One clue

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

De­fense Sec­re­tary Don­ald H. Rums­feld sum­moned more than a dozen as­sis­tant sec­re­taries to his of­fice late last month. Think­ing back, the at­ten­dees should have seen a clue that his days were num­bered.

Dur­ing a dis­cus­sion of the state of the Pen­tagon and four mil­i­tary branches, Mr. Rums­feld sud­denly pulled out a 10-page list of what he thought the Pen­tagon has ac­com­plished dur­ing his nearly six-year term.

There were more than 100 items, the things that make up a legacy.

“Ishould­have­known­then­theguy was leav­ing,” said a de­fense source.

Lit­tle did any­one know that Mr. Rums­feld and Pres­i­dent Bush had held a se­ries of one-on-one dis­cus­sions on the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tions in Iraq and that a bot­tom line had been reached: The de­fense sec­re­tary would re­sign. Among the ac­com­plish­ments:

The­glob­al­waron­ter­ror­is­mand de­grad­ing the al Qaeda net­work.

A de­ployed mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem.

Em­pow­ered spe­cial op­er­a­tions, with their bud­get in­creased by 107 per­centand­per­son­nel­by11per­cent.

There were not a lot of en­tries on Iraq, the war that cost Mr. Rums­feld his job.

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