Having elbowed the State Department aside and demanded full authority for overseeing the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be held accountable for the problems facing the US occupation, which include mounting US and Iraqi casualties, an increasingly sophisticated insurgency, rampant street crime and costs exceeding one billion dollars a week.

The Nation said it last April and it’s more true than ever before: “The Defense Secretary should resign–now. Although George W. Bush is ultimately responsible for the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq, it is Donald Rumsfeld who is the Cabinet member directly charged with planning and carrying out the nation’s wars.” And he should take Wolfowitz, Feith and Perle with him.

As the Washington Post reported last week, Rumsfeld appears to be losing political support most dramatically on Capitol Hill, where many in Congress, even some conservative Republicans, are expressing concern about his handling of Iraq and his continued in-fighting with many in the military establishment. “Winning the peace is a lot different than winning the war,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). Even the conservative Weekly Standard, now doing its own flip-flop, has taken aim at Rumsfeld calling him “mulish” and the “Secretary of Stubborness.”

A number of public interest groups, including Move.On, Win Without War and True Majority, have banded together to help channel public outrage over Rumsfeld and his policies to the pols in Washington, who may finally be ready to hear this message. Click here to send a letter to your reps urging them to support calls for Rumsfeld’s resignation and to withhold funding Bush’s $87 billion blank-check request unless his Iraq policy is dramatically altered.