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Time to determine Rumsfeld legacy

December 12, 2006

Re "The Rumsfeld show's finale a classic, by golly," Dec. 9

The Pentagon loses a giant of a man with the resignation of Donald H. Rumsfeld as Defense secretary. Time will tell a different story than the one now told by the media and shortsighted politicians who love their time in front of the camera and have nothing productive to say. What does Rumsfeld do? Is he sulking? No, he is visiting the troops and lauding the good job they are doing and thanking them for the sacrifices they and their families are making. This is one classy man, a man of integrity.

ELEANOR TRAEG

Los Gatos, Calif.

*

How kind of The Times to publish such a glowing tribute of the departure of Rumsfeld. While continuing to admire his "rock star" status (going so far as to call his last public appearance a "greatest-hits collection"), The Times failed to mention that this is a man who flat-out lied to take our country to war and who so angered top military officials that a number of retired generals, including two who served in Iraq, wrote an open letter criticizing his methods and strategies. To call Rumsfeld's history of news conferences "the best show in town" demonstrates how low media standards have fallen. I thought news briefings were meant to inform, not entertain.

As long as the media continue to treat public officials who lie to the American people as celebrities instead of public servants, we will continue to be at risk for another war of choice (or other such calamities) by radical ideologues of all stripes.

MATT GIORGI

Brea

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