If fodder is needed for the argument that a Deep State is running wild and determined to depose President Donald J. Trump, this will surely help. In a statement by self-titled “former Republican National Security Officials”, a hand-on-heart allegiance is made to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The authors are intent on moving the incumbent out of office, “profoundly concerned about our nation’s security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump. The President has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term.”
These former security officials, who include former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Gen. Michael Hayden, see Joe Biden as the better horse. He has “the character, experience and temperament to lead this nation.”
They might have their disagreements with him, but there would be “the time to debate those policy differences”. In the immediate future, Trump had to be ushered out of office to stop his “assault on our nation’s values and institutions.”
The message is regaled in the language of defending democracy, the very sort of fragile creature such individuals have not been averse to mutilating in the past. But it is also couched in terms of cod psychology. The term “unfit” is used four times. This lack of fitness was demonstrated by bad character, corrupt behaviour, the inability to lead “during a national crisis.”
What is particularly galling for the authors is that Trump dared interfere with the National Security Family, offices of the imperium that should run without disruption and melodrama.
This mismanagement, as they term it, involved the dismissal or replacement “often by tweet” of “the secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Directors of National Intelligence and the FBI, three National Security Advisors, and other senior officials in critical national security positions”.
The signers also take issue with the president’s spread of “misinformation”, the undermining of public health expertise, attacking officials at state and local level “and wallowing in self-pity.” He had demonstrated greater interest in re-election “than the health of the American people.”
Misinformation is a good point. Trump has been exceedingly inventive to the point of fiction in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. He takes of the root of conspiracy. But it is also worth noting that many of these former security officials who take issue with him were not averse to getting on the well-laden wagon of misinformation when it came to launching a war against Iraq in 2003. The administration of George W. Bush was stacked high with true believers allergic to the findings of UN weapons inspectors.
Then Secretary of State Colin Powell, who put in an appearance at the Democratic National Convention just passed, gave a show of supreme mendacity on February 5, 2003 before the United Nations. “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”
What was solid was the premature adjudication of the matter: Saddam Hussein had to go, and fictional weapons of mass destruction would do nicely as a pretext […]