Pelosi Calls on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to Resign
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today calling for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
"Secretary Rumsfeld's leadership of the Pentagon has unnecessarily jeopardized the safety of American troops, and it has seriously undermined our ability to prosecute the war on terrorism. He has been dismissive of international law, of world opinion, and of the Congress. The Pentagon Secretary Rumsfeld oversees has become an island of unaccountability, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, our allies, and common sense.
"Most recently, under Secretary Rumsfeld's leadership, Iraqi prisoners have been abused by U.S. soldiers and possibly by civilian contractors. These abuses-which have perhaps irreparably undermined our standing in the Arab world and have indisputably set back the war on terrorism-occurred because soldiers were put in situations they were not trained for and because they did not have proper supervision.
"Secretary Rumsfeld has known about these incidents for months and has intentionally withheld them from the Congress. He must be held responsible for any cover-up. Secretary Rumsfeld says that he still has not read the report into the abuses, confirming that stopping them is simply not a top priority for him. The sad fact is that the abuses could have been prevented with proper leadership at the top of the chain of command.
"The Iraq war was planned and conducted by the Department of Defense. The DOD insisted on managing postwar Iraq and has failed miserably thus far at bringing security and stability to that country because of its failure to plan adequately. As a result, our troops still do not have the crucial equipment and training they need. Tragically, up to 25 percent of casualties in Iraq could have been prevented if our troops had been properly equipped, according to a recent report commissioned by Secretary Rumsfeld's own Pentagon.
"Secretary Rumsfeld has been and is in denial about Iraq. Today, U.S. soldiers are suffering great casualties and injuries, and American taxpayers are paying an enormous price because Donald Rumsfeld has done a poor job as Secretary of Defense. Secretary Rumsfeld must resign."