Thursday :: May 15, 2003

More “Hyperbole” From Rummy’s Minions

by Steve

Several days ago, unnamed US officials in Baghdad were putting the word out that incoming administrator Paul Bremer was going to get tougher on Iraqi looters by issuing “shoot to kill” rules of engagement.

United States military forces in Iraq will have the authority to shoot looters on sight under a tough new security setup that will include hiring more police officers and banning ranking members of the Baath Party from public service, American officials said today.

The far more muscular approach to bringing order to postwar Iraq was described by the new American administrator, L. Paul Bremer, at a meeting of senior staff members today, the officials said. On Wednesday, Mr. Bremer is expected to meet with the leaders of Iraqi political groups that are seeking to form an interim government by the end of the month. "He made it very clear that he is now in charge," said an official who attended the meeting today. "I think you are going to see a change in the rules of engagement within a few days to get the situation under control."

Asked what this meant, the official replied, "They are going to start shooting a few looters so that the word gets around" that assaults on property, the hijacking of automobiles and violent crimes will be dealt with using deadly force.

Today, Rummy comes out and says that such talk about “shoot to kill” orders was “hyperbole”.

He denied reports that U.S. forces had orders to shoot looters.

"That was hyperbole," Rumsfeld said. The rules of engagement for troops in Iraq have not changed, he said. Rumsfeld said that the rules all along have authorized whatever use of force was necessary "for self-defense and other selective purposes."

Since "assaults on property, the hijacking of automobiles" wouldn't necessarily constitute a self-defense situation, then what does "other selective purposes" mean? Or were you just pulling that one out of your ass?

To summarize Rummy, one of your handpicked officials says days ago that the rules of engagement will be changed, and "They are going to start shooting a few looters so that the word gets around". But today, you are saying that a member of your hand-picked team was engaging in "hyperbole?”

Does anyone in this crew know what the hell they are talking about?

Just asking.

Steve :: 1:03 PM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!