Skip to comments.Rumsfeld Critic Zinni: USS Cole Blunder My Fault
Posted on 04/18/2006 10:38:57 AM PDT by Carl/NewsMax
Former CENTCOM Commander, Gen. Anthony Zinni - who has called for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign because of his alleged incompetence in running the Iraq war - admitted six years ago that he made the disastrous decision to have the U.S.S. Cole use the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling, where the ship was blown up by al Qaeda terrorists.
Worse still, at least one report indicates that Gen. Zinni may have played a role in an August 1998 leak that tipped off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack - allowing the top terrorist to escape.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in October 2000, a week after the Cole attack, the then-recently retired Zinni said: "I pass that buck on to nobody."
The Rumsfeld critic explained that he personally signed off on berthing the Cole in Yemen even though "their coast is a sieve for terrorists."
"The threat conditions in Aden were better than elsewhere," he insisted, citing risk assessments for Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
Gen. Zinni said that cutbacks in the size of the Navy's fleet during the Clinton years made it necessary to use regional ports for refueling, noting: "Ten years ago, we did all refueling at sea" using Navy oilers.
Still, prior to the Cole attack, there's no record that Gen. Zinni ever complained about Clinton era defense cuts.
In what may be an even more troubling development, a report indicates that the leading Rumsfeld critic may have inadvertently played a role in tipping off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack two years before the Cole episode.
Two days after President Clinton ordered the attack on bin Laden's encampment in Khost Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported:
"Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper, quoting unidentified sources in London today, reported that Pakistan leaked to bin Laden news about an impending U.S. strike. The sources said the leak was aimed at limiting casualties, so that bin Laden would have less justification for a counterattack.
"A Pakistani government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Gen. Anthony Zinni, commander of the U.S. Central Command, was in Peshawar the day before the attack to meet with Pakistani officials.
"Other Pakistani sources said Zinni came with a team of U.S. intelligence experts whose task was to pinpoint the camps and determine bin Laden's exact whereabouts."
Try him for treason!
As the saying goes ...a short pencil is a lot better than a long memory.
Apparently too many of the whiners can be tripped by their own quotes. Thanks for doing the work the MSM refuses to do (to liberals).
And now this general is found to have been sharing intel with Pakistanis on OBL's location?
Are these two different times?
Carl....PASS THIS ON TO RUSH AND MICHAEL MEDVED AND SEAN AND TONY AND HUGH HEWITT!!!!!!! This is HUGE!!!.
And the press is worried about the Plame nonsense?! We could have obliterated OBL long before 9-11, and this SOB has the gall to criticize Rummy?
Carl, Zinni is also anti-Israel....can you write about that fact also?? Thanks.
I'm betting that Clinton ordered the leak because he didn't really want to go to the trouble (and face criticism) of actually getting Bin Laden...he just wanted to look like he was trying.
What was it that I remember Zinni for other than being one of the newly-annointed Six Generals of Discontent.
He did something else, worked on the Israeli - Palestinian thing maybe? I just cannot recall.
In a hairbrained scheme that was personally approved by then-President Clinton, the CIA deliberately gave Iranian physicists blueprints for part of a nuclear bomb that likely helped Tehran advance its nuclear weapons development program.
You and your team do great work.
Yet another reason to elect a socialist democrat. We could elect another Klinton and downsize the entire military force, decommission all our ships, mothball all our tanks and planes, and put the troops to working in national parks and city parks picking up trash and cutting grass and weeds. This would be PERFECT!!! /sarcasm on and hot!
"Gen. Zinni may have played a role in an August 1998 leak that tipped off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack - allowing the top terrorist to escape..."
Presiding over a Know-Nothing Do-Nothing Administration!
...that is unless you were a Branch Davidian or a little boy from Cuba.
Clinton also spent more on procuring Anthrax vaccine for troops rotating through CENTCOM than he did on Body Armor.
Zinni the Pooh ran CENTCOM.
I guess that depends on your definition of "blown up."
Did it sink, like the ships at Pearl Harbor, as a result of being blown up?
When JFK's entire cabinet expressed thier individual points of view on a matter during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, he listened and announced that the vote was 9 to 1 (his)and thus, the majority of one carried the decision. Harry Truman did the same regarding the relief from command of General MacArthur, he was the lone voice in the cabinet room for that result.
The supervailing point being that staff and advisors are there to be the collective Devil's Advocate for the position that differs from the boss. And, after considering their views, the boss makes a decision on his own since the ''buck'' stops with him. In Rumsfeld's case, he wouldn't even listen and punished any officer with a pre-decision differing point of view than that widely known by the group to be that of the boss. It would be the rare senior staff officer who hadn't served under a superior having a similar management methodology. It would also be the rare agency, operational entity or unit that saw such a superior's survival after a series of his unilateral decisons made in direct contradiction to the senior staff experts in any given area of operations, logistics or policy, they get replaced after a pattern of failure develops.