|added Fri May 07 2004 at 1:34 PM
|I've been watching CNN on and off the past few hours, and I must say that I am now an admirer or Donald Rumsfeld.
The man has been on national TV for 5 of the past 6 hours (he's still on right now) in front of a not-so-friendly committee. And his honesty, humility, and contrition is a welcome breath of fresh air coming from Washington.
I can't remember the last time that I heard a politician take "full responsibility" for actions that he was not fully aware of until a few days previous. He claims to be (and I've no reason to doubt he is) very apologetic for the tragic abuse of Iraqi prisoners. I heard him specifically clearing the president's name, saying that he was not briefed on the circumstances. I also heard him defending his officers saying they did their full duty. Usually when a "scandal" hits the fan like this, the politicians run for cover, double talk, and try to pin the responsibility on everybody else.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure exactly how this qualifies as a "scandal." The actions are reprehensible and completely wrong, but it appears that the military is handling them as they should be. Investigations seem to have proceeded in expedition, and individuals involved are being punished appropriately. I watched one Democrat try to accuse a general of suppressing the media, and I definitely side with the general who stated that he was not suppressing information, simply asking the media to hold off on publishing pictures that were currently being used in investigations. In this day and age of immediate information, sometimes the media starts blowing off steam too early, and "innocent until proven guilty" is thrown out the window.
Note that I specified that it was a Democrat Senator. I find it most unfortunate that this, like every political action I've seen in my lifespan is very partisan. Somehow the "Democrats" think that anything "Republican" is evil, and vice versa. Where on earth did this idea come from? I stand as a non-partisan citizen appalled by the actions of both sides. I am not a big fan of President Bush as a leader (he lacks charisma and intelligence), but I hold his morals in the highest of regards. This is the polar opposite to President Clinton who was extremely charismatic, but I would certainly not trust to do something simply because it's right.
For today, though, Rumsfeld has my vote. I hear there are people crying for his resignation, and I'm appalled. Here we have a man who actually takes credit for poor decisions, and who wants to make positive moves. Here we have a man who has the positive characteristics of both recent presidents. He is smart enough and strong enough to lead men, and he is honest enough to be trusted.