WASHINGTON - Retired military officers on Monday are expected to bluntly accuse Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public.
"I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq," retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste said in remarks prepared for a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.
A second witness, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, is expected to assess Rumsfeld as "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically ...."
"Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision-making," said his testimony prepared for the hearing, to be held six weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections in which the war is a central issue.
The conflict, now in its fourth year, has claimed the lives of more than 2,600 American troops and cost more than $300 billion.
LSB: How many retired generals does it take to get the message through to the Bush Admin that their Secretary of Defense is a dud? He won't be recalled before the election - that would just be admitting "W" were wrong and Repubs would pay the price at the ballot box. But after the November election...