This is an excerpt from the 2018 Steve Dustcircle book, Trump’s Cabinet: The Rise of Each Appointed Deplorable, available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.com. The book contains links to multiple references and citations.
DAN COATS; DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is in charge of an intelligence community of seventeen members and serves as adviser to the National Security and Homeland Security councils. The 2004-created position is a newer development and has come under scrutiny as of recent for lacking oversight and authority.
The fifth person to be nominated and confirmed to the DNI title is Republican Daniel Ray Coats, affectionately known as “Mister Rogers.” The position is not considered to be coveted, as the position is high stress.
Dan Coats was born on May 16, 1943 in Jackson, Michigan, the same day the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising occurred during the Holocaust. His father is German-English and he has Swedish immigrant, maternal grandparents. His wife, Marsha, is the representative to the Republican National Committee in Indiana.
After graduating high school in 1961, he attended Wheaton College in Illinois, an evangelical college in the suburbs of Chicago, where he acquired an B.A. in political science. After two years in the Army, he went on to earning a J.D. law degree in Indiana at Indiana University in 1972.
Between 1976 and 1980, he worked for Indiana Republican, Dan Quayle. Coats ended up replacing the newly elected Vice President under President G.H.W. Bush.
From 1981 to 1998, Coats concurrently served in the House of Representatives and the Senate. After retirement from Congress, he became the United States Ambassador to Germany for four years.
For a few years, he worked as a lobbyist, and ran for Senate again in 2010, replacing Evan Bayh, who had previously replaced Coats in 1998. In 2016, he refused to run for re-election.
Coats has voted several times for gun control, something that Republicans usually do not do. He voted in 1991 for there to be a waiting period for handgun purchases and wanted a ban on assault weapons. This did not become law, though two years later a similar law went into effect under President Bill Clinton, which Coats also supported.
However, twenty years later in 2013, his views on background checks seemed to have relaxed, as he voted down expanded versions of the law for gun buyers.
In 2001, he almost became President Bush’s Defense secretary, but the job went to the more experienced Donald Rumsfeld. However, as Ambassador to Germany, after the events of 9/11, he threatened Germany with bad international relations if they opposed the developing Iraq War.
Regarding LGBTQ rights, Coats is not a big fan of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. He was one of the authors of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. He disagrees with same-sex marriage but doesn’t believe people should interfere with other peoples’ relationships.
Regarding reproductive rights, he is “pro-life,” and has been endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee, Indiana Right to Life, and the Susan B. Anthony List (an anti-abortion non-profit, ironically named after a feminist who had never actively worked against women having abortions).
In 2007, Coats served as lobbyist co-chairman for Cooper Industries, a Texas company that moved its corporate headquarters out of the country to avoid paying taxes. In this vein, he blocked the tax loophole law from passing, saving the corporation hundreds of millions of dollars.
Coats is currently banned by Russia from entering its country because of him speaking out against Russia annexing Crimea in 2014.
This can be a precarious situation since Coats is now the director of intelligence—a position not unlike the head of the CIA—and has stated plainly that Russia had an effect on the 2016 election outcome. However, he claims that making intelligence a politically-manipulating affair is immoral and inappropriate.
In terms of how majorities and minorities view Dan Coats, he recently received a 10% out of a hundred from the NAACP, a 0% from the Human Rights Campaign, an 11% from the ACLU, a 0% from NARAL, a 0% from the Humane Society Legislative Fund, a 14% from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a 0% from Defenders of Wildlife, a 30% from the Food Policy Action, a 0% from the AFSCME, and a 0% from EarthRights International. All tallies are from 2016 and 2017, mostly circling around his positions on these topics.
It should be noted that he appears to be pro-torture, reports ABC News in late 2014. With Coats being in charge of intelligence, the idea that you can acquire information by torturing people is based on insufficient data. If you torture a man or woman long or harsh enough, you can get them to pretty much confess to being Joan of Ark or Rodney King.
Considering that President Trump’s cabinet is full of Wall Street tycoons, can the new head of national intelligence be sensible enough to turn down money offered in exchange for sensitive information?
Additionally, Trump had accused the intelligence community of wiretapping him before he took the election. These claims have never been proven.
Trump has also made it clear that he doesn’t want or need daily intelligence briefings. Additionally, the intelligence director—per new rules made by Trump—will no longer be sitting in on National Security Council meetings. Former NSC staffer Kelly Magsamen called this move of exclusion “bizarre.”
The future of privacy laws in America can and will be overseen by this man. Remember FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)? The act allowed international spying on others is up for renewal this year. Reverse targeting could be an issue. He was also against whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden.
Coats and his wife formed The Foundation for American Renewal, a religious/spiritual initiative focused solely on the Christian tradition, as well as American Protestant nationalism.