Who Was–and Was Not–in on Rummy’s “Plan”

Gawker has liberated Iraq some of Rummy’s papers on Iraq and Afghanistan. (h/t Rosalind) And while I hope to return to the series on John Walker Lindh (79ff) and the memo, cc’ed to the public affairs people, in which Rummy ordered Jim Haynes to write a memo saying that the way DOD was detaining people was “perfectly legal,” (75ff)

But I just wanted to make a real minor point about the memo he sent on December 13, 2003 to Dick Cheney, cc’ed to Andrew Card and Condi Rice (3):

Attached are some remarks I have been making that talk about planning for post-war Iraq.

With opponents saying we had no “plan,” it is important that we keep referring to our “plan.”

This was the Secretary of Defense sending a messaging note to the Vice President, cc’ing the Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor. It might be the kind of thing that the public affairs office would generate, not the Secretary of Defense. And it’s certainly not the kind of thing you’d normally see the VP as primary recipient of.

And of course, note who’s missing? Colin Powell. Who of course knew Rummy didn’t have a plan.

Interestingly, page 39ff makes it clear that Rummy had not received a copy of the White House propaganda piece, “A Decade of Deception and Defiance,” before he read about it in the NYT (in either a Sanger/Bumiller or a Patrick Tyler piece).

  1. MadDog says:

    Sorry for going OT here EW, but I wanted to confirm your earlier suspicion – via page 3 of an updated WaPo piece by Greg Miller:

    U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA

    …One U.S. official said Davis and the others working out of a Lahore safe house “were hooked up with JSOC,” the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which has taken on an increasingly important role in intelligence-gathering missions in Pakistan…

  2. rosalind says:

    yeah, the super computer is on it!

    and yeah, i had a good chuckle when i read rummy’s plea to larry di rita for a copy of whatever the hell the white house had released without his knowledge the day before.

    and i never quite got that rummy’s snowflake memos actually have the word “Snowflake” printed at the top left corner. odd, odd duck, that one.

  3. thatvisionthing says:

    I can’t see the documents right now — it took forever to even get to this screen. But I have a question about Colin Powell and John Walker Lindh. Jesselyn Radack in the DOJ got her career ruined for objecting to Lindh not being given access to a lawyer. He had asked to see one, and his parents had retained a lawyer who had asked to see him. This is very early in December 2001. The lawyer sent letters or faxes or something to Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Tenet and Powell. Of the four, did Powell and maybe Ashcroft make any effort to see that Lindh could see the lawyer? Did Rumsfeld overrule all of them? Do the papers say anything about how it happened that Lindh instead got sent off to the USS Bataan? Is there anything to connect Rove to Lindh? Larry Wilkerson said in his interview on Antiwar Radio last year that Rove was the one behind the scary detainee in orange jumpsuit show. Since Lindh was Detainee 001, maybe he’s a good place to start wondering:

    Wilkerson: Well, the first dimension that I mentioned was of course that we didn’t want to let a terrorist go. And that’s a legitimate dimension, in my view. The second one was, how on earth could you possibly admit to the American people how screwed up Guantanamo was? If you’re Secretary Rumsfeld and you admit that, you’ve just admitted that you don’t know what you’re doing. And you certainly open yourself up to firing by the President of the United States, and you’ve made yourself look like a total fool. So you’ve got this very understandably human dimension to it that no one wants to admit that they’ve made such a colossal error. You’ve got another dimension to it, too, and you hinted at it there. It’s what I call the “Karl Rove dimension.” You want to exploit this as much as you possibly can, so you put them in shackles, you put hoods on them, you put them in orange jumpsuits, and you show a little TV footage every now and then. You want the American people to believe that these are heinous, despicable, deadly criminals.

  4. thatvisionthing says:

    Plus another question from the fog — Back in 2008 Jeff Kaye was trying to get Sen. Levin to release some December 2001 documents that showed that DoD was trying as early as then to get info on SERE. He had noticed testimony that got disregarded in news reports, which timeshifted the contact to July 2002 instead. Maybe those documents were part of the SASC report, I don’t know. Do they bear here? I just re-read the Daily Kos story the other day but now I can’t manage their search function. iirc, it was Shiffrin under Haynes under Rumsfeld, contacting Lt. Col. Baumgarten in JPRA re SERE history and methods.

    Different link: Why the Silence on Real Torture

    which links to Jeff Kaye asking Sen. Levin here on FDL: FDL Welcomes Senator Carl Levin to Talk about Ongoing Senate Investigation into Detainee Abuse

    Valtin:] Sen. Levin, Your timeline for SERE interjection into U.S. torture training goes to July 2002. But Lt. Col. Baumgarten’s own statement indicates that he was approached by Shiffren (or others?) in December 2001. This is verified, supposedly, by documents your committee staffers showed him.

    Why are these documents not released? Why isn’t this Dec. 2001 part of the timeline emphasized? Would not this early of an approach to use SERE for reverse-engineering purposes put some in the Administration in greater legal jeopardy, as the OLC rulings on detainees did not come until early 2002?

    [Levin:] Lt. Col. Baumgartner did so testify at our hearing. However information relating to his discussions with Shiffrin remains classified. When our report is finalized we will press the DoD to declassify this matter.

    December 2001 is Lindh and also the Guantanamo detainee who just died.

    • emptywheel says:

      The JWL docs are later–mid January. They lay out the thought process they used to get to charging him in civilian court as opposed to military court or just detaining him indefinitely.

  5. BoxTurtle says:


    If this Kevin & Kell does not tickle your politcal bone, please return your sense of humor to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.

    Boxturtle (If you’re out of warranty, try a double dark rum and the Three Stooges)

  6. donbacon says:

    Rumsfeld has previously stated that his Iraq plan, with General Garner, was to get in and get out using Iraqi resources to govern and police the country. He has claimed that he was blind-sided by the replacement of Garner with Bremer, a State Department guy reporting to the White House. Bremer then disbanded the Iraqi military while there was serious mismanagement by the US Army of conditions on the ground with terrible results, and the rest is history.

    • brendanx says:

      The plan, of course, was to create a vacuum that would suck our armed forces in. Thus the Feith-Wolfowitz plan to disband the Iraqi army. They learned their lesson well from the first Gulf War: the Iraqi army provided stability and obviated the need for an occupation of the country; remove the Iraqi army and create the need.

  7. fatster says:


    WikiLeaks: Vanished FBI officer Robert Levinson ‘held by Iranian Revolutionary Guards’
    A former FBI officer who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in Iran four years ago has been held by the country’s Revolutionary Guard, the cables suggest.


  8. PeasantParty says:

    I am still a bit confused about the line between our military and the CIA in the torture biz.

    Reporting/propaganda says the CIA operatives or military contractors for the CIA took part in the torture programs. Can someone help clear this up for me?

    • donbacon says:

      I haven’t seen that the CIA was involved in US Army torture programs, although they have been involved in renditions and torture in non-occupied countries. These will provide further information on military and contractor torture:

      US Army torture:
      The “Taguba Report” On Treatment
      Of Abu Ghraib Prisoners In Iraq

      contractor torture:
      On June 30, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Burke O’Neil LLC, of Philadelphia and Akeel & Valentine, PLC, of Troy, Michigan filed a series of lawsuits in federal district courts in Maryland, Ohio, Michigan and Washington state against über-contractors CACI International, Inc., CACI Premier Technology and L-3 Services Inc., a division of L-3 Communications Corporation.

    • donbacon says:

      The State Dept had complete plans for post-invasion governance — the Future of Iraq Project — which were completely disregarded once Bremer took over.

      extracts from a National Security Archive:

      Less than one month after the September 11 attacks, the State Department in October 2001 began planning the post-Saddam Hussein transition in Iraq. Under the direction of former State official Thomas S. Warrick, the Department organized over 200 Iraqi engineers, lawyers, businesspeople, doctors and other experts into 17 working groups to strategize on topics including the following: public health and humanitarian needs, transparency and anti-corruption, oil and energy, defense policy and institutions, transitional justice, democratic principles and procedures, local government, civil society capacity building, education, free media, water, agriculture and environment and economy and infrastructure.

      In tandem with the de-Ba’athification issue, the Coalition Provisional Authority promulgated CPA Order 2 on May 23, 2003, which dissolved the 400,000-member Iraqi military. Almost one year before this divisive measure, the “Future of Iraq” Project’s Defense Policy and Institutions group had instead advocated gradually halving the army’s size and transforming it as an “important tool for supporting democracy,” with additional long-term tasks like fighting terrorism and drug smuggling.


      • eCAHNomics says:

        I had lunch with one of the (many) authors of the Future of Iraq project, David Phillips (COFR) specifically to discuss why that was discarded. His short A was “I don’t know.” But the farther we got in the conversation, the more obvious it became that Rummy held State Dept in utter contempt. Which is also consistent with the general point of this post.

        Also Rummy held ‘nation building’ more generally in utter contempt.

        • donbacon says:

          Rumsfeld was a “take the training wheels off” guy, and again, Rumsfeld claimed that he didn’t control Bremer.
          from a 2006 interview with Bob Woodward:

          MR. WOODWARD: I see, but did you — because you were in charge, you — particularly Garner was reporting to you in this? And Bremer actually reported to you initially?
          SEC. RUMSFELD: Bremer actually was —
          MR. WOODWARD: Reported to you initially —
          SEC. RUMSFELD: Technically, but not really. He didn’t call home much. In other words, he was out there in a tough environment, making a lot of decisions, calling audibles, and it’s a difficult job.
          MR. WOODWARD: And he felt he was the President’s man.
          SEC. RUMSFELD: You bet, and he was. It wasn’t a matter of feeling it; he was. And he had a staff that he put together that was basically from the State Department, and they worked well together, and they did a hell of a good job. It’s a difficult job, and they accomplished a heck of a lot in a relatively short period of time.


        • thatvisionthing says:

          And He Shall Be Judged
          By Robert Draper
          GQ June 2009

          “In many ways,” says one of Bush’s national-security advisers, “Rumsfeld was more interested in being perceived to be in charge than actually being in charge.” When I repeated this quote to an administration official privy to Rumsfeld’s war efforts, this person’s eyes lit up. “One of the most fateful, knock-down-drag-outs was over postwar reconstruction,” says this official. “It was the question of who’d take charge, State or DoD. Rumsfeld made a presentation about chain of command. ‘If State takes over here, are you saying Tommy Franks is going to report to a State official? Mr. President, that’s not in the Constitution!’ ”

          “I’m not saying State could have done any better,” this official says of the bungled reconstruction efforts. “But he owned it.”

          That is, until he disowned it. In May 2003, six weeks after the fall of Baghdad, Bush decreed that newly appointed envoy to Iraq Paul Bremer would be reporting directly to the secretary of defense. But within seven months, according to Bremer’s book My Year in Iraq, Rumsfeld had completely washed his hands of the faltering reconstruction efforts.

      • Synoia says:

        Bremer. + $9 Billion in Cash.

        Air flights to Iraq from the US carrying the cash.

        How much got “diverted” on the trip from the US to Iraq?

        I’d bet money that Bremer, and others, have nice Swiss Bank Accounts.

        • donbacon says:

          Money is one indicator of malfeasance.
          Another is Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients in the war years.

          Paul Bremer (2004)
          Tommy Franks (2004)
          George Tenet (2004)
          Richard B. Myers (2005)
          Peter Pace (2008)

  9. Knut says:

    It was the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. A bunch of rank amateurs who have screwed the US for good. This was well known before the event. Events just proved those who knew it right. Just as McCain deserves a shitload of blame for naming Palin, so Bush pere et fils deserve blame for allowing these idiots and monsters to take over direction of American foreign policy. The buck does stop somewhere.

  10. TalkingStick says:

    Anybody else see Rumsfeld on Andrea Mitchell today? Hostile. I hope he keeps showing up on these shows. He really gives himself and the Bushes away. Disgusting. But we need to have more folks disgusted with these Republican traitors.

  11. eCAHNomics says:

    I used to be in etouch with an army major who worked in the Pentagon & was a Rummy gofer for awhile. He claimed Rummy was serious about being in & out in 30 days, not caring what he left behind. FWIW.

  12. lsls says:

    Old wise horse trainer said that a client brought his horse to him and said, “he always spins, and bucks…and he always runs away…he’s gonna rear and throw you, because that’s how he always acts”…wise trainer says the only way we can deal with him is to deal with what he does right now. It’s always now.

  13. canadianbeaver says:

    They were all in on it. The Bush Regime and the entire Congress, both Dems and Reps. To say otherwise is to be completely dishonest to yourself. They all knew. Don’t care what anyone says. Bill Clinton’s staff of rejects spouted the same talking points as the Bushies did. Everything else was just kabuki. Make up an excuse, and then go test military weaponry. The only other explanation? The military and CIA runs the entire gov’t. What is scarier?

  14. Teddy Partridge says:

    Rumsfeld told Andrea Mitchell he’s never heard of Tyler Drumheller.

    The man’s mendacity is breathtaking; I hope Obama rues the day he didn’t prosecute this old war criminal. These would be difficult interviews to conduct while speaking from an underground SuperMax cell.