Indeed, in 1966-1967, a rogue group of leading military figures worked hand-in-glove with John Stennis’ Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee to pressure the Johnson administration to intensify the air war in North Vietnam (a policy that, among other things, would have risked an outright Chinese intervention in the war). The Stennis Subcommittee ultimately issued a report chastising the administration’s approach and holding that “logic and prudence” required endorsing whatever military tactics the JCS recommended. To Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, the affair challenged “one of the most fundamental principles of our constitutional structure—the civilian direction of the defense establishment.” The electorate clearly knew what Rumsfeld’s policies were when they re-elected Bush, and the precedent of a military pressure campaign against the civilian chief is a dangerous one: next time, who’s to say the result won’t be like the Stennis Subcommittee effort?
The CIA has fired a veteran agent who leaked the story about the agency’s secret prisons in Europe.
Lots of debate (both fromsupporters and those critical of the idea) on whether Juan Cole merits an appointment at Yale. Cole’s scholarly record hardly seems up to Yale’s standards, suggesting that the prominence he’s received as a “public intellectual” regarding the contemporary Middle East is helping his case. I’d be more persuaded about the merits of Yale’s proposed move if Cole’s commentary was of higher quality.
National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru has an fine book on the politics of abortion, Ponnuru contends, quite convincingly, that pro-choice activists are deluding themselves if they believe that overturning Roe will necessarily benefit them politically.
Next week we move into the 1990s in my spring-term undergrad elective (US history since 1953); I wanted to track down some clips of Admiral Stockdale from the 1992 v-p debate, which remains for me the most bizarre debate performance in a national campaign. Managed to find a couple here, including his famous, “Who am I? Why am I here?” Not supplied, alas, was his performance when Gore or Quayle was speaking and Stockdale would occasionally be seen wandering the stage behind the speaker.