Senior Counselor to the US President Steve Bannon, arrives before the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the US Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- ushering in a new political era that has been cheered and feared in equal measure. / AFP / POOL / Win McNamee (Photo credit should read WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty Images)
Stephen Bannon arrives before the presidential inauguration at the US Capitol on Jan. 20.

Tossing out the rule book might work in politics, but it’s eminently dangerous when it comes to national security. That’s why the appointment of Stephen Bannon to the National Security Council should ring alarms for the intelligence community, and for anyone concerned about governmental checks and balances. In a flurry of logic-defying executive orders last week, President Trump elevated Bannon to the NSC “principals committee,” giving the former executive director of Breitbart News the same standing as the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the secretary of homeland security. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, has neither the experience nor the temperament for such a sensitive, high-visibility position.

Although there was some speculation about whether Bannon’s appointment requires Senate confirmation, Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe tweeted that while his new role is “crazy and dangerous,” it doesn’t seem to violate the law. But no White House political advisor has ever served on the NSC principals committee. Ever…