Once again, out of the fog of war there has emerged a heroic dog of war. Conan is a Belgian Malinois, a shepherdlike puppy who was slightly wounded during the commando raid that resulted in the explosive death by suicide vest of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria. Belgians are a favorite of military forces and law-enforcement authorities because of their physical prowess, bravery and, uh, dogged willingness to follow orders. No canine mutiny with these pups.
We know he’s called “Conan,” even though his identity is supposed to be classified, like the human members of his special forces unit. But there was a leak and his name was made public, although it is unknown whether the leaker raised his or her leg.
The commander in chief has intense scorn for all those who spill the confidential beans. Come to think of it, President Donald Trump has intense scorn for just about everyone who doesn’t shine a favorable light, real or imagined, on him. He’s obsessed with them, at one point tweeting “Leakers are traitors and cowards,” particularly when the information is supposed to be classified.


Never mind that Donald Trump throughout his life has built a career on a fictitious image by whispering to his favored reporters self-aggrandizing stories of his exploits, most of them phony. In fact, one could argue he was the originator of “fake news.”
And never mind that this president leaks super secrets like a sieve whenever it suits him -- just as an example, during an Oval Office meeting in May 2017 with the Russian foreign secretary and then-ambassador to Washington. In that little encounter, he blithely revealed tightly held intelligence, disclosing the identity of a major spy who had embedded himself with ISIS.
As a matter of fact, the Russians were told in advance of the al-Baghdadi operation, but he refused to tell the House Speaker and Chairman of House Intelligence, even though they are traditionally in the loop when this kind of high-stakes move is being made. His explanation? “We decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before.”
He’s particularly incensed these days at Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, because they are leading the impeachment effort against him. The Trumpster and his Trumpettes describe it as a “coup” and those aligned against him as “human scum” and “traitors.”
His abettors get even more bonkers with their accusations. John Yoo, for instance, trashed Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who had been detailed to the Trump National Security Council staff and testified about being among those assigned to listen in on the now-infamous July call between POTUS and Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky in which the Don tried to muscle Zelensky into reopening a corruption investigation into Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. Vindman had firsthand knowledge of the call and gave damaging testimony to House investigators. For that, Yoo, on Fox News, suggested Col. Vindman, decorated in combat, was guilty of “espionage.”
If Yoo’s name sounds familiar, he was the high-ranking member of the George W. Bush Justice Department who authored the so-called "Torture Memo", the highly contrived legal rationale for “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding. Yes, that John Yoo.
After even some Republican leaders objected to impugning Vindman’s reputation in such a reckless way, Yoo walked back his espionage charge. There’s a lot of walking back by the Trump gang these days. That’s a really passive-aggressive way to leave the incendiary quote just hanging out there. In essence, becoming an attack dog while pretending not to be such a rabid one.
Perhaps he could join the patrols in the Syrian desert, as opposed to simply plying his trade in the television punditry desert. He gets paid big bucks for doing that. Conan the hero does his job for a few kibbles.

© 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 2, 2019 7:30 AM.

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