August 24, 2005

Query

...re this story.

Virginia Sen. John W. Warner (R) said that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and a senior aide improperly manipulated the national base realignment plan announced earlier this year to compel the movement of more than 20,000 defense jobs away from the Washington area.

Two years before the Pentagon revealed its base closing plan May 13, in a stream of memos and internal records, top department officials were saying that "thinning of headquarters in the National Capital Region remains a[n] objective," according to Warner.

Anyone with more insight into this story, as well as info on the Warner-Rumsfeld relationship generally, is invited to email B.D. (reminder: belgraviadispatchAThotmail.com) or comment below. Thanks.

Posted by Gregory at August 24, 2005 10:59 PM | TrackBack (2)
Comments

Greg, right at the core of Warner's feelings toward Rumsfeld is resentment at the way Rumsfeld treats Congress, the Senate, and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in ascending order of importance. He is not the only Senator to feel this way, but because of his position and background (he was Secretary of the Navy under President Nixon) he feels entitled to the kind of consultation on major initiatives that Rumsfeld hardly ever provides anyone outside the Pentagon and White House.

There is also a substantive issue here: many thousands of Defense Departent employees work in the Washington area in leased office space, and Rumsfeld would like many of them moved out of Washington and closer to military bases. On the substance Rumsfeld is probably right, but John Warner did not become an institution in Virginia politics by letting Secretaries of Defense disrupt the lives of government employees who live in his state.

Full disclosure: I interned once, briefly and a very long time ago, for Warner. Though I would never claim to know him well, I'm pretty confident that he is not one of the more difficult Senators for a Republican Secretary of Defense to get along with as long as that Secretary's name is not Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by: JEB at August 25, 2005 04:56 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What? A senior Bush administration manipulating inconvenient facts? Inconceivable!! Never happens. No way!

Posted by: Doug at August 25, 2005 09:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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