Time to Break Out the Woodward

September 22, 2010

Time to Break Out the Woodward

It’s that time again. The New York Times and the Washington Post are reporting that journalist Bob Woodward is coming out with another book that exposes the inner squabbles of a presidential administration at war. While the Times article mainly details the personal battles (Biden vs. Holbrooke, Petraeus vs. Axelrod, James L. Jones vs. everyone), the Post leads with President Obama’s decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The president “urgently looked” for an “exit plan” that his advisers “never gave him,” according to Post reporter Steve Luxenberg. Both papers also mention that the president gave the Pentagon a very detailed “terms sheet,” that “explicitly” laid out how many soldiers would be sent to Afghanistan and what their objectives were. Other nuggets of disclosure: A 3,000-man clandestine team “of local Afghans” called Counterterroism Pursuit Teams directed by the CIA that capture and kill Taliban operatives; and Afghan President Hamid Karzai was apparently diagnosed with manic depression.

No More Mister Nice Blog yawns. But Blake Hounshell reports that the book tears “the veneer off an administration that had hitherto been known for its tight message discipline and a relative lack of infighting.” Melissa Clouthier calls the Post article “explosive” and “scary.” Taylor Marsh likes the idea of the CIA running covert ops against the Taliban, but wonders why the president “is intent on staying until summer 2011.”

Juan Cole writes that if Obama thought he could keep public support for the war up for two more years “he probably miscalculated.” Roger Simon suggests that the book be renamed All the President’s Creeps because of the infighting in the administration. Over at Wonkette, Ken Layne calls the Woodward revelations “sad news.”

The Confluence says the reporting on Woodward’s book shows, “This presidency is even more of a train wreck than I thought it would be.” Prairie Weather and Ann Althouse think the president’s decision to surge in Afghanistan and throw “sops to the reactionaries on the right” has split the Democratic Party “in all directions.”

And JustOneMinute and the DailyCaller mock President Obama’s quoted remark that “we absorbed” 9/11 and “we are stronger,” but TheBlogProf thinks the statement “is consistent with the left’s insistence that America overreacted to 911,” and AmericaPundit says it “fits with Obama’s global apology tour.” The quotation also riled GatewayPundit, who says “if we are ‘stronger’ . . . it certainly isn’t because of anything the Obama administration has done.”