The new U.S. secretary of defense -- one of the biggest jobs on the planet, given the current state of affairs -- lurks on the Texas A&M football message board.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
|Texas A&M president Robert M. Gates says bye to students. (AP)|
And it just got stranger now that Texas A&M president Robert Gates has been confirmed as Donald Rumsfeld's replacement.
Rumsfeld was horrid at his job, but at least he didn't scour message boards to give and receive information. As far as we know. Anyone seen incoherent ramblings from a message board troll calling himself RummyTheDummy? Keep an eye out. In the meantime, we'll give Rumsfeld the benefit of the doubt and assume he's stayed above the world of anonymous Internet bitching.
Gates? Until being tabbed by President Bush to oversee the Iraq conflict, he'd been trolling the message boards at TexAgs.com, an independent site devoted to all things Aggie. Since November 2005, he has posted 21 times on the site's message boards under the handle "ranger65."
Why ranger65? Gates explained last week when he came out of the Internet closet: '65 because that is my college class and Ranger because he's buried in my front yard.
Presumably the Ranger buried in his yard is a dog and not Bump Wills, Toby Harrah or Sammy Sosa. OK, I think we could all live with it being Sosa.
Gates created the thread that exposed his identity at 8:23 p.m. on Dec. 7, calling it: "Dr. Gates Breaks Cover." As of Monday, the shocking revelation had triggered a monstrous thread covering 27 pages. Here is the rest of what he said:
Folks, as I just posted on another thread, it is time for true confessions as I prepare to depart Aggieland. ... I have enjoyed reading you all for the past four and a half years -- well, at least most of you. You are all hard core Aggies, and I have listened and paid more attention to you than you might imagine. Good luck to all of you in the future. Bob Gates.
Gates was using TexAgs.com to disseminate propaganda disguised as inside information, often tipping the university's hand with notes that began like this: "Someone who talked to Gates today told me he said ..." Or like this: "I personally have heard Gates say ..."
Which is just fabulous. Not only does our new secretary of defense talk to himself, but as president of Texas A&M, he used the Internet to get out the party line in a self-serving, disingenuous way. He's perfect for the Bush administration.
But this is terrifying for the United States. America's enemies, some of whom are no more rational than the average CBS SportsLine.com poster -- but with lots more weaponry (I think) -- know the U.S. military is led by a college football message board lurker. Hey, there's nothing wrong with message board lurkers. You do it. I do it. But the leader of the U.S. military? Is it too much to ask that he not do it? Or that he at least be savvy enough not to admit it?