I’m encouraged by the reports that career military officers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld, in truth, I’m surprised it’s taken so long. If Bush is incompetent, then a whole new word must be devised to adequately describe the failure that is our current Secretary of Defense. I’m hard pressed to think of a single good decision the man has made, but in this administration, that’s certainly not unusual nor is it grounds for reprimand or gasp, dismissal. To get kicked out of this White House you have to speak truth to power or get indicted.
Abrupt departures from this White House are often followed by criminal charges. Sure, Lewis “Scooter” Libby got indicted before he resigned his post, but David Safavian abruptly left his post as the top procurement official at the White House Office of Budget and Management (OMB) a mere days before he was led away in handcuffs. And not long ago, Claude Allen up and left his job as Bush’s domestic policy advisor to “spend more time with his family” but it turns out that was code for, looks like I’ll be arrested next month on theft charges.
And truth speakers, like former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, former counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clark, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Attorney General James Comey, all attempted to counter the echo chamber and were pushed out as a result. Kind of sounds like the mob doesn’t it? If you break ranks or challenge the boss, you will be punished, but if you get arrested, they’ll be there to help with your defense and make prison as nice as possible.
There have been rumors floating around that Cheney is thinking of retiring after the mid-term elections, but unless there are handcuffs in Dick’s immediate future, I wouldn’t bank on it. That slippery snake has too many heads, chopping off one of them won’t make a damn bit of difference. And as far as the rumors that Rumsfeld will leave his post, the surest indication that Bush won’t cut him loose is the fact that career military officers are begging for it. Much like they begged for more troops and proper armor for our soldiers.
Lt. General Gregory Newbold, retired director of operations at the Pentagon's military joint staff went public this week with his displeasure at how the Iraq war has been handled. He gives a critique of Rumsfeld’s handling of the war, but he also goes after those who made the decision in the first place. Newbold’s article, “Why Iraq Was A Mistake” published in Time, goes beyond mere criticism though, he also makes a plea to his former collegues to do what is right, come forward and tell the truth, no matter the consequences. He even expresses his regrets in not coming forward sooner.
So now we have five retired Generals demanding the resignation of Secretary Rumsfeld. I just wish I had more hope that they’d be listened to.