In the aftermath of the Helsinki summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin the overly emotional, hyperbolic, and delusional rhetoric has been quite disconcerting. I have been on record stating that President Trump’s performance in the joint press conference was quite disappointing, and there was a missed opportunity. However, I also have recognized the policy differences between the Trump administration, and previous administration, when it comes to issues with Russia – such as Ukraine, the Baltic states, sanctions, and increased NATO spending. But what I have found perplexingly, indeed comical, is that the progressive, socialist left and their media accomplices have become so hysterical as to demand that President Trump’s interpreter appear on Capitol Hill and surrender their notes.
This entire episode has devolved into some bad quality theater of the absurd, a real kabuki dance of posturing pundits and patronizing, fake politicians. It leads me to ask: have we come to a point where the definitions of treason, shameful and disgraceful actions are subjectively based upon politics – and not objectively applied?
If I may, please indulge me as I present several case points to challenge this present hysteria:
1. Where was the overreaction when Barack Obama in an “open mic” moment whispered to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” after his reelection? Why did the media not ramble on about treason and demand a clarification of what “flexibility” meant? This is the same Barack Obama who did not believe Russia was a major geo-political threat in his debate with Mitt Romney – no declarations of incompetence there. Of course, we know that “flexibility” enabled Putin to seize the Crimea and overrun Eastern Ukraine – along with dangerous fly-bys of U.S. Naval Vessels.
2. I tend to believe one of two of the most disgraceful displays by an American president was Obama’s actions during the Benghazi terrorist attack and his response to the beheading of James Foley. First, Obama abandoned Americans to die in Benghazi, Libya for 13 hours. He went to sleep and then flew to a fundraiser in Las Vegas. Then, Obama was not forthright about the nature of the terrorist attack after he dispatched his henchwoman, Susan Rice, on several Sunday morning news programs. And let us not forget that after James Foley was beheaded by ISIS, Obama gave some weak statement, then proceeded to play golf.
3. I would think the definition of “treason” would be applicable when you send pallets of laundered cash in an unmarked plane to the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, Iran. Iran is not a friend, nor an ally of the United States. Iran is responsible for producing and supplying the lethal explosive force penetrator IEDs to Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those EFPs were responsible for 18-20 percent of the deaths and casualties of our troops. No, we did not owe the Ayatollahs any funds. The original arms deal was made with the Shah of Iran, who was deposed by the Ayatollah Khomeini – no previous U.S. president had released any funds to Iran for that purpose. And we can now definitively state that the Iranian nuclear agreement was a sham.
4. The leftist media is in a complete apoplectic meltdown, stating President Trump is soft on Putin. Hmm, President Obama’s policy towards North Korea was “strategic patience.” What the heck does that mean? Just like the policy of “leading from behind,” which down south where I am from, means following. Why were the media, and all these loud mouth Democrats, silent in the face of these “surrender” policies?
5. What could be more treasonous than to unilaterally decide to release the enemy back onto the battlefield? Well, that is exactly what Barack Obama did in trying to empty out GITMO of unlawful enemy combatants that our brave warriors had captured. This is not a law enforcement issue, nor should it be seen through the prism of an ideological agenda. We know that there was a 33 percent recidivism rate, but that did not result in any liberal, progressive media outlets condemning Obama. Never forget, we released five senior Taliban leaders for a deserter – a deserter who was praised by an Obama administration official as having served with honor and distinction.
6. The progressive, socialist left is ranting about President Trump being weak. They were silent as Barack Obama watched the “JV Team” (ISIS) regenerate and terrorize an entire region. When Obama declared he had a “red line” but took no action, other than trusting Russia to remove chemical weapons from Syria, the left said nothing. They still say nothing concerning the decimation of ISIS under President Trump.
7. I hear all this talk about how President Trump is a threat to our Constitution and violates our laws. Well, why did the left say nothing when Barack Obama violated the War Powers Act when it came to Libya. Obama basically outsourced our military capability to Islamic jihadists and destabilized Libya to a point where today it is a sanctuary for Islamic terrorists. High crimes and misdemeanors? Yes, providing material support to enemies of the United States, Islamic terrorists, is against U.S. statute.
8. We keep hearing how President Trump will not admit that Russia is an enemy, foe, adversary. Hmm, Obama seemed to have had a problem calling Islamic terrorists and jihadists terrorists and jihadists. Lest we forget how many domestic Islamic terrorist attacks we had during the Obama administration. Obama classified the Ft. Hood terrorist attack as “workplace violence.” He blamed the San Bernardino and Orlando (Pulse Night Club) Islamic terrorist attacks on gun control. Obama never visited Chattanooga after the Islamic jihadist attack on a military recruiting station and Naval Reserve Center. Heck, Obama did not repeal the stupid order from the Clinton administration that does not allow our men and women on military installations to be armed.
9. What could be more disgraceful than an American president that unleashes a government agency against the American people, and then hides behind the truth. We all know what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did in targeting constitutional, conservative grassroots organizations. How treacherous and un-American to use the power of the government to squash your political opposition – Putin kills his. You can bet Lois Lerner did not just come up with that little scheme on her own. And you can bet that after the 2010 midterm defeat Obama and the left took, this was their response. Then again, according to Barack Obama in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, there is not a smidgen of evidence of such.
10. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it … .” This statement was coined by Politifact as the 2013 “Lie of the Year.” We hear the progressive, socialist left rant about how President Trump lies. Yet, they were silent for eight long years under Obama.
I am quite sure the Media Research Center can come up with countless more examples, as I am sure you can as well. Therefore, I cannot, will not, take the hysteria of the progressive, socialist left seriously. They have evidenced that declarations such as “treason” and other characterizations of the Trump administration are politicized. What is true, and clear, is that President Donald Trump’s greatest crime is that he won in 2016.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias.