So whats the crack with Donald Rumsfeld getting a machine to write his signature of the 'sorry your son is dead, love the US Governmnet' letters. What a fcuking discrace. I wonder if Geoff (or whoever sends them) signs his letters?
I'm confused about what they mean by 'a machine'...
Do they mean:
A LaserJet printer that prints out the letters?
An actual mechanical arm which holds a pen and simulates his signature?
The only difference is that in the latter, they would be blatantly trying to trick people into thinking that they were hand-sogned, whereas the former may indicate that they didn't know it would offend.
With no room for doubt? Donald Rumsfeld and his staff?
A templated letter is standard for all sorts of things these days. A genuine signature suggests the 'author' has seen it, therefore aware of the contents and approved it. A bit of a personal touch. A printer reproduced 'signature' fools nobody.
It looks clear from what I have read that Rumsfeld is too busy and has a machine that holds his pen to do the work. The technology has been around since shortly after the wheel.
Problem is, you can never be sure if the press are taking the word "machine" just slightly out of context without anyone picking up on it.
I do agree, he should sign all the letters, doesn't matter how many there are - take them home at the weekend and read them all.
It could have been an ink pad and stamp for all the difference it makes. I am pretty sure that he could find the time to sign the letters, it's not like anyone actually expects him to write the damned things by hand!
I think our Prime Minister has on occasion sent a handwritten reply to angry bereaved relatives who have written to him personally, a disarming touch (which is presumably the aim).
As for the Rumsfeld condolence letters, printed word-processed letters based on a template should be perfectly acceptable, but it seems typical of him not to have been signing them personally. In practice, this means that some minion on DoD staff would have handled the letters without Rumsfeld even seeing them or registering the human cost which they represented. Once again a solution which was technologically logical but lacking the human dimension, and ultimately self-defeating.
It does make a difference, hence the insult, hence the thread. In the American psyche, a member of government taking the time to be personal makes a difference. If a death in combat is a matter for the President's personal attention, Americans are even more 'chuffed'. In the British psyche, it is the deceased's Commanding Officer taking the time-more a matter of comradeship, responsibility and personal honour- to be personal that matters.
Nothing will bring back the dead or disguise the fact that they died for a cause not worth the life of a single infidel but a signature by the hand of Rumsfeld will make a difference.
Rumsfeld's detachment is all the more shameful as he has served ( USN) unlike TCH.