Thursday, May 06, 2004

Donald Rumsfeld, Bush Scapegoat

The NY Times is reporting this morning that "administration officials" are spilling the beans that El Presidente has "chastised" Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the Oval Office about Rumsfeld's failure to inform his boss about the Iraqi prison abuse photographs. Get a load of this sentence in the Times' 2nd paragraph: "The disclosures by the White House officials, under authorization from Mr. Bush, were an extraordinary display of finger-pointing in an administration led by a man who puts a high premium on order and loyalty."

El Presidente HIMSELF wants this story out, about taking Rumsfeld to the woodshed. Is this just more evidence of how damaged the Rovians perceive themselves to be over this scandal? Or is it another purely political move by a president who never absorbed the Truman truth that the buck is supposed to stop with him? Push Rumsfeld out of the nest and let the wolves have 'im?

"The disclosure of the dressing-down of the combative Mr. Rumsfeld was the first time that Mr. Bush has allowed his displeasure with a senior member of his administration to be made public. It also exposed the fault lines in Mr. Bush's inner circle that have deepened with the violence and political chaos in American-occupied Iraq."

If Rumsfeld has an ounce of the personal integrity he's groomed the press to believe he has, he'll resign. And start writing Chapter 1 of his own tell-all book.

Rumsfeld is due to appear before an aroused Senate Armed Forces committee tomorrow. "No member of the Senate had any clue," said Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Indiana Republican who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. "This is entirely unacceptable. I think it's a total washout as far as communications, and it has to be rectified."

According to Reuters, "Aides to both Republican and Democratic senators predicted a fiery hearing, as many senators are irate that Rumsfeld did not inform them of an Army report outlining egregious abuses of Iraqis held by U.S. forces at a prison near Baghdad."

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