Do Investigations Into The Past Matter?

By

Leonard Zwelling

It seems that the more we investigate misdeeds, the fewer miscreants actually go to jail. It seems that way, but the Mueller probe suggests that this conclusion has its exceptions.

Already five people including a former National Security Advisor have pleaded guilty and over 30 people have been indicted. Paul Manafort’s first trial is on deck. Undoubtedly there will be more to come.

If the U.S. is ever to recover from the interference in its 2016 presidential election by Russian operatives and the election of a television game show host as the leader of the free world, it will be important to review how that happened, was it honest, and if not who cheated or committed crimes and how will they be made to pay.

Mr. Mueller is examining whether or not Russia interfered with our elections, whether they will do it again, and who may have committed a crime by aiding and abetting the Russian effort. It is very possible that the children and son-in-law of Mr. Trump are seriously involved as may be others like Paul Manafort, who still sits in jail today.

But make no mistake, Mr. Mueller is pursuing past events. He is not taking the attitude that Mr. Trump would like him to take and say that all those misdeeds were water under the bridge and isn’t Mr. Trump doing a great job for America now. Mr. Trump would love Mr. Mueller to let by-gones be by-gones and just let Trump be Trump and make America great again.

There’s a problem with that. We will have learned nothing as a nation from what transpired in the race for the presidency in 2016.

First, the primary season lasted too long and had way too many contenders.

Second, that one candidate could dominate while only taking a plurality of votes in the GOP primaries is a basic flaw in the system. The number one group responsible for the election of Donald Trump in 2016 is not the Russians or the Democrats (although the latter had more to do with it than the former). The real culprits are all those small men and some women who thought they could be the GOP nominee and drained votes away from the true contenders who could have prevented the advent of Trump. Trump was the last man sitting in the game of musical chairs that was the GOP primary.

Third, the Democrats have a lot of soul-searching they need to do. How could Hillary Clinton have been the best among them? She is so 90’s.

It is critical to the United States’ future for it to review the past. An honest appraisal of what happened in 2016 is needed so it does not happen in 2020, when it is possible that the nominee of neither party may be an incumbent. (You heard it here first).

I use all this as a prelude to proposing another form of review of past events that might be of use to the MD Anderson community. This blog has identified a host of unseemly events that occurred under the presidencies of the two men who preceded Dr. Pisters. It is yet unclear to me that the underlying problems that allowed this to occur have been identified for the world to see so that they do not happen again.

What was the real cause of the financial shortfall that was reported under Dr. DePinho?

How did it correct itself so quickly and so readily?

Who is going to watch the president and other senior executives at Anderson if, as is obvious, the UT System cannot and will not do it and MD Anderson does not have its own board?

` When decisions are made that are at cross purposes with faculty well-being and the ability of the faculty members to do their jobs (think flash drives), who is accountable and how?

On several fronts I have heard it said, that MD Anderson is moving forward and does not want to revisit the old wounds. That does not heal them nor does it assure the scar tissue that forms is of sufficient strength to preclude a relapse.

What happened to MD Anderson and its leadership between 2001 and 2017? And why? It’s time for some honest answers. A Mueller-like commission to answer these questions would go a long toward shaking the paranoia that still seems to be in the halls of MD Anderson.

Leonard Zwelling