Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) announced Monday that they would vote for the impeachment of President Trump on Wednesday when it comes before the House of Representatives. Both women had decade-long careers in the CIA before they won Republican-held seats in the House in the 2018 election.
Slotkin and Spanberger are two of the eleven Democrats elected for the first time in 2018 who come directly from national-security backgrounds into elective office, and whom the World Socialist Web Site identified and publicized as the CIA Democrats.
Their recruitment to run for open or Republican-held seats was a joint operation by the Democratic Party leadership and the military-intelligence apparatus to insure that the incoming House—after the expected Democratic takeover—would be firmly aligned with the national-security establishment.
Far more military-intelligence Democrats were elected than followers and supporters of Bernie Sanders. They far outnumber the so-called “squad,” the four newly elected female representatives from minority backgrounds who have been given massive publicity.
With the pro-impeachment declarations by Slotkin, Spanberger and, also on Monday, Jason Crow of Colorado, a former Army special forces operative, ten of the eleven “CIA Democrats” have now said they will vote for the impeachment articles.
The other seven include Max Rose of New York, a former unit commander in Afghanistan; Andy Kim of New Jersey, a former military adviser in Afghanistan and member of the National Security Council; Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, a former military helicopter pilot; Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, a former State Department official specializing in “human rights” provocations; Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, a former Air Force captain; Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, a Marine Corps prosecutor; and Elaine Luria of Virginia, who commanded a Navy warship.
The eleventh, Jared Golden of Maine, voted in favor of the impeachment inquiry resolution last month and is expected to support impeachment as well, but he has not yet made the public commitment.
Slotkin declared her support for impeachment in an op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press on Monday morning, followed by a town meeting at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit.
The op-ed column emphasized that Slotkin was all for bullying weak foreign governments, as Trump did with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Her objection was to the purpose of the bullying, not the method.
“To be clear, presidents from both parties have leveraged the powerful role of the United States to get foreign countries to do what’s in our interest,” she wrote. “It’s quite standard, as senior U.S. officials wield leverage to increase our own national security. But here’s the fundamental difference: President Trump used the power of the presidency for his own benefit, to give himself some advantage in the very election that would determine whether he remained in office.”
She added, “Over the past few days, I have done what I was trained to do as a CIA officer who worked for both Republicans and Democrats … In the national security world, we are trained to make hard calls, even if they are unpopular––if we believe the security of the country is at stake.”
What the congresswoman was “trained to do as a CIA officer” was to pursue the interests of American imperialism by the most ruthless and bloodthirsty methods. She served three tours as a CIA agent in Iraq, becoming the principal intelligence “briefer” for the US ambassador in Baghdad, the effective ruler of the country. She then worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence, an individual with a record in US imperialist war crimes going back to Vietnam and Central America.
As we wrote in 2018, “After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, ‘homeland defense’ and cyber warfare.”
For Slotkin, supporting an impeachment drive initiated by the CIA itself, through the complaint filed by the so-called whistleblower, amounts to just following orders. Nonetheless, the corporate media glorified her decision as though it was a heroic act of considerable political courage.
Slotkin and Spanberger were among seven newly elected Democrats with military-intelligence backgrounds who signed an op-ed column published September 23 in the Washington Post, giving their support to the opening of an impeachment inquiry based on the Ukraine national-security charges. All seven had previously been opponents of impeachment when the issue was raised over Trump’s separation of immigrant children and parents, his illegal ban on Muslim visitors, and his unconstitutional diversion of funds to build his wall on the US-Mexico border.
While the White House, congressional Republicans and their media mouthpieces have put considerable pressure on the 31 Democratic representatives who won “Trump districts”—congressional districts where Trump won more votes than Hillary Clinton in 2016—it appears that only a handful will break ranks. Some 24 of the 31 have announced their support for impeachment (including seven CIA Democrats), as of Monday night.
Jeff Van Drew, a conservative Democrat elected in the Second District of New Jersey, comprising the southern quarter of the state and including Atlantic City, announced he would vote against impeachment and switch his party affiliation to the Republicans.
Collin Peterson, representing the largely rural Seventh District of Minnesota, comprising most of the western third of the state, will also vote against. Van Drew and Peterson were the only Democrats who opposed the resolution approving the impeachment inquiry.
The author also recommends:
Democrats combine impeachment and collaboration with Trump
[16 December 2019]