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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/24/19

Trump's impeachment shows US officials at their best and his allies at their worst

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From The Guardian

Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch and more stand against the rot in the White House. They must be saluted

As a candidate in 2015, Donald Trump said he would surround himself "only with the best and most serious people."

Not quite.

On 15 November, Trump's longtime friend and confidantRoger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He faces a maximum of 50 years in prison.

Stone will be only the most recent in a long line of Trump cronies to go to jail.

Late last year, Trump's personal attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen was convicted of multiple crimes including campaign finance violations in connection with hush-money payments to a porn star. He is now behind bars.

Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is also in prison. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, will be sentenced in December. Former foreign policy adviser George Papadopolous has already served time.

This list doesn't even include the Star Wars cantina dredged up by Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, including Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom were recently arrested on campaign finance charges.

Not to mention Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, whose released emails reveal the warped mind of a racist nationalist.

Trump has surrounded himself not with the best and most serious but with the worst and most dangerous: thugs, liars and white supremacists.

And yet in recent weeks, others in the Trump administration have shown themselves to be among the best and most honorable public servants in America, though Trump doesn't see them that way.

I'm talking about the career officials who have come before the House intelligence committee and, with dignity and restraint, confirmed Trump's abuses of power.

Lt Col Alexander Vindman explained that he reported Trump's 25 July phone call seeking Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy's help in digging up dirt on Biden "out of a sense of duty," because it was "improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and political opponent."

National Security Council officer Fiona Hill, after referring to her "legal and moral obligation" to appear before Congress, detailed how Trump's team carried out a "domestic political errand" that helped Russia, and warned that Republicans play into Russia's hands by denying its role in the 2016 election. Russia is "right now" seeking to interfere in 2020, she said, and "we are running out of time to stop them."

Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch spoke of "a crisis in the state department as the policy process is visibly unraveling." Foreign service officers Jennifer Williams and George Kent and acting Ukraine ambassador William B Taylor sounded similar alarms.

All these men and women have distinguished records of public service. Some are highly decorated military officers. In coming forth, they have shown remarkable courage and patriotism.

Yet, true to form, Trump and his lackeys attack them.

During Yovanovitch's testimony, Trump tweeted that "everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," blaming her for a civil war in Somalia that started before she was posted there.

When Vindman testified, the White House tweeted that his former boss had concerns about his judgment.

Republican senator Ron Johnson said Vindman "fits the profile" of "bureaucrats" who have "never accepted President Trump as legitimate." Fox News accused him of having "dual loyalties" and committing "espionage" because he fled what is now Ukraine with his family, when he was three years old.

Even before she appeared, Trump called Williams a "Never Trumper" who should work out a "better presidential attack!" She had barely left the hearing room when the White House issued a statement challenging her credibility.

The contrast could not be starker. On one side are dedicated public servants seeking to protect America. On the other side are Trump and his thugs, seeking to protect Trump.Those who put loyalty to Trump above their duty to the United States are contemptible. Even if they don't end up in prison like other Trump toadies, they have dishonored themselves and the nation.

But those who have devoted their lives to this country and are now risking everything by telling the truth are among America's best. They deserve our deepest gratitude.

To me, Vindman's opening statement said it all."Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America, in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry I will be fine for telling the truth."

 

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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4 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments  Post Comment


Joe Giambrone

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What partisan nonsense. Their "best?"

Star witness didn't even hear anything coherent, implied from a guy who heard another guy...

Yavanovitch blatantly lied in her opening statement, exposed for it.

The entire bullshit charge is so minor and inconsequential, it's clearly a CIA arranged technical violation. Nothing important happened at all.

Reich loves the CIA now, doesn't care that the charge is a weak sham compared to real crimes, like Obama's regime change and Ukrainian civil war he sparked. This partisan mindlessness is the same old half-baked propaganda we've come to expect, those of us who still think.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at 11:12:04 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Reply to Joe Giambrone:   New Content

The economy is good , right Joe?

Yeah, Trump is an a-hole, but the economy is good.

Quite frankly, Joe, I think you an the rest of the Trump supporters

are delusional.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019 at 11:20:20 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Reply to Joe Giambrone:   New Content

Gee Joe,

Your comments sound like they came straight out of the

Fox news propaganda machine.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019 at 11:22:26 PM

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Joe Giambrone

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Hill is even American? Where's that accent from?

She's pushing already discredited Russiagate bullshit with zero evidence. ZERO. More sham. Unbelievable, Reich--literally.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at 11:15:43 PM

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Robert Gormley

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Oh my God, she has an accent , how can she be an American?

Really Joe? Your ignorance is astounding. Seems like birds of a feather

flock together.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019 at 11:24:39 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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As A Rhodes Scholar Bobby was indoctrinated with brainwashing techniques developed in the Tavistock Institute. We are seeing the B.S. taught there being used by Pete Buttigieg. Because he is using techniques that are not the real him may well be the reason he comes off as car salesman rather than a president wannabe as he attempts to push falsehoods off as truths the same as Bobby here and Rachel Maddow among others. Let's remember Bill Clinton was a classmate of Bobby's as a Rhode Indoctrinee.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 25, 2019 at 6:08:05 PM

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nelswight

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Dennis, these 3 bull caca throwers ought to go to Hell for lying and take Poor

Sweet Bobby with them. Maybe Tavistock is Hell's doctrination academy.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 25, 2019 at 11:14:34 PM

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Dennis, can we wish these 3, PLUS Bobby. a quick trip to Hades for lying?

Submitted on Monday, Nov 25, 2019 at 11:17:59 PM

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