«”We know for a fact … that terrorists studied Somalia and they studied instances where the United States was dealt a blow and tucked in and persuaded themselves they could, in fact, cause us to acquiesce in whatever it is they wanted us to do,” [Rumsfeld] told reporters aboard his plane.

Rumsfeld made clear that he was talking about both the international press, such as reports on the Arab al Jazeera television network, and critics in the United States.

Earlier in his trip, Rumsfeld had criticized the U.S. news media for ignoring “the story of success and accomplishment” in Iraq and argued that the speed of improvement in the country “dwarfs any other experience I’m aware of,” including Germany and Japan after World War II. He argued that the impact of continued attacks against U.S. forces had been overstated and likened them to isolated terrorist violence “in every country in the world.”»

—Washington Post: Rumsfeld: Criticism at Home, Abroad Harms War on Terrorism

It’s right shame that the Founding Fathers of the US, who had done such a marvelous job crafting the second Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right of citizens to bear arms, included that unfortunately worded predecessor that allows disloyal muckrackers to give tangible support to terrorists. You’re right, Mr. Rumsfeld, to condemn the media on the shameful way it keeps bringing up your failure to find credible evidence of WDM, to expeditiously restore “normalcy” to the liberated citizens of Iraq or even find Saddam Hussein and his good buddy Osama bin Laden. What is the media for, if not to enlighten our nation?
If only those naysayers would just support the troops and not question the motives, goals or methods of this administration, America could once again be a great nation, as it once was in the sunset of World War II.

Shame on you, Mr. Rumsfeld.

Shame for equating the loyal and reasonable opposition to the Bush administration’s foreign and domestic policies to giving aiding terrorists. Shame for stooping to the kind of sophistry that is normally the domain of autocratic regimes, like the one recently deposed in Iraq. Shame for the stranglehold this administration has on the real news of 9/11, the investigations that followed and the wars in the Middle East.

Your loyal critics have had to do a lot of handwaving and speculation about the details of the mischief that’s been done under the rubric of “the War on Terror.” The cause of “national security” has been stretched so thin that soon, I suspect, only Pentagon officials will be allowed into White House press conferences. What the world is likely to learn when you cowboys in DC are shown the door in 2004 or, God help us, 2008 makes my blood run cold.

Either burn the Constitution in great bonfire at an oceanic GOP rally or acknowledge the rightful place of loyal dissent in a healthy democracy.
Trying to scare the population with unspecified warnings on the one hand and intimating veiled threats to your opposition on the other has all the panache of a schoolyard bully. I will not see the Stars and Strips set down in history next to the Swastica as a fascist symbol.

I am a loyal American, Mr. Rumsfeld. My family has been in this country for generations. My father served in the Navy during the Korean War and my brother served in the Air Force. I’ve got friends currently serving in the military today. I am tax payer and a voter. I believe that American experiment has not failed (entirely). I assert that the Constitution, despite its age, brevity and occasional shortcomings, still provides the best of system of government that anyone has come up with so far. I am as loyal a citizen of this representive democracy as you are likely to find.

And I oppose you.

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]