Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
If, over the years, you have only just casually surfed to this humble blog, I still feel certain you would already know that I hold the current Secretary of Defense in a very, very low regard.


An article in this morning’s Washington Post adds an intriguing gloss to that dirty ball of low, low regard.
The article reports on a transcript of Rumsfeld’s sworn April 1, 2005 questioning by DOD investigators looking into the Boeing Procurement Scandal, a transcript strangely missing from the June 2005 IG Report and requiring a FOIA request and year-long wait by the Washington Post.
While today’s Post story is filled with little shock ‘n awe blasts of Rummy’s brand of lying and evasion, I was most intrigued by this flat and rather stunning statement by the SecDef:

"I spend an overwhelming portion of my time with the combatant commanders and functioning as the link between the president . . . and the combatant commanders conducting the wars."

Here we have a key piece of information relating to a vital and rarely discussed element within 2003’s Iraq invasion and the resulting rapid drive to Baghdad.
Mr. Rumsfeld is the combat “link” for “an overwhelming portion” of his billable hours.
The summer of 2002 was heavy with pundit tales of Rummy’s lean and mean transformational strike forces.
It all sounded so action comic.
I know I first envisioned ordinary unarmored HumVee’s transforming, with blasts of red and blue lightening, into giant, heavily armored killer robots.
But what Rummy actually meant by that no doubt focus-grouped gerund was his plan for the lucrative privatized plundering of the entire DOD supply chain.
An organizational theft now slowed somewhat by scandal.
The drive to Baghdad was to be a tactical showpiece driven home by embedded video.
Rummy’s “overwhelming” military control and tremendous political needs must be the key element in a variety of perplexing and widely unreported events from the early days of April 2003.
Soldiers were abandoned with broken-down vehicles and ammunition stores ignored amid scattered reports of shortages of water, food and other provisions including blankets.
There were also a few stories describing a desire by some ground commanders for a regrouping pause in the advance.
For a brief period the military command shut down satellite phone and embedded contact.
Once restored, the scattered reports of trouble, like pesky sat phone static and sworn SecDef testimony, vanished.
Until Col. Joe Dowdy’s honor and courage also ran smack dab into Rummy’s PR campaign.
Then and more quickly, Colonel Dowdy, too, vanished.
Lean and Mean had to look, well, lean and mean.
Money was there for the taking as well as added pressure from ultra-wealthy and well-connected collectors lusting for certain rarified artifacts from the Iraq Museum.
Rummy’s “overwhelming” control seems to have dominated certain unmilitary behaviors observed between March 20 and April 14, 2003 and, by the Secretary's sworn statement, is directly and tactically responsible for the tar pit ensnaring America today.
Our brave young soldiers as well as certain equally brave but grayer noncoms and COs deserve far better.

An exciting TV offer...Folk Songs of the Far Right!

Modified Image: DOD, Reuters
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