Rumsfeld "signed" condolence letters by machine

The pressure on the beleaguered US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, intensified yesterday and threatened to taint his main supporter in Washington, George Bush.

David Hackworth, a retired US army colonel turned writer, reported that Mr Rumsfeld had used a mechanical signature writer to sign his name on letters of condolence to relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As usual, Rumsfeld first denied it, then when forced by facts, grudgingly admitted it was true, saying he will now sign them by hand – without of course ever admitting he did anything wrong or apologizing.

This is standard operating procedure for the Bushites. Always deny. When found out, never apologize.

“This issue of a secretary of Defense not personally signing these letters is just astounding to me and it does reflect how out of touch they are and how dismissive they are.”

— Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) on Face the Nation