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 the final press conference and read the CCB reports on Benghazi 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 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 last December 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 two former CIA officers and the three founding members of Special Operations Speak. You can see all of the members here, including their bios. In 2019, we are ramping up our activities, and are determined to have a historic role and impact on furthering America’s national security. We plan to grow into a powerful voice in DC and across the country.
On Friday, August 16, at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., we are presenting the first annual “Admiral James ‘Ace’ Lyons Award for Distinguished Service” to Amb. John Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Amb. Bolton will be giving a foreign policy speech at the event.
Our first major event took place in February, 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 2019, 2020, and beyond include a series of such one-day events, 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.
Much of the funding that the CCNS raises is used putting on these events, promoting them to the media, Congress and the White House, and broadcasting or webcasting them through the website, and when possible, on C-SPAN or other interested networks. Also, we are launching a weekly, national security-focused show and podcast, hosted by Mr. Aronoff, that will be on several platforms, both audio and video. That will start up in early September.
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 until last year was Pete Hoekstra, who had previously been chairman of the House Intel Committee. He is now Ambassador to the Netherlands.
We plan next to look at border security and illegal immigration as national security matters. That event will be structured as follows:
- Border Security and Immigration: How is it a national security issue? What is the truth about how secure our southern border currently is? Is it a crisis? An emergency? Or nothing much to worry about?
- Is Trump’s recent arrangement with Mexico merely a band-aid? Or is it a significant step forward in solving this long-festering problem?
- Would a wall, or fence, across much of America’s southern border be a game changer?
- What should be done about sanctuary cities and states?
- Considering the political climate today, is there a grand bargain that could be struck regarding border security and immigration reform?
Other topics that we plan to cover over the next year and a half include:
- The Real RussiaGate
- Were we right to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal?
- How much of a threat does China pose, and to whom?
- Is Global Warming really a major national security threat?
- What is the state of Military Readiness following years of sequestration?
- How the Establishment Media affects National Security
- Is America Prepared Enough for Cyber-warfare?
- A coherent national strategy for counterterrorism
- Is America facing a crisis over election integrity?
- The deterioration of U.S. national intelligence and “security-mindedness”
- Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban
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 watching and doing our best to address these issues in ways designed to strengthen America’s national security.
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: https://secure.anedot.com/ccns/donate
Thanks so much for your interest and support.