Granted, Rumsfeld richly deserves not only sacking, but prosecution. If the debacle in Iraq isn’t enough, the backsliding into drug-warlordism of Afghanistan due to neglect should be. His utter contempt for the professional military, his reckless disreguard for the safety of soldiers by deploying them without adequate safety equipment and without medical exams, his promotion of deceptive recruiting practices, not to mention his utterly hypocritical policy on torture, all point to malfeasance of office that should be enough to ruin any reputation. And now comes the news that Rumsfeld may have personally supervised torture of a military prisoner at Guantanamo. What does he have to do? Personally murder a child on national television?
Well, yeah. In fact, that is about what he would have to do to be sacked by this Administration.
Recall that if Rummy is sacked, there has to be a new SecDef. This presents two insuperable problems for the Administration. One: they have to find someone stupid enough to want to inherit the cesspool that Rummy and friends have left in Iraq. What qualified person would want the capstone of their career to be entangled with Iraq’s civil war? The likelihood of the Administration finding someone willing to take such a bullet for the team is pretty low. They can’t even find someone to take over for Secretary of Commerce Snow. Probably Cheney would have to take over personally, or they would have to get an unqualified crony to sit in the throne with Cheney’s arm up his backside.
But then there’s problem two: Rummy’s replacement would have to be confirmed by the Senate, and Democrats would turn that into a broader hearing on the utter disaster in Iraq. The Administration absolutely does not want open, televised, and substantive hearings in Congress on the subject of Iraq. No way.
No matter what damage Rummy might be doing to the President’s image, no matter how many Generals breathe fire over his stewardship of the DoD, no matter how much we liberals lambaste him, none of it could possibly be worse for the President, and for the GOP’s majority in Congress, than the threat of those confirmation hearings.
Finally, there is the Eastern Shore Gerald Ford Alumni Association. Cheney and Rummy are as thick as theives. Oh, yeah… right: they are theives. No similes required. Anyhow, they are personal friends, having multi-million dollar homes within a few miles of each other on an exclusive stretch of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. These men are not going to turn on each other after 30+ years of friendship. The only way Rumsfeld goes is if either he or Cheney is in a box or jail cell, or if the kid is no longer in office.
No matter how vulnerable Rumsfeld looks politically, short of death, indictment, or W’s impeachment, he’s not going anywhere.
So save your breath for something that might actually happen, like a Democratic majority in either the House or Senate, or both. It’s the best way to enable America to clean it’s own house in 2007.