The Omerta Strategy for the defense budget that I outlined in today’s piece comes to an end Monday. According to Julian Barnes of The Los Angeles Times, that’s when we’ll get an unveiling of the “hard choices” budget that Defense Secretary Bob Gates has been talking about. Lobbyists, reformers — someone will need to have heartburn meds nearby.
And already here’s an opportunity to reflect on a quote I didn’t include in my piece! I had a line from an anonymous Pentagon official saying all the good bits would leak out as soon as the budget was delivered to the White House, ahead of its delivery to Capitol Hill. But I thought, naaah, that sounds too much like it would be implying the Pentagon doesn’t trust the White House not to leak; and I can’t really prove that. But look:
In an unusual move for the Pentagon, Gates will announce his budget recommendations before shipping the formal recommendation to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
“It … reflects the magnitude of the decision,” said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell. “These aren’t changes on the margins. It is a fundamental shift in direction.”
So take my word for it, people: I had that and opted not to use it. But now *all bets are off. *
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