Secretary Rumsfeld’s "Progress Report" on the war on terrorism today confirms that the Bush administration, which specializes in shading the facts, has gone full-bore into fiction. It appears that "shock and awe" has given way to "admit no flaw" at the Pentagon.
In the latest chapter in the Administration’s disinformation campaign to oversell its accomplishments and gloss over the record, Rumsfeld offered a strange catalogue of successes with no resemblance to reality. No matter how you look at the past three years, the bottom line is clear: the American people face greater risks than we did on September 11, 2001.
Under this Administration, the terrorist threat in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere has increased; shortchanging homeland security has left us more vulnerable; our military has been dangerously overstretched; and inaction has increased the chance that terrorists will get hold of a nuclear weapon. Consider just one fact: less weapons-grade nuclear material has been secure in the two years since 9/11 than in the two years prior to the attacks.
Instead of a collective pat on the back, Rumsfeld should be frank with the American people about the lack of foresight and planning in Iraq that led to the mess we now find ourselves in. We need a real plan for decreasing the violence in Iraq, not more warnings of the escalation to come, and a commitment to making America safer.