Let me share the strange tale of the firing of Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz who is in charge of the joint forces gathered for the inauguration on Friday. Schwartz is being removed from command at a weird point, and it seems to have generated a bizarre sort of disinformation campaign.
He “has spent months” helping with the planning of protection of the President-Elect/President, along with everyone else. In other words, this requires a high degree of coordination. The Washington Post broke the story and gives explicit detail. Here are the specifics…
The Mjr. General is in charge of not only the DC National Guard, but also “5,000 unarmed troops dispatched from across the country to help. He also will oversee military air support protecting Washington during the inauguration.”
The position held by Schwartz is a Presidential appointment, and Schwartz was originally appointed by President George W. Bush. President Obama has continued to appoint him. Where Governors generally appoint the head of the Guard, in DC there is no Governor, so it falls to the President.
Also, it is customary for all Presidential appointees to submit their resignations for 12:01 on the day of inauguration. In this case, the Trump transition team decided to accept the resignation – as is. In other words, Mjr. General Schwartz will be relieved of duty at 12:01, just at Trump is sworn into office.
In the interview with the Washington Post Schwartz stated:
“The timing is extremely unusual,” “My troops will be on the street,” said Schwartz, who turned 65 in October. “I’ll see them off, but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”
So all this is weird enough, but Trump also fired the inaugural parade announcer Charlie Brotman who has announced every inauguration since Eisenhower, and replaced him with a high contributing Trump supporter. (This is a sad story with a good ending, but it is not part of this weird tale.)
Now comes the really weird part. I mean the above raises eyebrows and certainly increases the security risk – IMO.
So, if you go looking for info on what went down with Mjr. General Schwartz a couple of interesting things pop up near the top of the search results:
From “Freedom Outpost, Obama Just Fired the Top Commander of the DC National Guard. Huh?
And from the official “organ” of the Trump administration, Breitbart, Fake News: Wash Post Changes Story on Trump ‘Firing’ D.C. Nat’l Guard General. Breitbart claims the news is “fake” because: ? Well, they give several possible scenarios for why it is fake, just in case one doesn’t work. Schwartz resigned and the team accepted it (no mention on whether this was due to lack of knowledge on the part of the team or not). Then we have the assumed vindictiveness of Schwartz: “The general then ran straight to the media to “argue his case in the press,” as a recent Fox News report noted.” Then they claim that the Washington Post edited the story – though there seemed to be the addition of specifics and not a retraction.
Ok, Obama did not fire Schwartz, as far as we can tell, and the story at the Washington Post was not “fake news.” In fact, the story was confirmed in Stars and Stripes.
As another side note, Schwartz was involved with an organization that also has the backing of President Obama – the Youth Challenge Academy – run by the DC Guard with federal dollars.
So while the timing of removing Schwartz is very strange, why in the world write all these weird lies about it?