Manic Monday Reads: No US Institution is Sacred or Safe from KKKremlin Caligula

Good Morning Sky Dancers!1942 Enlist in the Seabees - Build for the Navy! WWII Historic Poster - 16x24

The US Navy is the latest institution to be undermined by Trumpist attacks on the Constitution and basic decency. The Navy–which is the the longest standing fighting force in the US–is just the latest institution undermined by Trump’s lack of morality and intelligence. Our relationships with other nations may never be the same as we break treaties and conventions meant to protect our country as well as our allies and friends.

This read is from NBC as reported by Alex Johnson.  Here’s the headline: “Navy Secretary Richard Spencer fired in dispute over discipline of SEAL.”  The Navy–as do our other branches of service–have strict codes on how to engage their duties.  It is imperative to moral and behavior. Certain behaviors elicit institutional responses. War crimes are considered heinous and subject to specific action until now. Many of those actions listed as war crimes have been negotiated throughout history with allies and foes alike.  They’re part of treaties.  They’re actions that we promise not to commit because they are highly immoral and because we do not want our military committing them or being subjected to them.

But, we have a Criminal Syndicate in our Government acting as the Republican Party enabling their crime boss.  They let him get away with anything.


From the link:

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired Sunday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who ordered that a Navy SEAL who was acquitted of murder be allowed to remain in the elite commando corps, the Defense Department said.

Esper asked for Spencer’s resignation after President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher would retain the gold Trident insignia signifying his status as a member of the Sea, Air, and Land Teams, or SEALs. Spencer told reporters on Friday that he believed the review process over Gallagher’s status should go forward.

In a letter to Trump, Spencer said he acknowledged his “termination,” saying the president deserved a Navy secretary “who is aligned with his vision.”

“Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me,” Spencer wrote.

“In regards to the key principle of good order and discipline, I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Shortly thereafter, Trump tweeted that he was displeased not only by the way that “Gallagher’s trial was handled by the Navy” but also because “large cost overruns from [the] past administration’s contracting procedures were not addressed to my satisfaction.”

“Therefore, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer’s services have been terminated by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper,” he wrote. He said he would nominate retired Adm. Kenneth Braithwaite, the U.S. ambassador to Norway, to succeed Spencer.

He forgave a murderer for perceived cost overruns?  WTAF?  The USA Today Editorial Board has all kinds of questions this morning that are worth considering.  First among them is this: “Do Navy leaders have a ‘duty to disobey’ Trump in Gallagher case?”

Most Americans understand that, under military law, soldiers must disobey an illegal command. It’s a doctrine that demolished Nazi war criminals’ claims during the Nuremberg trials that they were just following orders.

But what if the order is legal, but unethical or even immoral? What is a member of the military to do then?

For some top Pentagon officials, the question might be more than hypothetical. They apparently resisted President Donald Trump’s efforts to protect a Navy SEAL accused of misconduct, and by late Sunday afternoon one of them — Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer — was out of a job.

This issue came to a head last week, when Trump threatened to issue an order many senior military leaders see as bordering on unethical. The order would have effectively undermined efforts by a Navy leader to restore good order and discipline among the vaunted Navy SEALs.

A key focus was the conduct of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who had earned a reputation as a rule-breaking “pirate,” accused of committing war crimes in Iraq, including the indiscriminate firing into a neighborhood with a machine gun and killing a teenage captive with a custom-made knife.

When the criminal case against Gallagher fell apart at trial in July, he was convicted only of posing in a photograph with the dead teenager and demoted. Right-wing commentators flocked to Gallagher’s defense, and Trump ordered Gallagher’s rank restored Nov. 15.

Image result for images vintage ambassadors state department

Career Diplomat and former Navy Gunnery officer Ambassador William H Sullivan appointed to Laos in 1964 by LBJ.

The Department of State is another institution undermined by the current usurper of the Oval Office. “As the Rich Get Richer, the Ambassadors Get Worse. Gordon Sondland embodies an age-old problem—one that the flood of donor money into American politics is only exacerbating.” is a feature article at The Atlantic written by Dennis Jett.

Sondland’s appointment succeeded even though it, too, was obviously transactional. The hotel owner did not support Trump for the Republican nomination and did little to get him elected. But once he won, Sondland wrote a big check. And just like magic, he was off to live in Brussels as the American ambassador to the European Union. Along with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Sondland became the president’s go-to guy for dealing with Ukraine—even though that country is not part of the EU. For Trump, it seems, Sondland’s disdain for note-taking was an asset, not a flaw.

National security is harmed when diplomacy is done badly. When the United States has a problem with another country, it can resolve it by diplomacy, force, or just ignoring it and hoping it goes away. When the first option is debilitated by putting incompetent presidential sycophants in charge of embassies, that leaves only the two other alternatives. If command of an aircraft carrier were handed over to a real-estate developer because he had contributed to a political campaign, the outrage would be immediate. But putting our soft power, our ability to conduct diplomacy, in the hands of the unqualified and clueless is somehow acceptable.

That Sondland gave bad diplomatic advice was clear in the cellphone conversation he had with the president on July 26 as he sat in a restaurant in Kyiv. Trump had personally intervened in favor of A$AP Rocky, an African American recording artist who was arrested and charged with assault in Sweden. Sondland, according to the testimony of the U.S. diplomat who was eating with the ambassador, suggested that Trump “let [the rapper] get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape [parade] when he comes home.” Sondland then helpfully added that Trump would be able to tell the Kardashians that he had tried to help A$AP Rocky. In other words, Sondland was encouraging the president’s impulse to let a celebrity family dictate the status of our relationship with a significant ally.

First Female American Foreign Service Officer -- Lucile Atcherson Curtis – in 1922.jpg

Lucile Atcherson Curtis (1894-1986) was the first woman in what became the U.S. Foreign Service.[1] Specifically, she was the first woman appointed as a United States Diplomatic Officer or Consular Officer, in 1923; the U.S. would not establish the unified Foreign Service until 1924, at which time Diplomatic and Consular Officers became Foreign Service Officers.

Trump’s administration is full of rogue actors dismissing the experts in their field under the right wing tropes of being “deep state”.  Curiously, Faux provocateur Jeanne Piro has now called Sondland a deep state actor. Greg Jaffee–writing for WAPO-– writes this ”

The terse exchange revealed the intense pressure that Trump’s style of governing has put on U.S. institutions and civil servants struggling to make policy across the federal government. From the moment he took office, Trump has shown little interest in working the traditional levers of state, which he views as slow, cumbersome and untrustworthy.

His national security advisers, meanwhile, have struggled and largely failed to adapt to his unusual approach to governing. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was fired by Trump in 2018, sought to leverage the foreign policy bureaucracy’s expertise on behalf of a president with virtually no national security experience.

He convened frequent meetings of government experts from the CIA, State Department and Pentagon that Trump had little time for and drafted detailed decision memos that Trump never bothered to read.\After a year, Trump concluded McMaster’s collaborative approach to foreign policy was inefficient and prone to producing embarrassing leaks.

John Bolton, McMaster’s successor as national security adviser, opted for a more personal approach, jettisoning briefings by specialists in favor of informal one-on-one meetings. Foreign policy experts still put in long hours at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House but rarely made the short walk to the Oval Office.

In her testimony, Hill revealed that Trump had not only never met the top Ukraine expert on his staff, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, but that the president also had been led to believe that Kash Patel, a former Republican Capitol Hill staffer working in the White House, was filling that role.

Image result for historical prints US Navy ships antique

Photograph Vintage US Navy USS Vermont 1898

Indeed, nearly every aspect of our Foreign engagements has been turned on its head since Trump stole office.  Here is an exclusive from Axios and Jonathan Swan. “Scoop: White House directed block of Armenian genocide resolution”.

Many were perplexed and outraged when, right after clashing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a heated Oval Office meeting on Nov. 13, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham hurried back to the Senate floor and did something that likely delighted Erdoğan. Graham blocked a resolution that would have formally recognized Turkey’s genocide of the Armenian people.

Behind the scenes: Graham had just scolded Erdoğan over his invasion of Syria and attacks on the Kurds, according to sources in the room.

Image for Carte-de-visite of a sailor named Jim

Carte-de-visite of a Civil Warsailor named Jim  (Smithsonian Collection)

  • As we reported at the time, Erdogan pulled out his iPad and showed the Oval Office group a propaganda video depicting the leader of the primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces as a terrorist.
  • The South Carolina Republican then chided him over the clip. “Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you’ve done?” he said.

What happened next, which has not been previously reported: As Graham was leaving the Oval Office, senior White House staff asked him to return to the Senate and block the Armenian genocide resolution — a measure that would have infuriated Erdoğan.

  • Graham confirmed this in a phone interview on Saturday.
  • “After the meeting, we kind of huddled up and talked about what happened,” he said. A White House legislative affairs official told Graham that Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was going to bring up his Armenian genocide resolution and asked if Graham could “please object.”
  • “I said sure,” Graham said. “The only reason I did it is because he [Erdoğan] was still in town. … That would’ve been poor timing. I’m trying to salvage the relationship if possible.”

Asked whether he felt uncomfortable blocking the Armenian genocide resolution, Graham replied: “Yeah. Because I like Bob [Menendez]. He’s been working on this for years, but I did think with the president of Turkey in town that was probably more than the market would bear.”

  • “I’m not going to object next time,” Graham added.

The “next time” happened last week. Menendez and his Republican Senate colleague Ted Cruz introduced the Armenian genocide resolution again. This time, the White House asked another Republican Senate ally, David Perdue, to block it.

  • “Senator Perdue objected due to concerns that passage of the resolution would jeopardize the sensitive negotiations going on in the region with Turkey and other allies,” said a Perdue spokesperson.

The big picture: The Trump administration is pushing Turkey to give up its Russian-made S-400 air defense system. While they’re negotiating, they’re trying to block Congress from calling out Turkey’s human rights atrocities.

  • Trump has also been reluctant to sign legislation — which Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities — to punish China for its repression of Hong Kong. Trump tells aides he wants to get a trade deal first.

  • But Trump will probably have no choice but to sign the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. As Sen. Cruz said, Congress has enough votes to override a presidential veto.

I seriously doubt we’re ever going to regain the trust of the countrys with leaders of good intent but we’ve certainly shown our underbelly to those with leaders of bad intent.  We have one installed in the White House and we need to be rid of him quickly.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

A classic song from Dylan’s John Wesley Harding. The meaning is cryptic; there have been theories of it being about everything from the Vietnam War to Armageddon. Some critics have noted parallels with Isaiah 21:5-9:

5: Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
6: For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
7: And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:
8: And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
9: And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

43 Comments on “Manic Monday Reads: No US Institution is Sacred or Safe from KKKremlin Caligula”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a good week every one! Hopefully, we can get a quiet Thanksgiving!!!

  2. dakinikat says:

    • quixote says:

      I love Adam dearly, but he’s being too optimistic. The Repubs don’t expect to rue anything because what they’re doing now is supposed to keep them in power till the next millenium.

      We need to stop pretending we have a real government. Including Adam, who’s doing his level best to give us one.

  3. dakinikat says:

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  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Notice how he would not put a hand on that dog? He fears them and the germs they carry.

    This is the idiot currently acting as POTUS. An ignorant coward afraid of a leashed dog,

    Besides, this dog is smarter than he is any day of the week.

  6. dakinikat says:

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  8. bostonboomer says:

    This is horrible. I wonder if this is why senior adviser Vanessa Cárdenas resigned?

  9. bostonboomer says:

  10. dakinikat says:

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  13. dakinikat says:

    If you want an escape … try this …

    For 40 years, journalists chronicled the eccentric royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats who lived in a ruined palace in the Indian capital. It was a tragic, astonishing story. But was it true?

    By Ellen Barry
    Nov. 22, 2019

  14. dakinikat says:

    Today would’ve have been my mom’s 96th birthday. Funny, she share’s a birthday with Carrie Nation …

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  16. dakinikat says:

    Look who want’s out of the spotlight as tinfoil hat commando number 1?