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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Rumsfeld responds to Woodward's charges

By Stephen Lowman

rumsfeld.jpg(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff says Bob Woodward is promoting “a one-sided narrative of events” about the Iraq War and accuses him of putting “his storyline ahead of the facts.”

It’s the latest volley in the back-and-forth between the former secretary of defense and one of Washington’s most well-known journalists.

On Monday, Woodward called Rumsfeld’s recently released memoir “one big clean-up job, a brazen effort to shift blame to others -- including President Bush -- distort history, ignore the record or simply avoid discussing matters that cannot be airbrushed away.” He went on to highlight contradictions in Rumsfeld’s account of the Iraq War and charged him with “ducking and weaving and dodging responsibility.”

Keith Urbahn, Rumsfeld’s chief of staff, doesn’t address any of Woodward’s arguments about the Iraq War or Rumsfeld’s leadership in executing it.

He accuses Woodward of favoring “those who provide him with information and gossip and leak against their colleagues. Those who refuse to play along, such as Donald Rumsfeld, then pay the price.”

Woodward’s reporting “is little more than self-serving accounts relying on anonymous or biased sources who often had little role in decision-making,” he adds.

That statement echoes what Rumsfeld himself said last week.

“They were all on the outside listening to people two or three levels down,” Rumsfeld said about Woodward and Tom Ricks, another journalist who has written on the Iraq War. “No, I’ve not read their books.”

By Stephen Lowman  | March 2, 2011; 11:00 AM ET
 
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He [Woodward] went on to highlight contradictions in Rumsfeld’s account of the Iraq War and charged him with “ducking and weaving and dodging responsibility.”


Keith Urbahn, Rumsfeld’s chief of staff, doesn’t address any of Woodward’s arguments about the Iraq War or Rumsfeld’s leadership in executing it.

-------------------
Those two passages and the fact that Rumsfeld's chief of staff makes no atempts to discredit any of Woodward's detailed points tells me that Woodward was right on the money. Like any dispute if a person can't argue point by point on the facts they move on to trying to assisinate the character of the person they're arguing with.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | March 2, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, everybody is wrong but Rummy. Well, we may find out after all, if the International Criminal court decides to take up the mass killings of Iraqi civilians after they deal with Khadaffy.

That would be the treat of my life, to see my country actually live up to its braggadocio as a Nation of Laws.


Posted by: gkam | March 2, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

You mean like the "fact" Iraq had WMDs?

Posted by: jckdoors | March 2, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I have actually read Rumsfeld's book. I liked it from several standpoints. First, Rumsfeld presented in depth the conflict between himself and Colin Powell. It's a wonder things were not worse than they turned out to be because of this highly dysfunctional relationship. Powell and Rumsfeld were constantly infighting and Powell and Rice usually won with Bush. Secondly, Rumsfeld's accounts (whether you agree with him or not) were highly detailed and documented. Bush's book was extremely simplistic in comparison.

Posted by: reval | March 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Simply enough, Rumsfeld sees justification only in what he does within the confines of his job. Everyone else is an outsider who doesn't know what's going on. To include the president, the press, and the people.

Sorry, but outside viewpoints do matter. It's what threw you out of the job. If you don't respect what other people think you're doing, you very soon won't be doing it anymore.

Posted by: Meepo | March 2, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld is a walking talking advertisement for how to disgrace oneself while squandering a perfectly good education. He got rich with gold in the process. Nice.

Posted by: citizen625 | March 2, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

President Rumsfeld 2012!

Posted by: kparc1212 | March 2, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I would never read this war criminal's memoirs. He and Bush has so much blood on their hands (American and Iraqi) under false and politically motivated pretences that it is sickening.

Posted by: vze3c9qt | March 2, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Most people reading this already are aware but, in the interest of disclosure - never mind honesty - wouldn't it have been appropriate to identify just who "one of Washington’s most well-known journalists" is associated with?

Posted by: Erisian | March 2, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Where does President Rumsfeld come from?...how about President Palin? God help America. She's unbelievably ignorant and he's just simply unbelievable (WMD's in Iraq).

Posted by: crew260571 | March 2, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Rummy to the Batter's Box

It's good that we are finally getting to read Donald Rumsfeld's own views on the issues on which he has been so extensively attacked by his critics. I am looking forward to reading his book to see if it squares with his outstanding previous service in the Ford Administration.

David P. McKnight
Durham, N.C.

Posted by: Proctor2 | March 2, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Dumbsfeld attempt to clear his act of lies, incompetence, and stupidity is as dumb as Dick-Head Cheney trying to portray himself as a courageous, blood-and-guts commando.
Remember the “Aw and shock” b.s., or the assertion that “Iraqis will run to us thanking us as liberators.”
Remember that Dumbf.uck?

Posted by: analyst72 | March 2, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

How do you spell "megalomaniac"? His delusions of grandure nearly cost the country its economic viability! History will be the great leveler of truth in this and many other instances. Goodbye and Farewell Forever Donnie!

Posted by: garygault | March 2, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld should go back into hiding. He has done more than enough damage already. Before we canonize the late Gerald Ford with sainthood he doesn't deserve we should remember that Ford boosted both Rumsfeld and Cheney to their positions of influence. Without Ford, those two idiots might never have been able to do all the damage they did in later years.

Posted by: sameolddoc | March 2, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld is a liar, a torturer, and a war criminal. He should be thanking his lucky stars from under his rock that he hasn't been strung up to a gallows yet!

Posted by: jeffc6578 | March 2, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Woodward for calling Rumsfeld's on his fingerpointing. Shrugging off responsbility for the complete mess they've made of everything to do with America seems to be disease of the Bush/Cheney administration and everyone connected with it. If none of them are responsible for anything that happened from 2000-20008, then who did cause the Iraq War? The near depression we're in? The blatant takeover of America by corporations and the rich? Who wiped away budget surpluses and caused record deficits? I guess it wasn't Bush or anyone in his disgraceful and devious administration if you are to believe anything in their books.

Posted by: lyndee1 | March 2, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of their positions and accuracy of their statements, it's always amusing to see a couple of self-deluding egomaniacs battle it out.

Posted by: bpai_99 | March 2, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Rummy sure underestimates the intelligence of the American people. We have been following the falsehoods for years, and now he is trying to tell us that black is white. Only believers for him are over at Fox Cable.

Posted by: tmd678 | March 2, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing that Rumsfeld says Woodward is presenting the "one sided narrative of events" which is exactly what Rumsfeld's memoir is. Considering the grand lie, created by Rumsfeld and his ilk [the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction] that took us into Iraq in the first place, he shouldn't complain so loudly. If Woodward has any axe to grind, it's for our benefit as we continue to pay for this war every day. May it serve as a reminder not to do this again.

Posted by: sober1 | March 2, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Nobody should forced to read a book But one chooses not to read a book, he should keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: rolandberger | March 2, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Woodward's sources are giving their opinion. They weren't in the room.

Posted by: nychap44 | March 2, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

i keep getting the SecDefs confused...

"McNamara was instrumental in presenting this event (Gulf of Tonkin) to Congress and the public as a pretext for escalation."

Posted by: shabbyreader | March 2, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

It was Colin Powell who insisted on going to the Security Council for another scrap of paper, approving a US response to Saddam Hussein's violations of the cease fire.

And it was Colin Powell who decided to make WMD's the central argument for his case

Don Rumsfeld did what he was asked to do, despite a failure by the State Department to get Turkish approval for US forces to stage in Turkey and attack Iraq from the north.

History will show Don Rumsfeld was a great man and a reasonably good secretary of defense. It will NOT be so kind to Colin Powell, no matter how many books Bob Woodward writes that try to make Powell the hero of the age.

Posted by: JBaustian | March 2, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I remember that arrogant sob Rumsfeld dismissing a British offer to help right after 9-11. He went on to prove that he was an incompetent leader as well when he blamed low level military people for the Abu Ghraib scandal. Don't need Bob Woodward to tell us about Rumsfeld. We remember. Actually I do think many Americans are stupid. How else can you explain why we gave the Cheney Adminstration a second term after getting us into an unnecessary war in Iraq?

Posted by: lecat | March 2, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc. The only time I want to see any of them is in The Hague.

Posted by: joy2 | March 2, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld thought he would go on his book tour to sell that so-called book without being called out, please. Rumsfeld knows he and Dick Cheney needs to be in court answering questions about their lack of truth in causing us to be in 2 wars that have killed too many innocent men and women. I pray that they both continue to hear folks called them out on their lack of facts and fairness; the nerve that they can walk away when so many hearts are still breaking from loosing their love ones, unnecessarily. Rumsfeld and Cheney need to pray for forgiveness and admit they did NOT care when they lied to get our country into these wars. Additionally, BUsh shares in these tragic deafs just as much as the other two. PLEASE VOTE IN 2012 TO ENSURE THAT WE PUT THE REPUBLICANS IN THE MINORITY AND VOTE OUT THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS THAT MAY BE UP FOR RE-ELECTION.

Posted by: netstoy | March 2, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

TO: JBaustian who wrote:
“It was Colin Powell who insisted on going to the Security Council for another scrap of paper … And it was Colin Powell who decided to make WMD's the central argument for his case…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Now exactly who was it that Colin Powell worked for?

The Decider?

Are you trying to say "The Decider" didn't make the "decisions".

Come on, don't make yourself sound foolish!

Posted by: lindalovejones | March 2, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

TO: JBaustian who wrote:
“It was Colin Powell who insisted on going to the Security Council for another scrap of paper … And it was Colin Powell who decided to make WMD's the central argument for his case…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Now exactly who was it that Colin Powell worked for?

The Decider?

Are you trying to say "The Decider" didn't make the "decisions".

Come on, don't make yourself sound foolish!


Posted by: lindalovejones | March 2, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I bet my money on Mr. Woodward.

All Mr. Woodward would have to do is pop Raging Rummy in the mouth one time and he's a goner.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | March 2, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

No matter WHAT Rumsfeld says . . . . BOTTOM LINE IS that He, bush, cheney, tenet, rice, rove and wolfowitz,et al., MURDERED more than 4,500 of OUR servicemen, mangled tens of thousands more and slaughtered and maimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children --- Based on erroneous information (their lies) and Bush's pre-9/11 determination to become a swaggering War President. They should be placed on trial in Geneva as War Criminals, and in the USA as Traitors! And spend the rest of their lives in jail or better yet executed by firing squad!

Posted by: ticked | March 2, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The neo-cons decided that we should occupy Iraq long before there ever was a Bush administration. Check out the
Project For A New American Century(PNAC). See who signed it, and the date that it was signed. The whole cast of neo-cons that ended up in the regime were signees.

Posted by: RuEb10 | March 2, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I would like to read Rumsfeld's book but I will not contribute to the SOB by buying it.
I would just like to know how he justifies first invading Iraq, then not bringing enough soldiers and finally completely blowing the occupation.
If you look at Rumsfeld's history, it is easy to tell he is just one of those authoritarian conservatives just chuck full of unjustified selfconfidence.
I have know a hundred managers just like him.
He is personally responsible for the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people and he feels absolutely no remorse.
If there is a hell, he will burn there for eternity.

Posted by: biggerjake | March 3, 2011 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Woodward is taken seriously only in the leftist community, where Michael Moore is also considered a genius..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 3, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld should shut up while he still has a name to protect. He is bordering on being charged as a war criminal for water boarding and the less he says the better off he will be.

Posted by: ronjeske | March 3, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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