How to Question William Burns, Biden’s Pick to Head the CIA
In virtually all previous confirmation hearings, there were no probing questions on CIA transgressions or the purpose, role, and even necessity of the CIA in the post-Cold War world. It is essential that the committee and the American public get some idea of Burns’ impressions on these important matters, particularly in view of his distinguished career and his thoughtful writings. What can be done to improve the production of strategic intelligence? What is the proper role for covert action in the 21st century? What can be done to improve oversight at the CIA and to ensure cooperation with congressional oversight?
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The USS Liberty: a Well-Planned Accident
Today marks the 56th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which has been described by too many U.S. and Israeli accounts as an accident. In fact, the attack took place after eight hours of aerial surveillance by Israel, and it involved a two-hour air and naval attack that killed 34 sailors and wounded an…
The Mainstream Media’s Unwillingness to Challenge U.S. Militarization
The Post regularly states that the United States spends as much on defense as the next 10 or 11 nations combined, but the cruel fact is that we spend as much as all other nations combined. The global total for defense spending is around $2.5 trillion, and U.S. defense spending exceeds $1.2 trillion. The Pentagon’s budget for next year is $886 billion, but that is not the full extent of defense spending. The budget for the Veteran’s Administration is over $120 billion, which takes total defense spending to more than $1 trillion. There is significant defense spending in the budgets of the intelligence community, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security, bringing total defense spending to at least $1.2 trillion.