A Threat to Our Democracy

The President Doesn’t Follow the Law
The President is regularly taking advantage of our preoccupation with the pandemic to weaken and even gut our democracy.  There have been three major anti-democratic steps in the past few weeks, beginning with the removal of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, without cause, which federal law requires.  On April 13, the President claimed that he had “total authority” over 50 U.S. governors to open up the U.S. economy, although he backed away from that empty threat within 24 hours.  Nevertheless, it demonstrated his lack of adherence to the Constitution, the rule of law, and the separation of powers.  Most recently, the President threatened an action that has no precedent in U.S. history, forcing Congress to adjourn to allow him to make numerous recess appointments to various positions.  
 
Official Positions are Unfilled
There are already too many officials in an acting capacity, which circumvents the advice and consent clause of the Constitution. Many key positions are unoccupied because the current administration hasn’t nominated anyone, which points to the inability of the administration to even function on a basic level.  Both Republican and Democratic legislators are resisting the President’s efforts to shut down Congress.  
 
Skirting the Rule of Law
These actions demonstrate the President’s lack of adherence to the rule of law.  They have the marks of abuse of power, which threaten to gut the oversight and accountability roles of the legislative branch of government.  We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that some of the most threatening authoritarians were initially elected by the people; and not guilty of seizing power.  Think Hitler; think Erdogan; think Duterte.  
We must speak out against the President’s actions which threaten our Democracy.  As the masthead of the Washington Post proclaims: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” 

Recent News and Latest Book

CIA Creates a Mission Center to Counter China

You have to wonder what in the world Burns’ mediocre predecessors (John Brennan and Mike Pompeo) were thinking in creating mission centers regarding Iran and North Korea which represented little threat to the United States.  But my second reaction is less facetious and more serious: why is the United States—its president, its politicians, its pundits—hell-bent on creating a Cold War environment and arms race with China?  Burns told his work force last week that China is “our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry.”

Referenced in the new Noam Chomsky Book

Recently released Russian archives reveal that the Russians were deeply concerned by the operations and were preparing to respond, which would have meant, simply: The End.

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State