Michael Yon has posted The Fog of Email an email exchange between retired 4-Star General Barry McCaffrey and former Rumsfeld press aide Larry DiRita. Published with the permission of General McCaffrey. Here McCaffrey gets right down to business:
Original Message â€”â€“
From: BARRY MCCAFFREY
Cc: Melissa Henson Associates LLC ; Joe Galloway
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2007 5:29 PM
Subject: Fw: your recent comments on rumsfeld
Thanks for the email. Did not know you were in J5. It was a great assignment following Desert Storm combat command. Those were very challenging and rewarding duties before I went on to SOUTHCOM command.
Appreciate your admirable loyalty to Mr Rumsfeld. However, I see him as a huge failure as the Secretary of Defense. A patriotic, dedicated, intelligent, charismatic man of great experienceâ€”with a crippling sense of arrogance and hobbled by terrible instincts.
In large part, because of his mistaken decisions and micro-management of the tactical aspects of this warâ€”we are nowstuck in a mess with 29,000 US troops killed and woundedâ€¦. with $400 billion wastedâ€¦and no good way out.
It is my view from direct dealing with the current senior leadership of this Administrationâ€¦ and the Congressâ€¦ and the Armed Forces â€” that Mr Rumsfeld is viewed by many as a ruthless and mostly self-serving official who dominated the policy process to the ultimate detriment of the nation.
He claimed credit when it was not his dueâ€”- and adroitly evaded responsibility for his failures. Finally, by the endâ€”it was my belief that he was disingenuous at best when confronted by the media for his failures.
This is as polite as I can be to characterize his deliberate denial of evidence that contradicted his public mis-statements of the facts. The new Secretary Bob Gates is going to make a serious contribution to getting us out of this dangerous situation in the short time remaining. He is brilliant and has common senseâ€“and is an official of great integrity.
Dr Rice is no longer anchored by the constraints of Mr Rumsfeldâ€”and now plays a pivotal role in a new aggressive public diplomacy. Dave Petraeus and Ryan Crocker will jointly play a creative leadership role in Iraq â€”minus the widely hated interference which came from Mr Rumsfeld. The White House Chief-of-staff and the National Security Advisor will now have a chance to open a dialog with Congress to possibly get some sort of bi-partisan solution to
the disaster that Mr Rumsfeld left us.
Againâ€“I understand and respect your sense of loyaltyâ€“but I think Mr Rumsfeldâ€™s leadership failure as the Secretary of Defense got the nation and the Armed Forces in a very dangerous position. Would also suggest that your very pointed and uncivil emailsâ€”such as the one to Joe Galloway and now meâ€”which defend his disastrous tenureâ€¦ are very much part of the public record and debate.
Appreciate the chance to respond to your views. Best wishes.