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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 02/23/2011

Tom Ricks responds to Donald Rumsfeld

By Stephen Lowman

ricks.JPGIn an interview on Tuesday, Donald Rumsfeld said he never read Bob Woodward or Tom Ricks’s books on the Iraq War because “they were all on the outside listening to people two or three levels down.”

Ricks, who covered the defense department for The Washington Post from 2000 to 2008, responded to Rumsfeld on his blog for Foreign Policy magazine:

Rumsfeld is indeed correct about who I was listening to -- and I am glad I was. In retrospect, I have come to see my book Fiasco as reflective of the views of many brigade and battalion commanders, and a couple of thoughtful division commanders, who indeed were several echelons below Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. I think they also had a much better understanding of what was going on in Iraq than he did, and they were angry and frustrated, which is why Fiasco amounted to an indictment of the top generals and the civilian overseers of the military in the Pentagon, the White House and the Congress. How often did Rumsfeld's under secretary for policy, Douglas Feith, go to Iraq? Anyone know? I can't remember him going more than once or twice.

You can read Ricks’s entire post here.

By Stephen Lowman  | February 23, 2011; 12:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Who says a brilliant guy can't also be an arrogant schmuck? Rummy's comments may play in Peoria but in DC we know that two or three levels from the top are where the brains are.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | February 23, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

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