Dead Drop: June 12

A FORT BY ANY OTHER NAME: One of the results from the death of George Floyd has been that major institutions are reexamining long-held positions. The Army is now seriously considering renaming bases and facilities that have long borne the names of Confederate leaders.  When you think about it – it is pretty amazing that a nation’s military posts would honor generals who fought and lost a war to it. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said they were “open” to a discussion of rebranding locations like: Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; Forts Pickett, A.P. Hill and Lee in Va.; Fort Polk and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana; Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Rucker, Ala. There are also many streets on Army installations that honor folks like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  As recently as a couple of months ago, the Army was firmly refusing to consider name changes. Former Generals like Cipher Brief Expert, General David Petraeus have been speaking out.  Petraeus wrote a piece for The Atlantic  this week titled “Take the Confederate Names Off Our Army Bases.”  We were thinking that that change would likely happen until President Trump declared on Wednesday that his administration “will not even consider such a move.” For now, that might forestall a major political fight over picking new names. Imagine if the president could rename Fort Hood as “Fort Hannity.” And if his opponents had their way, they might replace Fort Benning with “Fort Bone Spur.” But we have a suggestion to avoid the fight and make some money. How about selling naming rights like they do for sports stadia and arenas like the Verizon Center and FedEx Field?  Instead of Fort Gordon we could have Fort Google, or?

HOW DARE THEY SAY BAD STUFF ABOUT OUR PRESIDENT! The recent dust up in Lafayette Square and other George Floyd-related protests sparked tons of commentary. Some of it was supportive of government actions – and a lot was not. Want to know who was unhappy about former CIA officers criticizing President Trump?  Sputnik News.  The Kremlin-powered news service posted a story on June 3rd  with the blaring headline: Ex-CIA Official Compares Trump to Gaddafi, Hussein Over Police Response to George Floyd Protests. The story picked up on quotes in the Washington Post from former CIA analyst Gail Helt and also drew on tweets from former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos, who said the photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church (after the area was cleared with chemical irritants, smoke grenades and rubber bullets) was reminiscent of scenes he had observed in the third world.

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