpick January 30th, 2017 at 07:41

      I love that song!

      • Suzanne McFly January 30th, 2017 at 19:23

        Me too, but who thought we would ever actually feel this way.

    • amersham1046 January 30th, 2017 at 18:00

      Frankly my dear, Trump does not give a damn,–
      but tomorrow is another day

      • Suzanne McFly January 30th, 2017 at 19:25

        And I am confident that he won’t give a damn tomorrow either.

    • bpollen January 31st, 2017 at 03:52

      It’s the end of the world as we know it… and I feel nauseated…

  2. Budda January 30th, 2017 at 07:49

    Wouldn’t he have had to pass a security/background check?… Asking for a friend.

  3. Buford2k11 January 30th, 2017 at 08:31

    Bannon is now the head of the military junta in DC…A new Russian outpost in America…folks, this is not going well…AND I really don’t like saying this, but we, have to arm ourselves…Some of the wacko second amendment folks may be weird, and unstable, but they are like the warning flags flying…I never really thought that the Second amendment was about the “defending against tyranny” stuff…I am wrong…we are going to see this experiment in democracy get tested, severely tested in the weeks and months ahead…If civil disorder breaks out, and martial law is declared, the police will not be on our side…there will be trump police and trump brownshirts, in the cities, suppressing the protests…this is the picture that trump is painting of our nation right now…and the gop congress says and does NOTHING….Putin has won..

    • mea_mark January 30th, 2017 at 08:38

      I have seen some crazy right wingers on twitter calling for counter protests that would turn very ugly. We may be very close to a tipping point. tRump is turning Americans into terrorist.

    • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 12:24

      I agree he is painting this picture. But democracy is strong and stable in the US, the institutions to preserve legality are in place. What must happen is quick, firm action from Congress, Courts, Parties and organized citizens. You don’t have to see bloodshed in your country

  4. Jungle_Bhoy January 30th, 2017 at 09:00

    I think Mrs Putin elevated Bannon simply because he doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to understand the big words used by those seasoned advisors. We truly have an educationally sub-normal buffoon as President.

  5. Angelo_Frank January 30th, 2017 at 09:33

    Another nail solidifying the coup over this republic by the extremists voted in by the 26% of the electorate.

  6. labman57 January 30th, 2017 at 09:48

    Donnie cannot stomach having anyone on the SC with the temerity to challenge him when he impulsively proposes another of his idiotic Executive Orders.

  7. Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 09:49

    Throughout the weekend court orders were disrespected by CBP agents even in the presence of lawmakers at the airports. They would not allow lawyers to talk to people detained by the executive order. That means the executive branch of the United States is defying the Constitution. This only happens in dictatorships.

    • oldfart January 30th, 2017 at 10:31

      A coup d’état also happens only with dictatorships…

      • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 12:10

        My political experience as a third world citizen tells me what happened in the US in the final months of the electoral campaign was a bloodless coup, also called a white coup. But you could argue that’s a somewhat subjective impression. Now my friend, with the weekend events, they are openly acting as in a dictatorship. Congress and the Courts must act quickly.

        • oldfart January 30th, 2017 at 12:34

          A white coup…
          AKA republican tactics called divide and conquer perhaps ?
          The stunt pulled this weekend is only the beginning.
          I wouldn’t dream of arguing with you as I have no reference in this countries history to point to.
          This abomination seizing power (assuming there is a plan behind the actions) will have to be played out and shown for what it is before any attempt to quell it will be enacted upon.
          If massive spontaneous protests, for each act of stupidity the administration does, is met with crickets from the media
          and only minor protestations from our elected leaders are lame fully offered up, our countries last and only hope will have to come from our military. I do hope that that will not be case here.

          • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 12:50

            Democratic representatives spent the weekend at airports, along with law firms working pro bono. Judges were quick to respond to the absurd of his order. That’s the right thing to do, not all is lost. Congress should be screaming against it of course, and acting, we are seeing apathy there. But it’s just the first week, we can still hope they are trying to come up with strategies to act. I don’t believe this absurd situation will be tolerated in your country. I’m optimistic still.

            • Jack E Raynbeau January 30th, 2017 at 13:24

              We have the 25th Amendment in our favor if Pence is willing to use it. Trump* is not well.

              • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 13:48

                Yes, there are ways, though some day Pence would be worse than him…

                • Jack E Raynbeau January 30th, 2017 at 14:15

                  We’ll kick Pence to the curb in 2020.

                  • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 14:35

                    I’ll drink to that! :)

            • oldfart January 30th, 2017 at 15:09

              As am I. It has ONLY been a week after all.

              • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 15:26

                Such shitstorm in a week it looks like a month, I know! :)

                • oldfart January 30th, 2017 at 15:43

                  My normal cheery disposition has been compromised by the inability to consume alcohol as I have been on antibiotics since the inaugural…
                  but I’m allowed to drink now so I shall make a speedy recovery for sure.
                  Cheers indeed ! :)

                  • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 15:47

                    Cheers my dear friend! :)

  8. Mensa Member January 30th, 2017 at 09:55

    What’s the over-under for Trump getting us into a needless war?

    I used to think about a year. But, with Bannon calling the shots, I’ll bet six months.

    • Mike N. January 30th, 2017 at 11:54

      In Yemen maybe? He’s got a start already.

    • mea_mark January 30th, 2017 at 12:26

      As soon as they need a big distraction … could be any day now.

      • Gina Bousquet January 30th, 2017 at 12:31

        They might try to use this distraction really, because things are turning ugly in the country. Bannon must be stopped.

    • granpa.usthai January 30th, 2017 at 23:50

      I say the Military should stage a sit in until they can renegotiate a better command team that pays a hell of a lot more!

  9. Willys41 January 30th, 2017 at 10:24

    Walter Matthau as Professor “Steve Bannon” in the movie “Failsafe.”


  10. William January 30th, 2017 at 10:28

    President Drunky McNazi and his pet rodent Trump https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/96b4e33f9715505d1bea04f354733f4aa5d351d3a11294d5d2554f8efddee329.jpg

  11. William January 30th, 2017 at 10:36

    A general getting replaced by a seedy drunk, that’s gotta hurt. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/531402d4dff0de35d503a4c5a2cc0e058810fa5212efa6ee4a9204547142dd4a.jpg

  12. eyelashviper January 30th, 2017 at 11:49

    President Bannon ought to watch out, he is stepping on Putin’s toes…

  13. Robo Rubio January 30th, 2017 at 11:59

    Trump has already given an interview where he said his goal will be to give preferential treatment to Christians being persecuted over Muslims who are also being persecuted.

    Trump also told the Christian Broadcasting Network that when it came to helping refugees, his goal was “to help Christians”.

    Trump giving preferential treatment to 1.) Christians say in Syria who are being persecuted by ISIS and seeking asylum over 2.) Muslims (say Sunni’s) in Syria who are also being persecuted by ISIS and seeking asylum is unconstitutional.

    Trump is soooo violating the Geneva Conventions as well.

    I imagine that all of this will come up in court…

    • Larry Schmitt January 30th, 2017 at 13:07

      It’s also in direct violation of the Constitution. But I’m sure that doesn’t bother him.

    • granpa.usthai January 30th, 2017 at 23:45


      then drop him off in Mexico sos they can arrest his fat balding orange ass and transfer him to the world court – or not!

  14. Foundryman January 30th, 2017 at 12:23

    This is a through and through power grab. Trump will be impeached and thrown out, but for attempting to take over our government without election or representation, Bannon will go to jail, for a long time.

    • Jeanne173 January 30th, 2017 at 17:36

      One can only hope.

    • granpa.usthai January 30th, 2017 at 23:43

      hear hear.


  15. The Original Just Me January 30th, 2017 at 13:30

    I would comment on this but I am just holding my head and shaking it back and forth. I am trying to remember how it used to be in the former United States. SAD !

  16. The Original Just Me January 30th, 2017 at 14:03

    Hey ! What ever happened to Sarah Palin ???? I thought for Sure that She would be on the National Security Council, beings that She can See Russia from her Back porch. Oh, with Putin in Charge of Trump, we don’t need Her. Maybe She fell off the Planet ?? NO, We could never be THAT Lucky.

    • William January 30th, 2017 at 15:44

      Shhhhhh, don’t give Cheeto-clown any ideas.

  17. Bunya January 30th, 2017 at 14:31

    “sadly has some really questionable people on it,”
    Questionable people? They’re not questionable. They are incompetent, power-hungry idiots vying for power and control. If we allow this to continue (and I don’t have too much faith in the democratic party right now), Trump will sell us out to the highest bidder.

    • granpa.usthai January 30th, 2017 at 23:41

      he’s already sold the Republic out -a week before the popular election which he LOST to Mrs. Clinton by 3,000,000 votes more or less.

      the bigger problem is how do the FAKE PHONY republican patriots? get the people to accept being ruled by putin.

      ain’t going to happen.

      how to get US entangled in another money making for them armed conflict without a Declaration of War they have to sign off on.

  18. William January 30th, 2017 at 15:46

    This powerful rendition from the great Pia Guerra. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/946ddb4becb298b5199df64cc59ccd60a4f190d5a8d70986576931cb8ebc7763.png

  19. Bunya January 31st, 2017 at 13:18

    Nothing like a drunk to be in charge of national security. Who knows? Maybe one day he’ll get plastered and declare war on Wyoming.

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