Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Donald Rumsfeld: Known and Unknown

Donald Rumsfeld
has a new memoir hitting the bookstores. I missed his interview with Diane Sawyer last night, but found a video of it on YouTube here. (It won't allow me to embed, so go to the link.) It is a must watch; he really holds his own as Sawyer pushed him to admit the Bush administration knew that Iraq didn't have WMD.

As I am seeing, the media (well CBC and BBC for two,) still tries to nail Rumsfeld on issues he refuses to be drawn on. He has not lost his touch! Interesting op/ed over at the Beeb, by Mark Mardell:

Defending the knowable known

Mark Mardell | 21:08 UK time, Tuesday, 8 February 2011

At 78, age has not mellowed him.

As Donald Rumsfeld embarks on a series of TV interviews to promote his book, Known and Unknown, he’s aggressively defending not just the Iraq War, but how he handled it.

It is a "known known" that self-justification is the very purpose of political memoirs.

The former US defence secretary is as brusque and sharp-tongued as ever. [Bratnote: Really? I didn't find him so in the video above!] When he was in the Pentagon, some accused him of leadership through intimidation.

ABC news presenter Diana Sawyer asked him if he terrified people. He replied that he asked questions and if people didn’t have the answers it “wasn’t fun for them”. Mr Rumsfeld is now the one being asked some tough questions, but he seems to be having fun, not giving ground.

His final answer in this particular exchange, about the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, echoes his oft mocked but actually rather clever quote which makes for the title of his book...(Go read the rest of this here.)

A fairly even-handed column in the UK's Finance Behaviour here is worth the read.

As Mr. Rumsfeld so famously said: 'There are known knowns...." I know that Mr. Rumsfeld, and his colleagues, after 9/11 did the best job they knew how for America, with what they knew at that time.

Have added this memoir to my book 'wish list.' Yes, that is a long list. Have also added Mr. Rumsfeld to my list of people I would love to interview. That list is quite short!

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