The White House has trotted out Generals Myers and Franks to defend Rummy. But the generals who're speaking out aren't backing down.
Far from being daunted, one of them, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq as recently as 2004, went further in his criticisms during a telephone interview on Friday. He said the number of forces that went into Iraq was insufficient for the ultimate task and said of Mr. Rumsfeld, "His arrogance is what will cause us to fail in the future."
But late Friday new allies took to cable news to defend the administration.
On CNN, General Myers said he regretted that the retired generals were speaking out. "My whole perception of this is that it's bad for the military, it's bad for civil-military relations, and it's potentially very bad for the country, because what we are hearing and what we are seeing is not the role the military plays in our society," he said.
Myers I have no respect for. In fact, I was horrified last summer when, before he retired from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I saw him on PBS claiming that everything was going well in Afghanistan and that there had only been X number of deaths there thus far that year. I had just read an article detailing the INCREASE in fatalities in Afghanistan and the worsening security situation there. Sure enough, I did the research and Myers had given a ridiculously low number of troops killed in Afghanistan for the first part of 2005.
As with Bush, you don't know if Myers is a liar or just too incompetent to ferret out the facts before he opens his mouth.
Either way, it's disturbing that the Chair of the Joint Chief of Staffs would blithely give wrong casualty rates.
Franks also strikes me as more politician than general. I don't know how Franks is feathering his nest with his connections to Bush and Cheney, but I bet there's some mutual back-scratching going on there.