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Pentagon restricts more information

December 31, 2013
Salem News

Some observers say President Barack Obama's administration is among the most secretive in history. Bolstering that contention is a decision by the Pentagon.

Each day, the Defense Department compiles a list of news reports and opinion writing related to the military. Nicknamed the "Early Bird," it had been disseminated to virtually anyone who wanted it. Electronic circulation was estimated at between one million and two million.

The "Early Bird" has been eliminated. In its place is the "Morning News" - circulated only to about 300 of the Pentagon's top brass.

Officially, the Defense Department claims production of the "Early Bird" was just too expensive. But its successor, the "Morning News" costs money, too.

And why are those who ask to be added to the "Morning News" circulation list told it is restricted to top Pentagon officials?

No, the excuse just won't wash. This is merely another stake being driven by the Pentagon into the heart of free exchange of information about the government, including one of its most important functions - ensuring the security of more than 300 million Americans.

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Remember earlier this month, when official Washington was assuring the American people a controversial budget deal would prevent any new fiscal crises for some time to come?

Well, forget it. As usual, promises from Washington are not worth much.

Late last week, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Congress it will have only a few weeks after Feb. 7 to approve an increase in the government's borrowing limit - or there could be serious consequences.

Without authority to borrow more money, the U.S. could default on loans previously floated to keep the government in business.

Actually, this is no surprise. The spending deal that ended the partial shutdown of government in October extended the borrowing limit only until Feb. 7.

Some conservatives have suggested the borrowing limit deadline should be used to pry new spending cuts from President Barack Obama and liberal lawmakers. The White House insists it will not engage in such negotiations.

So, here we go again.

Does it not tell anyone in Washington something that much of government's activity these days involves averting fiscal crises?

 
 

 

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