SCULLDUGGERIES IN THE SCULLERIES…
(…at the core of that political swampland by the Potomac we call Washington, D.C.)

We Americans have a long history of political muggings and other shoddy dirty tricks made by the players inhabiting our venal halls of power. Nor are we any more “virginal” than any other country when it comes to financial or behavioral hanky-panky and scandals among our power elites.

Now here we are with the latest of skullduggeries in the sculleries at the core of that political swampland by the Potomac we call Washington, D.C. with President Trump’s sudden and summary court-martial style firing of the FBI’s Dirctor Comey (apparently in a fit of pique because of Comey’s failure to pledge personal allegiance to him while in that position).

Considering the many months of previous public praise for Director Comey’s conduct as the head of the FBI, there is a hypocritical odor not just from the manner and way he’s been dismissed, but by the way Mr. Comey’s performance and character are now being so harshly and publicly denigrated…as the reason for his dismissal. It is not only very odd…but greatly troubling besides. Granted, every appointed official understands only too well that his first day on the job may also be his last day on it because as such…he serves at the pleasure of whoever is in the Oval Office, so, it isn’t unusual for a new President to want to replace a previous President’s appointees with others of his own choosing, but when that happens it’s usually done with more proper thanks and more couth and politeness of form.

In the case of the FBI, however, things are not that simple, because it’s the one agency of the Executive Branch, for which absolute independence from political interference or pressures against the conduct of its investigative mission is critical to its validity as an institution of our government. Apparently such “independence” does not sit very well with this President who much prefers absolute personal loyalty from those who work for him. All of which may be a reasonable expectation for anyone in private business…but it is not the prerequisite when it comes to those working in positions of power with our form of government where the overriding “loyalty” is only to the Constitution (as expressed by all officials’ oaths when taking office…including the President), not to any individual.

 So if that unwillingness to offer a personal pledge of loyalty by Director Comey was the main reason for his firing that is indeed a very troubling thing, because it shows that this President either does not understand or is unwilling to accept that such a demand of personal loyalty is an inappropriate one in our form of government, especially from the head of the FBI, since that would then make him the President’s private political “enforcer”…a la FSB for Russian President Putin…and we’re not…Russia.

Such a sudden switch from effusive public praises to severe condemnation of an important official of our government reminds us of the answer we once got from a young Saudi prince acquaintance and work counterpart many years ago (as part of a military training project called – SANG) when we both attended some sort of formal diplomatic soiree in Riyadh. Because of his princely status he naturally wore his customary Saudi robes, along with a traditional very elaborate ceremonial dagger in his belt. During a brief smoking break on the outside terrace, our curiosity about his dagger led us to ask if we could look at it. After carefully drawing it from its handsome sheath we asked him…why do your daggers end with such curved and hooked points? Grinning widely as we gave it back to him he irreverently replied (he was a graduate of USCLA): ”Oh, that’s so while we’re giving someone our customary brotherly hug in front we can reach around and rip his kidneys out …from behind!”

That seems to be an appropriate comparison in this instance. Director Comey and his bureau have been doing their job of investigating that “Russian Connection” only too well, so he was now viewed as a liability to the President’s political situation, thus tossing him overboard and replacing him with someone more “acceptable” (and perhaps more amenable) may have been the motive behind this strange episode.

Stay tuned, folks, there’s more to come as this story will continue to unfold.

CENTURION