Donald Trump, campaigning in Iowa in 2015, said that “I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war.” For the past three years, we have witnessed Mr. Trump’s wars on governance, science, national security policy and public service. For the past several days, we have witnessed a new war — a war on whistleblowers that will make it particularly difficult for others to come forward in the future.
The July 29 front-page article “Coats to resign as spy chief” stated that intelligence directors have “not been such vocal political supporters of a president.” Well, President Ronald Reagan’s intelligence director was William J. Casey, who was a campaign manager for Reagan in 1980 and a zealous supporter of the president. As CIA director, Casey was responsible for the cherry-picking of intelligence on the Soviet Union that exaggerated the power and influence of Moscow and missed the decline and ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Casey example is an important reminder of the danger of appointing a loyalist such as Rep.?John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.) to be director of national intelligence.