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Trump’s New Intelligence Chief Spells Trouble

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Amid the constant onslaught of troubling headlines that is daily life under the Trump administration, it’s hard to know what’s more dangerous: The confirmation of John Ratcliffe to be the director of national intelligence—or what comes after it? Perhaps the clearest sign that three-term Texas congressman Ratcliffe is manifestly unqualified to serve as the nation’s […]

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The Hypocrisy of Mike Pompeo

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“We’ve had Democrats accusing us of being political for almost the entire time, but I know what we’ve done,” he said in another interview. “Words don’t matter, deeds do.” Repeatedly as congressman, Pompeo spoke to the criticality of congressional oversight and the necessity of having current and former State Department employees testify. “It would be […]

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The US Says Chinese Hackers Went Too Far During the Covid-19 Crisis

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It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has created prime conditions for nation-state hacking. Working from home often means less-strict security, which in turn invites digital espionage. But on Wednesday, the United States called out China-backed hackers specifically, accusing them of not just spying but endangering Covid-19 vaccine research. As the world rushes to contain […]

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The Weird Partisan Math of Vote-By-Mail 

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Nothing illustrates the mixed-up politics of vote-by-mail better than the world’s most famous absentee voter declaring the practice corrupt. “Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, because they’re cheaters,” Donald Trump told reporters in early April, a few weeks after casting an absentee ballot in Florida’s primary. “They’re fraudulent in many cases.” […]

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The Pentagon Hasn’t Fixed Basic Cybersecurity Blind Spots

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The United States federal government isn’t known for robust cybersecurity. Even the Department of Defense has its share of known vulnerabilities. Now a new report from the Government Accountability Office is highlighting systemic shortcomings in the Pentagon’s efforts to prioritize cybersecurity at every level and making seven recommendations for shoring up DoD’s digital defenses. The […]

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The Rise and Spread of a 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

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As with Van Kerckhoven, many of the conspiracy theories around 5G and coronavirus lean heavily on supposed experts. A video of a lecture given by Thomas Cowan, a physician from California, claims that coronavirus is the result of poisoning caused by 5G. One version of this video, which has been posted to YouTube a number […]

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The Postal Service’s Surprising Role in Surviving Doomsday

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Congress raised concerns this week that the ongoing Covid-19 crisis—and the resulting “critical fall-off in mail” volumes across the sheltering-in-place country—might bankrupt the United States Postal Service in a matter of weeks. “A halt in Postal Service operations could have grave consequences across the country,” two senior members of the House warned on Monday, saying […]

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No, a Border Wall Won’t Stop Coronavirus

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Responding to a tweet about the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday, President Trump wrote, “We need the Wall more than ever!” Trump had made a similar assertion during a rally in South Carolina at the end of February. “One of the reasons the numbers are so good: We will do everything in our power to keep […]

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Despite Coronavirus, Washington Isn’t Worried About Its Primary

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Washington state has seen one of the largest outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in the country so far. It’s also one of six states voting in the Democratic primary today. An election plus a budding epidemic could be an equation for disaster: thousands of people crowded together in polling places, waiting in lines, touching the […]

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Russia Doesn’t Want Bernie Sanders. It Wants Chaos

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If there’s one line intelligence officials have stuck to about Russian interference in US elections, it’s that it never stopped. Not after the 2016 election, not after the 2018 midterms, and certainly not now, well into the 2020 primary season. Which is why it should be no great surprise that, as The Washington Post first […]