Jim Webb As Trump’s Defense Secretary Would Be A Nightmare For Both

The Long March

The other day there was a report that former Senator Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran who briefly was Navy secretary during the Reagan Administration, might become President Trump's next secretary of defense.

Trump denied the report over the weekend, but reality with him changes every day, so that's not dispositive. But he may be right this time — I don't think it is going to happen.


Here's why. Yes, Webb's world view and values overlap neatly with Trump's base. He is at heart an Appalachian nationalist resistant to recent cultural changes.

But I've known Webb for decades, and there are two major differences that I think would outweigh that. First, he despises Ivy League elites who used their wealth and privilege to get out of serving in Vietnam, such as, for example, President Bone Spurs. He once told me has more respect for people who went to jail for their antiwar beliefs. (If you haven't read Webb's novel Fields of Fire, you should. You can see it tucked behind his hand in his official Navy secretary portrait, above. And yes, on the left side, over his shoulder, that's a portion of a North Vietnamese battle flag.)

A more contemporary difference is that Webb prides himself on telling the truth, while Trump seems to pride himself on changing his story as often as possible.

My two predictions are that Webb won't take the job, but that if he does, he won't last 12 months. I just have this image of him in the Oval Office, holding Trump in a headlock and giving him noogies.

The payslip belonging to Gaius Messius, a Roman auxiliary soldier who likely served in Masada, Israel between 72 and 75 CE. (Twitter/@DrJEBall)

A 1,900-year-old scrap of papyrus proves that while warfare may change, the bureaucratic bullshit that comes with military life does not.

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A screenshot of Del Hall's two-week recap YouTube video.

If you run across Army veteran Del Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, over the next couple of weeks, offer to buy him a beer.

No, seriously — it's all he's can have until mid-April.

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An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela March 24, 2019. (Reuters/Carlos Jasso)

WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Monday accused Russia of "reckless escalation" of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions.

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Victory over ISIS has come at a tremendous cost for America's Kurdish and Arab allies in Syria.

More than 11,000 Syrian Democratic Forces fighters were killed and 21,000 others wounded fighting ISIS, the group announced on Saturday following the group's formal liberation of ISIS' last enclave in Syria.

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Sailors from Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), currently assigned to USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) works on a mock patient during a mass casualty drill for Mercy Exercise (MERCEX) in December 2018. (U.S. Navy/Cameron Pinske)

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

In March 2014, at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, Navy Lt. Rebekah "Moani" Daniel was admitted to have her first child. A labor and delivery nurse who worked at the facility, she was surrounded by friends and co-workers when daughter Victoria entered the world.

But four hours later, the 33-year-old was dead, having lost more than a third of her body's volume of blood to post-partum hemorrhaging. Her husband's attorney argues that the doctors failed to deploy treatments in time to halt the bleeding, leading to her death.

Her baby, now 5, never felt her mom's embrace.

This Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a petition from Moani Daniel's husband, Walter Daniel, in his case against the Navy hospital where his wife died. Like every other service member, Daniel was required to get medical care from the U.S. military, but her family is prohibited from suing for medical malpractice, barred by a 69-year-old legal ruling known as Feres that precludes troops from suing the federal government for injuries deemed incidental to military service.

"Suppose you had two sisters. One was on active duty and the other was a military dependent. Both of them give birth in adjoining rooms at the same military hospital [by the same doctor]. Both are victims of malpractice. One can sue and the other one can't. How can that make sense?" asked attorney Eugene Fidell, a former Coast Guard judge advocate general and military law expert who lectures at Yale Law School.

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