May 7, 2004
Rep. Conyers to Bush: Ask for Rumsfeld's Resignation
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Sent May 6, 2004
The Honorable George W. Bush
Dear Mr. President:
I write to request that you immediately ask Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for his resignation for his role in the utter mismanagement of the war in Iraq. At the outset, I must stress that the Defense Secretary's resignation will not in any way discount your own potential culpability in this matter. You have not been reluctant to burnish you credentials as Commander-in-Chief, or the uniform of the military, when it has been to your political benefit to do so. Now, when accountability is needed, the responsibility for the conduct of this war lays squarely on your shoulders. It is apparent that the conduct of the Department of Defense in managing the situation in Iraq since the fall of Bagdad exceeds incompetence and is a complete failure of leadership. It is also evident that there was little if any post war planning on the part of Secretary Rumsfeld and the Pentagon. This failure is morally reprehensible as it which continues to cost the lives of American soldiers and innocent Iraqis.
The most recent instance of incompetence was Secretary Rumfeld's knowledge of these allegations of abuse since January and his refusal to make Congress or the President aware of these horrendous abuses until last week. It is my opinion that the American public is being ill-served by Secretary Rusted and the Pentagon. Moreover, it has recently come to light that Pentagon officials are investigating 35 possible instances of abuse by US personnel, and the Los Angeles Times has reported 25 Iraqi and Afghan prisoners have died in US Custody in the last 17 months. In addition, I believe it is imperative that a full inquiry into the abuse take place. We must not stop with only the actual perpetrators of these horrendous events, it is imperative that bring actions against those military leaders who allowed this culture of abuse to continue.
It is clear that months ago, senior military and Bush administration officials were warned that immediate action was needed to address the treatment of captives and enemy soldiers at prisons like Abu Ghraib in Iraq and nothing was done. This failure has placed our troops at greater risk as the horrific images of Abu Gharib have produced greater antipathy toward our troops and threaten to incite even greater violence in the region.
In less than three years, your administration has managed to destroy all of the good will that was extended to our nation in the wake of the tragedy of the September 11th attacks. To the people of Iraq, we are seen as occupiers. To the people of the Arab world, we are no longer a beacon of hope. To people of Arab heritage in this country, we have changed what we represent as a nation.
In the 2000 Presidential campaign, you swore you would restore "honor and dignity" to the White House. The honor and dignity of our nation, and its standing in the world, dictate that you take immediate action. Secretary Rumsfeld has failed the American public, our military and the world and he must tender his resignation.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
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