Yet another Donald Trump appointment is raising some eyebrows, at least briefly, before gutless Senate Republicans rubber-stamp his confirmation. Anthony Tata is a former brigadier general in the Army, and more importantly, he plays a defense expert on Fox News. Those were all the qualifications Trump needed to see, so he nominated Tata to hold the third highest civilian post at the Pentagon, "undersecretary of defense for policy." (The post came open in February when Trump purged all the disloyals once impeachment was over with. The previous undersecretary, John Rood, opposed withholding military aid from Ukraine.)

Unfortunately, Tata's nomination ran into a spot of bother earlier this month when CNN did secret spy stuff to him, by looking at his Twitter history and finding it full of racist conspiracy bullshit, like a bunch of Islamophobic tweets from 2018 in which he said all Muslims are called to do terrorism, and called Barack Obama "a 'terrorist leader' who did more to harm the US 'and help Islamic countries than any president in history.'"

MSNBC's Steve Benen drily notes that it's unclear whether "the White House failed to vet Tata, or chose him because of unhinged missives."

But don't worry! In a letter to two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tata says he has come to "deeply regret" those awful tweets, especially because people found them, and he hopes the senators, Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), will understand the "hyperbolic" tweets were merely a departure from his usually sober, respectful attitude toward all, even filthy Muslim terrorist presidents trying to destroy America. He's not that guy who wrote his very own tweets, not at all! Especially if they might get in the way of his setting American defense policy.


Tata deleted many of his tweets after the CNN story ran, but screenshots are forever. A selection!

He is also a very jovial and witty jokester, using the classic "pretend correction" to hammer home his satirical jests:

That's not all, either. In other tweets, CNN reported, Tata said Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters "have always been the same violent extremists." He called Waters a "vicious race baiting racist who made her chops by fanning the flames of LA Riots." Tata also made a funny hashtag joke about how Don Lemon was trapped on the "liberal plantation," unlike smart people like Diamond and Silk.

Again, it's not clear any of this should be considered anything but an audition for a White House job.

On top of all that, Tata suggested that former CIA Director John Brennan ought to look into having himself shot for treason, or maybe just kill himself, or resign himself to being raped in prison, HA! HA!

Yr Wonkette would like to note that our commenting guidelines are apparently more strict than the Trump administration's vetting process. And even sadder? Tata, in his Ted Nugent Impersonator "suck on your pistol/get assraped in prison" tweet, only got five likes.

But despite his name on those tweets, Tata explained in his letter (which was leaked to Foreign Policy) that he should be judged only on his good qualities, not his regrettable bigotry and the teensy tiny morals charge that ended his military career:

I have a strong record of inclusivity and bipartisanship in my commentary. However, I did misspeak in 2018 on Twitter in hyperbolic conversations," Tata wrote. "There is no excuse for those comments, for which I take complete responsibility and also fully retract and denounce."

Tata used much of the eight-paragraph letter to bolster his case for the Pentagon job, touting his military service in Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, and his work in the Washington, D.C., and Wake County, N.C., public school systems. Tata retired from the military in 2009 after the Army found that he committed adultery with at least two women during a past marriage and forged a court order in the case.

"Gentlemen—I hope you will be able to judge me on my entire 30+ year career and record of achievement and not a few regrettable tweets I fully denounce," Tata wrote in the margin at the end of the letter.

Say what you will about the military's adultery rules, but we'd guess that forged a court order would be frowned upon. Oh well!

Once the tweets came to light, a number of Democrats said they couldn't support Tata's nomination, and we'll assume the Republicans all had to get to a meeting, or never read the article, or believe that two years ago is such distant history that you might as well be speaking Latin, like in Ancient Greece. (We would be on Susan Collins Waffle Watch, but she doesn't serve on Armed Services.)

As CNN pointed out, despite the nondescript seeming name, the "undersecretary for policy" job is a pretty big deal, or at least used to be, in the Before Times, since it involves overseeing

the Defense Department's policy shop, including its national security and defense strategy, nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy, and security cooperation plans and policies. The policy chief also closely advises the secretary of defense on national security and supports the Department of Defense's program and budget decisions.

Under Trump, it may also involve working tirelessly to convert complex geopolitical policy issues to note cards reading "GOOD" and "BAD," as well as being available to tell reporters you had no idea what the president meant in his tweet announcing the imminent "invasion of Alaska to seize Control of all the Penguins and their ice cream Sandwiches."

[MSNBC / Foreign Policy / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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