These vultures have hovered over Rumsfeld's stubbornly vibrant carcass for way too long, and they just can't let him sprint out of yet another crisis: the call for his resignation by a half dozen retired generals.
Nothing inspires liberals in the press more than the opportunity to glorify liberals in uniform. Conservative military or ex-military types are just jingoistic hacks. But those critical of the military in general or of the Iraq War qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize or Time's Man of the Year.
Just look at their endless exaltation of Congressman John Murtha once he demanded withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Every single story they ran contained the obligatory description of Murtha as a war hero and, more importantly, a longtime hawk.
They apparently believe that when military types speak out against the war it's like finding a smoking gun. What can be more effective to undermine the political enemy than defectors from within their own ranks -- like John Dean with Richard Nixon? What could give their long-suffering cause more credibility than a group of retired generals against the war?
It never occurs to the media to question the inappropriateness of retired military officers publicly criticizing the U.S. civilian leadership during war. But other retired generals -- John Crosby, Thomas McInerney, Buron Moore and Paul Vallely, among others -- have said it is highly inappropriate. It also doesn't bother the media that the retired officers' demand for Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation during wartime could undermine our war effort and troop morale. They can't stand this war anyway.
So the last things the media will want to examine are the propriety and motives of these men who have savaged Mr. Rumsfeld. But someone should.
Do retired generals Paul Eaton, Gregory Newbold, Anthony Zinni, John Batiste, John Riggs and Charles Swannack hope to start a public avalanche of criticism against Rumsfeld -- as if he hasn't taken enough heat over the last four years? Do they want to start a public debate involving all 7,000 retired generals and flag officers in this country and put a big smile on Osama's face?
Shouldn't it make a difference whether some of these generals, like Zinni, have been longtime critics of Rumsfeld or opposed the war all along? Why is it news when he comes out with another in his long line of criticisms?