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Laziest memo ever? Rumsfeld asked undersecretary to deal with other countries

By Sahil Kapur
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 15:06 EDT
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In 2003, Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld sent to an associate what may well be the laziest memo of all time — especially on orders of high importance.

The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal dug through the digital archives at Rumsfeld.com and uncovered an extraordinary message Rumsfeld sent to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

In no more than 56 words, Rumsfeld managed to ask Feith to find solutions to US foreign relations issues in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, and Korea.

He offered no guidance on what the issues were or how to deal with any of them, other than invoking “coercive diplomacy” — a broad concept if there ever was one — for Syria and Libya.

“We also need to solve the Pakistan problem,” he declared in the memo, without offering a hint on what said problem may entail. “And Korea doesn’t seem to be going well.”

The former Secretary of Defense is currently making the media rounds promoting his memoir, “Known and Unknown.” He resigned in December 2006, engulfed by criticisms about misjudging necessary troops levels in Iraq as well as his role in promoting intelligence that turned out to be false.

 
 
 
 
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  • Anonymous

    It seems Rummy has exceeded his shelf life and needs to be removed. Maybe treasury could request his salary refunded.

  • Anonymous

    There appears to be no there there.

    You just kinda wasted my precious time with this.

  • Anonymous

    This asshole needs to be writing his memoirs from death row in a filthy prison. He can try to convince the 20 or so attendee’s to his execution that all the lives lost were for our “security”….and not for obscene profits.

  • Anonymous

    “Oh, and there’s that whole Afghanistan Thing, too. Need some goldurn good lightbulbs a-lightin’ up and some of those cartoon ‘thought balloons’ (like on those Dick Tracy and Steve Canyon comic strips … remember those ?) to start showin’ up on that one. I’m countin’ on ya, dude !”

  • http://twitter.com/oldivory OLD IVORY

    OMG I guess no one should be surprised. As long as his buddies and he were producing and profiting from military arms and assistance production, who cared about foreign relations?!

  • Anonymous

    Love the subject line: “Issues w/Various Countries.” Haha. He should have added “and stuff.”

  • Anonymous

    What an F wad.

  • ghostof911

    The annual salary for the Secretary of Defense is currently $191,300. How can I get a gig where I can do nothing and pull down that kind of dough?

  • ghostof911

    F as in Feith? Feith didn’t do any work either. All he did was pick up the phone and call AIPAC/Tel Aviv for them to send over the “solutions” for the countries on Rummy’s list.

  • Anonymous

    Your comment is interesting. I’ve long held a very strong suspicion that the untold story of Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition is that the Mossad were actively “advising” the US military in interrogating the prisoners. Imagine the fallout if the Arab street knew Israelis were torturing Arabs inside Iraq and other Arab or Muslim lands. Could also go a long way towards explaining why Obama has not been able to close Gitmo.

  • Anonymous

    A fool asking another fool to come up with solutions to problems he doesn’t even specify.

    Great.

  • jim

    how about cover-your-assiest? he was obviously trying to create a fall guy for whatever shit-for-brains idea he or that sack of shit W had in mind.

  • jim

    i agree with you. the jews are everywhere else in mideast policy, usually running the show. but somehow, they have never been to abu ghraib? kinda gotta doubt it.

    in this like most things, i dont trust the jews to do anything but lie. its still fun to ask them though.

  • Anonymous

    And Feith give him the plan that he, Richard Perle, and other dual citizen neocons [american - israeli] preparedfor Bibi Nethanyahu in 1996. And which included the following reasoning for invading Iraq.

    It was part of a report of a Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, for Bibi Nethanyahu. Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle was the “Study Group Leader”, but the final report included ideas from James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser.

    The plan proposed new policies:
    1. Rather than pursuing a “comprehensive peace” with the entire Arab world, Israel should work to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” those entities that are threats.

    2. Changing the nature of relations with the Palestinians, specifically reserving the right of “hot pursuit” anywhere within Palestinian territory as well as attempting to promote alternatives to Arafat’s leadership.

    “SYRIA challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon,

    That Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan comprehensive peace and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction programs, and rejecting land for peace deals on the Golan Heights.

    That Israel can shape its strategic environment, by focusing on removing Saddam Hussein from power in IRAQ.— an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Interesting to note that Elliot Abrams’s father in law prayed for Bush to nuke Iran in addition.

    A man entrusted with America’s safety and defense basically followed an Israeli agenda. Which in any other nation a foreign policy as well military action based on some “other” foreign country’s interests is considered treason as well as criminal.

    Hiding behind an imbecile such as Feith denotes the mental acumen of a criminal.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I didn’t say Jews, and I didn’t mean to say Jews. I said Israelis because I recognize the difference.

  • Anonymous

    They were also following an israeli plan concocted by Feith, Perle and Wolfowitz to protect israel. You can view my comment above and check it on Wikipedia.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IU3WYEYZGSU6EUKR35RNYHUX3E eileen schaper

    Well, you know what they say, “them that can do. Them that can’t, send cryptic memo’s to those that can”.

    I rest my case

  • Anonymous

    I almost started watching Letterman again after months.

    Yep, tuned in last night and there was Donald Rumsfeld as his guest.

    Almost started watching.

    But didn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Howieisright Howieisright

    I always say Zionists because some Israeli do not agree with what Israel is doing.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I normally try and follow the same policy, but in this case I was speaking of Israelis as Mossad, or governmental agents, not so much the political faction.

    As a middle-aged college student a few years back I had an instructor for a class on “The Modern Muslim World” who was a progressive Jew. She would say “I’m Jewish, I’m not Zionist.”

  • TheDevilCanDance

    Yanks. No wonder your country is going down the sewer, but at least, with this level of sheer incompetence, you`ll not be in the position to hurt anyone,sooner than later.

    My own country is already a first class shit hole,don`t let us down, Join the Club….

  • Anonymous

    Feith was one of the PNAC neo-cons in the first Bush cabinet who lied and pushed for the invasion of Iraq. I believe the Inspector General called Feith’s actions “inappropriately manipulating” intelligence. Both of these guys are war criminals.

  • http://www.michaeledwardkelly.com Michael E. Kelly

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but where’s the context here? Rarely are memos like this sent without some other discussion first. It’s entirely possible that the “Pakistan problem” had been discussed in depth already, leaving little reason to explain what it was in a memo. Frankly, a memo isn’t the place for that kind of delicate conversation anyway. I’m not saying Rumsfeld was an effective leader, only that this memo demonstrates nothing either way.

  • Anonymous

    “…also, have we colonized Mars yet? Let’s get on that. Have you checked into this ‘Bigfoot’ character? Go get him. Finding the Ark of the Covenant would give our administration more legitimacy. Write up a proposal. Did the cleaners get the mustard stain out of my jacket? Look into it. Thanks.”

  • Anonymous

    colonize? you meant invaded, occupied and destroyed.

  • ghostof911

    It is unlikely that Mossad will ever be implicated in the US torture program. There does not seem there is that much for Israelis to gain from participating, with respect to the blowback that would occur if its involvement were exposed. The Israelis don’t appear to be so fixated with the pointless sadism of torture as the Americans are.

    Feith’s rule as Rumsfeld’s assistant went far further than just the US torture program. His role was to set US military policy so it was in complete accord with the Israel’s security interests. In the period following 9/11, AIPAC/Israel were able to dictate US policy in this manner because it held the Bush team hostage: play along with us because we have the goods on you.

  • Anonymous

    This memo is especially ironic given all those years of propaganda during which we heard about how Rumsfeld was so hard working and stood at his desk, no sitting for Donnie, 8, 10, 12 hours a day writing memos and getting things done.

    I mean really with that snow job coming out of the Department of Defense about once every two weeks is anyone surprised this guy was shuffling all his tasks off to others like Feith whose main claim to fame was gathering all the information together that produced the great and sooo convincing Powell speech at the UN.

    What a bunch of buffoons and the country with its general cultural amnesia, is getting ready to re-elect another bunch of Republican dunces in 2016, I’d bet on it!

  • http://twitter.com/okojo okojo

    I just see this as Rumsfeld trying to wrest more bureaucratic power from the State Department. My guess is that he wanted Feith to write up the memos so Rumsfeld can give them to Bush and Cheney, especially Cheney.

  • ghostof911

    A man entrusted with America’s safety and defense basically followed an Israeli agenda. Which in any other nation a foreign policy as well military action based on some “other” foreign country’s interests is considered treason as well as criminal.

    Israel was able to easily implement this strategy by agreeing to partner with the Bush Administration in its plans for the 9/11 attack. Once that attack occurred, Israel was then in a position to treaten to expose the conspiracy unless Rumsfeld et al acceeded to Israel’s demands.

  • Anonymous

    Doug Feith – The man General Tommy Franks called “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.”

    And this was the guy Rumsfeld tasked with finding “solutions to US foreign relations issues in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, and Korea”?

    The mind reels.

  • ghostof911

    It would be encouraging to think that we won’t be in a postion to hurt anyone soon, but unfortunately there are too many nukes lying around. On the way down the sewer, someone might be tempted to use one.

    Haven’t been keeping up with your posts. Your country? Somalia? Haiti? Myanmar?

  • ghostof911

    The context is, it’s up us to fill in the gaps. Some of the posts in this thread have been handling that assignment reasonably well.

  • ghostof911

    Thanks for bringing that up. The premise for first gulf war was as big a fraud as that for the second. Remember April Glaspie, the US ambassador to Iraq, and her meeting with Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990? Saddam fell into the trap carefully laid by Feith and PNAC.

    Later the transcript has Glaspie saying: “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.”

    When these purported transcripts were made public, Glaspie was accused of having given tacit approval for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which took place on August 2, 1990. It was argued that Glaspie’s statements that “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts” and that “the Kuwait issue is not associated with America” were interpreted by Saddam as giving free rein to handle his disputes with Kuwait as he saw fit. It was also argued that Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait had he been given an explicit warning that such an invasion would be met with force by the United States.

    It seems far more likely that Saddam Hussein went ahead with the invasion because he believed the US would not react with anything more than verbal condemnation. That was an inference he could well have drawn from his meeting with US Ambassador April Glaspie on July 25, and from statements by State Department officials in Washington at the same time publicly disavowing any US security commitments to Kuwait, but also from the success of both the Reagan and the Bush administrations in heading off attempts by the US Senate to impose sanctions on Iraq for previous breaches of international law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Glaspie

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NAR5KCU5AYWVMWGCYU5R7GXV6E bebopalua

    Agreed; this was shorthand for things discussed previously.

  • jim

    when all of the decision makers in the military and defense are jewish, i have no problem calling the decisions that they come up with as being from ‘the jews’. if those others in the jewish faith dont like it (and i dont see how they could) they can change faiths. its just that simple.

    if vatican city dropped phosphorous bombs some other nation, it would be more than fair to say that it was the catholics who did it. since all of the decision makers are catholic nd VC is a religious homeland, just like israel. and there is no separation of church and state in VC, just like israel.

    but then again, if VC did that, there would be no catholics left. they would all renounce their faith. i have yet to see a jew do that in response to their leaders dropping phosphorous bombs on civilians and burning them to death for the cameras. they just dont seem to care.

  • mick

    Feith the Israel firster Israel wanted Syria, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan dealt to ,…where is the surprise ,Korea maybe ?

    The “Office of Special Plans” run out of the Pentagram on behalf of Israel and was staffed by mostly Jews . …where is the surprise its all turned to custard ?

  • mick

    oh yea did he ever ask Dov Zakheim if he found the 2.3 trillion dollars that he lost ? You know the 2.3 trillion dollars Rummy announced was missing on 9/10/2001 .This Dov Zakheim (see video)!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC1zue3anto

  • Anonymous

    So, he had the start of “Old_Gippers” disease back then.

  • Anonymous

    And while you’re at it Douggie, why don’t you come up w/ a detailed plan on how to resolve Palestinian Israeli conflict. And have it on my desk by the end of the day;)

  • Anonymous

    And Tommy Franks was who Larry Wilkerson referred to as the dumbest man he ever met. Shit just seems to roll down hill for Doug

  • Anonymous

    A real American hero! Fighting Cobra and Destro!!

  • Anonymous

    And the difference is….?

  • Anonymous

    That’s an interesting theory. It does tie in with the alternative 911 investigations, and may account for a far lower-than-expected population in the WTC towers at that hour of the day. “I won’t tell if you won’t tell” on a grand scale.

    WOW! Do you think you’re right? Israel? And the US government? Jesus! You could be right.

  • Anonymous

    He was probably an ass clown and a bullshit artist from a very young age.

  • surgethis

    Rumsfeld is a disgusting pile of human filth.

  • Anonymous

    If Obama continues to protect the Bush criminals he should be impeached. He swore to uphold the constitution, whether he actually intended to do so is irrelevant. He has become an accessory after the fact to murder, crimes against humanity, lying to congress and massive corruption.

  • Anonymous

    Smart move on Rummy’s part as the Spain criminal case is still pending. Now Rummy who stood up on every station with pride announcing his plans and directions to the Wars, now says it wasn’t him. Rummy is trowing everyone under the bus to save his own butt. Next we’ll hear Bush, Cheney and Rummy didn’t do anything but this was advised by the the maid or housekeeper. Don’t worry Rummy is getting his in ways we could never imagine. Rummy’s kids are career drug addicts and go in and out of rehab which is cosing his everything he has or will have. He saw no problem sending young men/woman to die based on complete lies and now has to watch the suffering of his own children and there is nothing he can do about it. With the nations closing in on the US War Criminals, Rummy is blaming others, Bush retired from politics and can’t leave the US for fear of arrest and Cheney is living on a machine like Darth Vader.

  • Anonymous

    The context, on a broader scale, is that Rumsfeld was widely considered as incompetent by the generals who reported to him, and, more to the point, the results of his “management” of the DOD is pretty clear to see at this point in time. If this memo were inconsistent with the preponderance of evidence of Rummies’ dereliction and abuse of office it might be more reasonable to question the context of this memo.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    He probably ran Searle and Gilead Sciences the same way. When he’s in the dock at the Hague we may find he delagated most of his war crimes. “Hey Doug, has that guy been tortured yet?’

  • Anonymous

    Why this remarkably unremarkable man was ever esteemed in this country is an unknown unknown.

  • mjcc1987

    “…In 2003, Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld…”

    Um, Rummy was not Secretary of State.

  • Anonymous

    An easily acceptable and logical conclusion. Arabs who can hardly speak English are able to fly Boeings in the USA. That Rabbi in Israel that proclaimed non-jews are donkeys knew what he was talking about in regards Bush and Co.

  • Eyeball_Kid

    The email reveals Rumsfeld as an intellectual vacuum who’s clearly out of his league. BTW, what is Rumsfeld doing telling Feith to do research on “foreign relations”? Did Rumsfeld anoint himself as the shadow Secretary of State? That’s the kind of information that the State Department is always handling. Yet Rumsfeld’s email has the look of an 8th grader trying to navigate through graduate school.

    And this goon was Secretary of Defense. His actions continue to ruin the health of millions through his jamming through FDA the acceptability of aspartame. He’s been nothing but a boil on the country’s ass.

  • Eyeball_Kid

    … and what the hell is “coercive diplomacy”? Rumsfeld was Defense Secretary, not head of the State Department… but worse, Rumsfeld reveals himself as a bully set to using any means to justify an end– in the absence of a strong leader in the White House.

  • Brimstone Hill

    This is what aspartame does to the brain.
    I believe Rummy was slipping it in everyone’s coffee.
    That’s why the whole Bush Regime appeared to be so cacodemonic.

  • Anonymous

    And it’s not jus that he delegated to an aide – that could possible have been an improvement over Rumsfeld’s smarmy ignorance – it’s WHO he delegated to . . . . Dougie Feith (http://www.nndb.com/people/100/000047956/) , described by Gen. Tommy Franks as – and I quote: “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the Earth” . . . and, of course, a neocon asshole.

    Heckuva job, Rummy . . .

  • Anonymous

    Dough Feith couldn’t find his own ass with both hands and an Eveready flashlight . . .

  • Anonymous

    No wonder Hussein was somewhat taken aback when GHW Bush double-crossed him in order to set up a war AND answer to Bush’s Sauidi overlords, who were made a bit nervous by Hussein’s Kuwait takover. From a US point of view, it’s hard to figure why we would give a damn over who we bought the oil from. Hussein was OUR man in Baghdad.

  • Anonymous

    It’s unlikely ANYONE will ever be implicated in the US torture program, as Obama seems to have decided to be an accessory after the fact by refusing to prosecute.

  • Anonymous

    this sick fuck belongs in front of a firing squad. a bush crime family goon, we really need to follow the lead from the brave citizens in the middle east, time to shut this motherfucker down and start our government from scratch!

  • Anonymous

    more evidence that many of our countries problems are caused by our evil parasite ISRAHELL!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything about israel, but using the vatican as a positive example is a bit of a stretch, ok, the vatican doesnt kill children, they just fuck them. that was enough to make me renounce my catholic upbringing! the only religeon that doesnt scare the shit out of me is budhism, because they preach change from the inside out ( the only thing that really works) instead of fucked up people trying to change the world without dealing with their own issues: translation reich wing christian fundamentalists.

  • Anonymous

    lucky for us things really changed when obummer got elected right? Id list all the changes, but cant seem to think of any.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    To alleviate confusion:

    Israel–America

    Israelis–Americans

    Jews–Christians

    Zionist–CIA

    This is my association of these entities. Not sure if it is exactly like this.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DYGPIQICCO5F3QI5AGEH3M5LRM Dom

    This clip is for that lying war criminal Rummy and his garbage semantics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILLZqymJRZI

  • Anonymous

    And people wonder how we got ourselves mired down in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • Anonymous

    No doubt.

  • ghostof911

    About the lower-than-expected population of the towers, check this out. For as many people from Isreal who do business in NYC, there were only 2 listed Israeli casualties.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ter_vic_of_the_sep_11t_200_att-victims-september-11th-2001-attacks

    Here’s an interview from Tel Aviv TV. Notice the comment, “Our purpose was to document the event.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzl3juBt2Z8

  • ghostof911

    The aircraft that struck the two towers were unmanned military drones. The towers and Building 7 were “dropped” with military-grade nano-thermite. Cheney was in command from the bunker during the air assults. Technicians from Israel made up the team that rigged the three buildings with the thermite.

    One can only hope that one of the outcomes of the current world-wide upheaval is the surfacing of evidence incriminating the perpetrators of the 9/11 crime, also incriminating them for launching the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • ghostof911

    Could you be missing something? It’s not necessary to “buy” something after you’ve stolen it.

  • ghostof911

    You are quite correct, no one in the US will ever be implicated for its torture program, as the statute of limitations is expiring for all the cases. Although no one will face legal prosecution, a record does exist of what occurred, so posterity will be their judges. In the case of Israel, there role is unknown and is likely remain so forever.

  • ghostof911

    We’re in the third term of the W presidency. Obummer is president because he was vetted beforehand, when he gave the guarantee to Cheney et al that he would do nothing prosecute their crimes, in the same way that Gerald Ford was vetted when he gave the guarantee that he would pardon Nixon.

  • Anonymous

    To consider the scenario you and others have described as taking place (not that I accept the “official:” charge that some barefooted Saudis, and an Iraqi and an Egyptian whose know ledge of English is somewhat limited could take over controls of a Boeing ) meabs that an American or a group of Americans with assistance from Israelis basically “murdered ” thousands of “innocent” Americans. Much like Gaddaffi is now doing to his own people. He is described as the Mad Dog of the Arab World. Which makes the like of Bush, Cheney and all those associated in the tragic events of 9/11 also “mad dogs”.

  • jim

    now that the catholic leadership is fucking children on a wholesale level, where else would you expect them to go?

  • ghostof911

    Consider this. It is pretty much proven that the pretext for the invasion of Iraq, the presence of WMDs, was based on false information. Bush and Cheney launched the war based on false intelligence that they developed. The casualty total for the war is approaching 2 million. If Bush and Cheney had no qualms about causing the deaths of 2 million people, do you honestly think they would lose any sleep about causing the deaths of 3,000 in New York City?

    Regarding Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu gives the Israeli response to the 9/11 tragedy.

    “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/report-netanyahu-says-9-11-terror-attacks-good-for-israel-1.244044

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