January 29, 2023

58 ex-generals, intel officials just wrote a letter warning Trump he’s putting America in danger

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The hypocrisy and stupidity of the Trump administration are truly astounding.


The president’s nationalist beliefs and ingrained racism has Trump constantly blathering on about how the biggest threat to America’s national security is the lack of a physical border wall, while he continues to actively work against everything that could help prevent the actual most dangerous factor threatening the nation and the rest of the planet as well — the environmental issues surrounding human-caused climate change.

Today, The Washington Post is reporting that over four dozen former officials from the military and intelligence communities are condemning President Trump for his reckless decision to deny and ignore the findings of government agencies that have warned about the dangers to national security posed by the rapidly changing climate.

58 former generals, admirals and other national security officials sent a letter to Trump this morning alerting the president of the dangers of trying to influence scientific reports to match political expediency. The experienced defense professionals registered their opposition to a proposed White House panel designed to “dispute and undermine military and intelligence judgments on the threat posed by climate change.”

“Imposing a political test on reports issued by the science agencies, and forcing a blind spot onto the national security assessments that depend on them, will erode our national security,” the letter states. “It is dangerous to have national security analysis conform to politics.”

The letter from the concerned former officials is a response to a report that top administration officials met recently in the White House to “impanel an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to scrutinize and potentially dispute the conclusions of recent federal climate reports,” according to The Post.

The report they are particularly interested in overturning is the National Climate Assessment published last November, produced by scientists from 13 federal agencies, that concluded that “the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country.”

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The former federal officials who signed the letter warning Trump about the purpose of the panel— including such people as former  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and former Secretary of State John Kerry — worry that any such panel would be designed to undermine the credible scientific sources that have led most military leaders to conclude that climate change is a menace to the nation’s security.

“Fundamentally, this is about letting the military and intelligence community do its job,” said John Conger, director of the Center for Climate and Security and former acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and the environment.

“If this was being done in good faith, it would be okay,” said Andrew Holland, chief operating officer of the American Security Project one of the groups behind the letter.

“Up until now, the national security and intelligence agencies have been allowed to conduct analysis on climate change and have determined that it is a national security risk,” said Francesco Femia, a co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, the other group who organized the effort. Femia characterized this latest White House effort as “extraordinary, and that’s why you’re seeing such a significant reaction.”

The primary environmental risks that these national security officials see are the flooding and subsequent destruction of crucial American military bases both domestically and internationally and the increased civil conflict that climate-related population dislocation, famine, and food insecurity would undoubtedly cause.

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While belief in the negative effects of human-caused climate change has traditionally been associated with the Democrats, a significant percentage of the signatories of this letter worked under Republican administrations as far back as President Eisenhower.

“Geoffrey Kemp, for instance, worked as a special national security assistant to Ronald Reagan. And retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, another signer, just recently left his post in the Trump administration as the Coast Guard’s top officer.” The Post notes

One figure involved in the Trump administration’s attempts to undermine the National Climate Assessment is William Happer, a physicist and the senior director at the National Security Council who has argued that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is good for the world.

One of the officials who signed the letter opposing the Trump administration’s climate change denying agenda, Retired Rear Adm. David Titley, a former oceanographer of the Navy and chief operating officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Happer is “a fringe figure even within the climate denial community.”

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He added, “This science has been peer-reviewed by more people and more organizations than probably anything else.”

While Trump and his Republican cronies play ostrich with our nation’s biggest security crisis, they ridicule Democratic efforts like the Green New Deal that actually take the issue of climate change with the level of urgency and importance that it deserves.

The hypocrisy and stupidity of the Trump administration are truly astounding.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Dino Grandoni at The Washington Post.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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