President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan


I feel the need to offer a response to Trib opinion editor Bill Whitaker’s Feb. 1 column, “Will GOP memo caper on FBI make your toes curl?”, on Republican Congressman Bill Flores, his concerns about the integrity of the FBI and Department of Justice and, finally, a conservative constituent who fears Flores and other Republicans are attacking federal law enforcement in order to rally around their president and party.

My turn at all this is no “slash-and-burn” kind of epistle, since we do agree on a number of points. I feel strongly that both informed and lesser-informed citizens should be entitled to know what the truth is. So much untruth has emanated from Washington, D.C., that most citizens are growing weary of it. I, for one, am entirely disgusted about it and, of late, I have been pointing out to friends, colleagues and followers that they should be especially wary of those sensationalized “click-bait” kinds of postings, whatever their political views. While the message implied may fit what the reader wants to believe about a political figure, it is very often the case that it is entirely made up.

I do believe that a small cadre of Justice Department officials did act with impropriety regarding the presidential election of 2016. These are just my beliefs, however, since I have not been allowed to see any hard evidence.

Those on the other side of the political fence in this growing “Memogate” scandal seem to feel very strongly the other way. I do not think this intelligence impasse can possibly go away, or even dwindle in furor, without actual documents being released for all the world to see. Those may be catastrophic for one political party or the other, but distrust of government agencies has zero chance of being ameliorated so long as the “secret” documents are kept from us all.

I must complain a bit about Mr. Whitaker’s characterization of Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes as being “ethically compromised” and a “Trump stooge.” In the next paragraph of his column, he quotes ranking committee member Adam Schiff parroting the typical talking points produced by the Democratic propaganda machine trying to discredit Nunes. This seems to be just more of the finger-pointing back and forth that we do not need. We need, again, the pure, unvarnished truth.

One final issue, not mentioned in the Whitaker column but certainly pertinent to the Russia, Russia, Russia hoopla going on, is this:

I find it ironic that, with all the allegations of collusion (whatever that is) and a steady barrage of claims that President Trump and/or allies are acting basically as Russian agents, many of the news media and Democrats are accusing the Trump administration of engaging in “McCarthyism.” As best I recall, McCarthyism had to do with the all-out efforts to pursue and thwart Communist “moles” in our country. It is difficult to understand how Trump and other conservatives can simultaneously be agents of Russia and prosecutors of Russian agents at the same time.

To sum it up, I think back on an old Wendy’s fast-food commercial on TV where the little old lady asks, “Where’s the beef?” I want to see the actual meat of the current controversy that keeps boiling over throughout our country.

Lester H. Beaird, of Lacy Lakeview, is retired from a career in prison administration, including the Texas Department of Corrections.