The Left in High Dudgeon Over Rummy
"Off with his head!" Can't you just see it? Rumsfeld being led up to the guillotine, slowly mounting the stairs, the crowd yelling with glee for Mr. Bush to pull the rope that will separate Rummy's head from his body. In the courtyard, the bunting is draped, the coffin prepared. The death certificate pre-signed with a robo-pen! Rummy is laid down his neck pinned by the block, the blade comes down at a furious pace, and.... and.... and stops!
Ahh, twas not reality, just the fevered dream of the radicalized left. Unable to unseat George, they've gone after Rummy with a vengence attributing to him all sorts of crimes and stupidities. Some of which may be even true. My good friend Marc Cooper has an excellent post (here) on the charges against Rumsfeld (even though IMHO he has missed the mark) including the charge of torture. Now, lest any of my friends on the left suppose that I am condoning torture, don't go there. I'm not and I think anyone that says "Well, torture in a time of war can be understood" the only answer is "Like Hell It Can!" We are the good guys folks, and we damn sure better remember that.
There is a difference however between torture and "tough" interrogation techniques. Loud music is tough but not torture; lack of sleep is tough, but not torture. Ahh, "But GM," I can hear you say, "what about beatings, what about abuse, what about ... ?" and I have to agree, those acts have absolutely no part in our custody of combatants, even illegal combatants who are outside of the Rules of Land Warfare as promulgated in the Geneva Conventions on Warfare!
Having said that let's look at the charges against Rumsfeld: 1. Rumsfled as the top dog in the Department of Defense is responsible for the actions of those under him. Verdict: Yes, and No. Responsible as the ultimate person in charge? True. Responsible for the specific act of brutality committed by a soldier? Not true! Reason: As the Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld has the legal and legitimate responsibility to engage our troops in warfare under the direction of Congress and the President but he cannot specifically oversee each act by each soldier in the entire chain of command. His charge is to find out what happened and begin the legal process against any soldier who violates the rules. That is quite different than what the left is asking for. Accountable? Yes! Directly responsible? No!Rumsfeld was confronted by a soldier in a Q&A session for sending that soldiers unit into combat with unarmored vehicles. Verdict: Not true! As the story developed, it turns out that more than 97% of the vehicles were armored and the rest were already scheduled. Glen Reynolds has a much more thourough posting here. That those making the original charge didn't follow up and continue to see what the real info was should not be a surprise to anyone. Also see the Power Line information here.The FBI complains in a story by the LATimes here that "inappropriate" techniques have been used in Iraq and Cuba including "...lighted cigarettes stuck in detainees' ears and Arab captives being humiliated with Israeli flags wrapped around them..." Now, lighted cigarettes stuck in the ear is torture, plain and simple! Even if the butt end was stuck in the ear with the "threat" of it burning down and burning the combatant it is torture, plain and simple indeed. But wrapping them in a Israeli Flag to "humiliate" them. Oh Please! Give me a break. I'm not going to get into "moral equivalence" type arguments, but my gosh, how tortured an argument against torture can you get? Actually, the whole LATimes article is a good read and it raises some legitimate points. But do we call for Rumsfeld to resign over it? Not yet methinks!