Saturday, November 04, 2006

Army Times: 'Time for Rumsfeld to go'

CNN) -- An editorial to be published in an independent military publication Monday calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to be replaced.

And the Pentagon is countering by saying the new "chorus of criticism" is "old news."

The editorial will appear Monday in the four weekly publications that serve the four main branches of the U.S. military, according to the senior managing editor for Army Times Publications, the papers' parent company.
It is owned by the Gannett Company, publisher of USA Today and many local U.S. newspapers.

The editorial was posted Saturday on the Web sites of the four publications: Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and the Marine Corps Times. (Read the editorial)

It reads: "It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads."

The timing of the editorial's publishing was not prompted by Tuesday's midterm elections, said Army Times' editor Robert Hodierne.

It was inspired by Bush statement this week that he wants Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney in their posts through the end of his term, the editor said. (Watch Bush say Rumsfeld is staying on the job -- 1:20 )

Swaying conservative voters "is not our aim," Hodierne told CNN on Friday.
"Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large," the editorial states. "His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt."


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