Gen. McCaffrey emails re Rumsfeld

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 —–


To: ldirita

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 experience—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 war—we are nowstuck in a mess with 29,000 US troops killed and wounded…. with $400 billion wasted…and no good way out.

It is my view from direct dealing with the current senior leadership of this Administration… and the Congress… and the Armed Forces — 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 due—- and adroitly evaded responsibility for his failures. Finally, by the end—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 sense–and is an official of great integrity.

Dr Rice is no longer anchored by the constraints of Mr Rumsfeld—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 —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.

Again–I understand and respect your sense of loyalty–but I think Mr Rumsfeld’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 emails—such as the one to Joe Galloway and now me—which defend his disastrous tenure… are very much part of the public record and debate.

Appreciate the chance to respond to your views. Best wishes.

Barry McCaffrey

Read on…