Alas, the article goes on to set up the math for us, and these cuts don’t
really amount to much:
The Pentagon’s budget for ,
was $310 billion. For ,
which was approved before the
attacks, it was $317 billion, and in subsequent years, rose to $355 billion,
$368 billion and $416 billion. These figures do not include supplemental
appropriations for war-fighting efforts.
In , the Pentagon estimated it would
need $424 billion for and $445
billion for , not including
supplemental funding. Officials say those figures could both end up
shrinking by $10 billion and that similar cuts could occur in subsequent
So, the Pentagon’s budget goes up by a third in the years since Dubya took
office but starting now… it won’t rise nearly so fast. Well, it’s a start.
The actual numbers for and
were $536 billion and $527
billion, not including war supplementals.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Bush administration is not
torturing prisoners because it is useful but because of its symbolism. It
originally was intended to be a form of what later, in the attack on Iraq,
came to be called “shock and awe.” It was meant as intimidation. We will do
these terrible things to demonstrate that nothing will stop us from
conquering our enemies. We are indifferent to world opinion. We will stop at
In that respect, it is like the attack on Falluja last month, which — destructive as it was — was fundamentally a symbolic operation. Any insurgent
who wanted to escape could do so long before the much-advertised attack
actually began. Its real purpose was exemplary destruction: to deliver a
message to all of Iraq that this is what the United States can do to you if
you continue the resistance.
More evidence that the
movement is being put to shame by its counterparts elsewhere:
Senior British army commanders believe popular opposition to the war in Iraq
has worsened existing problems in recruiting young people for the armed
forces. ¶ “The anti-war movement is exacerbating our recruitment problems,”
one senior source told the The Observer newspaper.
¶ “The effects have been particularly noticeable in Scotland, but are
spreading to the north of England and we’re beginning to see it as well in
the west,” according to the source who was not named.…
[Senior officers] said it has been worsened by an anti-war movement led by
parents who have lost sons in Iraq and supported by celebrities and political
figures, according to The Observer. ¶ Other
sources have reported parents refusing to sign consent forms for junior
soldiers to sign up, the newspaper said. ¶ In some cases, local officials who
have strong anti-war sentiments are also refusing permission for recruitment
officers to put up stands at certain venues, it added.
reporting that it has discovered a memo written by torture apologist John Yoo
that told Dubya he “had the power to deploy military force ‘preemptively’
against any terrorist groups or countries that supported them — regardless of
whether they had any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Towers or
the Pentagon” and “that there are effectively ‘no limits’ on the president’s
authority to wage war.”
Although Newsweek says that…
The existence of the memo, titled “The President’s Constitutional Authority to
Conduct Military Operations against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them,”
was first reported by Newsweek in
. But its
contents — including the conclusion that Bush could order attacks against
countries unrelated to the
attacks — were not publicly available until late this week when, with no notice
to the public or the news media,
the memo was posted on
an obscure portion of
the Web site of the Justice Department’s
Office of Legal Counsel.
…faithful Picket Line readers may remember that
I linked to essentially the same content (with the same title) in a Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy paper coauthored by Yoo.