View Full Version : Rumsfeld's Mistakes Mean She Should Go

03-02-2006, 12:28 PM
Rumsfeld's Mistakes Mean He Should Go
Secretary Of Defense Should Lead Cabinet Shakeup


Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist

POSTED: 11:02 am EST March 2, 2006

It's time for President George W. Bush to shake up his Cabinet, starting with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and some of his cohorts at the Pentagon who have made so many costly mistakes.

Let us count the ways, starting with Rumsfeld's braggadocio "shock-and-awe" approach to the disastrous war in Iraq.

Rumsfeld was a foremost adviser urging President George W. Bush to attack Iraq, using the 9/11 catastrophe as a catalyst even though there was no involvement of Baghdad in the terrorist attacks.

After that, all systems were go.

Rumsfeld is a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, which years ago put Iraq at the top of the neo-conservative agenda for future military action in the Middle East.

In the run up to the war, Rumsfeld catapulted to celebrity status as he strutted at televised news conferences and reassured the public that U.S. troops would be most welcome in Iraq.

Some top generals and former diplomats who knew the Middle East a lot better tried unsuccessfully to dissuade him.

Among them was Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, who told a congressional hearing that it would take "several hundred thousand" U.S. troops to conduct the war in Iraq and carry out the postwar plans.

Rumsfeld was furious with Shinseki's testimony, saying it was "off the mark." A short time later, Rumsfeld made Shinseki a lame duck by announcing his successor.

Shinseki has long since been vindicated by the continuing chaos in Iraq, where civil war seems just around the corner.

Rumsfeld, hardly a diplomat, alienated France and Germany by referring to them as "old Europe" at a time when the U.S. needed all the allies it could get.

He spoke of war glibly, saying "stuff happens," or there are not "nice tidings" in a military conflict.

On a soldier's complaint about the inferior military equipment in Iraq, Rumsfeld said memorably, "You go to war with the army you have."

After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, the defense secretary tried to explain the looting that went on afterward: "Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to commit crimes and make mistakes and do bad things."

On July 22, 2002, Rumsfeld initialed a directive to Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, then-chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, on how to execute missions dealing with terrorists.

One excerpt from the memo read: "The objective should be to capture terrorists for interrogation, or if necessary, to kill them, not simply to arrest them in (a) law enforcement exercise."

The secretary also signed off on some horrendous forms of torture during interrogation at U.S.-run prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad, which shamed America, especially when the infamous photographs were made public.

Afterwards, Rumsfeld banned some of the more extreme abuses of detainees -- but made no promise to abide by the Geneva Convention on the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, put Rumsfeld in his place at a recent joint Pentagon news conference. A reporter asked Rumsfeld this question: If an American soldier saw an Iraqi torturing a detainee, should he intervene?

Rumsfeld said it was not the U.S. servicemen's role to interfere, but Pace interjected that it was incumbent on the American to stop the maltreatment when he saw it. The two men later tried to smooth over their obvious differences.

Rumsfeld was at the Pentagon when it was hit by a terrorist-controlled plane and valiantly pitched in to help rescue the victims.

An incident cited in a book titled: "Rumsfeld's War," referred to a meeting of commanders at the Pentagon in 2003 when Rumsfeld pulled aside Air Force General Charles Holland, the special operations chief who Rumsfeld thought was not aggressive enough.

The secretary asked the general: "Have you killed anyone yet?"

03-02-2006, 01:32 PM
"She", Gold? :P

03-02-2006, 01:33 PM

03-02-2006, 01:39 PM
Oh. I was thinking it was a political statement or something. Silly me.