The Citizens Commission on National Security (CCNS) is a national security watchdog organization. It is not a Washington think tank, but rather an activist group working to strengthen America’s national security. And we have the right people and experience to do it. The CCNS evolved out of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi (CCB), which was formed by Roger Aronoff in 2013 under the auspices of Accuracy in Media. The CCB issued two major reports and received much publicity for its press conferences at the National Press Club and the Heritage Foundation. You can see all of the press conferences, read the CCB reports and articles on Benghazi, a timeline of events and the status of our FOIA requests here.
We launched the CCNS in June of 2018 as a tax deductible 501(c)(3) organization, establishing our website, posting articles, and starting to reach out to Congress, the media, and the public. Here is an article laying out the mission of the CCNS, just as we got started. We have stayed rather low-key until now, posting articles by our members, as well as select guest columns, and doing radio interviews. Our members include three retired generals (two Air Force, one Army), and we are saddened by the loss in 2018 of our most senior member, 4-star Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, who was commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. Our members also include Allen West, retired Lt. Col. in the Army and former Congressman, as well as a former CIA officer and the three founding members of Special Operations Speaks. You can see all of the members here, including their bios. In 2020, we are ramping up our activities, and are determined to have a historic role and impact on furthering America’s national security. We are growing into a powerful voice in DC and across the country.
Our first major event took place in February of 2019, titled “The U.S.-Israeli Alliance and its National Security Implications.” It aired live across the country on the Jewish Broadcasting Service, or JBS-TV, for five and a half hours. The event included a Q&A with Alan Dershowitz about the national security implications of the alliance between Israel and the U.S. It also included three panel discussions with top notch experts on various aspects of the U.S.-Israeli alliance, the current threats to Israel, and the latest “peace plan” being discussed and encouraged by the Trump administration. You can watch the entire symposium, or any individual part of it, and learn about the fantastic speakers and experts who took part in it, right here. Or, you can watch a 15-minute summary of the event here.
Our plans for 2020 and beyond include a series of similar type events, webinars, and press conferences, each dealing with a different facet of America’s national security. Each event will be webcast, broadcast or recorded and shown later, archived on our website, and distributed as widely as possible, including through social media. We will also issue reports based on our investigations and our findings, and the views of the speakers as well as our own views.
We have proven in the past to have excellent media contacts and skills in getting media to attend our events and follow up to get our people on the air to talk about the topics and the issues raised. Roger Aronoff, the Executive Director of the CCNS and the Editor of the CCNS website has been a frequent guest on Neil Cavuto’s shows on Fox News and Fox Business News. Aronoff also produced a weekly PBS TV series called “Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg,” and those same PBS stations aired his most recent of six documentaries, “Fighting Words: A Tale of How Liberals Created Neo-Conservatism.” Aronoff produced, directed and co-wrote the award-winning documentary.
Also, we will soon be producing a weekly, national security-focused show and podcast, The Aronoff Report, hosted by Mr. Aronoff, that will be on several platforms, both audio and video. Aronoff has hosted well over 100 shows and podcasts, with guests ranging from Donald Rumsfeld, to Andrew Breitbart, Claudia Rosett, Sol Wisenberg, Ben Shapiro, Caroline Glick, Bernard Weinraub and Jackie Mason.
The CCNS also works to influence and inform policy behind the scenes through our network of contacts at the Pentagon, the White House and in Congress. As with Benghazi, the CCNS will be filing Freedom of Information Act requests when appropriate. One of our members was Pete Hoekstra, who had previously been chairman of the House Intel Committee. He is now Ambassador to the Netherlands.
Our immediate plan is to present six events in this presidential election year. The purpose is to inform and educate the American public, our politicians and members of the media, with crucial information and perspective on a number of issues that affect America’s national security.
This is our projected schedule of events. Normally, we would be in a studio, as with the U.S.-Israeli Alliance event we held. But these are not normal times. Therefore, until we are able to gather people together in a studio, we will be doing mostly Webinars, podcasts and video-streaming events. We plan to get all of these events in before the election in November, if possible.
- In September, we will look at the issue of the China threat: Here we will examine the threats that China poses to the U.S. and the world: military, economic, cyber, intellectual property, infiltration of Western academia and media, including Hollywood. It will include a look at China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. We will look at China’s ties to the World Health Organization and the role that that played, as well as the true source of the coronavirus that has caused it all. We have published some outstanding original work on the origins of the virus. As always, we will feature leading experts to weigh in, and we will name names, connect the dots, and identify who should be held accountable for the global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and sparked a global recession.
- In September, we will look at the issue of election integrity. What is the truth about voter fraud, voter suppression, the need for voter ID, and the issue of voting-by-mail? What about purging voter rolls of the deceased and those not qualified to vote? What about ballot harvesting? Can these matters possibly be resolved before November?
- In September we will first look at Border Security and Immigration: How is it a national security issue? What is the truth about how secure our southern border is? Is it a crisis? An emergency? Or nothing much to worry about? How is the Wall coming along? What should be done about sanctuary cities and states? Considering the political climate today, is there a grand bargain that could be struck on immigration reform?
- In October we will tackle the issue of the breakdown of civil society during the riots, looting and peaceful demonstrations following some high-profile police killings of black men. Is there really an epidemic of that? What is Antifa, and what was their role in provoking nationwide ongoing unrest? How has the Black Lives Matter movement impacted the debate over race relations and police reform in America. What is the difference between the phrase, black lives matter, and the organization, Black Lives Matter? We will examine the role of the Red-Green Axis. And what has been the media’s role in stoking and characterizing the civil unrest?
- In October we will look at Obamagate. What is it? A baseless conspiracy theory or the ultimate political scandal? Did Trump get away with something? Or did Obama and top officials from his administration attempt a coup against a sitting President? By October, the Durham report and rumored indictments should have been revealed, as well as the work of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- And later in October: How the media affects national security. How did it happen that most of the so-called mainstream media have become a virtual arm of the Democratic Party? The news media along with late night and prime-time programming are a major segment of the Resistance, delivering a constant flow of venom and mockery aimed at President Trump. How does their influence on the election compare to that of Russia, Facebook, Twitter and China?
This is an evolving plan, as threats to U.S. national security may change depending on policies, personalities and threat assessments. The CCNS will be doing its best to address these issues in ways designed to educate the public, the media and the politicians, and most importantly, to strengthen America’s national security, for now, and many years to come.
Other topics that we plan to cover over the next year include:
- Were we right to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal?
- Is Global Warming really a major national security threat?
- What is the state of Military Readiness following years of sequestration?
- Is America Prepared Enough for Cyber-warfare?
- Do we currently have a coherent national strategy for counterterrorism?
- The deterioration of U.S. national intelligence and “security-mindedness”
- Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban
To support the work of the CCNS, please send a check made out to CCNS, and send it to:
P.O. Box 42659
Washington, DC 20015
Or to make a secure online donation through our website, please go here, or to the Donate button at the top of the homepage.
Thanks so much for your interest and support.