Officer defends Halutz's promotion of Navy colonel

A high-ranking IDF officer dismissed criticism on Wednesday of Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz's decision to promote the Navy's Chief Intelligence Officer Col. Ram Rothberg to the rank of Brigadier General and commander of the Navy's Haifa base. Rothberg was harshly criticized in the military's probe of the July 14th Hizbullah missile strike on the INS Hanit in which four sailors were killed and was even reprimanded last week by OC Navy Admiral David Ben-Bashat. "Rothberg should not be judged by this one incident," the officer said in defense of the promotion. "He has experience and has done a lot for the country and his mistake was not the deciding factor in the Hanit incident." Rothberg was blamed with not predicting that Hizbullah was in possession of long-range anti-ship missiles.