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Retired Officers Blast Rumsfeld on Iraq

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Posted on Sep 26, 2006
Gen. John Batiste (Ret.)
From YouTube

At a Democratic Senate forum Monday, several former U.S. generals and colonels called the secretary of defense incompetent in his prosecution of the Iraq war.

Watch the testimony of Major General John R.S. Batiste, a former senior military assistant to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and commander of the 1st Infantry Division, and who served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. (He explains why he retired from the service—and a promising career—“on principle” because of the way Rumsfeld was running the war.)

Watch the testimony of Major General Paul D. Eaton, who was responsible for training the Iraqi military from May 2003 to March 2004, and for rebuilding the Iraqi police force from March through June 2004.


  • Links to other videotaped testimony from the hearing

  • N.Y. Times:


    Square, Site wide
    Retired military officers on Monday bluntly accused Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public.

    ‘‘I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq,’’ retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste told a forum conducted by Senate Democrats.

    A second military leader, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, assessed Rumsfeld as ‘‘incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically.’‘

    ‘‘Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision-making,’’ Eaton added at the forum, held six weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, in which the war is a central issue.


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    By CPAinChicago, September 28, 2006 at 12:32 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Don’t worry, pretty soon the same old Viet-nam arguments will be trotted out:

    *  “We didn’t fight hard enough to win in Iraq.”

    *  “We could’ve just bombed them back to the stone age.”

    *  “The left-wing media traitors and leaked news reports caused us to lose”

    Pretty soon, we will be forced to leave Iraq and you’ll see all of these B.S. statements in places like FOX news…  And the reality is that those of us in the “reality-based community” will have to put up with them for the next 20 years…

    Report this

    By Mr. Unite Us, September 27, 2006 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    So where is the so called liberal media.

    The public has a right to know.

    I understand that retired military officers that testified were Republicans.

    Report this

    By Manny, September 26, 2006 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Men of ego seldom think out other points of view. Mr. Rumsfeld is only following his nature.
    I think to blame him for the entire mess in Iraq
    is unfair. I blame Mr. Bush for all of it. He had to give the approval for all the money and manpower. Congress was also their but they were just door stops in the halls of Congress. To replace Mr. Rumsfeld would be a waste of time. Mr. Bush would find a another Necon to take his place.

    Report this

    By G. Anderson, September 26, 2006 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yes, but it’s not going to stop Mushroom Clouds over Tehran…

    Yes it’s all true, Rummy… is just a bean counter..with an obsessive compulsive personality disorder, I bet he washes his hands 150 times a day….

    But Bean Counters like Rummy lack imagination, insight and vision.

    They can be quite inuitive at times, when it comes to numerical analysis, but they have a dificult time with “the Big Picture”.

    I’m sure Rummy’s numbers are good, but he’s so concerned with the details, he hasn’t grasped the fact that we are getting are assess handed to us….

    Our army has been trashed, by him, and those inaffable hard to “quantify”, concepts, like morale, exhaustion, and fighting for a cause… some of the most important things in a war… are lost on him…

    Yet, our military leaders.. seem helpless against the Neo Con Artists and their “the ends justify the means” philosphy of beauracratic russian roulette, of forcing Generals who know better to kiss butt or get out, keep their mouth shut or loose your retirement…..

    I suppose there is one thing that Rummmy will eventually understand….. Military defeat….

    and I wouldn’t be too sure that we can just fly into Tehran and drop some nukes and walk away unscathed.. the Iranians are well armed, well trained….and won’t just eat our bombs…..

    there may be quite a bit of an upsurge in hand washing for Rummy at the end of all of this…...there may be nothing else to do in prison for days on end, because when we get our assess kicked, there will be a price to pay… and guess who’s going to pay it….

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, September 26, 2006 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Rumsfeld isn’t listening to or caring about what anyone has to say about his abilities. Neither does GWB or Cheney. They’ve been “elected” and as long as they keep their hands out of the cookie jar, and flies zipped, they’re going to “lead” us, even if it’s over a cliff.

    We are expected to follow without complaint.

    So far, they and we are living up to expectations.

    Report this

    By John Lithgow, September 26, 2006 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “We need a Manhattan project” (Major General Paul D. Eaton)


    Report this

    By Donovan, September 26, 2006 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    How much more will it take for people to recognize Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, & Co. for what they are?  They are incompetent; plain and simple.

    Irregardless of any conspiracy, these politicians do not know how to do their job.  Why are Americans so ambivalent over their blundering?

    Report this

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