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“It is hard not to think that the president’s loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial inspector general”– Michael Atkinson, IG fired by [redacted] for ratting on his “perfect” phone call with Ukraine president


photo courtesy of and ErikaWittlieb

I previously reported on the fact that the *president fired the intelligence community inspector general (IG) on Friday night, hoping that nobody would be watching a that time. No such luck: lots of people noticed that Michael Atkinson, the IG who passed on the anonymous whistleblower complaint about our Commander-in-Cheat and his “perfect” phone call with the President of Ukraine, was on his way out.  Since He couldn’t fire the IG outright, He put him on 30 days’ leave, effectively shepherding him out the door with cardboard box (containing the personal contents of his desk) in hand.  Here’s the WaPo story with Mr. Atkinson’s quote.

This firing is outrageous and is an obvious and nearly successful attempt to completely undermine independent oversight of the intelligence community.  With the departure of the IG, our con-man president is free to pressure supposedly impartial intelligence community professionals.  We saw the results of personal, biased internal initiatives in the Second Gulf War: poorly sourced, misleading reports that the Iraqis were still pursuing weapons of mass destruction.  A truck designed to produce hydrogen gas for makeshift weather balloons was misinterpreted as a machine for spreading biological weapons.  Niger supposedly was selling “yellowcake” (uranium ore) to Saddam Hussein.  There’s more, but that was so long ago that my memory fails me and I don’t have time under the pressure of the novel coronavirus pandemic to look it up.

That is part of the point of His “Friday night massacre”: nobody will notice that you are trying to seize autocratic power when everyone is afraid of dying from an invisible enemy that is seeping under our doors as we speak.  Luckily, the primary purpose of this legal but inappropriate discharge is only personal revenge from a *president who has the attention span of a fruit fly and the self-control of a third-grader.  We can only hope that His attention will be diverted long enough for the virus to strike down all the candidates for intelligence community inspector general, putting them out of service until November 3 (in case you forgot, there’s an election coming up).

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