It’s Veteran’s Day, formerly known as Armistice Day honoring the end of World War 1.

And now here we are with a man still in charge who is trying to destroy the integrity and security of our country.  He is not allowing Biden the access he deserves and has won.  There is no election fraud.  Trump has no allegiance to anyone but himself.  He fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper.  He continues to stack the deck with those loyal to him.

Heather Cox Richardson wrote this yesterday:

Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Biden’s win means that the current administration is denying him the right to see the President’s Daily Briefing (the PDB) which explains the biggest security threats facing the country and the latest intelligence information. Trump can keep Biden from seeing other classified information, too. 

Today, Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper (by announcing the firing on Twitter), and replaced him with a loyalist, Christopher C. Miller, who will be “acting” only. Trump also selected a loyalist and Republican political operative, Michael Ellis, to become the general counsel at the National Security Agency, our top spy agency, over the wishes of intelligence officials. Ellis was the chief counsel to Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), a staunch Trump loyalist. Trump is also reportedly considering firing FBI director Christopher Wray and CIA director Gina Haspel. Last week, he quietly fired the leaders of the agencies that oversee our nuclear weapons, international aid, and electricity and natural gas regulation, although the last of those officials was moved to a different spot in the administration. 

In other words, Trump is cleaning out the few national security leaders who were not complete lackeys and replacing them with people who are. It’s funny timing for such a shake-up, especially one that will destabilize the country, making us more vulnerable.

Today Washington Post diplomacy and national security reporter John Hudson noted that a source told him that the “Trump administration just gave Congress formal notification for a massive arms transfer to the United Arab Emirates: 50 F-35s, 18 MQ-9 Reapers with munitions; a $10 billion munitions package including thousands of Mk 82 dumb bombs, guided bombs, missiles & more….” This deal comes two months after the administration’s Abraham Accord normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE opened the way for arms sales. 

The UAE has wanted the F-35 for years; it is the world’s most advanced fighter jet. They cost about $100 million apiece. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has secretly been pushing for the sale of the arms to the UAE in the face of fierce opposition by government agencies and lawmakers.

The administration had announced a much smaller version of this deal at the end of October, in a sale that would amount to about $10 billion, but Congress worried about the weaponry falling into the hands of China or Russia and seemed unlikely to let the sale happen. In 2019, it stopped such a deal. Trump declared a national emergency in order to go around Congress and sell more than $8 billion of weapons to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He later fired Steven Linick, the State Department’s inspector general looking into those sales, but when the IG’s report came out nonetheless, it was scathing, suggesting that they put the U.S. at risk of being prosecuted for war crimes.

When you remember that Trump’s strong suit has always been distraction, and that he has always used the presidency as a money-making venture, I wonder if we need to factor those characteristics in when we think about his unprecedented and dangerous refusal to admit he has lost this election.

I read her words and look around for support.

Henry Miller:

“One’s destination is never a place but a new way of looking at things.”

Terry Tempest Williams:

To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.

Yesterday I went to Dunphy Park in Sausalito and sat by the bay and watched the tide come in. Grebes, egrets, cormorants, and gulls entertained as their eating niches slowly filled. The tide is coming in, and with that comes trust that the damage that one man can do will soon be undone, and we’ll connect in care for All!

Ivy grows over rock

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