Rumsfeld Signature Rubber Stamped On Condolences info
Rumsfeld Signature Rubber Stamped On Condolences
WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) - A new wave of criticism is set to hit US Defense Secretary onald Rumsfeld after he admitted did not personally sign Pentagon condolence letters to families of soldiers killed in Iraq and that a signature stamping device had been used instead.
But he has vowed to do so in the future, according to a Washington Post report.
"I wrote and approved the now more than 1,000 letters sent to family members and next of kin of each of the servicemen and women killed in military action," Rumsfeld said in a statement to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.
"While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter," the defense chief said, according to the Post.
An outcry ensued after the Stars and Stripes reported in late November that the Pentagon was using a signature device to stamp Rumsfeld's signature on the letters, and quoted recipients who said they were insulted.
Several top Republicans, including senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, have recently criticized Rumsfeld, whom Bush has asked to stay on amid a cabinet re-shuffle in the wake of the November elections.
Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott said he hoped Rumsfeld would step down sometime next year, accusing him of not listening enough to his officers.
The defense chief has drawn fire since seeming to dismiss the concerns of a US soldier in Kuwait who asked about the lack of armor for US military vehicles in Iraq.