A Nation of Bread and Circuses
‘Our beloved republic is in the hands of madmen’
Julius Caesar to the 13th Legion
By Ladson F. Mills III
America has reached the stage Roman Historians labeled as the age of ‘Bread and Circuses.’
Toxic projection backed by mobbing now passes for serious political discourse. Decades of disastrous Washington leadership has created a national debt of over twenty trillion dollars. With the bread rapidly disappearing all that remains to divert attention away from the government failures are the circuses of political theater.
One of the most interesting circuses is being provided by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. Mueller, appointed to investigate collusion between the Trump Presidential Campaign and the Russian government, thus far seems to have overlooked possible criminal activity by the FBI, Justice Department, and his protégé and successor, James Comey. He has yet to find the collusion for which he was appointed but has managed to engage in a boundaryless fishing expedition at exorbitant cost to the taxpayers.
Mueller enjoys a reputation for being an honest, and a dedicated public servant who once headed the FBI. And on the surface there is nothing to discourage this assessment. He was born to privilege. Despite an exclusive prep school and Ivy League education he joined the United States Marine Corps to serve in Vietnam where he was combat wounded and decorated for bravery.
Easily overlooked, however, is that having served for decades in Washington he has become ‘institutionalized’ by the system. He would not be the first to lose his moral compass in the morass of national politics.
Often forgotten is that former Congressman John Murtha was a decorated Marine Colonel and the recipient of the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage Award.” Had he not died from surgery complications he would have been criminally indicted.
Randy “Duke” Cunningham was a Navy Fighter Pilot and Vietnam War Ace before being elected to Congress. His bravery and courage are the stuff of legends. Yet after fourteen years in Congress he pled guilty to bribery, fraud and tax evasion. He was sentenced to Federal Prison.
A Look at the Federal Judiciary
America’s Federal judicial system is arguably among the most corrupt in the world. As one critic noted its 97% conviction rate is more common to a dictatorship than a free society. It uses unlimited resources as a weapon to spend an accused into poverty. It offers reduced sentences to coerce agreements not to appeal guilty verdicts to protect the reputation and record of judges and prosecutors.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was the recipient of a particularly nasty early morning FBI raid which was designed to intimidate him and his family. Mrs. Manafort was targeted for intentionally rough treatment. But at least she wasn’t killed.
During the 1992 Ruby Ridge, Idaho raid an FBI sniper shot and killed forty-three-year-old Vicky Weaver as she held her infant daughter in her arms. Mrs. Weaver’s crime was to be married to a man suspected of membership in the Aryan nation; a charge which he denied. He had failed to make a court appointment which led to a raid by numerous Federal Law Enforcement agencies claiming he was storing illegal weapons.
The Weaver’s fourteen-year-old son Sammy was killed trying to protect his pet dog. Although Deputy Assistant FBI Director Danny Coulson labeled the charges against Weaver as nonsense, no Federal Agent was ever prosecuted for either killing.
Mueller’s lack of success has not mollified the anti-Trump cabal. It has returned to an old tactic of playing the female card with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand vying for the role of circus ringmaster. This would not be her first attempt to manipulate the women’s issue for personal gain.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 from a conservative district, Gillibrand presented herself to voters as a conservative Blue Dog Democrat. However, after being appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senate seat she championed causes of the left.
Lining Up for the 2020 Presidential Race
In 2013 a survey from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office reported that sexual assaults in the military had increased at an alarming rate. Of those surveyed more than 26,000 reported having been sexually assaulted. This was astonishing figure given the study had been voluntary and only 22,792 responded.
It turned out that many of the accusations had occurred before their military service. Others had been perpetrated by a non-military member. The press releases failed to mention that the definition of sexual assault had been modified to include any unwanted behavior as sexual assault.
This did not discourage Gillibrand from the headline-grabbing attempt to remove investigations of sexual harassment from the military’s chain of command to specially appointed courts. Only the surprising intervention of Army Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno prohibited her success.
In Gillibrand’s circus any accusation of sexual harassment automatically means guilt. She is joined by other highly visible females and ambitious male colleagues who instinctively understand they hold the system hostage. But Gillibrand is something different. She is taking this to a level yet to be experienced.
Her ambition has fractured the traditional Democratic Party coalition of women, African-Americans, and the elitist left. After twenty years of silence she turned on her former mentors, Bill and Hillary Clinton. She now states Bill should have resigned his presidency over accusations of sexual harassment. She led the demand for the resignation of liberal Senator Al Franken for similar allegations. Although Franken agreed to fully cooperate with the ethics committee investigation, she would not tolerate his being afforded due process. Even the longest-serving African-American representative John Conyers became a casualty of sexual harassment accusations without receiving due process.
Gillibrand’s sights are now set on President Donald Trump and a 2020 run for the presidency.
Her behavior is classic predatory opportunism. Where Hillary Clinton was primarily self-serving Gillibrand has proven to be exclusively so. She has shown the willingness to embrace positions solely for political expediency and to target anyone who stands in her way This includes not just friends and colleagues, but the nation’s military and hence the national security. It appears all can be sacrificed on the altar of her insatiable ambition.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer recently defended Gillibrand from Donald Trump’s criticism by describing her as a highly respected member of the Senate. This is more than partisan political hyperbole. Schumer fears that he could have a target on his back when he becomes vulnerable.
If I were Schumer or Gillibrand’s primary Democratic Party competitor for the presidency, Senator Elizabeth Warren, I would not be sleeping well.
Ladson F. Mills III, a former Marine Corps Line Officer and Navy Chaplain, is the founder of Setebos-Sixpence Freelance Writing Ltd. He lives with his wife on Johns Island, South Carolina. He is a regular contributor to The Covert Letter and Virtueonline.