“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
— Marcus Aurelius
Last year* we explained that the three headed junta of McMaster, Mattis and Kelly were running the government and that Trump was in many respects, a figure head.
We stand by that and while, as we have said elsewhere, it’s clear that Trump can, and has caused significant damage, and the stacking of the court with reactionary drones may yet prove to be his enduring legacy, it is also true that the junta, with assistance from the intelligence agencies and others, have prevented Trump from starting a war – involving the possibility of nuclear weapons – or engaging in some other imperial adventure that, given Trump’s catastrophic stupidity has the potential to make George W. Bush look like a genius in comparison.
Today, following in the wide wake of Bob Woodward’s latest missive, The New York Times published an Op-Ed by an anonymous member of the self-described resistance inside the White House.
At pains to mark the distinction between this resistance and the “left” resistance, the author(s) of the piece write that they want the regime (quaintly referred to as the administration) to be successful, and that they believe, in spite of Trump’s amorality (which they describe as his defining characteristic and the psychological ground zero for all of his problems both self-inflicted and those caused by his enemies) there have been some triumphs. The gutting of certain regulatory measures, the tax cut, and increase in the military budget are listed, suggesting that whoever the author(s) is/are that while they have more sense than Trump, they are intelligent relative to an ambulatory piece of furniture or a box of Big Macs.
While this is not unimportant, what obviously matters more is that the Op-Ed is an open declaration of the end of the already on life support republic.
There have been cadress and cabals in the past, but they were as against being exposed as your average vampire is against a day at the beach or a tanning salon.
For example, amid the raging carnival of paranoia and sadism that were the hallmarks of the Nixon regime, the Joint Chiefs had a navy ensign spy for them and surreptitiously swipe top secret documents from the National Security Advisor – Henry Kissinger.
Of course Kissinger, in conjunction with Oberleutnant Schlesinger had informed the Joint Chiefs that should they receive a call from the president, ordering them to drop a fat one on, say the Vietnamese, or The Washington Post, they should do nothing until they heard from him or Schlesinger.
You know things are bad when you have to root for Dr. Strangelove – a man for whom the screams of napalm victims are the equivalent of a Bach concerto. The truth is that Kissinger is a war criminal and a fascist and when he said power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, he meant that carpet bombing and mass murder were orgasmic.
Which brings us back to the current gang of moral hermaphrodites running the empire as it coughs up blood from its infected organs in a fit of political hemorrhagic fever.
Claiming that the 25th amendment was discussed as a means to staging a coup (our characterization not theirs) the self-described adults in the room, want to reassure everyone that it was rejected because it would create a constitutional crisis.
Versus what we have, which is a junta, staging a slow motion ongoing coup designed to keep a lunatic from having a spasm that leads to ordering the military to drop a fat one on Pyongyang, or the Washington Post, or London.
That this means, without any doubt, that every branch of the government is complicit one way or another – either by siding with the treasonous or by supporting the lunatic – is no small matter.
We cringe as we type this, but there is something to be said for Sebastian – Dr Evil – Gorka saying that the Op-Ed is treason – not withstanding the fact that treason requires betraying your country to another country, not refusing an illegal or insane order.
There are a number of legal issues that suggest it’s not treason. Members of the military are required to refuse orders they believe to be unjust or illegal. And building the case for invoking the 25th Amendment can be stretched any number of ways including we suspect, to include a public statement that its been, or continues to be under consideration – even if the author(s) remain, however temporarily, anonymous.
But beyond all of that, beyond how it implicates the political blow up dolls on Capitol Hill, as well as the fanatics, and the cogs in the vast machinery of the imperial bureaucracy, it is a definitive statement about the chasm that exists between the antique otherwise known as the Constitution, and the blunt reality of the Postmodern Empire.
Despite the narratives of the liberals, the truth is that the unapologetic Nixonites were not wrong when they said their chief was removed in a coup.
They were wrong that the coup was morally or politically illegitimate. Nixon was a morally gelatinous, slithering monster under the best of circumstances, but was able to play within the rules of the political thunderdome of American politics. Towards the end, when he was talking to the presidential portraits in the White House and believed they were talking back, he was out of his mind and it was time for the coup. Impeachment is a political process disguised as a legal procedure, and while Trump is a clear and present danger the equal if not greater threat is posed by reactionaries like Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley and Orin Hatch. Trump survives as long as he is useful to them and up until the military and the intelligence chiefs threaten to resign**.
What seems likely is that if the reactionaries can get Kavanaugh appointed to the Supreme Court, Trump’s political expiration date will have arrived. Following that, and a democratic victory to take back the House, and Trump will suddenly be the loneliest man in politics as the knives come out and he’s shuffled off stage.
The reactionaries will have the corrupt neo-fascist court of their wet dreams, Trump will be protected by the court, and as was the case with Nixon, the establishment, waving as Trump goes off into reality television eternity, will say without any sense of irony: The system worked.
The Op-Ed is a threat timed obviously to coincide with the publication of Woodward’s book and is designed to declare to the country, the Quizlings and the world, that there is a thin bureaucratic line between catastrophe and the hard but necessary work of removing Trump. The clock is ticking and the Op-Ed is the coming out party for the rebellion of the establishment.
In other words, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Regarding the issue of treason, it is worth considering an example from Bill Clinton’s autobiography. The former president related that following the (U.S.) NATO air war against the former Yugoslavia, he had a meeting with the president of China. During the air campaign the U.S. dropped a precision bomb on the Chinese embassy. According to Clinton his counterpart said, I don’t believe you ordered your air force to attack our embassy. I believe that someone at the CIA gave your air force incorrect coordinates so your air force would strike our embassy.
And Clinton writes that he said: I could not tell him he was wrong.
This is a former president of the United States saying that, at the highest level of diplomacy, he could not guarantee the integrity of the chain of command.
Among liberals, and others inclined to agree with them, this would be cause for alarm if not outright panic followed by demands for an investigation of the event and the CIA.
Needless to say the media has ignored it.
That does not change the fact that when the president’s orders are ignored any number of scenarios can unfold ranging from stopping an insane president ordering his subordinates to do something insane, illegal and potentially catastrophic, to the CIA ignoring or undermining the legitimate orders of a reasonably sane president.
In light of that it is interesting, to say the least, to consider the comments of former CIA director John Brennan who said about the Op-Ed:
“The op-ed represents a shocking critique of Trump and is without precedent in modern American history. The former CIA director John Brennan, who has sparred fiercely with the president, called the op-ed “active insubordination born out of loyalty to the country, not to Donald Trump”.
“I see all the warning signs of a looming disaster,” he told NBC’s Today show on Thursday morning.
“This is not sustainable to have an executive branch where individuals are not following the orders of the chief executive,” Brennan said. “I do think things will get worse before they get better. I don’t know how Donald Trump is going to react to this. A wounded lion is a very dangerous animal, and I think Donald Trump is wounded.”
You can see the full article here:
And, you can see a similar article at the Washington Post, in which the author makes an interesting, if selective case:
“As I wrote Wednesday, we had four examples in a little more than 24 hours of senior White House officials resorting to subterfuge or outright disregarding or avoiding what the president wanted to do. That’s remarkable. And in any other administration, it would be a scandal in and of itself.
Imagine if Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gates just decided they wouldn’t do what Barack Obama wanted them to do. Imagine if Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer decided to prevent George W. Bush from actually, you know, doing presidential things. These are unelected people doing their best to override the will of the duly elected president of the United States.”
See the article here:
*For a look at our previous examination of the junta, see the following:
** They wont resign of course because to do so would, in their minds, be handing a complete decapitating victory to Putin as the leadership of the empire throws itself off a cliff. But a senior officer, say the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs could, by themselves resign, sending an even louder shot across the bow of the establishment.
See the Op-Ed here: