Last weekend, Governor Mike Huckabee opened his weekly TV variety show with an unusual topic that now seems oddly prescient. Newly returned from Israel, the governor displayed the fresh carbon from an archeological “dig” in the city of David, hard by the ancient walls of Jerusalem. It was eloquent testimony to the ferocity of the Roman assault under Titus in AD 70, an early holocaust that destroyed the Temple, sacked the city and may have killed a million Jews.
Most people assumed such ugliness had been consigned to the ashcans of history – until the Russian assault on Ukraine in 2022 showed that history is still very much alive. But haven’t we also outgrown our own Civil War, virtue-claiming politicians relocating its monuments to safer places where our few remaining sensibilities won’t be offended? Few of them appear to have read George Santayana, another dead white male no longer studied in our colleges and universities, “Those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it.” But, hey man, what did he know?
I thought of those ancient generals and their modern counterparts around midnight last evening when the breathless and clearly thrilled-with-herself Attorney General of Fulton County, Georgia announced the latest indictments of Donald Trump and his growing list of co-defendants. After proudly reading their names and specifications, she made the obligatory point that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty – barely suppressing a wink to the worshipful crowd of reporters taking down her every word. Over at MSNBC –where I worked for ten years until overtaken by shame and loathing – Rachel Maddow made a rare return to preside over the usual giggles and guffaws. Wasn’t it just terrific, they snickered, that Donald Trump had finally gotten his come-uppance? That he was finally paying the long overdue price for his many lies and distortions? The consuming irony was their special guest, Hillary Clinton!
That midnight take-down of Donald Trump inevitably recalled the other half of the equation, the one involving Joe and Hunter Biden, the Sweetheart Deal and its author, David Weiss, US Attorney for Delaware, lately appointed Special Counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Now Mr. Biden might not be the quickest one off the mark when it comes to keeping track of the Maui Wildfire Disaster (“Huh?”) but he has an exquisite sense of whatever it takes to protect him and his oldest son.
For example, my colleague Charles Lipson succinctly summarized the principal questions concerning Mr. Weiss, whose office…
“Slow-walked the criminal investigation for years, allowed the statute of limitations to expire on key charges, let Hunter Biden escape from taxes he owed on foreign income…avoided prosecuting Hunter for failing to register as foreign agent despite clear evidence, and told IRS investigators they would not pursue any leads, however credible, that might lead to “the Big Guy” Joe Biden.” With magnificent irony, Professor Lipson concludes, “they have not pursued those leads. Those are fundamental failures, and we need to know why they happened.”
Although voting for him twice, I hold no brief for Donald Trump, who clearly has a lot of explaining to do. But every day seems to provide more evidence backing up his frequent assertions about interference with the election of 2024. Although each defendant must shield himself against the charges brought against him, the government has an equally grave responsibility to prove that it comes into court “with clean hands.” Thus far, the array of charges assembled against Mr. Trump suggests precisely the opposite: a strategically-orchestrated effort to establish double, triple and now quadruple sets of charges, either to bankrupt him or to effectively remove him from the presidential race. And that is saying nothing about the lifetime penalties facing Mr. Trump should he be convicted of any or all of those felonies.
For me, this amounts to what is now referred to as ‘the two-tiered system of justice’; many other Americans may feel the same way, especially when accompanied by the systematic stonewalling of the Biden DOJ. But it is important to recall that we also have a ‘two-tiered system of media,’ routinely distorting every issue. Congressman Joaquin Castro, for example, is lauded by San Antonio’s leftist media munchkins each time he attacks Governor Greg Abbott’s heroic efforts to stem illegal immigration. https://www.breitbart.com/
But the growing likelihood of civil conflict arising from the 2024 election may well be the most embarrassing omission of the once “objective media” – and quite possibly a fatal one.
Colonel (Ret.) Kenneth Allard is a former draftee, member of the West Point faculty, Dean of the National War College and NBC News military analyst.