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The Rummy wars

By
June 9, 2006

George W. Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, tried to engineer the removal of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. He failed.

Writes former Bill Clinton aide Sidney J. Blumenthan in Salon:

Former President George H.W. Bush waged a secret campaign over several months early this year to remove Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The elder Bush went so far as to recruit Rumsfeld’s potential replacement, personally asking a retired four-star general if he would accept the position, a reliable source close to the general told me. But the former president’s effort failed, apparently rebuffed by the current president. When seven retired generals who had been commanders in Iraq demanded Rumsfeld’s resignation in April, the younger Bush leapt to his defense. "I’m the decider and I decide what’s best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain," he said. His endorsement of Rumsfeld was a rebuke not only to the generals but also to his father.

The elder Bush’s intervention was an extraordinary attempt to rescue simultaneously his son, the family legacy and the country.

George W. Bush doesn’t listen to anyone else. Why should he listen to his father?