Sunday, September 10, 2006

Today's Dirt On Rumsfeld

Today's revelation in the recent flood of leaked complaints about the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- and as befits tomorrow's anniversary -- has to do with the search for Osama bin Laden.

Bureaucratic battles slowed down the hunt for bin Laden for the first two or three years, according to officials in several agencies, with both the Pentagon and the CIA accusing each other of withholding information. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's sense of territoriality has become legendary, according to these officials.

In early November 2002, for example, a CIA drone armed with a Hellfire missile killed a top al-Qaeda leader traveling through the Yemeni desert. About a week later, Rumsfeld expressed anger that it was the CIA, not the Defense Department, that had carried out the successful strike.

"How did they get the intel?" he demanded of the intelligence and other military personnel in a high-level meeting, recalled one person knowledgeable about the meeting.

Gen. Michael V. Hayden, then director of the National Security Agency and technically part of the Defense Department, said he had given it to them.

"Why aren't you giving it to us?" Rumsfeld wanted to know.

Hayden, according to this source, told Rumsfeld that the information-sharing mechanism with the CIA was working well. Rumsfeld said it would have to stop.

A CIA spokesman said Hayden, now the CIA director, does not recall this conversation.

Ho ho ho.

At that time, Rumsfeld was putting in place his own aggressive plan, led by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), to dominate the hunt for bin Laden and other terrorists. The overall special operations budget has grown by 60 percent since 2003 to $8 billion in fiscal year 2007. ...

In 2004, Rumsfeld finally won the president's approval to put SOCOM in charge of the "Global War on Terrorism."

Today, however, no one person is in charge of the overall hunt for bin Laden with the authority to direct covert CIA operations to collect intelligence and to dispatch JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) units. Some counterterrorism officials find this absurd. "There's nobody in the United States government whose job it is to find Osama bin Laden!" one frustrated counterterrorism official shouted. "Nobody!"

"We work by consensus," explained Brig. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., who recently stepped down as deputy director of counterterrorism under the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "In order to find Osama bin Laden, certain departments will come together. . . . It's not that effective, or we'd find the guy, but in terms of advancing United States power for that mission, I think that process is effective."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like they actually don't want to catch OBL... -- If they did then all those Americans who think the US invaded Iraq to catch Bin Laden might think it was time to come home -- and it might be harder to justify mayhem in Iran..and wiretapping at home...etc, etc... Everyone's a little easier to manipulate when there's a bogeyman loose....

It's probably yet another one of Rummy's non-plan plans... like the postwar plan...

-- while Bush might be remembered as the Alfred E. Neuman of U.S. presidents... Rummy and Cheney are going down as evil personified.


9/10/2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


I have seen speculation that they are leaving Bin Laden out there as a justification for maintaining a permanent state of emergency and a war footing.

That would fit perfectly with your "bogeyman" thesis.

Also, rumor has it that Bin Laden would have tales to tell if captured that would not be flattering to the current administration.

9/10/2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Christ that Rummy is an anal retentive micro manager.

Nam redux

9/10/2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No, I don't think I do, sir, no.

General Jack D. Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought.

9/10/2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

I don't care, I've come to love bombs - all bombs.

9/10/2006 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm... is that because your fellow country meatball, Nobel, did so much to advance their cause? Remember, he later thought peace a pretty good idea too..


9/10/2006 8:19 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

Let's not forget that our glorious leaders have dubbed this, "THE LONG WAR". So, by definition, they need to find ways to prolong it. I've believed for some time that the "insurgency" in Iraq has been purposely fommented by the U.S. through curious back-channels. We all know that the PNACers rely on long, drawn out conflict to support their aims around the globe. We must have an enemy, which requires more spending on bombs...and then spending on reconstruction funded by the U.S. and carried out by conveniently connected contractors. It is, quite plainly, their blueprint for global domination - or global "leadership", in their words - on both a political and an economic basis.

As Tears for Fears once sang, "Everybody wants to rule the world..."

9/10/2006 10:39 PM  

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