Woodward's 60 Minutes bloodbath

by MIKE WHITNEY, CounterPunch

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward can always be counted on to tell the truth-- after all the other options have been exhausted. His new book, State of Denial, doesn't veer too far from the pattern he's followed his entire career; one minute he's the "kingmaker" dishing up hearty-helpings of literary tripe like "Bush at War" and "Plan of Attack" and the next minute he's ramming a scimitar into the lower lumbar region of his prey.

That's Bob, the consummate insider and part-time assassin whose real job is not to maintain an "informed public" or preserve the free flow of information, but to use the privately-owned media in a way that serves the exclusive interests of the ruling elite.

Most of what Woodward said on 60 Minutes was accurate and interesting. Bush has deceived the American people about the slow-rolling catastrophe in Iraq. He's obfuscated the truth about the 800 to 900 attacks on American troops per week and, yes, Rumsfeld is the greatest bungler in the history of the Republic. But why has Woodward decided to spill the beans now? And, how long has he been withholding this information from the public? (some of the crucial details date back to 2003!?!) And why would Woodward organize a book tour that is clearly designed to obliterate Bush's credibility just 6 weeks before the election?

Woodward speaks for establishment elites who have stood on the sidelines cheering on the war-effort regardless of the rivers of blood coursing down the streets of Baghdad. He doesn't care that people are blown apart in their homes as long as it serves the overall interests of a small cadre of white plutocrats. What affects Woodward's delicate sensibilities is the inefficiency of the slaughter which has yet to produce the desired results. That's why the gloves have come off. That's why he's been employed to mug the muggers and kill the killers.

Woodward's appearance on 60 Minutes was the moral equivalent of a Mafia Hit-man performing the one task for which he is singularly well-suited; snuffing out a rival with a quick jab to the rib-cage.

Et tu, Bobby?

Woodward is on a mission to dethrone the Bushies and send them packing. The solidarity among American powerbrokers has dissolved into a bitter dispute over incompetence. Disenchanted elites want a place at the policy-table again and Woodward is leading the charge. His appearance is just the first of many salvos which will be aimed in the direction of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Woodward was the perfect choice to perform the execution; calculating and cold-blooded. His work in the Watergate investigation still endears him to liberals while right-wingers admire him as the editor of the nations' premier war-mongering rag. He has the credibility to wreak havoc on the administration while escaping the inevitable "Swift boating" that a less prominent journalist would have to endure.

If Bush gets his come-uppance, then that's great, but let's not forget that the Washington Post has supported the war from the get-go. Woodward and his ilk (Tom Friedman and William Kristol) do not object to the war, just the CONDUCT of the war. If the "right" people die, then "no problem", the American overlords can get on with the critical task of extracting valuable resources without interruption.

This is the real "State of Denial"; the belief that it's okay to slaughter people and destroy their civilization to enhance the wealth and power of a handful of western elites. It's a crime for which Woodward is just as guilty as Bush.

article originally published at http://www.counterpunch.com/whitney10022006.html.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey