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AMERICA IN CRISIS

‘Deadly Serious’: Read Fired Navy Secretary’s Scathing Letter in Wake of Trump’s Attacks on ‘The Rule of Law’

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“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.”

Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer delivered a scathing rebuke to his Commander-in-Chief Sunday in his letter acknowledging his “termination” Sunday, published by CNNHe was fired by Pentagon Chief Mark Esper.

Spencer was fired after President Donald Trump interfered in the court martial of a SEAL charged with war crimes. Trump pardoned Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, had his demotion revoked and ordered his rank reinstated. When the Navy reportedly was beginning the process to remove Gallagher from the SEALs, Trump again interfered, telling them to stop and “Get back to business!” via Twitter.

The Navy Secretary disagreed with Trump’s interference, and was going to proceed with efforts to remove Gallagher from the SEALs. He said he did not see a tweet as an official order. Some reports say Defense Secretary Esper fired Spencer for trying to work 0ut a deal with the White House without going through Esper.

“The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries,” Spencer wrote. “Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again, from Captain Lawrence’s famous order ‘Don’t Give up the Ship’, to the discipline and determination that propelled our flag to the highest point on Iwo Jima.”

“The Constitution. and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all. Through my Title Ten Authority, I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level.”

“Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. 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.”

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond notes the story Trump is tweeting does not align with either Spencer’s or Gallagher’s.

You can read Secretary Spencer’s letter in full at CNN.

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

The Frightening Parallels Between QAnon and Hitler’s Nazis

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The QAnon conspiracy cult enjoyed a major victory when, on August 11, far-right extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene won a GOP congressional primary in Georgia — and given how overwhelmingly Republican her district is, Greene is likely to win the general election in November and be sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2021. QAnon, known for their outrageous conspiracy theories, believe that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by an international ring of pedophiles and Satanists and that President Donald Trump was put in power to battle them. And Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and an expert on the history of anti-Semitism, believes that there are parallels between QAnon’s outrageous views and the views that Nazis promoted in Germany during the 1930s.

Describing QAnon’s views in an article published by Just Security on September 9, Stanton writes, “A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power. Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon.”

According to Stanton, there are countless parallels between QAnon’s conspiracy theories and the anti-Semitism that Adolf Hitler and his Nazis promoted in Germany before and during World War II.

“The Nazis worshiped Adolf Hitler as the leader who would rescue the white race from this secret Jewish plot,” Stanton explains. “Nazi ‘stormtroopers’ — storm detachment, Sturmabteilung —  helped bring Hitler to power. Nazi Germany went on to conquer Europe and murder 6 million Jews and millions of Roma, Slavs, LGBTQ and other people.”

Central to Nazi ideology, Stanton notes, was the anti-Semitic 1902 pamphlet, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and Stanton stresses that QAnon’s ideology is a “rebranded version” of that pamphlet.

“QAnon purveys the fantasy that a secret Satan-worshiping cabal is taking over the world,” Stanton observes. “Its members kidnap white children, keep them in secret prisons run by pedophiles, slaughter and eat them to gain power from the essence in their blood. The cabal held the American presidency under the Clintons and (former President Barack) Obama, nearly took power again in 2016, and lurks in a ‘Deep State’ financed by Jews, including George Soros — and in Jews who control the media. They want to disarm citizens and defund the police. They promote abortion, transgender rights and homosexuality. They want open borders so brown illegal aliens can invade America and mongrelize the white race.”

Stanton continues, “QAnon true believers think Donald Trump will rescue America from this Satanic cabal. At the time of ‘The Storm,’ supporters of the cabal will be rounded up and executed. The QAnon conspiracy theory has now spread to neo-Nazis in Germany, where over 200,000 German QAnon accounts infest the internet.”

Stanton goes on to write that QAnon’s critics “are perplexed at how any rational person could fall for such an irrational conspiracy theory.” But when people are suffering hardships, Stanton explains, they “respond to fear and terror” and “blame their misfortunes on scapegoats” — which is what happened in Germany during the 1930s.

“In the 1930s,” Stanton recalls, “millions of Europeans were unemployed. Violent battles between Nazis and communists raged in city streets. Democratic governments were powerless. Fascist dictators ruled Spain and Italy. Hitler took power in Germany and conquered Western Europe. Stalin’s communists conquered the East. The Hitler-Stalin Pact sealed totalitarian rule over most of Europe. It took World War II and the deaths of millions to defeat the Nazis’ genocidal tyranny, and another 50 years to free the gulags of the Soviet Union.”

Stanton adds that in 2020, it is obvious that QAnon’s influence is growing when a QAnon supporter like Greene is “likely” on her way to Congress and President Donald Trump praises her as a “future Republican star.”

“The world has seen QAnon before,” Stanton warns. “It was called Nazism. In QAnon, Nazism wants a comeback.

Image by Anthony Crider via Flickr and a CC license

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Experts Gamed Out a Contested 2020 Election — All Scenarios Resulted in ‘Street-Level Violence’ in America

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Experts are warning of a dark winter if the 2020 presidential election results are contested.

“On the second Friday in June, a group of political operatives, former government and military officials, and academics quietly convened online for what became a disturbing exercise in the fragility of American democracy,” the Boston Globe reported Saturday. “The group, which included Democrats and Republicans, gathered to game out possible results of the November election, grappling with questions that seem less far-fetched by the day: What if President Trump refuses to concede a loss, as he publicly hinted recently he might do? How far could he go to preserve his power? And what if Democrats refuse to give in?”

While former Vice President Joe Biden currently has large leads in public polling on the race, Trump has refused to say he will accept the results if he loses.

A Georgetown law professor and former Defense Department official who helped organize the Transition Integrity Project explained the situation to the newspaper.

“All of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse,” Prof. Rosa Brooks explained. “The law is essentially … it’s almost helpless against a president who’s willing to ignore it.”

The scenarios are dark.

“Using a role-playing game that is a fixture of military and national security planning, the group envisioned a dark 11 weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day, one in which Trump and his Republican allies used every apparatus of government — the Postal Service, state lawmakers, the Justice Department, federal agents, and the military — to hold onto power, and Democrats took to the courts and the streets to try to stop it,” the Globe explained.

“If it sounds paranoid or outlandish — a war room of seasoned politicos and constitutional experts playing a Washington version of Dungeons and Dragons in which the future of the republic hangs in the balance — they get it,” the newspaper reported. “But, as they finalize a report on what they learned and begin briefing elected officials and others, they insist their warning is serious: A close election this fall is likely to be contested, and there are few guardrails to stop a constitutional crisis, particularly if Trump flexes the considerable tools at his disposal to give himself an advantage.”

Historian Nils Gilman explained the leverage Trump has in a contested election.

“He doesn’t have to win the election,” said Gilman. “He just has to create a plausible narrative that he didn’t lose.”

Read the full report.

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Trump’s ‘Nonstop’ Drive for Self-Destruction Is ‘Habitual and Incurable’: Presidential Scholar

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President Donald Trump’s polling numbers have continued falling as the novel coronavirus has surged throughout the United States.

The Associated Press has written a lengthy story about how Trump’s chaotic response to the pandemic has led to uncontrolled outbreaks and 130,000 dead Americans in just four months, and it notes that Trump has essentially stopped trying to contain the disease and has instead moved to wage culture wars against monument vandals.

Cal Jillson, a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, tells the AP that the president’s focus on protecting statues at a time when a deadly pandemic is killing thousands of people every week is an act of self-destruction.

“If he could change, he would,” he said. “It’s not helping him now. It’s just nonstop. It is habitual and incurable. He is who he is.”

Jillson also said that Trump’s habit of making a constant spectacle, which helped his presidential campaign in 2016, has become a massive liability during a time of national crisis.

“People would watch Trump and see the instability… the emergencies of his own making he would then claim to have taken care of, and be mildly entertained or at least not deeply worried,” he said. “A lot of that ‘Am I still amused?’ quickly gets to a ‘No’ answer.”

 

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