The Thinker: Rich Galen

  
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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Impeachable? Maybe
Ugly? Absolutely

Rich Galen

Monday November 18, 2019

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  • This is not the first time you've read this but Trump should just shut up.

  • On Friday, he attacked the former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch while she was testifying. Let me repeat that: While she was testifying.

  • "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?" Trump Tweeted suggesting Yovanovitch's 35 year career was a series of diplomatic failures.

  • Assuming Trump could find Somalia on a map, it is not likely he knew, as the AP reported:
    Yovanovitch served as a low-level diplomat in Somalia in her first foreign tour after joining the foreign service in her 20s.

    She had nothing to do with the 1984 famine that preceded her arrival in Somalia and contributed to that country's unraveling, nor anything to do with the government's collapse and the onset of anarchy after she left.

  • More than an attack on Ambassador Yovanovitch, Trump's Tweet followed the implicit and often explicit disdain for America Foreign Service Officers that people who are ignorant of what they do and where they do it, snicker about as they order another craft beer in some Washington, DC pub.

  • I wrote this in the Spring of 2004 as I was getting ready to leave Iraq:
    Two of the people who are really doing the work here are Ambassador Dick Jones and a senior Foreign Service Officer, Minister-Counselor Ron Schlicher.

    You know what's going on in Fallujah. You know it is probably the most dangerous place on Earth right now.

    These two men - and a bunch of security guys - went to Fallujah the other afternoon to negotiate for a peaceful end to the violence. They spent three days and two nights in the belly of the beast. They didn't solve it, but they bought everyone some much-needed time to cool down.

    Jones and Schlicher didn't go to Fallujah in morning suits and bowler hats. They went in body armor and Kevlar helmets.

    It was, perhaps, the bravest single act I have personally witnessed since I have been here.

  • Ron Schlichter passed away recently, but I'll never forget his service to our country.

  • None of that was enough for Trump. On Sunday he attacked a member of Vice President Mike Pence's staff, Jennifer Williams, because she had the bad judgement to tell the truth to the House Intel Committee in closed session.

  • "Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is," Trump Tweeted, "to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released statement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don't know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!"

  • Williams, who is a State Department employee detailed to Pence, said that July 25 phone call was "unusual and inappropriate."

  • According to her testimony, released over the weekend, she told the committee (via CNBC.com):
    "I found the specific references to be - to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal political agenda, as opposed to a broader foreign policy objective of the United States."

  • I've never worked directly for a President. The only time I've strayed into the Executive Branch was as a Department of Defense employee during that Iraq adventure. I am also not easily intimidated.

  • But if, while I was in Baghdad, I had heard that President George W. Bush was bad mouthing me back in Washington, I might have been let's say, a little unsettled.

  • What the Democrats are doing is winding the rope ever more tightly around Donald Trump. There is not question in my mind Trump was trying to use the Ukrainian President to aid in the 2020 campaign against Joe Biden.

  • If Trump would just shut up, he might be embarrassed by the procedure, but Bill Clinton seems to have survived it fairly well.

  • Trump cannot shut up. He has to attack and if he can attack people who have no capacity to fight back, so much the better.

  • His Tweet during Ambassador Yovanovitch's testimony last week was ugly, and unnecessary.

  • Yovanovitch didn't set out to start a fight with Trump. She made the mistake of getting in the way of one of Trump's sleazy schemes; a scheme that was being directed by Trump's latest fixer, Rudy Giuliani.

  • How ironic would it be if Trump were impeached by the U.S. House and more than 50 Senators voted for his dismissal and Biden didn't even make it to the finals?

  • Trump might have to shift his attention to what's been going on in South Bend, Indiana.

  • Indiana. The home state of Vice President Mike Pense.

  • Get me Nikki Haley on the phone.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to Ambassador Yovanovitch's bio, to that Iraq Travelogue, and to the CNBC.com piece.

    The Mullfoto is of a cute bit of marketing on a sidewalk in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

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