- “Do you know what we just saw? We just saw the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tell the Secretary of Defense to sit down and shut up. In public. In front of reporters. This is bigger than you can imagine. Rumsfeld has lost the US military. There’s nothing left for him but to resign or get fired.“
Jim Macdonald, at lefty blog Making Light, reading way, way between the lines of a Washington Post story relating details of a Pentagon press conference with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace. Even Kos moonbat king Armando didn’t try to make that hyperbolic leap. The actual transcript (shown below), which none of the liberal commentators bothered to link to, hardly seems worthy of such liberal schadenfreude.]]>< ![CDATA[
SEC. RUMSFELD: Pam.
Q Sir, taking on Charlie’s question a bit — and I can give you actual examples from coalition forces who talked to me when I was over there — about excesses of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defense, and that is in dealing with prisoners or in arresting people and how they’re treated after they’re arrested. What are the obligations and what are the rights of the U.S. military over there in dealing with that? Obviously, Iraq is a sovereign country now, but the United States is responsible for training and expects to turn over the security mission to them. So what is the U.S. obligation in addressing that, preventing that? And what can we do? And what are we doing?
SEC. RUMSFELD: That’s a fair question. I’ll start, and Pete, you may want to finish. But we are working very hard to train and equip the Iraqi security forces. So is NATO. So are some neighboring countries. There are a lot of people involved in this and dozens of countries trying to help train these Iraqi forces.
Any instance of inhumane behavior is obviously worrisome and harmful to them when that occurs. Iraq knows of certain knowledge that they need the support of the international community, and a good way to lose it is to make a practice of something that’s inconsistent with the values of the international community. And I think they know that.
Now, you know, I can’t go any farther in talking about it. Obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility when a sovereign country engages in something that they disapprove of; however, we do have a responsibility to say so and to make sure that the training is proper and to work with the sovereign officials so that they understand the damage that can be done to them in the event some of these allegations prove to be true.
Q And General Pace, what guidance do you have for your military commanders over there as to what to do if — like when General Horst found this Interior Ministry jail?
GEN. PACE: It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it. As an example of how to do it if you don’t see it happening but you’re told about it is exactly what happened a couple weeks ago. There’s a report from an Iraqi to a U.S. commander that there was possibility of inhumane treatment in a particular facility. That U.S. commander got together with his Iraqi counterparts. They went together to the facility, found what they found, reported it to the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government has taken ownership of that problem and is investigating it. So they did exactly what they should have done.
SEC. RUMSFELD: But I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it.
GEN. PACE: If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.