It seems to me that there are some things going on in our nation’s capitol I just don’t understand. Oh, there are lots of activities that may look a bit unusual or peculiar to us folks out here in the “great flyover” part of the country, but to “inside the beltway” denizens they’re quite ordinary. The catch is, of course, to sort out and identify which activities are understandable according to standard “inside the beltway” rules and procedures and which aren’t. But perhaps I’d better give some examples to illustrate the point.
One such goes back to what has been termed the “Benghazi incident” involving the murder of a U S ambassador and others by Islamic terrorists. The official version of this bloody attack was that it was the result of a spontaneous reaction to a video depicting Mohammad in an unflattering way. Even though this explanation proved false almost immediately why did the administration, including the president, continue to propagate this fabrication for some time?
The answer is simple – the president had publicly announced that those who had been committing such violent acts throughout the world had essentially been defeated and were incapable of mounting an organized attack using modern weapons and tactics. To admit the president’s assessment was incorrect could have been a political disaster – therefore, the tale was strung out for weeks until it became “old news” and was overtaken by other events. Even though that kinda stuff might look a bit peculiar to folks hereabouts, it’s perfectly understandable in the Washington political environment. All right, moving on.
You may recall some unusual occurrences involving Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. A decidedly interesting one surfaced recently during sworn testimony by the former director of the FBI. He described how the former Attorney General of the United States, the top law enforcement individual in our government, had directed him to use the term “matter” as in “looking into the matter” and not “investigation” when referring to the FBI’s inquiry into Mrs Clinton’s e-mails. Why this somewhat peculiar order? Once again, the answer is simple.
At the time, Mrs Clinton was the front-runner of and later the candidate for president by her party. To protect her image, she and her supporters characterized the inquiry by the State Department into her e-mails as a routine ” administrative review and reclassification” of some of her e-mails. To maintain and bolster this rather benign impression, the head of the FBI was directed to avoid describing that agency’s efforts as an “investigation.” After all, couldn’t have the presumed next president subject to an FBI investigation, so as a good foot soldier, he complied. Made sense to the politicos running the show but it didn’t fly with ordinary folks who don’t appreciate such fine shades of meaning.
OK, switching gears. Recent news reports describe how the State Department is considering – just considering, mind you – taking away, that is, revoking, Mrs. Clinton’s security clearances. What I don’t understand is why she still has them. The former head of the FBI publicly described her reckless disregard of the rules for safeguarding classified material – violations that were quite sufficient to warrant her losing her clearances. Sure, she may have been eligible for a temporary grant of access to intelligence briefings while she was the candidate for president, but she no longer has a position to justify her having clearances. I just plain don’t understand why such a flagrant violator of security procedures hasn’t lost her clearances long ago. Anyone else surely would have.
One more item. Photos have recently revealed some members of the US House of Representatives remaining seated during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of a House session. This pledge states, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I don’t understand why they refuse the pledge. If they don’t have an allegiance, a loyalty, to this nation, where does their dedication lie? Sure beats me.
Oh, there are some other peculiarities. Didja ever wonder why President Trump prefers conducting some official business at his resorts instead of the White House? Could be he prefers the security he can control there rather than that of the White House which leaks like a sieve. Something to think about. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.