October 30, 2002
DANGER, DEAR DONALD, DIVINE DOWD DULY DEFENDS DEFENSE, DEFTLY:Rummy Runs Rampant (MAUREEN DOWD, October 30, 2002 NY Times)
Donald Rumsfeld has become redolent of Donald Regan, the forceful and brusque Reagan chief of staff who had trouble remembering who was president. [...]
First, he and his brainy advisers, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, set up their own State Department within the Defense Department, designing a more grandiose and aggressive foreign policy that can be summarized: "We're No. 1. We like it that way. And we're going to keep it that way."
Then they set up their own Defense Department within the Defense Department, staging a civilian coup and yanking back power from a military establishment they felt had grown too skittish about risking troops in combat.
A Maureen Dowd defense of the military's prerogatives is by definition unserious, but that last sentence is just absurd. Note the assumption that the military and not civilians should be in control of the Defense Department, an idea that would have startled the Framers, to say the least. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2002 8:22 AM