Tuesday, May 04, 2004

And the latest...

A former officer in Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard should not have been named to lead a military brigade in the tense Iraqi city of Fallujah, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith said the last link in the vetting process -- public reaction -- prompted the removal of Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed Saleh from the command of the Fallujah Brigade.

"After you finished vetting people and go public with somebody, if you've made a mistake, you hear about it and that allows you to take corrective action," Feith said. "And that's what was done in that case. And it was a mistake."

Feith was responding to a question after a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said at a news conference that "public vetting" has been used for many Iraqi officials.

"You try to vet against a list, a database. But the real vetting comes when someone's head pops up. People look at him and say, `No, no.'" he said.

In other words...

when the guy you appoint looks like the guy you just overthrew and used to work for him,

it may not be a swell idea to appoint him to lead the army.


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