Rex Tillerson warns military graduates of Trump’s “threat to democracy”

Since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration there have been precious few Republicans with the decency, or devotion to America, to condemn what they know is the clear and present danger of a lying fascist, and corrupt miscreant officially occupying the White House. There are a few theories regularly bandied about regarding why Republicans still support Trump when they know he is as corrupt as any Colombian drug kingpin or Mafia don, and all of them are plausible and likely contribute to why Republicans still support a crook.

With little opposition from Republicans, Trump has the entire GOP and conservative movement working in concert to demean and attack America’s federal law enforcement agencies and Department of Justice officials for doing their jobs. It is exactly what one expects from a criminal syndicate, which is what Trump has transformed Washington into with only a couple of resigning Republicans condemning the lying criminal and threat to democracy.

It would be refreshing if just one of the Republicans criticizing Trump was not making an exit from Washington politics, but any Republican condemnation is better than nothing at this point. In former Exxon Mobil CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s case, his rebuke of Trump after being unceremoniously terminated via Tweet is not only welcomed, it is incredibly spot on. To Tillerson’s credit, he did call dumb Donnie a “fucking moron” while he was leading the State Department, but he should have expanded on the “fucking moron” theme while he was in office and called out Trump for being a dirty liar lacking any sense of ethics or integrity who is a threat to America.

While giving a commencement address last week at the Virginia Military Institute, Tillerson warned the graduating cadets that America’s democracy is being “threatened by a growing crisis of ethics and integrity.” Mr. Tillerson continued thus without ever mentioning Trump by name;

If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”

Tillerson also warned that even the “small falsehoods and exaggerations” are problematic:

When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America. If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both the public and private sector — and regrettably at times even the nonprofit sector (churches) — then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years.”

Tillerson ended his address with a warning, and sound advice, to the graduating cadets as they prepare to enter the world:

Carefully consider the values and the culture of the organizations in which you seek to work. Look for employers who set high standards for ethical conduct.”

There was more to Tillerson’s address than just defaming Trump for creating an unethical cesspool in Washington, but it too was a not-so-subtle poke at Trump’s alleged expertise on international trade as well as the fascist habit of inciting hatred and contempt from America’s allies and trading partners. In what was deemed a “notable defense” of free trade and economic growth, Tillerson said:

Every nation has a right to aspire to a better quality of life, and that free trade and economic growth are the means by which opportunity is created for all people.”

That comment was as direct a reference to Trump as possible without mentioning his filthy name. And it carried weight coming from a man who was on the inside of a corrupt administration with an intimate insight into the head criminal; the punk who backs out of international agreements and then imposes “billions of dollars in tariffs on rivals and allies alike, and uses ‘America First’ as the official government’s guiding principle.”

Tillerson may not be an official member of “the resistance,” but he did as well as can be expected for a Republican and former Trump insider. He warned that “citizens must demand that America’s future be fact-based, not based on wishful thinking, not hoped-for outcomes made in shallow promises, but with a clear eyed view of the facts as they are and guided by the truth that will set us free to seek solutions to our most daunting challenges.”

There can be little doubt that Tillerson’s speech was tailored to warn the graduating class of allowing this particularly corrupt administration to continue unimpeded. It is interesting that Tillerson had to “regrettably” mention that the “non-profit sector” is just as unethical and mendacious as Trump. He could only have been referring to extremist evangelical non-profits that support Trump solely because they share a seemingly innate ability to lie and cheat for personal profit, power, and self-deification.

It is a shame that Tillerson waited until after he was out of Trump’s inner circle to lay waste to all things Trump. It gives the illusion that his remarks are borne of sour grapes at being fired by tweet. However, with the dearth of Republicans willing to call a spade a spade, or Trump a dirty lying corrupt thug, Mr. Tillerson’s rebuke of Trump is noteworthy. And although it was not as blunt as calling him a “fucking moron,” it was a relatively accurate portrayal of a piece of white trash who is so incapable of decency that he wouldn’t recognize integrity if it hit him in his bloated orange face.

Trump’s State Department Poses a Grave National Security Threat

It is a travesty that one man has swiftly tarnished America’s reputation on the world stage, but it is increasingly apparent that it is part of Trump’s plan to isolate America from the rest of the civilized world.

An integral element of Trump’s isolationism plan is dismantling the country’s ability to conduct foreign affairs with other nations without inciting new tensions or inflaming long-simmering hostilities. So it is little surprise that Trump’s oil industry CEO is actively dismantling the one agency tasked with “skillfully conducting relations with other nations” without arousing animosity or increasing enmity – the Department of State.

No sane human being could keep a straight face and say Donald Trump understands or embraces the concept of diplomacy, even on a rudimentary level. In fact, Trump is the embodiment of a rude and abrasive bully that makes enemies at the rate most people use a toilet. That lack of appreciation for the art of existing in a complex, and often antagonistic, world without being in a constant state of aggression epitomizes Donald Trump and belies his so-called “deal-making” acumen. It also explains why Rex Tillerson is purging the Department of State of highly-qualified career Foreign Service professionals that are one of the most valuable assets in keeping America safe, and the world from a perpetual state of war.

The New York Times reported late last week that long-serving diplomats are finally speaking out about Vladimir Putin’s love interest Rex Tillerson and the wholesale purge going on at the State Department. In an August Los Angeles Times article it was reported that “current and former State Department officials say it appears that one goal in the current reorganization is to reduce staff by attrition, what one critic called ‘death by a thousand cuts.’”

Apparently there is not a question of Tillerson’s motive in decimating the diplomatic positions en masse; “experts have been aware of Tillerson’s plot to destroy the State Department from the inside for months.”

For an idea how little Tillerson, as surrogate for Trump, thinks of America’s diplomats or their safety, it is worth noting how he disregards congressional legislation regarding how the Department functions. Despite Congress passing legislation in 2012 mandating that the top State Department security official have unrestricted access to Tillerson, he spent the first nine months in office refusing to meet with the State Department’s chief of security, Bill A. Miller. The New York Times reported that during those first nine months Tillerson turned down repeated, including urgent, requests from Miller and security staff to brief him according to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security officials.

The only way the top security guy, Mr. Miller, could be “allowed to speak to Mr. Tillerson” was after he forced the issue by citing the letter of the law and the requirement that he had to be given ‘unrestricted access’ to the country’s head diplomat, Tillerson. Miller was eventually “granted” just five minutes in Tillerson’s presence; despite the congressional mandate of “unrestricted access.”

Shortly thereafter, the career Foreign Service officer and chief of security was “pushed out” of the State Department. Mr. Miller joined a veritable parade of the State Department’s most senior diplomats as part of Tillerson’s “downsizing” effort. Instead of going quietly like Miller, other “departing” diplomats are making their sentiments, and concerns about the fate of the nation, a public issue. The diplomats speaking out may have had an impact on members of Congress who are raising their own questions about why Trump and Tillerson are “intentionally hollowing-out” the senior diplomatic ranks and “weakening” America on the global stage in the process.

Last week  the House Foreign Relations Committee issued a letter to Tillerson citingwhat they said was “the exodus of more than 100 senior Foreign Service officers from the State Department since January.” In the letter, Democrats expressed their concern about  “the intentional hollowing-out of our senior diplomatic ranks.” (author bold)

Members of the Senate also noticed that Tillerson was “deconstructing” America’s diplomatic corps at a time the nation can least afford to appear weakened or unwilling to discourse without using Twitter insults. In a bipartisan effort, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent Tillerson a letter similar to the House version expressing their concern. They warned the Putin-ally Tillerson that:

America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex global crises are growing externally.”

Most likely members of Congress are acutely aware that Trump has no intent in using America’s vanishing “diplomatic power” to deal with any international issues, much less “complex global crises;” he has a smart phone and a Twitter app.  Trump makes bizarre and offensive pronouncements and blatant threats as willingly as he pulls America out of international agreements; he has no use for diplomacy.

Tillerson has been on a dangerous  tear pushing senior diplomats out with no intent on replacing them since he assumed control; almost certainly under orders from Trump. In fact, about a month ago former Secretary of State, Republican Colin Powell warnedthe Trump administration that gutting the State Department posed a grave national security threat. Trump’s national security advisor told Mr. Powell the “purge” was because senior diplomats were “people who did not support the president’s agenda;” like conducting foreign policy matters through Twitter. Trump said at the time that he didn’t need diplomats because “I am the only one that matters.” He also said he wasn’t sure if he even needed Rex Tillerson; an ominous sign that an even more serious State Department purge could be in the offing.

Remember, in August Trump thanked his and Tillerson’s love interest Vladimir Putin for “cutting the diplomatic staff in Moscow” when he expelled 750 diplomats; Trump said they were not going to be replaced. It is also noteworthy that in keeping with Trump’s enmity towards women and minorities, disproportionate numbers of diplomats being “pushed out” are women and people of color. And Tillerson has not nominated anyone to fill any of the 34 top political positions still vacant at the State Department.

It is no secret that Trump’s intent for the government is dismantling as much of it as he can legally get away with; his various cabinet and agency appointees are sworn enemies of the departments they control. And despite how dangerous it is to suffer an administration openly dedicated to “deconstructing the administrative state,”  it is perilous beyond words to have a White House occupant directing his Secretary of State to deliberately destroy American “diplomatic power” from within.

It leaves one to ponder if Tillerson is, like Trump, doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding by reducing America’s diplomatic power, or if diplomatic solutions to  global issues are completely off the table in Trump’s America.  No matter what their motivation, Trump and Tillerson have transformed the State Department into a grave national security threat because according to Trump, he’s the only one that matters.