Trump demanded massive military withdrawals in days after election loss

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Furious: Trump Redacts Critical Docs, White Hot Fight Coming

Hang with me, it takes a bit to get us up to speed on this. Pro Publica, the go-to people to obtain documents through Freedom of Information Requests, filed an FOIA in September, seeking documents from DOD and OMB requesting all documents pertaining to the White House withholding the Ukrainian money. They filed in September, we were to busy to notice, got a ruling on November 25, and received the documents yesterday. As an FOIA this private organization was in a better position to get those documents quickly. Victory? No. Of course not. ALL substantive discussion was redacted, blacked out. Anything about DOD or OMB asking the White House about the money? All black. More black than white. Pro Publica is going to court today to light a fire under the government.I suspect they will go in front of a furious judge. There is nothing classified in this. If this was typical Trump administration bullshit, they might have let the process play out to buy three extra months. They might now appeal any response they don’t like. See? They didn’t appeal before, said “Oh, yeah – darn. We’ll turn ’em over.” Knowing that they’re turning over shit and then only now going to the appeals court. “We are deeply disappointed that the public won’t have access to this important information at the heart of the impeachment process. But we will continue to fight to ensure that the documents see the light of day,” said Public Integrity’s chief executive officer, Susan Smith Richardson. Good luck, you’re doing critical work, but you’re up against some of the most vile, least transparent, least apologetic, … unAmerican administration ever. Everyone knew what was at stake but got drowned out in impeachment coverage, but of course they knew what was riding the whole ruling, stuff Congress couldn’t get because of the administration’s wall of silence. FOIA works faster. , the judge said the documents must be provided on an urgent timetable because they were meant “to inform the public on a matter of extreme national concern,” given the continuing investigation by Congress into Trump’s aid halt and its impact. To ensure “informed public participation” in the impeachment Trump admin’s response? “Ha ha. We responded. We just kept some stuff you can’t handle (the truth).” Bastards. Although the Defense Department initially proposed to put the Public Integrity request at the end of a year-long queue, the judge said the documents must be provided on an urgent timetable because they were meant “to inform the public on a matter of extreme national concern,” given the continuing investigation by Congress into Trump’s aid halt and its impact. To ensure “informed public participation” in the impeachment Evidently our judge doesn’t know that that is simply not done anymore, and the public can go piss in the ocean as far as this administration is concerned. This administration alone will decide what the public hears, not some puny federal court judge. We can and should be absolutely furious at the administration. But, I gotta tell y’all, the speed by which this judge acted, and the clear and direct order “to inform the public” has me getting angrier and angrier with the congressional Democrats for not going to court to get everything. Look at how fast this judge moved because this judge “got it.” […]

Trump Deepens Feud With Pentagon

Yesterday my Twitter feed contained four pictures taken from the evidence at Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s trial. It showed a sick sick guy grinning over the body of a dead 14 year old boy. It also showed other boots on the ground around him, witnesses, from his squad. It sent waves of disgust down my spine and rid me of whatever last remaining “tolerance” I might have been able to find for Trump and his apologists on the Right. Today, the New York Times published a long report on the entire matter, including the murder: Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher and other Navy SEALs gave the young captive medical aid that day in Iraq in 2017, sedating him and cutting an airway in his throat to help him breathe. Then, without warning, according to colleagues, Chief Gallagher pulled a small hunting knife from a sheath and stabbed the sedated captive in the neck. The Fox News hero stabbed a prisoner, one who was sedated already, and fourteen years old. There are signs out there that pardoning Gallagher may end up hurting Trump far more than his attempt to extort Ukraine. Trump’s inability to understand morality, ethics and law, coupled with his willingness to reach in and micro-manage any organization as the one who “knows better,” has put Trump into an acute showdown with “his” own military brass according to story in the Times: “The case of the president and a commando accused of war crimes offers a lesson in how Mr. Trump presides over the armed forces three years after taking office. While he boasts of supporting the military, he has come to distrust the generals and admirals who run it. Rather than accept information from his own government, he responds to television reports that grab his interest. Warned against crossing lines, he bulldozes past precedent and norms.” “Distrust the generals and admirals who run it.” That is because the admirals and generals who run the Pentagon are more like Jim Comey in their approach to government than say … Lindsey Graham. These admirals and generals are the most loyal people on Earth. The problem for Trump is that the Pentagon’s loyalty is to the constitution and nation, not Trump personally. So, the fact that Trump would come to “distrust” the military is the most predictable aspect of the Trump presidency. Trump cannot handle  any dynamic where there exists a loyalty to anything above him personally. Said one expert: “As a result, the president finds himself more removed than ever from a disenchanted military command, adding the armed forces to the institutions under his authority that he has feuded with, along with the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies and diplomatic corps.” Note that list. The intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, and diplomatic corps, all agencies with which Trump is “feuding.” Each agency has a “higher calling” that transcends the political aspirations of any president that may come along. These are the areas of government most impervious to a strict “loyalty test” of the type that Comey failed. Thus, rather than be less “political” with them, or accept that these agencies must operate differently, Trump chooses to feud with them. In the end, Trump must have his loyalty or the person or agency will feel his wrath. So why might this matter so much? […]

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