Sunday, November 13, 2005

If only he could show us the memo.

"It's still classified, I suppose?" says Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, looking toward his assistant.

"It's still classified," Lawrence DiRita replies, "along with a lot of the underlying planning."

Rumsfeld nods, apparently disappointed. He is interested in sharing the memo because the memo, as he outlines it, demonstrates that his critics are utterly mistaken. He did not dash heedless and underprepared into Iraq. Rumsfeld foresaw the things that could go wrong -- and not just foresaw them, but wrote them up in a classically Rumsfeldian list, one brisk bullet point after another, 29 potential pitfalls in all. Then he distributed the memo at the highest levels, fed it into the super-secret planning process and personally walked the president through the warnings.

"It would have been probably October of '02, and the war was March, I think," of the following year, Rumsfeld explains. "I sat down, and I said, 'What are all the things that one has to anticipate could be a problem?' And circulated it and read it to the president -- sent it to the president. Gave it to the people in the department, and they planned against those things. And all of the likely and unlikely things that one could imagine are listed there. It was just on the off-chance we'd end up having a conflict. We didn't know at that stage."

Wrestling with History (Read Von Drehle's great subtitle too, if you haven't already.)

He thinks the war started in March 2003? Why is this guy still in charge of the Department of Defense?? He's seniel apparently. The biggest mess we've gotten into since Vietnam and he "thinks" he knows when it started. Maybe that's his problem.

Maybe he just can't think very well anymore. Maybe he orders torture (proven) and then conveniently forgets about it.

BTW, what does it matter if they forsaw all the crap going on in Iraq now? They stil l did it. And they still made a mess and they didn't have to.

Saddam was contained.

Now Iraq is much worse off as are the places that the terrorists that trained in Iraq after we so conveniently got rid of the man who kept al Qaeda out of the nation.


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