Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld quitting as defense secretary

Rumsfeld quitting as defense secretary - "Former CIA chief Robert Gates, who headed that agency from 1991 until 1993, will be nominated to take over as defense secretary, Bush said Wednesday. Gates is now president of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Rumsfeld, 74, has served as defense secretary since January 20, 2001, the beginning of Bush's first term. He also served as defense secretary under President Ford from 1975 to 1977.

Monday an editorial in Military Times Publications -- which includes the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times -- called for him to step down. The publications are independent of the Department of Defense.

A recent book by journalist Bob Woodward states that former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card tried to persuade Bush to fire the defense secretary, a fact a senior White House official confirmed to CNN last week.

Earlier this year, eight retired generals, including former NATO commander Wesley Clark and the former head of the U.S. Central Command Anthony Zinni, called for Rumsfeld's resignation. They accused him of mishandling the Iraq war and failing to do post-planning."

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