The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, August 25, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany
August 25, 2004

Kerry Again Calls for Rumsfeld’s Resignation
Speaking in Philadelphia today, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry today renewed his call for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald F. Rumsfeld.

The Associated Press reports:

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry today renewed his call for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign and urged President Bush to appoint an independent investigation to provide reforms after a report faulted all levels of the military for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.

“It’s not just the little person at the bottom who ought to pay the price of responsibility,” Kerry said at a Philadelphia union hall. “The buck doesn't stop at the Pentagon.”

“What is missing from all these reports is accountability from the senior civilian leaders in the Pentagon and in the White House,” Kerry said. “From the bottom of the chain of command all the way to the top, there needs to be accountability. The Schlesinger report makes clear that Secretary Rumsfeld was responsible for setting a climate where these types of abuses could occur.”

Let’s call it what it is: Getting away with murder.

Los Angeles Times Calls for Boykin’s Ouster
In an editorial published today, the Los Angeles Times writes this about the Bush administration’s current and seemingly immovable deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence:

It is unfathomable why Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin has been allowed to keep his job. […]

The internal Defense Department report concluded that Boykin had failed to clear the speeches with the Pentagon, had not given a required statement that he was not speaking for the military and had failed to report that a religious group paid for his travel. His punishment is unlikely to go beyond a written reprimand.

The comments would be bad enough from a buck private. From a three-star general whose job includes gathering information for the campaign against Islamic radicals, they are unforgivable. Let Boykin retire and speak out as much as he wants. But do not give others the chance to assume that the general speaks for the Pentagon, the administration and the nation.

Well, in the unlikely event both Rumsfeld and Boykin were to be given the old heave-ho that would be two down, and a great day for the U.S. Of course, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle would still be hanging around.

Does This Make Any Sense?
The vice president is trying to have it both ways, as is his wont. The L.A. Times reports (“Cheney Addresses Gay Marriage,” by Richard Simon): “Vice President Dick Cheney, whose oldest daughter is a lesbian, said Tuesday he believed that decisions about same-sex marriages should be left to the states, contending that ‘freedom means freedom for everyone.’”

Uh-huh. These states’ rights guy are hilarious. Push the issue down the pike for someone else to deal with and then claim freedom means the same thing everywhere, when in truth such freedom in inherently and unavoidably circumscribed, to be enjoyed only by “everyone” living in those states that deign to permit same-sex marriage.

Watch Barack Obama
I’ve been reading about U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for a while now, and have been pleased to see so much attention being given to so worthy a politician. I wasn’t too thrilled, though, to see the New York Times editors calling this attention “Obamania,” but we’re probably stuck with it. After all, the editors write: “Obamania is sweeping Kenya” as well.

By the way, Barack’s autobiography, if that’s the right word for his book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, is now available in paperback.

Getting Involved
I’m hoping to attend my first meeting this evening, a gathering to launch the group’s “No Voter Left Behind” campaign. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. I heard more than 1,200 people signed up to attend, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

A Timely New Web Site [*]
Just now up and running and off to a good start: Republicans for Kerry-Edwards.

[* Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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