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Rumsfeld Visits Mosul, No Question About It

Reported by Ellen - December 24, 2004

FOX News Reporter Megyn Kendall was back on Alan Colmes' radio show last night to talk about Rumsfeld again. This time it was to discuss the "breaking news" that Rummy made a surprise visit to the troops in Mosul. Colmes noted the politically advantageous timing of Rummy's visit and repeated his criticisms of Rummy from the night before. But, oddly (to me, anyway), there was no mention by Colmes of any possible responsibility Rumsfeld might bear in the Mosul attack earlier this week. Of course, Kendall didn't bring it up, either.

As he did the night before, Colmes quite effectively highlighted Rummy's failings: His cavalier attitude toward the troops in his statement, "You go to war with the army you have, not the one you want," (Colmes called this an insult to the army), his condolence letters signed with an autopen, his statement about armored Humvees that "Some of them just blow up." Colmes said, "And now to show how much he cares about the troops, there he is." Later, Colmes mentioned Rummy's poor planning for the war, the broken promises that we'd be greeted with flowers and be out of there by now, etc. Colmes even sniffled along, as he did the first time, when he re-played Rumsfeld's heartstring-tugging statement about how much he cares for our troops. Later on, during a visit with Santa Claus, Colmes told Santa that for Christmas he (Colmes) wanted Rumsfeld removed from office.

So it's all the more curious to me that Colmes still hasn't mentioned the serious security breach that seems to have been behind the Mosul blast. One AP report on FOXNews.com says, "Brig. Gen. Carter F. Ham -- commander of Task Force Olympia, the main U.S. force in northern Iraq -- also reported the bomber was likely wearing an Iraqi uniform and said the attacker may have gotten through the vetting process run by U.S. and Iraqi authorities."

Another AP report on FOXNews.com says,

(The attack) represents a breach of the most basic principles of military security and points to significant weaknesses in the screening of Iraqis who are allowed onto the base, experts say. "This is an incredible occurrence, that someone could have come in undetected with some kind of bomb," said Mitch Mitchell, a retired Army officer who helps design security training for the military. "It blows my mind that force protection on the base is that poor."

That same article reports another cavalier statement from Rumsfeld that avoided taking any responsibility.

"(It's) an enormous challenge to provide force protection. They have to be right 100 percent of the time," he said, standing at Myers' side. "An attacker only has to be right occasionally." Rumsfeld said he was saddened that anyone could believe he was not fully committed to security for U.S. forces. Still, he said the explosion should be put into the context of the larger war. "I mean, think about the murders that take place in every major city in the world. One could say, "Well, why aren't they stopped?" ... And they are terrible things. And the loss of life is heartbreaking and it's a normal human instinct," Rumsfeld said.

In other words, s**t happens.

But Mitchell, an analyst with the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the military's National Defense University, said, "It shows you the level at which force protection was addressed on that base, and it wasn't very high."

I don't know about you, but I'd think that a Real Journalism, Fair and Balanced news network would discuss the Mosul breach as part of the broader issues surrounding Rumsfeld, given all the heat in the news that Rummy has taken lately, and given that three prominent Republican senators (Lott, Hagel and McCain) have called for him to step down.

But, apparently, mum's the word on FOX about Rummy's Mosul responsibility. Also on FOXNews.com is a video report by Bret Baier on the Mosul attack which says that the suicide bomber may have been employed at the base or showed up with a stolen uniform (It's hard to say which would be worse, don't you think?) but that force protection measures are being strengthened, the vetting process is sound despite it's being "not satisfactory" in "at least this one instance." (I'd call that a failure) and that already there is a difference in security and attitudes.

I scouted around the blog to see if other FOX News shows had made a link between Mosul and Rumsfeld's job performance but found only Nancy's Fox News Live post in which Bill Kristol said Rummy should go, but does not seem to have linked him to this latest reason.

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