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Thread: Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

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    Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    Some presidential allies want to hang the security-aid freeze on the Defense Department. There’s no evidence for that.



    9/26/19
    The Pentagon is caught squarely in the middle of the roiling controversy that has led House Democrats to announce the start of impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The president has conceded that he halted the delivery of nearly $400 million in congressionally-mandated security assistance funds to Ukraine over the summer, at the same time that he pressed the new Ukrainian president to investigate one of Trump’s potential 2020 rivals. Trump has offered shifting explanations for the freeze, at times claiming he delayed the funds because European countries were not giving enough aid to Ukraine and on other occasions blaming the freeze on broad concerns about corruption in Ukraine. there doesn’t appear to be any public evidence of showstopping concerns before or during the freeze. In May, Defense Undersecretary for Policy John Rood wrote to Congress and “certified that the Government of Ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing corruption [and] increasing accountability.” That letter was legally required to release the $250 million of the aid package managed by DOD, and Defense officials publicly announced its upcoming release the following month. (The remaining $141 million in assistance flowed through the State Department.)

    Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday that corruption was “never a concern I’ve heard” as a justification for withholding aid from Ukraine. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is now calling for the Pentagon inspector general to investigate whether the department had a role in withholding the funds. Reed said he has no reason to believe that Pentagon officials recommended the holdup. “I think they were caught completely unawares,” he said. “There’s so far been no indication that they were even consulted. Congress approved both pots of money for Ukraine — State and DOD — to help push back on Russian aggression. It was to be spent in 2019 for weapons and equipment such as sniper rifles, ammunition and counter-artillery radar systems, as well as training and interoperability support. Under pressure, the White House finally released both tranches of funds on Sept. 12. By then, a whistle-blower had filed a complaint alleging that Trump had sought to use the power of his office to pressure Zelensky into investigating 2020 candidate Joseph Biden and his son Hunter. Democrats see the conversation as seeking a clear quid pro quo: Trump wants an investigation of a domestic political rival, Ukraine gets the aid and a meeting. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday tapped the Intelligence Committee to lead impeachment proceedings into Trump focused on the allegations in the whistle-blower complaint.
    In over a 5 year span, I can't recall either Obama or Trump withholding defense funds appropriated for Ukraine by a bipartisan Congress due to any concerns about corruption. Ukraine is what it is, although enough strides in the realm of government reforms have been made during the past five years to satisfy both the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Let's face it, the US government funds and sells weapons to some of the sleaziest and most corrupt governments in the world. Egypt and Saudi Arabia readily come to mind. And the Trump administration also cannot claim that this was a policy decision to cut back funding to all US allies. On Aug. 22 the Trump administration resumed normal funding to US allies. Everyone that is except Ukraine. The very nation that Trump demanded "play ball" regarding opening new Biden investigations.

    Related: Trump’s Misleading Defense for Withholding Assistance to Ukraine


    "I earned my spurs on the battlefield ... Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor." — Gen. James Mattis, former Secretary of Defense who resigned in December 2018 due to Trumps plans to betray the Kurds of Syria.

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    Re: Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Valley View Post
    Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    Some presidential allies want to hang the security-aid freeze on the Defense Department. There’s no evidence for that.





    In over a 5 year span, I can't recall either Obama or Trump withholding defense funds appropriated for Ukraine by a bipartisan Congress due to any concerns about corruption. Ukraine is what it is, although enough strides in the realm of government reforms have been made during the past five years to satisfy both the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Let's face it, the US government funds and sells weapons to some of the sleaziest and most corrupt governments in the world. Egypt and Saudi Arabia readily come to mind. And the Trump administration also cannot claim that this was a policy decision to cut back funding to all US allies. On Aug. 22 the Trump administration resumed normal funding to US allies. Everyone that is except Ukraine. The very nation that Trump demanded "play ball" regarding opening new Biden investigations.

    Related: Trump’s Misleading Defense for Withholding Assistance to Ukraine
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    Re: Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    Cover up all the holes so the rats can't escape.

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    Re: Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    The mess is entirely of Trump's making and doing. Trump was going to extort Ukraine and no one was going to stop him or prevent it.

    Trump's corruption of American institutions to include the Pentagon is a threat and violation of the national security, defense, sovereignty no general or admiral or civilian authority at Pentagon would contemplate or do, not for a moment. The only person in the executive branch that would extort Ukraine is Trump.


    Trump’s Ukraine holdup hit a rudderless Pentagon

    The Defense Department was cycling through a series of acting secretaries when the White House put a freeze on hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Kiev.


    President Donald Trump’s freeze of military aid for Ukraine landed this summer at a Pentagon in turmoil, led by its third acting secretary in just a few weeks — with no leader at the top with the stature to quash the move.

    The leadership vacuum at the top of the Defense Department is just one element in the chain of decisions on the nearly $390 million in Ukraine aid, a freeze that set the stage for a grave political crisis for Trump. It’s also an example of the erosion of institutional checks on the Trump administration, which has installed acting or temporary leaders in a host of crucial leadership positions.

    “You’ve got a department that’s essentially leaderless when you’ve got someone who hasn’t been confirmed,” said former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Republican ex-senator who led the department during the Obama administration. “When you don’t have the validity inside and outside the institution that comes with a full-blown leader who’s been through confirmation and been voted on by the United States Senate, what can happen is the White House can effectively take control.”

    The revolving door atop the Pentagon began when Mattis quit in December, writing a resignation letter that expressed divisions with Trump on issues including “treating allies with respect” and being “resolute and unambiguous” against aggression by Russia. The trend continued with the abrupt departure in June of acting Secretary Pat Shanahan, and brief reigns in the top Pentagon job, in acting capacities, by former Army Secretary Mark Esper and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.


    Trump’s Ukraine holdup hit a rudderless Pentagon - POLITICO


    The article states Trump told his acting chief of staff Mulvaney to put a hold on the money and Mulvaney is as we know on leave as director of OMB. There's no indication acting SecDef Richard Spencer who is secretary of the Navy received any formal written notice of it at the time or afterward. It's just more Trump chaos, corruption, bomb throwing.
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    Re: Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    By maintaining a steady stable of "acting" agency heads, Trump has effectively made it so that HE and ONLY HE, can micromanage all the way down the chain of command, because there is no chain of command except Donald Trump. His acting agency heads and acting cabinet level officials all know the drill:
    Do whatever Trump wants with no questions, no matter what he says he wants. Just do it anyway.

    No need to worry about Congressional approval, acting agency heads and acting cabinet officials do not need to be approved by Congress.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    The fact that China is now economically capitalist in no way contradicts its status as a communist country.

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    Re: Pentagon Caught In The Middle Of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal

    For information and edification this is the welcoming ceremony for the new SecDef Mark Esper after his confirmation by the Senate. Potus is of course the presiding officer of the executive branch at this high level of ceremony.




    The officer between 'em is the Army colonel commanding The Old Guard of the Army, the 3rd Infantry Regiment, which is "Official Escort to the President" since 1947. TOG 3 IR is stationed next to the Pentagon at Ft. Myer in VA. The Old Guard colonel is always commander of troops at joint service ceremonies which is what this one is. The colonel has a joint service staff we don't see in the photo of the c.o. of each service ceremonial guard.

    So as a joint service ceremony we see a select platoon of each of the five services positioned by seniority: Army, Marine Corps -- joint service color guard -- Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard. The joint service color guard has 3 Army, 2 Marines and one each of Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard who bear the official flag of each service, plus two rifleman guards. Bearer of the stars and stripes is always an Army Old Guard NCO, typically a staff sergeant E-6 and MOS 11B (Infantry) who commands the unit.

    The band for each joint service ceremony is from one of the 5 services and is assigned in rotation. We see at this ceremony it's the USN band from the Washington Navy Yard that drew the short straw along with the USN ceremonial guard platoon. The joint service force must be in place at 20 minutes before the ceremony start time.

    The ceremonial services in Washington are in the Joint Force Command, National Capital Region, which is commanded always by an Army two star. JFC-NCR is under the US Northern Command headed by a three star at Peterson AFB Colorado which is where the regular active duty troop elements at the southern border derive. Northern Command is responsible for the defense of the continental United States and consists primarily of the 5th Army of which TOG 3 IR is a part and the 1st Air Force of which the AF ceremonial air personnel are a part. These forces have a regular MOS as there is no ceremonial MOS for 'em nor will there be one.
    Last edited by Tangmo; 09-28-19 at 05:53 PM.
    The Republican - Conservative - Libertarian Rightist Axis: Making America Russia and China Instead

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