The more I think on it, Trump’s pardon of Gallagher may be a more egregious abuse of power, with more horrific potential future consequences, than even the Ukraine matter.
For those that don’t know, Gallagher is the Navy SEAL who stabbed a fourteen year old – a child – hostage, to death. Not satisfied with stabbing a child to death, Gallagher then took out his phone and pictured himself with the newly dead child’s body and captioned it: “Got him with my hunting knife.”
The matter has shaken the Pentagon to its core. Of course it has. There has never been a force with more destructive power in the history of civilization than the United States military. The only way one safely contains that power so it is used “responsibly” is rigid adherence to a code, the UCMJ, which sets forth the “law” by which the military operates. Without that commitment, the United States military is the most dangerous organization to ever exist. Of course the Pentagon is terrified of having a president reach into its ranks and – for near naked political reasons – pardon someone, and then reach in again and force it to honorably discharge Gallagher.
How is the military supposed to function going forward if it looks that nakedly political? It cannot. Nor can a democracy function going forward if the law doesn’t apply to anyone that Trump and Fox News “really likes.” The nation’s top military officials know this and are considering sending the strongest signal they can, joint resignation. According to Politico:
Even before Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s forced ouster this weekend, a handful of the Pentagon’s highest-ranking officials have been debating just when they would feel compelled to resign over what they see as Trump’s disregard for the chain of command, two current senior officials told POLITICO in recent days. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.
Even before? They surely must be having some intense meetings now.
From the Atlantic:
A torrent of raw military condemnation has been unleashed on Donald Trump, with some of the most respected figures among retired military leaders lining up to express their profound disapproval of their commander-in-chief.
The outpouring was exceptional, both for the sheer number who unloaded on the president and for the unrestrained language in which they put it.
I do not expect to see the Joint Chiefs resign. To be honest, I am not sure that I want them to resign right now. If they Joint Chiefs resigned, they would create an opening sure to be filled with absolute loyalists, imagine a Joint Chiefs composed of Bill Barrs rather than Jeff Sessions.
The point is, however, that they are talking about it. The fact that we are hearing that they are talking about it is extremely meaningful. It is a message from the country’s top ranking military officials: “The system is blinking red! This man cannot be entrusted to lead this nation!!”
One wonders what more it will take for Republicans to wake up to the danger here. One wonders whether Republicans even care any longer, or whether the Republicans are really even in control of themselves at this point. For all we know, the Russians have complete control over every Republican leader through various compromising materials. We don’t know. All we know is that time and again we are getting messages screaming that the system is dying and the 40% just cheers louder.
But unlike the Biden impeachment scream, this particular scream isn’t coming from Adam Schiff and “the Democrat party,” no, this scream is coming from the Pentagon, a building that possesses the people and technology to set the world back 500 years. This message is not coming from political people, it is coming from the nation’s “best people.” Yet it is still being ignored.
Trump pardoned a man who is a hero on Fox News, a man who stabbed a 14 year old and took a picture of it. The nation’s most notoriously “non-political” people, the top military brass, has sent a message through the press to Republicans: “We cannot abide by this any more. This man cannot lead the United States.” And Republicans, at least to this point, have no only ignored the message, but are more supportive than ever, of “Trump.”
The system is blinking fucking red. It was never designed to take punishment like this. And yet Republicans not only refuse to “agree,” they refuse to “see it,” and respond as Trump has taught them. Punch back with a harder punch than the one you took. Beating the public into submission is Trump’s M.O.. This gets increasingly dangerous by the day, and I increasingly see fewer and fewer chances of Trump leaving office without violence. He is willing to risk the Pentagon’s support to save Gallagher and Fox News. What is willing to risk to save his own ass?
This nation best wake up fast.
The more I think about it, the more I think Trump’s move with Gallagher is an even more dangerous sign, a more dangerous abuse of power, than even the Ukraine bribery.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MIciakZoom