Rummy re­union

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Bothcur­rentand­former­loy­al­ist­sof for­merDe­fenseSec­re­taryDon­aldH. Rums­feld showed up to honor the man at his Pen­tagon send-off two weeks ago.

At a re­cep­tion af­ter­ward in the Pen­tagon’sportrait­cor­ri­dor,the­mood was sur­pris­ingly up­beat for a crowd that saw its leader re­sign over the Iraq war, in which Mr. Rums­feld and his aides mis­judged the en­emy.

Re­cep­tion-go­ers said his­tory will vin­di­cateth­ede­ci­sion­tooustSad­dam Hus­sein as a way to ig­nite a demo­cratic move­ment in the Mid­dle East. They­thinkhis­to­ry­willal­solookkindly onMr.Rums­feld’strans­for­ma­tion­poli­cies and his ag­gres­sive global approach to con­fronting al Qaeda.

One re­marked that it was a good time for Mr. Rums­feld to leave. The Democrat­stakeoverCon­gress­inJan­uary and would have sub­jected Mr. Rums­feld to hours of in­qui­si­tion and re­peated re­quests for doc­u­ments.

Among the Rums­feld alumni was Douglas Feith, the for­mer un­der­sec­re­tary­ofde­fense­for­pol­icy.Mr.Feith, now teach­ing at Ge­orge­town, is fin­ish­ing a book on how the war on ter­ror was planned.

Paul Wol­fowitz, now head of the World Bank af­ter serv­ing as deputy de­fensesec­re­tary,al­sowasthere,chat­ting with fed­eral ap­peals court Judge Lau­rence Sil­ber­man. Mr. Rums­feld and Judge Sil­ber­man go back to the Richard Nixon ad­min­is­tra­tion and have stayed close friends.

Pen­tagon of­fi­cials said new De­fense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates has asked po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees to stay on the­p­ay­roll.Withon­lyt­woyearsleftto try to turn Iraq into a win, Mr. Gates does­not­want­tospend­time­wor­ry­ing about­con­firmin­gaw­hole­newteamof as­sis­tant and ser­vice sec­re­taries.

DeputyDe­fenseSec­re­taryGor­don Eng­land has agreed to stay.

We noted in this col­umn nearly six years ago that, as the Pen­tagon wel­comed a new De­fense Sec­re­tary Rums­feld on the pa­rade ground, a red-tailed­hawkhovere­dover­head­for morethan30min­utes.Mr.Rums­feld, in­deed,proved­to­bea­hawkinthe­war on ter­ror.

At the Dec. 15 farewell cer­e­mony, as honor guards po­si­tioned them­selves and at­ten­dees waited for Mr. Rums­feld to emerge from the Pen­tagon,abaldea­gle,thesym­bol­ofAmer­i­can­free­dom,fle­wat­alowlevel­right past­thep­a­rade­grounds—asi­fon­cue.

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