What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Cabinet Shuffle

Another member of George W. Bush's first cabinet has resigned: Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. For those of you who want to keep score, here's the current list of resignations:

Secretary of State Colin Powell
Attorney General John Ashcroft
Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham
Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman
Secretary of Education Rod Paige
Secretary of Commerce Don Evans

Thompson offered up a warning to the United States with the announcement of his retirement of the vulnerability of our food supplies. In a speech he said, "For the life of me, I cannot understand why terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do...we are importing a lot of food from the Middle East, and it would be easy to tamper with that."

Thompson also noted he worries "every night" about terrorists attacking our food supply, and that only "a very minute amount" of food is tested at airports.

President George W. Bush played down Thompson's remarks. Of course, had the information come from flawed CIA reports, you can bet your ass Bush would have jumped on this information and launched an attack against America's farmers.

What's worse is that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld refuses to step down. Come on, Donny! Over half Bush's original cabinet has stepped down. In light of a discovery of a new set of photographs of prisoner abuse, taken in 2003, you'd think Rummy would do the honorable thing and take responsibility for the prisoner abuse by resigning.

This new set of photographs appear to show Navy SEALS sitting on hooded and handcuffed prisoners, with some photos apparently showing bloodied prisoners and one with a gun to his head.

In fact, news of prisoner abuse was detailed in a December 2003 memo to Army generals. The report also outlined abuse by a joint operation of special forces members and the CIA, who had been abusing prisoners throughout Iraq and had been using a secret facility to carry out the "interrogations."

All of this before the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs were released.

Good thing the man in charged of the armed forces isn't going to be held responsible for these abuses. We all know that in the Bush administration, the buck stops somewhere else entirely. Certainly not at Rumsfeld's desk, and definitely not at Bush's desk.


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