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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/28/13

Bob Woodward Embodies US Political Culture In A Single Outburst

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Cross-posted from The Guardian

Washington's most celebrated journalist hails the values of militarism, lawlessness, and presidential omnipotence


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The Washington Post's Bob Woodward Photograph: Brad Barket/AFP

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced that it would deploy "only" one aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, rather than the customary two. This move, said the Pentagon, was in preparation for the so-called "sequestration," scheduled to take effect this week, that mandates spending cuts for all agencies, including the Pentagon. This aircraft carrier announcement was all part of the White House's campaign to scare the public into believing that sequestration, which Democrats blame on Republicans, will result in serious harm to national security. Shortly before this cut was announced, then-defense Secretary Leon Panetta said:

"With another trigger for sequestration approaching on March 1st, the Department of Defense is facing the most serious readiness crisis in over a decade. ... Make no mistake, if these cuts happen there will be a serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in military readiness."

That the Obama administration might actually honor the budget cuts mandated by a law enacted by Congress and signed by Obama infuriates Bob Woodward, Washington's most celebrated journalist. He appeared this week on the "Morning Joe" program to excoriate Obama for withholding a second aircraft carrier in the Gulf, saying:

"Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document?' Or George W Bush saying, 'You know, I'm not going to invade Iraq because I can't get the aircraft carriers I need' or even Bill Clinton saying, 'You know, I'm not going to attack Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters,' as he did when Clinton was president, because of some budget document.

"Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement, I can't do what I need to do to protect the country. That's a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time."

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[Subscribe to Glenn Greenwald] Glenn Greenwald is a journalist,former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, "No Place to Hide," is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of expose's in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting.

Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. He was the debut winner, along with "Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work breaking the story of the abusive (more...)
 

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