"The Trump administration right now, as we speak, is liquidating these airplanes like they're postal service sorting machines in a majority-black city in a swing state," Maddow said.
November 24, 2020

Last night, Rachel Maddow talked about how the delay in acknowledging Joe Biden as the president-elect hasn't just been a disaster in regard to the pandemic, but in terms of national security. In only the most recent example, she points out how Trump is trashing our national security structure -- kind of like people did in 2008 when the banks repossessed their homes.

"I think it's been overlooked, though, that the length of time that the president has chosen to stretch this out, you know, defying the election results and keeping up this fiction that he's some how going to stay in power despite the election, it's not just been a time waster in terms of standing up the new government, it has also been a distraction from the stuff that the Trump administration is doing right now on its way out the door to mess up the country as much as they can while they're leaving," she said.

"For example, the Trump administration really did pick right now as the moment they have declared they are exiting the Open Skies treaty. So for us and for all our allied countries in Europe who have been in this treaty with us for decades, we have picked this moment, today, to leave them blind to the surveillance and other intelligence on Russia that they have been depending on through us because of this treaty since the fall of the Soviet Union.

She noted the treaty has been in place since 1992.

"We killed it today. We're leaving. We're not going to do those flights anymore. and so the other countries in the treaty won't get access to the intelligence and surveillance data that those flights provided. They've been getting that data for decades. As of today, no longer. and just to throw one more unwrapped Baby Ruth into the kiddie pool."

But "just in case" the Biden administration might want to rejoin the treaty, she said, "the Trump administration has decided to destroy the airplanes that we use for compliance with this treaty. Quoting the Wall Street Journal, in a move that could complicate President-elect Joe Biden's options if he sought to re-enter the agreement, the Trump administration is taking steps to dispose of the two specially-equipped OC-135B planes the U.S. has used to carry out Open Skies flights.

"A senior U.S. official said the planes are being designated as 'excess defense articles.' The official said, quote, 'We've started liquidating the equipment.' The senior U.S. official insisted that the goal in disposing of the OC-135s is not to tie the hands of the incoming Biden administration. That said, quote, 'The move follows a decision in July by then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper to cancel the program to buy newer planes to replace the OC-135s. That's eliminating the option of replacing the aircraft with more modern variants as well.

"So they're destroying the planes, and they've made sure there won't be any to replace them. Now, to be clear, it's not even clear -- it's not even widely agreed as to whether or not it's legal for the Trump administration to be doing this. I mean, legally they were supposed to consult with Congress for four months before pulling out of this treaty. They didn't. They just -- they just pulled out of it. Biden, if he wanted to, could presumably use that fact to unilaterally say as president, we're rejoining the open skies treaty. When they said they were withdrawing, that was actually illegal.

"It was done improperly. Consider us to still be in it. But if Biden does that -- and it's not inconceivable that Biden's going to do that -- 'neener neener, too bad.' The Trump administration right now, as we speak is liquidating these airplanes. Like they're postal service sorting machines in a majority black city in a swing state, right? And they killed off the funding for new ones, so there's no more planes to replace them in the pipeline and they're very highly specialized aircraft.

"So, you know, neener, neener. And hey, European countries worried that they might be the next country to be invaded by Russia, yeah, too bad. The U.S. is no longer here to help you keep an eye on that. And if Joe Biden wants to be a normal U.S. president and go back to the United States helping other countries around the world in that way, well, he can start maybe at the scrap heap where we're putting all the equipment, right?

"In one of those car smashers to see how small we can make it. That's what they're doing right now."

Well, that's one of the benefits you get when you install a Russian asset in the Oval Office, amirite?

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