Donald Rumsfeld

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A ruthless warlord shaking hands with Saddam Hussein.
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There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know.
Philosopher Donald Rumsfeld, on the state of the CIA's intelligence on Iraq[1]
I want to know if the president knows what a fucking asshole Don Rumsfeld is.
—Fran Townsend[2]

Donald "The Don" Rumsfeld is a lizard[3] an owner of "trained apes,"[4] and was, according to William Kristol, "not a good Defense Secretary" and "glad he's gone."[5] Many other people agree with Mr. Kristol's sentiment. Which is a first for Mr. Kristol.


[edit] Credentials

Rumsfeld the man just came off as strikingly shallow, a non-entity, a shell filled with ambition but with no real thought process to him. The documentary The Unknown Known showcases the uncanny valley behind Rumsfeld. The director found him incredibly frustrating to interview because you just couldn't meaningfully engage with him; there's simply nothing there. It is like watching an interview with an automaton. The takeaway was that some people are on autopilot, and if they get into positions of power, you're screwed. End of story. Not the most satisfying takeaway to be sure, but a worthwhile documentary if only for that. Though it was undoubtedly a maddening watch for many.[6]

Unusually for neocons, Rumsfeld isn't a chickenhawk; he served as a naval aviator for three years in the 1950s and was a reservist for several decades after that. So that's one redeeming quality. We may have some trouble finding others though.

[edit] The Rummy Returns

One of the true-blue (red?) neoconservatives, Rummy was Chief of Staff and then Secretary of Defense in the Gerald Ford administration. For some unknown reason George W. Bush attempted to resurrect his career 25 years later as Secretary of Defense. Real bad move. However, we must all give him credit for his mad kung-fu skillz.

Here is the true extent of Rumsfeld's hypocrisy: When the Americans had Osama Bin Laden cornered, a general called up Rumsfeld to ask for an order to pursue. Rumsfeld said no, and Osama left for Pakistan.[7]

Incidentally, in his first term as Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford, he was the youngest Secretary of Defense in American history, while in his second term under Dubya, he was the oldest. Go figure.

[edit] I'll be in the back, uh, supervising

In one of the worst acts of tempting fate, Donald Rumsfeld, during a meeting with Congressmen at the Pentagon, warned — on the morning of 9/11 — that “sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department that contributes to — that underpins peace and stability in our world.” Very tellingly, when the attacks occurred that day, Rumsfeld deserted his post for half an hour before returning. For the 30 minutes or so that he was gone from his office, other officials were desperately trying to contact him, but were unable to do so.[8] Not a hawk, but he's definitely a chicken.

[edit] Legacy

Rumsfeld's most important legacy may be the radical privatization of the American military, which has been an important factor in the conduct of the War on Terror.

Rumsfeld was sued by a guy who claims Rumsfeld authorized the use of torture against him, but it didn't go through.[9]

Rumsfeld's quote above is similar to if not verbatim from Werner Erhard. So, for that matter, is the quote below:

You don't go to war with the Army you wish you had, you go to war with the Army you have.
—Rumsfeld, er, "supporting" the troops

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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