A lawyer looks at the Rumsfeld hearing
I have watched the Rumsfeld hearings with interest and despair. I don’t know what’s worse: obvious lies by Rumsfeld, or the inability of a single member of the Congressional committee to conduct even a marginally competent cross-examination.
Take, for example, the idiocy of Rumsfeld’s statement that, after all, there are 18,000 criminal investigations going on within the DoD. The statistic may well be true for all I know, but he surely doesn’t mean that there are 18,000 criminal investigations going on in IRAQ. If there are, then that means there’s an investigation for every 7.5 soldiers, which is a horrifying statistic.
A marginally competent examination of Rumsfeld offering this preposterous figure would have been first to inquire whether he in fact meant that there were 18,000 criminal investigations in Iraq, and after he admitted that, no, that includes sexual harassment in Greenland and a burglary at Bugsrump AFB in Arkansas, ask him how many criminal investigations are going on in Iraq and watch him squirm when he doesn’t know. Then you ask him why he picked such a misleading number, and so on.
We are not being well-served by our elected officials.
Addendum: Democracy Now aired Sen. McCain asking Rumsfeld who was in charge, and he never got a straight answer and finally gave up. A Johnnie Cochran would have gotten an answer and/or ripped Rumsfeld to shreds.