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updated 5/11/2004 12:03:51 PM ET 2004-05-11T16:03:51
COMMENTARY

Donald Rumsfeld spent most of Friday listening to Republicans and Democratic senators alike, asking questions about what the secretary knew and when did he know it. 

Now, for the most part, Rumsfeld smiled, and he was a lot more polite with them than I would have been. 

Like Donald Rumsfeld, I was elected to Congress when I was in my early 30s, and I know how the system works.  Every member of Congress found out about the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal when the Pentagon announced it to the world on January 14. 

Since the moment the scandal abuse broke in January, I can tell you that all the members of the Armed Services Committee and the House or Senate had to do to get up to speed on the scandal was to pick up a phone, call the Pentagon, and demand a briefing. 

And again, as a guy who was a member of the Armed Services Committee, I can tell you I did it all the time. And the response from the Defense Department was always the same: "Would you like us to send a car, sir, and bring you to the Pentagon or would you like the general to come to your office?"

I say any senator or any congressman claiming to be blindsided by this scandal has nobody to blame but themselves. 

Donald Rumsfeld couldn‘t say that Friday afternoon, but I can tell you that's how life really works on Capitol Hill. 

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