The Afghanistan Papers: A Reappraisal of an Appraisal

A little known agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), undertook the audit in 2014. The little-known government watchdog spent $11 million on the project, hired 600 staff. They recorded some 400 interviews. SIGAR’s mission: to assemble the Lessons Learned from the 18-year campaign in Afghanistan, 2,430 American soldiers dead,Continue reading “The Afghanistan Papers: A Reappraisal of an Appraisal”

The Weakness of Demagoguery over Summer Rolls

From a dinner of pho and vermicelli, I was walking to my Hyundai with a friend when she posed again the question of the day, the month, the past three years. Daubing a bit fiercely at a spot of hoisin on a button of her shirt, she asked how a man like Donald Trump couldContinue reading “The Weakness of Demagoguery over Summer Rolls”

Letter to the Editor: On Project 1619, New York Times

Dear editor, The objections to the 1619 Project by the truly eminent historians seemed granular, a poor example of wider held discomfort many historians hold with the project. The 1619 Project, for all its vital import in bringing light to dark spaces in American history, exchanges one master narrative for another. It seems a greatContinue reading “Letter to the Editor: On Project 1619, New York Times”

Why Julian Assange Is Unlikely to Find a Refuge in the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON POST: Julian Assange last month ended his seven-year stay at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he had sought refuge from prosecution in Sweden and the United States. The British government has since ordered that he be extradited to the United States, where he may be charged under the U.S. Espionage Act. In his role asContinue reading “Why Julian Assange Is Unlikely to Find a Refuge in the Supreme Court”

The Silly Hunt for an Impeachment Smoking Gun

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The hunt is on for the definitive proof of President Trump’s election meddling by way of strong-arming Ukraine. Former White House Counsel John Dean declared that “we’ve already seen the smoking gun” in what Trump calls his “perfect” conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The news has saturated withContinue reading “The Silly Hunt for an Impeachment Smoking Gun”

The Deep State Did Not Begin with Trump

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Fears over the “deep state” have been chalked up to paranoia. And indeed the idea of a hidden counter-government has attracted the ranks of the paranoid. Conspiracies of a tentacled clique of career bureaucrats, wire diagrams of sinister assets and agents have piled up in the Trump era. Still, to writeContinue reading “The Deep State Did Not Begin with Trump”

The Nixon Act

PRESIDENTIAL STUDIES QUARTERLY: The often-rumpled United Press International (UPI) stringer George Reedy covered Richard Nixon as a young congressman. Reedy would become a loyal and often self-effacing press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson and would go on to serve as journalism dean at Marquette University. But decades after covering the Nixon congressional beat, he couldContinue reading “The Nixon Act”