Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stupid Letter To the Editor O' the Day

From the Seattle-PI:

Defense secretary a little off on his numbers

So Donald Rumsfeld is now saying that out of the "thousands" of generals and admirals in the U.S. military, "only a handful" are criticizing his performance as defense secretary. But I have to ask, where does he get his numbers? According to a U.S. Census report dated April 10, 2003, as of Jan. 31, 2003, there was a total of 873 generals and admirals in the U.S. military.

William E. Wilson
Moses Lake

Uhh, except that the generals who are criticizing Rumsfeld are all retired (the active duty ones aren't stupid enough to attack their current boss). Given that you generally retire as a general in your 50s, when you would expect to live another 20-30 years, I think it is safe to say that there are thousands of generals out there.

Update: The NY Times has a more specific estimate:

Among other things the memo stated that Mr. Rumsfeld has held 139 meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff since the start of 2005 and 208 meetings with the senior field commanders. And it noted that there are more than 8,000 active-duty and retired general officers alive today, compared to the handful who have publicly challenged him.