Washington's most celebrated journalist hails the values of militarism, lawlessness, and presidential omnipotence
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 28 February 2013 07.57 EST
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.