Betrayal of Trust

Being elected to public office is a huge responsibility and an honor bestowed upon a person based upon his or her ability to grind out and win primary and general elections.  The successful candidate literally gains the trust of the people to do the people’s business.  Appointment as an agency secretary carries the same level of responsibility as that of an elected official because the agency secretary also is responsible to do the people’s business.  Sometimes they forget that key facet. While I was serving in Iraq, a dear friend once told me, “Trust is everything, but sometimes you just don’t know who to trust.”  For the past ten years or so, the trust between politicians and the people has been broken.  As a result, our country is undergoing a forced transformation away from our founding principles.  According to many currently elected leaders, America is (and was in the past) an evil force throughout the world that causes world suffering and injustices.  They believe that the time to flip America on its head is long overdue.  These same elected leaders intend to lessen America’s influence overseas by engaging in deliberate measures that prevent any such involvement. The ongoing domestic crises created here at home enforce that failing strategy.  America is facing a national crisis and we may well be closer to a dire national emergency right here at home than we are willing to admit.

In spite of State Department rhetoric to the contrary, the United States does not have a long-term Middle East foreign policy that is synchronized with a long-term national security strategy.  The State Department philosophy is one of arrogance, talking points, denials, and smoke-and-mirrors.  The State Department can produce reams of paper with big words on them to defend its lack of coherent policy, but that’s all it has:  words.  Recent actions in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Iraq are clear examples of a failing foreign policy strategy. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, we acknowledged our error, changed course, and ultimately stabilized the country, thanks to our men and women in uniform.  After stabilization, Iraq fell into civil war directly as a result of flawed foreign policy implementation.  After being “surprised” yet again, the President of the United States authorized the deployment of approximately 500 U.S. military personnel to secure the embassy and to perform duties as advisors to the Iraqi military.  This is nothing short of an extension of the State Department’s chaotic policy in order to later claim that “we have done something” and to assert that it has an Iraq policy.  In truth, Washington does not have the political stomach to strike ISIS or Boko Haram.  It is more concerned about wasting political capital and sending out a politically correct platoon of hashtags.  It is a betrayal of trust to continue to ask members of the armed forces, their families and the American taxpayer to cover for political mistakes.

The United States government is knowingly allowing people to enter the country illegally.  Today, it is estimated that over 11 million illegals are currently living on American soil.  During the past two weeks, over 50 thousand women and children have swarmed the borders of Texas and Arizona, overwhelming border agents and stations.  It has also been widely reported that these illegals are being sent by bus and airplane, all at taxpayer expense, to various locations throughout the United States, never to be seen again.  Regardless of the administration’s reason or non-reason, any person who is not a citizen who attempts to enter our country without permission and documentation is illegal and breaking the law—period.

According to Article Four, Section Four of the U.S. Constitution, the Unites States government has the obligation to ensure the security of its citizens:  “The United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” The term “invasion” does not limit consideration to a military or hostile force and is inclusive of individuals, such as those illegally crossing our southern borders today.  It is erroneous to support the premise that because many of these illegals are children we have an obligation to take them in and care for them.  This idea is both misguided and dangerous.  But, to be fair, let’s test it.  Suppose that tomorrow every nation in the world were to announce that they were sending large numbers of children to the United States.  Would we accept them?  No reasonable person would say “yes” to that question.  The bottom line is that we have no responsibility to take on the role as “world parent” nor can we afford to perform as such on the backs of the American taxpayers.

America takes pride in its observance of the rule of law.  To reward people who circumvent the law by providing them with bus and plane tickets to destinations throughout the U.S. is hypocritical.  To believe that law enforcement officials will never have to deal with them is naïve.  It is disrespectful to those waiting in line to become citizens legally.  I fault both Republicans and Democrats in Congress for failing to act sooner.   It is immoral and unethical to provide the offending countries with aid to the tune of 250 million taxpayer dollars.  As we face this humanitarian crisis, it will require skilled leadership and not the application of partisan blame to fix this debacle.  However, I’m not convinced that our current batch of elected officials can get the job done.  Neither party seems to understand that petty squabbling equates to grade school tactics.   With only a 7% approval rating, it is clear that the American people do not have confidence in the ability of Congress to lead or to solve problems.   Americans know that elected officials are simply not representing their interests.  Eric Cantor’s defeat in the recent primary election is proof thereof.  He betrayed his base and they made him pay for it.  In sum, I believe the failure to secure our borders and to now treat illegals as “privileged refugees” on the back of the working taxpayer is a clear betrayal of trust by elected officials.  They too shall have a day of reckoning.

It has been many weeks since the American people learned of patient mistreatment at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals after a courageous whistleblower came forward.  Public revelation of the facts exploded into a major scandal for the administration and resulted in the resignation of the VA Secretary.   We later learned that in over 19 states, VA employees were fiddling with patient care lists, denying these veterans critical health care in order to falsify records and receive end of year bonuses.  Because of this unethical practice, it is alleged that 41 veterans died waiting for care.  Without question, this is a betrayal of trust to the very men and women who served their nation.  It is unconscionable that after serving in combat and surviving being killed by the enemy, these brave men and women faced a domestic enemy in the very agency specifically designed to help and care for them.

Since that time, and as a means of diverting public attention from this scandal, five high value terrorist detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison facility were traded for a soldier who walked away from his unit five years ago while deployed in combat.  This is an egregious breach of trust as these detainees were just not your average prisoners.  These terrorists were supposed to stand trial for their actions on the battlefield and likely killed members of our armed forces.  Two of them have been identified by the United Nations as wanted for war crimes; yet political officials said all that be damned.

It has now been many months since the first media report of the VA hospital abuses.  Other than the resignation of the agency secretary, the media reporting has gone cold.  One would think that the White House would continue to keep the status of our veterans’ healthcare on the front burner, but the administration has turned it into old news, as if it were no longer worthy of attention.  It is a travesty that political officials only talk about how important veterans are and say that they support the troops when it’s election time.  However, it does not begin or end there.  While the members of Congress who have served in uniform are a minority among the total membership, those same veteran/members have turned their backs on their brothers and sisters by allowing the VA scandal to be relegated to the back burner.  They are not immune from a day of reckoning to come, and they will be held accountable for leaving our nation’s veterans behind to languish and die.

Our nation’s current crop of elected government officials have failed to earn the respect of those they purport to govern.  They have betrayed the trust of individuals and of the nation.  We have given them the authority to do the people’s business in Washington, and instead they have created political gridlock, broken the law, and openly lied to the American people.  As citizens, patriots, and veterans, we are now in servitude to the very people we have elected to do our bidding.  Nothing is worse than to be betrayed by the very men and women who have taken an oath to serve the people.  It is said that the road to tyranny is about power and control.  Today, our government is involved in every aspect of our lives and the idea of George Orwell’s 1984 society is no longer farfetched.  For example, the National Security Agency spies on us, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects tax revenue and intimidates political adversaries, the Health and Human Services mandates that we enroll in government-run health care or else we will be penalized by the IRS, political correctness is everywhere, our right to bear arms is under attack, the value of human life in the womb is not respected, and we are all personally responsible for the 19 trillion dollars of debt accrued by political officials who are addicted to spending taxpayer monies.  As I mentioned earlier, a very dear friend told me, “Trust is everything and I don’t know who to trust anymore.”  The American people have experienced a betrayal of trust and we simply don’t know whom to trust anymore.  Rest assured—a day of reckoning is surely coming.