As we all know, Trump went on one of his runners beginning Friday afternoon with the firing of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, (*and his twin brother, Lt. Colonel Yevegny, which we will address more thoroughly below), Ambassador Sondland, and other witnesses. Senator Charles Schumer has sent a letter to all 72 Inspector Generals within the executive branch to investigate the “shameful” and “illegal” White House retaliation against the witnesses who bring complaints, and specifically the witnesses in the impeachment proceeding.
Per the New York Times:
The New York Times described the terminations as the beginning of Trump’s “purge” of his staff as he seeks revenge for the impeachment proceedings, which ended just last week with Senate Republicans’ nearly unified vote to acquit. An anonymous Trump adviser told CNN that the Vindman and Sondland firings were “flushing out the pipes.”
“Flushing out the pipes,” is the term used to remove a purple-heart decorated U.S. soldier and immigrant. It says a great deal about the Trump administration’s mindset, anyone against them is shit to be cleared. The purge is based solely upon “revenge.” This administration is turning Washington DC into Baghdad, where Trump uses his phone as a weapon of choice.
David Pressman, an attorney for Alexander Vindman, said in a statement to HuffPost that Yevgeny Vindman was escorted from the White House “suddenly and with no explanation, despite over two decades of loyal service to this country.”
“He is deeply disappointed that he will not be able to continue his service at the White House,” Pressman added.
There absolutely is an explanation. When you really want to inject the fear of god (or Stalin, Saddam, etc), you go after someone’s family, too. Even the Italian Mob wouldn’t go after family members, they maintained some kind of code.
Trump can talk all day about “insubordination” and bad reports, etc. etc. but none of it is relevant to firing Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman. It is getting lost in all the outrage, and I hope that readers here will pass this around and use social media to keep the issue at the forefront. Trump now goes after family members.
Senator Schumer is right to be angry and aggressive:
“These attacks are part of a dangerous, growing pattern of retaliation against those who report wrongdoing only to find themselves targeted by the president and subject to his wrath and vindictiveness,” Schumer added. “They also include attempts to publicly identify the anonymous whistleblower who used the proper legal channels to initially report the president’s attempts to compromise our national security for his personal benefit.”
It is a “purge,” a word most would never have associated with the American federal government, and yet here we are. Schumer understands the stakes:
“Without the courage of whistleblowers and the role of inspectors general, the American people may never have known how the president abused his power in the Ukraine scandal,” Schumer wrote. “It is incumbent on you that whistleblowers like LTC Vindman—and others who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms—are protected for doing what we hope and expect those who serve our country will do when called: tell the truth.”
Schumer is correct, of course, but it still falls short. It is conceivable that a brave warrior patriot like Alexander Vindman or Marie Yovanovitch might say to themselves: “Fck it, I don’t care, I am going to report this shit and if I am killed for it, I am dying for my country.” But it is entirely different when a patriot feels like their actions put a family member in danger. And that is precisely why Trump fired LTC Yevgeny Vindman. Now people who consider reporting illegalities or wrong doing know that they’re endangering their family. No one will say “f-it, I’m doing it” when it might hurt family members.
Have absolutely no doubt, the firing of Yevgeny Vindman was a shot across Washington DC and within the military itself. Family members are now fair game. It was not a warning shot, it hit. A family member won’t get shot by a gun (not yet), but they could be fired or publicly ruined. A family member could suffer a “thorough investigation” with sham charges. Does there exist a line that Trump wouldn’t cross in order to save himself?
The military had to move Alexander Vindman to secure and anonymous housing. At least a portion of the United States government worked to protect its own, the military took care of Alexander Vindman’s safety. But at the exact same time, Trump and his loyalists were working to “out” the whistleblower, knowing full well that the military already had to secure one witness’s safety. Two branches of the same government, working toward opposite ends. One worked to increase safety to people, one worked to endanger someone. This is who we are.
As I said yesterday in addressing CPACs statement that they couldn’t protect Romney’s “physical” security (their words), we often are so buried in outrage that it all starts to look the same, we get numb to it. That is intentional. He wants to “rule,” not “govern.”
The federal government is now working as the personal extension of Donald Trump, retaliation firings, “unplugging shit” from the pipes, all of it vindictive, petty, bullshit that puts peoples’ lives in danger.
We have said it all along. They are going to get someone killed. Indeed, it looks to me like part of the plan.
Talk about flushing pipes …
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