Journalist Bob Woodward, the man who played an integral role in bringing an end to the Richard Nixon presidency, called President Obama‘s decision to hold back on military deployments because of sequestration “madness,” Reuters reports.
“So we now have the president going out (saying) ‘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,” Woodward told MSNBC on Wednesday.
In a visit to the Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard in Virginia on Tuesday, Obama warned that Navy readiness could be affected by the looming cuts.
Reuters reports that maintenance to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln has been delayed because of the cuts and that the Pentagon delayed deployment of another carrier, the USS Harry Truman, to the Middle East because of funding.
“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward said.
Woodward’s comments Wednesday follow an opinion piece he published in the Washington Post last week saying the administration was “wrong” to blame the cuts on Republicans.
The Obama White House response to Woodward’s position was to berate him and issue what was perceived to be a threat.
In an interview with POLITICO yesterday, Woodward said he told a senior White House official last week he was going to question Obama’s account of how sequestration came about and the official “yelled at me for about a half hour.”
The aide followed up his tirade with a page-long email: “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today,” the official wrote. “You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
“Come on,” Woodward said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”
Adding to the administration’s overreaction to sequestration — an idea crafted by the White House — is the decision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release several hundred illegal immigrants from detention centers ahead of expected cuts.
Never mind that the reduction in detainee populations reportedly ordered is significantly greater than the reduction in ICE’s budget required by the sequester, reports Washington Free Beacon. And comes in spite of reports showing Dept. of Homeland Security — which oversees ICE — being slated to finish the year with more than $9 billion in un-obligated funds.
The White House is backing away from this action by denying any involvement in the decision.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at Wednesday’s White House press briefing that “this was a decision made by career officials at ICE, without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequester,” reports Yahoo News.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is calling the move a publicity stunt, according to the report.
Yet, there must be a sense of confidence that should one of these “low-risk, noncriminal detainees” go on a crime spree and take the lives of a few Americans, an Obama obsessed media will do its part to ensure the administration avoids accountability.
“Operation Fast and Furious” ring a bell? Benghazi?
And right on cue, Eric Holder weighs in on the matter saying the looming budget sequestration will make Americans less safe.
“This is something that is going to have an impact on the safety of this country,” the U.S. attorney general told ABC’s Pierre Thomas on Wednesday in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview.
As for perspective, which is sorely lacking in today’s media, only half of the total cuts — a relatively small 2.4% cut in spending — go into effect in the current year, with the other half spread out over a number of years.
And in what can only be a sign that the entire country may be going mad, stocks soared for a second day to finish near session highs Wednesday, with the Dow within less than 100 points of an all-time closing high.