Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Bush’s witch finder general, whose face was in the news almost daily, is suddenly very quiet.
Rocked by the scandals of the Iraq prisoners abuse, and his handling of the Iraq conflict, has seemingly become a liability. No longer is his face broadcast over the television news networks as it once was.
Rumsfeld has appeared in public only twice since the evidence of prisoner abuses surfaced and made international news. His approval ratings have dropped significantly to only 40%, the decline which can only be attributed to the problems, and mishandlings, which have plagued US involvement in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
On 5 May, Bush supposedly told Rumsfeld that he (Bush) was not very happy with the prisoner abuses, and was even less pleased that he was not told about the abuse issues before it become public knowledge. Two days later, Rumsfeld appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and apologized for the lack of controls in the Iraq prisoner compound.
William Nash, a retired two-star Army general, and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said of Rumsfeld, "Obviously he's [Rumsfeld] been a lightning rod and oh, by the way, he's also been wrong and that's never good for Bush”.
Nash also offered that Rumsfeld has yet to feel the full force of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse.
It should also be noted that the Geneva Convention has strict rules governing the treatment of prisoners of war. This new round of revelations of abuses further tarnishes the US image in the eyes of the world, and rightfully points directly at George W. Bush.