Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"He would fire the next person that said that"

This ought to get more press coverage.

An interview with Brigadier General Mark Scheid, chief of the Logistics War Plans Division after 9/11, revealed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (who still has a job because President Bush twice rejected his resignation) deliberately chose not to plan for post-invasion operations in Iraq. When Gen. Scheid recommended planning for occupation, Scheid recalls that Rumsfeld said "that he would fire the next person that said that . . . We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today. He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."

Of course, Rumsfeld made good on the threat. He replaced General Eric Shinseki in 2003 after he told Congress that occupation would require hundreds of thousands of troops.

And that's not all. Scheid confirms the blind headlong rush into Iraq when we were still dealing with Afghanistan and finding Osama Bin Laden (who is still not dead or captured):
"Then, just as we were barely into Afghanistan ... Rumsfeld came and told us to get ready for Iraq."Scheid said he remembers everyone thinking, "My gosh, we're in the middle of Afghanistan, how can we possibly be doing two at one time? How can we pull this off? It's just going to be too much."

As Kevin Drum notes: "This is an astounding interview, all the more so for the apparently resigned tone that Scheid brings to it. It belongs on the front page of the New York Times, not the Hampton Roads Daily Press."

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