I just don't know what Mr. Kristof is looking at, but there are stories about Mr. Rumsfeld knowing about, and approving of, harsh interrogation techniques.
More charges arise in Iraqi abuse
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating charges that the military's elite Delta Force abused Iraqi prisoners far more seriously than anything known at Abu Ghraib, including threatening them with drowning and suffocation, NBC News reported last night.
NBC reported that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knew about the Delta Force's operation and directed U.S. military officials to bring some of the methods to prisons like Abu Ghraib. The network cited "several top U.S. military and intelligence sources."
The report could not be verified last night.
A Pentagon spokesman denied allegations of prisoner abuse at Delta Force facilities.
If true, the NBC report would contradict Pentagon assertions that abuses in Iraq were carried out by just a handful of wrongdoers, and not authorized or condoned by Rumsfeld or any other senior commanders or policy makers.
Craig Gordon, Newsday
And over at The Blogging of the President: 2004
, they are also confused about what Mr. Kristof wrote.
Nick Kristof's Weird Contrarian Instincts
From today's Kristof column:
"Mr. Rumsfeld is not a neo-conservative hawk. He is an old-fashioned conservative, a realist like the first President Bush, and he did not particularly press for war with Iraq."
Doesn't he remember Rumsfeld, shortly after 9/11?
Clarke recalls that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was also looking for a justification to bomb Iraq. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, Rumsfeld was arguing at a cabinet meeting that Afghanistan, home of Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps, did not offer "enough good targets." "We should do Iraq," Rumsfeld urged.
And then there's this:
"Indeed, under the neo-cons the war would have been even more mishandled. Mr. Wolfowitz believed that a small number of troops could seize Iraq's southern oil fields and that Saddam's regime would then fall."
From the Weekly Standard:
"Serious errors have been made--and made, above all, by Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The recent violence in Iraq has confirmed that the level of American military forces has been too low to accomplish the president's mission ever since the invasion phase of the war ended last April."
Nick Kristof and William Safire consistently publish strange columns that offer contrarian-esque viewpoints, even when those viewpoints assert discredited facts or ideas. Safire is known as a conservative, so that excuses him in weird-media la la land in which America currently finds itself. Kristof, from his creepy detached defense of Rumsfeld to his lashing out at American feminist groups for not supporting global women's health issues and praising conservatives for doing so when the reality is just the opposite, largely flies under the radar. I don't understand why.
Matt Stoller, The Blogging of the President: 2004
The links can be found in the original post.