by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
The New York Times recent article detailing how the FBI initiated an investigation of the President of the United States as a result of James Comey’s firing unwittingly reveals a pattern akin to mutiny.
According to the Times, the action was in response to a series of events leading to the conclusion that the President could have been “knowingly working for Russia, or . . . unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
Predictably for The New York Times, which has been unable to break the spell of its own bias against the President since Hillary Clinton’s resounding defeat, the story heralded the seriousness of the concerns regarding President Trump. But actually, the article was really about something much starker and much more threatening to the nation’s stability. The story actually heralded the zeal and brazenness with which members at the highest levels of government were willing to pursue an attempt to depose a sitting president.
At another time such overt efforts to decapitate the American government would have been considered overtly mutinous — if not treasonous. This does not overstate it.
The President of the United States is not merely the nation’s Chief Executive Officer, nor is he merely the Politician in Chief. The President’s most important function is, in fact, his role as the civilian Commander-In-Chief of our armed forces. Upon him rests the ultimate decisions regarding policy and action relating to the deployment and mobilization of the brave men and women making up our military. When the President makes a decision regarding actions to be undertaken, it must be met with unbridled fidelity in its execution. Undermining his actions represents a threat to national security and to our foundational structure.
Alarmingly, since President Trump’s election, the effort by members inside his own government to disrupt the chain of command and to bring about dissension among the ranks has become too common. In the spring of 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested that he secretly record the President of the United States to determine whether Trump was engaging in erratic behavior that could trigger his removal from office under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. Subsequently, Rosenstein dismissed these comments as benign jovialities undertaken in the mundaneness of an average workday, but the veracity of his explanation has yet to be universally accepted.
Now, we hear of the investigation undertaken by the FBI designed to determine whether the President was working as a Manchurian candidate of sorts. The thought that a group of unelectable agency hands are in a position to singlehandedly undertake an investigation of the President of the United States while working for him and without any oversight from anyone outside their ranks is frightening.
And these two are not the only examples of attempted disruptions. Famously, and disgustingly, FBI agent Peter Strzock and his girlfriend coworker, Lisa Paige, boasted of how they were going to make sure that President Trump not get elected, and even if he did, they still had a back-up plan that could be executed while Trump was in office.
In another article, The Wall Street Journal reported that a source from inside the White House informed them that National Security Advisor John Bolton asked the Pentagon to provide him with military options for attacking Tehran. The inquiry was allegedly undertaken following militant activity in Baghdad.
Of course, The Wall Street Journal story is another example of insubordination by members of the administration who seek to undermine the President through their leaks to the press. In this case, leaking potential military secrets.
But perhaps more disturbing is the reaction from members of the Pentagon and the State Department. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mere inquiry by Bolton “triggered unusual alarm in Washington,” and “[p]eople were shocked.” Why anyone would be “shocked” that the President, or at least his National Security Advisor, would research all available options in the event military conflict became necessary is inexplicable when, in fact, the country would require that the President’s staff be aware of all such options.
Defense Secretary James Mattis is the dissenter who came closest to properly handling his objections. In Mattis’s case, his concern revolved around the President’s announcement that he would be quickly removing American troops from Syria. Mattis’s concern centered around the abandonment of Kurdish fighters who had so loyally assisted the United States in its prior regional missions.
Faced with the possibility of having to support a policy he did not support, Mattis tendered his resignation. That was the proper course. Unfortunately, he could not help but inject himself in the political discourse and express his opinion about the President’s Middle Eastern policy as he exited the administration. Mattis’s letter, although respectful, resulted in much unnecessary discussion regarding presidential loyalty; uncertainties exploitable by America’s rivals and enemies, and of course, an overtly hostile press.
In their totality, these events suggest an environment of insubordination and disregard for the integrity of the Office of the President of the United States that is quickly reaching a level negatively impacting America’s readiness and security.
For those working in the White House, the Pentagon, and any part of our armed forces, the question before you is simple: are you loyal to the nation and to the Office of the President of the United States? If the answer is no, then resign. And if your objection is so strong that you would like to see policy and leadership changes as a result of them, then undertake your political advocacy in the open and outside the White House gates.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
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