Bye Bye Rumsfeld

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Republican leaders are reporting that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down.
Former CIA Chief and Texas A&M President Robert Gates is taking Rumsfeld’s chair.
I hear the troops are overjoyed.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

35 comments on “Bye Bye Rumsfeld

  1. prabhat says:

    leaving company

    Reply

  2. pauline says:

    from Wayne Madsen today —
    November 9, 2006 — Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates in position to know about Iran-Contra scandal. The Final Report of Judge Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Matters, issued on Aug. 4, 1993, concluded, “Robert M. Gates was the Central Intelligence Agency’s deputy director for intelligence (DDI) from 1982 to 1986. He was confirmed as the CIA’s deputy director of central intelligence (DDCI) in April of 1986 and became acting director of central intelligence in December of that same year. Owing to his senior status in the CIA, Gates was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities.”
    The report continued, “Gates was an early subject of Independent Counsel’s investigation, but the investigation of Gates intensified in the spring of 1991 as part of a larger inquiry into the Iran/contra activities of CIA officials. This investigation received an additional impetus in May 1991, when President Bush nominated Gates to be director of central intelligence (DCI).”
    Walsh re-focused on Gates after Clair E. George, the CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations stonewalled the prosecutor on the role of Gates in Iran-Contra crimes. Walsh reserved the right to re-open the investigation of Gates but was stymied by the non-cooperation of George and Gates. Walsh said new information “could have warranted reopening his inquiry [of Gates], including testimony by Clair E. George, the CIA’s former deputy director for operations. At the time Independent Counsel reached this decision [not to prosecute Gates], the possibility remained that George could have provided information warranting reconsideration of Gates’s status in the investigation. George refused to cooperate with Independent Counsel and was indicted on September 19, 1991. George subpoenaed Gates to testify as a defense witness at George’s first trial in the summer of 1992, but Gates was never called.”
    According to former CIA officer: Gates gave “falsified reports and uncoordinated analysis” to the President of the United States. Bush selects Gates to replace a Defense Secretary who did the same thing.
    It is clear from the Walsh Report that Gates was an integral part of the illegal network that sold TOW anti-tank missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon and that proceeds from the arms sales were illegally diverted to the Nicaraguan Contras. That put Gates inside a web of conspirators in the illegal arms sales and money transfers who included Oliver North, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, intermediaries Manucher Ghorbanifar, Albert Hakim, Mohsen Kangarlu, and Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord, Hashem Rafsanjani (the nephew of Iranian leader Ali Akbar Rafsanjani), and other senior CIA officials.
    Former CIA officer Mel Goodman’s charges against Gates are cited in Mark Perry’s book Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA. Goodman said that Gates and CIA director William Casey were very much involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, having “purposely manipulated the Directorate of Intelligence in order to support the opening to Iran in 1985.” Goodman also charged that Gates and Casey “consistently underestimated evidence of economic problems in the Soviet empire because the data did not accord with their own beliefs; they had suppressed and derailed intelligence estimates that called into question Soviet sponsorship of international terrorism; they had dictated a study that showed Soviet complicity in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II when no such evidence existed.” Gates’ predecessor, Judge William Webster, according to Perry’s account, opened an investigation of Casey’s and his deputy Gates’ attempt to politicize the CIA. The Democratic Congress should subpoena the Webster investigation in the confirmation hearings of Gates to be Defense Secretary.
    In what makes the more recent lying about pre-war intelligence on Iraq seem like deja vu, Goodman said that Gates “had contempt for a process that was designed to allow independent analysis [and] the President of the United States was given falsified reports and uncoordinated analysis.”
    Gates obfuscation on Iran-Contra continues to this day. As President of Texas A&M University, Gates has been the host for the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library. In the bowels of the library are presidential papers that could shine a bright light on the Iran-Contra scandal. However, in November 2001, George W. Bush signed an executive order that upended the 1978 Presidential Records Act and permits the Bush Iran-Contra papers to be kept secret in perpetuity. The executive order also affects 60,000 pages of papers from the Reagan Presidential Library that include details of then-Vice President George H. W. Bush’s role in Iran-Contra. Robert Gates has always been a trusted consigliore for the Bush family. At the Pentagon, he will undoubtedly use his two years to clean up for Dubya and suppress incriminating information on the Iraq debacle — all in a continuing effort to protect the Bush family legacy. His nomination should be rejected.

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  3. pauline says:

    “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
    – George McGovern

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  4. Eli Rabett says:

    If Linc Chafee had won, would this have happened?
    The Bolton problem has gone away (strong maybe)
    You might think about that.
    Yes, Chafee was a good man at the wrong place in history and hopefully will go on to great success at other things.

    Reply

  5. Robert M. says:

    Can we just call the Iranians what they really ARE? They happen to be Muslim but we know that they are culturally/ethnically/intellectually PERSIAN. Whether its the current religio-fascists or later the new generation in power, they will ALWAYS be Persian with a world-view 3-steps down from Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven viewpoint.
    And as to Roger’s choices: Its #2, (just don’t pay attention to D.O.D. behind the curtain). #3 would be Barbara. She wants to have an harmonious time at Kennebunkport this Thanksgiving

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  6. mlaw230 says:

    I am afraid that moral purity does not fall near the top of priorities for these positions.
    The key to the current impasse appears to be Iran. Long suffering from Brit and then US domination it wants to reclaim what it perceives as its rightful role in the region. We ought to embrace that desire and welcome them into the community of nations. Just as Iraq was used as a counterweight for Iranian revolutionary sentiment in the 80’s now Iran can be used as a counter to Sunni extremism in the new century. A little respect here would og along way.
    In the end the ME is going to be lead by Middle Easterners, the Iranians have the resources, the population and the historical position to do so. As “non arabs” they also have a different culture, with a far better history of governmental institutions.
    With the proper ground work, a trip to “china” in Tehran, goes a long way to isolate the Syrians, stabilizes Afghanistan, secures the flow of oil and avoids an awful lot of death and destruction. They are the only nation state in the region strong enough to be the anchor on which to build a civil society.
    I know their current President is a throwback but the population is so young, the writing is on the wall both for him and his Mullah overlords.

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  7. pauline says:

    Rumsfeld Is Sacrificed, But Who Pushed Him Into The Flames?
    All Early Reports suggested he would not go quietly, Was he set up to go weeks ago?
    http://infowars.net/articles/november2006/081106Rumsfeld.htm

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  8. pauline says:

    Rumsfeld to voters: You just don’t understand
    “Flanked by the president who appointed him and the man who would replace him, Donald Rumsfeld just addressed the nation from the Oval Office. He said it has been an honor to serve with the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, but he didn’t mention that more than 2,800 of them have died in his ill-planned war in Iraq.”
    “Intead, Rumsfeld talked about the criticism he has had to endure as secretary of defense. “It’s been quite a time,” he said. Then he thanked George W. Bush for his leadership “in this little understood, unfamiliar war, the first war of the 21st century.”
    “The message was implicit but clear: Those who have criticized Rumsfeld for his conduct of the war just don’t understand what kind of war it is. “It is not well known, it is not well understood, it is complex for people to comprehend,” Rumsfeld said.
    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2006/11/08/rumsfeld2/index.html

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  9. Betsy says:

    The end of the Neocons? Let’s hope so. Normal Replublicans aren’t that scary.

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  10. Roger says:

    Intereseting snippet, Pauline.
    Again, I am really interested in why Gates didn’t accpet the DNI post a couple of years ago, but is taking SecDef now.
    How did CIA get along with Defense (Cheney) during the first Bush years?
    Is it:
    1) SecDef more prestigous than DNI?
    (I can’t imagine a worse time to take over defense)
    1a) He saw DNI post as a fall-guy or yes-man position
    (I can’t imagine the SecDef job will be much different)
    2) Bush, sr. influence / Protect W.?
    3)???
    Finally, does anybody think we might see changes in the Joint Chiefs?

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  11. daCascadian says:

    PUBLIUS >”…Gates is an abysmal choice.”
    Agreed but he is, IMO, a step in the correct direction & a sign that daddy is stepping in to rescue Jr (per their history).
    My choice would be Zinni but he does`t qualify under the law.
    “War is the easy part” – Anthony Zinni

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  12. pauline says:

    Just how good was Wayne Madsen’s reporting back on Oct 24th?
    “There is something afoot, in a very Shakespearean way, in the White House. Preparing for a post-election massacre of the GOP and the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary, two factions are emerging within the White House. One is the neo-con faction surrounding potential scapegoat Vice President Dick Cheney. This faction includes Cheney’s own staffers and his and Rumsfeld’s sympathizers in the Pentagon, National Security Council, State Department, and media and think tanks. The other is the faction coalescing around the other potential scapegoat — George W. Bush. This is the most interesting faction as it consists of George H. W. Bush and his closest friends — James Baker III, Lee Hamilton, former CIA Director Robert Gates, Alan Simpson, Sandra Day O’Connor, and other past luminaries of the George H. W. Bush administration.”
    “Bush’s choice to replace Rumsfeld is one of his new inner-circle advisers, Robert Gates. The circling of the wagons in the pending Bush-Cheney battle has begun. Many neocons, including Richard Perle and Ken Adelman, sensing that Cheney and the neocon cause is in trouble, have recently backed down from their early cheerleading for the Iraq war.”

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  13. Carroll says:

    Posted by erichwwk at November 8, 2006 04:21 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Very interesting…to me a good sign.

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  14. Carroll says:

    miaw230:
    Baker and those like him from the Reagan/Bush I years (and let’s not forget Kissinger) may be “old hands” but that doesn’t make them any more moral, just quieter about it. These are the guys who seem to be pushing for a coup d’etat against Maliki and the partitioning of Iraq, according to rumor. I agree they’re taking the toys away from W but when he was the Decider, at least our Decider was visible. Do you really think a shadow government of gray men is a “substantive change” for the better?
    Posted by eatbees at November 8, 2006 03:49 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    I have to agree with mlaw, and if I am not mistaken, while Baker said no options were off the table on Iraq, he also made a statement earlier that partioning Iraq was not a good idea.
    Besides a “shadow goverment” has been operating thruout Bush’s reign, this is just a different one.
    Sen Joe Biden is one of the idiots who is pushing partioning Iraq, and I think Shumer is also behind it, but I could be wrong on him.
    Anyway there isn’t going to be any “moral” way out of Iraq unfortunately.

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  15. Carroll says:

    Well I don’t think the appointment of Gates is bad …if he does represent the realist of the old Bush group.
    I am all for talking to Iran, Syria and all other ME countries to salvage whatever we can of US interest and reputation. I do not see how anything can be settled on Iraq or Iran to our benefit or anyone else’s without doing some serious horse trading in the region.

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  16. erichwwk says:

    Perhaps Rumsfeld’s resignation is a sign of change. But the recent UN vote on the Cuban embargo is perhaps a better measure of just for the US has to go to join the international community. As is the US stance on Israel, and on nuclear weapons.
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly told the United States on Wednesday to lift its four-decade old trade embargo against Cuba in a resolution adopted for the 15th consecutive year with near unanimous support.
    The vote was a record 183 to 4 with one abstention on a resolution submitted by South Africa. It called on Washington to lift its “economic, commercial and financial embargo
    Voting “no” with the United States were Israel, Marshall Islands and Palau. Micronesia abstained. Nicaragua and Iraq did not vote.

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  17. pauline says:

    May Rummy now go home and drink cases of diet pop while he watches tv.
    “DONALD RUMSFELD AND ASPARTAME”
    http://www.newswithviews.com/NWVexclusive/exclusive15.htm

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  18. erichwwk says:

    Bob Gates should fit right in with Elliot Abrams and John Negroponte in moving the military from a men and machine outfit, back to one of cloak and dagger
    in trying to hang on to empire and evade war crime prosecution.
    Better to fight the crooks in one place- Washington D.C. than to have to deal with them in our home states.

    Reply

  19. eatbees says:

    miaw230:
    Baker and those like him from the Reagan/Bush I years (and let’s not forget Kissinger) may be “old hands” but that doesn’t make them any more moral, just quieter about it. These are the guys who seem to be pushing for a coup d’etat against Maliki and the partitioning of Iraq, according to rumor. I agree they’re taking the toys away from W but when he was the Decider, at least our Decider was visible. Do you really think a shadow government of gray men is a “substantive change” for the better?

    Reply

  20. PUBLIUS says:

    DaCascadian:
    Thanks for the legal insight. I do not purport to be an expert in military or Pentagon law. Norman Schwarzkopf, Brent Scowcroft and others from the 1991 Gulf War would satisfy the legal requirements you invoke and offer realist Middle East expertise. Gates is an abysmal choice.

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  21. Erik Leaver says:

    Here are a few tidbits from Sen. Kennedy during Gates’ 1991 confirmation hearing (Nov 5, 1991).
    * Time and again during his tenure at the CIA, Congress was misinformed, deceived, denied timely notifications, and kept illegally out of the loop.
    * Mr. Gates knew about both Oliver North’s illegal Contra resupply network and the illegal sale of weapons to Iran but never acted to alert Congress or stop the illegal activity.
    * he was integrally involved with the secret sharing of intelligence to Iraq and our sharp tilt toward Iraq in its war with Iran. But Mr. Gates hid that action from Congress, too. It is important to keep in mind that this shift toward Iraq in its war with Iran began our ill-fated cozy relationship with Saddam Hussein.
    Talk about red meat for another round of confirmation hearings.

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  22. mlaw230 says:

    I wouldn’t complain about Gates. It appears that Daddy is taking the Army toys away from Dubya, as Gates is an old hand, part of the Baker/Hamilton Commission and likely to be their man on the inside.
    With a little luck, the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Perle bunch has been run out of town and the realists are going t o come back to try to slavage what can be slavaged in Iraq and the larger ME. Maybe Cheney’s petulant hunting trip on election day was a sign that he had gotten the word and went off to pout.
    Whatever you may think of Gates individually, this is an extraordinarily good sign of a substantive change of course.

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  23. JoMoHo says:

    Note to Rumsfeld supporters: Stalin had fans too.
    At some point a position becomes untenable. At some point the prevailing evidence should lead a fair-minded person to make the most “reasonable” conclusion.
    When the Army Times, hardly a liberal media outlet, comes down on the need-for-change side of the Rumsfeld question we are probably past that “reasonable” threshold for what’s right.

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  24. daCascadian says:

    PUBLIUS >”…If Democrats are smart, they will demand as Rumsfeld’s replacement the selection of a general or other senior military officer who has commanded forces in Iraq or Afghanistan ON THE GROUND…”
    According to the federal law (you remember there ARE laws in the U.S.A. don`t you ?), one must be off active duty a minimum of 10 years before being eligible for the position of SecDef
    “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill” – Sun Tzu

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  25. john o. says:

    Next co-conspirator to go: Bolton.

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  26. DonS says:

    uh, I think there has to be a confirmation hearing first. Maybe a dem or two could think to query Gates on Iran-Contra. Or is that considered a qualification these days?

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  27. Robert Morrow says:

    I think that Rumsfeld was the best man in the entire Administration, except for maybe Cheney. He ran a war that got rid of Saddam Hussein so I am very grateful. It is not like he had a magic wand to cure the problems of Iraq. It was a situation where it was not going to be easy no matter how he managed the situation.
    I give Rumsfeld an A+. Like the commercials say, there is no “easy button” for anything worth doing in life.

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  28. Proud Military Man says:

    Sorry Steve, the troops are NOT overjoyed. Rummy was actually well liked by many outside of the beltway. Sad part is, many inside the beltway have their heads buried too far up a variety of things to realize he actually did a pretty damn good job considering all that was put on his plate. He will be missed, yet change always brings a nice breath of fresh air to the 5-sided wonder box.

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  29. PUBLIUS says:

    Based on a quick review of Gates’ bio available online, the man is unqualified for the position of Secretary of Defense in these times. If Democrats are smart, they will portray Bush as weak on national security in making such a selection. We already have one incompetent Russian security expert filling one of the key cabinet positions. MEMO: The Cold War is over. MEMO: The war confronting the nation is in the MIDDLE EAST. If Democrats are smart, they will demand as Rumsfeld’s replacement the selection of a general or other senior military officer who has commanded forces in Iraq or Afghanistan ON THE GROUND. Such a confrontation favoring the realist perspective of the troops in opposition to the president’s choice is politically advantageous as well as in the national interest. Many commentators have noted that corruption polled as the “top” concern of voters for more than 40%. Iraq was another top concern for some 40% and terrorism was another top concern for some 35% (or vice versa). (Note that these are pluralities and not segments of a pool.) Unsurprisingly, both of the latter concerns – putatively of lesser importance than the largest plurality’s concern – fall under the rubric of: NATIONAL SECURITY. The election results are a rejection of “stay the course.” They are NOT a mandate for “withdraw now.” Ned Lamont failed in large part for failing to understand this distinction in his messaging/public opinion formation efforts concerning resolution of the war in Iraq (in addition to some of his embarrassingly amateurish media advertisements). More later in December. Two more years… much work left to do to persuade voters in the South that Democrats can take on the mantle of Commander-in-Chief in 2008.

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  30. Alex says:

    The only question I had about Rumsfeld was…Why?
    This job was something he certainly didn’t need.
    He was set for life financially after his private sector work.
    Why in the world subject himself to all the headaches of the position, and put his reputation at risk for a numbskull like George.
    Now he’s crashed and burned, and may yet be potentially liable for war crimes if the legislation is overturned that protects them.
    I think he deserves everything he gets because he’s as responsible as the rest of them, but it still makes me wonder why he would volunteer for this tour with Bush.

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  31. daCascadian says:

    It is going to be a VERY good Veteran`s Day this year
    Oh, and yes, he needs to be investigated to the full extent of the law.
    “You don’t prevent anything by war except peace.” – Harry S. Truman

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  32. Dan Kervick says:

    I’m glad the troops got what they want. But ultimately Rumsfeld is a scapegoat. Bush and Cheney have run this war, and will continue to run it.

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  33. Alex says:

    One crook (Rummy – Iraq) replaced by another (Gates – Iran-Contra).
    Progress!!!
    Cheney’s next. And hopefully Condi-kneepads after that.

    Reply

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