Follow the bouncing Joe

Lieberman was for Rumsfeld's ouster before he was against it before he was for it again.

Published August 21, 2006 1:51PM (EDT)

Joe Lieberman was for the ouster of Donald Rumsfeld before he was against it before he was for it again.

In an appearance on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Lieberman was asked what he'd do in Iraq that's different from what George W. Bush has proposed. "Three years ago in October on this show you asked me and I said that I believe that it was time for new leadership at the Pentagon," Lieberman responded. "I think it's still time for new leadership at the Pentagon. With all respect to Don Rumsfeld, who has done a grueling job for six years, we would benefit from new leadership to work with our military in Iraq."

Lieberman's right about what he said three years ago. Appearing on the show in October 2003, Lieberman said: "Judgment about whether he stays or not is up to President Bush, but if I were president, I'd get a new secretary of defense."

But the blog Belgravia Dispatch, coming to us via Raw Story, notes that Lieberman hasn't exactly been as consistent as his words might indicate. In an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in May 2004, Lieberman suggested that those who were calling for Rumsfeld's resignation in the wake of the Abu Ghriab scandal were -- get ready for it -- emboldening the enemy. "Many argue that we can only rectify the wrongs done in the Iraqi prisons if Donald Rumsfeld resigns," Lieberman wrote. "I disagree. Unless there is clear evidence connecting him to the wrongdoing, it is neither sensible nor fair to force the resignation of the secretary of defense, who clearly retains the confidence of the commander in chief, in the midst of a war. I have yet to see such evidence. Secretary Rumsfeld's removal would delight foreign and domestic opponents of America's presence in Iraq."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2006 Elections Donald Rumsfeld Iraq Joe Lieberman Middle East War Room