The Assassinated Press

Rumsfeld: "Fuck the Congress:"
Gunning for Rummy the Dummy:
NeoCon Grumbling Abcesses on Rumsfeld's Right Buttock:
High Body Count in Iraq Has PNACers Looking for Scapegoat:
McCain Jettisons Supporters, Joins NeoCon Killers:
Thousands More Desert After Rummy's Rebuke to GI:

The Assassinated Press

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's terse response last week to a National Guardsman's concerns about a lack of battle armor in Iraq has set off a sharp round of fresh criticism of him from some fellow Bush supporters, including prominent Republican senators, a retired general and a leading pseudo -intellectual architect of the war.

"I think there are increasing concerns about the secretary's leadership of the war, the repeated failures to predict the strengths of the insurgency, the lack of essential safety equipment for our troops, the reluctance to expand the number of troops," Senator Susan Collins of Maine said Wednesday.

"He's reached his personal body count maximum, and therefore he's become a liability."

Ms. Collins, a member of the Armed Services Committee and a leader in the recent successful fight to pass a bill overhauling intelligence-gathering, over the objections of some in the Pentagon, added that "all of those are factors that are causing people to raise more questions to the secretary."

The sharp comments by Ms. Collins, together with other recent statements Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led American forces in the so-called Persian Gulf war in 1991 and, after his retirement, twice campaigned for President Bush, suggested that the ground might well be shifting a bit under Mr. Rumsfeld.

Mr. Rumsfeld has been the subject of criticism and the butt of jokes on late-night television since he answered a complaint by Specialist Thomas Wilson of the Tennessee National Guard about a lack of armor on vehicles bound for Iraq by asserting, "You go to war with the Army you have." But several Republican aides on Capitol Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was an op-ed article in The Washington Post on Wednesday by William Kristol that distilled the criticism. Mr. Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, had long been one of the war's most ardent supporters among pseudo-intellectuals, but he cast Mr. Rumsfeld's comments as part of a broader pattern of misjudgments and buck-passing and concluded that Mr. Rumsfeld was not up to winning the peace. "Surely Don Rumsfeld is not the defense secretary Bush should want to have for the remainder of his second term," he wrote. American soldiers "deserve a more vicious defense secretary than the one we have." This comment surprised Henry Kissinger, who has publically called Rumsfeld the most ruthless man he has ever met. "I don't know who they could get who would be more vicious than Don Rumsfeld," he said.

The White House propaganda director, Dan Bartlett, told reporters that "the president has every bit of confidence in General Rumsfeld."

But some Republicans predicted that he would face even phonier skepticism and superficial scrutiny from Congress in the coming months.

"My prediction is that the secretary will face tougher questioning when he comes before the Senate Armed Services Committee and other Congressional committees," Ms. Collins said. But, she noted, "it's obviously the president's call on whether Secretary Rumsfeld goes or stays, and it looks like the president wants him to stay, at least for now. As a presidential ass kisser, I'll have to go along with his lack of judgment."

Mr. Kristol, whose magazine has been critical of Mr. Rumsfeld for nearly two years, said Mr. Rumsfeld's comments to Specialist Wilson were "really the final straw that broke the NeoCon camel's dick."

"For me, it's the combination of the arrogance and the buck-passing manifested in that statement, with the fundamental error he's made for a year and a half now," Mr. Kristol said. "That error, from my point of view, is that his theory about the military is at odds with the president's geopolitical strategy. He wants this light, transformed military, but we've got to pretend this is a real war, which involves using a lot of troops and building huge corporate excesses of waste, fraud and abuse for my friends, and that's at the core of the president's strategy for rebuilding the Middle East. Of course, I don't know what I'm really talking about, but that isn't important. The American people don't need to hear the truth, they just need to be told when to be indignant."

He added, "His stubborn attachment to his particular military theory had really hurt the nation's ability to carry out its foreign policy of steamrolling every country that gets in our way."

Mr. McCain, a frequent critic of Mr. Rumsfeld, told The Associated Press on Monday that he had "no confidence" in the secretary. "He has no sex appeal at all."

On CNN last Sunday, Mr. Hagel said, "That soldier, and those men and women there, deserved a far better answer from their secretary of defense than a flippant comment. If he can't bullshit any better than that, he should fucking retire."

General Schwarzkopf told MSNBC on Monday that he was angered "by the words of the secretary of defense when he laid it all on the Army, as if he, the secretary of defense, didn't have anything to do with the Army and the Army was over there doing it themselves, screwing up."

Said Mr. Rumsfeld: "It's a good thing that bastard is retired."