Friday, April 14, 2006

NYT: Fifth General calls for Rumsfeld to step down (David S. Cloud & Edward Wong)

The widening circle of retired generals who have stepped forward to call for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation is shaping up as an unusual outcry that could pose a significant challenge to Mr. Rumsfeld's leadership, current and former generals said on Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, on Thursday became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to call publicly for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster. Also Thursday, another retired Army general, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, joined in the fray.

The above is from David S. Cloud and Eric Schmitt's "More Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation" in this morning's New York Times. Bully Boy's probably asking himself what would Andrew Card say? Maybe that you don't change the car model right before the fall rollout?

ADDED: Fifth? Sixth. My count was wrong.

From today's Democracy Now!:

6th Ex-Military Commander Calls For Rumsfeld's Resignation
Here in the United States, another high-ranking retired military commander has publicly called for the ouster of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In an interview with the New York Times, Major General Charles Swannack Jr. said: "I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq." Up until 2004, Swannack was the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. He is now the sixth retired general to call for Rumsfeld's resignation in recent weeks. On Thursday White House spokesperson Scott McClellan defended Rumsfeld, saying he is doing a "very fine job."

On that topic, Mia notes Missy Comley Beattie's "The Boy President Who Cried, 'Wolf'" (CounterPunch):

"Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!" When the villagers came to help the boy who cried, "Wolf," the boy laughed. He had been bored.
"WMD! WMD! Saddam has WMD!"
When no WMD were found, the boy president said: "Regime change ... evil dictator." But he was pulling the wool over the eyes of the public so they couldn't see that he was just trying to get reelected. And he wanted oil.
"Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong!"
George W. Bush is the boy who cried, "Wolf! Wolf!" George W. Bush is the boy president who cried out even though there was no threat from Iraq. George W. Bush is the boy who cried out and spent every bit of his political capital. And now there's nothing left. But there is a whole lot wrong.

As for the White House's position, Martha notes Peter Baker's "White House Defends Rumsfeld's Tenure" (Washington Post):

The White House came to the aid of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld yesterday, rebuffing calls from several retired generals for his resignation and crediting him with leading the Pentagon through two wars and a transformation of the military.
"The president believes Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job during a challenging period in our nation's history," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said at a briefing. He went on to read long quotations from the nation's top military officer, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, praising Rumsfeld's dedication and patriotism.

As a video reviewer, Edward Wong is lucky to be writing for the New York Times. However, there is an interesting passage in his "Al Qaeda's Man in Iraq Gets Encouragement From His HQ:"

The Washington Post reported this week that the American military started a propaganda campaign years ago to portray Mr. Zarqawi as a towering villain in order to galvanize Iraqi opinion against him. Some military officials have said that campaign has enlarged Mr. Zarqawi's reputation, The Post reported.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a military spokesman who often attributes violence in Iraq to Mr. Zarqawi's group, released a statement in response saying Mr. Zarqawi was a substantial enemy, not a boogeyman concocted by the military.

Years ago? It's an ongoing campaign. And "The Post" (Thomas E. Ricks) reported that and also noted Dexy Filkins, the name that just keep giving (giggles), as someone who was fed, swallowed and . . . let's say spat, okay, spat out the propaganda. This is how it goes. This is how the Times proves, day in and day out, that not a damn thing changed with the mea culpa. The Green Zone press releases remain unexplored. When Dexter Filkins is fingered by the Post and even has a comment for the article as to why he repeated propaganda, the paper of record acts like it just didn't happen. Newsflash for the Times and Filkins, it's not over. It's not going away. What went into print Monday was just the start. It's almost a year since we first noted that Filkins is a joke to his peers. (That would be mainstream reporters.) And warned that velvet finger touch of Terry Gross would be far from the treatment he should expect. So he's outed by "The Post" on Monday and, on Friday, the New York Timid kinda' sorta' addresses it to their readers by noting that "The Post" stated a propagand campaign started years ago but failing to note that "The Post" has Dexy named and has Dexy on the record. The new Judith Miller is named. And the Times' responds how? With a non-response. That ought to build trust between it and the subscribers. Timid think its singing the lines to the Rolling Stones' "One Hit to the Body" (off Dirty Work -- how appropriate). They are mistaken.

Reminder, check inboxes for the latest gina & krista round-robin (should be in them now or shortly) -- among the highlights: Billie and Eddie report on the immigrant rights demonstrations in Texas, Maria and Zach, Cedric, Dona and Jim on the ones in California, Rachel on the big march in NYC; Mike, Wally and Jess on student activism in California and there's a roundtable with members who participated in immigrants rallies and demonstrations across the country.

Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today.

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