A Threat to Our Democracy

The President Doesn’t Follow the Law
The President is regularly taking advantage of our preoccupation with the pandemic to weaken and even gut our democracy.  There have been three major anti-democratic steps in the past few weeks, beginning with the removal of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, without cause, which federal law requires.  On April 13, the President claimed that he had “total authority” over 50 U.S. governors to open up the U.S. economy, although he backed away from that empty threat within 24 hours.  Nevertheless, it demonstrated his lack of adherence to the Constitution, the rule of law, and the separation of powers.  Most recently, the President threatened an action that has no precedent in U.S. history, forcing Congress to adjourn to allow him to make numerous recess appointments to various positions.  
 
Official Positions are Unfilled
There are already too many officials in an acting capacity, which circumvents the advice and consent clause of the Constitution. Many key positions are unoccupied because the current administration hasn’t nominated anyone, which points to the inability of the administration to even function on a basic level.  Both Republican and Democratic legislators are resisting the President’s efforts to shut down Congress.  
 
Skirting the Rule of Law
These actions demonstrate the President’s lack of adherence to the rule of law.  They have the marks of abuse of power, which threaten to gut the oversight and accountability roles of the legislative branch of government.  We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that some of the most threatening authoritarians were initially elected by the people; and not guilty of seizing power.  Think Hitler; think Erdogan; think Duterte.  
We must speak out against the President’s actions which threaten our Democracy.  As the masthead of the Washington Post proclaims: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” 

Recent News and Latest Book

The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms

Caveat Emptor.  There is no better way to exaggerate perceptions of the threat than to rely on the worst-case assumptions of the Department of Defense.  Since the creation of the department in the National Security Act of 1947 we have been inundated with the Pentagon’s distortions: the non-existent “bomber gap” in the 1950s; the “missile gap” in the 1960s; and the so-called “intentions gap” of the 1980s, which argued that the Soviet Union believed that it could fight and even win a nuclear war.

No End to the Washington Post’s War on Whistleblowers

Investigative reporters of the Washington Post often have their exposes because of whistleblowers. Watergate and Deep Throat is the enduring example. In his excellent new book, “Midnight in Washington,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) documents the necessity of whistleblowers to the Congress, particularly the congressional intelligence committees. As Schiff states, without whistleblowers the congress “would be almost completely reliant on the intelligence agencies to self report any problems.”

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State