The past week has brought a lot of attention to Donald Rumsfeld. Six retired generals — Paul Eaton, Gregory Newbold, John Batiste, Anthony Zinni, Wallace Gregson, and John Riggs — were quoted in last week’s Washington Post article, “Rumsfeld Rebuked By Retired Generals.”
This immediately transformed into “a half-dozen retired generals are calling on Rumsfeld to resign.” It doesn’t seem to matter that Zinni only appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to publicize his new book, The Battle for Peace. It also doesn’t seem to matter that there wasn’t a coordinated effort by these generals to pressure Rumsfeld to resign — at least not initially. The media seem to be using them now to create their own pressure on Rumsfeld without sounding biased.
From yesterday’s WaPo editorial:
Mr. Bush would have been wise to accept Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation when he offered it nearly two years ago.
From an NYT article today:
Perhaps the most notable examples of damage control since the retired generals’ complaints gathered force have come from Mr. Rumsfeld.
“Damage control.” “He should have been able to resign before.” “Gathering force.” The media created this “force,” and are now “responding” to it the same way they did to John Murtha’s call for immediate troop withdrawal — quoting a respected military officer, and using the logically fallacious appeal to authority to justify their own opinions.