Wouldn't it be great to be Devin Nunes?

Not only does the California Republican get to be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, but he simultaneously gets to serve President Trump by making public tidbits of classified information given to him by the White House. He is recused from the Russia investigation but still gets to use committee staff to undermine the Russia investigation.

Now, best of all, he gets to release a memo (possibly written with White House help) to exonerate Trump in the Russia probe by using cherry-picked information implying wrongdoing by the FBI — while at the same time blocking declassification of a memo from committee Democrats providing context and exculpatory information that Nunes omitted. And the FBI, which under its Trump-appointed director says it has "grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy," can't defend itself because, well, the information is classified.

Post deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus says what's really interesting about the Nunes memo is how it'll be used. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

In essence, Nunes is free to allege whatever he wants, even if false, and nobody, by law, can contradict him.

And that has me wondering: What if our understanding of other moments in history had been similarly under the sole control of one man, operating free of context, mitigating facts and fear of contradiction?

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

The Hon. Devin Nunes, chairman

MEMORANDUM: Treasonous Remarks by Thomas Paine

The committee has, based on its review of the evidence, determined that Mr. Paine is guilty of rank insubordination for accusing Gen. George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, of being a "summer soldier" and "sunshine patriot." Paine, according to highly classified documents in the committee's possession, alleges that Gen. Washington will "shrink from the service" of country, and likens dealing with Washington to "tyranny" and "hell." The committee recommends court-martial for Paine, as well as for naval officer John Paul Jones, for desertion. Jones, according to the committee review of classified information, has not "begun to fight," even though ordered to do so.

Additionally, the panel recommends that Nathan Hale be dishonorably discharged, posthumously, for expressing "regret" about serving his country. Finally, the committee proposes further examination of the un-American activities of Gov. Patrick Henry of Virginia, who upon being offered a choice between liberty and death, stated, "give me death."

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

The Hon. Devin Nunes, chairman

MEMORANDUM: Abraham Lincoln's Anti-American Communications

In classified intercepts reviewed by this committee, President Lincoln has, in deeply unpatriotic remarks, refused "to dedicate," "to hallow" or "to consecrate" land where so many fell dead at Gettysburg. Furthermore, Lincoln alleged he would use his "power" to "detract" from their sacrifice — sentiments hurtful to Gold Star families.

Unfortunately, according to the HPSCI review, this is consistent with Lincoln's previous advocacy of a "house divided" policy in which all white Americans would be "permanently half slave." This sort of anti-white sentiment dates back to the Battle of Bunker Hill, when, according to this committee's confidential information, Col. William Prescott remarked, "Don't fire until you see the whites."

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

The Hon. Devin Nunes, chairman

MEMORANDUM: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Kennedy are Foreign Nationals

Highly classified information received by the HPSCI contains clear and incontrovertible evidence that Dr. King is not an American citizen. He has, our information shows, repeatedly identified himself as a "Dreamer," which is a direct admission that he was born a foreign national and emigrated to the United States illegally as a child.

The panel also has found evidence that President John F. Kennedy is a noncitizen. Classified records indicate he has admitted to being part of a "new generation of Americans." Further corroborating foreign birth, intelligence indicates that the president confessed to being a German national — specifically, a citizen of Berlin. He made this admission in German. In another classified intercept, Kennedy was heard speaking to "fellow citizens of the world" — that is, fellow foreigners.

We recommend the creation of a select committee probing the president's true nationality. Chairman Nunes would lead that committee, too.

Twitter: @Milbank

Read more on this topic: