Farewell to a truly great American

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Early this morning, the United States lost one of its most formidable warriors. Rich Higgins, an Army combat veteran who went on to become a senior civilian national security professional and leading figure in conservative defense and foreign policy circles, succumbed at last to debilitating medical conditions arising from complications of Covid-19.

Rich was not merely a physically imposing and intellectually towering figure. His deep knowledge and expertise with respect especially to the nature and practice of irregular warfare made him one of the most important champions our constitutional Republic has ever produced.

Since most of Rich Higgins’ vital work in defending this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic, was done behind the scenes, he is unlikely to get the credit that he never sought but surely deserves. One exceptional instance that did come to public attention, however, offers an insight into the magnitude of the man’s abilities and impact.

Rich was an early supporter of Candidate Donald Trump and served as one of his campaign advisors and national security surrogates in 2016. After Mr. Trump won the presidency, Rich was among a handful of loyal political appointees brought onto the National Security Council staff.

With his background in irregular warfare, Rich Higgins was among the first in the White House complex to understand the magnitude of the problem posed to the Trump presidency by hostile staff members detailed from the federal bureaucracy’s so-called “Deep State” and many others who were actually hired by problematic officials in Presidential Personnel. He ultimately expressed his grave concerns for the President, his administration and the country in a document that became known simply as “The Memo.”

Tragically, when Mr. Trump favorably received the Higgins memorandum and passed it along to his then-National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, for action, the retired lieutenant general summarily fired Rich and had him perp-walked out of the White House complex. The rest, tragically, is history – a history of a presidency sabotaged by enemies within, as well as the concerted, reprehensible conduct of their allies in the media, the Congress, the bipartisan political establishment and assorted foreign adversaries.

To his credit, Rich Higgins continued to serve his President and nation in the years following his departure from government. As an informal presidential advisor, analyst, commentator and strategist, he contributed mightily to the cause of freedom until his dying breath – inspiring and leading countless others with his profound situational awareness, mastery of the art of war, deep religious convictions and unflagging patriotism.

There would never be a good time to lose a man of Rich Higgins’ caliber. That is especially true, however, in our particularly turbulent times – whose ominous portents Rich understood better than just about anybody, and fewer still were better equipped to navigate. He will be sorely missed, particularly by those who will struggle to carry on his desperately needed work despite the huge gap in our line left by his tragic and untimely departure. We can only pray that, as ever, Rich will be calling in plays from his forward position, this time in a far, far better place.

A GoFundMe to help the Higgins family can be viewed here.

Frank Gaffney, Jr.
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