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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

There has been a lot of attention on our craggy old Secretary of Defense of late, most of it unwanted. No reason for Days to get into a lengthy analysis or diatribe as to why Donald Rumsfeld should have his ass swiftly kicked to the curb, that's been done by every pundit this side of the Potomac.

No, today I think it's important for us to celebrate the man who Dick Cheney recently referred to as "the best Secretary of Defense the United States has ever had." The man who President Bush says we all "owe a debt of gratitude." The man who invented the term "shock and awe." The man who couldn't give a fuck about "old Europe." The man who couldn't be bothered with such trivial nonsense as "post-war planning." Yes, our glass-eating Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld is a unique gift worthy of daily praise and admiration. We should all bask in his splendor. After all, if it weren't for him, we may not even be in Iraq right now - and what a shame that would be.

A significant component of this man's infectious charm resides in the sheer simplistic and yet confounding beauty of the Rumsfeld vernacular, most recently on display during the first days of the Abu Ghraib abuse/torture scandal:

"My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture. I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."
Reasoned. Eloquent. Evasive. Non-sensical. Pure Rummy.

Rumsfeld's style has been dissected and analyzed countless times, and notably celebrated by journalist Hart Seely. Just last week, the soothing tones of Rummy's declarations were finally provided the proper treatment and set to music. Hallelujah.

We here at Days would like to contribute to the public lovefest by lifting a few of Mr. Rumsfeld's more choice selections, as conveyed by Mr. Seely. Enjoy.

The Unknown
As we know,
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.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.

And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.

- Department of Defense briefing, Feb. 28, 2003

A Confession
Once in a while,
I'm standing here, doing something.
And I think,
"What in the world am I doing here?"
It's a big surprise.

—May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

And as a bonus, check out "Rumsfeld's Rules" as relayed by the man himself to the Wall Street Journal back in January 2001.

A few of the more telling "rules", particularly in light of recent events:
If you foul up, tell the president and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.

It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.

Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the president and do wonders for your performance.

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