Manic Monday Reads: No US Institution is Sacred or Safe from KKKremlin CaligulaPosted: November 25, 2019
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
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.
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.
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 ”
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.
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.