BY DAVE LINDORFF
Most of the uproar, left and right, about the revelation — in both a NY Times anonymous opinion page article by a “high official” in the White House, and a new book by Bob Woodward — that there are top people working for President Trump who are actively trying to keep him from doing dangerous or reckless things out of ignorance or anger, has focused on the question of whether such actions constitute treason, or whether it validates the claim that a “Deep State” cabal of secret behind-the-scenes Machiavellians is working to subvert a duly elected president.
There are grounds for making both arguments, but I’d toss in a third.
Missing from most of these analyses is the reality that officials working for the White House, and indeed the entire US government, don’t take a vow or have any legal obligation to support a leader, or even to support the government or for that matter such a nebulous concept as the “country” or “nation” or the United States of America. Rather, like all members of the military, they take an oath to “uphold and defend” the Constitution of the United States.
That is a big difference.
If the person who wrote that piece in the Times, and those he refers to as also acting behind the Trump’s back to prevent disaster (for example the president’s call to invade Venezuela or, as reported by Woodward’s sources, to murder Syrian leader Bashar Assad, or just to kill more people in Afghanistan), they are acting to prevent the president from violating international law and the US Constitution. If they prevent him from firing Special Orosecutor Robert Mueller who is investigating him and his campaign, which would be obstruction of justice and a high crime under the Constitution, they are protecting that Constitution.
One could argue that someone who is convinced that this president is nuts, “off the rails,” and a petty narcissist who is letting his tender ego get the best of him, that person should have the courage to resign and go public with the complaint and the evidence. But if that person feels that doing so would not solve the problem because the Republican Party in control of Congress does not have the courage or will to control the president or to oust him, and thus the only way to prevent disaster is to stay in the shadows and try to prevent him from doing something truly terrible that could destroy constitutional government or launch a disastrous illegal war or some other such horror, who’s to say that’s a wrong decision?…
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