President George W. Bush at the Pentagon: "Mr. Secretary, thank you for your hospitality, and thank you for your leadership. You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror. You're doing a superb job. You are a strong Secretary of Defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude."
Sy Hersh, in The New Yorker: "Secrecy and wishful thinking, the Pentagon official said, are defining characteristics of Rumsfeldâs Pentagon, and shaped its response to the reports from Abu Ghraib. âThey always want to delay the release of bad newsâin the hope that something good will break,â he said. The habit of procrastination in the face of bad news led to disconnects between Rumsfeld and the Army staff officers who were assigned to planning for troop requirements in Iraq. A year ago, the Pentagon official told me, when it became clear that the Army would have to call up more reserve units to deal with the insurgency, âwe had call-up orders that languished for thirty or forty days in the office of the Secretary of Defense.â Rumsfeldâs staff always seemed to be waiting for something to turn upâfor the problem to take care of itself, without any additional troops. The official explained, âThey were hoping that they wouldnât have to make a decision.â The delay meant that soldiers in some units about to be deployed had only a few days to prepare wills and deal with other family and financial issues."