A social media friend posed a fascinating question to me regarding the latest scandal involving Donald Trump, the one involving reports that he failed to respond to intelligence that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban terrorists who killed U.S. servicemen and women.
He noted that I had served in the military and wondered how I would react to such reports that the commander in chief was looking the other way at news that an enemy state had put a bounty on my head.
You know what? I cannot answer that question definitively. It’s hypothetical and when I am faced with such a question, I tend to fall back on how “I would hope to respond.” I hope I would be filled with rage at the individual who sent me into harm’s way.
I was a 19-year-old kid when I arrived in a war zone more than 50 years ago. I don’t have the foggiest recollection of where my head was in that moment. I cannot recall if I ever gave any thought to anything other than wishing my tour of duty would be over quickly so that I could return to “The World.”
What’s more, I was that we used to refer to as a REMF. The first three letters of that acronym were “rear echelon mother …” I let you figure out what the fourth letter meant. I served in the rear, at first on a flight line, then I went to work at a tactical operations center in Da Nang, South Vietnam.
My concern at this moment deals with what the men and women who put their lives on the line while fighting for our country are thinking about the commander in chief and the latest astonishing scandal that is boiling up around him. I acknowledge a lack of “consensus” from intelligence officials on whether the Russians are paying bounties to Taliban fighters. But to my ears the reports seem credible.
Donald Trump might have known and did nothing. Maybe he never bothered to read the briefing papers that contained the intelligence. Perhaps the intelligence officers who provide Trump with this information never bothered to tell him what they knew. Are any of these possibilities acceptable? Absolutely not!
I cannot get past the notion that the men and women in harm’s way are mad as hell at the commander in chief.