by Park MacDougald
Tuesday, 13
September 2022
Dispatch
17:35

Michael Anton: Purge the FBI, break up the CIA

The former Trump official outlined some bold ideas for America’s security state
by Park MacDougald
Michael Anton

Miami

On Day 3 of the National Conservatism conference, Michael Anton, a former deputy on Trump’s National Security Council and the author of the infamous “The Flight 93 Election” essay, offered some explosive suggestions on how to reform America’s embattled national security state: purge the FBI, abolish the CIA, and increase political control over the major remaining agencies. 

First, Anton apologised to libertarians who warned about the expansion of the US surveillance apparatus: 

Right after 9/11, the libertarians said, don’t [pass the Patriot Act], it will be used against you. This is a terrible power to give to the government and we shouldn’t do it. And a lot of conservatives said, ‘No we need this, it’s only going to be used against foreign enemies, don’t be soft.’ Libertarians were completely correct and we all owe them an apology. 
- Michael Anton

He complained that the agencies are accountable only to themselves:

We need more adult supervision of the national security state. There are too few political appointees over these agencies, and they don’t have enough power. When I started in the Bush administration in 2001, the top six people in the CIA were presidentially appointed. That’s too few. But today it’s two. There are 28,000 people in that agency, only two are presidentially appointed, and everyone else is a bureaucrat who’s loyal to the agency above all. 
- Michael Anton
 

After calling for the abolition of FISA — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was abused during the Russiagate investigation — Anton trained his fire on the FBI: 

Something has to be done about the FBI. First of all, I think we have to have a serious national debate: do we need a federal law enforcement agency? It’s not clear to me that we do. State law enforcement agencies can do most of the legitimate functions of the FBI. If we conclude that we do need an FBI, then it has to be purged. I don’t know any other way to put it. And the people who are responsible for so much of the nastiness of the last five years have got to be punished. 
- Michael Anton
 

The Central Intelligence Agency fared little better:

Break up the CIA. The whole thought behind the creation of the CIA in 1947 was, ‘Well, why did we have Pearl Harbor?’ Nobody connected the dots. If we put it all in one place, that will never happen again. Instead we get 9/11 and a million other intelligence failures. So it doesn’t work as advertised. Break it up. Its core functions should be sent to the State Department, the Department of Defense, Treasury. Its covert action capabilities, which have done no good for the United States ever except embarrassing the hell out of us every half a generation, just get rid of it. 
- Michael Anton

However, the ”biggest problem” with the national security state, according to Anton, is the “groupthink”: 

We do need multiple perspectives. The people sitting around that big table in the White House situation room, when they’re talking about Ukraine, instead of having all 13 people saying ‘Putin is terrible, arm the Ukrainians’, we need at least one person at that table — dream big, let’s say six — saying ‘Wait a minute, have you thought about this?’ And we don’t have that. 
- Michael Anton

The only way to solve the problem, Anton concluded, in a clear reference to his former boss, is to “elect people who are going to shake up the system.”

“But doing that is hard,” Anton said, “because the deep state has significant influence on whom you can elect.”

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Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
23 days ago

There is a remarkable similarity between the Republican Party in the US and the Tory Party. Both declare themselves to be natural repository of the right wing/conservative vote, and both have failed completely to live up to that promise. For these parties politics is a game and the only prize that matters is power.

Over recent decades, while these parties had a narrow focus on power, the Left was busy capturing the institutions and fashioning an economic and social system that would , in the long run, deliver them a permanent, overwhelming voter base.
The state was massively expanded. This both trapped millions in a dependency culture and created millions of state employees whose jobs depended on big state Labour and Democrats keeping the tax and spend going.

The Left captured the education system, and most importantly the universities. Naïve, indoctrinated young people are processed through a massively expanded tertiary education system and distributed as graduates throughout all our institutions.
Anton is entirely right. The CIA, FBI, Department of Justice, and every other government department in Washington has been captured by Leftist ideologues. In Britain, our Civil Service and criminal justice system have fallen to them, though not as acutely as in the US

By their arrogance and negligence, the Republicans and Tories have allowed the circumstances to be created that in time see them out of power in perpetuity. They are running out of opportunities to turn things around. Only by using power to swiftly and ruthlessly dismantle what the Left has built will either of these parties and the US and Britain have a future.

Last edited 23 days ago by Marcus Leach
Aaron James
Aaron James
23 days ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

”There is a remarkable similarity between the Republican Party in the US and the Tory Party.”

I do not know which side of the Atlantic you are from, but this is completely wrong, there are very few similarities – except maybe between the more right Tories, and the RINO Republicans, they are kind of similar Non-Left members of the Uniparty (the Owned politicians of all sides who are servants to the Corporations and big finance; basically the Globalists.)

But UK languishes in Uniparty decline because all the Tories, and all but the Maddest Labour are fully owned by them. Have been since Thatcher was booted.

The Republicans wandered into this state, but the Tea Party shook things up for a wile, then the drugged sleep of RINOness returned.

Until, 2016. Then Trump, the greatest President USA has had in any living time, and the formation of MAGA – people who actually cared about the Citizens, the Constitution, the Economy, Life Quality, Morality, Fairness, Patriotism, appeared….

East Europe is getting some MXGA parties going, even Italy is dabbling in it, Sweden is getting on board.. UK is not, Yawn…. Tess is just a less corrupt Boris, Uniparty all the way from what I have heard of her. Not even managed decline, more encouraged decline.

The Republicans are on the move. They are thinking of Citizens, Economy that works for them, Rule of Law, Western Classic Liberal Values – the ones which gave us the Constitution, Judeo-Christian values, Freedom, Borders, Education not indoctrination, end of New Green Deal destruction of the Nation. The Republicans are awake to the obscene Bidenhood Post-Modernist Neo-Marxism, they are poised to take the House November 8 and reclaim the country – the Tories – they are just the same, Uniparty grifters, same as always.

AND the corrupt and Democrat owned – FBI – CDC – NIH – FDA -CIA Education, Justice Dept, , Military top brass, and the rest – they will be coming after them.

Tories – no, same as it ever was……Boris in a dress

Paul Ashley
Paul Ashley
22 days ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Being ruthless is the key. That’s required in a war. The left is at war while right plays Tiddlywinks

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
22 days ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

All true. Both parties in both countries play for power, solciting different groups with different enticements to gain and keep it. Conservatives in both countries played to big business, despite the brief Tea Party revolt in the US, while the left focused on fomenting grievance in ever more categories of “oppressed” demographics for which they acted as self-appointed champions, rewarding them with cash and privileges. And its the numbers in the end that win elections and influence in institutions. Game. Set. Match.

Vince B
Vince B
20 days ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Well put. But it because a conservative ethos is hard, and a liberal one is easy.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
23 days ago

An interesting article. Evidently the radical ideas now come from the conservatives while the so called liberals are the ossified reactionaries. A reversion to type where the old Republican Party was the party that abolished slavery while the Democrats were the party of slavery an Jim Crow.

Jim R
Jim R
23 days ago

Funny how everyone agrees the ‘ring of power’ must be destroyed . . . Until its in their hands.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
22 days ago

The Intelligence Branch of the US government, while it was not foreseen or sanctioned in the Constitution, has grown in power and influence enough to be able to check elected representatives in the Executive and Legislative branches at will, and to weaken the Supreme Court by refusing to act to protect its judges when threatened by activists.

It has shown this repeatedly in spurious investigations against President Trump and his appointees, and of members of the Senate and House for doing nothing more than supporting him.

Anton is right that nothing less than a radical reform of the agencies from the top down is required to halt their accruing power and control over the American people and government.

Vince B
Vince B
20 days ago

I don’t mind where he is going. My biggest concern is the groupthink. No doubt, it must be very, very hard to dissent within these agencies.

Dominic A
Dominic A
22 days ago

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Purge GOP of MAGA, Anton.

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
22 days ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Non sequitur

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
22 days ago
Reply to  Dominic A

There’s no purging needed. America needs to be made great again.

Last edited 22 days ago by Samuel Ross
Dominic A
Dominic A
22 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Kelly [Trump’s CoS] told others that the book [The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump] was a helpful guide to a president he came to consider a pathological liar whose inflated ego was in fact the sign of a deeply insecure person.”

Paul Truster
Paul Truster
22 days ago

So has Anton has joined the Claremont Institute Putinists? Too bad, that weakens his credibility across the board, even if he’s right about the agencies.