According to the LATimes, the Preznit issued an executive order last week that got very little notice -- but it shifted the balance of power in the Pentagon from military to civilian leadership in the event of a "Doomsday scenario." This is the second change in the succession orders in six months.
A little-noticed holiday week executive order from President Bush moved the Pentagon's intelligence chief to the No. 3 spot in the succession hierarchy behind Rumsfeld. The second spot would be the deputy secretary of defense, but that position currently is vacant. The Army secretary, which long held the No. 3 spot, was dropped to sixth....Nothing like rewarding your cronies for telling you just what you want to hear, rather than rewarding military leadership who tell you the hard truths about things, now is there?
But in its current incarnation, the doomsday plan moves to near the top three undersecretaries who are Rumsfeld loyalists and who previously worked for Vice President Dick Cheney when he was defense secretary.
Nothing like devaluing the opinions and advice of the people with the real world, military experience when you are making decisions about life and death situations for our troops.
Who needs the voice of experience when you can listen instead to the voice of speculation -- remember the whole "flowers and candy" greeting? I mean, that turned out well for us. Erm...well, not so much. Okay, how about the whole "there won't be any rioting, we don't need to plan for that." Well, no. Um...we don't really need to up-armor our humvees because we'll be closely guarding all the RPG and other weapons facilities in Iraq after the invasion? Um...
Okay, so maybe the voice of experience has its uses. Too bad the Preznit only wants to hear good news -- actually doing your job can be such a drag.
(Hat tip to reader ExcuseMeExcuseMe for the link.)
(photo by Mark Hoback)