Basking in the glow of the strike on Syria, the beltway elite have tried shocking and awing President Trump with lavish praise. On the Washington Post's PostPartisan blog, Ed Rogers noted that Trump was "enjoying the warm, cozy feeling of success." He wondered aloud if the president would like "to spend more time in an environment like the one he finds himself in this weekend."
And oh, I bet the author would just love that. That's because Rogers isn't an impartial analyst. No, he's a lobbyist for Raytheon, the manufacturer of the same Tomahawk missiles that rained hellfire down on Syria. Of course, that little detail isn't noted in the Washington Post.
While the paper does dutifully acknowledge that Rogers is the chairman of BGR Group, they fail to disclose that the lobbying shop has represented Raytheon for more than a dozen years. To find the rest of story requires digging through federal lobbying disclosure records.
After staffing the Reagan and H.W. Bush White Houses, Rogers hung a shingle on K-Street. Around the time Marines were storming Fallujah, Raytheon signed on as a client. The military relies on that corporation to manufacture everything from sidewinders to sonobuoys.
According to federal records, Rogers' company was reimbursed handsomely, netting more than 2 million dollars since 2004.
Business could get even better. First, Raytheon's stock price spiked when news broke that the Navy fired their brand name Tomahawk missiles. Already the Department of Defense wants to refill its armory. Last February, DOD asked Congress for $2 billion to purchase 4,000 more cruise missiles.
No doubt Rogers will personally lobby Capitol Hill to secure every penny. He won't have to work too hard, though. Unlike other lobbyists, Rogers has a strategic advantage. As a regular contributor to the Washington Post, he can disguise his sales pitches as independent analysis.
Already at work, Rogers warns the White House in his Wednesday column that "the afterglow of the strike on Syria won't last long." The prescription includes more military spending to confront threats such as North Korea. It's a problem, he gleefully notes, that "our next president was destined to face."
One would hope that a major national paper would disclose pertinent details about their writers. When mailed fists start shaking and sabers begin rattling on the geopolitical stage, independent analysis becomes ever more important. But just like Democracy dies in darkness, it seems that war lobbyists thrive in the opinion pages of the Washington Post.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.