Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The coming meeting at the White House of all living presidents, Dick Cheney...and Donald Rumsfeld
Washington D.C.--George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney...and Donald Rumsfeld are meeting at the White House in what's a very rare occasion indeed. The meeting is being announced as having the ostensible purpose of "helping President-elect Barack Obama in his transition" in extraordinary times. OK, I can buy that--but why Rummy?
The meeting is scheduled to take place on January 7th, 2009, with just thirteen days left in second presidential term of George W. Bush.
I think there's a very strong possibility that they're going to start talking about international law and the issue of war crimes and human rights abuses emanating from the Bush II administration's conduct in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the war on terror domestically and internationally. This would mean Donald Rumsfeld's role in abuses, as well as Dick Cheney's, and perhaps the roles of others in Bush II foreign policy.
Jimmy Carter is bound to have some comments ready on human rights, which he'll be sure to whisper so that he might be overheard. Bill Clinton? He'll smile a lot and slap a lot of backs. I'm sure he'll have some constructive advice for the president-elect.
Rumsfeld's role in creating a "smooth transition" for the incoming Obama administration has a hollow-ring to it, he's a wild card here in some way. The story is being put out there that Cheney and Rumsfeld are being brought in to advise the incoming administration--Rumsfeld was President Gerald Ford's (still dead, so he won't be able to make it) chief of staff, Cheney succeeded him.
Both are well-known friends and associates.
Certainly, they're going to acquaint the incoming President-elect with "the ropes" of running an administration, although considering the disastrous ones that they all led or served under cannot be good examples. But, nothing teaches better than failure so they should have a lot to offer. Still, it nags-the-question: why Rumsfeld? War crimes issues? Executive privilege and legal issues? Who to fire at the Pentagon? Surely, these are going to be some of the topics. It's a very curious meeting. Will it be a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party"?
With Henry Kissinger having advised the current-and-outgoing president in the last few years, it just looks like another indicator of a lack of leadership in the White House, a final collapse, the crashing of a facade. We've been leaderless for a very long time.