Thursday, April 13, 2006
"I think we need a fresh start..."
There seems to be no end to the supply of retired military generals lining up for their turn at the microphone to lambaste Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's performance leading the Pentagon, and the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Just as the buzz on the airwaves and blogosphere was reaching a fevered pitch this afternoon over yesterday's Washington Post article quoting Maj. General John Batiste as saying (among other things) "I think we need a fresh start", CNN reports that Maj. General Charles Swannak has told them that "I really believe that we need a new secretary of defense because Secretary Rumsfeld carries too much baggage" in this interview today.
To my knowledge this is way beyond unprecedented. This makes 6 or 7 retired military commanders who have made highly critical public statements about how Rumsfeld has prosecuted this war, (and in some cases have questioned the war itself) and have called for the removal of him and those he surrounds himself with. And the fact that this man has claimed to have twice submitted his resignation to W, and was twice turned down, if true, implicates the president in this mismanagement as well.
Remarkably, of the three military leaders who have spoken out in Rumsfeld's defense over the last year or so, two still reported to him at the time they did so. And essentially all they say is that he works hard, is smart & efficient, and knows a lot of stuff. Sounds like the perfect sole qualifications for a guy leading a $500B+ (annual) military operation. They do not speak to the charges of poor judgement, not listening to the guys who know how this business works, and unhealthy cronyism.
I can't even in my wildest imagination think of how the wing nuts on the right are going to spin this.
UPDATES: New York Times weighs in, and, another day, another general
Posted by sooray at 4:17 PM