And I’m not referring to the members of the D.C. National Guard.
This is disturbing (boldface mine):
The U.S. Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration said Friday he has been ordered removed from command effective Jan. 20, 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz’s departure will come in the midst of the presidential ceremony, classified as a national special security event — and while thousands of his troops are deployed to help protect the nation’s capital during an inauguration he has spent months helping to plan.
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz would command not only the members of the D.C. guard but also an additional 5,000 unarmed troops sent in from across the country to help. He also would oversee military air support protecting the nation’s capital during the inauguration.
“My troops will be on the street,” Schwartz, who turned 65 in October, said, “I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said that he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”
Schwartz, who was appointed to head the guard by President George W. Bush in 2008, maintained the position through President Obama’s two terms. He said his orders came from the Pentagon but that he doesn’t know who made the decision. It is unclear whether he is part of a larger class of federal workers who have been asked to leave their jobs as a new president takes office….
“It doesn’t make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment,” [D.C. Council Member] Mendelson said. He added that Schwartz’s sudden departure would be a long-term loss for the District. “He’s been really very good at working with the community and my impression was that he was good for the Guard.”
Unlike in states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.
Schwartz said that he has not been told why he was asked to step down.
The best case, and likely, scenario is incompetence: the Trump administration is willing to put visitors, servicemen, and residents of D.C. at risk because they feel they need to clean house immediately. This is what is done after a business merger, and is one more reason why government should not ‘be run like a business.’
The worst case scenario is that a Trump will use a bullshit excuse, such as some chucklehead ‘anarchist’ breaking a store window, to declare a state of emergency and shut down the march planned for the 21st (of course, they could just make something up completely out of whole cloth too).
There is now a slight, non-negligible chance of the latter happening.
This is not normal.