President-elect Joe Biden has made so many excellent appointments to his Cabinet, particularly in the areas of the economy and health, that it is stunning to see such a worrisome appointment to the Pentagon. The nomination of retired Army General Lloyd J. Austin III will lead to an unnecessary battle over his required waiver as well as his confirmation. The opposition should not be dismissed as the usual progressive voices against a leading member of the military-industrial community, which Austin represents, but the need to maintain civilian control of the military as the Founding Fathers wished.
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The Middle East: America’s Briar Patch
It is foolish to believe that the United States could easily withdraw political and military resources from the Middle East, which has been our “briar patch” since we adopted a policy of one-sided support for Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War in 1967. For the past six decades, no international issue has preoccupied the attention of U.S. presidents as much as the Middle East. The renewal of violence between Israel and the Hamas government is a reminder of the harm that stems from Israeli unwillingness to pursue Palestinian self-government; the policy of “apartheid;” the racist legislation introduced by left-wing Labor governments in the 1970s to deny Palestinians their ownership rights; and—the ultimate Catch-22—its policy of demolishing houses built without permits that the Israelis refuse to issue.
My lawsuit against the CIA
Attorneys sparred before a Fourth Circuit panel on Tuesday over the constitutionality of a policy implemented by four federal agencies, which requires former intelligence agency employees and military personnel to obtain the government’s permission before publishing works that relate to their service.