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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Trump’s Hunt For “Red October”

By: Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published on September 10, 2018

The “Hunt for Red October” is a suspenseful movie (based upon a Tom Clancy novel) that tracks Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) as he abandons his orders and heads for the east coast of the United States. Equipped with innovative stealth technology, Ramius' submarine, "Red October," is virtually invisible. However, when an American submarine briefly detects the Russians' presence, CIA agent Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) sets out to determine Ramius' motives, fearing he may launch an attack on the U.S.

Instead of attacking the U.S., Ramius is defecting to the U.S in his submarine. When they realize Ramius' plans, the Russians desperately pursue “Red October” for the purpose of destroying the submarine before Ramius can accomplish his "rogue" mission.

On September 5, 2018, the New York Times published an op-ed essay by an anonymous senior official in President Donald Trump’s administration. The essay was highly critical of Trump and his fitness to serve as President.

Like the Russians in the movie, Trump became enraged by the tough criticism of someone working within his administration and began his own hunt for “Red October”. Trump immediately called the publication of the essay an act of “treason.” Following his lead, the White House quickly labeled the anonymous essayist a “coward."

In a scene reminiscent of authoritarian regimes in North Korea, Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia, Trump demanded that the New York Times “turn over” the essayist to the government. The Times refused to do so.

Trump then demanded that U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions open a Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigation to find the anonymous essayist. Trump, who routinely refers to Sessions as a “traitor”, a “retard”, and an “idiot”, views him as "weak" and "dumb."

There has been no comment from the DOJ on whether an investigation has been opened to find the anonymous author of the essay.

Meanwhile, White House officials, cabinet members, and Vice President Pence stampeded to the White House to openly deny authorship of the essay. Their denials ring hollow amidst the following candid statements in the essay:

“[W]e believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. . . .

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”

Privately, Washington “insiders” have confirmed that Trump and the White House are in full meltdown mode at this time. Many officials who work directly with Trump truly believe he is “unfit” for the Presidency, but they are afraid to say so publicly. They are concerned that Trump spends most of his time each day tweeting, watching TV, and chatting with “friends” on the phone instead of doing his job.

Vice President Mike Pence, who issued a denial that he is the author of the anonymous op-ed essay, has said he will not question members of his staff to determine if one of them is the essayist. Realistically, there could not have been any thoughtful discussion amongst cabinet members and administration officials about invoking the 25th Amendment that did not include Pence, or his trusted surrogate, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It is well-known in Washington that Trump has no trust in either man.

How will Trump’s hunt for “Red October” end? Just like it did for Richard Nixon. In the end, truth prevailed.

In America, no one has ever been able to suppress the truth about our institutions of government forever. Our First Amendment right to freedom of speech sets America apart from the rest of the world in this regard.

PHOTO: Trump Administration officials who deny that they authored the anonymous New York Times op-ed essay that was highly critical of President Donald Trump.

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