So far, it seems to me that every US presidency has a pile of secrets that are closely guarded when they happen, but eventually leak out. Obviously, that just speaks to what a sham “US democracy” is – the people’s representative (alleged) ought not to hide anything from the people, at all. Yet, they always seem to.
That’s what you get when you elect liars and sociopaths: the only kind of people who’d want the job in the first place. Then, there’s the “bodyguard of lies” – the functionaries who are deeply involved in everything that goes on, but who pretend to have seen nothing. Since it’s foremost in everyone’s mind: did you catch the way Boris Johnson thanked his security detail for not telling about the lockdown parties? Naturally, as part of their security procedures, they would have had complete lists of everyone who was there, but they’re being allowed to continue to pretend as though nothing ever happened. They’re complicit, of course. And then there’s Cippolone, who managed to broker a sweetheart deal wherein a normal subpoena doesn’t apply to him: he gets to give his answers in writing. Like a totally honest person does. We know that Cippolone was party to all of the discussions about the attempted coup, he’s just going to be allowed to claim that since he didn’t directly participate, he’s a “good guy.”
Allowing the “answers in writing” dodge makes as much sense as giving police officers involved in a shooting 3 days in which to
coordinate their story ponder their testimony.
None of these people are anywhere close to “good guys” – they’re all compromised, aiders and abettors. The best defense they can make is the famous Nuremberg defense, which resulted in those that made it getting sent to the hangman. Since treason is a capital crime, it’s relevant – but the US organs of state haven’t got the courage and anger to act effectively, among the bunch of them.
So, there’s a completely crazy story that has been going around. [axios] Apparently, after he lost the election, Trump tried to throw all of the toys out of the pram of state. He tried to issue a sneaky order withdrawing all US troops from major stations including Afghanistan, Syria, and all of Africa. Naturally, the pentagon, which is its own power, didn’t do it.
John McEntee, one of Donald Trump’s most-favored aides, handed retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor a piece of paper with a few notes scribbled on it. He explained: “This is what the president wants you to do.”
1. Get us out of Afghanistan.
2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.
3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.
4. Get us out of Africa.
I suspect the pentagon rejected the letter because it wasn’t in sharpie (dadum-tschhh!) – this was November 9: Trump had already lost and (we now know) knew it. He was raging and tried to pee in the punchbowl as much as he could.
The one-page memo was delivered by courier to Christopher Miller’s office two days later, on the afternoon of Nov. 11. The order arrived seemingly out of nowhere, and its instructions, signed by Trump, were stunning: All U.S. military forces were to be withdrawn from Somalia by Dec. 31, 2020. All U.S. forces were to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by Jan. 15, 2021.
What the fuck is this? Miller wondered.
News of the memo spread quickly throughout the Pentagon. Top military brass, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, were appalled. This was not the way to conduct policy – with no consultation, no input, no process for gaming out consequences or offering alternatives.
Naturally, none of them went public. None. So much for the “adults in the room” – it is not good enough to merely spank the toddler and hope it gets the message; it needs to be aired out in public so that controls can be put in place to prevent another rogue president from trying to take over the military for nefarious purposes.
Trump, in other words, was taking revenge: “you won’t staff my coup? Then I’ll screw up your plans.”
A call was quickly placed to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. In turn, Cipollone notified the national security adviser, Robert O’Brien. Neither Cipollone nor O’Brien had any idea what the order was or where it had come from.
Neither did the office of the staff secretary – whose job it was to vet all the paper that reached the president’s desk. Yet the paper bore Trump’s distinctive Sharpie signature.
The U.S. government’s top national security leaders soon realized they were dealing with an off-the-books operation by the commander in chief himself.
Cippolone’s job as white house counsel is to serve the people; he’s not the president’s personal attorney. His job is to tell the president when they’re about to do something illegal, or to serve as a resource in case a president feels they may be doing something sketchy, and they want to check to see what a lawyer thinks. (Hint: when your sketchiness makes you want to consult a lawyer, then it’s too sketchy, stop.)
All of the usual characters have walk-on roles: Bannon, Bolton, Cippolone, Mattis, and – basically – everyone else who witnessed this travesty, and concealed it and their role in it. They’re all “white house characters” which means that their silence helped feed a deranged president’s ideas, and they became part of a conspiracy when they decided to sweep it all under the carpet.
“Why do these people do these things?” we ask, which is a reasonable question. But the answer is embedded in the servile nature of the power-seeker: they feel that being close to the seat of power, where the action is, is the most important thing in their life. Their career and their sense of personal power depends on being a good servant to the mad king. And, don’t rock the boat. When I was a kid there was no talk about Ronald Reagan’s mind turning to mush during his second term. Now, sure, it’s publicly acknowledged. The people around Reagan conspired, again, to keep that fact from the people. The 25th amendment is specifically there for the case where a president loses his mind, but the servitors surrounding mad king Ronald did not want their personal grip on whatever power they had to be weakened. To me, that typifies the servitor mentality: they come to associate so fully with their icon that they see a failure of the icon as a threat to them, personally. The republicans, of course, want such servitors, since people that are less submissive might begin complaining loudly as to the location of their slice of the pie. The short, pathetic, career of Devin Nunes is a good case study: a few million bucks in the bank and an empty job title, in return for utter subjugation to the master vampires.
Trump’s demented, too, of course. Why is nobody talking about that, yet? One does not get given cognitive assessment tests for alzheimer’s as entertainment. One does not brag about it, publicly, unless one is already suffering pretty bad dementia. Naturally, Trump’s “inner circle” circled the wagons to protect their meal-ticket. Including Cippolone.
My prediction is that Cippolone, who knows all the stuff about the things that were going on, is going to answer evasively and lean on privilege (which, technically, he does not have) to avoid answering any questions in the form of “… when did you know about ..?” and “where did that idea come from?” We should not expect anything useful or valuable out of Cippolone, because if that was forthcoming, he would have already offered an interview. All the committee can hope for is to catch him in a lie, which is (of course) why he has asked to give his replies to written questions: he’ll have plenty of time to write “I don’t remember” over and over. But, of course he remembers: he was in the middle of a coup attempt and was being asked “is this legal?” by various nefarious characters. He didn’t come forward before now, because he’s a supreme dirtbag.
“they became part of a conspiracy when they decided to sweep it all under the carpet” – this is all a good example of my doctrine of “emergent conspiracy.” There’s no conspiracy where people meet, wearing cloaks and carrying daggers – but if a lot of people want to see a certain thing happen, and they all give the idea a nudge, it takes on a life of its own without any one person being seen as the instigator. It’s just a thing that happened, because, you know, everyone wanted it to. If you want to understand this better, read Foucault’s Pendulum.