Azara Blog: Bush doesn't want to sack Rumsfeld

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Date published: 2006/04/15

The BBC says:

US President George W Bush has assured Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of his "full support" in the wake of criticism by retired generals.

In a statement, the president rejected calls for Mr Rumsfeld to step down.

Mr Bush praised Mr Rumsfeld for his "energetic and steady leadership" during his years at the Pentagon.

Six retired generals have spoken out against Mr Rumsfeld's handling of the war in Iraq and apparent disdain for experienced military commanders.

The defence secretary has also personally dismissed suggestions that he should resign.

"Out of thousands and thousands of admirals and generals, if every time two or three people disagreed we changed the secretary of defence of the United States it would be like a merry-go-round," he told Arabic TV channel al-Arabiya.

But he did admit to regrets over the abuse of prisoners by US troops at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail.
...
Mr Bush's support comes as US-based Human Rights Watch said Mr Rumsfeld could be "criminally liable" for what it described as the torture of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay.

Of course Rumsfeld should be held accountable for the totally incompetent way the Defence Department planned the war on Iraq, in particular because he ignored advice on all fronts (e.g. on troop numbers) that didn't happen to fit with his pre-conceived ideas, and most of that advice turned out to be correct.

But of course Bush will not sack Rumsfeld. If Rumsfeld were to be held accountable, Bush would have to be held doubly accountable. And if there's one thing you can say about Bush, the buck does not stop on his desk.

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