Rumsfeld Dodged Early Iraq Failures: Sanchez

Former general speaks out in new book, describes lies and 'total BS'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2008 11:34 AM CDT
Rumsfeld Dodged Early Iraq Failures: Sanchez
In this Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, file photo, former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to discuss the death of former football star and soldier Pat Tillman.    (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

Early mistakes in Iraq—and the extent of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's involvement in them—are the subject of a Time excerpt from a book by the former commander of US forces in Iraq, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. Sanchez details an effort by Rumsfeld to get him to agree, on paper, that Rumsfeld had been out of the loop on the premature drawdown of strategic command forces that led to disarray—a claim Sanchez vehemently denies.

Sanchez, who was forced into retirement after Abu Ghraib, accuses Rumsfeld of “covering his rear” and “setting up a chain of denials,” even dangling a post-retirement job at Defense if the general will corroborate his claim. “The Secretary knew,” Sanchez writes. “Everybody knew." At one meeting, he told Rumsfeld: "Sir, I cannot believe that you didn't know I was being left in charge in Iraq.” Sanchez alleges that Rumsfeld “was attempting to level all the blame on his generals.” (More Donald Rumsfeld stories.)

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