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Jon Schwarz

Jon Schwarz is editor of MichaelMoore.com and was research producer for 'Capitalism: A Love Story.' He's also contributed to the New Yorker, New York Times, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Slate, Saturday Night Live and NPR.

February 28th, 2013 9:35 AM

Blob Woodward Strikes Again

Yesterday Bob Woodward went on TV to explain how infuriated he is that Obama is planning to follow the law and make cuts to the defense budget required by the "sequester" bill. Specifically, Woodward can't believe this could necessitate lowering our number of aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf from two to one:

WOODWARD: 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.

I just posted something about how the Clinton reference demonstrates Woodward really hasn't been following the news for the past 20 years. But that's not the only funny thing about this: back during the Bush administration, Woodward also implied that the kinds of actions he now wants Obama to take were an impeachable offense. Here's Woodward talking about his book Plan of Attack on 60 Minutes:

"[T]here's this low boil on Iraq until the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, 2001. This is 72 days after 9/11. This is part of this secret history. President Bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, 'What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it..."

Woodward says immediately after that, Rumsfeld told Gen. Tommy Franks to develop a war plan to invade Iraq and remove Saddam - and that Rumsfeld gave Franks a blank check.

"Rumsfeld and Franks work out a deal essentially where Franks can spend any money he needs. And so he starts building runways and pipelines and doing all the preparations in Kuwait, specifically to make war possible," says Woodward.

"Gets to a point where in July, the end of July 2002, they need $700 million, a large amount of money for all these tasks. And the president approves it. But Congress doesn't know and it is done. They get the money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War, which Congress has approved. …Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress."

So in 2007, moving money around against the will of Congress, in order to send troops to the middle east, was BAD and possibly a violations of the constitution. Now it is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL and in fact MANDATORY for any non-insane president.

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