President Donald Trump just downgraded military chiefs of staff to give a National Security Council seat to someone who is a Washington outsider.
Steven Bannon, the White House chief strategist, possesses national security experience that merely includes a graduate degree and seven years in the Navy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
His only notable "qualification" is running a racist fake news website called Breitbart.
And now, this man will now be able to join top-level discussions about national security.
But there’s more to be alarmed about.
Bannon may be the president’s chief adviser but he is much, much more than just that.
Considering the amount of influence Bannon wields over the president, and by extension the presidency, the former Breitbart executive is widely believed to be the brains behind Trump’s presidency.
And that’s dangerous because he is a notorious champion of white nationalists and supremacists and is an anti-Semite.
Nearly three years ago, he called for the formation of a “Christian militia.”
“I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism,” Bannon told a small conference at the Vatican in 2014, via video call.
A more recent example of the potential threat Bannon poses to American democracy is Trump’s immigration ban, as a result of which several hundred people hailing from seven Muslim-majority countries — Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Iran and Iraq — with valid U.S. visas were detained at airports and/or turned back.
The new immigration policy may have been green-lighted by Trump’s executive order but, according to CNN’s Evan Perez and Pamela Brown, it was Bannon who masterminded the immigration order.
In fact, when the Department of Homeland Security concluded that Trump’s immigration order did not apply to green card holders from the seven blacklisted countries, Bannon, along with White House adviser for policy Stephen Miller, “personally” overruled that decision, saying entry to green card holders would only be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
So, Bannon not only spearheaded the Muslim ban, he also made sure to prevent any attempts by concerned agencies to soften it.
In addition to all this, Bannon sparked outrage by saying the media should “keep its mouth shut,” a comment that was, by all means, a legitimate attack on freedom of speech in the country.
And this man — this “holy” war-monger, white nationalism/supremacy advocate and anti-Semite — is not only going to become a part of the country’s most sensitive intelligence operations but is already making and influencing key policy decisions of the new administration.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters