Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld Resigns [Updated]

[Posted by reader_iam]

He's to be replaced by Bob Gates, former CIA leader.

I'll bet that Military Times Media Group editorial did have some impact, and for the reasons to which I alluded. The results of yesterday's midterm elections must have deepened the bruise, but one has to assume that this isn't something that just came up over night.

Now, the question is: How much of a difference will this make? And what ABOUT those confirmation hearings, folks?

Speculate and opine away.


Gates' CIA page
A 1991 "National Review" cover story about Gates
NNDB information
Tom Harkins' issue with Gates
A WaPo opinion piece written by Gates this year in support of Gen. Mike Hayden
America Abroad Media
The Aspen Institute
Interesting 1991 NYT article

Update: Some more links (sorry, folks, I actually am working, so I can't do much more than, when something pops into my mind, go look for a link and throw it here for y'all to look at):

NPR discussion on interpreting terrorist threats
Gates' book
Gates references in Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh's final report

Update Here's how MSNBC is reporting the chain of events (note that the story says Cheney lost the argument over Rumsfeld's departure AND Rumsfeld's proposed replacement):
Bush lavished praise on Rumsfeld, who has spent six stormy years at his post. The president disclosed he met with Gates last Sunday, two days before the elections in which Democrats swept control of the House and possibly the Senate.

Military officials and politicians dissatisfied with the course of the war had called for Rumsfeld’s resignation in the months leading up to the election. Last week, as Bush campaigned to save the Republican majority, he declared that Rumsfeld would remain at the Pentagon through the end of his term.

Source: Cheney stuck by Rumsfeld
But sources told NBC News’ military analyst Bill Arkin that prior to the election, Vice President Dick Cheney argued with other politicians over whether Rumsfeld should stay. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and others said Rumsfeld should be removed, the source said. Both sides agreed the decision would be made after the election, when Bush would make the final call based on how Republicans did.

According to the source, Bush agreed Rumsfeld should be removed after seeing election results favoring Democrats. Cheney then lost another argument, protesting Gates’ nomination as Rumsfeld’s replacement.

So this has been in the offing for at least a little while, and, it seems likely to me, that it was under consideration even as Bush spoke his fateful words of support for Rumsfeld last week, in response to a reporter's question (which leads one to wonder: Why, oh why?). This seems to be a bit of a pattern with our President--didn't similar things happen just as some others in his administration were pushed out, or resigned, previously?

I'm not sure that the Gates nomination will be exceptionally appealing to at least some constituencies on the Democratic side of the aisle, but we'll see.