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The Death of Reason

Of all the criticisms of Sec Rumsfeld, the whole autopen thing -like the people pushing it- is completely stupid.

Many bloggers -the ones who failed reading comprehension- cite this interview with former Sec Cohen as proof he personally signed his condolence letters.

BLITZER: When you were defense secretary, were there American military personnel killed in combat?

COHEN: Well, there were.

We lost some military personnel in the bombings of the embassies in East Africa. We also lost sailors during the bombing of the USS Cole.

BLITZER: Did you send condolence letters to their relatives, to their family members?

COHEN: Actually, I and my wife, we met with the individual family members to express our deep condolences and gratitude for the sacrifice of the people who were lost. It's one of the most moving experiences one can have.

And that's go and look into the eyes of the family and saying, we're sorry you lost your son or daughter. And all we can tell you is, we're grateful for the sacrifice that they've made and you've made on behalf of our country. But it was a very personal thing to do.


BLITZER: The question, I guess, because it's come up, did you have a machine, as many members of Congress have a handwriting machine, because they send out thousands of letters, send condolence letters to the families?

COHEN: Well, I'm sure that there was machine available.

But, in my particular case, again, I had the opportunity to meet with the families directly, or to call them. On a couple of occasions, I had to call the parents of the -- who had lost their son or daughter in the military in battle or in a major exercise. And so it's something that's important. And I'm sure Secretary Rumsfeld understands that he needs to connect in a way that perhaps he hasn't in the past, but it's a tough issue for any secretary to deal with.

For my liberal readers, who might not be smart enough to figure it out-- HE NEVER ANSWERED THE QUESTION. He changed the topic to meeting with families.

If these idiots could use google and typed in rumsfeld met family killed iraq they would see the third hit had this from Sec Rumsfeld:

...Over the past years, my wife, Joyce, and I have met with several hundred wounded troops and their families during visits to intensive care units, therapy facilities, and their rooms in military hospitals in the United States and abroad.

During visits to military installations, I have met with still others during their visits to the Pentagon.

Joyce and I also have met together and individually with spouses and children of those killed in action.

At the earliest moment in the global war on terror, I determined that it is important that military families who have lost loved ones in hostile actions receive a letter from me directly.

I wrote and approved the now more than 1000 letters sent to family members and next of kin of each of the servicemen and women killed in military action.

The real reason these idiots annoy me so is that they never learned the lesson of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

We use it as a metaphor to refer to someone sounding an alarm needlessly but remember how the story ends... When REAL TROUBLE comes up the people ignore them and THE DAMN SHEEP GET EATEN!

These jackasses are so busy trying to make stupid political points when there are none to be made that when and if this nation has real problems (like a freaking war on terror) they will be ignored..

Don't believe me? Tell about how John Kerry won.

The "Bush is the Devil" people are relegating themselves into political oblivion by crying wolf...

Which is fine with me by and large... but they are wasting people's time along the route.... For you Jackasses pushing this... Would you rather the Sec of Defense spend his time signing these letters or protecting this country from terrorist?

Your answer will define just how big a jackass you truly are.

(Next time I'll try to not be so reserved in my comments.)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Death of Reason:

» rand holman's THE DAILY POLEMIC linked with Have mercy on us Wolf Blitzer!

» Sean Gleeson linked with Ten more reasons to hate Rumsfeld

Comments (17)

GET OVER IT!... (Below threshold)


This is a classic example o... (Below threshold)

This is a classic example of something that is never a problem until a Republican can eb blamed for it.

It's reminiscent of the "homeless problem" that suddenly erupted in 1980 and just as suddenly disappeared in 1992.

Well I supposse I am one of... (Below threshold)

Well I supposse I am one of the idiots you talk about Paul, since I trackbacked to an earlier Wizbang post on the subject. But I still feel with the sacrifice these young men and women have made that their loved ones deserve the 2 seconds it takes to sign a letter of condolence. I dont believe anyone is asking the Secretary to personally write each letter, with personal annotations. As a business owner I have signed more checks in three months that the 1000 Plus letters that the Sec Def would have signed in two years, so what exactly is the point in defending this. As for Sec. Cohen, I never said he signed all the letters but I saw the interview live, and I believe he made the point that he made a personal effort to contact EVERY family, if Rumsfeld has done the same thing, I personaly will appologize, but I dont think he has. And for me it has nothing to do with Politics, left or right, it has everything to do with common decency, my point made even stronger by the fact that the condemnation of Rumsfeld for this particular issue is bipartisan in nature.

Patton could be an asshole,... (Below threshold)

Patton could be an asshole, but:

1) He was personally deeply committed to the men under his command, and;
2) What he did changed the Army (by inventing, almost single-handedly, modern US armored doctrine) and was pivotal in winning the war in Europe.

I think Rummy is similar in many ways...at least he hasn't slapped anybody yet.

I believe he made the p... (Below threshold)

I believe he made the point that he made a personal effort to contact EVERY family.

I really must get the same glasses you use. He never said that. Is this the first time you've heard a politician speak?

Anyone who thinks that it is a wise use of the Sec of Defense's time to sit at a desk and write lines like a 3rd grader is sadly deluded. In case you missed it, there's a war on.

my point made even stronger by the fact that the condemnation of Rumsfeld for this particular issue is bipartisan in nature.

OH? The media is making a big fuss over any Republican who says anything against Rumsfeld but I have not heard a single Rep chastise him for not signing these letters. Did I miss one? (BTW if McCain did it, it doesn't count, he'd criticize his mother to get on T.V.)

Are you sure you got your facts right?

Let's not forget that Dubya... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Let's not forget that Dubya hasn't attended any servicemen's funerals, yet, so therefore, he must not care about the war, therefore, he's a blood-thirsty war-monger.

Wasn't that meme floated back in early 2004?

Presidential meetings w/ the families wasn't enough, oh no, he must attend the funerals! And Rummy must personally sign the letters!

One wonders how many letters/telegrams Stimson or MacNamara signed. One wonders exactly what it is that the Left thinks that this would've proved?

The military is an organiza... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

The military is an organization several times the size of Walmart. Think about that. Think how big Walmart is and the scope of responsibilities that the CEO must have. I know that every life is precious, etc., but damn, let his unit commander or CO send the letter and say something personal since the CO actually probably knows the kid or has something personal that he can say.

When my kid is dead, you think I give two shits about who sends a letter to me telling me "Thanks for letting Junior die for his country?" Get a grip.

A kid dying in wartime is no different than dying in a training exercise or of a heart attack in bed. A military death is tragic, but this is not the way that things work. Rummy should be somewhat detached from the minor nuts and bolts of things the way any CEO is. It is too big of a job to get bogged down with details like this or to focus on such a minor issue when WE ARE AT WAR. Nothing Rummy does is going to make Junior come back or make mom and dad feel any better.

What is also being lost is ... (Below threshold)

What is also being lost is Rumsfeld's explanation: he didn't want the letters to be delayed. He travels like crazy, if the letters had to wait until he was at his office to sign them they'd be going out in batches of 100. You can bet that if he had been letting the letters pile up so that he could sign them personally, the hue and cry would be about how terrible it was that he took so long to send the letters!

Sure, he could have an assistant with a laptop, a portable printer and a supply of letterhead so that the letters could be signed every day no matter where he is, but is that really the best use of resources? And what would people say when they got letters from Rumsfeld printed on a (horrors!) inkjet printer? I don't know of a decent portable laser printer.

For Rummy's sake, I wish that someone would invent an autopen that would use a ballpoint and press into the paper, so that you couldn't tell it from a hand-signed letter.

I was under the impression ... (Below threshold)

I was under the impression that such an autopen exists, Teri. But I could be wrong, and I'm too damn lazy to try to verify it. :)

Here is a link to a pen bas... (Below threshold)

Here is a link to a pen based autopen device

Maybe Donald could use one of these?

For some reason I can't sto... (Below threshold)

For some reason I can't stop thinking of Catch-22 and form letters.

I once heard Larry David sa... (Below threshold)

I once heard Larry David say that he got the idea for the episode where Jerry gets perpetual writer's cramp from signing hundreds of miniscule royalty checks out of Foristall's diary, where he recounts the debilitating, almost paralytic, effects upon Stimson of signing all those condolence letters, with quill and ink no less.

On a completely different topic, is there such a thing as an Asshat Hall of Fame? And no lame jokes about Nobel Peace Prizes or the Hollywood Walk of Fame, either.

- While I agree that anyone... (Below threshold)

- While I agree that anyone on the left nit picking this is just empty bipartisan rhetoric, all this back and forth misses the deeper point....two years into the Iraq campaign the military should not be casting around looking for scrap metal to arm their vehicles... A national guardsman shouldn't have to ask on national TV, (no I don't give a damn if a lefty journalist encouraged him...I'm not even sure he wasn't taking more credit than he deserves...), why they are being asked to go into combat improperly equiped....

- I'm also totally convinced that we've been under manned from the very start once the occupation phase began. We need 3 or 4 times the troop strength there to cut down on the ambush attacks, and insure election day security. I also don't believe the BS that the generals got what they asked for. Anyone who believes you don't get "informed" of what your boss wants and you're expected to toe the line, doesn't know a damn thing about the way things work. There were all sorts of political reasons that Bush and company wanted to minimize the size of the troop strength, and some have to do with availability as you are starting to see more and more. The asshats will use this in every way they can. So be it. The safety of the troops is far more important than any partisan crap. As Republicans we have to be ready to recognize when someone is "screwing the goose" and hold them accountable. Otherwise we're no better than the tin foil crowd....

I've read and heard two rep... (Below threshold)

I've read and heard two reports today that 90% of the vehicles were already equipped with the extra armor in that soldier's outfit (regiment?) at the time of his question to Rumsfeld and the rest was completed within 24 hours. One source was Brit Hume's "Special Report" on 12/22/04. The reporter gave the soldier false data, thereby setting up both the soldier, the military and Rumsfeld.

Re the 2 family members com... (Below threshold)

Re the 2 family members complaining about Rumsfeld's signatures:

Brit Hume on Fox reported tonight that the only 2 families complaining about Rumsfeld's letters are long-time Bush attackers. (Burkett-types.) One of the mothers is Sue Niederer - the one who caused security concerns at Laura Bush's appearance at a firehouse. Niederer was escorted out and arrested. These complainers are not sincere, they have an agenda. See 9/22/04 article entitled "Secret Service Reviews Comments By Dead Soldier's Mom" at www.wnbc.com/news/3751305/detail.html

Also see picture 20 of 51 in the slide show at that link. What was that bulge on Niederer's right hip underneath the huge T-shirt?

Paul,In this post,... (Below threshold)


In this post, you're pretty much contradicting yourself from a more recent post which I commented on. Go see that - go to "A Line in the Sand' milblog and if you still need to be comforted, let you and I have a discussion so you can stop being so angry.

I hope you don't consider this one of those jackass comments.


two years into the Iraq ... (Below threshold)

two years into the Iraq campaign the military should not be casting around looking for scrap metal to arm their vehicles.


The US went into WWII "with the amy we had". American Sherman tanks were out-gunned, out-armoured, and out-classed by German Panthers and Tigers. US Commanders would strap on anything they could find - scrap steel, logs - to build up the inadequate Shermam armour. It wasn't until the Pershing was built that the US had tank that could go toe to toe with the German panzers. But that didn't happen until 1945, a year before the war was over, and three years after Germany declared war on the US.






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