U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came under attack at a Senate hearing Thursday, as he insisted the military shouldn't set a deadline for withdrawing American troops from Iraq.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Democrat, condemned as 'gross errors and mistakes' in the U.S. military campaign in Iraq. He demanded Rumsfeld step down.
'In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the Secretary of Defense?' Kennedy asked at the fractious Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. 'Isn't it time for you to resign?' he asked.
The Defence Secretary rejected calls from some senators that the military set a timetable to pull troops out of Iraq, calling it a 'mistake' that would 'throw a lifeline to terrorists.'