One of the most consequential appointments that a new president must make is director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Unfortunately, this appointment is usually made late in the transition process, getting insufficient attention and typically ending up with a mediocre selection.
Walt Kelly’s Pogo remarked that “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” In terms of election interference, historically the United States has been the enemy abroad and now we are the enemy at home. There is more than 70 years of evidence of U.S. election interference abroad; the current interference at home is far more threatening. Donald Trump is prepared to do great harm to the November election, creating the kind of cynicism and disarray that will enable Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propagandists to kick on an open door.
As with any book by Gates, there needs to be the standard warning of “caveat emptor.” This is particularly true for “Exercise in Power” in view of Rachel Maddow’s obsequious interview of Gates last month in which she described the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency as a “public intellectual.”
Gates’ “Exercise in Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World” requires a two-part review. The first part will be a review of Gates’ record in the government, particularly his politicization of intelligence on the Soviet Union.
The mainstream media is asking the wrong questions regarding the possibility of Russian bounties for American soldiers. Over and over, they ponder what did the president know and when did he know it? These were important questions that Senator Howard Baker asked of President Nixon during Watergate, but they are meaningless questions for Donald Trump, given his ignorance and indifference. But there are relevant issues regarding the current problem of Afghanistan, which the mainstream media should address, and there is the question of what is to be done. The problem with media coverage is once again the lack of context.