Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld Vaccine

Over the last several days seven retired generals have come forward to call for the removal of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.  I took a minute to look up the official duties of the Secretary of Defense,  link to DOD's own definition.  Here’s the Secretary’s responsibility towards and for U.S. Intelligence per Federal Law, link.  Basically, the Secretary has responsibility for carrying out Administration Defense policy.

That would include.

  1. the planning of the war in Iraq

  2. the planning of the occupation

  3. the conduct of American forces in Iraq

  4. some oversight for US intelligence

  5. oversight of defense department contracts

  6. ensuring that US forces are well equipped

  7. making certain that the wounded and killed US forces are treated respectfully

It's not often mentioned in this debat that this is Secretary Rumsfeld’s second time around in the position.  Under Gerald Ford, his notable accomplishment was a possibly falsified reportLink to Team B history that claimed that the USSR was escalating its own defense spending and building “secret” weapons.  This led to the breakdown of the SALT 2 arms control negotiations initiated under Richard Nixon. Rumsfeld’s position apparently broke with the CIA’s whose analysts had determined that the Soviet economy was in fact in crisis.  Some patterns establish themselves early.

Also during Rumsfeld’s first tenure, a soldier died from the Swine Flu and five hundred others were infected with a milder form of the virus.  Rumsfeld responded by having the Department invest in large quantities of a vaccine that proved to be more dangerous than the flu itself.  More recently, Rumsfeld has been linked financially to a company designated to provide large quantities of Avian flu vaccine to the US government.

A decade later, Rumsfeld served as President Reagan’s envoy to the Middle East where among other things Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein link  without somehow bringing up the matter of Saddam’s use of chemical weapons in his war with Iran.

These are some questions I have about Secretary Rumsfeld’s second run at defense.

  1. What did you do on September 11, 2001?  What did you know beforehand?  Why didn’t you get any defense in the air after the first plane hit the WTC?

  2. Is it true that you diverted resources to an invasion of Iraq immediately after 9/11?

  3. What was your plan for the occupation of Iraq? Did you consider the possibility of insurrection, civil war, etc.?

  4. What about this looting thing after the fall of Baghdad?

  5. Guantanamo Bay and the suspension of the Geneva Convention?

  6. Halliburton?

  7. Abu Ghraib and other possible war crimes including white phosphorous?

  8. Hellfire missiles, the CIA, and Osama?

  9. What is the exit plan for the occupation?

  10. Are US troops secretly in Iran and, if so, by whose order?

Most important, there’s the simple question of well the war in Iraq has been carried out.  Rumsfeld has consistently misestimated the stability of Iraq and the US appears no closer to being able to withdraw its forces than it was three years ago after the fall of Baghdad.

We went into this war with the Secretary of Defense that we have.  There is a serious question as to whether this Secretary of Defense has either the ability or the will to allow the US to achieve basic objectives in Iraq.  

The retired generals tell us that the Department of Defense has not been run competently and the secretary has igorned the expertise of those who know the ground.  The president insists that the Secretary is carrying out an overhaul of the Department.  He never mentions that Rumsefeld and Cheney, as past Secretaries, both helped to make the Department of Defense what it is today. He never responds to the specific questions that have been raised about Uncle Don.  He hasn’t apparently even rebutted those seven retired generals.  

Perhaps most telling of all, Rumsfeld's own defense of himself is heavy on cancelling weapons systems, appointing Peter Pace, and withdrawing troops from South Korea (strange but true). He did not mention any actual accomplishments in Iraq. If Rumsfeld were the manager of a major league baseball team, he would have been fired in May.  

also of interest from the DOD's own site, an interview with Al Arabiya (sort of a western-controlled Al Jazeera) Rumsfeld Al Arabiya Interview. You'll see that even a western-controlled Arabic newes outlet asks more probing questions than most US mainstream media. The Secretary's claim that he made no predictions about casualties in the war is definitely odd.


At 4/21/2006 12:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadlyissimo, the disease of Don Rumsfeld's hubris, exacerbated by complications of Cheneyprosy Condition, has been a bleak and black plague upon the hopes of now quarantined America that will take a generation to de-scar.

There is no way in which our nation is not enervated by the catastrophic concatenation of overweening & putrid thinking housed in the Unfun House of the Pentagon, eerie mirrored walls and all.

Among the atrophys, we have spent billions which could have been spent on the constructions which would serve our children (health care; education; tiddlywinks; carbon footprints; a laptop for every child; watching grass grow -- all, I wildly speculate, would serve our future measurably MORE than this grotesque debacle in the Cradle).

Ozymandian is all of this drearily and desperately sad monumental waste:

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Prophetic. Ozydondias. .. that colossal wreck he, with this sneer of cold command, has left us on the lone and level sands.

At 4/21/2006 10:01:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I keep thinking that once you get many diseases like measles, mono, etc. The body learns to fight it off and you become more or less immune.

don't know what happened to Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense....somehow we didn't develop immunity.
but I imagine when it all comes down and these folk get prosecuted, Sec. Rumsfeld will get immunity somehow.

At 4/24/2006 12:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheesh, cl, when your homies control all the levels of power, you get a second medal of freedom.

No one ever pays for anything except sexual peccadilloes.

At 4/24/2006 08:46:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

You know, I keep going over this PlanB stuff from the 70's. It's really interesting. Same technique over and over.


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