President Donald Trump is continuing to threaten the stability of American government. Now, following Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s forced departure this past weekend over tensions surrounding Trump’s intervention in a war crimes case, POLITICO is reporting that more high-profile officials at the Pentagon are contemplating their own possible departures. This volatility undercuts the U.S. ability to provide comprehensive security — instead of stability, the military has ended up under the whims of the forever egomanical Donald Trump, who prefers governing by tweet to utilizing rational policy decisions.
‘Even before Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s forced ouster this weekend, a handful of the Pentagon’s highest-ranking officials have been debating just when they would feel compelled to resign over what they see as Trump’s disregard for the chain of command.’
One currently serving senior Pentagon official dismally explained:
‘There’s a sense of dejection by senior leaders in the Pentagon, that the president and the secretary of defense are going to side with the loudmouths at Fox News against the reasoned opposition of senior military professionals. That’s the sense in a nutshell.’
Although the tumult extends well on from there, the latest burst of tension surrounds the case of disgraced Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who’s among a handful of war criminals to whom Trump recently granted clemency. Gallagher had been convicted of illegally posing with the body of a murdered ISIS fighter in Iraq, and even following Trump’s insistence on clemency, military authorities had been set to review whether he’d be allowed to remain in the SEALs.
As Trump fought against military authorities, Spencer reportedly privately suggested a truce in which Gallagher could retire with his current rank. Now, the Navy Secretary is out, and Gallagher gets to retire with his rank — and Trump reportedly has mulled over having the convicted war criminal campaign alongside him.
Spencer’s final letter as Navy Secretary contained harsh criticism for the president. He wrote, seemingly, although not explicitly, referring to Trump’s order for Gallagher to retain his rank no matter what:
‘I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’
POLITICO notes that Trump has clashed with military authorities over a range issues at this point, no matter his melodramatic public positioning of himself as a champion of the military. He’s “ignored or overruled their advice not to withdraw troops from Syria, ban transgender people from serving or redirect military forces and funding to the U.S.-Mexico border,” the publication notes, and he also has a well-documented history of explicitly favoring military brutality.
On Monday, Spencer explained of Trump:
‘I don’t think he really understands the full definition of a warfighter. A warfighter is a profession of arms and a profession of arms has standards, that they have to be held to and they hold themselves to.’
Trump doesn’t seem to care. The war crimes cases are another example of the president trying to abuse the power of his office for personal political gain.