Monday, January 02, 2006

I saw this on Friday and thought it was a bit disturbing:

...In a Bush administration revision of plans for Pentagon succession in a doomsday scenario, three of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's most loyal advisers moved ahead of the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

A little-noticed holiday week executive order from President Bush moved the Pentagon's intelligence chief to the No. 3 spot in the succession hierarchy behind Rumsfeld.... The Army secretary, which long held the No. 3 spot, was dropped to sixth.

... in its current incarnation, the doomsday plan moves to near the top three undersecretaries who are Rumsfeld loyalists and who previously worked for Vice President Dick Cheney when he was defense secretary.

...Under the new plan, Rumsfeld ally Stephen Cambone, the undersecretary for intelligence, moved up to the third spot. Former Ambassador Eric Edelman, the policy undersecretary, and Kenneth Krieg, the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, hold the fourth and fifth positions....

At least one big-cheese lefty blogger, Matthew Yglesias, thinks this is actually a positive development. Really, Matt? Why?

Let's see. Cambone, as you may well know, is a dreadful human being: he was an advocate of missile defense and space-based weapons, he worked with the PNAC, then he was a top aide to Rumsfeld working on military "transformation" -- and then, most notoriously, he sent General Geoffrey Miller to Abu Ghraib to "Gitmoize" the prison. Yeah, there's a guy you want to reward.

Eric Edelman used to work for Scooter Libby and became an undersecretary of defense after receiving a recess appointment; Edelman, in a written statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee, had denied that he had any involvement in any government investigation despite the fact that Libby had discussed Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger with Edelman before Wilson's name became public, and thus is named by title in Libby's indictment.

I don't know much about Krieg. He used to be a VP at International Paper. (The guy who'll be #2, ahead of Cambone, is Gordon England, and he's also a suit: he used to be an executive at Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, two major defense contractors, but he's never served in the military. He's expected to receive a recess appointment as deputy secretary of defense.)

Apart from the dubiousness of the lineup itself, and the scary Cheney connections, what I find upsetting is that Rumsfeld is so obsessed with his own turf battle with the career military that even if a nuclear bomb wipes out much of our government, he wants to prevail. Not prevail against the people who bombed us -- he wants to prevail against the Pentagon careerists. That's sick. But that really is Rumsfeld.

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