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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   ( 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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2986 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jun 2020 at 9:35 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2020-06-29 9:22:22 AM  
As a longtime government contractor I can say this -

1. To speak up is to essentially signal that you're done with your career in any and every fashion. Depending on the issue that you flagged, you might get a job at some tiny lefty non-profit, but that's about it unless you're in/famous enough to end up on some sort of specific lecture circuit.

2. Most federal employees are bureaucrats and/or technocrats. Their jobs rely on and enable a high level of mutual trust in process and technical expertise. I know that there are lots of horror stories about bumbling paper-pushers, and there's certainly no shortage of that, but most of the federal government is like any other part of the public infrastructure - you don't notice it until it farks up. I mention this because during the first two and a half years of this presidency there has been a sort of horrified disbelief by the feds that I work with - the things that they see happening from this administration are so beyond the pale that they have no mechanism to fully process it. It's been sort of a "something's going to stop this, right?" Which leads to item 3:

3. Lots of people know what's going on, but most people don't have access to a chain of evidence that would matter. Either their watching continuous disregard for highly specific insider baseball procedures that wouldn't matter to the vast majority of the citizenry, or they're aware of outrageous bullshiat, but because they aren't directly involved, their testimony would come across as hearsay.

There was something of a general sigh of relief at State when the impeachment hearings started, because it was reassuring to many that the proper procedures were finally kicking in. And then horror at Pompeo's willingness to openly toss high-level diplomats under the bus in the service of the president's bullshiat.

But ultimately, the real reason is that the people who have been in the federal government have hunkered down - the work still needs to be done, and large portions of it are going to have to be fixed and revised as soon as this administration leaves. A lot of career feds who were enablers are going to see their careers grind to a halt (some of the worst will get pushed out via disciplinary measures), and some folks who have been keeping careful records will reach out to a new administration with whatever evidence of malfeasance that they have, but pretty much everyone has been in crisis management mode for a while, and most of them will just be focused on rebuilding shiat.
2020-06-29 11:35:59 AM  

eiger: fortheloveof: 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.

My going theory is a little different. Most white American are deeply steeped in white supremacist assumptions, even if they don't know it. As our society becomes more diverse and white supremacist structures are more directly challenged, a lot of them become deranged as their assumptions about how the world does  and should work collapse.

One of the more striking aspects of the protest movements of the last month is how many middle-age and older white male pundits and journalists, even ones on the left, spend most of their energy finding fault with the protest movement rather than focusing on other, clearly far more pressing issues, like the pandemic, the economic collapse, the disaster capitalism of the wealthy and corporations, and the ongoing police rioting.

The only way I can make sense of these people acting the way they are, especially ones who I resepcted and once focused on exactly those issues, is that their brain is rebelling against the sight of a group of normal, diverse people challenging the structures that got them to the privileged position they are.

MLK addressed this in his letter from a Birmingham Jail about the White Moderate wanting Order over Justice. I think he (and you) are both right at how much an issue it is. White (male especially) America has handicapped itself for a while and now is just starting to realize how uncompetitive we are.
2020-06-29 12:40:14 PM  

fortheloveof: MLK addressed this in his letter from a Birmingham Jail about the White Moderate wanting Order over Justice. I think he (and you) are both right at how much an issue it is. White (male especially) America has handicapped itself for a while and now is just starting to realize how uncompetitive we are.

I think that's definitely right. It's about protecting privilege. When it comes from some dipshiat like David Brooks or Andrew Sullivan, I expect it. But I have been surprised how many progressives and real leftists have fallen down this particular rabbit hole. I guess I was naive.
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