Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld faced renewed criticism Sunday from lawmakers, including one prominent Republican, after he said he has not personally signed letters sent to family members of troops killed in action.
Rumsfeld made the acknowledgment in a statement to military newspaper Stars and Stripes, saying that he would begin signing such letters.
Stars and Stripes had reported that Rumsfeld’s letters carried a mechanical reproduction of his signature, which angered some military families.
In his statement published Friday, Rumsfeld said he “wrote and approved the now more than 1,000 letters sent to family members and next of kin of each of the servicemen and women killed in military action.
“While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter.”
Want to bet that the signature on the statement came from the Auto-Pen?
Sen. Chuck Hagel, a leading GOP critic of Rumsfeld, called the news about the letters “astounding,” and noted that President Bush signs each of his letters to military families.
It’s true; and Mr. Bush uses Crayola’s “Forest Green.” It’s his favorite because it looks manly.