During my career as a foreign correspondent with the Chicago Tribune, I spent a lot of time working in third-world dictatorships and corrupt banana republics.
I reported on rampant corruption by everyone from presidents and prime ministers on down to beat cops and military grunts. I witnessed elections being stolen by those in power while millions, if not billions, of dollars, changed hands among the ruling autocracies and elites.
I watched as courageous local journalists who attempted to expose corruption and who tried to come to the aid of the disenfranchised were arrested, confined, and even murdered.
Like most of my colleagues in the international media, I reported all of this in hundreds, if not thousands, of stories.
And like them, I breathed a sigh of relief that I lived in a mostly praiseworthy democratic republic where such corruption and unethical behavior did not occur—or if it did, it was quickly exposed and checked.
Today, I am sorry to say I no longer live in that country.
America has become the same kind of banana republic, the same kind of corrupt autocracy that I reported on a few decades ago in places like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, the Philippines, and South Korea.
This became clear to me when, for the first time in American history, the ruling junta in Washington weaponized federal and local law enforcement agencies to indict a former president.
Donald Trump may not be everybody’s cup of tea, as the Brits like to say, but he is an ex-president and, as such, should be accorded the same rights and privileges as other former presidents who may have left office under a cloud— diaphanous as those clouds may have been. Think of former presidents such as Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, U.S. Grant, and Warren Harding—none of whom were hounded by their political successors after leaving office.
Instead, we hear one hypocritical Democrat after another mouthing the self-righteous bromide that: “no one is above the law” when it comes to Donald Trump’s indictment.
How they are able to utter that phrase with a straight face is beyond me.
Yes, SOME people are clearly above the law in America—IF you are a socialist or a Democrat.
Let’s return to the summer of 2020 when leftist BLM rioters and Antifa thugs were burning and looting American cities. Not only did Democrat politicians endorse and excuse their criminal behavior, Democrat mayors and district attorneys refused to prosecute them. Vice president Giggles, AKA Kamala Harris, even helped bail the miscreants out of jail so they could continue their crime sprees.
At this point, we still don’t know what the 34 accusations against Trump will say—though most believe a few will have something to do with the misuse of campaign funds, etc.
That brings me to Hillary Clinton and the fact that she shelled out thousands of dollars to a law firm so it could hire a former British spy to dig up dirt on Trump during the 2016 campaign. She charged the money for that scheme during her campaign as a “legal expense,” which, paradoxically, is apparently one pretext for Trump’s indictment.
So why wasn’t old “lock her up” Hillary indicted?
You know the reason. She is a Democrat and she cleverly laundered her funny money through a law firm. But wait, didn’t Trump do the same thing with his now-discredited attorney, Michael Cohen?
Never mind. Nothing to see here. Crooked Hillary is “above the law.”
Let’s move on to Attorney General Merrick Garland and his disgraceful targeting of parents who protest at school board meetings, naming them “domestic terrorists.” At the same time, Garland has looked the other way as squads of Antifa thugs and leftists have rampaged through cities, assaulting political opponents and, more recently, attacking a new police training facility in Atlanta.
Clearly, Antifa goons, BLM thugs, and others of their ilk are immune and are “above the law.”
Then, there is the Hunter Biden laptop and the mounting evidence against the Biden crime family for raking in millions of dollars from China’s communist party, Ukraine and Russia. We now have a sitting president and his family who evidently are “above the law.”
Do I need to point out the millions of migrants, drug dealers, sex offenders, and alleged asylum seekers who have stormed across our southern borders illegally? They, too, are clearly “above the law” because the Biden administration and our feckless and deceitful Homeland Security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, have literally invited these lawbreakers to cross our borders and disappear wherever they want to in the Banana Republic of America.
Finally, we come to the George Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. While going after Donald Trump for what is likely to turn out to be nothing more than a few bookkeeping errors, Bragg has, at the same time, transformed New York City into “crime central” by refusing to prosecute half of the violent crimes that police have sent to his office. Of the felonies Bragg has prosecuted, many were reduced to misdemeanors so the criminals could be dumped back onto New York’s perilous streets to continue their felonious activities.
So while a former American president is under indictment for a string of minor transgressions, it is patently evident that hundreds, if not thousands of New York’s murderers, smash-and-grab shoplifters, rapists, and child abusers are unquestionably “above the law.”
So here I am, watching a nation that was once the envy of the free world deteriorate into a banana republic where lawlessness, political totalitarianism, and tyranny are the rule, not the exception. It’s a country in which the party in power, i.e., the Democrats, are weaponizing the nation’s law enforcement agencies and any other federal bureaucracy they can to convict and imprison their number one challenger and enemy–Donald Trump, so he cannot defeat them in 2024.
This is what juntas and tyrants in dictatorships do to their political enemies. It is not something that has ever happened in the United States or that should happen here. Failing to convict Donald Trump, I have to wonder what’s next. Putting him before a firing squad or stringing him up in some public square?
Given the banana republic political and criminal environment evident in today’s America, I wonder when the U.S. State Departments will issue an advisory that warns foreigners to avoid travel to the United States.
I’ve already advised my overseas friends and family to stay where they are—or, short of that, to visit someplace safer and less despotic, like Afghanistan, Ukraine, or Sinaloa, Mexico.
(Ronald E. Yates is a U.S. Army veteran, an author, a former Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent, and Professor & Dean Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois.)
His website: http://www.ronaldyatesbooks.com/
Truth Social: @AFNN_USA