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Rumsfeld Must Stay

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David Frum says Donald Rumsfeld Must Stay.

1) Resignation would be utterly unjustified. The abuses in Abu Ghraib were in no way Donald Rumsfeld’s fault. Nothing he ever said or did could have given anyone in the chain of command beneath him any reason to think that he countenanced or would countenance the humiliation and degradation of prisoners.

2) Resignation would be pointless. The damage done by the Abu Ghraib pictures is irretrievable. The president could fire his entire cabinet, without changing a single mind in the Arab world — or for that matter Europe — about what happened and why.

3) Resignation would deprive the country of the services of one of the greatest secretaries of defense the United States has ever had. As Lincoln said when he was pressed to fire Ulysses Grant: We can’t spare this man — he fights!

4) Resignation would actively damage the war effort. The debate over Rumsfeld is a debate over the whole war on terror — and especially over the administration’s absolutely right and necessary policy of treating captured terrorists as a category of offender different from, say, Martha Stewart.

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