August 25, 2004
Why Donald Rumsfeld still has his job is beyond me.
The Secretary of Defense wasn't alert to the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the summer of 2001.
Then, like the man who loses his keys in a dark alley but looks for them under the lamppost because there's more light there, Rumsfeld immediately wanted to bomb Iraq because he said there weren't enough targets in Afghanistan.
He repeatedly undercut the diplomacy of Colin Powell.
He grossly underestimated the number of troops needed for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
And he shares responsibility for the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, according to the new Schlesinger report.
"The abuses were not just the failure of some individuals to follow known standards, and they are more than the failure of a few leaders to enforce proper discipline," the report notes. "There is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels"--including Rumsfeld's level.
One member of the commission, Tillie Fowler, said, "We found a string of failures that go well beyond an isolated cellblock in Iraq. We found fundamental failures throughout all levels of command. . . . These failures of leadership helped set the conditions which allowed for the abusive practice to take place."
One of those failures, according to the report, was Rumsfeld's "decisions beginning on December 2, 2002, to authorize for use at Guant