Bush: “I’m the Decider” on Rumsfeld

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President Bush is rebuffing the nation in clinging to Rumsfeld.
Someone remind the President that his Secretary of Defense presided over behaviors that led to the image below, and to far worse:
abughraibphoto_4.jpg
The calls for Rumsfeld to depart will only intensify now. Unity among the ranks of active duty and retired generals can’t be re-established under current management.
The President should give Rumsfeld a big party, a medal or two, and send him off — with a successor who will re-establish confidence in defense decision-making.
The President should dust off his MBA work and realize that if he wants to send a signal of change, he must dump at least three of five people: his chief of staff, his vice president, his closest political advisor, his national security advisor, and his defense secretary.
So far, Andy Card is gone. To fill out the “I’m a new and different Bush” card, Bush must distance himself from some combination of Rove, Hadley, Cheney, and/or Rumsfeld.
I’m guessing that “the decider” changes his mind soon. If I’m wrong, Democrats running in 2006 are getting a huge gift.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “Bush: “I’m the Decider” on Rumsfeld

  1. Mythbuster says:

    Steve: Any chance you can interview any of those naked Iraqi men in the photo and ask them if “they hate us for our freedom”? No other reasons come to mind….

    Reply

  2. Mythbuster says:

    Steve: But how does he fire Rumsfeld without admitting a mistake? If Rumsfeld has messed up Iraq, then when did Bush figure it out? And, heaven forbid, what if Rummy rights a book detailing how Bush was fully informed about every decision?

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  3. koreyel says:

    “However, to change Rumsfeld would be to change the overall strategic plan in Iraq, which is something the President is not going to do this late in his term. Consistency is what the bureaucratic structure, which is the DOD, needs during turbulent times.”
    I couldn’t agree more.
    Come let us all raise our glasses and tip our hats to Bush’s Iraq mess which has been a consistently good cluster fuck (as the picture so aptly suggests).
    Hear. Hear.
    Clink. Clink.

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  4. TLittle says:

    The President has roughly one and a half years left in office and has committed US involvement in Iraq until the end of this term leaving it to the next administration to decide its fate.
    Firing Rumsfeld at this point would make the administration seem entirely too weak. I would agree to the statement that he has presided over some very serious mistakes as Def Sec. However, to change Rumsfeld would be to change the overall strategic plan in Iraq, which is something the President is not going to do this late in his term. Consistency is what the bureaucratic structure, which is the DOD, needs during turbulent times.

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  5. Owen says:

    “I haven’t considered resigning” would also be a good caption for that picture.
    I’d like to know what role Karl Rove has played in keeping Rumsfeld on. It’s disgusting how our soldiers have to pay for Bush’s image.

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  6. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Wow, I didn’t know he could fire the VP!

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  7. snookered says:

    It’s a stretch to believe that Dubya is “the” decider. He isn’t even a good front man.
    Firing the SecDef is out of the question, won’t happen. Perhaps they are hard grooming the next one for a surprise performance, but I doubt it. Rumsfeld is deep on the inside of whatever is driving BushCo. He is too integral to thier big picture plan. Not sure they even know themselves what that is……
    Being at the top of the fightenest and most technological force in the world is quite a place to be. His ideologies are correctly aligned with Dick and the gang and there ain’t no turning back.

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  8. fran says:

    here’s more specific rants from Wayne Madsen —
    April 15, 2006 — Rumsfeld personally involved in homo-erotic prisoner abuse in Guantanamo. Salon.com is reporting that a Dec. 2005 internal US Army Inspector General report leaked to the on-line publication describes how Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally monitored by telephone the interrogation of Saudi detainee Mohamed el Qahtani, described as the “20th hijacker,” although convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui also has bragging rights for that distinction. Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt reported to the Inspector General that the abuse “looked like Abu Ghraib.” Qahtani was forced to wear women’s underwear, perform sex acts in front of a woman, and perform “dog tricks” while wearing a leash. The nudity and “stress position” acts were personally approved by Rumsfeld in Dec. 2002. They were carried out under the orders of sado-masochistic Army Major General Geoffrey Miller, the commander at Guantanamo and the individual who later “Gtmoized” Abu Ghraib. Miller’s involvement in the abuse was verified by Schmidt.
    Such pornographic and homoerotic amusement is not rare among fascists and it helps to explain much about this White House: male prostitute and White House Press Corps member Jeff Gannon, reported Department of Homeland Security and NASA pedophilia, similar sexual abuse at Abu Ghraib that included adolescent teens of both sexes, Ken Mehlman’s and Joshua Bolten’s not-so-secret lives, George W. Bush’s sexual predilections, and Scooter Libby’s and Lynne Cheney’s bizarre sex-imbued novels.
    We can again learn from the GOP’s Nazi forbearers to put this all in context:
    Julius Streicher was the publisher of the Nazi German propaganda periodical Der Sturmer. Streicher also possessed one of the largest collections of abnormal pornography in Germany. In fact, Streicher used pornography in Sturmer to attract readers to the viciously anti-Semitic tabloid. Streicher was fired as a school teacher in Nuremburg after charges of pedophilia were brought against him. Streicher was so vile, other Nazis in the docket at Nuremburg objected to his presence with them at the trial.
    Rumsfeld’s predecessor in sexual perversion: Julius Streicher

    Reply

  9. bakho says:

    Carl Bernstein in VF suggests that Congress hold hearings. That would be a step forward. Getting rid of Rummy without isolating Cheney will not fix anything.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/features/general/articles/060417fege08

    Reply

  10. kgb says:

    Bush strikes me as someone who will purposefully refuse to do what he might know should be done, if he thinks people will think he was forced into it.
    In education, we call it ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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  11. Aunt Deb says:

    What would be the purpose of these changes, Steve? From this administration’s point of view, the problems it is encountering, the freefall in the polls, etc etc are not the consequences of its policies and people; no, these things are just bad luck or left-over potholes that the previous administration left in the road for the Bushies. Things can’t go wrong for the right people, Steve. Therefore, things are going well; just give it time and you’ll see. That really does seem to be Bush’s attitude.
    Which is why many are scared by Bush and Cheney; they aren’t morally normal people. So perhaps it isn’t quite as simple as moving out the old guys and putting in some new ones; first, you have to find new ones willing to come on board for the last two years of what most Americans think is a terrible trainwreck in the making. Because it would be coming on board; you wouldn’t be given the throttle.

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  12. Nuremberg says:

    Bush, Cheney and Rumsberg belong before the equivalent of a Nuremberg tribunal.

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  13. Trip says:

    Don’t tell the monkey what cards to play, Einstein! Let him just keep screwing it up so that the gift is indeed given.

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  14. LJ says:

    Steve, Your long term commitment toward Bush getting better people into positions of authority is admirable. The only problem is that Bush likes these people to be where he puts them. If you really don’t like the kind of things that Bush’s people are doing, I suggest you go to the source and quit pretending that things will get better by not having Bolton, Rumsfeld, etc. in office.
    Bush likes Rummy; he really really likes him.

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  15. Ryan Oddey says:

    And the right wonders why we call him bubble boy. Clearly Bush thinks Rummy is doing well, and he thinks Iraq is just fine. It is unfortunate that the rest of us are stuck in reality while Bush gets to live in fantasy land.

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  16. Punchy says:

    Mr. Clemons, you must be typing such material with a smirk on your face! You, me, and I’m guessing 99.3% of the population KNOW there’s no way he’ll ever toss out Rumsfeld. He cannot, b/c he doesn’t have the power to–Cheney does. Those two, with others, have been the whole power structure in the Admin since 9.12.01. George is merely the Happy Patsy who fumbles around and spews malaprops.
    As an above poster said, he seemingly acts just becuase he’s told he cannot (Iran, NSA, etc.) and refuses to do things that he’s instructed that he must. GB really does have the maturity and critical thinking skills of a teenager. With the power of an entire military to beat up whomever pisses him off. Frightening to the n’th degree.

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  17. penalcolony says:

    Bush may already know that change is upon him — like it or not — in the form of Patrick Fitzgerald. Shortly before Libby’s indictment, Hadley was reported to be telling friends that he, too was expecting to be charged. And then, of course, there’s Rove. If both of them will have to be replaced in the not so distant future, that would make three out of five, so why throw Rumsfeld (let alone Cheney) overboard?

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  18. Ducktape says:

    I think you’re right in your analysis of what he needs to do, but I think you’re wrong in your expectation that he would do it.
    Bush strikes me as someone who will purposefully refuse to do what he might know should be done, if he thinks people will think he was forced into it.
    Which leads us to the worst of all worlds — someone who can’t see how NOT to screw up, but then will dig in his heels and continue the screws up because if he stops, it might be seen as an admission that he had screwed up in the first place.
    I have an ex like that … absolutely determined to fail to prove the he doesn’t need anyone’s advice. The really funny thing that he could never understand was that anyone could manipulate him to do something, just by telling him forcefully that he mustn’t, and vice versa.

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  19. fran says:

    I’ve seen recent articles by Wayne Madsen saying what Steve eludes to here, “Secretary of Defense presided over behaviors that led to the image below, and to far worse:”
    Madsen claims there are many sickos in the Bush White House that were viewing these horrid sex photo-ops, and hence, in part the reason for this White House behavior. Madsen claims rumsfeld did indeed virtually order this behavior.
    I know what the word “is” is, but if true, isn’t rumsfeld’s “war on terror” thoughts and plans here as sick as bush’s lying us into war??

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  20. blogenfreude says:

    Sent the “I’m the decider” comment to Bushisms at Slate (and blogged it) – it’s a classic. “Misunderestimated” squared.

    Reply

  21. Maxwell says:

    It will be difficult to find a competent replacement who will agree to take orders from Cheney, pretend to be taking orders from Bush, and all the while lack the power to implement the recommendations of career officers.

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  22. Stinker Shenanigans says:

    Bush ditch the Rummy? Not in ten million years. Bush don’t care about no stinking generals or what they have to say about anything! Damn generals are just being disloyal anyway. Who cares if the Iraq preemptive quagmire turned civil war is wholly out of control, that mess didn’t enter into the mind of Delirious Caesar George Bush at the beginning. Rational and logical political actions are certainly not going to enter the Bush equation at this late date.

    Reply

  23. bakho says:

    I would add Secretary of State Rice to your list. Replacing Card with Bolton signals a change? Captain Ahab does not want change.

    Reply

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