By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin --(Ammoland.com)- It was the middle of the night the phone rang and woke up the Colonel and me.
We both were on the line listening to the frantic call from an old Air Force friend. This friend was on the White House staff and was calling us from D.C. at well pass 3:00AM east coast time.
The person was extremely upset and just wanted someone to vent frustrations of the work place with. The problem was the work place was the inside-the-White-House military support staff to the President of the United States. Who do you call when you are upset with what is going on at work, and you are directed not to talk about work because of where you work?
Now the White House is not unique in their demand for the staff to keep the daily activities of the business of running the White House away from the prying eyes and ears of the public. Almost any company or business you might work for does not want its employees bad-mouthing the boss or the company or handing out the secrets of that organization to the public.
For profit based companies, it is about the bottom line. If a disgruntled employee shares the inner most secrets of the company to the public, it may affect the corporate earnings or draw unwanted press coverage to that business.
For the White House, however, it is all about perception. How is any action or deed of an employee of the White House, civilian or military, going to reflect on the President?
Nobody really cares at the senior level of any Presidential administration how an uncomfortable situation involving White House staff is going to negatively affect that staff worker. It is all about how is the President going to look when and if a negative story about one of his “horse holders” is aired to the 24 hour-a-day news industry?
The “horse holder” is expendable (not literally, at least some times) and they can be made to just go away on very short notice.
Again, it is about the perceived way any incident will reflect on the President,–not on any noble idea of fairness to an accused White House staffer.
Our frantic friend was alleged to be carrying on a relationship with another staffer who was married. This alleged relationship was supposed to be happening while our friend was on the road directly supporting the President.
Our friend was advised that, if regardless of fact, (of course no one would put that in print) if there was reason that it could be perceived these two staffers were fooling around on the President’s dime, then they would be leaving the White House with a cardboard box in hand. Our friend was upset, and we were both rolling our eyes as we listened on our phones.
Our friend was single, dated a lot, enjoyed being on the White House staff and got to travel the world with the President of the United States. I have done Presidential security. I know the three scariest words the lowest Presidential staffer could utter to even a three star general and get instant action are “White House support.”
Our friend was innocent of any alleged breach of conduct that could have reflected poorly on the President. That person remained on the White House staff until a normal rotation back to a regular military assignment. Apparently, in this case, the perception of a “maybe” wrongdoing by a staffer was not perceived as anything that might reflect negatively on the President.
“White House support,”–words that open a lot of doors for underlings, who in their regular lives have very little power.
I once ordered up a C-130 mission as a Captain in the Air Force with a simple phone call. Within thirty minutes, I had two Air Force colonels and a Navy Captain calling me directly. Who was I to be ordering an expensive aircraft sortie? All I had to say was, “White House support,” and suddenly these senior officers could not be more helpful.
For the White House it is all about perception, not necessarily fact or innocents of guilt. And then there were the Secret Service members who used “White House support” to get some alleged personal support in Columbia. Perception or fact, does not really matter, just the power of the White House. Oh and then again, just the other day, there were three Secret Service agents who get sent home in shame for being drunk during an Obama security mission to Europe.
The Ukraine is going up in smoke and the agents are partying on Federal Government time.
I will bet Putin’s security service does not get drunk while on duty supporting him. Well maybe they do, but when they get caught they never get sent back home under a cloud of shame, perhaps they just get sent to the Ukrainian Front.
To our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, I apologize up front for “our” senior elected leader, but you will not get any help and there will be many funerals in the coming days in Ukraine. No matter how many trips he makes to Western Europe to speak to that region’s senior leaders (while being provided questionable protection by our Secret Service.)
Pending death at the hands of the Russians, this is what Ukrainian Swamp Sausage means.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret. email@example.com
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” firstname.lastname@example.org