Tag Archives: CIA


Why I Can’t Stand Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward

It’s been an intriguing few days watching the self-immolation of former respected investigative journalist Bob Woodward. Slate’s Matt Yglesias – who, for what it’s worth, is not shy about criticizing the Obama Administration – explains:

It started with Woodward’s odd weekend assertion that the White House is trying “to move the goalposts” by replacing sequestration with a deficit reduction package that includes tax hikes. The idea of sequestration was always that it was something elected officials were going to want to replace with alternative deficit reduction. Republicans have been trying tio replace it with a package of cuts targeted at income support programs for the poor. Obama’s been trying to replace it with a mixture of spending cuts and tax hikes. Either everyone’s moving the goalposts (which I think is tendentious but even-handed) or no one is moving them. But it really intensified Wednesday morning when Woodward went on Morning Joe to suggest it’s crazy of Obama to be applying the law as written to the military, instead of simply ignoring it.

Things moved into the absurd last night when it was revealed that National Economic Council director Gene Sperling had concluded an email disagreement with Woodward with the observation that in Sperling’s view Woodward would come to regret clinging so tenaciously to an untenable position.

As if determined to prove Sperling right, Woodward chose to start talking around town about how Sperling had threatened him—a ridiculous interpretation that the ridiculous conservative media has been running with—rather than sticking with the obvious interpretation that Woodward’s reputation among journalists is going to suffer from flagrant wrongness. It would be interesting to see Woodward try to hash this out with, say, fellow Post-ie Ezra Klein but instead he’s going the full wingnut and will be appearing on Sean Hannity’s show tonight to advance the agitprop agenda.

Over here, Zandar surveys the damage: The media, left, right, and center, picked up on Woodward’s Annoying Peasant routine and ran with it. Quelle surprise.

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All Drones, All the Time: Some Recommended Reading

OMG Drones!

ohnoesWhat’s it all about? Why now?

The leak, to Michael Isikoff of NBC News, of an unclassified white paper on the factors weighed in the decision to target a US citizen engaged in terrorism has set off a new firestorm about the use of drones. The timing of the leak was clearly in response to the upcoming confirmation hearings for John Brennan, President Obama’s pick for CIA Director, who is widely described as the architect of the administration’s counterterrorism strategy.

Isikoff himself correctly notes that much of the content of this white paper is no surprise to anyone who listened to Attorney General Eric Holder’s March 5, 2012 address at Northwestern University.  Unfortunately, much of the reporting about the white paper is going out of its way to pretend that the leaked paper is a sudden and complete exposure of closely held government secrets. I’m looking at you, Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post.

There’s been a great deal of breathless, hair-on-fire reporting from the usual suspects, who have even gone out of their way to dishonestly mischaracterize the views of yet another African-American commentator who is generally seen as pro-Obama, as they are wont to do.

But rather than delving again into the complex racial and gender politics that lead self-appointed progressive critics of this administration to slander and smear people of color who don’t toe their line, I thought it would be helpful to provide our readers with a compendium of helpful links to further reading on the topic of drones, US counterterrorism strategy, and CIA Director nominee John Brennan.

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