Editorial

Brainstorms 2/23/2017

Ferrin Cox
Publisher

Thursday, Feb 23,2017

It was 51 years ago this month that Elba High School experienced two explosions that destroyed several classrooms and prompted a team of FBI agents to swarm the site and stay in Elba for several days. A jug of gasoline was placed near the dynamite to burn what was left after the explosion but failed to ignite. It was late on a Thursday night (or maybe early Friday morning). A meeting of the Coffee County Hog Producers had met in the nearby lunchroom just hours earlier. We attended that meeting, lived very close to the school but slept through the whole thing! A phone call from California early the next morning from a person wanting details was the first news we have of the event. They had picked up the news on the radio hours earlier. We can thank Don Dunaway, Bo Dunaway was police chief during those days, for reminding us of this bit of Elba history. No arrest(s) was ever made in this matter. FBI folks turned the investigation back over to local officials after determining that the explosion was not likely related to the recent integration of the local schools. Enforcement folks suggested privately that they did have one strong suspect and a possible motive but explained they could not absolutely prove to a jury that this unnamed person had anything to do with setting the dynamite or lighting the fuse. It is hard to imagine it was all that long ago, but even 51 years can fly by when you are having fun!
P S. Those explosives left a big ole hole in the floor of the building and shattered (destroyed) several classrooms but classes resumed several days later!

President Trump is upset over news leaks and vows to find the source. That probably means he plans to fire folks. This is mostly about stuff that originally came from the intelligence offices, thus Trump is blaming them for leaking the information to the public. Now he didn’t deny the truth in the news leaks, just complained that someone told. Not the intelligence report he had in his hands for two weeks but the public outcry caused Trump to fire one of his new cabinet members. The president may be correct about where the leaks came from but don’t jump on that without more information. White House officials acknowledge that the information had been given to them a couple of weeks earlier and therein is another possible leak source.  Each of the executives in the White House has aides and those aides have assistants, each with potential to have access to the intelligence. It is amazing how big (and fast) the potential pool of “people who know the secrets” expands. If any one of them didn’t like the person mentioned in the reports, didn’t like the president, etc., they could well be the leak. Many of these people are career employees and it has long been felt that these folks have learned ways to protect their jobs but still protest actions of the elected officials without waving protest posters on the street or writing letters to the editor.

Any question of why federal employees would not be willing to be openly critical of anything relating to Donald Trump need only to look at what happened to Craig Deare, whom Trump appointed a month ago to head the National Security Council's Western Hemisphere division. He spoke off the record at a closed door meeting, the word “leaked” about him be critical of the way Trump had handled recent  dealings with Mexico and WHAM he is gone!