In response to Trump’s two-year-old plan to build a government owned-and-operated 5G network to allegedly improve cybersecurity, the Pentagon made a move last month to begin building a nationalized, military-controlled 5G network.
Trump’s threat to the liberty and the Constitution are indisputable, particularly when it comes to “safety and security.” In Trump’s tyrannical world, there’s simply no national security problem so large that it can’t be solved by Big-Brother-styled government.
Proof of just how far down the 1984-road Trump has taken America became abundantly clear when he announced a plan to nationalize the 5G network via federal takeover in January 2018 as a means to combat Chinese spying on US phone calls.
When questioned about the National Security Council memo containing the nationalization idea, then-Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders dodged the issue:
“Right now, we’re in the very earliest stages of the conversation. There are absolutely no decisions made on what that would look like (or) what role anyone would play in it.”
Amazingly, this threat to liberty didn’t go unnoticed by the Republican head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, who made his opposition to a nationalized 5G network quite clear at the time:
I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. The market, not the government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment. https://t.co/viIDB4mb0f pic.twitter.com/hgxRLtwoU4
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) January 29, 2018
Then-Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) also objected:
“We’re not Venezuela—we don’t need to have the government run everything as the only choice.”
Trump’s plan has been sitting on the back burner for the past two-plus years — impeachment will do that — but it’s been seeing new life in 2020.
In a February 2020 speech given at an event hosted by Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Attorney General William Barr made an Orwellian suggestion that left no doubt as to the lengths the White House is willing to go to possess the holy grail of socialism — the elimination of liberty in exchange for the “security” of the state.
Barr suggested that “the United States aligning itself with Nokia and/or Ericsson” will go a long way in addressing cybersecurity. And what does he mean by “aligning?” According to Barr, it means “American ownership of a controlling stake, either directly or through a consortium of private American and allied companies.” (emphasis mine)
Various members of the Republican Party were also pushing the idea of nationalizing 5G at the time.
This past week we learned the lengths Trump is willing to go to build a nationalized, military-controlled 5G network, and let’s just say that our loss of liberty and privacy rights is going to make a lot of money for Trump’s swamp buddies. CNN reports:
Senior officials throughout various departments and agencies of the Trump administration tell CNN they are alarmed at White House pressure to grant what would essentially be a no-bid contract to lease the Department of Defense’s mid-band spectrum — premium real estate for the booming and lucrative 5G market — to Rivada Networks, a company in which prominent Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump have investments.
The pressure campaign to fast track Rivada’s “Request for Proposal” (RFP) by using authorities that would preclude a competitive bidding process intensified in September, and has been led by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who was acting at Trump’s behest, sources with knowledge tell CNN. To push his case, Meadows has sometimes used as his proxy an individual identified by sources in the telecommunications industry as a top financial management official in the US Army.
Sources tell CNN that Trump was encouraged to help Rivada by Fox News commentator and veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove, a lobbyist for, and investor in, Rivada.
According to an administration official, the Pentagon deal would likely be “the biggest handoff of economic power to a single entity in history” and that a Pentagon official called “an absolute gold mine.” (emphasis mine)
Concern over this possible abuse of power and back door dealings led House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) to launch an inquiry earlier this month into the Department of Defense’s (DoD) plan to own and operate a nationalized 5G network and the political motivations behind it.
The lawmakers wrote a letter to both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) expressing their concern over the Pentagon plan and requesting information. It reads, in part:
“We have heard reports that the suddenness of this request and the short turnaround timeframe have been prompted directly by senior White House Officials. We have also heard reports that the White House has instructed DoD to proceed immediately to a Request for Proposal (‘RFP’) in order to move forward toward a national 5G network.
“According to press accounts, several political operatives or lobbyists with close ties to President Trump or his staff – including Karl Rove, Peter Thiel, Newt Gingrich and Brad Parscale – are pushing for the seismic shift in spectrum policy contemplated by the RFI. These reports also suggest these Republican operatives are working for the benefit of a specific company, Rivada, Inc., which has long championed a national network that Rivada would construct and operate using its sharing technology.”
Regulation of the 5G network falls under the authority of the FCC, but with their recent decision to help Trump dismantle the First Amendment under the guise of Section 230 “reform,” will they block this obvious attempt to nationalize 5G as Ajit Pai promised in 2018? It doesn’t look like it.
FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly has blasted the Pentagon’s plans for a nationalized, military-controlled 5G network. The Pentagon “hides its real intent, which is to get to a complete model change,” the Republican commissioner said during a recent Hudson Institute event. “I believe there’s going to be unanimous opposition from the commission going forward.”
Unfortunately, Trump withdrew O’Rielly’s nomination to another term after he had expressed reservations about the FCC’s authority to limit social media companies. Trump has nominated Nathan Simington, a senior adviser in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which specializes in network and telecommunications policy. Simington is a big fan of Trump’s attacks on social media.
Big paydays and back door deals aside, is it possible that a nationalized, military-controlled 5G network would make government spying under the PATRIOT Act easier by cutting out the free market middle man?
Sounds exactly like a tyrannical government, doesn’t it?
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.