On the Reactions to the Firing of James Comey as Director of the FBI
Issues have been raised concerning the motivation and timing for the firing of James Comey as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by people who until the nanosecond before it occurred had been his most vocal critics. As with anything involving any action by President Trump, his political and media opponents reacted with counterproductive hysteria and hyperbole that make it more and more difficult metaphorically to sift the wheat from the chaff. In this instance, when criticism of Mr. Comey had been both intense and bipartisan and the mainstream media had been adamant about his purported errors in judgment, the loud chorus of little boys and girls now crying wolf in the background obfuscate real issues. One is of style and the other, more complex, but with a bad taste.
As to style, the manner in which the dismissal was carried out is wholly lacking in propriety, class and the respect owed to any employee on any level. In part, that involved media eagerness to get a scoop but more seriously, it reflected a lack of judgment on too many layers. The Presidency is not the Apprentice reality TV show. One does not just shout you’re fired into the air without thought to the consequences to the person being dismissed and perhaps, more importantly, to the perception of other employees concerning the lack of respect to which they too may be subjected.
As to substance, that is much more complex.
The President’s opponents immediately alleged that the firing was an attempt to derail an investigation into collusion by the Trump presidential campaign with the Russian Federation in the purported theft of information from Democratic Party and Democratic Party operative’s computers. Accurate information released to the electorate which its owners had previously denied and which some electors may have used to reach electoral decisions. Apparently, provision of the accurate and relevant information necessary to make informed decisions to the electorate is not only in bad taste but a major Sky is falling event we must make sure is never again duplicated.
Testimony to date has apparently been that no nexus has been found between such conduct and the Trump campaign but Mr. Trump’s opponents have desperately, constantly and very loudly tried to create an issue, even if none exists, using tactics similar to those that proved successful in bringing down the president in the Watergate affair; i.e., claims of a cover-up, even if what is being covered up involves no personal illegalities, for example, the now famous cell phone conversation on the beach in the Dominican Republic by former general Mike Flynn with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, where the call was apparently perfectly legitimate but the failure to acknowledge became a major political issue. As a result of that non-incident coupled with claims that the Russian Federation manipulated the 2016 United States presidential election by unauthorized release of accurate information, the President’s political opponents have successfully launched three different sets of investigations, two in the Congress and one in the Justice Department, apparently designed to impede the implementation of the President’s political platform, to damage his reputation, and to hopefully elicit inappropriate responses and actions which can be mined to politically damage and hopefully prematurely terminate his tenure. In short, what has become known throughout the world as a soft coup (see, e.g., the Ukraine, Honduras, Paraguay, Brazil during the past administration, not to mention hard coups or coup attempts in Libya and Syria, etc.), something in which the United States is considered everywhere as the leading expert.
If indeed the firing of Director Comey was an attempt to derail the above described investigations, then the strategy of Mr. Trump’s opponents would have proved successful, notwithstanding the lack of any merit in the underlying allegations which is exactly what Mr. Trump’s political opponents have been praying for. If not, well it will be used as though it were true anyway, calumny having become the norm both in politics and more importantly, in today’s mainstream media.
Imagine, a soft coup in defense of democracy. Irony upon irony and ducks come home to roost, that perception elsewhere falls upon deaf ears in the United States where “see no evil, hear no evil” has become the rule if it is our actions are involved. Calumny in support of hypocrisy is no longer seen in a negative fashion if it is useful in recapturing political power, and to Hell with the common welfare and even the survival of our species on this poor, accursed planet, cursed with our presence on it.
The quest for political power has become our worst addiction and does not seem to have a cure. Perhaps we should just launch our nuclear arsenal, start Armageddon, and get the whole thing over with.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved