Defense Secretary Leon Panetta bloviated on Thursday that he wanted the idea of sequestration, which involves across-the-board cuts to defense spending amounting to $500 billion, to come to a crashing halt: “I’ll take whatever the hell deal they can make right now to deal with sequestration,” Panetta said.
Panetta blustered: “We need stability. You want a strong national defense for this country? I need to have some stability. And that’s what I’m asking the Congress to do: Give me some stability with regards to the funding of the Defense Department for the future.”
While Republicans have called Barack Obama out for his part in the malfeasance, Panetta tried to shift the blame to Congress, saying the problem was that Congress had “left town” for the election: “All of this has now been put off into the lame-duck session.”
Panetta won’t acknowledge what became crystal-clear from the research of Bob Woodward, that Obama himself was responsible for originating the idea of sequestration to play chicken with the GOP. Woodward wrote that Obama’s top deputies believed the prospect of massive defense cuts would compel Republicans to cave in and agree to a deficit-cutting grand bargain.
The sequester originated from this White House, yet it refuses to level with the American people about the devastating impact it will have on our country. By proposing the sequester, the president put his own election campaign ahead of the interests of the country.