I watched Rumsfeld this morning on Fox News Sunday. He was asked by Wallace (the younger and lesser) if:
a-commanders in the field in Iraq had been denied reinforcements they had requested and
b-there was an intention to begin large scale withdrawals from Iraq in calendar 2006.
On both points he responded that such issues were the responsibility of military commanders in the chain of command and the president of the United States. He said that commanders have a responsibility to make recommendations and the president has a responsibility to make decisions. He spoke as though he has no major responsibility in these matters. He portrays himself as a kind of "post office" or "message center." This, of course, is nonsense. The law is clear as to who is responsible for what, and his behavior in office as architect of military re-organization and generalissimo in charge of the size and strategy of the force that invaded Iraq gives him the lie.
This is typical Rumsfeld.
I once had the "privilege" of asking him a question concerning Army re-structuring. It was a professionally informed question concerning the future structure of the Army. He smiled, as he always seems to do in public, and said that he had no idea whether or not plans to change the army would "work," but that the generals told him it would. There were a number of these very senior officers present. All they could do is squirm.
You can be sure that if there is blame to be apportioned for mistakes in Iraq, Rumsfeld will not accept any of it.