In the past 48 hours, the Trump Regime has ‘fired’ two loyal servants of the American people. And when I say loyal, I mean loyal TO the American people. Their sins? Making President Donald Trump look bad.
The first one is Captain Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the Navy’s aircraft carrier, the USS Teddy Roosevelt. His sin? Putting his crew first and bringing an issue about a COVID-19 outbreak on his ship to the attention of the authorities. He was called out for being too open about it which certainly embarrassed the Navy and the President. But given the lackadaisical attitude in Washington about the coronavirus pandemic, it was the right thing to do.
But was his removal revenge or warranted? Well there’s this:
On Monday, Capt. Brett Crozier, the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, sent a letter to the Navy pleading for permission to unload his crew, including scores of sailors sickened with Covid-19, in Guam, where it was docked. The Pentagon had been dragging its feet, and the situation on the ship was growing dire.
After the letter was leaked to The San Francisco Chronicle, the Navy relented. But on Thursday, it relieved Captain Crozier of his command.emphasis mine
It took the information going public to get the Navy to act…and then…they relieved him of his command. The Navy holds that he was incompetent. If so why wasn’t he relieved long before this past Thursday. And if he was incompetent, why was he given command of an aircraft carrier in the first place? This is a premier assignment for any career naval officer and they aren’t handed out to just any officers. The man would be one of the best and the brightest to even qualify to command a carrier. And he proved it by putting his career on the line to protect his crew. That’s what a thinking qualified competent naval officer does.
Captain Brett Crozier deserves a medal…and to be re-instated on the Roosevelt. His crew seems to think so!
And then! Well actually this isn’t a surprise at all. The surprise is how long President Trump waited and how long it will take to finalize…but: President Trump gave notice to Congress that he plans to fire the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson.
This too is a revenge move on the part of the President on someone who embarrassed him…another long term public servant who was doing his job and following the law…Inspector General Michael K. Atkinson.
“As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as president, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general,” Mr. Trump wrote. “That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”
The president has long discussed his desire to fire several inspectors general, and he has been talking to aides about his desire to oust Mr. Atkinson since last fall, tarring the inspector general as disloyal because he sought to share information with Congress about the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into delivering him personal political benefits.
Mr. Atkinson’s fate was sealed after the trial on impeachment charges ended, said one Trump administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a delicate matter.
Now I was surprised that Mr. Atkinson gets to keep his job for 30 more days but apparently the law states that the President is required to notify the intelligence communities of the change and after 30 days can remove the IG. But that doesn’t mean that the IG actually gets to do any work!
But rather than being permitted to serve for another month, the White House told Mr. Atkinson late Friday that he was being placed on administrative leave, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. The move effectively circumvents the 30-day safeguard by sidelining him immediately.
Well Mr. Atkinson was fired on a late Friday afternoon during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic…the president is hoping that this will pass quickly and quietly…and he’s probably right.
But when will Republicans start to think the Trump presidency is a bad idea?