That Donald Rumsfeld memo I mentioned earlier is back in the news. The US defense secretary, as reported, sent a memorandum to defense department officials that asks tough questions about how the Bush Administration is handling its “War on Terror.” Rumsfeld wasn’t secretive with the document; he even shared it with some Capitol Hill lawmakers. But Fox News now reports that Rummy is angry that its contents were leaked to the press.
Rumsfeld was “livid” Wednesday when he discovered a memo written to top aides made it onto the front page of the nation’s largest circulated newspaper, a senior defense official told Fox News.
Rumsfeld appeared calm later in the day when he and a top Pentagon official described the memo as an internal discussion paper, not an insight into the defense secretary’s opinion about U.S. success in the global war on terror.
But speaking to reporters Wednesday evening, Rumsfeld was clearly annoyed by the leak.
“If I wanted it published, I would have written it as a press release, which I didn’t,” Rumsfeld said after a closed door meeting with senators on Capitol Hill. …
The memo raised eyebrows not because it appears to contradict the defense secretary’s publicly optimistic statements about successes in the war on terror, but because it reveals some of Rumsfeld’s concerns about whether the Defense Department has the capacity or will to fight the war.
Gen. Richard Myers, who chairs the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was an intended recipient of the document, which he describes as nothing more than a tool to facilitate discussion. Myers told Fox, “[W]hat you’re seeing in this memo, the way we do business, is that our boss is challenging us with a lot of questions on are we changing ourselves to deal with this 21st century threat environment we find ourselves in.”
Some may opine, though, that what we saw in the memo is a warmongering administration whose chief hawk has doubts about whether their long-planned Iraq scheme could end in disaster.