28 Nov 2008

The Day Before W Became a War President

Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The Pentagon , Monday, September 10, 2001 ~ http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430

"...The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America. This adversary is one of the world's last bastions of central planning. It governs by dictating five-year plans. From a single capital, it attempts to impose its demands across time zones, continents, oceans and beyond. With brutal consistency, it stifles free thought and crushes new ideas. It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk.

Perhaps this adversary sounds like the former Soviet Union, but that enemy is gone: our foes are more subtle and implacable today. You may think I'm describing one of the last decrepit dictators of the world. But their day, too, is almost past, and they cannot match the strength and size of this adversary.

The adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy. Not the people, but the processes. Not the civilians, but the systems. Not the men and women in uniform, but the uniformity of thought and action that we too often impose on them.

In this building, despite this era of scarce resources taxed by mounting threats, money disappears into duplicative duties and bloated bureaucracy—not because of greed, but gridlock. Innovation is stifled—not by ill intent but by institutional inertia.

...Our challenge is to transform not just the way we deter and defend, but the way we conduct our daily business. Let's make no mistake: The modernization of the Department of Defense is a matter of some urgency. In fact, it could be said that it's a matter of life and death, ultimately, every American's.

A new idea ignored may be the next threat overlooked. A person employed in a redundant task is one who could be countering terrorism or nuclear proliferation. Every dollar squandered on waste is one denied to the warfighter. That's why we're here today challenging us all to wage an all-out campaign to shift Pentagon's resources from bureaucracy to the battlefield, from tail to the tooth.

We know the adversary. We know the threat. And with the same firmness of purpose that any effort against a determined adversary demands, we must get at it and stay at it.

Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself.

...Business enterprises die if they fail to adapt, and the fact that they can fail and die is what provides the incentive to survive. But governments can't die, so we need to find other incentives for bureaucracy to adapt and improve.

The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it's stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.

...So today we declare war on bureaucracy, not people, but processes, a campaign to shift Pentagon resources from the tail to the tooth. All hands will be required, and it will take the best of all of us.

Now, like you, I've read that there are those who will oppose our every effort to save taxpayers' money and to strengthen the tooth-to- tail ratio. Well, fine, if there's to be a struggle, so be it. But keep in mind the story about the donkey, the burro, and the ass. The man and the boy were walking down the street with the donkey and people looked and laughed at them and said, "Isn't that foolish—they have a donkey and no one rides it." So the man said to the boy, "Get on the donkey; we don't want those people to think we're foolish." So they went down the road and people looked at the boy on the donkey and the man walking alongside -- "Isn't that terrible, that young boy is riding the donkey and the man's walking." So they changed places, went down the road, people looked and said, "Isn't that terrible, that strong man is up there on the donkey and making the little boy walk." So they both got up on the donkey, the donkey became exhausted, came to a bridge, fell in the river and drowned. And of course the moral of the story is, if you try to please everybody, you're going to lose your donkey. [Laughter.]

So as we all remember that if you do something, somebody's not going to like it, so be it. Our assignment is not to try to please everybody. This is not just about money. It's not about waste. It's about our responsibility to the men and women in uniform who put their lives at risk. We owe them the best training and the best equipment, and we need the resources to provide that. It's about respect for taxpayers' dollars. A cab driver in New York City ought to be able to feel confident that we care about those dollars."

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, 9-10-2001

Beautiful Babylon Babies Unite !!!

This Blog existed after Bush II "the lesser" stole 2 elections, before Google ate Blogger,

This Blog existed after Bush II "the lesser" stole 2 elections, before Google ate Blogger,
Love Trumps hate.

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A stairway to the dark side of the moon reveals an orchestrated King
singing the blues while sexual pistols whip Jesus’ son.
Who’s influence weens us?
Me and my friends gratefully raged against the machine for three days
in the shadow of the valley of the dead
so big brother and company held us down while the wind cried
nothing to be gained here (except copied rights),
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where a buffalo soldier picked up a Gideon’s bible from the Godfather
in joe’s garage (or was it in one of 200 motels?)
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followed his heart and stopped pretending he was the king of the little plastic castles
while education, missed in the house of the naked apes, evolved and mutated
into and with ~ Nature Art Love Truth ~ and we do too…
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into imagine nations where everything is now sacred
and there are no more public enemies or rusted Roots or minor threats
or bad brains or busted rhymes or widespread panic
and everyone can read the hieroglyphics on the wall
and we are all refugees of courtney’s love attaining nirvana….
But then again, you’re so vain, you probly think this poem’s about you-
we are everywhere and we cannot be beaten
it’s all over now baby blue, all we need is Love
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