Should Rumsfeld resign? Should Bush fire him? Should we just put him on a pyre and BURN HIM
? Let's evaluate the situation, shall we?
We are dealing with a situation that the Defense Department mentioned back in January
. They announced, on January 16, 2004, that they had accusations of abuse occuring and that they were investigating
the matter. Two days later, a guard leader and a company commander at the prison are suspended from their duties. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez admonishes brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski.
They were handling the investigation like any other military investigation -- within the chain of command. The President was informed of the allegations and the internal investigation sometime between January and February. The military was investigating and charging the culpable parties. They were doing their job and they were doing it swiftly. They certainly didn't want this dragged out in public. These acts are a horrible smear on our country and our military. The acts of a few have systematically slandered our country and endangered our military
Now we have the Democrats
calling for Rumsfeld's resignation. My favorite screed comes from the Leona Helmsley
of Congress, Nancy Pelosi
"Secretary Rumsfeld has known about these incidents for months and has intentionally withheld them from the Congress,'' she said. "He must be held responsible for any coverup. Secretary Rumsfeld says that he still has not read the report into the abuses, confirming that stopping them is simply not a top priority for him. The sad fact is that the abuses could have been prevented with proper leadership at the top of the chain of command. "He should resign.''
Where do I begin? I'll start with the obvious points. The first thing that jumps out is her use of the weasel words "he must be held responsible for ANY coverup." She knows there's no coverup, which is why she doesn't say there's been one. She merely insinuates it in a way that lets her deny she's made the insinuation. Cheap partisan-hack trickery. Anyone that actually watched the military briefings knew that they were investigating abuse charges in Abu Ghraib prison. If there was a cover up, they wouldn't have announced the investigation in January, removed people from command and charged those that did the abusing. It is not Rummie's job to interefere in a military investigation and she knows it. Other than cheap insinuations, she never actually says what
Rumsfeld did wrong. It makes me wonder if her last face lift was pulled so tight that it caused undue pressure on her cerebrum.
I'm not sure how she figures that Donald Rumsfeld could have prevented
the abuse. I look forward to her explanation. Perhaps after the DNC hands out the next set of talking points, she may actually have one.
Was there covering it up? No. It was a scandal but the investigations prove that there was no cover up. His biggest failure was being unable to foresee and warn the president of the danger lurking when he informed him of the January investigation. He failed to put the nation's reputation ahead of the regulation prohibiting command influence in criminal investigations
, which protects the accused in a court-martial. Not necessarily a bad thing. So really Rumsfeld's only
mistake was not saying anything about the photos sooner.
That's it. He's proven that clairvoyance isn't his strong suit. If you look around, you'll see that none of his critics point to any specific act of wrongdoing that Rumsfeld committed. They just want to "get him" and they don't care how. Getting Rumsfeld, in their mind, is getting Bush. One thing that living in a post 9/11 world hasn't changed is the rabid desire to get Bush. They can't keep counting those votes in Florida, so this is the next best thing. They want their payback and they won't let a little thing like facts stand in their way.
Should Rummy resign? No. Absolutely not. He stood up and took his spanking like a man. He apologized and he accepted responsibility for what happened. According to many of my liberal friends, saying that you accept responsibility is good enough. Just like it was good enough for Janet Reno and her many, many failures. Partisan hacks will say that, in a post 9/11 world, admitting to being human and accepting responsibility isn't good enough. I disagree. Taking responsibilty and working to correct your mistake has always been good enough. Living in a post-9/11 world shouldn't change our basic American principles.
Should he be fired? Firing him is Bush's option and Bush opted not to do it. I wouldn't have either. It would be irresponsible for Bush to fire a proven, competent leader simply over some photographs. Because that's all this is about: photographs. Not the crime itself, just the fact that we didn't realize photos of it were available until now.
We can repair our reputation by doing what we have been doing, investigating and prosecuting the criminals that committed these acts. There is no reason to make Rumsfeld a scapegoat. It goes against our values to punish someone for the misdeeds of another. Also, sacking Rummy would be nothing more than an attempt to appease the anti-war critics. So it becomes pointless. The carping critics will just move on to the next thing, grasping at straws to divide our nation and push their "cut and run" agenda. We've got more important things to do than pacify a bunch of Bush-hating hippies.
We've got a war to run and a peace to win and we need Donald Rumsfeld to do it.
Rosemary Esmay, the Queen of All Evil!
(Anyone may post in the comments. Combatants, save the arguments for the battle, though. Judges should also refrain from critique/debate.)