Gannett Company publishes the weekly independent Military Times publications. These include the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Times. The widely read Military Times Media Group’s 250,000 copies per edition are distributed worldwide to U.S. soldiers and is well-liked with the armed forces in Iraq and other fields of battle. The newspapers have been published since World War II independent of the U.S. government and military establishment.
Gannett also publishes USA Today amongst other publications nationwide. Army Times Publishing is the largest worldwide publisher of weekly print bulletins aimed at both the military and defense establishments.
In the editorial to be published Monday November 6, 2006, Army Times senior managing editor Robert Hodierne has reacted to many sources in the field. In the editorial, he maintains that,
“Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt” and concludes with “Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth: Donald Rumsfeld must go.”
The opinion piece is in reaction to several presidential advisors blaming the commanders on the ground for failures in Iraq, instead of Rumsfeld. The editor had been holding his words until President George Bush made a speech on November 1st. In it he declared he’d keep Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in his current position till the end of his term in 2009. Ignoring conservatives in Bush’s own party’s condemnation of his handling of the war in Iraq. The president was quoted as saying almost defensively that Rumsfeld was doing “a good job.” The president’s own former defense adviser Richard Perle told reporters that his ex-boss’ incompetence had turned Iraq policy into a “disaster”
David Segal of the Center for Research on Military Organization is quoted as saying "I think it would be safe to say if The Army Times is saying that, it is something they are hearing from senior officers in the Army,"
The Editorial was posted on the web on Saturday and also said, “Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success." Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September:
“I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it … and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war.”
Hodierne concludes the editorial with the assessment that with the majority of the American public of the opinion that Rumsfeld has failed in his job, and military leaders starting to speak out against him, it’s obvious that
“…he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.”