Anybody else out there suffering from whiplash?
President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain in his administration until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most criticized members of his team.
One Week Later (and just one day after the Mid-Term Thumpin')
As the Commander-in-Chief, I take these responsibilities seriously. And so does the man who served this nation honorably for almost six years as our Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Now, after a series of thoughtful conversations, Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed that the timing is right for new leadership at the Pentagon.
We all have heard the Presidents claims that he simply wanted to get the "next question" when he blatantly lied about Rumsfeld staying on last week - but the timing of the firing - and it was a firing - portends far far more.
- Vyan's diary :: ::
Please note the Rumsfeld had resigned twice before - the first time was after Abu Ghraib was revealed. That's not coincidence.
Rumsfeld got taken out with the trash strategically and purposefully. Yes, it's true that over a dozen retierd generals had called for his resignation, and that the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Times had published a joint editorial calling for Rumsfeld to leave - but I don't think those were ultimately the reasons.
The reality of a Democratic Congress with genuine investigative and subpeona power - and a powerful mad-on after 12 years off being kicked and stomped in the face by Republicans - required a sacrifice.
Rumsfeld is that sacrifice, but more importantly - he's bait.
Neo-Cons and their enabling lackey's like O'Leilly are already trotting out their brand shiny new "Democrats have to be moderate" meme.
Now the unintended consequence of the power shift in D.C. is that some Democrats will try to impose a secular-progressive agenda on the country.
First, there will be an attempt to raise taxes -- Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel will lead that.
Second, new speaker, Nancy Pelosi, will encourage investigations of the Bush administration, seeking to create a scandal which would help the Democrat presidential nominee in 2008.
But that could backfire on the Democrats as most Americans do not want Mr. Bush attacked. They want to see if the Democrats can do better. They do not want to see their government ripped apart in a time of war.
Create a Scandal?
The Iraq War itself - how and we why got into it, the missing WMD's, the Armor problems, the outsourcing of basic functions, the missing $8.8 Billion, the total $500 price tag, the body count, the failed reconstruction, Haditha , Mahmoudiya and the rising suicide rate among our troops - is the greatest Scandal this nation has seen in a century.
Then you have Gannon/Guckert, paying journalist to write pro-Administration puff pieces, manufacturing phony news stories, the failure to respond to the Cole Bombing and ignoring warnings about bin Laden, the illegal NSA wiretaps and datamining, Abramoff, the Plame-Wilson outing, the Robo-calling and phone jamming, publishing Nuclear Secrets on the Web, the muzzling of scientists by political appointees, the bait and switch of Bush's Faith Based Initiatives...
Democrats don't have to "make up a scandal" - they have a all you can eat buffet of scandals laid out right in front of them.
But the juiciest scandal is Rumsfeld and his involvement in War Crimes including the U.S. performing Kidnappings, Secret Dentention, Torture and Murder. This is the hottest potato in the patch, because there's a paper trail a mile wide that leads directly to Rumsfelds Desk - and a War Crime which results in murder is a Capital Offense.
- In October 2002 Gitmo commanders request "that additional techniques beyond those in the field manual be approved for use.""
- In December of 2002 SecDef Rumsfeld allows for ""stress positions," hooding, 20-hour interrogations, removal of clothing, exploiting phobias to induce stress (e.g., fear of dogs), prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, and forced grooming. These techniques soon spread to Afghanistan and later to Iraq." according to documents obtain by the ACLU.
- Also in December of 2002 the FBI begins complaining to the Defense Department about the conditions at Gitmo, and in Afghanistan some detainees are "killed during interrogation" at Bagram AFB.
Since then we've had over two dozen War on Terror detainees - Tortured to Death. That's 26 Times the Death Penalty, all under Rumsfeld's command.
This is why Bush was so fired up to have the Military Commissions Act passed before the election - that act not only allows the President to re-write Geneva on the back of a piece of toilet paper, he can redefine War Crimes. (But even under the new and not-so-improved version of the Act - Murder is still a Crime) So now he's dumped Rumsfeld (hoping that none of Rummy's stink will be able to stick to the ongoing administration) he'll have his brand new SecDef in place and confirmed before the Democrats actually move into their new offices in the Senate in January. This is replay of the scapegoat shuffle he pulled with Brownie, managing to walk away scott-free from any responsibility for the Katrina mess.
He's stalling for time until the end of his Administration, trying to sweep all this stuff under the rug, quickly, so that even if Democrats manage to pry it up and drag Rummy back out, they'll have to slow roast him on a spit under subpeona (he's a gammy old bird and he won't crack easily). The hearings will drag on and on, meanwhile Bush's Administration will be able to continue functioning unhampered and own hands will look (relatively) clean.
But they aren't.
The War Crimes implemented by Rumsfeld still lead directly back to the Bush's own office due to the Bybee Memo and Abu Gonzales' recommendation that detainees be denied Geneva status simply to avoid vulnerability to the War Crimes Act.
They knew they were going to commit War Crimes, they just didn't want to get caught.
Next to go - will probably be Cheney who also have his fingerprints all over this torture stuff. There's one thing we can count on, Bush will do whatever it takes to save his own ass. If he could dump Rummy, he can dump Shooter too - and that I think, would be a very interesting situation because I don't think Cheney will simply walk away.
He'll fight back and it could get pretty darn ugly.
I plan to bring pop-corn.Vyan