The National Security Council (NSC) is meant to serve as “the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Increasingly, it is a repository for radicals whose ideas are too extreme for public scrutiny, and who would never pass congressional muster. The latest case is the NSC’s hosting last month of a Palestinian-American teenager, Tariq Khdeir, who was beaten by Israeli police in 2014.
There is nothing wrong, in principle, with the U.S. government reaching out to American citizens who have been harmed abroad. There is much that is odd, however, about the NSC’s Khdeir event, which happened last month and was apparently hidden from the media until now. There is no reason that the event should have been hosted by the NSC, much less at the White House itself. The apparent intent was to show solidarity with Palestinians and their supporters without offending the pro-Israel community in the midst of the debate about the Iran deal. Yet the NSC has no formal role in public diplomacy.
Under Obama, however, the NSC has become the “radical wing” of the White House, pushing a highly ideological agenda. Consider Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the NSC Iran director with close ties to a pro-regime lobby group and no other policy qualifications. She works under Susan Rice, whose lies about the Benghazi attack made her confirmation as Secretary of State impossible. And they both work with Ben Rhodes, of Benghazi talking points and one-sided Cuba détente infamy.
President George W. Bush was criticized for running an ideological foreign policy shop, staffed with “neoconservatives” who believed in intervention to spread of democracy around the world.
The Obama administration is more ideological in the other direction–and without comparable experience or qualifications among its staff. Yet the media remain silent.