What What have we become as a nation? Consider the following news developments just this week.
The Director of National Intelligence told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that “The United States is under attack.” The heads of the major intelligence agencies nod in agreement. Because they were talking about a cyber attack by Russia, it was the second or third item on the evening news. Now, had North Korea launched a nuke at us, it would have led the news, of course. But a cyber attack? Eh.
The Director of the FBI reported that we are taking some defensive measures against these cyber attacks, but when pressed by a Republican senator as to whether the President had directed that steps be taken, the Director said no. The question, of course, is why not?
It was revealed that the man responsible for controlling the flow of paperwork, including highly classified information, to the President had only an interim security clearance. The FBI recommended against a permanent security clearance, apparently because he was accused of abused his two ex-wives and a girlfriend. The FBI Director contradicted the White House statements as to when they learned of his abuse, once again raising questions about the White House's credibility.
After days of silence the President said that he’s against domestic violence of any kind, but “you already know that.” No mention of women.
It was further revealed that over 100 White House officials, including the President’s daughter and son-in-law (who regularly sees highly classified information), have only interim security clearances after an entire year.
The President’s lawyer said he paid a porn star alleged to have had an affair with the President $130,000 out of his own pocket to keep quiet. The porn star now says the lawyer violated the deal and she is now free to talk.
EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt routinely flies first class, even between DC and NY at a cost of over $1,400 (rather than $250 for coach) for “security” reasons. Apparently, he’s had some unpleasant encounters with taxpayers.
Sixteen Florida high school students and a football coach who sacrificed himself protecting students were mowed down in their school by a disturbed 19-year old former student wielding an AR-15 assault rifle bought legally. This was the 18th school shooting this year. The day before, Trump overturned an Obama regulation intended to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
The President offered prayers and condolences to the Parkland families and assured students and parents they are not alone and “we’ll always be with you.” He made no mention of guns. At least one member of Congress said this wasn’t the time to discuss gun control legislation. Now when have we heard that? And House Speaker Paul Ryan said we shouldn't jump to hasty conclusions.
Note to Paul Ryan: Since 20 first-graders and six adults were killed with an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT in 2012, 438 people have been shot in at least 239 school shootings, 138 of whom were killed. So has enough time gone by so we can discuss this without jumping to conclusions?
Once again, another tumultuous week in the U.S. Really, Mr. Trump, are we making America great again?
Cecelia Blalock, a regular contributor to Not Fake News, is a freelance journalist based in Savage, MD.