The Right To Look

“President Donald Trump is telling reporters that he made the decision to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “by myself.”” (Trump choice to oust Tillerson made “by myself” AP 3-13-18). Collateral damage but significant nonetheless is the same AP’s headline from a little later the same day — The Latest: Officials say White House fired Tillerson aide. “The officials said Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was informed of the move shortly after he released a statement in his name saying that Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his termination. Goldstein had also told reporters that Tillerson learned of his firing Tuesday morning from Trump’s tweet announcing he was nominating CIA chief Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department.” Same day, CNN headlined ICE spokesman in SF resigns and slams Trump administration officials (Dan Simon, 3-13-18). “Schwab [James Schwab, a spokesman for the San Francisco Division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement] cited Acting Director Tom Homan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as being the purveyors of misleading and inaccurate information, following Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s controversial decision to warn the community of an upcoming ICE raid.” “”Director Homan and the Attorney General said there were 800 people at large and free to roam because of the actions of the Oakland Mayor,” he told CNN. “Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible. I think she could have had other options. But to blame her for 800 dangerous people out there is just false.” “It’s a false statement because we never pick up 100% of our targets. And to say they’re a type of dangerous criminal is also misleading.”” Simon takes pains to include “The Oakland mayor said in response to the former spokesman speaking out, “I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie. Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard.”” as well as mentioning that Schwab was a 16 year employee, and a democrat. Analysis finds several less than obvious items of interest. Do we want an elected official to act unilaterally “by myself”? Mayor Jeff Hall made the same move with the late night demolition of Newark’s Gazebo. He was unmoved by others in his own party who thought it inappropriate. Isn’t that the rational behind the existence of parties in a representative democracy? That decisions are not with the individual but with a group consensus? Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s referencing “transparency” becomes even more significant in light of the continuous firing and resignations within the current culture of government. Do the American people have a right to look? Finally, it is the entire package of consent, trust and “belief” that the police and prosecutors are involved with keeping crime in check. What happens when we start to question whether or not someone was prosecuted because a crime was committed? Or were they set up because it helps with the “reality TV show” of political party propaganda (an unnecessary contribution inadvertently made by Simon when he couldn’t help but mention that Schwab was a “democrat”)?

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