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Friday, May 14, 2004
"I'm privileged to spend a good bit of time with our military officers, from generals to new lieutenants. And I have never seen such distrust of a public official in the senior ranks. Not even of Bill Clinton. Rumsfeld & Co. have trashed our ground forces every way they could. Only the quality of those in uniform saved us from a debacle in Iraq.
Of course, those in uniform don't get to pick the SecDef. And they continue, as they always will, to loyally carry out their orders to the letter. But to be effective, a SecDef must be respected. He doesn't have to be liked. But, especially in wartime, he must be trusted.
Rumsfeld has failed the most important test of all.
Clinging to power isn't a mark of strength, but of weakness, arrogance and brute obstinacy. Rumsfeld has wounded our military and sent our troops to die for harebrained schemes. In place of sound plans, he substituted political prejudices. Election year or not, he has to go.
It's time to bring integrity, mutual respect and a focus on the realities of warfare back to the Pentagon. The White House has Sen. McCain's phone number."