KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Is the Sun Setting on Rummy?

Old-guard military matinee idol Donald Rumsfeld may soon have to pay at least some small price for his contempt for human life. He's being sued and he's being subtly edged out of the limelight in Bush administration—by Bush, who now wants to morph from the "war president" to the "diplomacy president." Can it be that he'll be gone by the end of this year? Don't just sit there and hope—tell your senators and representatives that you want him out, too.

On March 1, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights First did what Congress refused to do and took action against the arrogant warmonger. They filed suit against Rummy in a Chicago federal court on behalf of eight men who say they were beaten, sexually humiliated, and threatened with dogs and mock firing squads by the U.S. military in Afghanistan. The ACLU says that Rummy's responsible because he authorized the illegal interrogation techniques and knew there was widespread torture but did nothing to stop it. As we would expect, the Defense Department said he did no such thing.

And now, two retired military lawyers—retired Army General James Cullen and retired Rear Admiral John Hutson—have joined the legal team. According to the Executive Intelligence Review, Cullen said, "Mr. Rumsfeld's policies have stained our military. . . . We want to remove that stain." Cullen and Hutson told the Review that both active-duty and retired military personnel have expressed their support for what the two men are doing.

At the end of last month, 10 labor unions representing 300,000 civilian employees of the Department of Defense filed a federal lawsuit in a U.S. district court in D.C. against Rummy, charging that the department is violating labor laws in refusing to negotiate changes in its labor management system. Apparently the department cites national security threats whenever the unions want to advocate on behalf of the workers. And—is this a surprise, coming from a department run by Rummy?—"secret working groups" put together changes in the department's labor relations system and didn't give unions concrete proposals, though any changes are legally supposed to be worked out with the input of employees. I guess if Iraqis aren't worth being treated like human beings, then federal employees aren't either.

Remember all those reports of Rummy steamrolling Condi Rice? It seems those days are over. As secretary of state, she's getting all the attention, especially as she hops from country to country, painting boss Bush as eager to build alliances. And Rummy's old foe, Richard Armitage, is said to be eyeing Rummy's job. Armitage, recently retired as deputy secretary of state, is letting it be known that he wouldn't be averse to a stint as secretary of defense.

I'll accept the absence of Rummy by any means—lawsuit, congressional investigation, outright firing by his boss. Just get the sleazeball out.


hokkaidoabbey said...

Katherine, it's nice to see you making entries again. I'd love to see Rumsfield removed, although I don't believe Armitage is any better. The whole administration is guilty of sundry war crimes, and all the main players should be held accountable. Instead, they got reelected. Nonetheless, I suppose it will be ultimately good for the planet if Rumsfeld is edged out, if for no other reason than it evidences that all is not harmonious in the Bush Love Boat. It is beyond conception that Bush could ever transmogrify himself successfully into the "Diplomatic President", but I didn't think any sane person could vote for him, so my knowledge of human nature and politics these days is far from reliable, I reckon. Anyway, nice to see you back and fighting the good fight.

Katharine said...

Thanks, hokkaidoabbey. Life gets hectic sometimes around my place, with work deadlines and three kids and local activism. But I can't give up on my country just because I'm "too busy." I've decided that if I have to wait till everyone else in the house is sleeping to write, then that's when I'll write.

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