Skip to comments.W. House backs Rumsfeld as generals demand he resign
Posted on 04/13/2006 3:15:15 PM PDT by jmc1969
The White House gave a new vote of confidence to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday as yet another retired general demanded Rumsfeld resign.
"Yes, the president believes Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job during a challenging period in our nation's history," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.
A fifth retired general, Major Gen. John Riggs, added his voice to those opposing Rumsfeld. In an interview with National Public Radio, Riggs cited an atmosphere of "arrogance" among top civilian leaders at the Pentagon.
Rumsfeld "should step aside and let someone step in who can be more realistic," he said.
Of the Pentagon's civilian leadership, Riggs said: "They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda. I think that's a mistake, and that's why I think he should resign."
Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni kept up the pressure for Rumsfeld's scalp by telling CNN Rumsfeld should be held accountable for a series of blunders, starting with "throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq."
"I think he should (resign). This is not personal, believe me. We grew up in a culture where accountability, learning to accept responsibility, admitting your mistakes and learning from them was critical to us," Zinni said.
A recently retired two-star general, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the Germany-based 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, called on Wednesday for Rumsfeld to resign.
(Excerpt) Read more at in.today.reuters.com ...
Here we go again.
This serves nothing...but the agendas of some very spiteful, very evil, folks in the media and democratic party.
Who woulda thunk that NPR would ever become a hangout for retired American generals.
Reuters left out "Retired" Generals.
So what's your take? Should rummy resign?
No, Rumsfeld stepped on the pride of a lot of brasshats. They wanted a 1991 style operation. The 330,000 they were proposing would have not have contained many more boots on the ground that the force that Tommy Franks used. The rest would have been support.
How long will it take us to undo all the damage done to our military by the rotten lib scum who politically generalled the thing nearly into the ground during the 1990s? If Algore had won, there would be nothing left by now.
This is a key point. When I first read the title I was spun into thinking, "well if currently surving Generals (plural) are calling for him to step down maybe the Whitehouse should consider some action."
It took eight years for Clinton to royally screw up the FBI, CIA, state dept and yes, damage the military. What is surprising and down right unforgivable is for ANY general to speak out against their commander in chief's decision making during a time of war. I wish Bush would retaliate and at least punish these traitors somehow.
You'll never see a serving general or admiral call for the Secretary of Defense or any other civilian military head resign. That apparently doesn't mean that some aren't thinking it.
More to the point. We didnt have the time for a massive build up...we still wanted take the "initiative" in battle with the little surprise we had.
Plus...How would we have brought all those troops into the theater to be effective, since Turkey denied us another front to attack from? Franks did a good job with what he had in the time frame he had to do it in, which is why the oil fields in Iraq were pretty much taken intact and the people of Iraq were liberated without a Shermanesque type invasion plan.
So...these Generals are either oblivious to the "whyfor's" of Gen. Franks planning and the fluidity of the situation at the beginning of OIF or, worse, being disingenious with an axe to grind...methinks the later is more probable.
Shame on them.
Maj. Gen. John Batiste
I know of him...that is all I chose to say.
Forgot to add because it is Easter.
June 4, 2005
John Riggs to Donald Rumsfeld: "You Can't Handle The Truth!"
Like Tim Cruise receiving such an acid reply from Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men," supposedly rough and tough Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld cannot handle receiving reality from those in his charge.
This is one of the bonafide trademarks of the Bush Administration--either swallow the Kool-Aid or be damned. Mistakes don't matter--loyalty does.
Previously, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki (whose replacement was then quickly announced over a year ahead of time) told a Senate committee that 200,000 troops would be need to control Iraq after Saddma's downfall. Ace military-meister Rumsfeld pooh-poohed such a number and crack(pot) troop expert Paul Wolfowitz added that Shinseki's estimates were:
"wildly off the mark...I am reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators, and that will help us to keep requirements down."
Protecting ammo dumps (explosives now used against our troops) and oil pipelines, plus the prevention of looting--naw, none of that mattered. At least not to those planners and visionaries tucked away in the safe confines of Washington D.C. Their errors don't count, even if such result in higher body and maiming counts. Remember, it's all about loyalty. Nothing else.
This time it's military man John Riggs who was given the bum's rush for allowing that the emperor had no clothes (again).
Unceremonious end to Army career
Outspoken general fights demotion
By Tom Bowman
Sun National Staff
May 29, 2005
WASHINGTON - John Riggs spent 39 years in the Army, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery during the Vietnam War and working his way up to become a three-star general entrusted with creating a high-tech Army for the 21st century.
But on a spring day last year, Riggs was told by senior Army officials that he would be retired at a reduced rank, losing one of his stars because of infractions considered so minor that they were not placed in his official record.
He was given 24 hours to leave the Army. He had no parade in review, no rousing martial music, no speeches or official proclamations praising his decades in uniform, the trappings that normally herald a high-level military retirement. Instead, Riggs went to a basement room at Fort Myer, Va., and signed some mandatory forms. Then a young sergeant mechanically presented him with a flag and a form letter of thanks from President Bush.
"That's the coldest way in the world to leave," Riggs, 58, said in a drawl that betrays his rural roots in southeast Missouri. "It's like being buried and no one attends your funeral."
So what cost Riggs his star?
His Pentagon superiors said he allowed outside contractors to perform work they were not supposed to do, creating "an adverse command climate."
But some of the general's supporters believe the motivation behind his demotion was politics. Riggs was blunt and outspoken on a number of issues and publicly contradicted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by arguing that the Army was overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan and needed more troops.
"They all went bat s- - when that happened," recalled retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay M. Garner, a one-time Pentagon adviser who ran reconstruction efforts in Iraq in the spring of 2003. "The military part of [the defense secretary's office] has been politicized. If [officers] disagree, they are ostracized and their reputations are ruined."
A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or equipment.
Over the past several decades, generals and admirals faced with far more serious official findings - scandals at the Navy's Tailhook Convention, the Air Force Academy and Abu Ghraib prison, for example - have continued in their careers or retired with no loss of rank.
Les Brownlee, who was then acting Army secretary and who ordered that Riggs be reduced in rank, said he stands by the demotion. "I read the [Army inspector general's] report and made that judgment. I happen to think it was that serious. Maybe I have a higher standard for these things," Brownlee said in an interview. "I still believe it was the right decision."
Rumsfeld's office had no comment for this story, referring all questions to the Army, which issued a statement.
The two contracting infractions "reflected negatively on Lt. Gen. Riggs's overall leadership and revealed an adverse command climate," the Army statement said. "Based on the review of the investigation and Lt. Gen. Riggs's comments, the Acting Secretary of the Army [Brownlee] concluded that Lt. Gen. Riggs did not serve satisfactorily in the grade of lieutentant general."
Garner and 40 other Riggs supporters - including an unusually candid group of retired generals - are trying to help restore his rank.
But even his most ardent supporters concede that his appeal has little chance of succeeding and that an act of Congress might be required.
From the ranks
Riggs' rise to three-star general was heady stuff for a man who left the family's cotton farm in Missouri and enlisted in the Army in 1965, the same year America deployed combat troops to Vietnam. After three years as a soldier, Riggs went through Officer Candidate School and soon was piloting a twin-rotor Chinook above the central highlands of Vietnam.
On March 17, 1971, Riggs flew the lumbering, troop-carrying helicopter on a voluntary medevac mission to a base at Phu Nhon which had been under heavy attack from a battalion of North Vietnamese soldiers, according to Army records. On his first approach to the base he was forced back by enemy fire, but he tried another flight path and was able to set down on a small and dusty landing zone.
he young officer flew out 59 wounded soldiers, 30 of whom "probably would have died if Captain Riggs and his crew had not acted as they did," said Riggs' citation for the Distinguished Flying Cross, a top medal awarded for "exceptionally valorous actions."
After the war, Riggs worked his way up through the ranks in the Army, serving in Korea and Germany as well as a stint with NATO headquarters in Brussels. He commanded troops from the platoon level to the First U.S. Army, which is based in Georgia and is responsible for training National Guard and Reserve troops east of the Mississippi.
Among Riggs' accomplishments with the First Army was the largest rotation of part-time troops since World War II, when the Guard's 29th Infantry Division, which includes troops from Maryland and Virginia, deployed to Bosnia for a peacekeeping mission in 2001.
What a hugely distorted headline.
It amounts to overt pervarication.
I wonder if the articles announcing his getting on the bandwagon against Rumsfield also mention that he was fired for opposing the Iraq war? The article also should mention that he appeared on the socialist oriented NPR. Malcontent retired General criticises his former boss on marxist public radio that nobody listens to, but the news was picked up anyway by the drive by media.
Those Generals are just upset because Rumsfeld would not let them throw the war in the toilet.
NO, HE ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT RESIGN.
W. House backs Rumsfeld as
generals Clinton era political Komisars demand he resign
Since when did spending their entire adult lives serving their country in peace and war mean that these men forfit their right to speak freely once they are out?
What's going on here? I don't remember retired generals ever speaking out against an administration before - regardless of the party. Does this have something to do with the "all volunteer" army?
see post #16...
Clinton Generals.Go figure.Clinton replaced one of the greatest Generals we ever had during the Bosnian fiasco.General Joulwan for Ramsey Clark.Ramsey Clark was not qualified to shine his shoes,let alone replace him.I met General Joulwan when he was a LTC.Colonel,and he is a great man.If you notice,I never referred to Ramsey Clark as a General.It had a devastating impact on all involved.
Obviously a traitorous malcontent and Clinton suck-up. </sarcasm>
It's damned difficult taking orders from those who so obviously did not.
Perhaps because Ramsey Clark was Attorney General under Johnson? Wesley Clark was Joulwan's replacement, and Joulwan had been SACEUR for 4 years.
Zinni and these other generals have the amazing arrogance. So far, Rummy has pretty well designed not one, but two successful invasions. Yes, some things could have been done better (some people blame Tommy Franks, actually). But you are hard pressed to find ANY---I repeat, ANY---military operation in human history that has accopmlished so much with so few casualties. Churchill was right: the best thing generals can do when they retire is SHUT UP.
Rummy is absolutely hated by the top brass so I expect a hell of alot more to come out. What that means I am not sure of.
Gee, I would think military protocol or at the very least, their duty as patriots would keep any retired general from publically speaking out against their commander in chief's decision making during a time of war. I have no problem with any retired general bending our President's ear in private, but to willingly become political pawns, speaking out against our Secretary of Defense during wartime is unforgivable, IMO.
i would bet he has a greater understanding of the scope and magnitued of all issues. the generals are merely tools in his tool box to be used in the mix of the greater agena of which they are not typically aware.
although the one trick ponies call for his dismissal because he did not meet their needs but met the optimal mix.
let them say what they will, i doubt there is a more savy man for the role.
M. O'BRIEN: And then he(Batiste) went on to say he thinks Secretary Rumsfeld should step down. What do you say to that?
DELONG: Well, when he was in command over there, Tommy Franks and I had retired. When he was working for then -- Assistant Secretary Wolfowitz, the people who had access to -- who needed access to the secretary were the combatant commanders. That was Tommy Franks. And when we ran our plan through, our plan was run through the joint staff, every single one of the administration's secretaries played at an input in that operations plan, and I just don't see that. Dealing with Secretary Rumsfeld is like dealing with a CEO. When you walk in to him, you've got to be prepared. You've got to what you're talking about. If you don't, you're summarily dismissed, but that's the way it is, and he's effective.
M. O'BRIEN: Final thought, is Secretary Rumsfeld arrogant?
DELONG: I don't know if I'd use the word "arrogant." He's very sure of himself. And if you're not sure of himself, I guess you may consider him arrogant. But if you walk and know what you're talking about, you can have a very pleasant, professional conversation with the man.
So what's your take? Should rummy resign?
He should have them put back on active duty and give them each a drum of Pine-sol. Send them to McGuire or Travis AFB terminals to make sure the latrines are patrolled better than their mouths.
I know that historical parallels are invidious, but I think that it is conceded that if Hitler had not taken the advise of Guderian in 1940, the Wehrmacht would have repeated the invasion of 1914 through Belgium , the Allied positions along the Meuse would have held. The Germans simply did not have the weight that they had in 1914.
""Since when did spending their entire adult lives serving their country in peace and war mean that these men forfit their right to speak freely once they are out?"
I absolutely agree. I'm really disturbed that we treat retired generals like traitors on this board, simply because they spoke out. Do we, sitting at home typing on our computers, know more about the failures and accomplishments of our war strategy than retired generals who actually served in this war? I believe that supporting our troops should mean actually SUPPORTING them, even when we disagree with what they say.
I believe General Joulwan is teaching at West Point,not defending Saddam Insane.
”Iraqis, frankly, in my experience, do not understand democracy. Nor do they understand their responsibilities for a free society.”
--Retired Major General John Batiste, CNN, today
My later post is about the men whon become generals....heroes, heroic, whatever. They remind me of former presidents.
#27: I don't know if a general ever "retires."
The ego that is involved in being "general" probably precludes ever thinking in the box of "civilian who is(slight change, as I re-read and correct) to privvy to squat and therefore knows diddly."
The same applies to former presidents (Carter and Clinton come to mind.) who aren't privvy to current intel but "armchair" quarterback with the rest of us civilians.
All the "formers" can only, ad infinitum, say is "Well, when I was in charge......"
Not worth a whole lot.
To "demand" resignation is beyond arrogant. But, then, that's PART of what got those men to general and president in the first place: supreme self-confidence (REAL close to arrogance).
They may be 100% wrong, but they have earned the right once they're out to speak their mind. They have credibility that none of us have earned, since none of us are retired generals. They were in a better position than we to know if Rumsfeld bungled the Iraq occupation and reconstruction.
Just a thought.
That'll do it.
from what I've heard, the Pentagon procurement to consulting job gravy train has been derailed and the pot of gold at the end of the Flag officers rainbow has lost a little luster. Even before Clinton, there had developed quite the little ticket punching all the way to a double dipping retirement for the Golden Years of Pentagon and flag officers.
The new Sec Def has put the kibosh on that. Look at Paladin, and several other "systems" and "platforms" that have been cut or modified.
The one that will never die is the Osprey. But maybe some real curious FReeper in the DC area or within the 5-sided building in DC can inform us of the little soap opera that is being played out to anger so many flag officers....
Before the Osprey-philes start flaming me, I've personally spoke with several Marine aviators including two squadron commanders that just smile and shake their heads when asked about Osprey. Like the little accident last week that we haven't heard about. Doggone software problems, black box problems, flight avionics glitches....
Follow the money and usually you'll find the answer....
' Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni kept up the pressure for Rumsfeld's scalp by telling CNN Rumsfeld should be held accountable for a series of blunders, starting with "throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq."
Zinni !? Zinni of the " it`s DA Jooz fault" Zinni !?
" Zinni during his interview with "60 Minutes," in which he said it "was the worst-kept secret in Washington" that neoconservatives( NEO-CONS AKA DA JOOZ) had sold Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on a plan to democratize the Middle East. Those remarks drew criticisms from officials at both the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Republican Jewish Coalition...Zinni sounded a similar note in his "60 Minutes" interview, complaining that he was "called antisemitic" for writing an article in which he mentioned Bush's neoconservative advisers."
" ..Zinni is not comfortable just with criticism of how the war or post war effort was run. He needs to blame people, and he wants heads to fall. And he names names -- in particular the group he calls the neocons, naming five men: Doug Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Richard Perle, and Ellot Abrams, as the key ideologues ..."
ZINNI SAYS IT`S DA JOOZ, DA JOOZ !!!