Blog Opinion: To Those Been Saying America a Banana Republic, Firing of Comey Proves You Correct
For quite a while now, many Americans and global people, with global perspective on government and international affairs, that have been observing America closely, said America resembles a “Banana Republic.”
Banana republic is a political science term that describes a politically unstable country in Latin America with an economy dependent upon the exportation of a limited-resource product, e.g. bananas, minerals, etc. Typically, the banana republic has a society of stratified social classes, usually a great and poor working class and a ruling-class plutocracy, composed of the business, political, and military elites of that society. Such a ruling-class oligarchy control the primary sector of the economy by way of the exploitation of labour; thus, the term banana republic is a pejorative descriptor for a servile dictatorship that abets and supports, for kickbacks, the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture, especially banana cultivation.
In economics, a banana republic is a country with an economy of state capitalism, by which economic model the country is operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class. Such exploitation is effected by collusion between the State and favored economic monopolies, in which the profit derived from the private exploitation of public lands is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are the financial responsibility of the public treasury.
Guardian reported (source) ‘Terrifying, Nixonian’: Comey’s firing takes democracy to dark new territory
Donald Trump’s surprise sacking of the FBI director drew immediate comparisons to Watergate and tinpot dictatorships.
Donald Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director, James Comey, who was investigating links between the president’s associates and the Russian government, has taken US democracy into dark and dangerous new territory. That was the assessment of Democratic leaders, legal observers and security experts last night, with some drawing direct comparisons to Watergate and tinpot dictatorships.
FBI directors are given 10-year terms in office, precisely to insulate them from politics. It is very rare to fire them. The last time it happened was 24 years ago, when Bill Clinton sacked William Sessions, who had clung to office despite a damning internal ethics report detailing abuse of office, including the use of an FBI plane for family trips.
Tasked with overseeing an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, the now-fired FBI director earned the chagrin of both parties
Comey’s sacking has taken place in very different circumstances. It came on a night when CNN reported that a grand jury had issued subpoenas in the investigation of the Trump camp’s contacts with Russian officials, and after had confirmed to Congress that more than one person connected to the Trump campaign was the subject of an FBI counter-intelligence investigation. He had also indicated that he was investigating leaks from inside the FBI to the Trump campaign in the course of the election.
The New York Times has reported that Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was “charged with coming up with reasons to fire him”. The official reason offered was Comey’s handling of the enquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for classified information. Comey’s announcement in July 2016 that there would no be prosecution, while criticising the Democratic presidential candidate and her aides for being “extremely careless” in their handling of classified material, is singled out in a memo by the newly appointed deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.
In one of the first acts in his new job, Rosenstein said Comey had exceeded his authority with that announcement.
Comey was castigated from both sides for his handling of the Clinton emails. But Democrats were adamant on Tuesday that was not the real reason for his dismissal. It was pointed out that during the campaign, Trump and his team warmly praised Comey’s decision to speak up.
Robby Mook, Clinton’s former campaign manager, tweeted on Tuesday night that US politics had entered a “twilight zone … I was as disappointed and frustrated as anyone at how the email investigation was handled. But this terrifies me.”
Attorney general recommended the firing of Comey, who has been at the center of numerous political controversies since the 2016 US election
Matthew Miller, a former justice department spokesman in the Obama administration, said: “Trump came up with the most convenient excuse possible to fire the person investigating him, but it’s just that: an excuse. This is legitimately terrifying.”
Several commentators compared Comey’s sudden sacking with the 1973 “Saturday night massacre” when President Richard Nixon dismissed Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor appointed to look into the Watergate affair.
“This really is astonishing,” said Scott Horton, a New York attorney and expert in international law. “The most immediate comparison is the Saturday Night Massacre … by firing Comey, Trump is asserting his control over the FBI on the political level.”
Malcolm Nance, a former navy cryptographer and author of a book on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, said: “This is a Nixonian move clearly designed to take out the man who was investigating collusion with a foreign power.
“We are in a completely new space. It will blow past Watergate. Nixon was being investigated for crimes. This is when the FBI is in the middle of a counter-espionage investigation. This is a spy hunt. We have never had that in the White House. This is third world dictator stuff.”
Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer and legal commentator, called the move “a grotesque abuse of power by the president of the United States”.
“This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies,” Toobin said.
On Monday a former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, had given an account of her warnings to the White House, less than a week into the Trump presidency, that his national security adviser Michael Flynn had been compromised by Russia and was vulnerable to blackmail.
It took 18 days before Trump fired Flynn – and he only did so after the details of undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to Washington were leaked to the press. The White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, said Yates’s warnings had not been acted on immediately because the administration had seen her as “a political opponent”. Trump, of course, also fired Yates.
Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent, said the firing of Comey marked “a dangerous time for our nation”.
“The cancerous partisanship politics is not only obscuring the Russia affair. It is ‘dismantling’ the basics of our national security,” he tweeted.
Thomas Wright, the director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution, said: “This ought to scare the living daylights out of Congress. They now have to choose between safeguarding the republic and protecting the president.”
Trump has thus far been able to rely on broad Republican support in the face of the investigation of his campaign’s links with Moscow. But there were signs on Wednesday night that Comey’s dismissal had unnerved some senior GOP figures.
Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee conducting one of the investigations into Trump-Russia links, said in a statement he was “troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination”.
Richard Haass, a foreign policy expert who had been mooted for a top position in the Trump administration, said in a tweet that the country’s global image and “the reputation of its democracy” was at stake. Haass joined the growing chorus of demands for an independent investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.