It is time for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign. It would be nice if his gaggle of neo-con geese accompanied him out the door.

Rumsfeld's behavior has become increasingly bizarre, so bizarre that he is now receiving "orders" ("taskings" in Condi-speak) from the White House to do his job. We may be nearing the "end of the affair" with Rumsfeld.

The Pentagon reported Monday that Rumsfeld has not read a general's report on prisoner abuses in Iraq, even though the report was prepared in March and became notorious after "60 minutes" broadcast horrendous pictures torture and degradation.

The New Yorker, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have all had access to the report. Why not Rummy? What gives? Apparently, he doesn't give a hoot.

Last year, Rummy made light when looting broke out in Baghdad. Now he is strangely silent as America suffers a worldwide public relations disaster.

On April 8th, I wrote there had been a "Meltdown in Iraq." (Out2.com, Govt & Politics, Andy Martin, Meltdown in Iraq). It took the New York Times and Washington Post several days to catch up with our analysis. The meltdown continues. In Washington.

Sunday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Richard Myers said prisoner abuses were a "big deal." But he hasn't read the [General] Taguba Report either. What gives? Can't they read in the Pentagon? Doesn't anyone care?

There has been a meltdown of leadership and a meltdown of management in the Pentagon. It's downright embarrassing.

President Bush should not have to order Rumsfeld to produce a report on torture and abuse. Rumsfeld should have been on top of the issue, and should have come into the open and confessed to mega-mistakes. Instead, he's hiding inside the E-Ring of the Pentagon. When the #1 big guy is cowering, is it any wonder others beneath him in the food chain are also playing dopey?

It's time for Rumsfeld to apologize and step down, and clear the decks (no carrier landings, please).

While prisoner abuse reports are horrendous, and especially destructive of America's reputation and respect in the world, the entire war has been mismanaged from soup to nuts, from falafel to figs.

When the Army Chief of Staff said in March 2003 we needed a major troop commitment to ensure a peaceful post-war Iraq, he was humiliated by the neo-cons. After General Jay Garner was finally allowed to go to Baghdad he was dumped in days in favor of a neo-con stooge and accomplice, the hapless L. Paul Bremer, III. We are still paying the price for that "management" mistake.

Just what has Rumsfeld done right?

On April 8th I recommended Bush clean house in the Pentagon. Nothing was done. The mess just keeps getting worse. Monday a Pentagon official was quoted as saying "It's going to take some time to sort through exactly what the facts were." Who is writing these lines? Bill Clinton? What have they been investigating for the past four months?

Is anyone accountable? Is anyone responsible?

I was amazed when they reopened Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Driving by, I would say to myself, "who in the world thought of reopening this mess? What a disaster-in-the-making." I saw helpless families lined up outside the prison, seeking to visit loved ones, being rejected. But even I underestimated the extent to which Americans would degrade prisoners.

Where was Bremer? Why wasn't he overseeing the prisoners? These prisons were full of civilians. Where was the oversight? There was none.

The incompetence and mismanagement of the Rumsfeld regime can no longer be concealed. Rummy & co. could cost Bush the election. The polls say that recent events in Iraq have not dented Bush's reelection prospects. Yet. I say phooey. My experience has been that it takes a while for the enormity of a mess to sink in; when it does, public opinion shifts very quickly.

In April 2003 Baghdad surrendered. Iraqis were ready for a new deal. We gave them a dirty deal. A raw deal.

Now it's time for the mismanagers and jokers to vacate the Pentagon. Will the last neo-con out the door please turn off the lights?

President Bush: what are you waiting for? Clean house, before the voters clear you out of the White house. Do something!