Home > Uncategorized > Anti-Rumsfeld Chorus Grows

Anti-Rumsfeld Chorus Grows

OK, folks, here we go. This isn’t Al Franken or Michael Moore, but RETIRED MILITARY GENERALS, speaking, a chorus with one voice, saying it’s time for Rumsfeld to go. Shall we start a pool?

WASHINGTON — A recent surge in public criticism of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by retired military leaders is the culmination of months of intense but largely private debate among active duty officers about how best to voice dissent over Bush administration policies, according to officers involved in the discussions.

A number of officers have been critical of Iraq policy — mostly anonymously — since the administration’s early days. But the calls for Rumsfeld’s resignation are an unusual step for members of the military, who are acutely sensitive to the appearance of challenging civilian leadership of the armed forces.

Displays of public dissension are especially controversial while troops are at war and morale is a concern. In recent months, however, a growing concern that the war’s setbacks may have been predictable as well as avoidable has spilled into public view.

The officers said that challenges to civilian policy were not new — similar opposition flared during the Clinton administration, particularly around the issue of gays in the military. But many of the latest condemnations come from officers who served in the Iraq war, and the controversy has split the ranks over whether attacks by those officers so soon after retiring are appropriate.

One current general who has debated the issue with high-ranking colleagues spoke, like others, on condition of anonymity when discussing actions of other officers.

“If every guy that retires starts sniping at their old bosses and acts like a political appointee, how do you think senior civilians start choosing their military leaders?” the general said. “Competence goes out the window. It’s all about loyalty and pliability.”

The ranks of Rumsfeld’s critics were joined Wednesday by retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who served as a division commander in Iraq and was a military aide to former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, a primary architect of the Iraq invasion.

Batiste said he believed Rumsfeld should resign, arguing that the Pentagon needed a new leader who could work with top officers “without intimidation.”

In an interview, Batiste said negative feelings about Rumsfeld were widespread among generals he served with. He added that there was an almost universal belief that the secretary did not treat military leaders and their opinions with respect.

“It speaks volumes about the leadership climate within the Pentagon,” Batiste said. “Civilian control is absolutely paramount, but in order for it to work, there is a two-way street of respect and dialogue that has to exist.”

Batiste’s criticism follows similar attacks by three other retired generals who were involved in the Iraq war or served in top positions in the Middle East: Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory S. Newbold, former director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, head of training Iraqi forces in 2003; and Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of U.S. Central Command.

Former Defense officials said Batiste’s criticisms were particularly surprising because of his direct role in planning and fighting the war, first as Wolfowitz’s military aide and then as commander of the 1st Infantry Division when it was deployed to oversee central Iraq in 2004.

“Batiste is really the younger generation who has seen this war firsthand,” said Thomas E. White, the Bush administration’s first secretary of the Army and a frequent Rumsfeld critic. “When a guy like that steps up, it takes it to an entirely different level.”

Batiste said his comments were not part of any organized campaign by retired officers.

Although he has worked with Eaton and Newbold, Batiste said he had not talked to either about his decision to go public.

The officers’ falling out with Rumsfeld began over the Defense Department’s treatment of retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, who said at a congressional hearing that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to occupy Iraq, only to be chastised later by Wolfowitz.

The shunting aside of Shine-ski appears to be something of a touchstone for military critics of Rumsfeld, particularly in the Army, where Shinseki is still well regarded.

One current general said that while the recent criticisms may have brought the uniformed military’s strained relationship with Rumsfeld into the open, debate over whether they should be more forceful about voicing disagreements had raged for months.

“The Newbolds and Eatons and the public discussion is spilling over from the internal discussion,” said the currently serving general. “This has been a rising issue within the military.”

Criticism of political leaders by retired generals is nothing new. Historians note that former military leaders dating back to the American Revolution have written criticisms of the conduct of wars, and Rumsfeld dismissed many of the criticisms this week as just the latest in that tradition.

“It’s historic, it’s always been the case, and I see nothing really very new or surprising about it,” he said at a Pentagon news conference.

But Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of international relations at Boston University and a Vietnam veteran, said he believed it was unprecedented for retired senior officers who had so recently served during a war to criticize civilian leaders while troops were still in the field.

“I would take this as evidence that the search for scapegoats with regard to the Iraq war has now been fully engaged by the military,” Bacevich said.

“The officer corps doesn’t want to get stuck with responsibility for a war that has already proven to be a disappointment and could result in failure. This is an indication that Rumsfeld has been selected as the military’s preferred scapegoat,” he said.

The debate within the Pentagon has been influenced by the lessons of the Vietnam War, a conflict many current military leaders believe was lost because military chiefs did not stand up to civilian war plans.

A 1997 book on the subject, “Dereliction of Duty,” by H.R. McMaster, now an Army colonel serving in Iraq, has been required reading for many Pentagon officers.

“There was a deep bitterness over Vietnam and the way the [service] chiefs had been co-opted,” said Richard H. Kohn, a military historian at the University of North Carolina who oversaw McMaster’s work on the book.

Kohn said it was a lesson sent repeatedly to all Army officers: “They said: ‘We’re never going to put up with this again, we’re not going to be put in that position again by the civilians.’ “

Nevertheless, Kohn, who has discussed relations with civilian leaders with several top officers, said he believed it might be dangerous for such recently retired generals to go public with such criticism.

“If they go out and attack the policy after leaving and they get personal about it, they’re undermining civilian control,” Kohn said.

  1. Russ in Templeton
    April 13, 2006 at 8:15 am

    Great column, Dave. Thanks for sharing. Rumsfeld is a chcken hawk and needs to be tossed out with the rest of the neo-cons!

  2. Bob from San Luis
    April 13, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    I won’t begin to try and understand the militar mindset having never served, but wouldn’t it make sense for those in the military leadership to put the blame for the lack of planning in the Iraq quagmire squarely where it belongs, on the civilian leadership? Apparently Rumsfield took input from most military leaders and discarded anything that didn’t fit his goals. How can anyone justify decisions made in that manner? Like I said, I cannot speak for anyone in the military, but surely the generals who questioned the motivation and execution of the planning have to have some sort of respect from the lower ranks. Rumsfield should have left or been fired long ago and if there is any hope of salvaging any good result from Iraq, it will have to be done without Rumsfield in charge.

  3. Rich from Paso
    April 13, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    This is a first. I have the utmost respect for General Batiste, having personally met him while I served in Iraq, so his opinion to me speaks volumns. On one hand, I just cannot see what changing Rumsfeld out at this late stage of the Iraq War will do to improve the situation on the ground. What if anything would the new SecDef do any differently? Michelle didn’t have any guesses, she just wanted a panel to discuss it. On the other hand, if Rumsfeld has created an advasarial relationship between the DoD and the senior generals of the services, then, yeah, he’s got to go. One of the 9 principles of war is unity of command and right now the unity of command in our military is breaking down. For the good of the services, if Rumsfeld is more of a henderance than a help in accomplishing the mission in Iraq or in general, then his days are over as far as I am concerned.

  4. russ in templeton
    April 13, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    We need a new Secretary of Defense to restore credibility to civilian authority. Rumseld is damaged goods; the McNamara of his generation. Nobody believes him anymore. Too many mistakes have happened on his watch to have him keep his job.

    My vote would go for Richard Lugar. Now there’s a guy with integrity.

  5. Bob from San Luis
    April 14, 2006 at 6:32 am

    Rich: You are a real man. I respect your ability to recognize when it is time to consider a different approach to a situation. As for what sort of change will happen when Rumsfield is replaced, there will hopefully be an aura of respect for the military leadership, with their plans and contingencies being given due diligence. Do you remember General Schwarzkopf leading Desert Storm? I was somewhat shocked when he was quoted as saying that when you are at war, you kill your enemy until they are all dead or they quit fighting you, but I respected that he knew what he was doing. Is it possible that maybe the reason Bush the Elder didn’t go to Bagdad was that he actually listened to his military leaders? If Bush will replace Rumsfield with someone the military can respect, someone who will work with the military, I think the military leaders will counsel the new SecDef in better ways to accomplish obtainable goals in Iraq, and hopefully reduce the number of casualties occurring daily.

  6. Rich from Paso
    April 14, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Bob, i don’t think that siding with you on hte removal of Rumsfeld makes me a real man, just a realist. However, there is something else fo ryou to consider: Why is GEN Schoomaker, the Chief of Staff of the Army, still on the job if things are so bad at DoD? The CSA came out of retirement to take the job after Shinseki quit under protest. No one else wanted the job so the conventional wisdom is that Rumsfeld, who hired him (the SecArmy was acting), gave him carte blanc to do whatever he wanted with the Army. He has no dog in the fight since he came in after the Iraq invasion was ‘mission complete’. So why is he still there? I have seen Schoomaker speak and he doesn’t come across as a shallow political type (incidentally, I thought Shinseki was too political). So, again, why is he still there?

  7. Bob from San Luis
    April 16, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    Rich: What I meant about you being a real man is that you are a realist who has faced up to what needs to be done, and you have embraced the change, as opposed to someone who steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the need for change or, usually, is so caught up in their agenda and being “right” that they willfully refuse to recognize the need for change.
    As for General Shoomaker, please read this and maybe you can figure out why the General is still there. My opinion, General Shoomaker is yes man for President Bush, willing to do anything to anyone (read the link) and has allowed too much bad stuff to happen on his watch. Looking at the record of events that have happened on Gen. Shoomaker’s watch gives me the feeling that he is less than honorable, but then once again, I don’t have the military experience that some feel is necessary in order to judge someone in the military.

  8. Rich from Paso
    April 18, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    Bob: As you probably heard last night, I have decided NOT to support the ouster of Rumsfeld based on the fact that Generals Batiste and Swannack offer no justification for the change other than the Rumsfeld didn’t go to Genrela Shinseki’s retirement party and that he micro-manages things. So what? Big damn deal. Neither general advocates a change in the policy on the ground in Iraq and neither offers any other policy direction change. To me, it all sounds political and personal. Even Batiste himself says that one man doesn’t make that big a difference and that the organization will survive any one man. That said, the theory that Dave put forth that this Rumsfeld resignation call is in some way of pulling the teeth of Bush when it comes to the potential (and quite likely by 2007- my estimate) military action against Iran. That would be a trageic mistake if it were true. This is country 2 on the Axis of Evil. Ahmenijad is serious when he talks about destroyign Israel and waging war with the United States and he talks to the 12th Imam (a quasi-god like individual found in Shia lore). A conventional bombing campaign against iran using the Kosovo campaign as a model will bring regime cahnge to Iran. Every Iranian student between the ages of 18 to 25 would over throw that government and embrace the west. To prevent Bush from dealing with that country invites whoelsale disaster for the United States and our allies around the world.
    Read this op-ed on Iran.

    Here is an article from Genral DeLong that supports Donald Rumsfeld on how the plan to invade Iraq was planned and carried out.

    Have a nice day, everyone.

  9. Bob from San Luis
    April 18, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Rich: When I called in and asked you “how long do you keep banging your head against the wall?”, I should have continued with “One classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over agaoin and expecting a different result.” I am not calling anyone in particular insane, but to think that we can change what is happening in Iraq by not doing something different does seem questionable. As for replacing Don Rumsfield, please consider another approach. Much as been mentioned how Rumsfield has implemented changes in how troops are used, trimming troop levels down to make a “quick, lean fighting machine”; I can understand “outsourcing” certain functions of support and supply, using non-military personel for those roles does make sense, economically, as you don’t have the associated costs of military personel, in training, deployment, replacement and veteran’s benefits. That should leave the government with a lower overall cost that can be applied to make sure the real soldiers are taken care of. The two main problems that this can allow is enhanced by no-bid contracts, leaving the possibility of extreme over charges, double billing and even out right theft. If the contracts are not monitered by government oversight effectivly, the associated fraud can flourish and end up costing us even more than an old fashioned all military response. Cost is a major factor in the inherrent problems of outsourcing, as potential savings can be eaten up by the potential corruption I just highlighted; but, in my humble opinon the more serious problem that outsourcing can facilate is the fact that any outsourced security forces (military contractors, mercaneries, whatever you want to call them) is that they do not operate under the Military Uniform Code of Justice. The independant contrators are not bound by Geneva Conventions as they supposedly do not represent a government force. This is were we have encountered the abuses at the military prisons, and although the outsourced contrators may have not had direct control over the prisoners, the policies that they either carried out or trained our low level military personel to carry out came from the very highest level of cilvilian leadership. The abuses we have seen some of the pictures of are IMO reason enough to replace Rumsfield, now, just to make sure those abuses don’t ever happen again. There is apparently a lawsuit that has been filed naming Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield as having actually assisted in the intergation of prisoners at GITMO, and that he gave very detailed instructions as to how to proceed in interrogations that resulted in abuses of prisoners, even causing the death of some of those in custody. Rumsfield HAS to go, period, now.

  10. Rich from Paso
    April 18, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    Bob: Again, you proceed on false assumptions. It is your assumption that things are not going well in Iraq, therefore, we need to cahnge the SeCDef to make a change. Things militarily are going fine in Iraq. Fewer soldiers are dying and more insurgents are. Insanity would be to change leadership based on petty slights and personality conflicts. That is what is apparently motivating Gen. Batiste to make his resignation demand. By the way, Gen Swannack is the only 82nd commander not to get his third star; a little disgruntled about that, perhaps?

    Military commanders on the ground deal with the BlackWater security guys (subsidery of Halibuton btw) and other independant security firms used by the contractors in Iraq. True, they do go “cowboy up” and try to do vigilante-style raids and stuff. But how in the hell is Rumsfeld responsible for that? You, Bob, have as much direct culpability as Rumsfeld does.

    As for Rumsfeld personally conducting interrogations at Club Gitmo… How perposterous!! You’re going to have to produce a credible link to get me to buy into that garbage.

    Face it, Bob, you’re not the President. A majority of the voters in the last election gave him the power, right, and authority to have anyone he wants (with the consent of Congress, of course) in as his SecDef. He is also the arbitor of when Rummy is done. You have no dog in that fight. Get over it.

  11. Bob from San Luis
    April 21, 2006 at 7:35 am

    Insanity would be to change leadership based on petty slights and personality conflicts. Um, 2000+ US military dead seems like a little more than petty slights. Is Rumsfeld responsible for those deaths Rich? Is it possible that a larger ground force going in and securing the peace after the invasion might have resulted in fewer US deaths? I could understand an argument that more military might have incured more casualties, but at this point we will never know. Personality conflicts; many can relate to a tyranical boss, a micro-manager and even someone who is hell-bent on turning sop on its head to effect change in the way things are done, many could even relate to experiencing all of those together- I really don’t believe that the retired generals who are leading the charge to have Rumsfeld replaced seriously had any of what I just mentioned as their motivating factor, I honestly think these are patriots who have the experience, training and practical knowledge are absolutly trying to see that the right thing gets done here, in the best interest of the US and in the best interest of the military. Rich, were you troubled at all by Sec. Rice’s comment that there have been “tactical errors” committed in Iraq? Here is a link you might find iteresting in their discussion. Somehow her comment seems to place blame on the military for the current situation in Iraq which occurs to me as an attempt to deflect responsibility away from the administration. Sad. I would think that military personnal might get pissed about that assertion.
    ….they do go “cowboy up” and try to do vigilante-style raids and stuff. But how in the hell is Rumsfeld responsible for that? Rich, you made my point for me; if the military can’t or won’t control the private security forces in Iraq, what the hell are they (the private security) doing there? This is supposed to be a military operation. The leaner, meaner fighting machine that the neo-cons wet their pants dreaming about (less troop strength,more technology) has to be supported by contracted firms that traditionally were performed by a large, inclusive military force that did everything that needed to be done. Was that an efficent model? From most accounts no, but it was all military, under military command, answering to military control. As far as culpability goes, I do not have any direct culpability, just like you or Dave or anyone else, Rumsfeld does Rich, Rumsfeld is in TOTAL CONTROL, and as such is responsible for everything. It has not gone well since the day after we invaded, it has steadily gotten worse, and even though it is not as bad as it has been, it is still not good. Where is the rebuilding? Where is the new Iraqi government? Rich, Rumsfeld and President Bush may have had the best of intentions, but this is not a good situation in Iraq, and it IS insane to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.
    Now, to the Rumsfeld interrogation assertion that I made earlier: I read the first link I came to incorrectly. I was wrong, period. I have researched some more, now that I have a some what better computer that doesn’t drop links on me or stop unexpectedly, perhaps I can comment here and do better research. There has been a lawsuit filed against the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, you can look at the press release here
    and please look as far as the 4th paragraph at some of the persons involved. I know most on the right will cringe when they see the ACLU’s involvement, but just for a moment read any part of the brief and see if you don’t think there is a case to be made. I’m not talking about partisian politics here, this is about the rule of law. Here is the link to the main body of the suit. There is a lot of information listed, much in pdf format, but this seems like a pretty serious attempt to hold SecDef Rumsfeld responsibile for the overseeing of torture and human rights violations that would have never been tolerated by the likes of Eisenhower or even Teddy Roosevelt.
    One last thing Rich, about me having no dog in the fight about when Rumsfeld is done; when the citizens lead, the politicans will follow. You say President Bush doesn’t pay attention to the polls, maybe if he would notice that his unfavorability rating is higher now than Clinton’s was during the height of the Impeachment hearings, he could consider that maybe the citizens aren’t too happy with the way things are going, even if the news from Iraq is suppresed, even if some think Iraq is “militarally going well”- if President Bush can’t see how badly things are going, perhaps he needs a reality check.

  12. Rich from Paso
    April 21, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Bob, Bob, Bob. You are always good for a chuckle.

    2,000+ deaths? That’s all it takes for liberals to raise the white flag? At least those 2,000+ (the actual number is closer to 2,380) were servicemen and women who died fighting an enemy instead of the way the victims of 9/11 died at the hands of Bill Clinton’s incompetence.

    I was referring to the security contractors that secure contractor convoys. There are contracted security personnel on the borders and, generally speaking, they do fine.

    The way you rant on about Rumsfeld’s culpability is no different than Boeing getting sued because a Southwest Airlines jet skids off a snow covered runway at Midway Airport and killed a child in a car passing by. They name Boeing because they have deep pockets and they expect them to settle even though Boeing, the corporation, didn’t fail to plow the runways properly, didn’t authorize the plane to land and didn’t fail to get the runway extended so the plane would have sufficent space to stop. Rumsfeld didn’t abuse the prisoners in abu Ghraib or Gitmo, nor did he authorize torture, but because he is the SecDef, he gets lumped in with the five shitheads that did the actual abusing. Plus there are a lot of lies coming from those detained and those lies are all too eagerly reported in the antique media. No Korans were flushed down toilets; the NYT get slammed for falsely reporting a fraudulant eyewitness claim of abuse, etc, etc, etc. I’m sure, Bob, that you have to take some nitro pils for high blood pressure everytime such reports are made in the press because you believe everything you read in the press. Bottom line is that I don’t give a rat’s ass who is named in the suit. The only reason why he was named was because he is the SecDef and has “ultimate responsibility”, which is nothing more than trying to find yet another way of taking rummy down.

    Here’s a newsflash you probably didn’t know (are you ready), here it is: THERE ARE TACTICAL MISTAKES MADE IN EVERY WAR EVER FOUGHT!!!!! Did you get that? I hope I don’t need to repeat it because my voice is a little hoarse right now. So, no, Condi’s statement doesn’t bother me at all because I understand that human beings execute these operations and mistakes will happen as they do everywhere else that human beings are invovled. Even your precious Bill Clinton was “responsible” for the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo bombing campaign. Why didn’t he resign over that? Why didn’t Bill Cohen resign over that? Totally unacceptable failure of intelligence and military execution! Wasn’t Clinton personnally approving all targets to be bombed in Belgrade to lower collateral damage? I know what your comeback is: But Rich, they were using outdated maps. AH-HA!! You prove my point for me: they should have had up-to-date maps before they dropped the first bomb. I think it was a conspiracy to send a message to the Chinese. Maybe that’s why our E-3 reconnaissance plane was brought down a year or so later; in retaliation for the embassy bombing. My point here is that mistakes are made all of the time and they represent human failures on the ground. now if Condi had said strategic mistakes were made, then you could make the case that the SecDef sitting in D.C. has responsibility. just so you understand: a soldier shoots the wrong person in Iraq is a tactical failure; escalating a police action into a full-scale war because you thought that the enemy had attacked two of your warships in the area when in fact the two ships shot each other (Gulf of Tonkin, if you didn’t get the analogy).

    Thank God Bush doesn’t follow the polls or we would be cleaning up the mess from the next 6/15 or 3/23 or what ever date the next terrorist attack would have happened on if Bush, and Rummy, were busy being out there kicking ass and taking names. Admit it, Bob, men of action scare you because they actually do what they say they will do instead of blowing smoke up your butt telling you what you want to hear.

  13. Rich from Paso
    April 21, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Oh by the way Bob, have you read the General DeLong article I posted yet? I find it curious that you choose not to read an article from the Number 2 man in CENTCOM, under Tommy Franks, that supports Don Rumsfeld. Here it is again and I will keep posting it until you acknowledge that you read it because he was there in the room when the plan was made. I understand, though, why you wouldn’t acknowledge the opinion of a man who was actually there. Why let the facts get in the way of what you believe, right?

    One last thing, the the Iraqis are going to be conviening their governemnt tomorrow and they will be electing a new Prime Minister now that Al-Jaafari has given up his run for the post. The government is coming along. You must remember that they did in four years what took us 12 years to accomplish. I think they can have a couple of months extra to get it right. I just wanted to get that out there because I know what a stickler you are for responses.

  14. Bob from San Luis
    April 22, 2006 at 3:45 am

    Rich: Yes, I did read the article you linked to; my last response was getting a little long so I didn’t comment then on the article. It was refreshing to read this “We also — collectively — made some decisions in the wake of the war that could have been better. We banned the entire Baath Party, which ended up slowing reconstruction (we should probably have banned only high-level officials); we dissolved the entire Iraqi Army (we probably should have retained a small cadre help to rebuild it more quickly). We relied too much on the supposed expertise of the Iraqi exiles like Ahmad Chalabi who assured us that once Saddam Hussein was gone, Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds would unite in harmony.” As I said, the admission by someone in the chain of command that actually admits that things didn’t exactly go as we had planned… , I compliment the attempt at humility and honesty. The article is an attempt to deflect the criticism the retired generals have been making, but I think there is a bit of a red herring approach here; aren’t the retired military critics condemming the results of Rumsfeld’s course of action, not the motivation behind the actions? One of the main criticisms is the push by Rumsfeld for fewer troops, and how many felt more troops would have been better. As an attempt to deflect that particular criticism, General DeLong states “you cannot sustain a fighting force of 300,000 or 500,000 men for long,…”, and I am left with the feeling that not only did Rumsfeld not want to use a greater force, but didn’t even allow for the planning of using that much troop strength. Of course you know that I have absolutely no military experience, but, it would seem that if you rolled in an invasion force of that magnitude, you would have also secured a safer passage for the support levels that you would need to bring in, with less danger to that support group. I will defer of course to your actual military knowledge here, but logical thinking seems to bear out my hypothesis. As for General DeLong supporting Rumsfeld, is it not possible that the reason he was put into that position was so that he could support Rumsfeld? I don’t know about this Rich, but is seems entirely possible that General DeLong was there at that time to be the yes man that Rumsfeld wanted and needed to further his agenda at revamping the military.
    Now, getting to your previous comments: Why do you still insist on blaming Clinton for 9/11? Eight months after George Bush is sworn in as President where he is supposed to be accountable for our governments actions, and you still insist on blaming Clinton? If there is anybody who needs to “get over” anything, it is anybody who will not hold President Bush accountable for an attack on American soil, on his watch. The attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 happened in February (the 26th, to be precise) but Clinton didn’t blame George H.W. Bush; he had the federal government arrest and convict those who were responsible and they are rotting in prison at this time. Get over it Rich, President Bush and VP Cheney dropped the ball regardless of what Richard Clarke tried to get them to do.
    Real nice analogy there about Boeing and Rumsfeld, Rich. One is a company that makes a product, and one is a person who is in charge of defending the United States; the “link” is so far off the mark that you not only missed the target, you were in the wrong field. The suit contends that Rumsfeld was instrumental in implementing the torture policy, that he even left a hand written note on an instruction about having detainees standing for 4 hours at a time, Rumsfeld is purported to have written “Why only 4 hours? I stand 10 hours a day.” The truth may be that Rumsfeld only carried out what President Bush himself ordered, or that Rumsfeld alone was responsible for ignoring the Geneva Conventions. I for one am struck by the appearance that this administration fully believes that there is no law that they are not above and their constant use of the saw “protecting national security” is useful to them as a means of concealing the arrogant abuses of the law to obtain whatever they deem important.
    As for my blood pressure, 132/74 is my normal, with no medications needed. Thanks for your concern.

  15. Rich from Paso
    April 24, 2006 at 12:05 am

    No, Bob, you obisously don’t get the parallel: both are big names that have next to nothing to do with the incidents at hand. Boeing didn’t screw up at Midway Airport and Rumsfeld didn’t torture or order the torture of anyone.

    You are delusional if you think that General DeLong was there at CENTCOM solely for the purpose of being Rumsfeld’s cheerleader. He saw what he saw and he says what he says because that is what he believes. If Batiste and Zinni get to believe what they believe without questions being raised about their motivations so does DeLong and Franks, period, end of discussion on that. No one says that the operation was flawless or that some assumption were made that didn’t pan out, but it is nothing that anyone should get fired over. Let me tell you something else… I saw how Divison and Brigade comamdners operated in Iraq. Wheither it was the 3rd BCT of the 82nd or the divison commander (Gen. Swannack) that chose not to go into Fallujah while the 82nd was there but one of those two men did. All the while, my BDE Comamander was in Ramamdi having my brigad take the fight to the enemy, kicking ass and taking names. My point is that organizations take on the personality of their leader adn my brigade had a “kick ass and take names” personality while the 82nd had the personality of “the clock is running and in 6 months, we go home” personality. Why wasn’t General Mattis of the 1st Marine Divison out there complaining about Rumsfeld? He took over Al Anbar province after the 82nd left. Because he had a “kick ass and take names” personality and the Marines, I can tell you from personal conversations with them, resented that “wait them out – shower them with money” mentality. That left Fallujah for the Marines to deal with– twice. Neither Rumsfeld or Abazaid or Casey or Metz or any other commadner between Mattis and the President told them to stand down when it came to retaking Fallujah.

    I will not “get over” Clinton and his culpability in the 9/11 attacks until you acknowledge that cupability. You equate 8 months with 8 years. Let me break it down to you so that even a 3rd Grader could understand it: You wanted Bush to do in 8 months what Clinton failed in ninety-five months to accomplish, that being taking care of Al Qaeda and bin Laden. That is just an outrageous burden for you to try an pawn off on Bush. Furthermore, while bin Laden is running free all over the world, Clinton is gutting the military, getting rid of the very human intelligence agents that could have stopped bin Laden and throwing Tomahawk missles at aspirin factorys, vacant training camps and chinese embassies. The blood is on Clinton’s hands. No, I will not “get over” Clinton’s failures. Because to “get over” that would enable Hillary, who by almost every measure would be a worse President. to assend to the Presidency and that is something I will not tolerate.

    Finally, the Gitmo detainees are not protected by the Geneva Convention outside of the “protected persons” provision of a noncombatant after their capture. They are illegal combatants because they are members of al Qaeda and not a citizen of a country at war with the United States. The only reason why they are treated as such is because we give them those protections, protections they have not earned nor do they deserve.

  16. Bob from San Luis
    April 24, 2006 at 4:00 am

    and Rumsfeld didn’t torture or order the torture of anyone.
    Let me be clear; I already admitted that I was wrong about Rumsfeld possible personal involvement with interrogations, as to the assertion that Rumsfeld did or did not order detainees to be tortured, that needs to be addressed and the only way for that to happen is for a Congressional hearing with subpoena authority and the ability of calling any witness needed and to have anyone who testifies to be under oath.
    As to DeLong being Rumsfeld’s cheerleader, I mentioned the possibility that maybe he was in place to facilitate Rumsfeld’s transformation of the military. Once again, I defer to your military service and experience, and if you say it is not possible for DeLong to be Rumsfeld’s yes man, so be it. Same goes for your assertion that some leaders in the military did or are doing a better job than others.
    I will not “get over” Clinton and his culpability in the 9/11 attacks …– Rich, again, I ask you how it is that George H.W. Bush had no culpability in the ’93 WTC attack which happened one month after Clinton was sworn in, and George W. Bush should get a free pass for any responsibility of not preventing the 9/11 attacks that happened 8 months after he was sworn in? Do you remember what Richard Clarke testified to before the 9/11 Commission? Vice-President Cheney was given the assignment of the terrorist task force, and he didn’t have even one meeting with anyone concerning bin Laden. Let me clear again, Clinton definitely has some responsibility in not capturing or killing bin Laden before he left office, but once Bush was sworn in, he should have made capturing bin Laden a priority. What was the first move by Ashcroft in the Justice Department? To put a drape over the exposed breast of a statue in the Justice Department building. Then Ashcroft put most of his efforts into going after pornographers; some threat to national security.
    Rich, how many of the detainees in Gitmo have been cleared of all charges, and not been released? Here is a link to just one of many reports about how most who were originally arrested have not even been charged. You said “… and not a citizen of a country at war with the United States.”; how is it that we can declare “war” on individuals who are not related to the country we have invaded? Wouldn’t that be more a “police” type action, you know, finding suspects, arresting them, detaining them, and supposedly giving them a trial? I thought a war is were you either invade a country or defend your own by capturing or killing as many of the “enemy” as you can. Perhaps you can clarify the distinction for me/us. Thanks.

  17. Rich from Paso
    April 24, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    Okay, Bob, answer me this: During the four years of George H.W. Bush, how many terrorist attacks were there on American interests at home and abroad? Now, how many attacks were there during Clinton’s eight years? The answer H.W.Bush – Zero, Clinton – 6 (WTC’93, OK City Bombing, Khobar Towers, Kenya embassy bombing, Tanzania embassy bombing, and USS Cole). So, no, George H.W. Bush has no culpability in 9/11. okay, okay, okay, I give up. George W. Bush should have shut the government down and done nothing except get bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers in the eight months he had to do it in in ’01. You’re right, Bob, he should have spent all of his time cleaning up the eight years of Clinton’s ineffectualness on handling of terrorism. You are absolutely right. I stand corrected. You’re so right. Bill Clinton told Bush after his inaugeration that that is what he should have done, and no one better than Clinton knew what should have been done with terrorism. Wow! That is so liberating. I should have agreed with you sooner.

  18. Bob from San Luis
    April 29, 2006 at 7:54 am

    Rich: Your facts about terror attacks during George H.W. Bush’s term isn’t quite correct; here is a link that lists terror attacks from 1961 through 2003. For your information, during President Regan’s terms, 19 different attacks against US interests occured, with the first attack during Regan’s first term occuring with a bomb exploding near the Ramstein base in Germany, then this:” Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Beirut, April 18, 1983: Sixty-three people, including the CIA’s Middle East director, were killed and 120 were injured in a 400-pound suicide truck-bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.” As for President Bush #41, there were 6 attacks listed, including this “Assassination of U.S. Army Officer, April 21, 1989: The New People’s Army (NPA) assassinated Colonel James Rowe in Manila. The NPA also assassinated two U.S. government defense contractors in September; and this “U.S. Embassy Bombed in Peru, January 15, 1990: The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. U.S. Soldiers Assassinated in the Philippines, May 13, 1990: The New People’s Army (NPA) killed two U.S. Air Force personnel near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines”; and the last one “Attempted Iraqi Attacks on U.S. Posts, January 18-19, 1991: Iraqi agents planted bombs at the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia’s home residence and at the USI library in Manila.”
    If you read through the whole list, there has been a substantial increase in terror attacks worldwide, and some of the attacks on US interests have been answered effectively, and some have not. As to whether or not President Bush should have done nothing but hunt down bin Laden, you don’t quite get my point. President Bush should have done something in regard to bin Laden; he did absolutely nothing. That is my point; had President Bush done anything to try to stop bin Laden, perhaps 9/11 either wouldn’t have happened, or the impact could have been reduced significantly.

  19. Rich from Paso
    April 30, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Eight months, Bob, Eight Months!!! That is all of the time Bush had in the Oval Office before 9/11. Actually, he had four because the Democrats stonewalled and dragged their feet on every Bush nominee, the GSA denied the Bush transition team opportunity to occupy the transition office space, and he was inaugerated at the end of January. So he had a good solid four months of his full team on the job. Oh, but in Bob’s world four months of Republican time equals 95 months of Democrat time. What do you keep track of the Bush presidency in dog years?

  20. Rich from Paso
    May 1, 2006 at 3:00 pm

    I want to call a debating “time-out” for a second and apologize. I meant to say that there were no al Qaida attacks during H.W. Bush’s tenure. I saw the same data that Bob posted and I would never be so foolish to say that it was all sweetness and light during Bush 41’s time and then, Wammo!, the 93 WTC bombing happens as if it was due to Clinton getting inaugerated. I say all that knowing that was exactly what it sounded I was saying two posts ago. After rereading it, I wanted to correct the record and my stance. Sorry for the confusion. Okay, Time-in.

    Eight months, Bob, Eight months!!!! (haha)

  21. Bob from San Luis
    May 6, 2006 at 5:07 am

    Rich: …eight months, eight months.. or in Republican math, four months. You do know why the nominees were scrutinized so closely? With so many of those nominated coming from the industries they were going to be in charge of overseeing, the Democrats had every right to question who was being nominated with the suspicison that there was going to be underhanded dealings and wholesale give-aways of our national natural resources. Okay Rich, eight months, four months, whatever; you assert that President George W. Bush has what, no culpability regarding the lack of preventing the attacks on September 11, 2001? Well okay then, it must be Clinton’s fault. Uh, sure.
    Anyway, Rumsfeld needs to go, period. Now.

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