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Rumsfeld , the artful dodger, does it again

Reported by Chrish - November 21, 2005

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was a guest on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace 11/20/05. His answer to a question about troop needs in Iraq was particularly disengenuous .

Wallace reported that he had just learned about a Time magazine article which stated "the top leaders in the Senate Armed Services Committee - Carl Levin (MI), the ranking Democrat and John Warner (R-VA), the Chairman - met with ten military officers chosen for their experience in the battlefield and they said (we just got this this morning)

"In contrast to the Pentagon stock answer that there are enough troops on the ground in Iraq, the commanders said they not only needed more manpower but also had repeatedly asked for it" and then it quotes "A senior military officer as saying that they requested more troops as recently as August of 2005 but were turned down flat."

True or false?

Rumsfeld replied "Well, if you're asking in three years at some level somewhere in Iraq some commander, a colonel, wanted more troops, I don't doubt it for a minute. Because it then goes up to General Casey , he looks at the situation, allocates troops, decides where they'll go. And that certainly sounds plausible to me. He's the one in charge of seeing that the proper allocation takes place. He's also the one in charge of making recommendations to General Abizaid , to me and (Bush) as to the levels he wants, and the short answer is there's never been a single instance, whether under General Casey or under General Tommy Franks, where Washington has told them no, they can't have the troops they want. They have gotten every single troop they've requested."

Wallace then suggested they move on to another topic, which they did.

Comment: Rumsfeld turns the ten commanders "they" into Casey and Franks. One is left with the impression that there are and have been sufficient troops at all times in Iraq. Then why are these ten commanders saying otherwise? Why is there article after article, for three years now, saying they need /have needed more troops? Rumsfeld knows that the slightest whisper of insufficient troops brings up the issue of the d-word, DRAFT, and that will destroy the already waning support for the war/occupation. Recruitment is still down, deployed troops are weary, and the CBO says we can't afford this.

Rumsfeld, like his boss, passes the blame to people who work for him while telling us out of his other face what a great job they're doing. And Fox just lets him.

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