A third radical Islamist attack in Great Britain in less than three months. The recent arrest of two Islamic Jihad Organization supporters on American soil who were assessing the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the canal. And of course, the arrest of a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor for leaking a top-secret classified NSA report. The same former NSA contractor who once wrote she wanted “to burn the White House down.”
Yes, the Western World is at war. As King Abdullah of Jordan correctly stated sometime ago, it’s World War III. The enemy is both abroad and on American soil. And as the unprecedented leaks of classified national security information sadly remind us — it is also within.
I was in London right after the Manchester attack and on the day it was revealed that someone in the U.S. government had leaked details of the investigation. I was in a London taxi and the driver, after hearing my accent, asked if I was an American. After I responded affirmatively, he asked, “Why do people in your government leak things to embarrass your President?”
He then went onto say that Great Britain and the U.S. were the best of allies and that this investigation was about the death of kids at the hands of an Islamist. I was blown away. I responded that unfortunately we have elitists in America who refuse to accept the will of the American people who elected President Trump. He said, “Yes, we’ve got them over here, too.”
The wisdom of that London taxi driver reminded me that our president is fighting the war against radical Islam, while at the same time having to fight those who leak classified national security information from his own government.
Whether you voted for him or not, Donald Trump is our president. And as such, his most important constitutional responsibility is to serve as our commander in chief and keep us safe.
In executing that duty, our president is right when he says political correctness is jeopardizing the fight to keep America safe.
Remember Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army Major and Ft. Hood terrorist? Apparently, in December of 2008, just 11 months before the Ft. Hood shooting, the FBI intercepted 18 e-mails between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, the head of al-Qaida in Yemen. Additionally, fellow officers made numerous complaints that Hasan was making statements sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately, political correctness prevailed and a probe of Hassan was not continued.
It’s time to wage a non-politically correct war against radical Islam. We must find ways to praise and reward moderate and reform Muslims who come forward with actionable intelligence that prevents a terrorist attack and saves lives. Think of the congregants at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va. Anwar al-Awlaki was its Imam in 2001 and 2002. At least two of the 9/11 hijackers attended this mosque, together with Nidal Malik Hasan. What if just one member of this mosque had come forward with actionable intelligence?
Another non-politically correct way to fight radical Islamists is to establish a situational awareness hotline. Let’s harness the power of social media and turn the tables on the terrorists. Vigilant citizens could text a screenshot of any suspicious social media activity (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to the National Counterterrorism Center.
And yes, that includes suspicious activity of NSA contractors who have top secret security clearances. This could enable our government to begin connecting the dots to prevent a terrorist attack. During a terrorist event it would greatly improve situational awareness for first responders.
The president also has a number of tools at his disposal to fight the enemy within and significantly reduce leaks. Here, he can make better use of open-source intelligence (OSINT). Open-source intelligence will allow the president to make better use of more sophisticated search engines, etc., to catch those who leak government secrets.
Offering cash rewards to apprehend government leakers would probably be the quickest means of yielding immediate investigatory results and catching those participating in this kind of criminal behavior. Appointing Trump loyalists throughout the government as soon as possible will also go a long way toward fighting the enemy within — and reduce leaks.
There are too many Obama holdovers in the government. The president will not be served by having “never Trumpers” from his own party serve in his administration. Lastly, the appointment of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) can help big-time with reducing leaks in the government and coming up with long-needed reforms in the intelligence community.
President Trump has the ability to wage a successful non-politically correct war against radical Islam. He has the tools to defeat the enemy within and greatly reduce leaks. The elitists won’t be overjoyed with either of these. That’s OK, though. They didn’t elect him. The American people did.
Van Hipp is chairman of American Defense International, Inc. (ADI), a Washington, D.C. consulting firm. He is former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, and served on the Presidential Electoral College in 1988. He is the author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.” To read more of his reports,Go Here Now.