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Still Fighting

It says a lot about this presidency that there is so much else going on that the public has almost forgotten that our troops are still fighting two wars.

And yet, there is big trouble on both fronts. In Iraq, where our troops are at least in the process of withdrawing, a recent spate of bloody attacks indicates things may be about to take an ugly turn. Even more disturbingly, in Afghanistan, where Obama has decided to escalate rather than extricate, there is still not even the glimmer of an exit strategy.

Tomorrow will be White House Watch's last day at The Washington Post. One of my many regrets is that I didn't get around to writing more about Obama's Afghanistan policy, its extraordinarily bloody ramifications, how it threatens to sink the nation in a Vietnam-like quagmire -- and, most significantly, how the president has never really made the case for his decision to increase rather than decrease our troop presence there.

There are plenty of authoritative arguments being publicly made by knowledgeable people that Obama is going about things the wrong way. This is way more the case, say, than before former president George W. Bush took the nation to war in Iraq. And yet Obama has never acknowledged or addressed those arguments -- and the press has not forced him to.

Before a president sends troops (or more troops) into harm's way, it seems to me he should be forced not only to explain why he thinks he's right, but why he thinks his critics are wrong. As I thought we'd learned in Iraq, giving the president a pass on this sort of thing is a very bad idea.

Consider just a few of the arguments being made by Obama's critics.

Back in March, consummate Washington insider Leslie H. Gelb wrote in a New York Times op-ed:

We can't defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, as the last seven years have shown. Numbers are part of the problem: most Taliban are members of Afghanistan's majority tribe, the Pashtuns. More confounding, the Taliban and their Qaeda allies have found in northwestern Pakistan a refuge that has proved almost impregnable. These factors make overcoming the enemy in Afghanistan infinitely harder than it was in Iraq.

What we can do is effectively reduce the risk of terrorist attacks from Afghanistan against its neighbors, the United States and its allies. We can do this in a way that would allow for the withdrawal of American forces, though economic and military aid would continue.

Gelb concludes:

President Obama and Congress owe it to both Afghans and Americans to explore a strategy of power extrication before they make another major decision to expand the war.

Here's Middle East expert Juan Cole in Salon in March:

The U.S. is not, contrary to what the president said, mainly fighting "al-Qaida" in Afghanistan. In blaming everything on al-Qaida, Obama broke with his pledge of straight talk to the public and fell back on Bush-style boogeymen and implausible conspiracy theories....

Obama described the same sort of domino effect that Washington elites used to ascribe to international communism. In the updated, al-Qaida version, the Taliban might take Kunar Province, and then all of Afghanistan, and might again host al-Qaida, and might then threaten the shores of the United States....

This latter-day domino theory of al-Qaida takeovers in South Asia is just as implausible as its earlier iteration in Southeast Asia (ask Thailand or the Philippines). Most of the allegations are not true or are vastly exaggerated. There are very few al-Qaida fighters based in Afghanistan proper. What is being called the "Taliban" is mostly not Taliban at all (in the sense of seminary graduates loyal to Mullah Omar). The groups being branded "Taliban" only have substantial influence in 8 to 10 percent of Afghanistan, and only 4 percent of Afghans say they support them. Some 58 percent of Afghans say that a return of the Taliban is the biggest threat to their country, but almost no one expects it to happen. Moreover, with regard to Pakistan, there is no danger of militants based in the remote Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) taking over that country or "killing" it.

Cole concludes:

When a policymaker gets the rationale for action wrong, he is at particular risk of falling into mission creep and stubborn commitment to a doomed and unnecessary enterprise.

Political scientist John Mueller wrote in Foreign Affairs in April:

George W. Bush led the United States into war in Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein might give his country's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Now, Bush's successor is perpetuating the war in Afghanistan with comparably dubious arguments about the danger posed by the Taliban and al Qaeda.

President Barack Obama insists that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is about "making sure that al Qaeda cannot attack the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests and our allies" or "project violence against" American citizens. The reasoning is that if the Taliban win in Afghanistan, al Qaeda will once again be able to set up shop there to carry out its dirty work. As the president puts it, Afghanistan would "again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can." This argument is constantly repeated but rarely examined; given the costs and risks associated with the Obama administration's plans for the region, it is time such statements be given the scrutiny they deserve.

Oh, and did you know that Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, recently said that al Qaeda was no longer operating in Afghanistan -- at all?

Author Tom Engelhardt recently noted that despite all the positive media attention lavished on Obama's new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, that appointment was actually evidence that Obama is going for broke in a region where the application of force has failed for years -- potentially locking himself into an escalation without end.

And here's a warning sign if I ever saw one. As Dick Polman blogged for the Philadelphia Inquirer a while back:

[T]he highest praise for Obama's Afghanistan announcement is being voiced by the likes of William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Max Boot - all prominent neoconservatives. Kagan, for instance, lauded what he called Obama's "gutsy and correct decision." Boot believes that Obama's ... address "was pretty much all that supporters of the war effort could have asked for, and probably pretty similar to what a President McCain would have decided on." On the substance of policy, Boot says, "Obama is solid."

I could go on, and on, and on.

Meanwhile, in the run-up to a June 30 deadline for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraqi cities, there have been a slew of major attacks there, killing 150 people in the last week.

Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor write for the Associated Press that "some private analysts worry that the administration may be underestimating the possibility that continuing violence and political turmoil could lead to an unraveling of the security situation." Muhanad Mohammed writes for Reuters: "A string of attacks has cast doubt on the ability of Iraqi forces to keep the lid on a stubborn insurgency after U.S. combat troops pull back from towns and cities by June 30." And Rod Nordland writes in the New York Times that "there are signs that Falluja could again plunge into violence."

I'm not arguing that any of this means we should stay longer, mind you, just that withdrawal was never going to be easy, and deserves some attention.

If nothing else, it's crucial that we not forget the toll war takes on the warriors -- and their families. And as it happens, Gregg Zoroya has just such a reminder in USA Today this morning:

After seven years of war, most children of combat troops are showing more fear, anxiety and behavioral problems, according to the Pentagon's most sweeping survey of the effects of war on military children.

Six out of 10 U.S. military parents told researchers their children have increased levels of fear and anxiety when a parent is sent to war, according to a survey of more than 13,000 military spouses of active-duty servicemembers....

Troubled children add to a growing list of war strain issues that the military, and particularly the Army, struggle with, including increases in suicide, mental health problems, alcohol abuse and divorce.

A more recent study this year by UCLA of nearly 200 families of active-duty Army and Marine Corps personnel shows problems for children may not go away. A year after parents returned from combat, 30% of the children exhibited clinical levels of anxiety — levels requiring possible treatment. The children's average age was 8.

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 25, 2009; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Afghanistan , Iraq  
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Next: White House Watched

Comments

I hope tomorrow you'll tell your many readers where you will appear next. You and writers like Glen Greenwald speak truth to power, which the WaPo has stopped doing a long time ago.

Posted by: Palcewski | June 25, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

OMG: if Kristol agrees with Obama, that automatically makes him wrong. Kristol the armchair warrior is 100 percent consistent: always wrong.

Posted by: bluegrasser | June 25, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Bye Dan. Even though you never took any of my questions during the online chats, I still respect the great job you do, exposing the hypocrisy of many of the "mainstream" pundits and their fellow travelers the right wing repiglicans. If it weren't for Greg and Ezra (and very occasionally Dionne), I would never come back to the wapo site after you leave. If anyone needs an object lesson on why newspapers are failing, they only need to look at how the wapoo treated you. Best of luck.

Posted by: srw3 | June 25, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

Please let us all know (except "bobmoses") where to find you in the future (in addition to your work at Neiman Watchdog.org).

Posted by: bmschumacher | June 25, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

You're going out in style, Dan.

The headline of tomorrow post should be (in 54 pt. type)

WAPO TO READERS: DROP DEAD!

Posted by: formerloyalWPreader | June 25, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Whatever paper picks you up, Dan, is going to see a surge in online readership. You're the true gem here.

I'm disgusted to an extent I couldn't express past the censorware to see you fired while jerks like Krauthammer remain.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Again, Thank You Dan,

Your coverage and analysis of what has been going on since at least 2004 and probably before has been such a treasured gift. I always read you on NeimanWathcdog.org; but you have made the Washington Post newspaper what it was supposed to be: The fourth estate of a democracy where we, the people, find out what our federal government is really doing with OUR money. I'll put you in my search engine and find out where you else you'll write.

Best Regards,

Susan Gronemeyer
Nevada City, CA

Posted by: sailorflat | June 25, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

When I read that you had been fired I thought I had been kicked in the gut. You are the best info source in the WaPo. I and the rest of your readers won't lose you, however We'll catch you on Nieman and whoever picks up your posts.

Carry On!!!
Bob Kellen
Iron Station, NC

Posted by: optimist1 | June 25, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Dan, as others have said please let us know where you will be next. I doubt many of us will be reading the Post anymore when you leave. If I wanted what the Post is turning into, I would have read the Times or watched Fox. I think the Post unfortunately is growing old, and getting more reactionary as years go on. Hopefully some other paper or website can fill the void for DC area readers. You will be missed.

Posted by: HuckTim | June 25, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

firing of froomkin is a hughe mistake. he's one of the best thinkers in journalism today. why fire a treasure?

Posted by: wspearing | June 25, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow will be White House Watch's last day at The Washington Post. One of my many regrets is that I didn't get around to writing more about ....

PLEASE !!! NO REGRETS !!! You have done SUPERLATIVE work on your blog Dan !!! Leave the wapo carcass behind with your head held HIGH !!!! and as others have also written, please let us know where you are going !!!! and then i can delete the wapo bookmark FOREVER !!! Good Luck and Rock On !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: flo_mo_t | June 25, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating blog, and criticism of Obama's performance so far (and a challenge to concerned citizens):

http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2009/06/what-can-i-do.html

Posted by: whizbang9a | June 25, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Still Fighting"
I thought that was the title of your final post as a WaPo(o) minstrel. But I see that's tomorrow. Wherever you wind up, go get 'em Dano.

Posted by: RP-Austin | June 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Dan, one of the critical pieces of context that your column provided was examining claims that the surge succeeded. These claims were left unexamined by major media so often as to represent a gaping hole in the coverage.

You noticed that hole, found the reporting that threw light on the claims, and noted that, while violence was down in Iraq, the stated goal of the surge was to give the warring parties space to reconcile, and no real progress whatsoever had been made toward that goal. So any claim that the surge succeeded starts by rewriting history.

You then went deeper: what does it mean that violence is down but the warring parties have not reconciled? You found experts, most of whom were not getting much ink or air time, who explained that it meant the recent gains were unlikely to be sustained. And guess what: that's exactly what we're seeing.

When McCain was bashing Obama a year ago -- "he doesn't know the surge succeeded" -- any reader of your column knew that was nonsense.

The benefit of informed opinion was available, just major media weren't featuring it, but you found it and showed its relevance, gave the context.

With that context, a reader understands that Iraq's conflicts are far from solved, and can and will erupt into violence and on a mass scale; we have done nothing to prevent that, just postpone it. You weren't thrilled about that, but you were even less thrilled about the happy talk from interested parties, and even less thrilled about the major media who passed along the happy talk unchallenged and out of context.

Another critical piece of context you provided was examining the claims that the Iraqi police force was stepping up to the plate. I'm happy to say that major media didn't do as abysmally bad a job on this one, but they seldom pulled it together and connected the dots. If there's no telling when the Iraqis will be able to run their own country, what does that mean? If we'll stand down when they stand up, it means we'll be in the country indefinitely. A war we shouldn't have started and can't afford now also becomes a war without end. Few stories in major media were able and willing to connect the dots on that.

So what does this all mean for Obama? I don't think we know yet, but I'd agree with you that it's disturbing that candidate Obama opposed Bush's failed policies but President Obama is repeating some of Bush's dubious arguments. For now I can only hope that privately Obama is searching for a plan that's smart and viable. I don't see any public evidence of that, though.

Posted by: jpk1 | June 25, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree that boots-on-the-ground is not the way to conduct the Afghan policy, but Obama needs both political cover and military support as he disengages from Iraq and this gives that to him and it gives him time to better understand how to deal with the Afghanistan and Pakistan wars - and added options. Obama did campaign on this policy. He deserves the benefit of the doubt and I gladly give it to him.

WaPo, on the other hand, has long since shown it has no sense of where the country's true interests lie and proves it again tomorrow. So goodbye to all that, and thanks.

Posted by: redacted54 | June 25, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Dan: One of the luckiest things I ever did years ago was to discover your "White House Briefing" column (later to become the "White House Watch"). I was attracted to your reporting because I have long been skeptical of government policies and the rationale for those policies that have been peddled before the American public (I admit that I am old enough to remember Vietnam, that I once had a draft card, and that I closely followed the Watergate hearings).

However, your columns brought me a clarity of focus and a wealth of internet sources that reinforced my skepticism, and allowed me to exercise more informed critical thinking. Many thanks for the enlightenment.

I wish you well wherever you go. As far as your "release" is concerned, I rate the Washington Post's judgement on a par with that of Daniel Snyder's player personnel decisions.

Now to today's column: While you have questioned Obama's decision to increase troops in Afghanistan, and quoted critics of this action, I believe that if we don't act in a decisive manner, the Taliban and Al Queda may indeed re-establish in Afghanistan.

My belief is predicated on the possible destabilization of their sanctuaries in Pakistan. The military assaults in the Swat Valley, along with planned incursions into Waziristan, if effective, may force those organizations back across the border. Time will tell.

However, the multiple deployments of our service men and women border on rank exploitation. That said, I don't think that we have any choice but to commit long term to Afghanistan, If we can safely extricate from Iraq, then the negative effects of these continued deployments may be eased.

In regard to Iraq, I think retired General Odom (whom you have quoted frequently over the years) may be correct. There will probably be increased violence (possibly renewed civil strife) when our forces pull back, but this may be unavoidable. As Thomas Ricks said on an online chat a few months ago, the primary effect of the Surge may be to lengthen the fuse on the powder keg. On top of that, add the Iranian situation.

There are just too many messy "ifs" associated with our involvement in the Middle East for anyone to know how events will play out. No matter how history flows in that region, we will be caught in the net of involvement for years to come.

Once again, best wishes and good luck.

Posted by: MillPond2 | June 25, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Very sorry to hear WaPo is giving you the boot from their website.

It's just another in a long series of poor editorial and business decisions by the Post, which is evidently trying to pattern itself after FoxNews with a stable of predictable, uninformative columnists such as Krauthammer, Will, Kristol and Gerson. Good freakin' luck with THAT!! Even Fox is losing a lot of eyeballs lately.

With your departure there is very little reason to visit this site any longer. See you at Neiman Watchdog and good luck in all your endeavors!

Posted by: JC505 | June 25, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you ran two of my questions, thanks!!Will miss you the & column. See you on NW!

Posted by: vanprey | June 25, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse


Yes Dan--tell us where you're headed next. You've saved my sanity for everyday for the last 6 years by showing me/us what the emperor looks like without his clothes.

And remember, Izzy Stone had to start his own paper--

I'll buy it!

What a sad rag the WaPo is when it comes to editorials, apologies to Mr. Meyerson and Mr. Robinson.

Posted by: lichtme | June 25, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

We'll miss you Dan. God speed, hope you end up with a better employer.

Posted by: mdsinc | June 25, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

" it seems to me he should be forced not only to explain why he thinks he's right, but why he thinks his critics are wrong."

Of course Froomkin only believe this to be true int he cases in which he disagrees with Obama's policies. Any critics of those Obama policies approved by Froomkin are to be ignored and/or demonized.

Posted by: bobmoses | June 25, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"However, your columns brought me a clarity of focus and a wealth of internet sources..."

"You've saved my sanity for everyday for the last 6 years..."

Since others said it before me, I thought it best to give them credit.

All the best to you in your new endeavors, and thanks for the wealth of information you have provided me over the last few years.

Wherever you land, if at all possible, please keep the format similar.

Yes, I was one who groused about the changes you made earlier this year, but only until the printer friendly format was created.

Good luck!

Posted by: STTPinOhio | June 25, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

War is the ultimate terror.Obama should understand that he should not be driven by the warmongers in his staff. You cannot blame the regime in Tehran of killing 10 or 20 demonstrators while you are killing hundreds of innocent people including children and old people in a single strike. It is a big tragedy applauded only by the blood thirsty people who supported the war in Iraq. Obama wake up before it is too late. Go out of Afghanistan and help the people build their country which the US has destroyed. Be human as I thought you are.

Posted by: mansour112 | June 25, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes, Dan. There is no point hurling abuse at the Post about this -- the only thing they might understand is the loss of readership and reputation this will cause.

Posted by: pythonS | June 25, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Please let us all know where we can find you. I see your Nieman site carrying some google warnings, have you been sabotaged too? I'm purging WAPO from my computer as are many others.John in Chimacum

Posted by: nashcantlon | June 25, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Dan Froomkin. Let us know where you land.

No reason to log onto WaPo any more, I can get my news so many other places online. Your daily column will always remain a treasure and the highlight of my morning reading no matter where it is posted.

Posted by: NatalieF | June 25, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to imagine that they are letting you go, Dan, while keeping Kristol and Krauthammer who have a bizarre way of ignoring reality. Indeed, the inauguration of Mouthpiece Theater on WaPo with Chris Cillizza and Dana Milbank is another sad sign that WaPo is digging its on grave.

Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert do a superb job of creating comedy out of news headlines. We do not need a mediocre MPT. We need investigative reporters. We need superb analysis like Dan gave us. I'm excited to follow Dan in his next phase. I'm certain it will be great.

Posted by: org2 | June 25, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Another thoughtful post from Dan Froomkin. I don't agree with you this time but I do agree a discussion of the asumptions and reasoning is warranted and can only be helpful. I think there is a certain amount of "nation building" going on and while Bush gave nation building such a bad name the arguments for nation building in Afghanistan are, under current circumstances, persuasive.

I look forward to your last WAPO column and to your future online columns.

Posted by: Dorothy1 | June 25, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, wherever you land. I have greatly enjoyed reading your columns over the past few years, and I hope I will be able to find the site where you continue to shine bright light into our nation's dark places.

First Froomkin, then Weingarten -- what is this world coming to?

Posted by: ajsmithva | June 25, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

You're going out in a blaze of glory! This blog about Obama's wars is right on target.

Good luck and see you on the other side.

Posted by: frazeysburger | June 25, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I am very afraid that you might be right about Afghanistan -- because several Republican Congressmen have agreed with President Obama's strategy.

Good luck, Dan. Thanks for giving us the facts, day in and day out, and for giving us voice when we needed to scream publicly.

Posted by: gsross | June 25, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Go out swinging, Dan.

You're right that Afghanistan could become a trap. I'm not yet persuaded that it's already on the road to failure.

Let's look at Juan Cole, who I respect greatly:

The groups being branded "Taliban" only have substantial influence in 8 to 10 percent of Afghanistan, and only 4 percent of Afghans say they support them. Some 58 percent of Afghans say that a return of the Taliban is the biggest threat to their country, but almost no one expects it to happen. Moreover, with regard to Pakistan, there is no danger of militants based in the remote Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) taking over that country or "killing" it."

The Taliban did take over Afghanistan before. True, it was during a period of chaos, not today's relative calm over most of the country. But chaos can be manufactured.

It is not necessary that the population support the Taliban, it is only necessary that the Taliban control their security. This is why Petreaus' first commitment has been the security of civilians, so they can act on their preferences. The fact that 58% of Afghanistans find the Taliban the greatest threat should bear some weight here. And it is not necessary for the Taliban to take over the whole country for them to provide a enlarged territory to Al Qaeda.

George HW Bush abandoned Afghanistan as soon as he could. It took a few years for the threat to emerge, but it grew strong enough to disrupt the region and launch several terrorist attacks against the US. It makes sense to surpress the Taliban invasion while the Afghans build up their own security forces and revive their economy.

Posted by: j2hess | June 25, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Will your past work at the WaPo be archived? Searchable?

If not, do you have rights to archive somewhere?

It just hit me that, this being the WaPo, they might not have your past columns available.

That would make your loss here even worse.

Posted by: jawbone2 | June 25, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

May the force be with you, Dan. I'll be looking to see where you land. The WaPo is in a sorry state and certainly a lesser paper to let you get away. Then again, they don't ever ask any questions these days about more war, do they? Given how they kow tow, I'm surprised they didn't sack you sooner.

Posted by: SarahBB | June 25, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Will your past work at the WaPo be archived? Searchable?

If not, do you have rights to archive somewhere?

It just hit me that, this being the WaPo, they might not have your past columns available.

That would make your loss here even worse.

Posted by: jawbone2 | June 25, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

it would never occur to Dan Froomkin that the 'Taliban' he says are such little danger are in fact a murder cult engaged in systemic genicide, demicide and apticide crimes against the Afghan, Pakistani, Aryan (Iran), and Kashmiri peoples. All of these murder categories are easily within the definition of systemic crimes against humanity and it is the responsibility of normal, note normal, Cro-Magnons to destroy such cults wherever they are found. If successive American presidents, possibly going back for a century, choose to destroy cults and gangs of genociders, then may Allah be with them. Advocacy or support of the false humaness of Taliban animals might itself be a crime against humanity and certainly doesn't deserve a public forum.

Posted by: salmunalfarsi | June 25, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Good work, man. Thanks. Keep on rockin.

Posted by: pressF1 | June 25, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I posted a comment earlier on Washingtonpost.com, indicating that I couldn't wait for you to tell me where to find you, because of the way you raise the level of intelligent discourse. I also commented that I was tempted to visit Washingtonpost.com just to read Krauthammer and similar columns -- if only to fertilize my gardens -- they are full of sh*t and that is GOOD for plants -- but I added that I would resist that impulse just so Washingtonpost.com didn't benefit from my internet traffic. I notice my earlier comment wasn't "approved" by washingtonpost or posted, but a later critical comment was? So, I will send a copy of this comment where I think you'll see it. Keep that it mind when you look at how many comments are "approved" being by Washingtonpost.com.

Posted by: CRome | June 25, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Dan, sometimes unexpected change, even unpleasant change, can lead to more rewarding endeavors. I hope this to be the case. Perhaps the NYtimes will see what incredible work you do covering the White House and bring you on board. Your COLUMNS were always something I looked toward each afternoon.

Hiatt, I think a good number of WaPo readers would agree when I say this.... bite me!

Posted by: stockwell66 | June 25, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to following your writings in your next textual incarnation. The Washington Post will be significantly diminished, by your departure.

Posted by: erraticity | June 25, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post, Dan.

You have been casting your pearls before swine.

I hope you'll be back up and writing very soon - doing White House Watch somewhere that appreciates real journalism. Let us know.

Posted by: unojklhh1 | June 26, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Also, you took many of my questions on your Wednesday chats. Thank you. I appreciated it.

I hope you will find some forum that allows you to interact with readers. You seemed to enjoy it and certainly we did.

Posted by: unojklhh1 | June 26, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The Post finally got smart and ditched Froomkin = maybe their is hope for journalism, after all.
His blogging has been mostly juvenile, partisan rants and he deserves to blog on some private, indie site like an Ann Coulter.
Insights? None found in his columns.
He is one of 3 million job casualties under the Obama economy...ie one more footnote.

Posted by: merley1 | June 26, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan, and the best of luck. As others have said, please let us know where you are going to be. It is a great pleasure to write here that the crew at the WP sucks, BIG TIME!

Posted by: bis2e | June 26, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Tomorrow will be my last day at the WAPO, too. Thanks for separating the wheat from the chaff so I never had to. I will miss your column, but I know you've got something better up your sleeve!

Posted by: catsmom | June 26, 2009 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for all your superb articles. I look forw ard to following you where ever you choose to go.

With your absurd termination, the Washington Post proves that it no longer has any interest in competent journalism. As a result, I have no further interest in the Washington Post, so this is my last post here too.

So sad to see a once good newspaper deteriorate to a shoddy, right-wing rag.

But, I'm sure you will carry on with your great writing at whatever new media is lucky enough to hire you.

I remain eagerly awaiting your next article, where ever it appears.

Posted by: JustinaJustice | June 26, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks again for your great work over the years Dan. The fact that there were still voices like yours helped me keep faith in America despite the hopelessly stupid culture of our corrupt and out-of-touch political-media class.

Let us know where you'll be next. You'll only do better by not being associated with torture-loving, power-crazed and morally deficient authoritarians. We all strongly suspect that ultimately it was your standing up to torture advocates that got you fired. These people are evil, and not even in a banal way.

At this point, the only difference between the Washington Post and the Washington Times is that the radical right-wing fruitcake in charge of the Post is not a Korean religious cult leader.

Posted by: mikezz | June 26, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. I've enjoyed your columns over the years and will miss them. You did a good job of compiling portions of articles from many places to give us a good overview of opinion and facts. I still like the Post but think they are making a mistake in this instance. I skipped three editorials today and find myself doing that often. I like to get opinions from many sources but get annoyed by some of the right wing voices lately; they just don't make sense a lot of the time and seem a waste of time to read. Thanks again, Dan, and keep up the good work.

Posted by: slwright1 | June 26, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Tomorrow, after I read your final post, Dan, I'll be deleting my WaPo links.

Please do be sure to let us all know where you'll be after that. If you don't have a new regular online home yet, please find SOMEWHERE to let your readers know where they'll be able to find you!

If Salon and the HuffPo aren't in a bidding war for your services, I don't know why!

Posted by: PMaranci | June 26, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Dan, I'm sorry to see you go. I never thought you were a mouthpiece for the left. It takes time to be able to critize an administration - they have to do or not do something first. I liked your parsing of the media and the status quo. I also liked you trying to keep politicians honest. That's not easy since VP Cheney still alledges al Quiada was in Iraq prior to our invasion. Where will you be next?
Sandy

Posted by: sander | June 26, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Dan,
Very sad to see WHW come to an end, and hoping you will find a new home and continue very soon.

Thank you for all your dedicated work bringing together all the WH info each day and adding your analysis and tough questions. It will be sorely missed!

Posted by: susan906 | June 26, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dan. You have been a breath of fresh air in the increasing neocon stench that has become the WaPo. Hiatt and his cronies couldn't cover both sides of an issue like you have if their lives depended upon it. Katharine Graham is rolling in her grave.

Posted by: Pearl77 | June 26, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I eagerly look forward to Dan's new home wherever it will be. It's sure to be a lot better than this neocon-infested jerk sock of a newspaper.

It's sad to see a once respectable news outlet shooting itself in the foot, yet it's also satisfying to see that it's going as badly as I had hoped it would.

Keep rearranging those deck chairs, editors. You'll never have another Watergate.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | June 26, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to reading your take on Obama's plans regarding Afghanistan and Iraq -- your analysis is always welcome -- please follow up with your next gig -- maybe you'll have fewer journalistic constraints...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 26, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but why isn't anybody questioning the big picture here? The forces running our country and making decisions are clearly not in the best interests of the average citizen.
Why do we, the many, allow a handful of giant corporations to poison us, send us to war, loot the country, and denude the environment? Nearly none of our government policies have the interests of the general population at heart, only the benefit of those in control. Obama isn't allowing the torture crimes to be prosecuted because there were Democrats involved too. He's continuing the useless wars we're in because that is now policy, handed down from some higher authority than the White House.
Who? Follow the money and that's where the power lies, and those are the people controlling our destiny. Until we say they can't.

Posted by: shaman7214 | June 26, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Why do we, the many, allow a handful of giant corporations to poison us, send us to war, loot the country, and denude the environment?
-----------
Hm.

Given the result, if what you say is true, do ya kinda get the impression they're a bunch of M*R*NS?

What you're describing is essentailly Bush and Cheney, right?

And what is the first word that comes to mind?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 26, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I concur with most of the comments that Dan Froomkin not being at the WaPo is like taking the wind out of the sails. I won't delete WaPo as I appreciate some of the columnists, but I will miss not going to him FIRST each day. NiemanWatchdog ought to get a lot more hits now.

Posted by: CheersColumnist | June 26, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Why oh why are they getting rid of their most substantive columnist?

This while the godawful windbag Broder stays on the payroll? Why?

We need an explanation of the rationale here.

Posted by: KevPod | June 26, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Froomkin--we hardly knew ye!

Posted by: wagtdn | June 26, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you very much for your posts Mr. Froomkin. I enjoyed reading them and I am very, very disapointed in the Post for letting you go. Good luck to you and, unfortunatly for the Post, I am afraid it is bad fortune for them. But that's life...

Posted by: email2tomas | June 27, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dan. I hope that Obama reads your column. I also hope that at some point in his life he read Rudyard Kipling, who wrote of the futility of going to war in Afghanistan in the 1800s. Little has changed since the times Kipling wrote of, other than modernization of weapons and communication. The basic facts remain the same.

Posted by: vklip | June 29, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

What Eisenhower predicted in the '50s when he left office has happened--the military industrial complex has taken over the country. The wars are continued so as to keep pouring money into the companies equipping the army. Health care can't be addressed without cutting in the insurance companies. And the banks are simply looting the country with these huge bailouts. Why are we, the American people, standing for this!? If we stopped the wars, we could clean up our environment and finance a single payer health care system and help fix our infrastructure. That's common sense, and in the best interests of the country. Who keeps making these decisions against the public good, and selling us on war and pestilence instead?

Posted by: shaman7214 | July 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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