Army Officer Who Clashed With Trump Vows to Speak Out on Security Issues

An Army officer who was a key witness through the impeachment inquiry into President Trump final yr and later retired after what he known as a marketing campaign of bullying and intimidation by the president and his allies, sharply criticized the administration on Saturday and stated he would use his new civilian standing to champion nationwide safety points forward of the elections in November.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a adorned Iraq warfare veteran who served on the employees of the White House’s National Security Council, accused the administration in an op-ed in The Washington Post of utilizing Soviet-style techniques to punish dissenters. He added: “At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment.”

In his function as a Ukraine knowledgeable on the National Security Council employees, Colonel Vindman was on the July 25, 2019, phone call Mr. Trump had with Ukraine’s president that grew to become a central factor of the impeachment inquiry. Colonel Vindman testified within the House impeachment hearings that it was “improper for the president” to coerce a international nation to examine a political opponent.

“Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents,” Colonel Vindman, whose retirement from the Army after greater than 21 years of service took impact Saturday, stated in his op-ed. “Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished.”

Colonel Vindman, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in worldwide relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, stated he supposed to communicate out on a variety of points.

“I will demand accountability of our leadership and call for leaders of moral courage and public servants of integrity,” he stated. “I will speak about the attacks on our national security. I will advocate for policies and strategies that will keep our nation safe and strong against internal and external threats.”

People acquainted with Colonel Vindman’s plans stated he was doubtless to focus on the United States’s so-called great-power competitors with Russia and China, however was nonetheless deciding on how and in what type to weigh in.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council declined to remark on Colonel Vindman’s remarks.

Colonel Vindman was amongst scores of officers who had been picked to be promoted to full colonel this yr. Typically, such promotions are backed by Army and Pentagon officers earlier than shifting to the White House for ultimate approval, after which to the Senate for a affirmation vote.

But the White House made clear to officers within the Pentagon’s workplace of personnel and readiness, which handles such issues, that Mr. Trump didn’t need to see Colonel Vindman promoted, officers stated. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper pushed again in opposition to the White House opposition, and forwarded the promotion listing, which included Colonel Vindman, to the White House.

But Colonel Vindman advised family and friends that he felt more and more pessimistic that he had a significant future within the Army, and opted to retire.

Hours earlier than Colonel Vindman was marched out of the White House in February by safety guards, Mr. Trump foreshadowed his destiny. “Well, I’m not happy with him,” the president advised reporters when requested whether or not Colonel Vindman could be pushed out.

“The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed,” Colonel Vindman wrote on Saturday.

Colonel Vindman stated that regardless of his private turmoil, he remained hopeful about the way forward for his household and the nation. He stated he has acquired messages of help from “tens of thousands of Americans.”

“Impeachment exposed Trump’s corruption, but the confluence of a pandemic, a financial crisis and the stoking of societal divisions has roused the soul of the American people,” he stated. “A groundswell is building that will issue a mandate to reject hate and bigotry and a return to the ideals that set the United States apart from the rest of the world. I look forward to contributing to that effort.”

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Shekh Shahrukh

Shekh Shahrukh is a digital marketer, Entrepreneur, and a Journalism student at Delhi University. A news writer by day and news seeker by night, he is loathed to discuss himself in a third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.

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