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Iraq War

The NY Times is publishing a four-part series called “The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld” by Errol Morris that is brilliant, and I think most of you will enjoy it. Here are the links:

Part 1: Three Reporters

Part 2: The Known and the Unknown

Part 3: A Failure of Imagination

Part 4: Absence of Evidence Isn’t Evidence of Absence

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 29, 2014 @10:48 am

    Thanks, maha.
    I’ll be reading that later!

    Morris was on Colbert the other night, and he said that after interviewing Rummy “Da Dummy” for 33 hours, he still couldn’t explain how/why they did what they did.

    This is what happens when a Supreme Court puts a childish ex-drunk with drug issues and Daddy p*nis-envy in the Oval Office, with a dastardly psychopath as his VP, and a clown car full of unfunny fools, sociopaths, and imbeciles, surrounding them.

  2. buckyblue  •  Mar 29, 2014 @11:49 am

    I don’t know if anyone saw Morris being interviewed by Bill Mahre last week, but Mahre appeared to be an apologist for Rumsfeld. Hard to believe but he seemed to be saying that Rumsfeld was at least straight forward with his opinions, and right a good deal of the time. i find that laughable, Rumsfeld is anything but straight forward, couching his statements in slippery language that you can hardly know just exactly what he is saying. I think Mahre was contributing more of a Yoda quality to him, the Zen Defense Secretary. The opposite is true, where he uses vagueness and double speak to not communicate anything and leave himself with complete deniability.

    Good call, Gulag, on who MiniBush surrounded himself with, I was about to write the same thing, only in less colorful language. The fact that that clown car is now given air time and some semblance of authority to speak on any type of national security issue is laughable. They should be in jail, especially the lead clown, Captain Dick. Dick is behind Moose Woman in my book, and that’s only because the Moose Woman was never given access to national security apparatus. And, of course, IRAQ.

  3. anthrosciguy  •  Mar 29, 2014 @12:02 pm

    It woulda been funny in a sitcom.

  4. erinyes  •  Mar 29, 2014 @12:29 pm

    I almost made it through the first installment. Sadly, I need to do some chores now. I will state once again, that it is way too easy for my country to conduct war, with or without provocation. Until this changes, and until the day comes when we stop putting psychopaths in positions of power and fail to execute the bastards when they make ” mistakes”, this crap will continue.

  5. Doug  •  Mar 29, 2014 @11:43 pm

    I read through (but not in depth) all four articles. What struck me is how Rumsfeld and/or his operating philosophy is in direct opposition to the philosophy that impressed me mightily in a series called, ‘The Wisdom of Doubt’. I don’t see the link to it here.

    Rumsfeld operated somewhere in a range above certainty but below arrogance. The idea of incorporating healthy doubt in his decision process was absent. He was aware he lacked information – that should have created healthy doubt – but he seemed confident he could discern the truth in a divine manner, and he expected (almost demanded) reality to manifest according to his prediction.

    Rumsfeld ran a department that inevitably had to be wrong sometimes. He never admitted a mistake. For example, on WMD, Rumsfeld maintained that they were there – the last excuse I remember being that they were spirited out of the country, presumably to make him look bad.

    Just my opinion, but I’d be impressed with a Sec. Defense who says, ‘I made the best call I could with what I knew, and I was wrong. I admit it, corrected it as best I could and moved on with an amended strategy.’ Unless he made a bad call in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, an official who can admit he was wrong can be trusted with authority much more than an official who can never be wrong.

    I think you should append your reading assignment on the Folly of Arrogance with your essay on the Wisdom of Doubt, Barbara – they are perfect counterpoints. Your writing style is more readable, too.

  6. Dolorous Stroke  •  Mar 30, 2014 @3:46 pm

    Bill Maher is a better comedian than he is a political analyst. He argued that Rumsfeld’s comments about the known and unknown showed him to be a man of great intelligence and nuanced thinking.

    In fact, the remarks were, as one of the reporters Morris interviewed — Jamie McIntyre — put it “self-evident.”

    Moreover, as Morris’ piece points out, the comments were Rumsfeld’s way of not answering a question about the existence of evidence that supported the administration’s claims — false claims, as it turns out — about the danger posed by Iraq. You would think Maher would care about that.

  7. erinyes  •  Mar 31, 2014 @5:22 am

    See anatomy of the deep state at moyers and company.

  8. Craig  •  Apr 2, 2014 @3:50 pm

    During the Congressional hearing on Abu Ghraib, I was struck by how angry Rumsfeld was. The anger was real. And then it hit me. He was livid that people had taken photographs of the illegal operation and thereby exposed the operation that was organized at higher levels, not at Abu Ghraib. He was quick enough on his feet to make the anger sound like concern.

    It’s rare that we come across people like Rumsfeld. Many people miss how much utter contempt Rumsfeld has for anyone who interferes with what he’s doing, including journalists. If he’s talking to journalists now and then, my guess is that he misses the limelight and wishes he were more relevant.

    But I really am surprised that anyone is bothering to parse his words. It was just snow he was throwing contemptuously in the face of reporters and sometimes members of Congress.

    It should be remembered, by the way, that Rumsfeld and Cheney both peddled the Iraq War to George W. before the election, and thus formed a triad with the president.

    George W., for reasons only partially clear (partially to avoid legal trouble, of course), eventually cut the legs out from under Cheney and Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was fired and Cheney was rendered largely irrelevant in the last two years. Ironically, aside from the useless projection of power, the three had the lame idea that they were solving America’s quite real energy problem.



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