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 Don Rumsfeld has been called many things: Clueless  Detached, Arrogant, Evil, Incompetent, a Power Mad Warmonger, even a Kung-fu Master of 1,000 syles  But the most consistently applied adjective of all is Survivor.

Whatever his moral flaws as a human being, or indeed a chordate life form, it must be said that he is a bureaucrat par excellence.  .  Dandy Don always keeps his sails trimmed close to the wind and his ass firmly covered in memoranda and directives, all of which clearly show that no matter how much it seemed like he was in charge, whatever went wrong cleary isn't HIS fault

So, it'll come as no shock to you to find out that In an interview with the WaPo Rumsfeld reveals that he never really thought this whole "Iraq thing" was a great idea to begin with;  and he has the memo to prove it:

If only he could show us the memo.

"It's still classified, I suppose?" says Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, looking toward his assistant.

"It's still classified," Lawrence DiRita replies, "along with a lot of the underlying planning."

Rumsfeld nods, apparently disappointed. He is interested in sharing the memo because the memo, as he outlines it, demonstrates that his critics are utterly mistaken. He did not dash heedless and underprepared into Iraq. Rumsfeld foresaw the things that could go wrong -- and not just foresaw them, but wrote them up in a classically Rumsfeldian list, one brisk bullet point after another, 29 potential pitfalls in all. Then he distributed the memo at the highest levels, fed it into the super-secret planning process and personally walked the president through the warnings.
 "It was just on the off-chance we'd end up having a conflict. We didn't know at that stage."

See? We all wrong about Don, unlike those clueless idiots at the WH; he foresaw all the things that  could go wrong, and actually wrote them down and warned W about them.  So, clearly the resulting fiasco  had nothing to do with him  right?  Right?  Hello?

But then, of course Donny has a memo.  Guys like him always do;  Two, in fact, one for and one against.  That way once things are over the appropriate one can trotted out to vindicate his forseight and wisdom.

Fortunately, David Von Drehle is an excellent writer and reporter and didn't take the bait for a microsecond, instead he engaged in a rarely seen journalistic maneuver called "putting things in context":

Some might quibble with Rumsfeld's description of the historical moment. At the time he wrote the memo, dated October 15, 2002, Congress had recently voted to give President Bush complete authority to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein. A White House spokesman had just confirmed that invasion plans were on Bush's desk -- detailed plans, we now know, which Rumsfeld had been shaping and hammering and editing for much of the previous year.

In other words, there was far more than an "off-chance" of conflict. All that remained to be done was for the president to reach his official decision. The train was loaded, its doors were shut, and it was ready to leave the station.

Adding a rarely seen degree of difficulty to his feat, our reporter hero then actually examines the motives of Rumsfeld's sudden revelations:

It seems awfully helpful of him to want to share a classified memo written expressly for the president of the United States, who was wrestling with his awesome power to wage war.

But then you wonder: Why did Rumsfeld write that memo, at that moment, and why is he flagging it now?....

Maybe Rumsfeld's memo was written not just for its moment, but also for the future, as proof that he remained sober even in an atmosphere of neoconservative enthusiasm for the war. Although classified, the memo keeps surfacing in this context, always putting a little distance between Rumsfeld and the audacious gamble in Iraq. Five weeks before the invasion, as others were promising a cakewalk, Rumsfeld and his memo surfaced in the New York Times. It surfaced again with Woodward. And now here it is again.

In other words as the fecal matter has begun to impact the rotating assembly of the air-circulation device, Rumsfeld has assiduously sought to clarify his enthusiasm, and indeed support for the actions taken via the US military in the Iraqi theatre.

  Well, its a darn good thing Donny has that memo because other wise it certainly seemedlike He was the one screwing up

When Army generals called for more troops to occupy the soon-to-be-leaderless country, Rumsfeld pushed for fewer.

When, during the pre-invasion planning, the State Department sent a team of Iraq experts to the Pentagon to help prepare a major reconstruction effort for the aftermath, Rumsfeld turned some of them away.

He cut the time for training National Guard units, including the ones that wound up photographing themselves with naked prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

He dominated news briefings and congressional hearings like a tank rolling through small-arms fire, and he gloried in the hand-wringing of weaker souls. Behind the scenes, Rumsfeld and his civilian staff bulldozed skeptical generals and smashed rival bureaucracies in the planning and execution of the invasion

But perceptions can be so misleading.  This was Never the Don Rumsfeld show, far from it.  In fact, you may be shocked to learn that Rumsfeld was never even  consulted on whether this war was a good idea or not: (quoting an earlier interview with the now discredited Bob Woodward)

For there comes a point when even the secretary of defense must realize that "it's not your decision or even your recommendation," Rumsfeld reflected with Woodward. By which he meant the Iraq war wasn't Don Rumsfeld's decision or recommendation.

As if to underline the point, Rumsfeld also told Woodward that he couldn't recall a moment,... when Bush asked whether his defense secretary favored the invasion. Nor did Rumsfeld ever volunteer his opinion.

Amazing that. All that hard work preparing and planning this attack, and not once did anyone bother to stop and say "hey Don, what do you think?  Is this whole war thing a good idea"?  

And such a pity too, I'm sure he would have been simply bursting with wise counsel that could have helped us avoid all the mistakes we've made.  If only someone had thought to ask the Secretary of Defense what he thought about going to war. (Hell, he might have even given them a memo)  

This no-so subtle ducking and covering on the part of the SecDef is the surest sign yet that the S.S. Iraq is broken beyond repair  and taking on water fast.  While W, and Dick are insisting that the bilge pumps are working just fine, and anybody who says otherwise is a traitor and saboteur, the Head Rat in Charge is quietly slipping into his life vest early to avoid the rush.    Nobody in Washington has ever had a finer-tuned sense of political meteorology  than Don Rumsfeld, he IS the Ultimate survivor, and that means knowing EXACTLY when to get out too

"The ramparts of Washington are littered with the bleached bones of people who said Donald Rumsfeld was not going to survive,"[Assistant Sec Def Lawrence] DiRita says happily. At 73, Rumsfeld is the oldest person ever to run the Pentagon, having also been the youngest when he was appointed for his first tour in 1975. Yet, apart from a slight hearing loss that can seem to wax or wane depending on whether he likes what he is hearing, he bears little sign of age.

Well he's proving that he's still certainly athletic enough to Jump ship isn't he?

Originally posted to Magorn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Best Analysis of Iraq Ever (4.00)
    This Didn't fit into the diary but I wanted it to hget read. Its the Sanest hing probably ever produced by the DOD and Possibly the US Government on the war in Iraq:

    Rumsfeld's own advisory think tank, the Defense Science Board, took a long look at this issue last year and concluded that the architects of the Iraq war -- led by Rumsfeld -- lacked necessary knowledge of Iraq and its people, and that they failed to factor in well-known lessons of history.
    "It is clear that Americans who waged the war and who have attempted to mold the aftermath have had no clear idea of the framework that has molded the personalities and attitudes of Iraqis," the board declared in a report bearing the official seal of the Department of Defense. "It might help if Americans and their leaders were to show less arrogance and more understanding of themselves and their place in history. Perhaps more than any other people, Americans display a consistent amnesia concerning their own past, as well as the history of those around them."

    Preach it Brothers and Sisters Preach it!

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:14:29 AM PST

    •  Link? n/t (none)

      "Fitz, don't fail me now !!" ~~Mantan Moreland, bug-eyed actor in "King of the Zombies", 1941

      by seesdifferent on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:16:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and it didn't exactly help (none)
      for Bush to roll out the whole GWoT by using the word, "crusade."

      More idiocy per pound in this administration than in all previous admins combined

      He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:37:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uh? (none)
      Wasn't Rumfeld the first on to bring up Iraq on 9/12/01?

      Wasn't Rumsfeld one of the signatories urging Clinton to attack Iraq in '98?

      Sorry Don you must play by your own rules...

      You can't rewrite history!

      •  Amazing huh...? (4.00)
        Rummy was, as you correctly note, one of the original 25 signatories to the infamous PNAC letter.

        Guess Rummy was for invading Iraq, before he was against, before he was for (again), before he was against it (now).

        That this sociopathic freak can say with a straight face that he never thought it was a good idea is so beyond the realm of reality, it can only be attributed to serve, pathological lying of the highest order.


        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:44:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder what Bush's (none)
          reaction is to this new 'washing of the hands' by Rumsfeld?

          Man everyone is turning in Bush. Why is Rumsfeld doing this now? Is he on his way out and we just do not know it yet?

      •  CYA memo (none)
        In the legal profession, we use this tactic all the time.  Draft a cover your ass memo or letter so you don't get hit with malpractice if the shit hits the fan.  

        That's all Rummy, a superior bureaucrat and pathetic Defense Secretary, was doing here.  

    •  What, did this von Drehle guy (none)
      go to journalism school or something?

      How very conveeeeeeenient that Donny has a CYA memo that is classified, so that he can withhold it until he decides its time to actually save his ass. The hypocrisy, the utter hypocrisy of these people never fails to astound me.  I'm just gobsmacked.

      "Mommy, did people know that Bush was stupid when they voted for him?" (-3.00, -5.49)

      by litigatormom on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:48:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So true (4.00)
      I remember telling my friends shortly before the start of the war, most of whom supported the president and the war, that the Iraq war is going to be a big mistake.

      I remember them disbelieving me, one pointing out that Saddam couldn't stand up to our military forces. I said deposing Saddam, defeating his conventional forces is the easy part, look how quickly we prevailed in Desert Storm, when Saddam had a much better and bigger military. I said I doubted it would take more than 6 weeks (actually it was only 4 weeks).

      I said it's what comes afterwards that's going to be the problem. People don't like to be occupied and Americans aren't the most popular people in the Arab world. I said they'll greet us warmly at first, but they'll be shooting us in the back a year later (it took even less time than that, due to the sheer and overwhelming incompetence of this administration, something that really took me by surprise).

      My examples were Northern Ireland, Lebanon; the Irish Catholics first welcomed the British troops at the start of the troubles, and the same with the Israelis when they first went into Lebanon... most folks don't remember that part, only the long protracted violence that followed.

      Most Americans to this day don't get that Saddam's regime was secular and fascist in nature, that this was not a regime where religous zealots were given free reign, in fact they were a threat to Saddam's power and enemies of the state, and were most often imprisoned or executed. I remember telling my shocked friends that as a women, I'd rather live under Saddam in Iraq than live in Saudi Arabia. At least women in Iraq could work and possibly get a good education and drive a car.

      For the first year, I kept hoping that things would get better or stabilize, but that's not going to happen as long as Bush is the president. Never before has "I told you so" been less satisfying.

      You can make anything look good if you can write billions of dollars of hot checks. --Ross Perot

      by lanshark on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 03:10:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Puke" comes to mind..... n/t (4.00)

    "Fitz, don't fail me now !!" ~~Mantan Moreland, bug-eyed actor in "King of the Zombies", 1941

    by seesdifferent on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:14:49 AM PST

  •  O.M.F.D. (4.00)
    So Donny is quietly sidling toward the exit?  I got news for him - it's locked from the outside, and he's gonna be trampled...

    "If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too..." : The Smothers Brothers.

    by wozzle on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:16:53 AM PST

  •  the end of this c...... f..k (none)
    is in sight .thank god .     stomp that rat !
  •  Recommended (4.00)
    Nice catch, this gives us something even more tangible than the trend lines we like to analyze so much.
  •  Poor Donny (4.00)
    Led down the garden path by that mad genius George Bush.  

    Those dirty neo-cons have done such a good job of implicating Don Rumsfeld, that they've even tricked my memory into remembering all sorts of things that Rumsfeld said (that he must not have in retrospect - otherwise, how could what he's saying in this interview be true?).

    Well I'm off to bash my head against the wall so I can forget what I actually mis-remember, and I'll learn the true facts that I'm supposed to remember.

    "Passing the gun from father to feckless son; We're climbing a landslide where only the good die young." Leaders of the Free World - Elbow

    by Dave Brown on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:37:35 AM PST

  •  Clearly, Rummy is familiar... (4.00)
    ... with the Nuremburg Defense, the last refuge of scoundrels.

    Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. --Winston Churchill

    by rmwarnick on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:42:37 AM PST

    •  Chain of Command...Rummy...Chain of Command (none)
      Eventually, Americans and our Allies are going to remember, and apply, the Chain of Command to Rummy. The fetid attempts to blame the torture processes under Rummy's command on Privates and SP-4s will crumble as Magorn's Rat Ship sinks. Then, if we remember that we are democracy, a Republic, based on human rights and responsibilities, surely we will climb the chain of command up through the Presidential Freedom Medal gestapo to...Rumsfeld.  We will need a Special Tribunal that will make Fitz look like a sideshow. If real responsibility can be wrapped firmly around these rat-bastards, maybe some of us will find the compassion for reconciliation. Right now, though, my boiling blood calls for justice, disgrace, punishment. No memo ratlifevest, or disgusting imitation of journalist-liars will keep rummy afloat. Just thinkin out loud.

      Bush/Rove: Co-Conspirators in an On-Going Criminal Enterprise

      by vetfordean on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:54:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  magorn (4.00)

    There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you. -- Sherlock Holmes

    by Carnacki on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:43:51 AM PST

  •  So he did this terrible job of (4.00)
    managing the war and the occupation because he wasn't really "down with it"? How passive aggressive is that?

    It's like watching my son clean his room.

    Republicans: Strong on corruption, cronyism, and weapon systems that don't work.

    by lecsmith on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:45:09 AM PST

    •  Guess Rummy is no 'good soldier' (4.00)
      Rummy's attempt to cover his ass is as glib as any I have seen and about as convincing as our favorite draft dodger explaining how he served his country while he was safe and sound stateside.

      (My favorite draft dodger is Irv Oslin, who not only served time for refusing to serve in Vietnam, but refused the amnesty and served his full sentence.  Suck on that, chickenhawks!)

  •  I call him (none)
    "Squinty" Rumsfeld....squinting the eyes is a classic sign of lying and he has a permanent squint.
  •  fine epithet (4.00)
    From this day forward, I fervently hope that every time I see Bob Woodward's name in black and white, it will appear thusly:
    "the now discredited Bob Woodward"
  •  Rummy Was the Principle Advocate (4.00)
    for telling the career military brass to go fuck themselves, that they were all wrong about how to plan a war.

    It was Rummy who convinced the Chimpministration that 100,000 troops could do it in a cake-walk.

    Although the policies that led to the invasion were not his, Rummy is probably the most responsible shit in the administration for the total clusterfuck it turned out to be.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:47:01 AM PST

    •  I wonder how long (none)
      before Condi has her memo to Georgie moment. Will Rove turn on the boss. He is supposed to be a survivor. More to come. In the end the only persons standing in the circle of doom will be Chimp and Cheney.
  •  fucking bastard son of a bitch piece of slime (4.00)
    I'm sure the 2085 dead marines and soldiers would understand, not to mention the Iraqi civillians whose lives have been destroyed. Goddamn it, just when I think I can't get any more disgusted with these arrogant, misbegotten fucktards one of them pulls a stunt like this. And that's all it is, a lowlife, cowardly, CYA.   Sorry, I just can't feel any joy over this.  There is nothing, NOTHING in this world that will do real justice to Rummy, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of their ilk, or make right all their horrific wrongs.

    "What do I want? Absence of mood swings and some stability in my life" -L. Simpson

    by FindingMyVoice on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:47:35 AM PST

  •  I remember hearing something a few years ago (none)
    about Rumsfeld not being one of the central cheerleaders of the initial decision to invade Iraq.

    Can't remember where I heard it.  But he was not as gung-ho about leaving Afghanistan and heading full force toward Iraq.  It was more Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perl, Rice.  But he didn't exactly protest it.  

    •  What I remember hearing was (paraphrased) (none)
      "Everyone in the Administration wants to go to Baghdad; the real men want to go to Teheran."

      Sorry, no exoneration for you, Donny Fiasco.

      "If you [just] wanted to reduce ignorance, you could ... abort every Republican baby in this country, and your ignorance rate would go down."

      by Major Danby on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:29:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rumsfeld shows us the true face of EVIL... (none)
    I can't remember who said it but the true face of evil is hidden in the mundane and beaurocratic machine, of which Donald Rumsfeld is the personification of par excellence.

    A truly, truly, depressing situation.

    Donald the mass murderer by proxy.

    You want to downsize the government?
    Fuck you. My government defends the American people.

    by deafmetal on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 10:49:01 AM PST

    •  hannah arendt (4.00)

      "i am outside of history. i wish i had some peanuts; it looks hungry there in its cage. i am inside of history. its hungrier than i thot." -- Ishmael Reed

      by buffalobreath on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:07:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely (4.00)
        once a long time ago when I fancied I had  talent, I wanted to write a novel about a file clerk at Dachau.  The thing that's stuck me over and over again is how very precise the architects of that evil were about record keeping; and how that means that there must have been hundreds of low level clerks and typists creating, and documenting these horrors.   Did they ever read what they typed in those neat margins and columns?  Did they ever reflect on it?  

        I wonder the same thing now about Donny and his flunkies and functionaries.  Do they see the smoke, blood and rubble behind thier decisions, or it is all spreadsheets, memos and powerpoint slides for them?

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:18:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the film "Downfall" (none)
          Hitler's principal secretary reflected after the war that she/they told themselves they didn't know the true horror of the regime while it was going on.  

          But after she saw a memorial to a resistance fighter who had been killed at the same age and at the same time that she had been when she started working for Hitler (22 in '42 I think).

          And the woman said something like that girl knew and fought against it, so she and others like her should have known and fought against it too.

          I highly recommend Downfall.  There are eerie similarities, in terms of the blindness and denial, with present times and players.  

          And before anyone flames me, I am not saying there is no difference between Bush's and Hitler's regimes.

          Don't forget, ePluribus Media isn't them, it's US. That means you too.

          by Bionic on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:44:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Watch Terry Gilliam's Movie Brazil (none)
          There's a scene where a typist is transcribing a live torture session
          TYPIST(quietly, still typing)
          Can I help you?

          She is looking at SAM helpfully, holding one of the earphones away from her ear. From this earphone we can just hear quietly ...

          Oooooooh ... aaaaaahhh ... please ... arrrrrghhhh no ... please ... Oh God,No ... No, stop, I don't know ...

          I'm looking for Officer 412/L.

          The TYPIST nods smiling. She puts back the earphone and carries on typing.

          I'm sure he won't be long now.

          She types a little more but suddenly stops.

          I thought so!
          (Source: Brasil Screenplay)

           Funny at the time - but Cheney makes the whole thing less amusing. Sad how Brasil's portrayal of torturers working over innocent people in the name of fighting terror has become so close to the truth. (The torturers even wear what look like Cheney masks.)

          I expect file clerks from Dachau to Guantanamo behave similarly.  (I can't believe our country's sunk so low that a US prison comes to mind when talking about clerks filing voluminous torture records...)

          •  What's scary is.. (none)
            The Terry Gilliam, in the commentary in the Criterion multi-disc DVD release of Brazil, talks at some length about how the idea of the state billing the family for the costs of incarceration, interrogation and burial of their loved ones, is taken from real life and was/is common practice in much of Latin America.

            Remember, these banana Republicans/neo-cons cut their teeth in Latin American death squad wink and a nod deals, etc.


            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:39:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  decidedly insullting to the rest (none)
    of the chordates.

    we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

    by 2nd balcony on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:00:34 AM PST

    •  Rummy Is Out of Order (4.00)
      and is not to be included in the chordates.  Had he a spine aligned with his come-lately scruples, he would have resigned as Sec'y. of Defense.

      He didn't; therefore, he's just a spineless paramecium of prevarication, a squinting squelcher of truth, and an amorphous amoeba of opprobrium.

      And, oh yeah!  I've got more -- just ask!

      They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

      by Limelite on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:11:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  what a dick (4.00)
    what a weasel.

    On the other hand, just one more indication of how completely out of control the war is.  When the chief architect of the war starts backing out of the room while pointing fingers, the collaspe must be imminent.

    "... in my empire, life is sweet, just ask any bum you meet. You may say that I ain't free but it don't worry me..."

    by lumpenprole on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:01:12 AM PST

  •  Sure, nobody asked Rumsfeld even (none)
    if he wanted to be Secretary of Defense. This job was really not the one he dreamt of and it wasn't that easy a thing for him to agree to.

    He has proof of that too. Didn't he offer his resignation once to show what his real tendencies were all about?  Darn, the President just didn't get it and didn't see through his move. If he just would have understood that he wanted to quit. But the Prez didn't allow poor Rumsfled to cut and run.

    All this creative just-in-case-memo-back-up-writing is now in vain. With such a President there is just no fun in trying to make your pre-emptive cut-and-run-cop-out-moves look like a strategic masterpiece.

    What a Dumbsfly.

  •  Head Rat in Charge (none)
    Rats are the first ones to leave a sinking ship.  
    They're the ones who made the holes.

    Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

    by republican with a small r on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:08:42 AM PST

  •  "Memo to file" -- > CYA (4.00)
    In addition to his periods in government, Don Rumsfeld has spent time as CEO of publicly-traded corporations as well. And he is known as the consummate political player in both types of origanizations, with very sharp elbows.

    One thing that a really clever corporate manager who knows how to play the game will do is set up situations so that, if a project succeeds, it was his brilliant idea, while there's also a paper trail of his doubts and caveats to cover him and assign the blame elsewhere if it doesn't.

    Sometimes, the memo is secret and never is revealed unless things go wrong. Other (smarter) managers will play the "ok, I'm going to be the devil's advocate now, just to make sure we're on the right track" and make sure that the people from whom they'd need cover have seen it. This lets them take the credit for making sure those concerns were prevented if it succeeds (all they need to have done is put them on a bullet list to take credit for preventing them), and also have the fallback of "remember, I warned you about that very thing" if it doesn't.

    I've been in planning sessions where "what could go wrong?" was discussed, and have seen how often everyone thinks that they've really planned well because those things "have been considered." They haven't -- they've just been listed on a sheet so that everyone has the cover of "considering," but often, they do absolutely nothing to prevent them from happening or to prepare for the consequences if they do.

    Or rather, the act of creating the "what could go wrong?" list is the preparation for the only consquence that they care about -- being the one who gets blamed if things go wrong.

    •  My Thoughts Exactly! (none)
      And, I suspect, given the Bush Administration's willingness to infuse just about every arm of the Executive Branch with former corporate cronies, there are a lot more CYA memos floating around that we have neither seen nor heard of yet.

      (Not to mention the ones that are being written and backdated in 20-20 "OMG we're all gonna DIE" hindsight even as we speak, as the rats attempt desperately to flee the sinking ship of the Bush Admininstration.)

      My only question is whether our political leaders and the general populace will let them get away with trying to walk away, now that it's convenient, instead of earlier when it was the best thing to do for our country.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:37:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dear President Bush (4.00)
        Aug 29th, 2005

         RE: Emergency Preparedness
        Dear Mr. President:

        I just wanted to play "devil Advocate" here a little bit, and alert you to the slight possibility that we could be  woefully unprepared if a  natural disaster were to flood a major American city.  Some of the potential trouble spots I can see:

        1. Organization:  Frankly No one here seems to know who's responsible for what.  There are no clear lines of command and control, and communications are Sub par at best.

        2. Privatization: Most key FEMA rescue functions have been subcontracted out to companies of Dubious competence.  The contracts seem to have been awarded on the basis of Contribution level to the RNC rather than ability to do the Job.  I'm very concerned that they will not be able to perform the jobs they were hired to do.

        3. Lack of Leadership:  There is no nice way to put this so let me be blunt.  The man you have hired to run FEMA is an inexperienced incompetent crony.  He has no Business managing a Dairy Queen, much less a major federal agency.  I expect he will be worse than useless in a crisis situation.

        Let me just say this is all purely speculative right now, and I doubt that we'll ever have to seriously worry about any of these problems, but I just wanted to give you a "head's up" for the record.  Keep Up the good work, your leadership is an inspiration to us all.


        Michael Brown,
        Federal Emergency Management Agency

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:18:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (none)
      just like that PDB "bin Laden determined to strike in the US".
  •  Spilled coffee on my keyboard (4.00)
    when I read

    as the fecal matter has begun to impact the rotating assembly of the air-circulation device

    Damn, that was good.

  •  Let's give him the benefit of the doubt (4.00)
    Let's just say they weren't rushing in headlong, fully unprepared.  Let's just say that.

    Now, let's say they were fully prepared and they knew what their plans were.

    So, now we can just say that they are incompetent.  

  •  Normally I wouldn't take up the band ... (4.00)
     ... width, but EXCELLENT DIARY!

    Here's a question:  As the Bu$hCo regime becomes too slimed to hold onto, the well-greased NeoFascist Machine will detach itself and start looking for a new place from which to work the levers of America that dip buckets into its vast quarry of cash and credit -- but where next?  C(r)ummie (sorry) is but one rich necktie among a stable of near billionaires.  Whose life boat will he slip into, and where will they guide the deathstar once he is back aboard?

    -5.13;-6.92 De-Bu$hify NOW! Remove *every* Bu$hCo appointee and revoke their security clearances

    by Yellow Canary on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:15:10 AM PST

    •  Damn, but that's a good question.... (none)
      I remember thinking quite some time ago that most of these neo-cons cut their teeth on Iran-Contra, then disappeared into corporate, reemerged for the power grab. Thankfully, they are old now.
      We would also be very wise to identify and track the  30 somethings who are currently teething.

      -7.13 -6.51 Hang in there with us World. We are all Wombat.

      by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:24:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only 29 potential problems? (4.00)
    I could have come up with a list of 29 potential problem areas without even breaking a sweat.

    Actually, I would have had 30 items, since I would have included Rumsfeld's incompetency on there as well.

    ...Whirlpools whirl, and dragnets drag...

    by dss on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:18:01 AM PST

  •  Poor Donny (none)
    Little old wallflower who never had the nerve to tell people what he thought, give me a break.

    To paraphrase, there are known knowns and unknown unknowns, but we know better than that.

  •  Hate to state the obvious, but (4.00)
    things are collapsing very fast and Rove is still a player.  That finger of blame is wavering, where to point?

    NEWSFLASH: "Rummy resigns after secret White House task force, personally led by President Bush, coerced (not under torture) the SecDef to admit that he --- has actually been a Democrat all along!"

  •  Compare to Robert McNamara (4.00)
    Although history probably won't be kind to Robert McNamara, at lesat he was more far honest about his failures than Don "CYA" Rumsfeld.

    In his preface to his book In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, McNamara wrote:

    We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who participated in the decisions on Vietnam acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of this nation. We made our decisions in light of those values. Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why.

    He read from the preface during this speech at the Kennedy School of Government. The speech with follow-up Q&A is a good read.

    As the country finally begins to acknowledge the fiasco of Bush's folly, there will be a great number of comparisons between how McNamara and Rumsfeld conducted themselves before and during their respective wars. Rumsfeld will not fare well in the analysis.

    •  But it took McNamara (none)
      what -- 30 some years to admit his mistakes? Who knows what Rumsfeld book may be published 30 years from now?

      "You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

      by marylrgn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:06:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Striking similarities! (none)
      Will Rummy be given the Medal of Freedom (like McNamara) after he resigns?  
    •  In every case, in "Fog of War" .... (none)
      ...and two personal addresses I have seen McNamara deliver, his mea culpas seemed emotionally detached, as if he were examining his views in a calculated fashion the way one might examine, say, the collateral damage in a aerial photo of a bombing run. His statements are welcome, but his tone is a little too much of the "mistakes were made" variety.
  •  Levees don't work very well against car bombs... (none)


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:26:31 AM PST

  •  But Rummy's War Against Powell Succeeded! (4.00)
    Rummy's design of W's Excellent Iraq Adventure took a back seat to a more serious threat facing America: Colin Powell's foreign policy:
    When Bush drew a bead on Iraq late in 2001, as U.S. forces and allies were taking control of Afghanistan, Rumsfeld was already deeply involved in two wars much closer to home. One was his campaign to remake the Pentagon for the 21st century. The other was a bureaucratic battle with then-Secretary of State Powell. It is impossible to understand Rumsfeld's approach to Iraq outside the context of these earlier, ongoing fights.
    Anything Powell favored, the Defense Department opposed. Powell suggested more allies; Rumsfeld announced he was ready to go it alone. Powell favored a larger force; Rumsfeld weeded out troops unit by unit. Ultimately, the invasion was a repudiation of the Powell Doctrine in U.S. military affairs. The force deployed was light and lethal -- but not, history has clearly shown, the master of all contingencies. Nor was there a clear exit strategy, merely the hope of garlands and easy reconstruction -- a point war critics have often made and Rumsfeld has never rebutted in detail.
    (Source: Wrestling with History, page 5 [emphasis added.]
    So, we played right into Osama bin Ladin's desire for the US to send troops into the Middle East in a particularly stupid way because Rummy wanted to kick Colin Powell out of the Bush League?
  •  He will be replaced soon (none)
    And there will be a lot of Republicans replaced soon....

    He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

    by Patrizio on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:27:34 AM PST

  •  For more on Rumsfeld's martial arts exploits, (none)

    Very revealing!

  •  Very interesting Donny.....but (4.00)
    isn't your job decription:

    Secretary of Defense:  Donald H. Rumsfeld
    Description: The Secretary is the principal defense policy adviser to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense policy.

    He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:28:56 AM PST

  •  Rumsfeld joins Westmoreland in (none)
    that great pantheon of military fuck-ups.

    It's too late, Donnie Darko, to sell anybody on your un-involvement in this.

    Rumsfelds owns this. He can dance all he wants, he can talk shit about contingency plans. It's laughable actually, that he might think he can worm his way out of this.

    Always give credit where credit is due.

    Republicans own this fuckup.
    Bush owns this fuckup.
    Cheney owns this fuckup.
    And Rummy in particular owns this fuckup.

    I feel like sending Rummy my own personal copy of Sun Tzu's Art of War,  which has a forward by James Clavell (author of "Shogun") in which he says that every politician and every military officer should be forced to read this and take a test on it once a year. To avoid any future Vietnams. That, if our leaders had followed Sun Tzu during the 60s we wouldn't have even started that quagmire, much less stayed there for 12 years.  Clavell wrote that in the 1980s.

    Well, Rumsfeld can look forward to being synonymous with "unadulterated military fuckup".

  •  I love it, even Rummy is now (none)
    crapping on the Chimp.

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:30:28 AM PST

  •  "A vase? seen one, seen 'em all" (4.00)
    As the cradle of civilization in Iraq was being looted and destroyed because there was absolutely no security provided during and after the invasion, Rumsfeld scoffed at protests. He made sure the Oil Ministry was well fortified but neglected the museums .

    When all is said and done, I will never forgive him for the carnage he initiated AND I will never forgive him for

    "The images you are seeing on television, you are seeing over and over and over," he complained. "It's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase and you see it twenty times. And you think, my goodness, were there that many vases?"

    After pausing for laughter, Rumsfeld delivered the punch line: "Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?"

    Well, yes, as it turns out, it is possible. And the loss of such artifacts is no laughing matter, at least to people who care about these things. Many of the irreplaceable objects lost in Baghdad's days of anarchy and turmoil were thousands of years old, material evidence of humanity's earliest strivings. They came from places like Babylon, Kalkhu, Nineveh and Ur, ancient cities dating back to the dawn of history.

    Last week, after two days of unhindered pillage, the Baghdad museum that housed these treasures was emptied. By Friday afternoon, when Rumsfeld made his dismissive remarks, looters were carting away the last spoils. According to the museum's deputy director, who blamed U.S. forces for refusing to prevent the plunder, at least 170,000 items were taken or destroyed.


    This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

    by Agathena on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:31:12 AM PST

  •  So how long? (none)
    Before Rumsfeld resigns - if Bush isn't talking to the old man due to the Scowcroft article in the New Yorker what will he do about this?

    This breaking of ranks is intolerabe in their world.

  •  Excellent WaPo Article! (4.00)
    I am totally spent out writing about my horror of these men and their actions. The only thing I want to now focus on is search for ways to bring them to justice. Tho' aren't we preaching to the choir here? How do we clamor for justice outside of the realm of DKos? How do we reach those with the power to bring criminal action against these THUGS? Talk to WaPo editors? NYT? they're all in it it seems like. The 23 IWR-Nay Senators perhaps? And the 120-odd Nays from the House?

    And if that doesn't work, may be like the North Korean citizenry we should start sending out coded messages to the outside world about how bad things are in our country, that our principles are being held hostage against our will, actions being taken in our name against our will, and would the world please free us; will the International Court of Justice, which conveniently our captors held back our country from joining, will that International court of justice, do something to save us, like we would like to save those poor starving North Koreans, but not like we saved those poor starving-under-sanction Iraqi children...a giant sobbing wail to the international community, forgive us, and help us from our crazy leaders.

  •  In a Just World. (none)
    If this were a just world Rummy wouldn't have "survived" more than a few years out of college. The man helped to sell WMDs to Saddam Hussein then helped to plan a war because Saddam had WMDs. He oversaw the CIA funneling cocaine into the US then helped plan the War on Drugs. The guy is pure evil.

    In a just world Donald Rumsfeld would be sitting in a small cage being constantly prodded with a sharp stick.

    When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... and you're never really awake. - Narrator

    by rjo on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:34:12 AM PST

    •  He's also responsible ... (none)
      ....for aspartame being on the market.  What a foul substance.
      •  Oooh I got a bone to pick with him then (none)
        I have a nasty allegy to that stuff, causes extremely intense intestinal cramps and nausea.  It was an extremely nasty suprise when I first started a low carb diet.

        IN the process of finding our what was causing the problem I learned WHOLE lot about exactly how messed up that stuff is, and the nasty bit of back-room business that got it approved in the first place.   I'll be forever greatful to my oversensitive immune response for protecting me from this crap.

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:42:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Donny probably wants to enjoy his Tamiflu $$'s (4.00)
    from CNN

    What's the point of being rich if your job's becoming a bitch?

    •  Heard on the radio this afternoon (none)
      that some Japanese children died of Tamiflu injection.

      Interesting progression of articles here.....

      FluWrap: Tamiflu gets safety nod - Science Daily (press release) - 1 hour ago
      Japanese co denies Tamiflu link to 6 deaths - Economic Times - 3 hours ago
      FDA investigating 12 deaths of Japanese children who took Tamiflu - Asahi Shimbun - 15 hours ago

      How many 'murcans know about rummy's interest, I wonder.

      -7.13 -6.51 Hang in there with us World. We are all Wombat.

      by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 04:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is a race of the slimeballs (none)
    Rummy thinks he is going to save his ass by telling this ridiculous CYA story. He knows the GOP will have to start asking for sacrificial lambs very soon, especially after the Jack Murtha statements, and he knows he's probably the first in the list.

    One wonders if he is hinting that he's resigning, or is he sending a message not to fire him because he knows things that others ignored. Here you have a world class slimeball, just the type of individual who would push for and manage the horrible debacle in Iraq, the USA be damned.

  •  Rich... (none)
    ...both your diary (with solid points and reparee) and Donny's gall.

    How very rich of him to disassociate. Whatever happened to that vaunted Bush loyalty?

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:38:26 AM PST

  •  DoRu (none)
    has not a shred of integrity.
  •  Well, That Settles That (4.00)
    Yes, one memo will indeed exonerate Rumsfailed of all responsibility for the Iraq debacle.

    That must be some masterpiece of a memo. Perhaps a neocon will nominate it for the Nobel Prize in literature when it becomes declassified.

    "This president believes government should be limited not in size but in effectiveness."
    --The Daily Show

    by bramish on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:52:20 AM PST

    •  For that honor.... (4.00) will have to compete with Libby's aspen letter.
    •  'This memo was filmed with different endings -- (none)
      ... and not even the cast members known which  cliffhanger will be aired during sweeps week! It's can't-miss boffo ratings GOLD!'
      This stinks of that kind of desperate Deux ex Rectum gimmick: paper suddenly being pulled out of someone's big ass as post hoc "proof" that every Iraq-related blunder and exploitation our lying eyes saw the past couple of years never happened.
      It's like Suckah MC McClellan waving around the Chimperor's "dental records" to show the presidential TEETH weren't AWOL (though the paper never explained while the rest of his carcass was a no-show for the appointed medical/drug test, or why other FOIA docs show 1st Lt. Fuckup hard at not-serving.)

      Treason's Greetings to terrorist sympathizer and national disgrace Bill O'Reilly

      by Peanut on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:23:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Huummm.... (none)
    Could visions of the Hague be dancing in his head?

    The next obvious step in polling the public is to ask the question...Should the Neo's be prosceuted for War Crimes?

    Desperation is in the is the time to move in for the kill.

  •  Rummy carries his letter of resignation (none)
    in his coat pocket or at least he has been known to claim that. As a member of PNAC, he undoubtedly favored removing Saddam, but I think the truth is that to Rumsfeld, the Iraqi war was just an experiment in a different type of military response.

    The standard battle plan for Iraq called for 500,000 troops deployed over six months. Rummy and Tommy Franks tried to get that below 300,000 with a 30-day lead-in for air attacks and boots on the ground as quickly as possible, even before the air attacks were complete.

    Rummy is famous for asking everyone to look at the assumptions and verify whether the supporting facts have changed. He didn't do that with Iraq. The first failure was assuming that Iraq still had the weapons it had before the first Gulf war and that sanctions had done nothing to reduce their weapons cache. Even Tommy Franks admitted that they had been looking for Iraqi Scud missile installations for ten years and couldn't find any. He guessed that Iraq might have had three left that were probably unusable. This was Frank's assessment in response to the administration's concerns that Iraq might launch Scuds against Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    Rummy also assumed that there were enough resistance groups in Iraq that once Saddam was toppled, the Americans would be greeted as conquering heroes. I remember seeing a British magazine cover with Rummy pictured saying, "They will welcome us with open arms", while the Bristish reporter responded, "Surely you mean open fire." So Rummy failed his own battle planning test by failing to test the assumptions that the administration used to sell this war.

    •  Washington Post Buried It - But It's There... (none)
      Here's the quote:
      When Bush drew a bead on Iraq late in 2001, as U.S. forces and allies were taking control of Afghanistan, Rumsfeld was already deeply involved in two wars much closer to home. One was his campaign to remake the Pentagon for the 21st century. The other was a bureaucratic battle with then-Secretary of State Powell. It is impossible to understand Rumsfeld's approach to Iraq outside the context of these earlier, ongoing fights.
      (Source: Washington Post Wrestling with History, page 5 [emphasis added.])
      •  Powell was essentially marginalized (none)
        Bush stopped listening to him. He was not involved in the war planning other than to warn Tommy Franks not to let them talk him into not sending enough troops, which is exactly what happened. Even Powell's insistence on going to the UN might not have happened if Tony Blair had not been up against the wall with his own party to seek a UN solution first.

        Rumsfeld was trying to remake what he thought would be a twenty-first century fighting force, which is apparently not quite the success he had hoped for. It looks like twelfth century techniques are still pretty effective in war. I got the impression that Rummy stayed away from the political discussions to focus on the military planning, especially since he was meeting with Franks 4 - 5 times a week and talking to him by phone the rest of the time.

        Powell's real battles were with Cheney, Rice, and the neo-con wolf pack. Rumsfeld was content to focus on planning for the war whether it came or not, although it was pretty much a given from the start. Powell was in what they called the "refrigerator". He was left out to the point that the Saudis knew before Powell exactly when the invasion would begin. It's amazing that Bush would admit that he did not talk to Powell or seek his advice because he already knew what he would say. Yet Bush continued to listen to Cheney and Rice, even though he must have known how they felt too.

        The Bush administration may contend that the intelligence was faulty, but that is the only intelligence they chose to consider. Nor did they make any reasonable attempts to confirm that intelligence, especially in light of the enormous consequences of acting on it. There is no greater dereliction of duty than this.

  •  Rumsfeld (none)
    may have a memo, but he isn't entitled to his "own set of facts."

    Paul O'Neill tracks Rummy's role in this 10 days after the first Inauguration. He was there at the beginning, of course.

    It's just that his peculiar syntax and parsing is calculated to give HIM the benefit of the doubt if the ship starts to go down.

    Won't work this time.

    Political Cortex: Brain Food for the Body Politic

    by btyarbro on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:01:13 PM PST

  •  Well Don.....What about THIS??? (none)
    Dan Froomkin's WaPo White House Briefing of today posts text from a Defense Department web posting of Bob Woodward's interview with Rumsfeld and as you read through it, look carefully at the timing of these actions and statements and how far in advance of Mr. Bush's decision to invade Iraq they took place.   Mr. Rumsfeld....for a guy who never really bought the idea, you certainly sounded awfully certain awfully early that it was a pretty GOOD idea.  Here's the Froomkin segment:


    Back in April, the Defense Department Web-published the transcripts of two on-the-record interviews Woodward conducted with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in late 2003, offering up a revealing look at how Woodward works his sources.

    Here's the first interview , from Sept. 20, 2003. Woodward opens things up by saying: "My overall goal in this, because I have good relationship with President Bush and he wants me to do this, I think, as you know."

    Here's the second interview , from Oct. 23, 2003.

    As it happens, the Defense Department transcript deleted a passage. Woodward then gave The Post his own transcript showing that Rumsfeld said during that second interview: "I remember meeting with the vice president and I think Dick Myers and I met with a foreign dignitary at one point and looked him in the eye and said you can count on this. In other words, at some point we had had enough of a signal from the president that we were able to look a foreign dignitary in the eye and say you can take that to the bank this is going to happen."

    That was a big deal because one of the most eye-popping scenes in Woodward's book "Plan of Attack" takes place in January 2003 in Vice President Cheney's West Wing office, where Rumsfeld and others show Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, a top-secret map showing how the war plan would unfold. "You can count on this," Woodward quotes Rumsfeld as saying, pointing to the map. "You can take that to the bank. This is going to happen."

    That's about two months before the White House previously acknowledged it had decided to go to war and, according to Woodward's book, it's even before Secretary of State Colin L. Powell got the word from Bush.


    WOW.....all that talk about how Bush and his advisors "agonized" up until "the last minute" before making their decision to invade.   Add this to Rumsfeld's statements to Richard Clarke that we should invade Iraq "because it had better bombing targets than Afghanistan", and reports from Clarke and others that almost immediately after 9/11, they were talking about Iraq as a military target, and you see that all their posturing about a slow and deliberate consideration of alternatives was a giant load of male bovine excrement.

    Don......your story is implausible.  Stuff happens....sorry.  You're lying.

    Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

    by dweb8231 on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:06:40 PM PST

    •  asdf (none)
      Although he himself has been mixing and serving up the koolaid for years he thinks he can point to the potted plant behind him and say, "But look, I poured my portions in there."
      It ain't gonna fly.

      The waves carry up little bits of knowledge and deposit them on the shore, and before you know it you've got Finland. Or whatever.

      by dougr on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:18:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rumsfeld on the eve of war (3/20/2003) (none)
      said this in remarks to troops:

      With each passing day, Saddam Hussein advances his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and could pass them along to terrorists. If he is allowed to do so, the result could be the deaths not of 3,000 people, as on September 11th, but of 30,000, or 300,000 or more innocent people.

      If Bush never asked him his opinion about invading Iraq, then it was almost certainly because Rumsfeld had made his opinion clear, that he was with Bush all the way about invading Iraq. The only alternative, it seems to me, is that he was so supine as Sec. Def. that he never offered his opinion about essential defense matters to the President.

      This episode resembles the recriminations about WMD allegations after the invasion, when all the principals were looking for a scapegoat (quickly determined to be the CIA). It sounds like Bush & Co. are looking to pin the blame for the whole post-war fiasco on somebody like Rumsfeld--so as to be able to salvage their claim that the decision to invade was sound policy.

  •  Kudos to (4.00)
    David Von Drehle for doing what better-known, and probably higher paid, reporters have been unwilling or unable to do. He has actually committed journalism. Nice article.

    Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:11:01 PM PST

  •  Gosh, do you suppose (none)
    he has another memo somewhere that expresses his firm opposition to any kind of torture or abuse of prisoners?

    "You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

    by marylrgn on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:11:12 PM PST

  •  the presicience of Nixon: (none)
    "I wouldn't put you in Defense"

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:20:14 PM PST

  •  Liar or coward? (none)
    Rumsfeld also told Woodward that he couldn't recall a moment,... when Bush asked whether his defense secretary favored the invasion. Nor did Rumsfeld ever volunteer his opinion.

    Hm, I just don't think this is a good idea, but I better not tell the president or else he might shut me out of his circle.

    The goddamn Secretary of So-Called Defense didn't tell the president whether he thought invading Iraq was a good idea? Fuck, call the GAO to investigate this waste of taxpayer money.

    Liar or coward? Both.

  •  Rumsfeld is a liar (none)
    a General officer I know said that Tommy Franks went to him many times with requests for many more troops. Rumsfeld kept sending him back to cut the number. Finally Gen. Franks asked him "how many" and cut the plan for Rummy's no.  The man is a skunk.
  •  Paging Secty. Powell (none)
    Last night on Daily Show Richard Clark was talking about how no one bothered to ask Sec of State Colin Powell his opinion on invasion either. One would think great wisdom could be had from a man who was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the other Iraq invasion.

    Big Oil earns $200,000 profit per minute.

    by bobinson on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:00:13 PM PST

  •  Have you ever asked a restaurateur (none)
    if he thought it was a good idea for you to order dinner?

    he couldn't recall a moment, when Bush asked whether his defense secretary favored the invasion. Nor did Rumsfeld ever volunteer his opinion.

    Bush has also not ever asked Rove if he thought attacking anyone who disagrees with him is a good idea.

    I was going to use prostitution or bar tender reference.

    What do members of the Repub. leadership say when they bump into Pres. Bush? "Pardon me."

    by mungley on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM PST

  •  Look at the bright side (none)
    If Rummy keeps trying to distance himself from Bush, maybe Bush will finally do us all a favor and fire the incompetent shitheel.
  •  Oh well then... (none)
    my opinion of Rummy has just changed completely! </sarcasm>
  •  All that, and he's midget to boot! (none)

    That's one small step for man, and one giant %#&* air for mankind...

    by mogulking on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:46:35 PM PST

  •  Cockroaches and Rummy (none)
    That's all that will be left after the Big One.
  •  Hit in the head with Iraq (4.00)
    This is it. I'm going home. I've been glued to this blog for a week because I can't believe the admnistration meltdown. The light is blinding and my eyeballs are burning but I can't resist looking into it. I haven't written a sellable word at my real job.

    And now this: Rumsfield didn't want to go to war.

    But thank you for this diary.

    I think.

  •  You go to war (4.00)
    with the classified CYA memo you have, not the one you'd like to have.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:22:19 PM PST

  •  What If This Was Your Grandpa? (none)
    Now, now Magorn, you are being awfully hard on this old man.

    And a dedicated public servant, too.

    What if this was your grandpa?

    Would you mock him when his Depends smell a bit off?

    Make fun of him when he forgets where he parked the car?

    Whatever Unka Donald did, it was for the best, surely.

    When he makes nice and doddering on the TeeVee, our response is supposed to be, "Awwww . . . "

    Not some kind of snark . . .

    "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." --Joseph Goebbels

    by antifa on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:34:46 PM PST

  •  It Wasn't Rumsfeld, It Was His Evil Twin! (none)
    See!  The real Rumsfeld is revealed in the memo. The guy who nixed higher troop levels, and more training wasn't Rumsfeld at all. It was his evil twin.  Who should be hunted down and imprisoned for impersonating a Cabinet Officer.

    We are, indeed, supremely fortunate that the real Donald Rumsfeld has been returned to his rightful place.

  •  who is most directly (none)
    responsible for firing shinsecki?
  •  you left out (4.00)
    the best. description of rumsfeld. ever

    "At least Herman Goering knew how to conquer people. Rummy is the richest person in the white house, a former auto and pharmaceutical CEO and the one who nurtured Dick Cheney's career. So rife with corruption and fascist desire he makes dirt look clean. Carries himself in press conferences like a cranky grandfather who is sick of hearing his daughters whine about how he molested them every now and then."

  •  So "we all saw the same intelligence?" (4.00)
    Maybe I read the thread too fast, but what everybody seems to be missing is that if by any chance this is true, then it is a blatant case-in-point contradiction of "we were all working with the same intelligence" theme.

    Now, like most people here I think this is either a lie or, more likely, a case where he really did write a cover-your-ass memo. But the point is, now that he is claiming that he wrote such a memo and distributed it "at the highest levels", there are only two logical possibilities:

    1. He is a publicly proclaimed liar, which is bad for him and the Bush administration both, or

    2. The Bush adminisitration definitely had access to intelligence not available to Congress or hte public, namely a 29-point memo written by the Secretary of Defense saying why the war was not a good idea -- which is even worse for the Bush administration.

    The Democrats really need to get all over this one. There is no third alternative, and if they're willing to at least pretend like they think Rummy is telling the truth, it is a HUGELY important example of the many ways in which we were NOT all working with the same intelligence.
  •  Lying is so addictive! (4.00)
    how pathetic can you get?  He openly said Iraq was in his sights immediately after 9-11.  They think we have no brains and no memory.

    Who doesn't remember this line, as reported by CBS news:

    div class="blockquote">With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." - meaning Saddam Hussein - "at same time. Not only UBL" - the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.

    Now, nearly one year later, there is still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn't matter to Rumsfeld.

    "Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

    I love the smell of impeachment in the morning!

    by gabbardd on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 05:00:36 PM PST

  •  They knew Iraq would go badly (none)
    They make more money that way. If Iraq was as nice and neat as they promised, we'd be done with Iraq by now, and the contractors wouldn't be makeing any more money. With this "planned chaos", they can make a fortune.

    They knew it would go wrong.

    I Supported the War When I Believed the Lies

    by bejammin075 on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 05:21:55 PM PST

  •  Gee, I wonder if (none)
    Rummy Don Don ever signed off on something like a PNAC type of document.  Who is he with?

    Ownership Society - You own your ship. I own our navy. Get the hell out of my way.

    by jobiuspublius on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 05:33:24 PM PST

  •  Best, tastiest diary I've read in a while. (none)
    Perfect, exemplary "our reporter hero" stance adds your own substantial point of view to an excellent story I may now find time to read more thoroughly.

    Beautiful work!

  •  is it just me (none)
    or did the reporter never actually ask rummy if he thought iraq was a good idea at the time?
  •  The scariest thing is (none)
    these people are running our country!

    And by all evidence they seem to be incompetent boobs!

       Unless your goal is to bankrupt America and breed and elite class of ultra rich on the backs of hardworking Americans and Iraqi's struggling to regain and rebuild their country. Really quite an audatious goal.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 06:20:20 PM PST

  •  I can hardly wait for his biography... (none)
    it should be juicy.  

    "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." Will Rogers.

    by Rogneid on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 07:18:13 PM PST

  •  Rummy don't need no stinking memo (none)
    not when the asshat has this in public record:

    A Confession
    Once in a while,
    I'm standing here, doing something.
    And I think,
    "What in the world am I doing here?"
    It's a big surprise.

    --May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

    If you haven't already seen it, more poetry from D. H. Rumsfeld can be
    found here

    Candy and flowers aside WTF has this fop ever been right about? His mom has a memo.

    "We do not torture," -GWB

    by gbg on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:58:06 AM PST

  •  My bad (none)
    the poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld is actually found /here


    "We do not torture," -GWB

    by gbg on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:04:57 AM PST

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