Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rumsfeld and Rangel

Al Kamen in today's Wash Post.

Talk about taking the high road. Back in May 2004, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution in the House to impeach Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for all manner of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Article I of the resolution said Rumsfeld "urged and oversaw the preemptive invasion and occupation of Iraq under the false premise that the United States was in imminent danger of attack from weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam Hussein was involved with al Qaeda" in the 9/11 attack.

As such, Rumsfeld "acted in a manner contrary to his trust . . . and through his malfeasance has offended and embarrassed the American people, undermined United States credibility around the world and increased the danger to American troops and civilians around the world," the resolution said.

The following eight articles blame Rumsfeld for misappropriating funds, sending "troops into war undermanned and under-equipped" and contributing to an "atmosphere of lawlessness" in military prisons in Iraq.

The resolution, of course, went nowhere.

Last week, Rumsfeld sent Rangel a note thanking him for sponsoring a bill that would authorize President Bush to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen. Several dozen survivors of the famed African American aviator group met with Rumsfeld last month, and they mentioned Rangel's bill.

"In my view," Rumsfeld wrote in a Dec. 8 letter, "this recognition is well deserved. This group of American heroes significantly contributed to victory in Europe during World War II and helped break down racial barriers in our armed forces."

Rumsfeld, who sent copies to the House leadership, said he supports the legislation and wants to "encourage all Members to sign on as additional co-sponsors" to the bill. "This is of utmost importance to me," he added.

Betcha Rangel's glad that impeachment move stalled -- at least for a while.

Seven of the airmen went to Iraq recently and photos of their visit can be seen here.

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