Trump has used most of the past four years to enforce Steve Bannon’s “deconstruction of the administrative state,” and most of the past several months to politicize and weaponize the key departments of the national security state. He has manipulated the Department of Justice; the Department of Defense; the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and the Central Intelligence Agency in unprecedented ways.
Trump’s war on America reminds us of Jonathan Swift’s saying “A lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Thomas Jefferson’s version was “Falsehood will travel over the country, while truth is putting on its boots.” Mark Twain said something similar, and so did Winston Churchill. There is a Chinese proverb (“Error will travel over half the globe, while truth is putting on its boots.”), as well. Well, Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr are doing their best to test the validity of these proverbs.
Trump certainly remains first and foremost in this loathsome trio for the damage and havoc he has done to governance, particularly his campaign against the Department of Justice and the justice system itself in undermining the rule of law. But we should never forget the truckling of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.
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.