This post has been updated.
Gordon Adams is a Washington D.C. defense expert who oversaw defense budgets for the Clinton administration and is something of a crotchety contrarian in the beltway debate over the Pentagon purse. He is an opponent of the kind of creative accounting that has kept the Department of Defense’s budget afloat and how Pentagon planning has entered an alternate reality. So it’s not surprising that Adams may not be the most popular figure within the Pentagon; what is surprising is that a Pentagon speechwriter is publicly attacking him.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Greg Grant, a speechwriter for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, attacked Adams, an FP columnist, on Twitter:
Gordon Adams is not a defense expert. Never has been. He’s a numbers cruncher. And anti-defense spending quote for lazy DC reporters.
— Greg Grant (@gregmgrant) July 10, 2014
It’s a bit of a tempest in a beltway teapot, but for a speechwriter to attack a respected defense expert is something of a break in decorum. Speechwriters are supposed to stay in the background, unobtrusive wordsmiths laboring for the greater glory of their bosses. When they step into the limelight, it typically doesn’t go very well. One need only recall when Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau was photographed during the 2008 campaign groping a paper cutout of Hillary Clinton.
We’ve reached out to Adams for a response and will update if and when we have one…
Update: Looks like the spat has been resolved:
— Gordon Adams (@Gadams1941) July 10, 2014