I left D.C. in 2015. During my time there, my areas of expertise were: Election Law, Constitutional Law, National Security, and Civil Liberties. My education focused on Russia and U.S. Law. I practiced in election contests and daily worked at the intersection of national security and civil liberties. As the senior career civil liberties official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, I participated in pandemic exercises (which was a priority of the George W. Bush Administration). For many of the big issues that made the headlines before I left, I was one of the people in the room advising or deciding responses.

With 2020 coming to a close, I reflect on the enormity of the nonsense that I’ve read concerning national/international issues. I have been shocked at the falsehoods, wishful thinking, and conspiracy theories that have been peddled – sometimes by people I consider friends or colleagues. Truth be told, the source of the vast majority of these has been from the Right or “Republicans” so called. “Whataboutism” is a game that can not be played when the depth and volume of sophistry is so lopsided. Many times I have been tempted to draft a response to the nonsense but realized that each issue must be treated with complexity to do so accurately, and that this would result in a TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) product for those who needed to read it most; and, as one former Trump Administration official told me, I would be disregarded as a member of the fictitious “Deep State.” So for the most part I refrained.

There is more to life, and may each of us find what that is for us in 2021.
May the New Year bring blessings to you in abundance.

Timothy J. Keefer

Timothy J. Keefer is an attorney licensed in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Law Review, from The Washington & Lee University School of Law, and with a B.A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Russian Area Studies from The State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been a professor of National Security Law, and Public Policy. He was a key attorney for the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign in the case of Bush v. Gore while with the law firm of Covington & Burling. He has provided direct legal and policy advice to three Cabinet Secretaries, over 20 federal judges, and many senior government officials on major constitutional, statutory, policy, and ethical issues. He was an appointee of the President George W. Bush Administration. He was a senior career official of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 2003-2009. He was a professional in the intelligence community and participated in providing intelligence support in-country to operational units, and in Washington, D.C. to senior military leaders, for the first Gulf War. He is a U.S. Navy veteran.

2 responses

  1. Your words and photos are much-appreciated. I pray that 2021 gives you peace, good health, much laughter and good food and drink!


    On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 12:50 PM Dispatches from the Imperial Capital wrote:

    > Keeferton posted: ” I left D.C. in 2015. During my time there, my areas of > expertise were: Election Law, Constitutional Law, National Security, and > Civil Liberties. My education focused on Russia and U.S. Law. I practiced > in election contests and daily worked at the interse” >


  2. “Only today is the war really over,” wrote one Berliner on a piece of wall on November 9, 1989. It seems that with the thaw in the Cold War, the perceived need for intelligent vigilance also melted away. Intellectuals on the Right had won, and nearly all retired with the sunset of the Great Communicator’s revolution. Today’s Right bears precious little resemblance to its forebears: Where young freedom defenders were once encouraged onward in study and impactful living, today’s brawlers have joined ’em because they couldn’t beat ’em. It is too easily accepted today that we fight in the gutter because that’s where the enemy fights, and since we fight an enemy with no moral or spiritual restraints, the rationale goes, we have no choice but to fight them on the ground where they are found. How sad.

    The principle of morally superior values which transcend the illegitimacy of falsehood must be reasserted — we must re-teach the Right what it means to be right, and how to engage on that basis. TL;DR is the present stark contrast to study and impactful living. It is the too common surrender that yields accusations of “deep state” and RINO. It is what one of our own intellectuals cautioned would be the closing of the American mind some 34 years ago.

    But we have not lost. The cherished principles for which so many fought and sacrificed — soldiers, political leaders, intelligence operators, missionaries, business owners, educators, dissenters — the principles to which they were devoted live today as the fruit grown from seeds planted in the African American community, the Latino community, the Asian community, the Cuban community, in the central and east European immigrant community, in different faith communities. It is in these communities that we hear today’s rejoinder to the transcendent message of hope delivered to them 40 years ago, that life and family are essential, that righteousness prevails, and that our ultimate purpose is to lift our enemy up because they know not what they do.

    It seems time for the Third Generation to engage once more, in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, churches, businesses, and governments to remind America and the world that there is indeed more to life, that living morally superior lives of integrity, truth, and righteousness points the way for every person to understand their true value in pursuit of their destiny. This is what we are made for.

    When faced with the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of relativism, deconstruction, jealousy, and hate made easy by “connectedness,” respectfully, I DISSENT.


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