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Clarence Page calls out Rumsfeld: American soldiers are not "fungible"

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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:06 AM
Original message
Clarence Page calls out Rumsfeld: American soldiers are not "fungible"
Clarence Page: Rumsfeld's candor can be too revealing
American soldiers are not "fungible" to their loved ones
Published April 18, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Every so often a high-profile Washington figure gets himself or herself in trouble by inadvertently revealing what he or she really thinks. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knows. In a town where candor can be a crime, he's a repeat offender.

His latest score came during a Pentagon news conference Thursday when he revealed a new Rummy-ism: "People are fungible."

My dictionary says "fungible," which is pronounced with a soft "G" as in "sponge," refers to something that can be satisfactorily replaced, either in part or in whole, with some other part or quantity of similar value. "Oil is fungible," experts say, in arguing why no country or cartel can quite corner the market on it. If the price is too high in one place, you can buy it someplace else and the price in the first place will come down in order to compete.

Now, Rumsfeld wants you to know, our troops are fungible, too. His bold pronouncement came during an exchange with a reporter in a news conference during which Rumsfeld announced that about 20,000 American troops are about to have their tours in Iraq extended for at least three months.
-snip-

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-04041...
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. The death toll is just a corporate burn rate
...that can be maintained until November. After that they can pull out all the stops and let it go higher, because no one can do anything about it.
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leftwingnut Donating Member (843 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. bush* is 'fungible'
and so are you rummy!!
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Political_Junkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. Gawd, I cannot wait
till we get the chance to throw these f**kers out of office! I'm not a Christian, but for people like this, I hope there is a hell!
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keithyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. I wondered who and when someone would make an issue of this.
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 08:57 AM by keithyboy
Good for Clarence.

Definition for those of you who may not know:

1. a commodity that is freely interchangeable with another in satisfying an obligation
2. (law) of goods or commodities; freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation

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soup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. 'Fungible' snip and link to briefing transcript
Q Mr. Secretary, can I ask you about your opening statement? You said that the challenge in Fallujah is being contained and that the situation in the south has largely stabilized. And I wonder, if that's the case, why then is it necessary to keep extra troops in Iraq for 90 days?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, the reason it's contained is because we have the extra troops there. That's self-evident.

Q (Off mike.)

SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, come on. People are fungible. You can have them here or there. The fact of the matter is, we've made a judgment and we've announced the judgment. It's very clear. You understand it -- everyone in the room understands it -- that we needed additional -- the commander decided he would like to retain in-country an additional plus or minus 20,000 people, and that's what we're doing.
http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2004/tr20040415-...
-----

He grew increasingly testy and nasty throughout the question portion of the briefing. His 'must be a problem with your hearing aids' bit later on was demeaning and dismissive. One reporter came back with:

Q -- in the last week. Yet we have heard from February and before that that the military, for the reasons you have articulated again today, General Pace, anticipated a rise of dead-enders, et cetera, to thwart the June 30th handover. What I'm failing to understand -- and my hearing aid has a new battery, sir -- is that, if you anticipated this upsurge in violence, why would it be that you did not anticipate U.S. and coalition troops coming under heavier attack if you expect more violence? And two, why would you have to wait until now to start to temporarily delay the exodus of troops rotating out?
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. kick
:kick:
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Kanary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
7. Sounds like a good topic for many Letters To The Editor
Get to writing!

Kanary
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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Also e-mail this to Buzzflash, other websites and as many friends. . .
. . .as you can!
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. I was rather startled
when I heard Rumsfeld make the people are fungible statement. Startled because he actually indicated how he regards soldiers in the field as being replacable.
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Kanary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Send it to the military papers
It may startle some there.

Kanary
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. His disregard for troops is a matter of record
This is the same jerk that stated that the Vietnam era draftees added "no value, no advantage, really, to the United States Armed Services over any sustained period of time." Rumsfeld 08 Jan 03

I'm one of those draftees, and I'm still steamed.
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