WASHINGTON, April 13 — The widening circle of retired generals who have stepped forward to call for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation is shaping up as an unusual outcry that could pose a significant challenge to Mr. Rumsfeld's leadership, current and former generals said on Thursday.
How many people in a widening circle? Looks like six. Out of how many retired generals running around? Stet, leave it.
This is the point I want to make.
No one in the American military is expected to say 'yes sir' to an illegal order. You are expected to provide input to your superiors right up to the point where the order is given. Then you say 'yes sir' and shut up and soldier. This is the way it works.
More, general officers have an obligation to stand up and put their career (or lives) at risk when it's important. There is a long tradition for doing this - Doolittle over airpower in the 20s, Sims fought the entire Naval establishment to create a modern Navy at the turn of the 20th century. There were general officers who stood in the door over policy after Vietnam and paid for it.
That is why they make the big bucks - it's the price of admission for the privlege of bearing a general officer's flag.
If these guys saw problems during or before the war and didn't say anything ... they're no one I can respect.
And if you can't respect them then you might ask why anyone should pay attention to them.