More than 60 years ago, the man who defeated the Nazis at Normandy was haunted by premonitions about the rise of democracy’s enemies from within — through military science.

Would it have made a difference if legacy media had fully engaged the stakes of this revolutionary legislation before it got smothered to death behind closed doors this week? Probably not. Yet, between an utterly pedestrian big-picture take on UFO history from a Washington Post reporter and its garish reception in the press, events over the last few weeks qualify as among the most unforgivable derelictions of journalistic duty in memory. More on that, but first:

It’s hard to know exactly when this country crossed over into the antidemocratic future President Eisenhower warned of in his “military-industrial complex” farewell speech in 1961. The future was running on all cylinders well before Ike left office; after all, the CIA Act of 1949 issued get-out-of-jail-free cards for spooks to operate “without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of government funds.”

Nevertheless, the old four-star from Gettysburg held out hope that “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” would be vigilant enough to prevent “public policy (from becoming) the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” That sort of vigilance, however, would demand a re-evaluation of big science already hip-deep into a radical overhaul.

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