Betrayal of Trust, Redux

Last week, I was among millions of American citizens who watched the President of the United States address the nation on the eve of September 11th regarding the U.S. strategy to confront the growing threat of Islamic terrorists’ crimes against humanity. The President did not look very serious, he used unfamiliar operational and military terms, and he was not very convincing.  He was all over the map—he mixed international and domestic issues in his address as if that would make the medicine any less yucky.  This behavior has been observed repeatedly when he is compelled to speak on a topic he detests.  His body language made it clear that he couldn’t wait to finish speaking so that he could escape the cameras.

Election 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.  Sometimes that key facet is forgotten.  Not once, but twice, Mr. Obama has sought the Office of President of the United States.  On multiple occasions, he has given the impression that he doesn’t know what to do, that he doesn’t care about the issue at hand, or that he thinks he’s so much smarter than the rest of us.  Sometimes, plummeting poll numbers based on poor performance can take the wind out of a man’s sails.  I chalk up his performance to not being prepared for the responsibility of leadership.  His gig is up and the secret is out.  He just doesn’t have the right stuff.

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 and “we the people” are paying the price for political inaction.  Progressives today call this behavior “a deliberate calculation.”  According to many currently elected leaders, America is (and was in the past) an evil force causing suffering and injustice throughout the world.  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.  I believe that the President’s demeanor during his prime time address and recent public opinion polls are evidence of this looming crisis.  Already, the alleged coalition of nations willing to participate in operations against terrorist groups in Iraq/Syria is falling apart.

White House and State Department rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding, the U.S. still does not have a long-term Middle East foreign policy that is synchronized with a long-term national security strategy.  This administration’s philosophy is one of arrogance, talking points, denials, and smoke-and-mirrors.  When the White House is called to task for missteps and inactions, the administration responds with counter-accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-Muslim sentiment.  On the other hand, 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 failed and failing foreign policy strategy.  They can’t hide from that.  After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, we rightly acknowledged our error after the intelligence picture on the ground fell apart, causing us to change course.  We ultimately conducted a troop surge to stabilize the country, thanks to our outstanding men and women in uniform. They did the heavy lifting to fix this mess, not our politicians.

After the surge stabilization of 2008 and the defeat of Al-Qaeda in Iraq [by its own admission], Iraq fell back into a sectarian civil war directly as a result of flawed U.S. foreign policy implementation. US military forces were ordered to withdraw prematurely because of a campaign promise to end the war.  Fast forward to the summer of 2014 and after being “surprised” yet again by another major crisis, the President authorized the deployment of approximately 500 U.S. military personnel to secure the embassy and to perform duties as advisors to the Iraqi military.  Since then, 700 more U.S. military personnel have been deployed in order to “stabilize” the political and military conditions in the region. The Islamic State executed a blitzkrieg attack against humanity, claiming land and resources, and enslaving the inhabitants of Iraq.  The horrors that have been perpetrated in the region are eerily reminiscent of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

The administration’s chaotic policies have caused the U.S. to be reactive rather than proactive. The President would later admit to the world that “we don’t have a strategy.”  Having had the time to digest the President’s speech from last week, I believe that we will see more dysfunctional political chaos as Western leaders distance themselves from the Obama administration’s policies because they, too, have lost confidence in U.S. leadership.  The President will likely announce a “go it alone” foreign policy strategy in order to later claim that the U.S. has “done something” and to assert that it has successfully executed its own Iraq/Syria policy.  I am certain that the finger pointing and blame game against those foreign powers that aren’t on board will come later, because that’s part of the Saul Alinsky playbook.

In truth, Washington has neither the political stomach nor the global street cred to put together a coalition of nations willing to strike at the heart of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, or Al-Qaeda, wherever they are. This administration and its officials are more focused on spending political capital to support their socialized agenda here at home, shrinking the middle class and sending out a politically correct platoon of hashtags, much to the amusement of the rest of the world.  As a citizen, it is embarrassing for me to see our nation’s leaders perform so poorly.  I believe America is an exceptional nation and the world needs her.  The problem is not America; it’s the elected leaders who are not up to the task of leadership.  Further, I believe it is a betrayal of trust to continue to ask members of the armed forces, their families, and the American taxpayer to cover for an elected administration’s continued political mistakes.

The U.S. government is still knowingly allowing people to enter the country illegally. It is time that “we the people” realize that the President has absolutely no intention of securing the border—ever.  Over 11 million illegals are currently living on American soil, all at taxpayer expense.  Additionally, over the past two months, reports indicate that over 90 thousand women and children have swarmed the borders of Texas and Arizona, overwhelming border agents and stations.  The White House and the Department of Justice stood by and allowed this flagrant violation of the rule of law to take place.  It has also been widely reported that these illegals were/are being sent by bus and airplane, all at taxpayer expense, to various locations throughout the United States by the federal government, 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 nation’s borders, treating illegals as “privileged refugees”, and allowing terrorist groups around the world to reconstitute themselves while conducting genocide, all on the backs of the working taxpayers is a clear betrayal of trust by elected officials.  They, too, shall have a day of reckoning.

Sadly, there are more examples where a betrayal of trust has occurred. It has been months 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 the trust of the 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.  Most recently, the VA Inspector General (IG) has gone public with allegations that VA management officials changed the language in the IG report on this scandal to reflect that there was “no conclusive” evidence that veterans died because of agency mismanagement.  And yet, both the former and current White House Press Secretaries Jay Carney and Josh Earnest continue to insist that this administration is the most transparent administration ever.  Do these men really know what’s going on? Or are the American people being played again and this is just another overt betrayal of trust by this administration?

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.

Since we first learned of the VA scandal, 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 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.  Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that the trade that freed the POW this spring was illegal because Congress wasn’t given the required one-month notice prior to the release of the imprisoned terrorists. The GAO also said that the Defense Department’s use of $988,400 to transfer the Taliban prisoners to Qatar violated the Anti-deficiency Act, the purpose of which is to prevent unauthorized spending. As we remember those lost on that terrible day in September 2001, it will be just short of a month since the U.S. Army released a statement that the Bergdahl Report of Investigation (ROI) was in its final stages. I wonder whether we will ever know the truth. Will this ROI be like the VA IG’s report, rife with tampering by management officials for political gain?

In sum, our nation’s current crop of elected officials has failed to earn the respect of those they purport to govern and serve. 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 Department of Health and Human Services mandates that we enroll in government-run health care or face penalties from 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, but sometimes you just don’t know who to trust.” 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.


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