Donald Trump pointedly drove to the Pentagon on Friday to close U.S. borders to refugees from around the world; to block families indefinitely fleeing the slaughter in Syria; and to suspend immigration from seven Muslim countries. With Secretary of Defense James Mattis smiling over his shoulder, Trump established a religious test for refugees from Muslim countries and ordered that Christians and others from minority religions would be granted priority over Muslims. During his confirmation hearings, General Mattis spoke with great feeling about his opposition to such moves and explained that the coalition to stop international terrorism would be weakened by any attempt to target and demonize Muslims.
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The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms
Caveat Emptor. There is no better way to exaggerate perceptions of the threat than to rely on the worst-case assumptions of the Department of Defense. Since the creation of the department in the National Security Act of 1947 we have been inundated with the Pentagon’s distortions: the non-existent “bomber gap” in the 1950s; the “missile gap” in the 1960s; and the so-called “intentions gap” of the 1980s, which argued that the Soviet Union believed that it could fight and even win a nuclear war.
No End to the Washington Post’s War on Whistleblowers
Investigative reporters of the Washington Post often have their exposes because of whistleblowers. Watergate and Deep Throat is the enduring example. In his excellent new book, “Midnight in Washington,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) documents the necessity of whistleblowers to the Congress, particularly the congressional intelligence committees. As Schiff states, without whistleblowers the congress “would be almost completely reliant on the intelligence agencies to self report any problems.”