While saying goodbye to the troops in Iraq, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made what one can only hope was his last erroneous link between the war and 9/11: “We feel great urgency to protect the American people from another 9/11 or a 9/11 times two or three … .”

New York Times:

The outgoing secretary of defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, paid a surprise visit to Iraq this weekend and said American troops should stay in the country until the insurgents were defeated.

“We feel great urgency to protect the American people from another 9/11 or a 9/11 times two or three,” Mr. Rumsfeld said on Saturday, in remarks that were posted on the Defense Department’s Web site, in the Anbar province west of Baghdad.

“At the same time, we need to have the patience to see this task through to success,” he said. “The consequences of failure are unacceptable.”

[Sunday] was the second day of what American military officials said was Mr. Rumsfeld’s farewell visit to the troops. An American military spokesman said Mr. Rumsfeld was scheduled to travel to other bases outside Baghdad … before returning to Washington.

Last week, an independent panel that issued recommendations for changing strategy in Iraq, the Iraq Study Group, delivered a report amid mounting domestic anxiety about the war in Iraq, a month after midterm elections that brought the Democrats to power in Congress and prompted President Bush to dismiss Mr. Rumsfeld as defense secretary.

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