Americans should be worried

To the editor:

Armed lockdown protesters are storming our state capitols and President Donald Trump is encouraging them to do it. That’s easy for him to say since he is protected by the Secret Service. That wouldn’t happen in Washington, D.C., where they would be met and picked off by sharpshooters on the roof of the White House. Yet, he calls these terrorists “good people.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan was faced with that scenario a couple of weeks ago, and he advised her to welcome them in and make a deal with these A-15 and AK-47-toting hijackers. Since when are we Americans supposed to make a deal with terrorists? We should all be on our knees and praying as to what has become of this country where police arrest and drag away nuns in their habits who quietly protest locking up children, yet let armed protesters take over our government offices.

Another thing that should worry us is that Trump has gone through five different inspector generals in six weeks. We should be asking why. And it’s not because he is draining the swamp. The inspector general’s offices for a number of departments are supposed to be led by a top attorney whose job it is to serve as an “independent” government overseer to ensure our tax dollars are not being misused. One of the latest, Steve Linick, was fired after his office was just about to wrap up an investigation of Mike Pompeo, our secretary of state’s $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, a sale that bypassed Congress by declaring it an emergency. What emergency? It’s pretty clear Trump didn’t want this exposed.

The inspector general who was fired just before Linick was Glenn Fine, who was tasked to oversee the administration’s management of $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus money. Trump fired him because he is so defiant of Congress, which is his separate but equal branch of government, and didn’t want the oversight. Hmmm. Doesn’t want oversight, so he can commit crimes, perhaps? Every president needs oversight. Remember Richard Nixon’s Watergate and Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra fiascos?

Then there is Michael Atkinson, who warned Congress, which is required by law, of the Ukrainian whistleblower. I can understand Trump wanting this man out but he admitted the man was not a “fan.” Excuse me, but the last I heard the inspector general is supposed to be independent.

I guess there is not much of an uproar about these acts because we are in the middle of a pandemic. In spite of these dangerous times, Trump’s administration is blocking public disclosure on coronavirus supplies and updates and a number of his favorite state governors are doing the same. They are hiding reports and firing staffers who will not compromise their integrity and lie for the state. These are not ordinary times. This is life-and-death information to which the public has become accustomed. Now, that is something to worry about. Welcome to the United States of autocracy.

Kathy Antinone



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