Trump Forges Ahead on Costly Nuclear Overhaul, Sweeping Aside Doubts (NYT). This is a remarkable story. Its import is that Trump is plunging forward with a reckless overhaul and expansion of the nuclear arsenal. Then it notes that in doing so, he’s continuing plans & contracts designed by Obama. Then it tells us, with a straight face, that Obama designed this $1 trillion “upgrade” of the nuclear arsenal … because he thought Clinton would win in 2016 and “drastically cut back” the plans. The spin here is a brazen insult to the readers’ intelligence.
Yes, the “updgrade” of the nuclear arsenal is a reckless, costly, unnecessary and dangerous boondoggle. Many of us wrote about it in these terms when Obama set it in motion. But the absurd lengths to which the Times goes here in order to obfuscate the fact that in this case Trump is merely implementing Obama’s plan are breathtaking. We’re asked to believe that the highly intelligent and competent Barack Obama spent months, years, putting together a $1 TRILLION upgrade of the nation’s nuclear arsenal in the belief that his successor would then slice it to bits. This is Trump-level nonsense from the Times. Why not simply report the truth? Trump is continuing a reckless, risky boondoggle concocted by Obama. He’s carrying out the planet-threatening, war-profiteering agenda of the “bipartisan foreign policy establishment” so beloved by our media mavens. I’m sure the “serious” and “savvy” General Kelly and General Mattis — increasingly beloved by our mavens for bringing “order and structure” to the wild Trump White House — were in full agreement with Trump’s move to continue Obama’s plan.
Of course, I’m glad to see the NYT drawing attention to this lunacy. And it’s good to see that they didn’t just ignore outright the origin of the plan. But the brazen BS of the spin — “Oh, Obama didn’t really MEAN to expand the nuclear arsenal with his plan to, uh, expand the nuclear arsenal; he was sure Hillary would stop his plan later” — is staggering.