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(NBC News)   Three reasons why so many career diplomats, soldiers and spies have kept silent while watching President Trump abuse his office: Calculation, Cowardice, Complicity   (nbcnews.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Central Intelligence Agency, President of the United States, Director of National Intelligence, Federal government of the United States, George W. Bush, President Donald Trump, White House, Harry S. Truman  
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2772 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jun 2020 at 9:35 PM (7 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-06-28 6:44:11 PM  
That's a bit harsh. If you work for the government, you're limited.

Start with the military. You may not speak out about political things. Zero. There is a special exception (a limitation) that covers intel people and federal law enforcement and some others as well (DOJ in general for one). You can't be exercising your normal right to complain about politicians on Facebook like everybody else. Don't argue with me, just use the google fu to look it up.

And for those who do speak up, Trump fires them. For those that do their job (IGs), Trump fires them. For those who pursue crimes under the law, Barr fires them. It doesn't take much guts to demand somebody else resign their career and give up their income to support your point of view.

In sum: there are rules limiting what people can do and when people have done what they can under the rules, they've been persecuted. People have been persecuted for merely doing their job without criticizing anyone at all.

I decline to go along with blaming the victim.

And Bolton didn't do shiat until he had a book to sell so TFA author can EABOD about him.
 
2020-06-28 6:58:22 PM  
Quit. Loudly and with great profile.

Sat what you saw.

Lawyer up
 
2020-06-28 7:07:32 PM  
"But we had to let the country die to save the country. Anything else would have killed the country."
 
2020-06-28 7:09:11 PM  
also there's a fourth word beginning with 'c' and a whole hell of a lot of them who did nothing are those 'c's

/the british 'c'
 
2020-06-28 7:14:43 PM  

Gubbo: Quit. Loudly and with great profile.

Did you miss that part in the article about what has happened to the whistleblowers?  Had to hire security because people were physically coming after them.  Given that Trump's response to anyone who criticizes him is to fire them or cause them to be fired, it can be a really hard choice between doing the right thing and taking care of your family.  Especially for the career government employee who doesn't really have a lot of backing from the higher ups.
 
2020-06-28 7:20:51 PM  
They are all pretty brave in the face of the gallows.
 
2020-06-28 7:26:27 PM  
4) Cash
 
2020-06-28 7:42:12 PM  
If you want the military to not be as apolitical as possible, you're an idiot who does not appreciate the things you say. Though to you they might be, these are not games and they are ideas not to be casually suggested.
 
2020-06-28 7:51:50 PM  
The only person with any guts these last four years was a person named Reality Winner.
 
2020-06-28 8:06:46 PM  
Anyone who works for the government knows they are going to hate their President about half the time.
 
2020-06-28 8:07:50 PM  

edmo: That's a bit harsh. If you work for the government, you're limited.


You can not be a pussy and get another job. I've never been in the military but I did that in my field.
 
2020-06-28 8:26:31 PM  
The psychic spies ought to boil Trump's brain.
 
2020-06-28 9:06:56 PM  

Purple_Urkle: The psychic spies ought to boil Trump's brain.


Yeah but how would we know if they did it?
 
2020-06-28 9:38:13 PM  
Thanks Obama.
 
2020-06-28 9:42:05 PM  
In Bolton's telling, members of the so-called deep state, including senior intelligence and defense officials, knew about actions by Trump that were unethical, if not illegal, and said nothing. That would mean the press, the public and House impeachment investigators were kept in the dark.

John Bolton is telling on himself. Useless coward had a chance sooner.
 
2020-06-28 9:44:40 PM  
There are people who can stand up to the Orange Turd and not be directly harmed by him, namely Congresspeople and more specifically Republican Congresspeople. If they won't or block all attempts to rein him in, then why should we expect someone who can be directly harmed by the Orange Turd to stand up and risk so very much? All they could do is give one more bit of evidence that he's this nation's worst President ever which will be ignored by so many like every other bit of evidence showing that to be true.
 
2020-06-28 9:47:31 PM  

Gubbo: Quit. Loudly and with great profile.

Sat what you saw.

Lawyer up


But then who will you be replaced with?

Do we want everyone in these positions to be a Kool Aid drinker?  Do we wish Fauchi had quit and Trump's personal quack was in charge of the pandemic response?

If you get ordered to do some illegal/unethical shiat, then definitely blow that whistle, but otherwise it's best to have competent people mitigating as much damage as they can.
 
2020-06-28 9:48:57 PM  

Mugato: edmo: That's a bit harsh. If you work for the government, you're limited.

You can not be a pussy and get another job. I've never been in the military but I did that in my field.


Maybe you did, and good for you.

Me? When 90 million people don't vote, fark me if I'm going to toss my career for 'em.

And don't give me that shiat about disenfranchisement. That is sometimes the case, but it isn't like we see 90% turnout in states that allow voting by mail.

Don't get me wrong, I won't drive trains to Auschwitz or anything crazy, but I'm not going to try to grind the government to a halt just because a douche gets voted in and does douchey things. That's just democracy.
 
2020-06-28 9:50:55 PM  
I've been in the Army 19 years and have cringed through a lot of politicians' terms. Biting my tongue is how I get through life now.  I promise, there's a lot of bottled up political speech in us, but the alternative to bottling it up is having a politically-vocal and politically-active military, and that's not a good thing. It's your right to call me a coward and a coont; all I care about is that you still get to do that. We have bad eggs who follow unlawful orders, and dumbasses who can't keep their opinions to themselves on Facebook, but they don't represent the whole institution, and we try to deal with those legally.

In retirement, we get to push for political change, and a lot do. Before that, we live under a separate set of laws from civil society. It's not legal to speak your mind sometimes, but we do get to talk freely with our friends and families who know we're speaking unofficially. In uniform, we have to have everybody's back on both sides of the aisle. We're America's military, not the GOP's or the DNC's. You might as well ask the intetstate highway system to pick a side.
 
2020-06-28 9:51:07 PM  
What good What it do for you to throw away your 34 year career for a 4 year blip when Senate Republicans are literally acting like the See No Evil, Hear No Evil Monkeys.

If they did not care about Russia or Ukraine, why would they care about the rest of this...

Until the Bounty Thing.

Someone needs to release that DPB sheet to the press.
 
2020-06-28 9:52:09 PM  
Donald Trump would have to have done something wrong to begin with in order for someone to take action against him. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go back to huffing glue.
 
2020-06-28 9:52:12 PM  

Phil McKraken: In Bolton's telling, members of the so-called deep state, including senior intelligence and defense officials, knew about actions by Trump that were unethical, if not illegal, and said nothing. That would mean the press, the public and House impeachment investigators were kept in the dark.

John Bolton is telling on himself. Useless coward had a chance sooner.


Seriously. Apparently, the bar for him is a subpoena or a huge book deal. Those guys were given neither. Why does he expect them to speak up when we know he didn't?
 
2020-06-28 9:54:45 PM  
That's a lot of words to say "because they are assholes".

Look, at some point your government job implies a lot of things, and sometimes that is integrity and resolution. At that point, if you are just considering your paycheck and career, you got into the wrong career.
It is exactly how people are insisting police are accountable, sometimes the job isn't just about you.
 
2020-06-28 9:59:51 PM  
By not speaking up the Deep State is making Trump do all these bad things that make him look bad.
 
2020-06-28 9:59:56 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Phil McKraken: In Bolton's telling, members of the so-called deep state, including senior intelligence and defense officials, knew about actions by Trump that were unethical, if not illegal, and said nothing. That would mean the press, the public and House impeachment investigators were kept in the dark.

John Bolton is telling on himself. Useless coward had a chance sooner.

Seriously. Apparently, the bar for him is a subpoena or a huge book deal. Those guys were given neither. Why does he expect them to speak up when we know he didn't?


I don't know what's wrong with John Bolton but I'm fine if he goes to Hell, anyway.
 
2020-06-28 10:04:25 PM  

edmo: That's a bit harsh. If you work for the government, you're limited.

Start with the military. You may not speak out about political things. Zero. There is a special exception (a limitation) that covers intel people and federal law enforcement and some others as well (DOJ in general for one). You can't be exercising your normal right to complain about politicians on Facebook like everybody else. Don't argue with me, just use the google fu to look it up.

And for those who do speak up, Trump fires them. For those that do their job (IGs), Trump fires them. For those who pursue crimes under the law, Barr fires them. It doesn't take much guts to demand somebody else resign their career and give up their income to support your point of view.

In sum: there are rules limiting what people can do and when people have done what they can under the rules, they've been persecuted. People have been persecuted for merely doing their job without criticizing anyone at all.

I decline to go along with blaming the victim.

And Bolton didn't do shiat until he had a book to sell so TFA author can EABOD about him.


Yeah. Not only all that was said here, when I worked for the government literally 90% of employment law doesn't apply to them. We had a building with asbestos and they were not required to address it like any other building would, no, the GSA just marked it on a map and put up some stickers and if you could find it wherever the last person who borrowed it left it there was a respirator you could borrow if you had to say pull cables in that area. The break room had the state required labor laws poster with a printed paper from HR stating that they were required by law to put it up for any non-government employees working in the space (contract maintenance staff for example) but none of it applied to federal employees.

If you legit had any sort of labor dispute higher ups had a committee that would hear your dispute and then decide there is no recourse available to you before deciding against you and there were extremely limited modes of appeal.

Also my branch of the government was not covered by a union. This is a major reason I strongly support federal employee unions where I don't always see eye to eye with unions. It's the only way to keep yourself from getting farked in a dispute.
 
2020-06-28 10:06:46 PM  
The Dem Congressional candidate in my district, Sri Kulkarni, was a career foreign service guy, working in the dangerous places like Iraq.  He resigned not long after Twitler took office, because he could see what was going to happen, and could not be associated with it.

/TX-22 is high up on the list of flippable districts
//If anyone is looking for good Dem candidates to support, Sri's a good choice
 
2020-06-28 10:07:21 PM  

edmo: That's a bit harsh. If you work for the government, you're limited.

Start with the military. You may not speak out about political things. Zero. There is a special exception (a limitation) that covers intel people and federal law enforcement and some others as well (DOJ in general for one). You can't be exercising your normal right to complain about politicians on Facebook like everybody else. Don't argue with me, just use the google fu to look it up.

And for those who do speak up, Trump fires them. For those that do their job (IGs), Trump fires them. For those who pursue crimes under the law, Barr fires them. It doesn't take much guts to demand somebody else resign their career and give up their income to support your point of view.

In sum: there are rules limiting what people can do and when people have done what they can under the rules, they've been persecuted. People have been persecuted for merely doing their job without criticizing anyone at all.

I decline to go along with blaming the victim.

And Bolton didn't do shiat until he had a book to sell so TFA author can EABOD about him.


Our system is broken-turns out that if a political coterie controls both the Presidency and the Senate, they can do whatever they want if they're shameless enough to do it
 
2020-06-28 10:10:34 PM  
Because the "deep state," like every other GOP boogeyman, doesn't actually exist.
 
2020-06-28 10:14:43 PM  
The Deep State is the dumbest conspiracy theory ever.  All powerful and everywhere, but they can't get Trump removed from office and couldn't get Hillary elected.  They can't get Trump's tax returns leaked and the list goes on and on.

Deep State ooooogah booooogah! Scary.
 
2020-06-28 10:17:05 PM  

bdub77: Purple_Urkle: The psychic spies ought to boil Trump's brain.

Yeah but how would we know if they did it?


No one needs to know.
 
2020-06-28 10:17:16 PM  
Shaming for Anonymous Op-Eds is coincidentally the name of my Huey Lewis and the News tribute acapella group.
 
2020-06-28 10:20:50 PM  
What this tells me is that our problems are a lot worse than President Mob Boss alone. It's the extent to which he has managed to corrupt all of the institutional checks and balances in our democracy. Whistleblowers can only do so much when the entire Rethuglican Party in Congress refuses to honor their oaths of office and the Attorney General has eviscerated the Department of Justice for partisan political purposes. I'm not sure the silence is due to cowardice so much as the sense of despair and hopelessness that anything one could say would even make any difference. When the Senate refused to use its subpoena power to question witnesses during the impeachment trial, it's not hard to understand why so few people choose to speak out on the record.
 
2020-06-28 10:21:24 PM  

al-Mundane: but the alternative to bottling it up is having a politically-vocal and politically-active military, and that's not a good thing


No, it isn't.   Infiltration of our military institutions with religious zealots will inevitably result in the same consequences as having our police infiltrated by white supremacists, but on a grander scale.

t's your right to call me a coward and a coont

For not risking your job by speaking up?  It's easy to talk shiat on the internet about abandoning one's career for a temporary opposition in principles with political appointments.  It's important that the good ones that can tough it out do so at every level possible.  Good luck.
 
2020-06-28 10:28:39 PM  

gameshowhost: also there's a fourth word beginning with 'c' and a whole hell of a lot of them who did nothing are those 'c's

/the british 'c'


Caren?
 
2020-06-28 10:41:15 PM  
"If the CIA learns of something that is an illegal act by a government official, it has an obligation to forward that information to the Department of Justice," said former CIA Director John Brennan,

Well there's yer problem right there.....
 
2020-06-28 10:45:33 PM  

al-Mundane: I've been in the Army 19 years and have cringed through a lot of politicians' terms. Biting my tongue is how I get through life now.  I promise, there's a lot of bottled up political speech in us, but the alternative to bottling it up is having a politically-vocal and politically-active military, and that's not a good thing. It's your right to call me a coward and a coont; all I care about is that you still get to do that. We have bad eggs who follow unlawful orders, and dumbasses who can't keep their opinions to themselves on Facebook, but they don't represent the whole institution, and we try to deal with those legally.

In retirement, we get to push for political change, and a lot do. Before that, we live under a separate set of laws from civil society. It's not legal to speak your mind sometimes, but we do get to talk freely with our friends and families who know we're speaking unofficially. In uniform, we have to have everybody's back on both sides of the aisle. We're America's military, not the GOP's or the DNC's. You might as well ask the intetstate highway system to pick a side.


Yeah, the majority of the retired vets vote GOP.
 
2020-06-28 10:46:14 PM  
The world watched as somebody filed a complaint and evert Republican conspired to try to ruin their life
 
2020-06-28 10:55:17 PM  

theflatline: al-Mundane: I've been in the Army 19 years and have cringed through a lot of politicians' terms. Biting my tongue is how I get through life now.  I promise, there's a lot of bottled up political speech in us, but the alternative to bottling it up is having a politically-vocal and politically-active military, and that's not a good thing. It's your right to call me a coward and a coont; all I care about is that you still get to do that. We have bad eggs who follow unlawful orders, and dumbasses who can't keep their opinions to themselves on Facebook, but they don't represent the whole institution, and we try to deal with those legally.

In retirement, we get to push for political change, and a lot do. Before that, we live under a separate set of laws from civil society. It's not legal to speak your mind sometimes, but we do get to talk freely with our friends and families who know we're speaking unofficially. In uniform, we have to have everybody's back on both sides of the aisle. We're America's military, not the GOP's or the DNC's. You might as well ask the intetstate highway system to pick a side.

Yeah, the majority of the retired vets vote GOP.


Demographics are fluid. I might not disagree with that statement, but I certainly don't think you can predict the future. The majority of retired vets were once white men, too, but that may not always be the case either. When I enlisted, a Soldier could be separated for being homosexual.  I'm an atheist who's had to cringe at old timers claiming we didn't exist in foxholes, and I know more atheists in uniform now that I know in the rest of life (though to be fair, I know more of probably any demo in uniform...my point is we're a big melting pot and not some hive of religious fanaticism). We learn and grow and progress with the rest of the country. You still shouldn't root for us to be politically active. That's how real fascism happens.
 
2020-06-28 10:59:25 PM  
A little disappointed, I would have thought that after some of these GOP members won their primaries in safe states, they'd find their spines and try to redeem themselves.

Still straight-ticketing blue this year no matter what they did.
 
2020-06-28 11:28:53 PM  
Republican politicians seem to have chosen a path. First we'll see what the voters think. Then we'll see what the prosecutors think. Then, maybe, we'll see what the judges and juries think. I can wait a while. Not forever, but a while.
 
2020-06-28 11:40:30 PM  

al-Mundane: I've been in the Army 19 years and have cringed through a lot of politicians' terms. Biting my tongue is how I get through life now.  I promise, there's a lot of bottled up political speech in us, but the alternative to bottling it up is having a politically-vocal and politically-active military, and that's not a good thing. It's your right to call me a coward and a coont; all I care about is that you still get to do that. We have bad eggs who follow unlawful orders, and dumbasses who can't keep their opinions to themselves on Facebook, but they don't represent the whole institution, and we try to deal with those legally.

In retirement, we get to push for political change, and a lot do. Before that, we live under a separate set of laws from civil society. It's not legal to speak your mind sometimes, but we do get to talk freely with our friends and families who know we're speaking unofficially. In uniform, we have to have everybody's back on both sides of the aisle. We're America's military, not the GOP's or the DNC's. You might as well ask the intetstate highway system to pick a side.


This.

And honestly? The free speech and right to protest memorandums that got published are really huge in the military field.
 
2020-06-29 12:16:26 AM  

ongbok: The world watched as somebody filed a complaint and evert Republican conspired to try to ruin their life


That can apply to so, so many people during the Trump administration.
 
2020-06-29 12:21:19 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-29 1:05:02 AM  

edmo: That's a bit harsh. If you work for the government, you're limited.

Start with the military. You may not speak out about political things. Zero. There is a special exception (a limitation) that covers intel people and federal law enforcement and some others as well (DOJ in general for one). You can't be exercising your normal right to complain about politicians on Facebook like everybody else. Don't argue with me, just use the google fu to look it up.

And for those who do speak up, Trump fires them. For those that do their job (IGs), Trump fires them. For those who pursue crimes under the law, Barr fires them. It doesn't take much guts to demand somebody else resign their career and give up their income to support your point of view.

In sum: there are rules limiting what people can do and when people have done what they can under the rules, they've been persecuted. People have been persecuted for merely doing their job without criticizing anyone at all.

I decline to go along with blaming the victim.

And Bolton didn't do shiat until he had a book to sell so TFA author can EABOD about him.


Excuse me edmo, but what the fark?

Dude, What is valor? What is bravery? Whatever happened to standing up for truth, justice and the American way!

West Point's Cadet Honor Code:
"A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."

The Air Force Academy's Cadet Motto: "Integrity First. Service Before Self. Excellence in All We Do."
-----
I only know about those two, but all of those folks, both military and civilian, take an oath to act in the best interests of this country. The fact that they even got those titles/jobs, is supposed to reflect the fact that these people exhibit exemplary discipline, courage and integrity. They are expected to be the good guys. That is why they serve in the federal government!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha​hahaahhahhahhah! Oh shiat! I couldn't stop laughing for a second there! Yo, let me catch my breath!

Yeah we're screwed. We didn't give a fark who we put in office, as long as the check cleared.

Of course our civil servants and military would be chickenshiat opportunists, who only wanna look out for themselves! Maybe if they all banded together, and demanded that the Senate actually pretend like they farking like the folks who helped put them in office, we could get out of this horror show with a spilled soft drink and a wet shirt.
But nah. it's much safer to just suffer total economic collapse because, sheeet, a job's a job son! Ain't nobody trying to fark up then good guv'ment bennies!

Bills have got to be paid, and benefits have to be preserved. Fark man, we're in the middle of a farking pandemic! Fark the rest of America! They're outsiders! They don't deserve to benefit from the farking taxes they pay to keep us employed!

Soldier on brave military, and civil servants! Once this is all over, you may still have a pension, and some FMLA days left. Ya did all ya thought ya could! I mean, you jiggled the handle, but ya can't get the shiat to flush! Better to just close the lid and let the next dumb muthafarker deal with it.

History is going to be downright cruel to the adults right now in America. As for the kids, hell, a lot of them may not even make it into the future. But at least our Washington D.C. elite got to keep their reservations at The Minibar!I

One man, one good deed. Hundreds of men, hundreds of good deeds. Shiat, or get off the pot. It ain't all about you anymore, and it never was. You're cool edmo, but those folks have no excuse. Not anymore.
 
2020-06-29 1:33:32 AM  
Anyone else know what this "deep state" is?

A reputable news organization such as NBC shouldn't be delving into conspiracy theories.

Unless the use of that term is meant to get a certain someone's attention.
 
2020-06-29 1:37:08 AM  
Because the Deep State doesn't exist. Next question.
 
2020-06-29 1:49:38 AM  

BlackChickWhiteAccent: I only know about those two, but all of those folks, both military and civilian, take an oath to act in the best interests of this country.


Eh, you typed a lot of nice ideas, but no.

I'm a progressive. I'm a government employee. I won't violate the constitution. I don't get to just decide everything stupid conservatives do makes them domestic enemies of the state and thus I just get to do whatever I want.

It sounds good when you pretend all government employees share your objective views on everything. It gets a lot messier when you realize half of them feel the opposite.

Should they revolt when you and I elect a "socialist" or allow in too many immigrants? What if immigration disagreed with DACA and refused to follow what they thought were illegal orders by Obama to ignore the law?

The truth is the country ceases to function when government employees don't differentiate between legal things that are shiatty and the actual illegal things that they, and this depends on their position in the government of course, bear an obligation to object to.

I've done distasteful things, just as there are bankers who don't want to foreclose on the nice older person who falls behind. I do more now under Trump than at any point in my career.

But just as the low level bank employee doesn't get to make some decisions with the company money, I don't get to make some decisions with yours. I can't take my government vehicle and say "trump wants me to screw people over today. Instead, I'll just go around, sell some equipment, and feed the homeless"

Trump, for the most part, hasn't done a lot of brazenly illegal things. I know that sounds crazy to say, but very few people who contribute to his shenanigans have the requisite knowledge to label things illegal.

That said, of course fark those in the inner circle like Bolton. They have that knowledge and their silence is what allows it to happen.

Does that make sense?
 
6 days ago  
I have a "friend" from college who's a career diplomat. He's a 100% magat who truly believes the "deep state" (which I guess is him?) is out to get Trump.

He's always been conservative, but he used to just be a selfish asshole who wanted lower taxes. Somewhere in the last few years, he went insane.

/end CSB
 
6 days ago  

eiger: I have a "friend" from college who's a career diplomat. He's a 100% magat who truly believes the "deep state" (which I guess is him?) is out to get Trump.

He's always been conservative, but he used to just be a selfish asshole who wanted lower taxes. Somewhere in the last few years, he went insane.

/end CSB


I honestly would not be surprised if it turns out that the USA as a whole is suffering from some level of mass PTSD from the events of September 11th.
 
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