The first 24 hours of the Trump presidency were marked by a bizarre inauguration speech (“American Carnage”), frenzied claims of record inauguration crowds, and an unusual appearance at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency where the new president proclaimed his political brilliance. The shock of these 24 hours led pundits and politicians alike to proclaim that the so-called adults in the administration (Tillerson at State; Mattis at Defense; Coats as the director of national intelligence; and eventually General McMaster at the national security council) would exercise some restraint on a potentially unstable and unpredictable president.
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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.”