THE LATEST TO GO….Why did SecDef Robert Gates decide not to nominate Gen. Peter Pace for a second term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs? It wasn’t performance, Gates said:

Rather, Mr. Gates said, he had concluded after extensive discussion with key Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, that General Pace’s renomination hearings “would have been on the past rather than the future.”

In the last few months we’ve already seen the departure of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Hadley, Casey, Abizaid, and Zalmay Khalilzad either from the government or from positions responsible for Iraq, and Pace is now the latest to go. The message is pretty clear: the Bush administration can’t withstand any scrutiny of any part of its handling of the war on either the military or civilian side. There’s not a single person whose performance is considered defensible. Remarkable.

UPDATE: Cernig takes a look at the record of Pace’s replacement, Adm. Mike Mullen, and offers some thoughts:

It seems plain to me that Mullen is being brought forward, in part, to clean house for Gates and consolidate his position at Defense by sweeping out all the old Rumsfeld hangovers….Does anyone else get the impression that the real feud in the Bush administration in coming days won’t be the much publicized Cheney-Rice spat but instead a Cheney-Gates one?