David Ignatius has a well-earned reputation as an apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency and a defender of increased defense spending and the newly-created Space Force. In an oped for the Post on May 27, Ignatius has defended Pompeo’s fund-raising dinners at the lavish ceremonial rooms of the Department of State, which incidentally was one of the issues being investigated by the State Department’s Inspector General, Steve Linick. These elite dinners are funded by U.S. taxpayers, but, in this case, the major purpose was to identify and recruit donors for this campaign, and to impress conservative media figures such as Ignatius who were central figures at these dinners.
Donald Trump’s falsehoods have two parts: first of all, there are the mind-numbing plethora of lies that he spreads from the White House under the headings of “fake news,” “witch hunt,” and “deep state.” Just as damaging is the second part of the campaign to spread disinformation, which is the war against the federal government’s intelligence chiefs and Inspectors General, who are responsible for truth-telling and accountability within governance.
Every U.S. president since Dwight David Eisenhower has understood the importance of arms control and disarmament, which serves to highlight the ignorance and inexperience of Donald Trump and his key advisers regarding disarmament issues. Over the past two years, the Trump administration has scuttled the Iran nuclear accord, which brought a measure of predictability to the volatile Middle East, and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which destroyed more missiles that any treaty in history. Now, the Trump administration has walked away from the Open Skies Treaty, which was particularly important to the Baltic states and the East Europeans for monitoring Russian troop movements on their borders.
Sunday’s front-page article read like a war game scenario concocted by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency. The article stated that Iran and Venezuela were “forging a closer strategic partnership,” with five Iranian oil tankers “steaming” across the Atlantic Ocean in the “most public display of the deepening relationship.” Iran hardly qualifies as a challenge, let alone a threat, on any level, but the Post relied on comments from hard liners such as Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special representative to Venezuela, and Evan Ellis, a professor of Latin American studies from the U.S. Army War College.This imaginary scenario is particularly ludicrous because it comes at a time when Iran is moderating its approach to the West, particularly avoiding any confrontation with the United States. Iran recently endorsed Iraq’s selection of an American-approved prime minister, who actually has ties to U.S. intelligence forces in Iraq. Iran has stopped pro-Iranian militias in Iraq from attacking U.S. forces, and has significantly reduced attacks on merchant ships and tankers in the Persian Gulf.