Our farewell gift for Donald Rumsfeld

Remember: "Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all."

By Tim Grieve
Published December 11, 2006 2:18PM (EST)

When George W. Bush declared, in his 2005 State of the Union address, that "taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all," we knew that we'd just been handed words that we'd enjoy repeating again and again as the years went by.

Here we go again.

Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq Sunday to thank the troops for their service. It was, the New York Times reports, the second day of a three-day "farewell tour" for the outgoing secretary of defense.

How much did Rumsfeld's secret mission cost taxpayers? That's a known unknown so far: As the Boston Globe reports, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to discuss Rumsfeld's itinerary or schedule other than to say that he has not scheduled any official meetings with U.S. commanders along the way. The spokesman explained: "He wants to keep the focus on the troops."

We don't have any doubt about that.

Tim Grieve

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

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