Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued a stern response Wednesday denying President Obama’s Tuesday night assertion that the Bush administration refused troop reinforcement requests in the Afghanistan war. In an attempt to clarify President Obama’s claim, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs compounded its demonstrable falsity, further impeaching the veracity of the president.
In his December 1, 2009 speech at West Point, President Obama made the invidious accusation that since the inception of the Iraq war in 2003:
“It’s enough to say that for the next six years, the Iraq war drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention…. Now, throughout this period, … [c]ommanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive. And that’s why, shortly after taking office, I approved a longstanding request for more troops.” (emphasis supplied)
Rumsfeld, the 13th and 21st U.S. Defense Secretary, who resigned from President George W. Bush’s cabinet effective December 18, 2006, has steered clear of political frays since retiring from public life. But yesterday, Rumsfeld released a written statement directly challenging President Obama:
“Such a bald misstatement … deserves a response. I am not aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006. If any such requests occurred, ‘repeated’ or not, the White House should promptly make them public. The President’s assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan. … I suggest that the Congress review the President’s assertion in the forthcoming debate and determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied.” (emphasis supplied)
In consideration of Rumsfeld’s challenge, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to clarify the president’s assertion. Gibbs maintained that Obama was referring to requests that came in during 2008, two-years after Rumsfeld had resigned his office. Gibbs’ explanation, however, is hopelessly at odds with the president’s unmistakable words emphasized above. To wit, no intellectually honest person can argue that the phrases “for the next six years” and “a longstanding request” mean “2008.” Furthermore, as Fox News points out: “[I]f Obama were referring to the 2008 period, he would … [be] pointing the finger at his own secretary of defense, Robert Gates, who served in the same position in the previous administration.
To read more from this author CLICK HERE.
“Daily White House Press Briefing (December 2, 2009),” Fox News Channel
“Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” The White House
“Rumsfeld Cries Foul on Obama Claim Troop Requests for Afghanistan Were Denied,” FOXNews.com