Category Archive 'Washington Post'
31 Aug 2017

Melania Trump’s Shoes, a National Issue?

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Vogue’s “Fashion Muse” Lynn Yaeger (see photo below) saw a photograph of First Lady Melania Trump boarding a Houston-bound plane in stiletto heels and made a major thing out of it.

This morning, Mrs. Trump boarded Air Force One wearing a pair of towering pointy-toed snakeskin heels better suited to a shopping afternoon on Madison Avenue or a girls’ luncheon at La Grenouille.

While the nation is riveted by images of thousands of Texans wading with their possessions, their pets, their kids, in chest-high water, desperately seeking refuge; while a government official recommend that those who insist on sheltering in place write their names and social security numbers on their arms, Melania Trump is heading to visit them in footwear that is a challenge to walk in on dry land.

A spokesperson says she has other shoes to change into on the plane—and one sincerely hopes there is a pair of leopard-print Wellies-in-waiting to get her from the tarmac to the limo. But what kind of message does a fly-in visit from a First Lady in sky-high stilettos send to those suffering the enormous hardship, the devastation of this natural disaster?

And why, oh why, can’t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?

The Washington Post chimed in:

Melania Trump is the kind of woman who travels to a flood-ravaged state in a pair of black snakeskin stilettos. Heels this high are not practical. But Trump is not the kind of woman who has to be practical. Heels this high are not comfortable. Comfort is not the point. Neither hers nor yours.

Trump is the kind of woman who knows that when she walks from the White House to Marine One there will be photographers, and so she will dress accordingly. On this soggy Tuesday morning, she wore her stilettos with a pair of cropped black trousers and an Army-green bomber jacket. Her hair was nicely blown out, and she was wearing a pair of sunglasses though it was overcast and drizzly at the time. As she walked to the chopper, she glanced toward a camera, and the photographer captured her with one hand in her pocket, her weight shifted slightly to one leg. She looked great.

Trump’s fashionable ensemble was defined by its contradictions. She was wearing a working man’s jacket but it was juxtaposed with sexy limousine shoes. The trousers and the top were basic black — utilitarian. The oversize aviator sunglasses were Hollywood. It’s an image that would have been at home in any fashion magazine, which is so often the case with the first lady. …

It was also an image that suggested that Trump is the kind of woman who refuses to pretend that her feet will, at any point, ever be immersed in cold, muddy, bacteria-infested Texas water. She is the kind of woman who may listen empathetically to your pain, but she knows that you know that she is not going to experience it. So why pretend?

Well, sometimes pretense is everything. It’s the reason for the first lady to go to Texas at all: to symbolize care and concern and camaraderie. To remind people that the government isn’t merely doing its job, that the government is engaged with each and every individual. Washington hears its citizens. That’s what the optics are all about. Sitting around a conference table and talking into a speaker phone are not good optics. A politician has to get on the ground in work boots and a windbreaker. Rolled-up sleeves. Galoshes. Baseball caps.

and the New York Times also eagerly joined fashionista firing squad:

Mrs. Trump’s heels… appear to be classic Manolo Blahniks …redolent of a certain clichéd kind of femininity: decorative, impractical, expensive, elitist (all adjectives often associated with the brand “Trump”).

Mrs. Trump, of course, actually emerged from the plane wearing a pair of white sneakers.

The president himself was also criticized by Jezebel for inappropriate flood attire, i.e. khakis. Tom Knighton notes that khakis were fine for hurricane wear when Obama wore them.

All this was started by Lynn Yaeger of Vogue. The same Vogue whose idea of fashion these days is a cover shot by Annie Leibovitz no less of Bradley Manning pretending to be female in a swimsuit.


Milo Yiannopoulos described the Vogue columnist as: “An unspeakable Eldritch horror from the depths of aeons and untouched by mortal creatures.”

16 Jul 2016

Posing as the Black Victim is a Well-Paying Profession in This Country

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Stacey-Patton

Stacey Patton, obviously an assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Morgan State University purely on the basis of racial favoritism, in the Washington Post, blames all the problems and misbehavior of Black America on white people and rejects Hillary Clinton’s recent call for reconciliation and national unity.

Asking black people to participate in this reconciliation process … suggests that we bear responsibility in this mess. But we didn’t invent the concept of race. We didn’t create and don’t sustain institutionalized racism. And we surely don’t benefit from it.

Rhetorical calls for unity won’t address the fundamental sources of inequality: mass incarceration, employment discrimination, militarized policing, the school-to-prison pipeline, divestment in communities of color, political disenfranchisement, displacement of poor and working-class people of color from gentrifying cities. The emphasis on unity makes no room for discussion about growing white resentment and feelings of victimization, and it presumes that black folks bear responsibility for the entrenched problem of a “colorblind” white America that denies racism even exists.

And while Clinton may not have intended it this way, what the message of unity winds up doing is blaming communities of color for failing to assimilate, rather than acknowledging that the very fabric of this nation is built upon a diabolical, calculated and constantly evolving system of racism.

It’s really time for major national newspapers to stop pandering, and granting legitimacy and publication space, to this kind of offensive, insolent, and infantile leftist poppycock.

Pimps and drug dealers are not criminals because somebody else discriminated against them in employment. The illiterate underclass is the underclass because its members prefer the pursuit of intoxication and sex to gainful employment, not because somebody else took away their upper-middle class professional status. The world does not owe inner-city communities of thugs living in state-supplied housing who’ve ruined their own neighborhoods outside investment.

The author’s own history demonstrates that very modest cooperation with the universal free education system in this country will currently easily gain African Americans status and employment well above their actual deserts.

Ms. Patton’s expressed world-view constitutes a pathological, self-defeating fantasy of perennial victimization, and is really nothing other than one more manifestation of the long-entrenched African-American habit of using Angry Black Person dramaturgy to elevate their own personal status and to shakedown more free goodies from the liberal suckers in charge of the system. These days, if Ms. Patton writes enough of this kind of thing in sufficiently hysterical tones containing precisely this kind of bold-faced insult and accusation, white liberal masochists at the Atlantic will probably give her a really well-paying and prestigious gig helping Ta-Nehisi Coates take another poke at whitey every month.

14 Aug 2015

“Black and Unarmed”

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MikeBrown1Year

John Hinderaker commemorates the anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown with a skeptical response to the WaPo’s agitprop story “Black and Unarmed“.

[T]he constant emphasis on police shootings of *unarmed* men that we see in the press is, for the most part, crazy. If you are a perp, or a suspect, or an inoffensive person walking down the street, you may be unarmed, but the police officer is not. Nor, in most cases, will he have any immediate way to know whether you are armed or not. If you attack him, what do you expect him to do? Challenge you to an arm-wrestling match? He is entitled to use deadly force to defend himself. Attacking a police officer rarely ends well. Likewise with fleeing a police officer who is ordering you to stop.

If there is a problem here, it does not demand a thorough revamping of American police practices. Rather, it suggests that those who have influence with a small demographic group–6% of the population, according to the Post–impress upon them that they should not attack police officers under any circumstances, and if told to stop, they should stop. If they put their hands up, they are not going to get shot.

One last note: the Post casually adds that 18 law officers have been shot and killed by a suspect in the line of duty so far this year. No mention of the race of the officers or of the persons who shot them. Race is only relevant in certain highly selective circumstances, when it can be of political benefit to the party favored by newspaper reporters and editors.

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Larry Elder points out just how racially-slanted the outrage is.

[A]ccording to the Centers for Disease Control, police shootings of blacks are down almost 75 percent over the last 45 years, while police shooting of whites remained level. And never mind that the media engages in selective concern.

Selective concern?

In just the last two weeks, two cops, who happened to be white, were killed by two suspects, who happened to be black. And an unarmed white teen was killed by a cop. …

In South Carolina, an unarmed teenager was shot and killed by a cop. Zachary Hammond, 19, was out on a first date when he was fatally shot by a Seneca police officer during a drug bust. His date, who was eating an ice cream cone at the time of the shooting, was later arrested and charged with possession of 10 grams of marijuana. The shooting is under investigation. But the police claim Hammond was driving his car toward the police officer who was attempting to make the stop, an act that resulted in the officer firing two shots, striking Hammond in the shoulder and torso.

The Hammond family wonders why so little national attention has been focused on their son’s death. “It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen,” said Eric Bland, the family’s attorney.

17 Mar 2015

WaPo: “America Is So Unfair!”

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Hardees

The Washington Post hit back a few days ago at Iowa Senator Joni Ernst’s Republican response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Joni Ernst, who grew up in the small Iowa town of Red Oak, in her speech, remembered working a low wage job at Hardee’s to pay for college. Ernst was pointing to her own life experience as proof that opportunity is available to every American.

The WaPo feature is a sob story, intended to make the point that Joni Ernst’s youthful Hardee’s stint is just an irrelevant parable, but for various people described in WaPo’s story working at Hardee’s is real life.

Charlotte Allen read all this and summarized: “WaPo goes to Iowa Hardee’s, finds that unwed moms and meth addicts don’t become senators.”

Nearly all these women have kids—but there’s not a father to be seen in their children’s lives. Brandi has four children from past relationships, for example. She’s the only one of the bunch with an actual husband: former Hardee’s employee Luke, with two kids of his own and no current job (Luke, apparently, would rather dream about the diet-supplement business he intends to start, with a $1,000 stake that will presumably come from Brandi).

Emily had been thinking about college—but she never did enroll and now she’s got a baby. Trina has a history of meth problems, starting at age 15, when she was sent to a juvenile facility after a drug-fueled car-stealing spree. Her live-in boyfriend, Jeff, also a $7.50-an-hour Hardee’s employee, just blew $200 on a really cool tattoo. In fact, blowing money seems to be what it’s all about for those two. Here’s Jeff’s and Trina’s monthly budget:

“Working part time at Hardee’s, they each earn between $140 and $170 a week. The plan is always to save money, and within five days the money is always gone. DVDs, cigarettes, HDMI cables, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cherry Pepsi — Wal-Mart and Casey’s convenience store get most of their paycheck, while $250 goes for rent each month.”

So–how are these Hardee’s employees on the biscuit line different from Joni Ernst?

There’s, let’s see, saving for college, for starters. There’s also not having kids until after you get married. There’s not getting into drugs when you’re teen-ager. There’s planning a future for yourself instead of drifting from job to job–and then working toward that goal. But in the world of the Washington Post, Joni Ernst’s stint at Hardee’s as the first step on the road to the Senate was just a silly Republican “parable.”

07 Dec 2014

WaPO Editorial Demands Blank Check Credibility For Rape Accusations

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Zerlina-Maxwell
Zerlina Maxwell

Zerlina Maxwell appears regularly on Fox News, MSNBC, and is a commentator and guest host on Sirius radio’s XM Progress program. She writes as a political analyst for the New York Daily News, the Washington Post, and CNN.com. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts, and J.D. from Rutgers.

Yesterday, Zerlina Maxwell argued, in the Washington Post, that we must always, as a default position, and regardless of due process, automatically believe that women who make accusations of sexual assault are telling the truth.

Many people (not least U-Va. administrators) will be tempted to see [the collapse of Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story] as a reminder that officials, reporters and the general public should hear both sides of the story and collect all the evidence before coming to a conclusion in rape cases. This is what we mean in America when we say someone is “innocent until proven guilty.” After all, look what happened to the Duke lacrosse players.

In important ways, this is wrong. We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist. Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation. This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; it’s a moral one, about what happens outside the legal system.

The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might defriend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching his shows, consuming his books or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.

The cost of disbelieving women, on the other hand, is far steeper. It signals that that women don’t matter and that they are disposable — not only to frat boys and Bill Cosby, but to us. And they face a special set of problems in having their say.

Maxwell’s perspective that the supposed injuries of female victims awards them a morally privileged status which supersedes principles of due process, fair play, and objective justice is really just a version of the subjective moral reasoning of the lower-class criminal, who argues to himself that he is entitled to attack and rob other people in the street, because some people were born richer than himself, because of how much he has suffered, and because nobody ever gave him the breaks he believes he deserved.

The idea of Affirmative Action surely was to take people from the welfare-dependent and criminal underclass and give them the kind of elite education that would make them into responsible citizens subscribing to conventional morality with a rational sense of justice and assimilated into ordinary American society. What has obviously happened in Zerlina Maxwell’s case is that she has brought with her from the Hood the simple-minded, narcissistic, and self-entitled perspective of the congenitally stupid and the habitually immoral and is making a profession of persuading the establishment intelligentsia that they should share the mental habit patterns of the mugger, the gang banger, the heroin dealer, and the pimp. She is assimilating them, rather than vice versa.

The Washington Post, however, found it had, in publishing Maxwell’s editorial, gone just a bit too far for the interests of its own credibility. After being mocked all day on Twitter, they changed the editorial’s headline from “No Matter What Jackie Said, We Should Automatically Believe Rape Claims” to “No Matter What Jackie Said, We Should Generally Believe Rape Claims”. SooperMexican

05 Aug 2013

Tweet of the Day

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04 Jul 2013

“American Revolution a Flop,” Says WaPo Editorialist

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Leave it to the Washington Post to celebrate Independence Day by getting some Canadian “free-lance writer” and self-styled historian to compare the USA (where we actually are allowed to hunt with dogs and own firearms) unfavorably with other (even more statist and socialist) “English-speaking countries.”

Paul Pirie (surprise! surprise!) immediately plays the old Slavery card, says we have too many criminals in jail (well, I may go along with him in opposing our victimless crime laws), and contends that we don’t take enough days off and work too hard. He even then proceeds, withe the height of insolence, to suggest that “[p]erhaps it’s time for Americans to accept that their revolution was a failure and renounce it.”

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The correct reply to M. Pirie (and the editors of the Washington Post) would be the same given by Sheriff Little Bill (Gene Hackman) to English Bob (Richard Harris) in Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” (1992).

22 Aug 2012

Obama Spelling the Name of That 57th State

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The smartest man who ever lived is participating in spelling the name of the great state of “O-I-H-O”.

Even funnier was the Washington Post‘s hasty attempt to explain that the picture had been Photoshopped by nasty Republicans, which they were forced before very long to recant.

14 May 2012

Bullying

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Via Theo.

03 Oct 2011

WaPo Smears Perry

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The bottom of an antique souvenir saucer presents the image of similarly named topographic feature in Virginia.

The Washington Post set some new sort of record for opportunistic associative campaign smear reporting, by proceeding to headline a story informing its readers at length that Rick Perry hunted deer and entertained guests at hunting camps belonging to family and friends located in rural spot, known locally decades ago as “N-word-head.”

Wikipedia identifies the origin of such toponyms and mentions their date of extinction on official US maps.

In several English-speaking countries, Niggerhead or nigger head is a former name for several things thought to resemble a black person (“nigger”)’s head.

The term was once widely used for all sorts of things, including products such as soap and chewing tobacco, but most often for geographic features such as hills and rocks.[citation needed] In the U.S., more than hundred “Niggerheads” and other place names now considered racially offensive were changed in 1962 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Nor did “N-word-head” survive as the name of the area in which the Perry and Reed families’ hunting camps were sited. At some unknown point in the past, again decades ago, someone unknown removed and painted over the sign once identifying a rural Texas location by that name.

The Post obviously had no reason to believe that either Rick Perry, or any member of his family, had named the area “N-word-head.” The Post had no reason to believe that Rick Perry, or any member of his family, had erected a sign consisting of a rock with the “N-word-head” name painted on it. The Post had no reason to attribute any kind of meaningful responsibility for the existence or use in the distant past of that toponymic expression to Rick Perry at all. But associating a conservative Republican presidential candidate with the N-word, even so tangentially, is a way of flinging a big handful of mud at him, and who knows? Some of it might get into some voters’ heads and actually stick.

As an example of political opposition politics, or of journalism, this kind of thing is about as unethical, low, underhanded, cowardly, and despicable as you can try to get away with. I notice that the reptiles and invertebrates that wrote this contemptible story did not even sign their names to it, and I’m not surprised.

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Herman Cain dramatically diminished my liking and respect for his candidacy yesterday by jumping right in and trying to make hay by using this bilge. Screw him.

27 Jul 2011

Wanna Trade?

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My liberal friends are always complaining bitterly about the terrible power of Rupert Murdoch to bend public opinion to his will.

Cornell Law Prof Bill Jacobson recently responded with a simple offer.

How about this. Conservatives take control of CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYT, AP, Reuters, and so on, and liberals get the Murdoch empire? I’d take that trade in a heartbeat.

19 Aug 2010

18% of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim

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Obama looks at home in Islamic outfits

Our lords and masters at the Washington Post are in a foul humor today because, once again, the American people has proven itself to be an affront and an embarrassment to its betters.

Bitterly, the Post notes the results of latest Pew Research poll.

The number of Americans who believe — wrongly — that President Obama is a Muslim has increased significantly since his inauguration and now account for nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population.

What is the matter with you people? Don’t you read the Post?

It’s right there, in black and white, right in front of you. Obama is a Muslim is WRONG. And the correct answer is also there.

The number of people who now correctly identify Obama as a Christian has dropped to 34 percent.

After all, Obama has formally identified himself as a Christian, attending for more than 20 years a politically-influential, inner city Black Liberation church, whose congregation whoops and hollers and sings loud hymns in the intervals between delivery of the gospel according to Marx and God-damn-America! sermons by its extravagantly unorthodox cast of clergy. Does attending such a church by an ambitious young community organizer angling for political support for election to minority legislative seats not count as serious evidence of Christian belief?

How can a fifth of the country possibly answer affirmatively to a poll question that asks, Is Barack Obama a Muslim?

Well… it’s not as if Barack Hussein Obama is not an Islamic name or that he does not have a Muslim father and grandfather, which last considerations –in some people’s eyes, Muslims, at least– would automatically make him a Muslim.

When I was a boy, I went to parochial school, was taught religion out of the Baltimore Catechism, and served mass as an altar boy. If someone pointed to those facts as evidence of my having a Roman Catholic identity, despite my adult skepticism, I don’t think I could reasonably claim that he was incorrect.

Barack Obama, at the same period of life, was attending a madrassa, memorizing verses of the Koran, and knocking his forehead on the floor during devotions at a mosque in Indonesia. Even if Obama is as estranged from the religion of his boyhood as I am from mine, it would not be incorrect to identify him as being a Muslim by birth and upbringing.

But Barack Obama’s personal relationship with Islam clearly did not stop when he moved from Indonesia to Hawaii.

Just the other day, an American president celebrated Ramadan in the White House and held an… how do you spell it? “Iftar dinner” in the State Dining Room. How many Iftar dinners does the average Christian American hold?

While American troops are in the field fighting against Islamic fanatics, that president praised Islam and claimed (on heaven only knows what basis) that Islam has “always been part of America” and that Mohammedans (what ones?) had made extraordinary contributions to the United States. It is not typical of American presidents to make a point of celebrating the holidays of foreign adversaries in the White House or to resort to gross flattery and refer to the completely imaginary relevance and contributions of the foe.

Barack Obama, in reality, frequently displays a personal enthusiasm for Islam and Islamic culture. He always speaks of “Pahk-ee-stan,” carefully adopting a native’s pronunciation. He has boasted of a personal interest in Urdu poetry. He proudly demonstrates his familiarity with Islamic practices, customs, and terms, and has been known to incorporate Islamic phrases, greetings, and parting salutations in his public statements. He said “Ramadan Kareem” just the other day.

It is the Washington Post which is silly, naive, and deluded to take a politician’s pro forma practically required public position as probative and factual and to dismiss as irrational the American public’s obvious perception of differences in Barack Obama’s loyalties and identity.

That Pew Poll merely shows that the American people are capable of thinking for themselves, independently of the media establishment which believes itself entitled to define reality any way it likes, and the Washington Post’s petulant response evidences its frustration with its inability to impose its own version of reality.

23 Jul 2010

Top Secret America Graded By A Professional

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Thomas G. Mahnken, Professor of Strategy, U.S. Naval War College and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning, harshly criticizes the Washington Post’s “Top Secret America” in Foreign Policy.

I’ve just finished Dana Priest and William Arkin’s “Top Secret America,” The Washington Post’s two-year, three-part “investigation” into U.S. classified activities. If one of my graduate students handed this in as a term paper, I’d have a hard time giving it a passing grade. …

[T]he authors have, at best, a weak thesis. That’s actually giving them the benefit of the doubt, because the series as a whole doesn’t really have a thesis. Instead, it is a series of strung-together facts and assertions. Many of these facts are misleading. For example, the authors point to the fact that large numbers of Americans hold top-secret security clearances, but fail to distinguish between those who are genuinely involved in intelligence work and those who require the clearances for other reasons — such as maintaining classified computer equipment or, for that matter, serving as janitors or food service workers in organizations that do classified work. Similarly, they point to the large number of contractors involved in top-secret work without differentiating those who actually perform analysis and those who develop hardware and software.

Second, the authors fail to provide context. They make much of the fact that the U.S. intelligence community consists of many organizations with overlapping jurisdiction. True enough. But what they fail to point out is that this has been a key design feature of the U.S. intelligence community since its founding in the wake of World War II. The architects of the U.S. intelligence system wanted different eyes to look at the same data from diverse perspectives because they wanted to avoid another surprise attack like Pearl Harbor. …

In emphasizing the growth of the intelligence community since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the authors are at the same time accurate and misleading. They accurately note that the size of intelligence agencies grew rapidly after 9/11, but that’s like saying that the scale of U.S. warship construction ballooned in the months after Pearl Harbor. It’s true but misses the larger point. …

During the 1990s the size of the U.S. intelligence community declined significantly because both the Clinton administration and leaders in Congress believed that we were headed for a more peaceful world. Indeed, the Clinton administration made trimming the size of the intelligence community a priority through its Reinventing Government initiative. Many intelligence analysts took offers of early retirement and became contractors — contractors that the U.S. government hired back after 9/11. A good deal of the post-9/11 intelligence buildup thus involved trying to buy back capacity and capability that had been eliminated during the 1990s.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

19 Jul 2010

WaPo Top Secret America Website Launched Today

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The Washington Post’s sexy new multimedia web-site adversarially reporting on the US Intelligence Community’s components, contractors, facilities, size, and expenditures is, as was predicted, up and running today.

The introductory 1:47 video and a lengthy article by Dana Priest and William Arkin take a downright conservative-sounding tone of skepticism of big government, complaining about massive growth, duplication of effort, paralysis and confusion stemming from over-large bureaucracy, and an excessive cult of secrecy leading to a lack of accountability.

After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine. …

An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. …

Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year – a volume so large that many are routinely ignored. …

The U.S. intelligence budget is vast, publicly announced last year as $75 billion, 21/2 times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn’t include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs.

At least 20 percent of the government organizations that exist to fend off terrorist threats were established or refashioned in the wake of 9/11. Many that existed before the attacks grew to historic proportions as the Bush administration and Congress gave agencies more money than they were capable of responsibly spending. …

Beyond redundancy, secrecy within the intelligence world hampers effectiveness… say defense and intelligence officers. For the Defense Department, the root of this problem goes back to an ultra-secret group of programs for which access is extremely limited and monitored by specially trained security officers.

These are called Special Access Programs – or SAPs – and the Pentagon’s list of code names for them runs 300 pages. The intelligence community has hundreds more of its own, and those hundreds have thousands of sub-programs with their own limits on the number of people authorized to know anything about them. All this means that very few people have a complete sense of what’s going on.

“There’s only one entity in the entire universe that has visibility on all SAPs – that’s God,” said James R. Clapper, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the Obama administration’s nominee to be the next director of national intelligence.

Such secrecy can undermine the normal chain of command when senior officials use it to cut out rivals or when subordinates are ordered to keep secrets from their commanders.

One military officer involved in one such program said he was ordered to sign a document prohibiting him from disclosing it to his four-star commander, with whom he worked closely every day, because the commander was not authorized to know about it. Another senior defense official recalls the day he tried to find out about a program in his budget, only to be rebuffed by a peer. “What do you mean you can’t tell me? I pay for the program,” he recalled saying in a heated exchange.

These contentions sound reasonable, though the idea of top secret government functions and processes being reformed by even more unaccountable journalists with a record of personal career advancement via damaging leaks of highly classified intelligence operations strikes me as a case of the local foxes putting on efficiency expert Halloween costumes and volunteering to improve operations in the chicken house.

I’m not in the least persuaded that the Post really needed to publish a cool interactive map of government facility and contractor company locations and a searchable database of companies working on top secret contracting assignments. Why do Washington Post readers need such detailed information? Couldn’t foreign intelligence services do their own research?

It is also far from clear to me that Dana Priest and the Washington Post have not knowingly again violated the Espionage Act of 1917 by publishing that map and database. This time, who knows? It is much easier for a leftwing administration to undertake prosecutions of these kinds of offenses. The Obama Administration has already demonstrated more willingness to enforce the law in National Security cases than the Bush Administration ever did. It will be interesting to see how the government reacts.

Will Dana Priest go to jail or will she just collect one more Pulitzer Prize?

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Fox News says the Obama Administration is expecting some absurd spending stories and quotes Intelligence Community sources talking about what a great resource for America’s enemies that Post website is going to be.

The Obama administration is bracing for the first in a series of Washington Post articles said to focus in unprecedented detail on the government’s spending on intelligence contractors.

The intelligence community is warning that the article could blow the cover of contract companies doing top-secret work for the government. At the same time, a senior administration official acknowledged that the kind of wasteful spending expected to be spotlighted in the series is “troubling” and something the administration is trying to address.

“There will be examples of money being wasted in the series that seem egregious and we are just as offended as the readers by those examples,” the official said. The official said some of the information in the story is “explainable,” in that some “redundancy” is necessary in the intelligence community. But the official said the administration has been working to reduce “waste” and that “it’s something we’ve been on top of.”

Other sectors of the administration were on high alert over the piece. A source told Fox News that the series amounts to a “significant targeting document” in that it will apparently bring together unclassified information from the public domain in a single location, making it a one-stop shop for this level of detail. The official said “few intelligence groups have the assets and resources to pool” this kind of information.

This has led to warnings about how the information could be used. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence sent out a memo saying that “foreign intelligence services, terrorist organizations and criminal elements will have potential interest in this kind of information.”

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