Tuesday, August 29, 2006


An Open Letter To Donald Rumsfeld

Mr. Rumsfeld,

In your speech to the American Legion's national convention in Salt Lake City, you stated that I, along with approximately two-thirds of the country if you can believe the polls, am suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion" about what threatens the nation's security. Mr. Rumsfeld, I beg to differ.

As you and many others in this current administration have done, I am going to invoke the memory of September 11, 2001. More importantly, I am going to recall the day of September 14, 2001, when your boss climbed atop the rubble and, while standing on the charred remains of some 2,700 innocent Americans, proclaimed “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

Because on that day, Mr. Rumsfeld, your boss made a promise. A promise to the victims, the survivors and their families, and the rest of America that we would do the right thing. We would not let an attack on our country go unanswered. Not only was America united at that time, but the rest of the world was on our side. And we, the American people, had to have faith that you and the rest of the administration would do the right thing. I know of nobody that was opposed to the action we took in Afghanistan in our efforts to bring the responsible parties to justice.

But then you got off track. You and the rest of this administration took your eye off the ball. You let the man responsible get away. And your boss broke his promise. Not only did he go back on his word, but he used the nation’s faith and goodwill to invade a country that we knew was not involved. We’ve now ravaged a sovereign nation that was not a threat to us. As of this writing, we’ve lost almost as many lives in Iraq as we did at the World Trade Center that day. And all the while, we’ve allowed “the people who knocked these buildings down” to remain free and unpunished.

As for those other attacks that you referred to in your speech today - the ones in Bali, London and Madrid - well, you haven’t been able to stop them either. Maybe if we had completed the mission we originally set out to attain, those attacks wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if we had kept our eye on the ball, those victims would still be alive. But you allowed us to get distracted. One might say that you were confused as to who the enemy was.

Critics of Mr. Bush, and Democrats in particular, are not confused, Mr. Rumsfeld. In fact we are quite clear in our position. We are in support of protecting our country and bringing to justice those responsible for the attacks of that fateful day almost five years ago. We’re not asking for much, just that your boss keep his word.

In truth, I believe that it is you who are confused, Mr. Rumsfeld. You seem to be under the impression that Americans are too stupid to recognize a mistake when they see one. Now we might fall for a lot of things, but after five years of failure and three years of death and destruction, I believe that the majority of us are starting to finally see the light. You have failed Mr. Rumsfeld. You and your boss have not delivered on your word to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice. And no matter how much you impugn our intelligence by calling us immoral or confused, you can not change that fact.

You see, I know what threatens our country, Mr. Rumsfeld. It is you and the rest of this administration that insists we “stay the course” in Iraq while we allow our own country to go unprotected and the perpetrators of that horrific event to walk free. If you had any sense of decency, you would be ashamed by your words and actions. However, I’m sure you’re not.

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