Sunday, May 17, 2009

Draper article on Rumsfeld

And this is by a Bush supporter, who wrote an authorized profile of the President. Former SecDef Rumsfeld does not come across ... well. But I don't think it's quite the scathing indictment other people are treating it as, either.

In fact, he comes across as a human being dealing with enormous power and responsibility within a complex system and letting his flaws consume him. Which was always what amused me during the whole "These people know what they're doing" days -- the entire country's based around the idea that you don't trust the bastards in charge. Ever. Even when we're wrong, the onus is on them to prove they're right.

Why? Because they have the power to break the world.

End of day, the one you have to admire is Jessica Lynch. One one hand, she debunked the myth of her own heroism. On the other, she took the $1,00,000 check for the book. I kind of like that level of spunky pragmatism.

On the other other hand, where the fuck is Lori Piestewa's statue?


Dwight Williams said...

Amen on the Piestewa staute.

Jay L. Gischer said...

It turns out that while Lori Piestewa may not have a statue, she's got a mountain.

I think I like that better.

Dwight Williams said...

That could work, yeah.

John said...


PhoenixRising said...

You can see the mountain from suburban Phoenix. But if you want to leave a note for Lori's two kids, you have to hike the mountain.

Anybody can drive past and look at a damn statue.

On the other hand, anybody can drive past a statue, but you have to know you want to honor Lori's sacrifice to hike the mountain.

I want a tribunal to investigate all of the lies and torture that got us into this mess and I want Rumsfeld to face Lori's kids.

And a pretty pony.

The Minstrel Boy said...

they did give her a mountain. it is nice that they finally got around to renaming "squaw peak."

even so, there was a fight about it.

TheMindFantastic said...

She got Squaw Peak... during my hypnosis training, I heard far too damn much about Squaw Peak from people talking about Milton Erickson (he encouraged all his students to climb the damn thing) at least now if someone climbs it theres a better reason for it.

John Seavey said...

After reading Woodward's books, and "No End In Sight", this article doesn't offer many surprises; it's pretty much a closed case that Rumsfeld was ambitious and obstructionist, either of which would have been bad alone, but both of which together spelled huge problems.

This showed up a lot in Woodward's discussion of post-war planning for Iraq; Rumsfeld didn't want to do it, but at the same time he didn't want anyone else in charge of it. So he did a lot of bureaucratic in-fighting to achieve what turned out to be the perfect clusterf*** in Iraq.

But what the article doesn't mention is how a good President wouldn't have let these situations develop. When State and Defense had conflicts, State would bring them to Bush, who would in essence say, "Why don't you talk to Rumsfeld about this? He's Secretary of Defense." Which, of course, solved nothing, because the problem was that someone needed to assert authority over Rumsfeld, which Bush had no idea how to do.

Bush's cardinal sin was that he had no idea how to assert himself among his own staff, something that Cheney and Rumsfeld took advantage of to enact their own policies.

GinaFan said...

Catching up with you. You may not think of your self as an expert, but you are pretty damn good. You've got far more than your feet wet. :)

I went and saw Trek, since you talked it up so much. It was pretty damn good too. There was only one moment where it paused while Spock pondered his emotions, and I twiddled my thumbs. That's pretty good for an action oriented film. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Disagree. I think you are asking too much (and perhaps being disingenuous) - with the don't ever trust the bastards in charge. Let's try this:

Does this concept apply to the current administration? They are spending a gazillion dollars and are risking inflation, crazy debt and all sorts of trouble. Is the onus on them to prove they are right? Or should the bastards in charge?

Here's the thing - we don't know how this will play out. Anyone who tells you they know is lying. So it's the administration's opinion that the best way to move forward is to spend like a drunken sailor. They could be right. They could be wrong. We'll find out later. At this point - we have to trust the bastards in charge.

And if they are wrong - what then? Do we prosecute them? Do we blame them? They are doing what they think is best.

Deep down. Honestly. Can you see how this may apply in some way to the Iraq decisions made by the Bush administration. Obviously there are distinctions - but I'm afraid that these comments about 'not trusting the bastards in charge' might only apply to Republican bastards. So perhaps that's not what you are really saying

TrentC said...

What's interesting was the focus on Jessica Lynch's story -- which the had to fiddle the details to make more heroic or cinematic or whatever -- while the men in charge seemed to overlook the story of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester.

Hester was awarded a Silver Star for rescuing fellow soldiers from an ambush and becoming the first woman since World War II to receive that honor.

David Hunt said...


Thanks for linking to that article on Hester. Stories like that help me feel that we're not hopeless yet. However, the reason that Lynch's story was "trumpeted over Hester's" is clear from the date of that article linked to. Hester's remarkable heroism took place two years after the events with Lynch.

Lynch's story was promoted because they were looking for heroes in the wake of the invasion. Hester's heroic acts took place when they official story was that things weren't that bad. No need for the PTBs to shout her story to mountaintops as it would point out the fact that that type of heroism was still needed.

Fortunately, whoever's in charge of awarding medals actually heard about her heroism and recognized it. I've read that it's an unfortunate fact that there are always acts incredible heroism that are never officially recognized because none of the higher ups ever see them.

Mr Furious said...

I hear what you're saying, anonymous, but I think "trusting" the bastards in charge is worse when dealing with matters of war and unchecked power. At least with the bailout plans there are multiple branches (theoretically) involved...

Anonymous said...


Vanessa said...

Hi!!In cosmopolitan, when these pieces run, the right reflexively attacks the motives of the writer. But Draper is hardly a left-leaning partisan -- he wrote the Bush-endorsed biography, "Dead Certain," written after receiving pattern from the former president and some of his top adjutants. said...

I consider everyone ought to browse on it.

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