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Bush blasts Rumsfeld

by Del McMullen / May 6, 2004 12:51 AM PDT
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I think they ought to do more than pull chains.
by Kiddpeat / May 6, 2004 12:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Bush blasts Rumsfeld

I'm still mystified that the same attacks continue to work.

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Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld
by Paul C / May 6, 2004 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Bush blasts Rumsfeld


The real problem here as I see it is that the Bush administration forgot the primary rule of bad news: When bad news happens, get it out, deal with it and be forthright about it.

In the past, every time an administration has been as immediately forthcoming as possible when a major snafu occurs, the damage - political and otherwise - has been minor. The real damage happens when an administration, irrespective of party, appears to be hiding something.

What is obvious is that the Department of Defense knew something was wrong as early as January. Something ought to have been released at that time with the promise that more information would be released later. As it actually happened, the DoD (to its credit) blew the whistle on itself by making the initial press release on this last weekend. What they did isn't the problem; the timing of what they did is.

One thing is certain: Whenever an administration - any administration - appears to be less than forthcoming, the media will enter feeding frenzy mode immediately.

That said, we also must admit an uncomfortable truth; that in a situation where the "combatants" are NOT uniformed military personnel, the permissable leeway granted under international law is greater than it would have been had they been uniformed combatants, and that it was OUR decision to declare them POW's when we were under no obligation to do so that has led us to this pass...

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Re:Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld
by Josh K / May 6, 2004 1:47 AM PDT

Hi Paul:

I don't think the problem lies in the technicality of whether or not these people were POWs. The simple fact is that the US is supposed to be better than this, and the mistreatment of these prisoners is going to do more to help the Al Qaeda recruiting drive than anything Bin Laden could have done. This could prove to be a major setback in the war on terror, and the punishment for the people involved, and those responsible for overseeing them, must be swift, severe and public.

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Re:Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld
by Dan McC / May 6, 2004 1:58 AM PDT

You can talk legal all you want to, but what we did to those prisoners, regardless of their status, was just wrong. Aside from the significant legal issues, this raises a host of problems on a regional and global scale.

For it to have any palliative effect in world opinion, punishment is going to have to be swift, harsh, and public. Pieces of paper put into folders in a Pentagon basement isn't going to do the job. It might help to to fire Rumsfeld now, and leave the lower ranking officers and intelligence people for the new guy to deal with with a semblance of impartiality.

But I don't expect bush's handlers to let him do that.


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Re:Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld - A couple quibles.
by crowsfoot / May 6, 2004 5:14 AM PDT

Hi Paul,

1) - "the DoD (to its credit) blew the whistle on itself by making the initial press release on this last weekend." - Not true. Two separate newsmen had been sitting on it for at least two weeks and kept being stalled by the DoD. One of them finally broke the story. (no link, from my TV watching,)

2) - A small wording quibble: "Department of Defense knew something was wrong as early as January." You might have said: no later than January.

3) - Then: your uniformed combatants v POW treatment hedge is not the point here.

Other than that, I agree with everything you said and with your analysis. Can't really play catch-up and drag your heels at the same time. Makes one look stupid, if nothing else.

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Re:Re:Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld - A couple quibles.
by Roger NC / May 6, 2004 6:23 AM PDT
1) - "the DoD (to its credit) blew the whistle on itself by making the initial press release on this last weekend." - Not true. Two separate newsmen had been sitting on it for at least two weeks and kept being stalled by the DoD. One of them finally broke the story. (no link, from my TV watching,)

Actually it knew last year, and I'm sure I heard on news that military released something in March in a press release, but can't find a link to that right now.

Warning, the following link quotes a lot of disturbing reports. But it shows that there was investigation long before last weekend. But it probably would have been better to be more forward about the news.

Last June, Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. ...

A month later, General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army?s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way.

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What the Air Head Generals in Iraq forgot
by Del McMullen / May 6, 2004 6:01 AM PDT

...was 'If you want someone with you at the crash landing; make darn sure they are on-board at take off'.

Bosses don't like surprises.

And if those idiots in Iraq didn't send this up the line when it first surfaced, it would appear they didn't recognize the importance of it, and this just might indicate a problem with the mind-set of the Chain of Command.

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Re:What the Air Head Generals in Iraq forgot
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / May 6, 2004 1:29 PM PDT

Hi, Del.

I don't have a link, but I heard a report on the radio today saying that a Pentagon spokesman explained the delay in dealing with the abuse issue as being because (close paraphrase -- best I remember it) "we were mainly concerned with the growing violence against our troop, and alleged abuse to prisoners was below our radar." Sheesh!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Actually, Paul.....
by Bo Boggs / May 6, 2004 6:58 AM PDT

It was brought to military attention shortly before Christmas. Investigations were started to determine first if the allegations were real.

In January (16th I think) it was briefed to the press that abuse allegations were being investigated and that charges had been filed on 6 military personnel.

Then Gen Taguba's investigation into the background was started. His report reached the pentagon in march, but there were still 4 other investigations pending.

As (apparently) Taguba's report said nothing substantially different from the January briefings (Other than details), no big thing was made of it. There are still charges pending against the individuals actually doing the abuse and the investigations up the Chain of Command are still pending.

No judgement on my part as to whether anyone was actually hiding something or if the media just got the pictures (BTW, How?) and on the heels of the coffin pictures decided to "break" a story that had been simmering for 4 months.


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Exactly, Bo..........
by Del McMullen / May 6, 2004 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Actually, Paul.....

I first heard in Nov '03, via an e-mail from in-country,
that there were allegations (rumors) of abuse. And then
in Jan '04 one of the news agencies indicated that the
talk of abuse was being looked into. Then nothing else
until the pictures came out.

I think most of us put the word abuse away with the thought
that someone probably punched out someone else. In a country
where we can do no right, and they can do no wrong, it
took the pictures to jar us into reality.

But it seems to me that the official knowledge from at
least Nov '03, was much more detailed than just the word
abuse. It had to be. How much was funneled up-stream,
and on whose whose desk it got tossed to the hold basket
pending further results from the inquiry, we might never

But at this point, on Monday morning again, with the pictures,
we are quick to criticize that the President, and others,
not knowing details with the ramifications that were present
in this story.

Maybe a lesson learned here, at least i would hope. As I
said earlier, if you want someone with you at the crash landing,
make darn sure they are on-board at take-off.

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Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld -- better link
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / May 6, 2004 3:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Bush blasts Rumsfeld

Hi, Del.

The "top level" link you used would expire when a new "hot" story took the top spot. This one should stay good:
Bush blasts Rumsfeld.
-- Dave K.

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Yep, expired. I was gon'a say thanks, Dave.
by crowsfoot / May 6, 2004 4:47 AM PDT

Your link reads: "Bush blasts Rumsfeld." but I don't see much blasting going on in the article you linked to. The only mention of Bush and Rumsfeld is this:

## When asked whether President Bush wants Rumsfeld to stay in his job, White House spokesman Scott McClellan replied: "Absolutely."
"The president greatly appreciates the leadership of Secretary Rumsfeld and all our men and women in the military who are doing an outstanding job," McClellan said. "The president has great confidence in the job Secretary Rumsfeld is doing and he appreciates his service."
In a private meeting between Rumsfeld and President Bush on Wednesday, Bush told Rumsfeld he was "not happy" that he learned about the photos by watching television, a senior administration official told CNN. ##

There IS, however, a interesting banner at the top of the page:
## BREAKING NEWS - President Bush says he is sorry for the humiliation suffered by Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. troops. Details soon. ##

First time for everything, I guess. <a herf = Ed's frozen hell pic>

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Re:Bush blasts Rumsfeld
by Angeline Booher / May 6, 2004 5:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Bush blasts Rumsfeld

I started getting antsy when Rumsfeld and Cheney apparently won over Powell.

And then I suspected the field officers did not exactly feel welcome to ask for more troops.

I think everybody realizes our military is spread too thin. They are physically and mentally tired. Even those not yet deployed are over worked. Though we are equipped technically, it takes humans to run and maintain those weapons. Judgment can also suffer.

As Commander-in-Chief, any President has to depend on the briefings given him - with the good and bad news. With this POW bit, it appears that the bad was kept from Pres. Bush.

The Chain of Command must be frazzled. Do the reports go to Rumsfeld first? Why was Gen. Myers the second-to-the-last to know?

Rumsfeld has been known for his, shall I say, forceful personality.

I feel even more antsy now as it reminds me of when the White House ran the Vietnam War, and the military took their orders from there.

What a difference in the Gulf War!

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