Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Rot Is Deep

The framers did not see the commissioning of officers as a power the President could and should wield at his discretion, but rather a responsibility he must properly bear. Thus, the President could be held fully accountable for his constitutional responsibilities as the nation’s executive. 
Indeed, in 1926 the solicitor general argued successfully before the Supreme Court that all commissioned officers are an extension of executive power. “Commissioned Officers are an extension of executive power.” 
Got that? 
Commissioned Officers do under the authority of the President, what he would do himself, were he capable of being in every place at once. Commissioned Officers do his bidding and execute his policy, not the other way around. 
This is the point that LTC Vindman, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and a host of other military and civilian “interagency” denizens cannot — or more likely, refuse — to understand. Their positions exist to support the President. Not the other way around. 
The President decides U.S. policy, not some unelected “interagency.” The commissions they hold are so they can exert Presidential power on behalf of The President and according to his policies and guidance. Anything they tell him is either information or a recommendation. He decides. 
The very idea that a commissioned Army Officer could in sworn, public testimony, state that the President of these United States was acting against U.S. policy, should be appalling to all Americans. 
Here is the piece of this that is the most bothersome. As I noted right out of the gate, LTC Vindman isn’t some 4-Star General who, believing he is professionally bulletproof, allows his staff to badmouth the sitting President to Rolling Stone magazine. This is a relatively junior officer who believes his judgment is better than personnel 8 levels above him, 9 counting the President.

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