Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The "Decider" has decided - Rumsfeld stays

(Update added)
Donald Rumsfeld will continue to occupy his stand up desk in the Pentagon. Via AmericaBlog, Rumsfeld has announced that he will not quit in the face of ongoing criticism.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, boosted by another strong endorsement from President George W. Bush said on Tuesday no one is indispensable but he is not considering quitting in the face of criticism from a handful of retired generals.
Bush spoke out in defence of Rumsfeld.

"I hear the voices. And I read the front page. And I know the speculation. But I'm the decider. And I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense," said Bush.
That's new. Bush has previously stated that he doesn't read the newpapers and that he only listens to his advisors. This would indicate that he is actually aware of something going on outside his office. It's good that Bush understands he's the decider... unless someone else made the decision for him.

Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he does see dissatisfaction in the military ranks over Rumsfeld's leadership. Pace, speaking at Rumsfeld's side, also said senior military officers have ample opportunity to express their views to the Pentagon's civilian leadership.

"There are multiple opportunities for all of us, whatever opinions we have, to put them on the table. And all the opinions are put on the table," Pace told reporters.
Bull pucky!

That's so much horseshit and Pace knows it. There is no possible way that anyone in the military would survive telling Rumsfeld to his face that he is responsible for the mess in Iraq. In Rumsfeld's earlier days several generals and admirals did not survive the Rumsfeld transition because they did not agree with his views. Further, Rumsfeld now personally selects and interviews officers for promotion to general and flag appointments, something that was once the sole province of the uniformed armed forces chiefs. There is a strong rumour that he even got involved in the selection of the Sergeant Major of The Army. In short, he has made the general and flag corps of the US military a political body.

"But at the end of the day, after we've given our best military advice, somebody has to make a decision. And when a decision's made by the secretary of defense, unless it's illegal or immoral, we go on about doing what we've been told to do," he said.
Apparently that isn't true either. The treatment of captured prisoners violates the Geneva and Hague Conventions. Rumsfeld is fully aware of the orders, indeed he issued some of them, in direct violation of the rules of armed conflict and in defiance of US law. Despite the fact that such direction from Rumsfeld constituted immoral and unlawful direction, the Joint Chiefs complied.

When questioned about responding to the retired generals who are now highly critical of Rumsfeld's leadership he offered:

"I think that it's important to put all of what is going on in context and recognize that people who are often talking about what's taking place inside here do not know what is taking place inside here," Rumsfeld said.
Ya think?!

Those generals used to be "inside there" and they know Rumsfeld. These are not "old" veterans; they are recently retired.

Further, in case it's not already obvious, when retired generals and admirals speak out, particularly in the numbers and concentration of recent events, it's not just them talking. Anybody with more than a gold bar on their shirt collar knows that serving officers are not allowed to speak out - so they pass on their information and the retired officers do it for them.

The criticism of Rumsfeld coming from the recently retired generals is coming from inside the Pentagon. General Pace knows it and Rumsfeld would have to be a complete idiot to think otherwise.

This is the same fool who failed to capture Osama bin Laden, who totally screwed up the occupation of Iraq and still can't fathom that he needs to put boots on the ground to stabilize an internal uprising. He makes Robert McNamara look like a "hands off" Secretary of Defense.

What's he going to screw up next? Yup. Iran.

Update: Wow! That didn't take long! Get ready for the next Republican "talking point". From Tony Blankley (Washington Times Editorial Page editor) in a post at Townhall.gag comes the suggestion that the retired generals are guilty of mutinous sedition and conspiracy to commit mutiny.

Consider two hypothetical situations. In the first, a United States Army general officer in a theater of war decides by himself that he strongly disagrees with the orders of the secretary of defense. He resigns his commission, returns to private life and speaks out vigorously against both the policy and the secretary of defense.

In example two, the top 100 generals in the Army military chain of command secretly agree amongst themselves to retire and speak out -- each one day after the other.

In example one, above, unambiguously, the general has behaved lawfully. In example two, an arguable case could be made that something in the nature of a mutinous sedition has occurred in violation of Article 94 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice procedure. When does an expanded version of the simple honesty and legality of the first example cross over into grounds for a court martial?

Jeebus! How can guys like Blankley take themselves seriously?

Get ready though. Soon all serving officers will be told that if they retire and they speak out, that they will be investigated for conspiring to commit mutiny.

Soon, US Generals won't be allowed to talk with each other about the state of the latrine.

How pathetic.

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