Saturday, April 15, 2006

H.R. McMaster may worry the Generals...

From The Huffington excerpt:

by James Pinkerton:

One particular cloud on the horizon might be no bigger than a fist right now, but everyone in the Pentagon knows that this cloud could explode with reputation-shattering thunder and lightning. That cloud has a name: H.R. McMaster.

On PBS' "Washington Week in Review" show earlier this evening, John Hendren, military correspondent for NPR, was asked about the "generals' revolt" against Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

You know, the six retired generals whose picture appeared on the front page of Friday's New York Times: all have criticized Rumsfeld's handling of the Iraq war and called for his resignation. Hendren and the other panelists speculated that additional generals might soon be climbing on the anti-Rumsfeld bandwagon. But why now? Why speak up more than three years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom? Hendren said that one reason the top brass might be positioning themselves against Rumsfeld is that they're worried that H.R. McMaster is writing another book.

H.R. who? He's not exactly a household name, but it's safe to say that every senior officer in the US Army, and probably in the entire Defense Department, knows exactly who H.R. McMaster is. He is the author of a 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. Zeroing on 1965, the hinge year of escalation for the Vietnam War, McMaster wrote in his conclusion, "Lyndon Johnson, with the assistance of Robert S. McNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had set the stage for America's disaster in Vietnam."

Hot stuff, especially since "dereliction of duty" rings bells inside the armed services; it is, after all, a specific term of legal art, punishable according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The book was one long indictment. It had zero legal force, but maximum moral force.

Even hotter was the identity of McMaster. He was no college professor or foreign service officer. A 1984 graduate of West Point, he held a combat command in the 1991 Gulf War and, at the time of his authorship, was an active-duty Army officer. [and he still is, in Iraq now]

Continued at


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who's going to help dedicate--or visit-- a library whose main exhibit is a copy of "My Pet Goat?"