Romney Enlists General Behind Iraq Debacle as Key Military Adviser

General Tommy Franks with Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld in 2003<a href="http://www.defenseimagery.mil/imagery.html#guid=f0726a8a05747cac12e3d69587a3e4fa408784b0">Department of Defense</a>


If you’re a presidential candidate looking to establish your national security cred with a war-weary American public, who might be the worst frontman you could choose for your cause? How about the guy who oversaw the campaign that lost Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, then bungled planning for war in Iraq? In a news release Wednesday night, Mitt Romney announced the 300-plus members of his “Military Advisory Council,” and that man led the list of endorsements:

“I’m proud to be supporting Mitt Romney in this critical election about our nation’s future,” said General Tommy Franks, USA (Ret.), Past Commander, U.S. Central Command. “Governor Romney is committed to restoring America’s leadership role in the world. Instead of playing politics with our military, he will strengthen our defense posture by reversing the President’s devastating defense cuts. The fact of the matter is that we cannot afford another four years of feckless foreign policy. We need level-headed leadership which will protect our interests and defend our values with clarity and without apology.”

Few living Americans can speak with as much authority about “years of feckless foreign policy” as can Tommy “Rumsfeld’s water boy” Franks, who comes in at No. 4 on a Foreign Policy list of worst US generals ever. As readers of our lie-by-lie Iraq timeline will recall, Franks oversaw CENTCOM from 2000 to 2003 and scripted the initial conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Franks:

  • Deliberately concealed from the American public how in 2001, at Bush White House’s request, he was planning an Iraq invasion—while we were still trying to topple the Taliban and find  bin Laden in Afghanistan.
  • Perpetuated the bogus “weapons of mass destruction” myth about Iraq.
  • Authored one of the most nakedly self-serving, embarrassingly written military memoirs of all time. (“Rumsfeld fixed me in his thoughtful blue gaze.”)

In his retirement, Franks maintains the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum out of a Hobart, Oklahoma, storefront. (They now accept PayPal.) Also, Franks would like to sell you some “high performing mother cows” from his ranch, online at 4StarRanch.net.

So what does Franks’ role in the campaign tell us about national security policy in a Romney administration? Perhaps further overseas adventures would be in store, although given the lack of details from Romney regarding his vision for global affairs, it remains anybody’s guess.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate