Pelosi calls Rumsfeld comments 'pathetic' attempt to divert attention from Iraq failings

Published: Wednesday August 30, 2006

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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's recent comments against Bush Administration critics a "pathetic" attempt to divert attention from his failings on the war in Iraq.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's efforts to smear critics of the Bush Administration's Iraq policy are a pathetic attempt to shift the public's attention from his repeated failure to manage the conduct of the war competently," said Pelosi in a press release received by RAW STORY.

Rumsfeld had compared war critics to "appeasers" in his speech.

"Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated -- or that it was someone else’s problem," Rumsfeld told the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday.

"If Mr. Rumsfeld is so concerned with comparisons to World War II, he should explain why our troops have now been fighting in Iraq longer than it took our forces to defeat the Nazis in Europe," Pelosi responded.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid also lashed back at Rumsfeld late yesterday.

"Secretary Rumsfeld’s reckless comments show why America is not as safe as it can or should be five years after 9/11," said Reid's statement. "The Bush White House is more interested in lashing out at its political enemies and distracting from its failures than it is in winning the War on Terror and in bringing an end to the war in Iraq."

"If there's one person who has failed to learn the lessons of history it's Donald Rumsfeld," Reid said.

Pelosi mentioned the torture that went on in Iraq's Abu Ghraib as one "failure" that happened during Rumsfeld's tenure.

"The policies that led to the horrors at Abu Ghraib were developed on Mr. Rumsfeld's watch," said Pelosi. "For him to now lecture on moral clarity is a fresh embarrassment to the nation."

"His comments offer additional evidence that the end of his tenure as Secretary of Defense can not come soon enough," added Pelosi.