About 10pm EST Friday night the White House announced that President Trump had fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. This is part of a disturbing pattern. It’s amazing what an American president can get away with when most of the population is distracted by trying to survive a pandemic and another portion just wants an excuse to go out and play with their guns. Let’s explore.
Linick’s firing was the fourth of an Inspector General in the last six weeks and the third that was announced late on a Friday. As I’ve often stated, I’m a believer in Nance’s Law: Coincidence takes a lot of planning. If you were teaching a high school level journalism course (forget about college or graduate school) you would cover the Friday news dump. Its concept is to release news that you want minimal press coverage of late on a Friday. The idea being that most journalists have submitted their pieces and folded their tents for the weekend.
The word is that Linick had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who went to Trump complaining about it and Trump subsequently fired Linick. That is both plausible and fits a pattern. As yet it is unconfirmed but my advice is to stay tuned.
Linick is being replaced with Stephen Akard. Akard had been serving at the State Department as Director of the Office of Foreign Missions with the rank of Ambassador since last September. Ambassador Akard spent time at State in the George W. Bush administration (what a “glowing” tidbit in a resume). His major qualification is that he is a Mike Pence guy who joined the Trump administration in January of 2017 when Pence brought him along from Indiana where he served under then-Governor Pence. In other words, he is a political stooge and a perfect loyalist; nothing like having the “top cop” at the State Department in your pocket. If the IG turns a blind eye to wrongdoings you don’t even have to have your Attorney General/Consigliere refuse to investigate/prosecute; what a nice scam. There is no speed limit when there are no traffic cops.
In addition to the clock and calendar on the wall “protection” the last six weeks have provided another diversion – the coronavirus. Prudent Americans are obsessed with survival; they and many not so prudent are also concerned with their economic survival. One of my biggest criticisms of media is their seeming inability to cover multiple stories. While news coverage hasn’t been all coronavirus during the last six weeks it has been overwhelmingly the dominant story and other stories have had a difficult time breaking through.
For the sake of my PG rating I will close with a “metaphorical” paragraph. Not for the first time Trump dumped on the American public. He thinks we are both too distracted and stupid to see what he is doing. If you like being dumped on vote for Trump this fall; if not since you are wise enough to read this you know what to do – nobody else is going to do it for you.
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