Days before his April 4 [Rochester Rotary Club] talk, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said the U.S. had made thousands of “tactical errors” in Iraq. The remark, which he interpreted as a criticism of the military, upset him immensely. He decided it was time to speak out. At the time, two generals had already called for Rumsfeld’s resignation.

In his Rotary Club speech, Gen. Batiste didn’t say Mr. Rumsfeld should quit. Instead, he called the defense secretary “arrogant,” and chided him for ignoring senior military advisers. The 100 or so Rotary Club members have him a standing ovation and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle ran a brief article on the speech. On April 9, retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold called for Mr. Rumsfeld to resign in a Time magazine opinion piece. He was the third general to demand Mr. Rumsfeld leave.

Two days later, a producer from CNN, who had seen the article on Gen. Batiste’s Rotary Club speech, asked him if he would appear on the network. On CNN, Gen. Batiste praised the U.S. military and bemoaned the American people’s lack of sacrifice and commitment to the war. Finally, he called for a “fresh start” in the Pentagon. ~The Wall Street Journal (no link)