“That’s why Democratic and Republican administrations alike, at least since Watergate, have honored that the rule of law requires a strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House on criminal cases and investigations. This wall of separation is what ensures the public can have confidence that the criminal process is not being used as a sword to go after one’s political enemies or as a shield to protect those in power. It’s what separates us from an autocracy.” – Sally Yates
Ms. Yates words are reminiscent of another “wall of separation” that once existed between editorial and sales in the news business, a wall that prevented advertisers from dictating what we the people were being allowed to know. A wall no less important to the preservation of freedom than the wall that’s supposed to be in place at the Justice Dept. Her words also remind me of the founder’s worries that merchant-bankers would one day control the country, unless they were prevented from doing so by yet another “wall,” one that bit by bit has been torn down over the past many years with little or no recognition from the media with regard to the issue’s very real threat to Democracy.
“And I sincerely believe with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies…” -Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Taylor in 1816.
And that dear friends, brings us to another wall, one that was thoughtlessly torn asunder by the United States Supreme Court in its “Citizens United” decision in 2010, opening the floodgates on limitless injections of money into political campaigns coming from any number of both non-profit and commercial enterprises, such as (dare we even think it?) Russian oligarchs and banks filtering their cash through others so as to be nearly impossible to trace?
It is entirely possible that foreign entities, to an unknown degree, now own us. They have been permitted to buy our political process, thereby giving them a degree of power over those who write our laws and control our freedoms. It’s what you get when the wall between commercial and investment banking is knocked down and anything resembling reasonable campaign finance reform is but a distant memory.
You get a campaign infiltrated by political operatives with Russian connections and an Attorney General who is fired from her job after warning her boss the president that the Russians aren’t just coming, they are here, and that his executive order on travel and immigration, might not be lawful.
Sally Yates, was, and continues to be, on target. Donald J. Trump, in his apparent refusal to listen to the best and brightest around him and then showing himself to be unwilling to act on the best information available has repeatedly been unable to hit the broad side of a barn with a load of buckshot.
(Sally Yates, served as Deputy United States Attorney General and then Acting United States Attorney General, until being fired by Donald J. Trump in January of 2017.)