Anyone who reads my blog knows that I think Donald Trump is unfit for office. I’ve offered a long litany of his faults, mistakes, moral transgressions, and failures, but it’s arguable that none of them rose to the level of Treason until last week when intelligence sources revealed that Russia was paying a bounty for US military scalps in Afghanistan. He denied having been briefed and did nothing. He called it a “just another hoax”.
Since then he has attacked the only black driver on the NASCAR circuit, criticized those who advocate for the removal of the Confederate flag and statues, and claimed that America is under siege from “left wing Fascists.” These are the latest shiny objects designed to distract us. Do not be distracted. Nothing in his presidency compares to this treasonous and reckless disregard for the lives of Americans in uniform.
Two years ago, M and I were guests at a graduation ceremony at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego (above). We saw 650 newly minted Marine privates march in review on the parade ground and heard the Commanding Officer of MCRD celebrate their completion of boot camp.
In April of 2019, three Marines were killed when a roadside IED blew their armored vehicle to smithereens (below). One or more of them could have been on that parade ground in 2018. Concern about Russian bounties gained attention this year after members of a Special Forces team recovered $500,000 in cash from a Taliban military camp. Members of the U.S. intelligence community have established that the money came from Russia through an intermediary to compensate the Taliban for killing Americans. Donald Trump scoffs at the charge and ignores the supporting evidence presented by his intelligence agencies in briefings and PDBs (Presidential Daily Brief) earlier this year.
Those of us who served in the Marine Corps will never be “former” Marines. We will always be Marines. Semper Fidelis, no matter what our civilian politics are. I have spoken to other Marines and we are all incredulous and apoplectic at the suggestion that the Commander in Chief did nothing but dismiss the Russian bounty charge as a “hoax.” I can’t imagine how Marine commanders in the field took this news, but I can tell you the first thing they thought about was “How can I protect my troops.” We learn from day one in boot camp that our primary responsibility is to protect the lives of our fellow Marines.
Donald Trump, the draft dodger who uses the military to make himself feel powerful, talks constantly about loyalty. He asked James Comey about his loyalty. He criticized Inspector Generals for being disloyal when they did their jobs without regard for politics. He accused Lt. Col. Vindman of disloyalty and treason for telling the truth in a Congressional hearing.
The only loyalty Donald Trump understands is sycophancy. His shameless disregard for the lives of US soldiers is a violation of his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Any field officer who acted in this way would be accused of dereliction of duty and relieved of command on the spot. Trump has betrayed his sacred trust, the very definition of treason. Ironically, he has reminded us on more than one occasion, “treason is punishable by death.”
By ignoring the well-established evidence of this bounty claim, Trump is undermining military authority, weakening morale, and allowing Russia to proceed with this and other crimes including election interference against American citizens.
I don’t understand how Congress and the Department of Defense can sit on their hands with clear evidence that Russians are paying to have American soldiers killed. Congress has oversight responsibility for the protection of American lives and Trump is clearly endangering them. Why are these people who should be holding him accountable such cowards? What does Putin have on Trump that makes him so confident and so contemptuous of established protocols in world affairs?
Regardless of his response: This is treason.