Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Love Him, Love Him Not

Yesterday the Prince of Darkness, a.k.a. Bob Novak, who also happens still to be a pretty good "beat" reporter, wrote a column in which he declared Donald Rumsfeld to be "toast":

"Last week, I talked to Republican members of Congress, GOP fund-raisers and contributors, defense consultants and even one senior official of a coalition partner. The clear consensus was that Rumsfeld had to go. 'There must be a neck cut,' said the foreign official, 'and there is only one neck of choice.' Rumsfeld is paying the price for the way he has run the Department of Defense for more than three years, but the price is also being paid by George W. Bush. From the first months of the Bush administration, I have heard complaints by old military hands that the new secretary's arrogance and insularity were creating a dysfunctional Pentagon."

And this:

"In 2001, a few months after Rumsfeld was brought back [by George W.] for a second hitch at the Pentagon, an old friend of his gave me a disturbing report. A former senior government official who was now a defense industry consultant, he told me Rumsfeld was a disaster waiting to happen. Rumsfeld, insulated by his inner circle, was at war against the uniformed military, the civilian bureaucracy, and both houses of Congress. This same former official last week told me the Iraqi prisoners fiasco was the inevitable outgrowth of Rumsfeld's management style. 'If it had not happened with this,' he told me, 'there would have been a different disaster.' "

Novak hinted that Bush's dilemma will be relieving Rumsfeld of the Pentagon job without also simultaneously admitting that his Iraq war is a failure of massive proportions. Novak thinks that maybe Rumsfeld will be moved laterally into some other cabinet post, like the CIA.

If anything like that is about to happen, you couldn't tell it yesterday (about the same time people were reading Novak's column), when El Presidente crossed the Potomac to visit Rumsfeld in Castle Pentagon and smooch his broad, bureaucratic butt with what the New York Times characterized as "a robust show of support." And just to prove he was serious, he took the real president with him, Dick Cheney.

"In his show of support, Mr. Bush sought to quash speculation that he would seek Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation. By arraying other senior aides around him as he made the statement -- including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- he sought to create a tableau of a national security team that, however fractured it has been over Iraq, was now united in its determination to deal with the repercussions of the abuse cases, quell the insurgency in Iraq and transfer governance to the Iraqis."

Yeah, class photo ... of all the dickheads in Kappa Kappa American Empire.

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