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Posted at 3:08 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Rumsfeld plans document dump in memoir

By Steven E. Levingston


This blog has been updated for clarification

He railed against such unconscionable conduct -- there was that press conference in October 2001 where then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld growled about leakers of classified documents.

And then in July of the following year he circulated an internal memo, which no sooner tumbled into public view, in which he wagged a censorious finger again. Defense officials who were handing over secrets to the press demonstrated a “damaging lack of professionalism,” the secretary ranted. “It is wrong. It is against the law. It costs the lives of Americans. It diminishes our country’s chance for success.”

That was then.

This is now: Rumsfeld, who is about to publish his new memoir, “Known and Unknown,” has indicated that his narrative will be juiced by a dump of once-classified documents. To be sure, he’s NOT compromising U.S. secrets or service members but merely creating some early buzz for the new book, due in February from Sentinel.

As he put it in a tweet, “With my book I will release 100s of supporting docs on a website--many previously classified, but unlike #Wikileaks, all cleared by USG."

The irony of the Rumsfeld's rush to use declassified documents in his memoir can be lost only on those without any sense of irony.

We can be sure that what applied to leakers of yore does not apply to Rumsfeld himself who is not leaking documents, just capitalizing on their declassification. In his rage over his sieve-like Pentagon back in 2002, he wanted to hunt leakers down. “They ought to be imprisoned,” he said then. “And if we find out who they are, they will be imprisoned.”

Sentinel declined to comment on the documents or the book.

By Steven E. Levingston  | December 13, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
Tags:  rumsfeld memoir; rumsfeld's classified documents; leak of documents;  
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Comments

Why wasn't this man and his bosses prosecuted for their crimes, war and civil?

Posted by: BigTrees | December 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Why write a memoir? Daily, we are reminded through the deaths of service people, his in-actions in Afghanistan which permitted Al-Queda and the Taliban to flee to Pakistan. This was because he was upset at not being in control of the initial war effort. Finally, after 2 weeks, Bush gave him control and he then committed US troops into action. Imagine the war if Al-Queda and the Taliban were eliminated at the outset. See Frontline "Bush's War".

Posted by: jgllo | December 13, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The headline of this is so misleading. Should have read "Rumsfeld to use PREVIOUSLY classified documents in memoir". Headline writer must have been desperate for hits from Rumsfeld haters (worked on me as I'm not a fan of Rummy).

Posted by: jmichaelharris1959 | December 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

War criminal Rumsfeld: do as I say, not as I do.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget this: when a reporter asked him about the shabby equipment that our troops had to use in Iraq, he said that we must go to war with the Army we have, not the Army we'd like to have. But he never explained why the US had to go to war in Iraq before we were ready. The deaths of many coalition forces and many more Iraqis were caused by his faulty stewardship. If you must read this apology, do so at the public library. Don't enrich this war criminal by buying his book.

Posted by: abc3 | December 13, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Evidently the same droolers who accused Palin of bringing a hairdresser to Haiti (it was her daughter, Bristol) are now conflating leakers with a book which has been vetted by the USG.

Geez, as if we didn't see enough of this when Armitage gave Plame's info to Novak - and the entire butt sniffing left was in paroxysms of rage over the injected idea that it was Libby.

How pathetic. Now, if the left wanted to have some righteous anger - they could have excoriated Sandy Berger for stealing classified docs.

But they are the left. Gullible beyond belief, easily manipulated, and beyond shame.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | December 13, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Did the author of this even bother to read/understand the story? What part of "previously classified" is confusing? Seems to imply that he is using documents that are NOT currently classified. If so, this is a non-story and an incredibly misleading headline.

Posted by: blahblahblah9 | December 13, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

This also illustrates another key point in the whole WikiLeaks debate: everything is classified unless and until the U.S. government thinks it helps promote its version of the truth, then declassification is no problem.

Read more at my blog:
http://www.lineofdeparture.com/2010/12/12/another-side-of-donald-rumsfeld-wikileaker/#ixzz181qEPkfj

Posted by: jamiemcintyre | December 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"Rumsfeld to use classified documents in memoir"

Huh? What part of "cleared by USG" don't you understand?

Mr. Levingston, this is one of the most ridiculous blog posts I have ever read. Keep your powder dry for the memoir's publication. Maybe you will have a legitimate bone or two to pick with the book itself. However this post does not auger well for a reasonable and fair book review.

Posted by: mad_tiger | December 13, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Rummy and his neo-con crew gift-wrapped and handed us the death and destruction that Obama&Co. must handle today, whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India; nearly ad infinitum in today's world of international tragedy. Rummy's influence projected past his natural ally, Cheney, and convinced the mediocre-minded George W. Bush that Rummy knew what he was doing, by quickly setting up a war-zone in Iraq: not by first destroying el Qaida's Afghan operations. It's Rummy&Co. who put U.S. troops and foreign wars where they still reside--shedding American blood and treasure, as foreign governments and their citizenry have become so anti-American that Karzai would rather deal with the Taliban than with the U.S. One can only hope that there's a chance Rummy will rot in the hell he truly deserves while he's still alive.

Posted by: marc85 | December 13, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse


Is it a requirement to be a misleading liar in order to write headlines for WAPO?

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | December 13, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's the headline: "Rumsfeld to use classified documents in memoir." And here's a statement from within the body of the article: "Rumsfeld, who is about to publish his new memoir, 'Known and Unknown,' has indicated that his narrative will be juiced by a dump of classified documents."

Both headline and statement are unsupported by evidence cited within the article. According to what the reporter says Rumsfeld tweeted, these are FORMERLY classified documents, i.e. they're declassified documents. Did Rumsfeld indicate elsewhere that he was using currently classified documents? If so, where and when did he say this, and where's the supporting quote?

I'm no fan of Rumsfeld or what he did to this country, but this is shoddy journalism. The Post would do well to protect its well deserved first-rate reputation by more carefully editing stories-- and, yes, even blogs. Just because info appears in a blog doesn't absolve the paper of the duty to carefully vet it before publishing/posting.

Posted by: jleatherhead | December 13, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Gullible beyond belief, easily manipulated, and beyond shame.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | December 13, 2010 4:02 PM

An apt description of the group of heavy thinkers who gave us two neverending wars, neither of which was paid for, a prescription drug benefit, also not paid for, the Katrina fiasco, and tax cuts for the rich---but now spend their time whining about the huge federal deficit.

Posted by: marcb1 | December 13, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Just don't buy the book.

Posted by: Frazil | December 13, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld and Bush and anyone else profiting from the wars should use all the proceeds from their books to compensate either all the soldiers or their families for their injuries or deaths, as a result of the Iraq and Afghanistan war. There is something utterly unjust that these monster continue to profit and prosper from those wars, while many of our soldiers lives have been totally destroyed.

Posted by: fridaolay | December 13, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh geez, more rewriting history, more spin, more gold-digging (what his government pension and government paid health care isn't enough he needs the windfall profits from a book now?).

He should have been put in front of a firing squad with his co-conspirators years ago for what he and the Republican regime lead by Bush did to this country.

We prosecute baseball players for lying to congress but we don't prosecute war criminals like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and Rice?

There's something really wrong with our judicial system starting with the conservative activist judges that are now running the country.

Posted by: davidbronx | December 13, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't you think you could have at least said de-classified?

Unless it was declassified, it couldn't be published.

Putz.


Posted by: lindalovejones | December 13, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Well when Henry Kissinger he took so mcuh stuff that his home had to have a SCIF built into it and 24/7 security.

Meanwhile some hapless former Army PVT rests in a military prison for doing the same thing only not for money.

Remember the former Regean guy who stole stuff from the National Archive in his pants?
Ah well with rank goes privilege.

Posted by: KBlit | December 13, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

TO: VirginiaConservative who wrote:
“… as if we didn't see enough of this when Armitage gave Plame's info to Novak - and the entire butt sniffing left was in paroxysms of rage over the injected idea that it was Libby…”
----

Which is it this time, lie and deny or amnesia.

Libby was CONVICTED of lying to the FBI, and I believe it was you boy, Dick Cheney, who actually approved of outting a covert CIA operator, but all that's cool with Republicans.

Sick.


Posted by: lindalovejones | December 13, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

TO: VirginiaConservative who wrote:
“… as if we didn't see enough of this when Armitage gave Plame's info to Novak - and the entire butt sniffing left was in paroxysms of rage over the injected idea that it was Libby…”
----

Which is it this time, lie and deny or amnesia.

Libby was CONVICTED in a court of law, and I believe it was your boy, Dick Cheney, who actually approved of outting a covert CIA operator, but all that's cool with Republicans, so long as there's an (R) following their name.

Wrong is wrong, no matter if it's a Democrat or a Republican, but booklickers will continue to kiss the hind parts of any Republican lawbreaker.

Sicko.


Posted by: lindalovejones | December 13, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It's criminal for Assange to do it, but not for Rumsfeld to do it in attempting to buttress his case he is not a war criminal.

Posted by: slim21 | December 13, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Two words... Fort Leavenworth.

Posted by: whocares666 | December 13, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

All the book will contain is another phoney explanation that the war in Iraq was based on the belief that they had nuclear weapons with no reasonable explanation of how he and Cheney reached this conclusion.

This guy should follow the quotation contained in MacArthurs final address to Congress. "old soldiers never die they just fade away". In his case the sooner the better.

Posted by: WESHS49 | December 13, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

HEADLINE:

"Rumsfeld to use classified documents in memoir"

BODY COPY:

"Rumsfeld...has indicated that his narrative will be juiced by a dump of classified documents. To be sure, he’s NOT compromising U.S. secrets or service members but merely creating some early buzz for the new book..."

------------------------------------------

Written like a true JournoList.

Posted by: JAH3 | December 13, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

HEADLINE:

"Rumsfeld to use classified documents in memoir"

BODY COPY:

"Rumsfeld...has indicated that his narrative will be juiced by a dump of classified documents. To be sure, he’s NOT compromising U.S. secrets or service members but merely creating some early buzz for the new book..."

------------------------------------------

Written like a true JournoList.

Posted by: JAH3 | December 13, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

lindalovejones wrote:
"Unless it was declassified, it couldn't be published."

Of course it could be published as long as you could find a publisher willing to do so. What you're suggesting is that it shouldn't be published unless it was declassified.

However, in this case, it appears that the papers were declassified in order that he could use them in his book, that "the system" reviewed the material and determined, "yes, we agree they no longer have to be classified...Mr. Rumsfeld can use the material." That said, one wonders if someone such as you or I requested the material be declassified for our use (or under the Freedom of Information Act - FOIA) if it would be declassified as easily or as quickly.

dungarees2@gmail.com

Putz.


Posted by: lindalovejones

Posted by: Dungarees | December 13, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight:

Our public officials tell us that certain public business is too sensative to reveal to the public. Then a public official releases this information and profits privately from revealing it to the public from whom he helped hide it in his public capacity?

If this isn't illegal, it should be.

We really need to start taking public corruption seriously. I think it should be treated as a form of treason. (It does hurt the war effort.) There are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle who could qualify for such treatment but if there's any chance at all of pursuing treason charges against Rumsfeld, this might make a good test case.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | December 13, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Your comparison make no sense. You are trying to call Rumsfeld a hypocrite for legally printing formerly classified documents now cleared for release when he rightly railed against illegally leaked classified documents not cleared for release. What am I missing? Was it just an opportunity to bash Rumsfeld?

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | December 13, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Andrew23boyle writes:

"Let me get this straight:

Our public officials tell us that certain public business is too sensative to reveal to the public. Then a public official releases this information and profits privately from revealing it to the public from whom he helped hide it in his public capacity?"

This is exactly the kind of mischief Steven Levingston created with this nonsense article.

No, Rumsfewld is not a public official releasing these document for his own gain- they were already approved for release by the federal goverment.

No, the information is no longer too sensative to release.

Yes, Rumsfeld rightly kept wartime secrets while conducting the war. That was his legal and moral duty.


You got the whole situation backwards because you fell into Mr. Levingston's irresponsable little game.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | December 13, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the issue is that if the material can be declassified this soon (most material is classified for a minimum of 10 years, and classification for 25 years is not uncommon) then perhaps the material was overclassified to begin with, which is one of the issues regarding the Wikileaks controversy. Not taking sides and saying that the material is in the public domain and is therefore, in one sense of reality, "declassified" but rather perhaps the classification process - and declassification process if it's to be used by former public officials for profit - needs to be overhauled and less material classified.

Posted by: Dungarees | December 13, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Slim21 writes

"It's criminal for Assange to do it, but not for Rumsfeld to do it in attempting to buttress his case he is not a war criminal. "


Yes, yes, yes, Assange may have broken the U.S. laws regarding stolen documents. At least PFC. Manning who leaked the documents did break the law and will be held accountable.


No, no, no, Rumsfeld is not breaking U.S. laws. Even Mr. Levingston said so in his article if you would actually read it.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | December 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually they're de-classified documents. Rumsfeld's an idiot.

Posted by: e9999999 | December 13, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

There was a time when journalists prided themselves on accuracy. Standards have deteriorated.

Don't intend to enrich Pvt. Dumsfeld by buying his book, but would be interested to know how he rationalizes failing to plan for what would happen after Saddam was defeated militarily. We certainly did ok in Germany and Japan in 1945. Also, an explanation for selection of Bremer - a real success story there (no expertise in the country, abolished the Iraqi army -- so who was watching the Iranian border? -- etc.)

Posted by: RichardCollins | December 13, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

In a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to paint Rumsfeld as a hypocrite, the author seems to forget the meaning of the word "previously".

I would expect the author to know that classified data has date at which point it is irrelevant and can be declassified.

Note that the press divulged that the US was able to listen into Bin Laden's satellite phone conversations. That is until that fact was leaked - BY THIS PAPER!

The author's attempt to equate these two situations is absurd.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | December 13, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

For goodness sake why is he not in Montana shooting wildlife for dinner?.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | December 13, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld and Bush, millionaires profiting from the blood of our hero's in uniform. Like the earlier poster said, "use all the proceeds to compensate the fallen troops families" or to help cut cost for their injuries. You all don't need the money. I know you want to tell your side, but don't profit from it.

Posted by: madstamina | December 13, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

That no editor has seen fit to change the headline or the equally misleading text within the article (viz., the documents seem to be declassified, not classified), several hours after readers began pointing out these errors in fact, doesn't speak well for the Post.

Keep it up, and we'll stop thinking you're sloppy and start believing you're liars.

(Graham must be rolling over in her grave. Bradlee, Woodward and Bernstein are probably rolling over in their ... beds?)

Posted by: jleatherhead | December 13, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

War criminal? Isn't a Obama a war criminal too for keeping fighting overseas in 2 countries? Why can't liberals be tried for criminal activity for war and misusing the military? 85% of military officers voted Republicans as shown in the Duke triangle survey.

Posted by: Rockvillers | December 13, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"Why wasn't this man and his bosses prosecuted for their crimes, war and civil?"

Simple question deserves a simple answer. Rumsfeld and "his bosses" did not commit any crimes be they civil or pertaining to war. If you have information to the contrary you should seek to have him and “his bosses” indicted. Please keep us informed of your progress.

Posted by: gun313 | December 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse


This monster needs to be indicted, prosecuted, and severely punished for his part in the mass killings of innocent civilians in Iraq, . . a populace that had done NOTHING to us, and they did it for NO REASON, but the "greatness" of the White House fools, and for No-Bid Halliburton.

But I see here that some still cannot admit that their terrible disastrous wars were not just mistakes, but brutal crimes - mass killings of families. They can't admit that they got taken, fooled, suckered, by a Connecticut frat-boy in a cowboy outfit.

Posted by: gkam | December 13, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm no Rumsfeld fan, but this headline and article are misleading. The documents were PREVIOUSLY classified but since cleared.

Let-down.

Posted by: brian_away | December 13, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld was a practical joke played on the country by an incompetent frat boy. Unfortunately our brave young turned out to be the punch line.

Let's hope this joker doesn't sell a single copy of his humorless justifications.

Posted by: mhitchons | December 13, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Ship Rumsfeld off to the Hague and let the games begin. Then move on to Cheney and Bush. Stop protecting war criminals.

Posted by: pjohn2 | December 14, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

What part of "previously classified" escaped your attention, Levingston? Also, you or your editor were deceptive in your title, in a pathetic bid to garner hits for this page to wave before your advertisers. If you'd titled it "Rumsfeld to use previously classified documents in memoir" there would have been a big "so what?". No hypocrisy to see here, folks, move along. This is deceptive and shoddy, typical of what this paper has come to exemplify.

Posted by: treetopflyer | December 14, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Its O.K., Rumsfeld can keep his pants on, I am not going to spill his beans - I don't do DOD work. I do mathematical paradigms which are applied to the U.S. economy, always have been, always will be. Sure the DOD got used (just like the State Department gets used) but only to further America's economic agenda - no point in him embarrassing himself. lol.

Was there anyone who didn't get "used"? Hey, its America - everybody gets "used". Why do you think my predecessors ran away (hang on, I ran away too). lol.

Posted by: darkasnight1234 | December 14, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

When and where's the book signing? I'm going!!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | December 14, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld should never be allowed to profit further from the suffering of our troops.
He was only ever interested in the loot!
Still he had that excuse, Bush on the other had was and is a dangerous fool with an IQ less than a gorrilla.
Our guy in the UK Blair God knows what he was up to; I doubt he knew himself.
Cheers
Beermatman
http://www.beermatsadvertising.com

Posted by: Beermatman | December 14, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Well we all know Dumbsfeld is dumb as the day is long LOL

www.internet-privacy.edu.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | December 14, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Well, that's much better. After countless complaints on this page and at least one email sent to the paper's ombudsman, the Post has decided that Rummy's no longer to be falsely accused of using classified documents.

So, at least now this article's been upgraded from blatantly mendacious to ... just plain ridiculous.

Where's the irony, Levingston? I see no contradiction between Rummy's former protestations that state secrets were being spilled and his current use of documents that the state doesn't feel hold any important secrets. (Whether those classified documents over whose leaking he was all in a lather a few years ago *really do* hold state secrets and should or should not have been classified, though, is a different question.)

Rumsfeld served his country and his boss, one of the most disastrous presidents we've ever had, poorly during his tenure as Bush's Defense Secretary. Please wake me up when you've got an actual shocking revelation about the man-- I'll be happy to read it. Till then, please leave the lies and hysteria to the cable news boys and girls. The Post is a publication by and for grown-ups, is it not?

Posted by: jleatherhead | December 15, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

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