The DOD's press service announced that former SecDef Rumsfeld was honored last Friday with a ceremonial portrait that will hang in the halls of the Pentagon, warning all future SecDefs about the dangers of arrogance and hubris. Okay, I made that last part up. But I couldn't help a slight reflex gag as a bit of vomit threatened to back up into my mouth as I read SecDef Gate's praise of his predecessor.
Both of his official portraits will hang in the Pentagon. The newest, painted by Steven Polson and unveiled today, shows Rumsfeld at his stand-up desk with a picture of first-responders and soldiers unfurling the flag over the still-burning Pentagon on Sept. 12, 2001.
The unveiling ceremony was a veritable who’s who. Former defense secretaries William Cohen and Frank Carlucci attended. Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers and retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace – who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff alongside Rumsfeld - were there with their wives. Former deputy secretaries Paul Wolfowitz and Gordon England, retired Air Force Gen. Joe Ralston, retired Navy Adm. Vern Clark, retired Navy Adm. Ed Giambastiani, former senior Pentagon correspondent Charlie Aldinger, and many more friends attended the event.
As one wise old man once said, "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." I'll spare you my usual angy, spitting diatribe about how Rumsfeld ruined the Army's force structure, wripped apart its modernization efforts, fed its troops into the sausage machine we lovingly call "Operation Iraqi Freedom," and kept yammering about how the WMDs were "over there, north, south, west, somewhere in Iraq." History will define what a villain this man was, and make an example of his insanely poor dictatorship of US defense efforts.
But I do take exception with the poor research of Jim Garamone, writing for the American Forces Press Service. The photo of the Army soldiers and workers unfurling an American flag against the side of the Pentagon was not taken on September 12, 2001. It was unfurled in a ceremony on October 11, 2001 (see the photo in the Wiki site). I know that because I was there in the bleachers along with a few thousand others, trying to understand what just happened a month ago. I was there on September 12, 2001, also. They were still a little busy that day, searching for bodies and putting out fires, to be unfurling huge flags on the sides of the Pentagon. The failure of this DOD news service to catch this error really kind of pisses me off.
But no, we have to smile fake smiles and pretend that we honor this jackass, this "honorable man," because of the "heroic" efforts he undertook after terrorists hit the Pentagon. Enough said. I'm wasting time on this ass and I have better things to do. "The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones, So let it be with Caesar."
UPDATE: I can be a real asshole sometimes. Let me apologize to Jim Garamone for failing to do the necessary research on the photo in the Rumsfeld portrait. Had I spent a few minutes more on this post, I would have found out that, yeah, they did hang the flag on Sep 12, 2001. My irrational anger at Rumsfeld blinded me to this obvious point.