Donald Trump continues to wreck the engine of our democracy before turning over the keys to President-elect Joe Biden. His unconscionable use of the pardon power; veto of a defense bill for all the wrong reasons; threat to the civil service system; firing of statutory Inspectors General without cause; illegal profiting from business interests; and violations of the Hatch Act represent Trump’s assault on governance. But the most worrisome aspects of his wretched legacy are his attacks on the rule of law, our electoral system, and our tradition of stable succession—indeed, his attack on democracy itself.
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Breaking the Addiction to Secrets and Secrecy
There is no question that the government must protect its sources and methods in the collection of intelligence. Regarding substance, however, I believe that, with the exception of details on weapons systems as well as on sensitive negotiations, there are few legitimate secrets and almost none that must remain classified for more than ten years at most. The secrecy that surrounded the Iran-Contra affair probably saved the Reagan presidency over the short term, but greater transparency would have prevented Iran-Contra from ever getting off the ground in the first place.
Harvard’s Kennedy School: Key Part Of The Military-Industrial Complex
Harvard’s Kennedy School’s denial of a fellowship to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch, because of his criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is only the latest example of the corporate role played by Harvard’s most prestigious think tank on public policy. Roth, who has spent the last three decades at HRW defending human rights around the world, was offered a senior fellowship at the School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. It was quickly withdrawn.