Pelosi: 'I Hope the Departure of Mr. Rumsfeld Will Mark A Fresh Start Toward a New Policy in Iraq'

November 8, 2006
Press Release
'I welcome the long overdue change in leadership at the Pentagon - now we need a change in policy.  Secretary Rumsfeld has lost the confidence of his most crucial constituency: the men and women of our armed forces who rely on the civilian leadership of the Pentagon to provide them with the support needed to do their dangerous jobs as effectively and safely as possible.  Mr. Rumsfeld failed to do that - that is why I called for him to step down nearly three years ago.

'A new direction on Iraq is also long overdue.  I hope the departure of Mr. Rumsfeld will mark a fresh start toward a new policy in Iraq, signaling a willingness on the part of the President to work with the Congress to devise a better way forward.  Our troops deserve no less.

'Mr. Gates has a great deal of experience on national security matters.  The Senate will need to review his credentials closely to determine if he is the right person to serve as Secretary of Defense at this critical time.