Muslims at the Pentagon Brace for Trump Administration


The uncertainty that settled upon many of the citizens in America since the election has not bypassed a lot of these federal workers.  This is what they are fearing.
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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LYNE LUCIEN/THE DAILY BEAST

‘ANTICIPATORY FREAKOUT’

Muslims at the Pentagon Brace for Trump Administration

For Muslims inside the national-security apparatus whom the Obama administration welcomed with open arms, fear of Trump is already pervasive, U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast.

NANCY A. YOUSSEF

11.22.16 1:13 AM ET

Donald Trump’s inauguration may be 58 days away, but for the Muslim officials once welcomed into the U.S. government’s war on terrorism, the change already has begun.

Four U.S. officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said fear is pervasive among Muslims inside the halls of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the Department of Homeland Security in anticipation of a Trump administration. Already, the officials said, they are seeing colleagues who are less willing to share their thoughts about national security. They fear they will no longer be seen as an asset to confronting terrorism but rather suspect members of the government they serve.

It is, one U.S. official explained, a climate of “anticipatory freakout.”

Muslim employees at the Pentagon, both civilian and military, were reticent to talk about their fears, even in a building where there are Muslim services every Friday.

“I am scared to speak,” one civilian told The Daily Beast. “We don’t know what it is going to mean for us.”

Will Muslim CIA agents be asked to register? Will the next commander in chief ban the family of Muslim troops from visiting this country? Will Muslim members of the Department of Homeland Security face increased scrutiny based on their faith?

“It’s one thing to attack your argument. It’s another to attack your person. And that is what people fear: that if they speak up too much, they will be attacked,” the U.S. official continued.

“You are less likely to speak up if you are against the prevailing view. Before, that was not a consideration.”

Managers throughout the departments already are trying to calm staffers, reassuring them they will not be treated differently by those around them.

It is not just Muslims who are worried. Gays and lesbians, African Americans, Hispanics, and women all have expressed some level of concern. After all, the national-security community has historically lagged behind other government agencies when it comes to embracing diversity.

It was not until a 1995 executive order that gays and lesbians could serve openly in national-security jobs and get clearances. At the same time, women climbed the ranks of the agencies, most notably in 1997, when Madeleine Albright became the first female secretary of State, the highest national-security position ever held by a woman. Post-9/11, two presidents publicly spoke on behalf of Muslims and said they are a part of the American fabric, not a segment of the population that should be equated with extremists.

According to the White House, minorities now make up 20 percent of senior diplomats and 15 percent of senior military officers and intelligence officials.

Despite that, the fear these days among Muslims especially is born out of both the rhetoric of the election and, more recently, Trump’s picks so far for his national-security team. Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, has called fear of Muslims “rational.” On Sunday, Reince Priebus said on Meet the Press that while there was no plan for a Muslim registry, “I’m not going to rule out anything.”

Also Sunday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach met with Trump and was photographed carrying a document spelling out a 100-day plan for the Department of Homeland Security that included a proposal to question “high-risk” immigrants over support for Sharia law and belief in the U.S. Constitution.

Perhaps the most searing interaction between Muslims and Trump, for Muslims who serve in national security, was Trump’s treatment of a Muslim Gold Star family during the presidential campaign. After Khizr Khan—whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004—spoke at the Democratic National Convention, Trump attacked him and his wife, and insisted that he too had “made a lot of sacrifices.”

The result is a president-elect not welcome in the nation’s mosques.

For some, there already is a litmus test for incoming members of the Trump administration: Will agency heads and Cabinet secretaries let the mistreatment of Muslims or any other minority be tolerated? Some said they hope Congress poses such questions to Flynn during the confirmation hearings.

Either way, the new administration is a marked change. For the Obama administration, diversity within the administration was not just about politics but a means to better secure the country. And officials advocated it aggressively. Departments now are filled with younger staffers, many of whom never anticipated anything other than a government that embraced diversity.

Where minority staffers once were in lower-level jobs, now it is no longer uncommon to see a Muslim in hijab at the table of a high-level meeting.

“I truly believe that the business case for diversity is stronger for CIA than it is for any organization in the U.S. government,” CIA Director John Brennan told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June. “Diversity not only gives us the cultural understanding we need to operate in any corner of the globe, it also helps us avoid groupthink, ensuring we bring to bear a range of perspectives on the complex challenges that are inherent to intelligence work.”

Just last month, President Obama issued a memorandum about “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the National-Security Workforce” that called for better data about the makeup of national-security employees and to help expand diversity within the national-security community.

There is nothing that binds the incoming president from adhering to any part of the memorandum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger


Joan has been a guest blogger before on IdealisticRebel and she has just had a new book of poetry published.  It’s called Fluency. Joannie and I have been friends forever, the kind of friends who last a lifetime.  When her book came out she sent me a copy, and I read it cover to cover.  Immediately, there was one poem in particular which I found to be very powerful and very moving, which I wanted to share with each of you.  If I hadn’t gotten so sick with the deep bronchitis, I would have gotten this to you earlier.  I’m still on medication and have doctor appointments coming up to handle this, and my blogging will be sporadic for while yet, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to share Joan’s words with you.

Joan and her lovely husband Paul have retired and are moving to be closer to their daughter and granddaughter.  Joan has been through a great deal in life’s trauma’s, and she has been and remains a glowing light for what can be accomplished when you look up after you survive trauma in your life, and still retain your inner strength and beauty.

 

Here is one of my earlier photographs of her.  We used to go on Sunday mornings to the beach and have breakfast, and play volleyball.  I would leave and go home to shower an put on my nurse’s uniform while my friends stayed on to play.

 

Joan1

 

Joan is also a wonderful musician and a classically trained vocalist, and often sings with her husband Paul Esiert as Fire and Ice, in and around Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Here are her words

 

Jing-o is the Name-o

Greasy dago   Guinea wop

Spaghetti bender    Mafioso

Class, let’s see if Joan can talk while sitting on her hands

Let’s listen to her sandals go   wop, wop, wop

as the dagos go by

Look at that dago nose

John Metzger and David Duke grand idiot dragons

and wizards of the KKK – the jury’s still out on the eye-talians

they’re not really white

Back in the day Warren’s Eastside fathers warned their daughters

not to go past the railroad tracks

to the West End where all those dagos live

the Ghetto in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains

 

10% of 1st and 2nd generations Italian-Americans

served in WW II

Italian-American soldiers suffered

the highest number of casualties

Burning crosses

Murders in the fine Italian New Jersey farmlands

The Man can’t have the wops working the soil

better than he does

All Italians are the mafia

Did ya hear the one about the dago and the…

or the wop and the…

Those shady Southern Italians with their beady eyes

and black hair

 

I’m not racist, but…

Nigger lover

She must be Italian

Hey lady, the stork gave you the wrong baby

Are you a hooker?

What a sham, Mr and Mrs Papalia

Joan’s such a beautiful girl

Mrs. Papalia, disown your daughter

Did ya hear the one about the nigger and the…

Did ya hear the one about the coon and the…

She’s the one that married the colored boy

Joan’s invited to the party but not him

I feel bad for the children

Them babies should be put in a burlap bag

and down in the river

The apartment’s already been rented

I can’t babysit for you anymore

Retail security watching every move

Glass ceilings

An EMT’s failed drowning rescue — Dead?

Who cares – one less nigger around.

 

Amadou Dialo: New York City

killed by 41 shots in a doorway

reaching for his wallet

White hoods and robes in upscale Amherst, NY

Jasper, Texas

Ferguson, Missouri

Charlotte, North Carolina

Ocala, Florida

(How much time you got?)

Ninth Ward, New Orleans – Hurricane Katrina

 

LWB Living while black

LWM Living while Middle Eastern

while Indian

while Hispanic

while Jewish

while Asian

while Muslim

while hoodied

while LGBT

while fat

while female

Living while whatever you are that   they aren’t

(How much time have you got?)

I’m not prejudiced, but….

 

–Joan Papalia Eisert

from Fluency, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions

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