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Joe Biden and the Deep State

Joe Biden face - Japan
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On Israel, hundreds of federal workers try to undermine his policy.

News reports say that no fewer than 500 appointees and staff from 40 agencies, including the National Security Council and the Justice Department, have sent Mr. Biden a letter demanding that he call for a cease-fire and “de-escalation” between Israel and Hamas: “Americans do not want the U.S. military to be drawn into another costly and senseless war in the Middle East.” The signatories are bravely anonymous.

The same is true of more than 1,000 employees at the U.S. Agency for International Development, who have reportedly signed a similar letter. “We believe,” it says, “that further catastrophic loss of human life can only be avoided if the United States Government calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.” The letter adds that its backers are withholding their names out of “concern for our personal safety and risk of potentially losing our jobs.”

If democracy means anything, perhaps they should lose their jobs or, better yet, they should resign honorably if they can no longer support the boss’s agenda. The malcontents are a sliver of the federal workforce. Yet the job of the executive branch is to implement a President’s policies, not run a pressure campaign to change them via anonymous letters and leaks.

Unhappiness at Mr. Biden’s Israel policy is also circulating at the State Department in dissent cables. One difference is that this is a normal channel for internal criticisms, created amid the Vietnam War and used in recent years to raise alarms about Mr. Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. The signatories on the State Department cables aren’t public knowledge, but they aren’t anonymous.

Part of the problem here is that civil-service protections are so extensive that it is hard to discipline much less fire a dissenting career bureaucrat. This gives them a certain impunity when they want to agitate against an elected President’s policy.

But this isn’t how democratic government is supposed to work. Political appointees and bureaucrats are free to argue up the chain of command for a different course of action. If they don’t succeed, they can continue to do their jobs, or else they can resign. But it’s a dereliction of duty for federal workers to spend their time trying to stymie the policy of elected officials.

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Source: Joe Biden Faces a Deep State Revolt – WSJ