WE: Bigger than Vindman: Trump scrubs 70 Obama holdovers from NSC

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/bigger-than-vindman-trump-scrubs-70-obama-holdovers-from-nsc

This purging is good. When you stike at the king, and fail, too bad for you when the king strikes back.

Some might say the administration should have removed prior administration holdovers first thing. But if the king’s ultimate goal is to drain the swamp, letting the miscreants expose themselves can be useful.

Is President Trump that smart and devious? Time will tell.

46 thoughts on “WE: Bigger than Vindman: Trump scrubs 70 Obama holdovers from NSC

  1. @Roberts and other cheer leaders for the criminal Trump

    You understand that punishing government employees for testifying truthfully before congress investigating possible criminal conduct is a serious felony, right?

    “18 U.S. Code § 1513.Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant”

    “(e)Whoever knowingly, with the intent to retaliate, takes any action harmful to any person, including interference with the lawful employment or livelihood of any person, for providing to a law enforcement officer any truthful information relating to the commission or possible commission of any Federal offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

    The violation of this statute could not be more clear. But since it is not certain that the criminal Trump can be indicted, there is only one remaining way to protect the rule of law – he needs to be impeached.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “You understand that punishing government employees for testifying truthfully before congress investigating possible criminal conduct is a serious felony, right?”

      So what? Its not prosecutable in this case, since the White House staff works at the pleasure of the president.

      You might, however, be able to impeach him. Go ahead and try it!

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      1. @Roberts

        Here is a distinction you ought to understand. The President has the authority to remove anyone from the government that he has appointed. Nobody can question that. But ANY legal authority that he may have can be used for a corrupt purpose. It is the corrupt purpose that makes it CRIMINAL. You yourself described it as payback – the “king” striking back. THAT is a corrupt purpose as defined in the law.

        There are countless things that Trump should be impeached for. This CRIME is just one more. Even though thoroughly deserved it will not happen at this stage. In the real political world this is just one more Trump CRIME that Republican candidates will be asked to answer for by journalist and opponents. For example . . . “Senator Collins, why did Trump fire a patriotic soldier for telling the truth to Congress?” And, let me hope that someone asks that question of Trump. He is dumb enough to give an incriminating answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “The President has the authority to remove anyone from the government that he has appointed.”

        White House staff positions are appointments to White House duty. The president has absolute authority to remove anyone so appointed.

        Your “corrupt purpose” argument is invalid, for all the same reasons it was invalid when used to justify the abuse of power charge in the actual impeachment.

        Bottom line, you don’t have a prosecutable case.

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        1. @Roberts

          Small point of order – Sondland is not a member of the White House staff.

          There is nothing “invalid” about pointing out that a corrupt purpose can turn a legal action into a crime and that the LAW defines payback against a witness as a corrupt purpose.

          It is beyond obvious that these firings have that corrupt purpose but I will agree that it is a tough point to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. So, when Trump is no longer un-indictable, a “prosecutable case” may depend on the stupid things he says and tweets about “payback” between now and then. That was why I expressed the hope that he is asked about it.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “It is beyond obvious that these firings have that corrupt purpose”

          The way I see it, your “corrupt purpose” is merely an illusion that you and some others indulge in. It is unreasonable to expect an employer to keep disloyal employees in their existing positions without consequence. It is even more unreasonable to espy corrupt purpose in reasonable actions.

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          1. @Roberts

            Even with your defense, you make the case that it was corrupt intent. Sure, Trump now views people who stood up and told the truth to be disloyal and wants them gone. That is totally understandable. But firing them for disloyalty that is only evidenced by their testimony is a crime. And there is a good reason that it is a crime. We do not want government employees intimidated into silence when they have evidence of wrongdoing to share with Congress or law enforcement. Do we?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “We do not want government employees intimidated into silence when they have evidence of wrongdoing to share with Congress or law enforcement. Do we?”

            We want the staff of the chief executive to support him, and we want those who make criminal allegations to be able to substantiate them. The recent impeachment failed this simple and meaningful test, as do your current pretensions.

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          3. The only failure in the recent impeachment was in the backbone of the GOP Senators who stated what was done was done, was wrong, but NOT impeachable. The failure of the GOP to stand up to the rule of law, out of FEAR of the Chief Executive, is the only failure we, the people, should be concerned about.

            As far as support of the chief executive, I would recommend you read Team of Rivals. Lincoln had it right (as have others, including Bill Clinton) in NOT surrounding himself with sycophants who will blindly follow the President down whatever dark hole he chooses.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “The failure of the GOP to stand up to the rule of law”

            Acquitting a president of impeachment charges found to be NOT impeachable offenses IS the rule of law.

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          5. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one (I used to, until cancer caused it to have to be sown up….) and every once in a while you get stuck in an elevator with a loud and smelly one.

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          6. I was commenting about opinions in general. Some opinions are more useful than others. The opinions expressed by the GOP Senators showed they have no spine and the rule of law only applies to those who disagree with them. IT’s OK if our guy does it, but if yours does, it’s a whole different story.

            And in your case, I fully disagree with your opinion. The case was made. Many in the GOP even said so. The problem is YOU don’t believe it was. I think your opinion, such as it is is misguided, misinformed, and void in acknowledgment of the facts.

            I did NOT call you or anyone else and asshole. Deserved or not.

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          7. RE: “void in acknowledgment of the facts.”

            The fact is, the Senate acquitted the president, and did so lawfully.

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  2. Vindman is a example of a problem, not the problem. One that has been getting increasingly worse since Reagan’s Administration and visually peaked in 2005 — the increasing number of active duty military and retired military filling civilian leadership roles.

    The men have “rank deference blindness” by training; they get along to go along, “Yes SIR! Right away SIR!”

    Consider the number of people in Trump’s Administration who are “good little soldiers” because, well, they are or were good little soldiers who failed to stand up to illegal orders. Kelly, Mattis, Hell even Mueller, who adopted the “it’s not my position to question the authorities,” when it was EXACTLY that.

    Vindman testified, not voluntarily but under subpoena and not until he was outed by the whistle blower, because he was deferential to Trump. He dutifully reported to his superior and then said, “Well, did my duty.”

    It’s the same problem as too many ex-military on a local police force. It requires an entirely different kind of training. It’s a feudal system and when they move into civilian life, they carry the feudal mindset with them.

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    1. RE: “Vindman is a example of a problem, not the problem.”

      Vindman was staff, not leadership. In the military, staff positions are where officers go who do not qualify for command or leadership assignments.

      Like

      1. …”staff positions are where officers go who do not qualify for command or leadership assignments.”

        Not true. Staff assignments are where officers go in preparation for HIGHER leadership roles. Navy officers take staff assignments as shore duty. Other services assign officers to staff positions to give them the much needed break form deployment cycles.

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          1. Passed over enough times, they get forcibly retired. Or high-year tenured out. Then, depending on their experience and expertise, somewhere in the private sector or in government consulting.

            Like

          2. RE: “Passed over enough times, they get forcibly retired.”

            What kind of assignments do such officers get until their forcible retirements are complete?

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          3. Desk jobs at COMNAVSURFuckup.

            Your lack of knowledge of military assignments is glaring…AGAIN. But have at it with your little semantic games because YOU don’t understand it.

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          4. RE: “How many years did YOU serve?”

            That depends on whether you want to count my family years as an officer’s son and my career as a civilian defense contract employee.

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          5. Neither. Which proves how little you actually know about the military. My kids were part of our military family . I did not bore them with the rudimentary BS of the day-to-day crapola. You may THINK you know. But in actuality, you don’t.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. My comment was that Vindman held a staff position, not a leadership position at the White House. I’ve known a lot of “Vindmans” professionally. I’ve also known a lot of “broom manners,” but the nature of their employment was not the topic.

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          7. MAGATs are so eager to find a way to demean Lt. Colonel Vindman for simply telling the truth that they proceed to demean the vast number of people who fulfill vital staff functions for our military. Shameful. And this in support of Generalismo Bone-Spur.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. RE: “they proceed to demean the vast number of people who fulfill vital staff functions for our military”

            How has Vindman or any staff position been demeaned in this thread?

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          9. @Roberts

            “How has Vindman or any staff position been demeaned in this thread?”

            Hmm. Let me think. Maybe when it was when some clueless shithead wrote the following . . .

            “In the military, staff positions are where officers go who do not qualify for command or leadership assignments.”

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Staff? Does that make a difference in the NSC? It was after all headed at one time by an active duty general.

        The point being that the FIRST thing taught at boot camp is “Question authority”.

        Dime to your dollar that these 4 USAs who resigned have less than 4 years collective military service.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “Does that make a difference in the NSC?”

          It makes a difference to your example, though not necessarily to your original point. You noted that too many military personnel carry “rank deference blindness” forward to the civilian leadership roles they later fill. That may be true, but Vindman was neither civilian nor in a leadership role at the NSC.

          I certainly agree that people should question authority, but I’ve never met any active duty or retired military who actually didn’t.

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  3. From http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/

    The NSC is the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy with his advisors and cabinet officials.
    Since its inception under President Truman, the council’s function has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies.
    The council also serves as the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.

    That all boils down to people, places and procedures.

    LtCol Vindman wasn’t fired-he was reassigned (removed from the NSC) which like it or not is at the discretion of the President.

    Every 4 (sometimes 8) years, there’s a huge turnover in cabinets, their respective advisors and assistants.

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    1. You are absolutely correct. However, the timing of this, including the reassignment of the brother who did NOT testify, is purely vindictive and not just an “at the pleasure of” moment.

      And was it really necessary to have security escort them from the building? A good officer will follow the legal orders of his superiors. A simple “LT Col, You are being reassigned. Please clean out your desk of any personal items and leave the building immediately” would have been sufficient. It was all about the show.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The timing shouldn’t surprise you or anyone else.

        Two of the six USS Naval Ships I served aboard? Either the CO, XO, other senior officers or the Command Master Chief were “relieved for cause” and unceremoniously escorted off the ship.

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        1. I was not surprised by the timing one bit. In fact, I wondered why it took two days after the vote to do it, if not that evening. I figured it would have been done the next day, but El Presidnete was too busy taking his faux victory lap.

          As far as the escort thing, I still say it was done only for show. I also know that when you take away someone’s rice bowl, they get a little defensive. However, in the Vindman case, I do not see it the same way as you.

          Like

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