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Another retired general calls for Rumsfeld to resign

Raw Story | April 13 2006

Another retired general is calling for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign, according to a front page story set for Thursday's Washington Post, RAW STORY has found.

Excerpts from the article written by Thomas E. Ricks:

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The retired commander of key forces in Iraq called Wednesday for Donald Rumsfeld to step down, joining several other former top military commanders who have harshly criticized the secretary of defense's authoritarian style for making the military's job more difficult.

"I think we need a fresh start" at the top of the Pentagon, retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-05, said in an interview. "We need leadership up there that respects the military as they expect the military to respect them. And that leadership needs to understand teamwork."

Batiste noted that many of his peers feel the same way. "It speaks volumes that guys like me are speaking out from retirement about the leadership climate in the Department of Defense," he said in another interview earlier Wednesday on CNN. Batiste's comments resonate especially within the Army because it is widely known there that he was offered a promotion to three-star rank to return to Iraq and be the No. 2 U.S. military officer there, but declined because he no longer wished to serve under Rumsfeld. Also, before going to Iraq, he worked at the highest level of the Pentagon, serving as the senior military assistant to Paul Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense.

Batiste said that he believes the administration's handling of the Iraq war has violated fundamental military principles, such as unity of command and unity of effort. In other interviews, Batiste has said that he thinks that the violation of another military principle of ensuring there is an adequate number of forces helped create the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal by putting too much responsibility on incompetent officers and undertrained troops.

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FULL ARTICLE HERE

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