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8th Retired General Comes Out Against Rumsfeld

Reported by Donna - April 24, 2006

Yes, an 8th Retired General comes out against Rumsfeld, Bret Baier from Fox interviews him for over an hour and only shows the video of himself asking one question. I bet you can guess what that question was. He asked Lt. General Paul Van Riper (USMC Retired), "We're in the middle of a war. You, as a retired officer are now standing up and saying (the) Secretary of Defense is not getting it done. (Pause for effect) Does that hurt the war effort?"

Luckily, the Lt. General was even quicker than Baier. His response, "It conceivably can hurt the war effort but not to do so would hurt our country, would hurt our fellow citizens and those in uniform even more."

My transcript from the segment follows along with a clip from Crooks & Liars. Thanks to C & L for the clip and for fellow News Hound, Janie, for passing it along to me. The clip may show more than what Fox reported in this segment, I only reported on how Fox covered this segment on Studio B.

Shepard Smith: Well, breaking on Fox today an 8th retired General is now calling for the Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld to resign. Although this latest General retired before Rumsfeld took office he says he's still in touch with officers who are still serving. And, he says, many of them share his opinions.

Switch to video of Bret Baie on Capitol Hill:

Bret Baier: Van Riper says he talks almost daily with active duty and other seniorr retired officers who, he claims, share his view that there needs to be new civilian leadership in the Pentagon. Van Riper insists that many active duty and retired senior officers share his feelings that Secretary Rumsfeld has not fought the war in Iraq competently and he has run the Pentagon through intimidation. (Comment: Sorry, but I can see that, can't you?) Now, Van Ripen concedes that his knowledge of Rumsfeld comes from second hand information but also Van Riper said from his professional judgement as he watched the war unfold.

Van Riper has said he does not believe Iraq is the wrong war. He believed the war was started at the wrong time and it was not fought competently and he puts that blame on Rumsfeld.

Video of Lt. General Paul Van Riper (USMC retired):

Lt. General Van Riper (USMC retired): When I look at where we are in this war to date and imagine where we could have been if the right number of troops had been put in at the right time and had been deployed correctly, then, I think we need new leadership. If I was the president I would have relieved him 3 years ago.

Baier: We're in the middle of a war. You, as a retired officer are now standing up and saying (the) Secretary of Defense is not getting it done. (Pause for effect) Does that hurt the war effort?

Van Riper: It conceivably can hurt the war effort but not to do so would hurt our country, would hurt our fellow citizens and those in uniform even more.

Baier: Asked why he's coming out now, Van Riper said he wants the debate to continue and he's doing it for his son, a marine, who will be headed back to Iraq soon. Pentagon officials sya Van Riper has been a long time critic of Secretary Rumsfeld. They're not surprised by him joining the list. (Comment: Whoa, 'the list'? Sounds serious to me) They'd like him to name some of the names of the senior officers he's talking to. Shep? (Comment: Yeah, I'll bet they'd like some names - gosh, it sounds like the Secret Police)

Smith: Will he do that?

Baier: He says he's not going to. A lot of them are concerned about their careers.

Smith: I'm sure of that, but I'm guessing the pressure is going to be high here.

Baier: Yeah and it's interesting. I mean, I talked to this guy (Comment: This guy? Doesn't he deserve his title, Lt. General or to be called by his name?) for about an hour. He's very sincere, whether he's right or wrong he gets to his conclusions based on second hand information and how he thinks the war has gone so far.

Smith: Fair enough.

Comments: Baier speaks to Lt. General Van Riper for an hour and the one question he airs is - "Does that hurt the war effort?" This is the 8th General to come out against Donald Rumsfeld. He has military experience. He has a son in the war. I'm sure he's researched this very well. After all that's happened, I would have to say the credibility is all on the sides of the Generals who spoke out.

And what's this bit about the pressure going to be on Van Riper to 'give names?' Doesn't it just reek of the SS?

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