“The Justice Department is unleashing political furies it can’t control.” So wrote the editors of the Wall St. Journal on the day after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. They are wrong. Those “political furies” were released years ago. The FBI search, while it will further feed those furies, is only a symptom of them.
How could it happen that a former president could abscond with: 1 set of “top secret/SCI” documents, 4 sets of “top secret” documents, 3 sets of “secret” documents, and 3 sets of “confidential” documents? How could it be that included in these documents is, reportedly, even nuclear secrets? How could such documents be stored in the basement of a country club? This is the stuff of a second rate spy thriller, not actual US history!
Why did Trump abscond with this material?
It is not for nothing that serious analysts considered Trump to be a “security risk” even before he took office. Entire books have been written on the subject. (See Oaklandsocialist’s book review of Treason and Betrayal.)
What seems most sinister may be the most innocuous, and vice versa. Take, for example, the nuclear secrets Trump had. Given his subservience to Putin as well as his utter corruption, it’s not impossible that he was planning to turn it over (for money) to Putin. However, we should also keep in mind that those who gave Trump his daily security briefings found that the only way to hold the attention of his child-like mind was go include lots of pictures, some of which he asked to keep. Maybe Trump just liked to thumb through these “interesting” photos like a young child likes to thumb through a good picture book.
Or consider another possibility: In the months after he lost the election, Trump had been considering ordering an attack on Iran as an excuse to declare martial law in the US and remain in office. He was encouraged on this by Netanyahu although Trump was ultimately constrained by his own generals. Is it possible that the nuclear secrets Trump had absconded with were pertaining to Iran, not the US, and that he was planning on selling them or turning them over to Netanyahu? That would fit with the reports that some of the documents Trump kept were interdicted foreign communications – possibly from the Iranian regime. (It’s true that the US and Israel are close allies, but every capitalist government has secrets that it keeps from even its closest allies.)
On the other hand, those who conducted Trump’s daily briefings found that the only way to keep his attention was to present those briefings with lots of pictures and photos. It’s also reported that Trump would ask to keep some of those photos from time to time. Maybe he just liked thumbing through them like a six year-old child likes thumbing through a nice picture book. Or maybe he just wanted to keep them “just in case”, with no definite future plan. Long range planning is not exactly his strong point, after all.
Roger Stone Documents
But then there reportedly are documents related to Trump’s pardoning of Roger Stone. Did Trump simply find it more convenient to keep those documents to himself, or is there information in there revealing direct communications between Stone and Trump in the days leading up to January 6? Given that Stone was working directly with the organizers of the storming of the Capitol – the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers – such information would be the “missing link” providing proof that Trump knew in advance about and was involved the planning for that riot.
Possibility of Trump Indictment
Attorney General Garland seems to have been extremely reluctant to press the issue. He and the Department of Justice had to investigate, but they did so reluctantly, spending months and months trying to convince Trump to turn over the documents. Ultimately, though, Garland had no choice but to act once the DOJ received a tip that nuclear secrets were included in those documents. Failing to do so would have resulted in the total destruction of his career and that of others around him had he failed to act and the fact of that tip was revealed.
It seems likely (although uncertain) that Trump’s holding those documents involves something more serious than just his childish fascination. After all, why did he not turn those documents over voluntarily once the pressure was applied? Now that it’s out in the open, and if something really serious is revealed, can Garland avoid actually bringing criminal charges against Trump? If the Wall St. Journal editors think that the political furies have been released by a mere search warrant, imagine what will happen if there is an actual indictment!
Hysteria or Fantasy Can Become Reality
As with so much else in recent US history – for example January 6, 2021 – we now must consider what would have been labeled pure fantasy or hysteria just a few years ago.
You have, for example, Florida legislator who is running for US congress Anthony Sabatini. He has called for the arrest of FBI agents. One needn’t have illusions in the FBI to understand what this means. It must be taken in light of another call – that of the Young Republicans of New York State (not Florida or Texas but New York!) “Anyone involved in the listed political persecutions should be arrested and prosecuted with expediency, and in cases of extreme undue resistance, we recommend consideration of the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” they exclaimed. Suspending Habeas Corpus basically means a suspension of civil rights. Such calls must be understood in light of the campaigns for secession, including in Texas. These campaigns may be going nowhere right now, but in the future they could develop not to secession but into ethnic and political cleansing.
“Civil War” 21st Century Style?
There is no way that a federal government under control of the Democrats could tolerate the arrest of federal agents by a rebel state government. They would be forced to act.
But then you have 20 million assault weapons and nearly 400 million guns of all sorts circulating in the US – plus the flak jackets, full body armor and who knows what else. This is essentially a fragmented private fascist militia waiting to be organized. The Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers are pipsqueaks compared to this potential force.
Combine all of this and you have the potential for a governor and state legislature organizing and mobilizing a private militia of this sort. Such a private army would be the US equivalent of Hitler’s storm troopers.
In such circumstances, it would not only be the fascist or semi-fascist state forces that would suspend civil (or democratic) rights; the federal government would do it too! They would elevate the very same generals who battled Trump during his four years in office.
There would also be the potential for devisions within the military. While most of the top brass, linked with the mainstream of the US capitalist class, opposes what Trump represents, there is also the “Dr. Strangelove” element, as seen by the likes of Florida congressional candidate Sabatini (a former soldier), Eddie Gallagher and Michael Flynn.
Fragmentation of US Society
In other words, what we are seeing is this: Every capitalist society contains centrifugal forces – forces which threaten to rip society apart. In normal times, the capitalist class is a strong enough counter force that it can hold society together. It’s sort of like the solar system with the Sun and the planets, with the planets pulling to spin off into outer space and the gravitational force of the Sun keeping them in orbit. But what happens when that gravitational force weakens?
In this case, the US capitalist class has lost a huge amount of its credibility within the masses of the working class. In the past, the capitalist class exerted its influence through the mass media, the religious institutions, etc. It has largely lost that influence. Its gravitational force has weakened. With the exception of Fox News, for example, the media has been carrying out a six year full court press against Trump. With what result? After Watergate they carried out a similar campaign against Nixon and within just a few months he had to resign. But what result has the present campaign had? The majority of Republicans support Trump more strongly than ever! They feel more alienated, and therefore more inclined to take extreme and violent steps, than ever!
There is a force that can hold society together and lead it forward. That is the working class. However, it is more fragmented and confused than ever. Such a situation can change overnight as disaster approaches. How and through what channels cannot be foreseen, but one thing is certain: It can only be accomplished alongside of a complete break from the Democratic Party as well as a rebellion from below inside the unions.