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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Woodward calls Rumsfeld's memoir "a travesty"

By Stephen Lowman

woodward2.jpg The Washington Post's Bob Woodward (Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Bob Woodward is “flat-out disgusted” with Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir.

“Rumsfeld's memoir is 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,” Woodward writes on Tom Ricks’s Best Defense blog. “It is a travesty, and I think the rewrite job won't wash.”

The Washington Post reporter outlines contradictions in Rumsfeld’s version of events, including when the administration began focusing on Iraq, when the decision to go to war with the country was made, and on whom the responsibility of post-war planning ultimately fell.

“When all the records are available, the other memoirs written and the history complete, this failure to accept responsibility will likely be his legacy.” Woodward writes.

Woodward’s post comes after Rumsfeld said on MSNBC that Woodward's and his colleague Tom Ricks’s books on the Iraq war were written by “all on the outside listening to people two or three levels down.”

“No, I’ve not read their books,” Rumsfeld added.

Memos written in 2002 and made public on the former Secretary of Defense’s Web site show he was upset at the Bush administration agreeing to talk to Woodward and called his reporting filled "with a great many inaccuracies."

By Stephen Lowman  | March 1, 2011; 12:15 PM ET
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In the interest of "Full Disclosure", did Woodward reveal that his middle name is "Travesty?"

Posted by: fregameeate | March 1, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Power and control freaks DESPISE a free press. Doesn't matter whether they are despots (Khaddafi), meglomaniacs (Rumsfeld), or even football coaches (Shanahan). They HATE HATE HATE a free press, even some who use "freedom" as a rallying cry (Bush 43).

Posted by: devilsadvocate2 | March 1, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd say to everyone, including the press. Try each and everyone of them in a court of law.

We have allowed a class of people to have immunity for crimes they have committed while punishing to poor and weak for misdemeanors.

4000 American soldiers were committed to defend the lies of the entire Bush administration and the media performed masterfully in confusing the public to protect them.

4000 patriotic Americans served and die on a lie.

300 million are also the blame for allowing this lie to continue.

Our soldiers take orders which are to defend the United States of America from attacks against our soil.

To this day, that person remains "at large" because the Bush administration and the GOP decided to cover-up a concocted lie for personnel reasons.

When will Americans start to take charge of their full rights of the constitution and demand a full investigation and try these elites thugs?

This is why Osama bin Ladden is laughing because Americans are weak minded and easily lied to.

It's a tragedy to our troops in which the draft should be re-instated so they send the elite children first to the front line.

Posted by: rbraun2000 | March 1, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Don Rumsfield's arrogance and stubborness led him to be the worse Secretary of Defense in modern history. Cheney's constant support for Rummy says a lot about the Prince of Darkness as well.

Posted by: wrw01011 | March 1, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Bush, Cheney and Dumsfeld have so much blood on their hands that hopefully they live in fear of meeting their Maker. That is, if they actually believe there is a higher power then themselves.
How Bush can calmly claim to be a "born again" Christian and brush off the fact that his orders slaughtered not only our American sons and daughters, but tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens is unbelievable.
Cheney has no conscience and never did because he is just another rightwing criminal in it for his own personal wealth. When he finally dies I hope they build a Port-a-Potty over his grave so we can all pay our respects to this lousy man.
When Dumsfeld left his Secy of Defense position, Cheney called him the "finest Defense Secy ever". I wanted to gag as did just about everyone else who attended his going out ceremony. Dumsfeld is not only the most incompetent SecDef ever, his gross ineptitude in fighting the Iraqi war will never be forgotten and should be classroom text for future military students on what happens when incompetants are put in charge.

The neocons hate being told that they are lousy citizens and self-serving bums but that is exactly what they are. They all started deserting their little group when their ineptitude showed itself. The one thing I will remember is that the Vice President of United States ordered the outing of a dedicated American Intelligence Officer as an act of revenge for publicizing the his lies to engage in a war, fought by other Americans sons and daughters, and filling his pockets with money by giving every government contract to his own company.

Posted by: papafritz571 | March 1, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone really surprised by this revelation? Did anyone expect anything else to come from the Rumster? The man is the definition of egotist. I would say Narcissist. Neither he or Bush are capable of accepting blame. They are mentally ill.

Posted by: mamerica | March 1, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, the blame for their actions (and the lack of punishment for what should be considered war crimes) ultimately lies with the American people who, with scant dissent or significant public demonstration, gave that crew 8 years to remake this country in their own image. Moreover, we were aided by our elected representatives who allowed the Republican administration to take us into 2 undeclared wars of choice. Congress hasn't shown much respect for its own consitutional duties. It hasn't stood up, declared war and asked for sacrifice from the public since 1941, yet the wars continue with nothing ever learned from the one fought before. The best advice this country got since the end of WWII came from a conservative Republican. Dwight Eisenhower warned us to beware of the military-industrial complex. Having ignored his advice completely, we now have the best government money can buy.

Posted by: docmaxx | March 1, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The Post is also complicit in Dumsfeld's trillion-dollar disaster in the desert. Notice that Tom Ricks, on whose blog Woodward's comments were made, took a buyout and left the Post the first chance at the first opportunity.

Posted by: hairguy01 | March 1, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but our entire country gets the travesty definition. And we are still in Iraq for lies and we are in Afghanistan to try an take over from the freedom fighters we helped create back in Carter time. And the Iraq we created to get back at Iran for getting back at us for the Shah and the secret police we helped him create. It is a travesty born out of cold war paranoia and the super-powered ego we came charging out of WWII with that has created pain and suffering around the world since but with Iraq we even forgot to have a good excuse and plausable deniability be forgotten. We are the ones who have used WMD's so the only fear we have is fear of ourself.

Posted by: Wildthing1 | March 1, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same Bob Woodward who wrote two huge books on George W. Bush. The first one, when GWB was swaggering all over the place, praises his decisive leadership leading up the Iraq invasion (mmmm..)

The second one expresses shock and dismay over Bush's dysfunctional management style and overall cluelessness (mmmm...)

Only Woodward could do that (the same investigative reporter who was spoon fed the scoops in the Watergate scandal) and keep a straight face. And only Washington DC would keep listening to him.

Posted by: DCsandiego | March 1, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Bob Woodward has nothing to gain by lying but Rumsfeld thinks he does. I'll believe Bob before Rummy.

Posted by: msjn1 | March 1, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Woodward's opinion does not have the clout and/or esteem that it once did.

Posted by: rlj611 | March 1, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Examining the veracity of Woodward's claims vs. Rumsfeld should be done. Woodward's name calling is substance free. Where are the specifics? How do we know that Woodward's book is accurate? Does Woodward get a free pass because of Watergate?

Posted by: kinny_mcquade | March 1, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"4000 American soldiers were committed to defend the lies of the entire Bush administration and the media performed masterfully in confusing the public to protect them."

And the lying and protecting continues to this day.

The latest atrocity: the media pushing the angle that the Bush administration's opening of diplomatic relations with Libya in 2003 was not in hindsight...get this, a good thing!

That's right. It was "good" to open relations with Moammar Ghaddafi because such a rapproachment induced Ghadaffi to give up his nuclear program.

This is the true travesty: that to this day the mainstream media, including the Washington Post that gives print space to such rubbish, continues to excuse everything the Bush administration did from 2001 thru 2009, largely because the CIA alumni own the Washington establishment.

Now we are told that, like Saddam Hussein, Moammar Ghadafii was just a mushroom cloud away from wiping out the entire Middle East, and thus our coddling of him from 2003 just up until a couple of weeks ago -- never mind the victims he's just wiped out with weapons probably provided by the West -- was for our own good.

Godspeed the protesters overthrow every one of the Middle East dictators, and then start looking elsewhere in the world once they get through there.

Posted by: sthomas1957 | March 1, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

drop a commercial in front of that one

Posted by: blasmaic | March 1, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey there fregameeate , hairguy01 , DCsandiego , rlj611 and kinny_mcquade .

Your posts while differing on point have commonality: anger and distrust. I fear that you are all duped followers of Right Wing Authoritarian’s like Rumsfeld, Cheney and their mouthpieces Limbaugh and Roger Ailes (aka FOX News).

On the other hand it could simply be that you like most on the Right feel that educated and legitimate journalists (and other professionals) like Bob Woodward “piss stupid people off”.

Posted by: Tell-the-Truth-Please | March 1, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld can't ever confront the guilt of his direct role in the mass murder and maiming of millions of men, women and children without falling over the edge to gibbering insanity. He tries to escape responsibility in his deluded mind by mechanisms such as generalizing to the public to create confusion and denying any role in massive crimes, using his bizzaro logic that he was just an innocent bystander who deserves sympathy from his victims. Bush, an international criminal on a par with the worst dictators in history, took a page out of their books and surrounded himself with criminal minded sociopaths such as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Bolton, etc.

Posted by: markdonner | March 2, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Bob Woodward is a pompous elitist and liberal. He created a travesty in journalism that has been perpetrated on us ever since he went after Nixon. He and his buddy personally destroyed journalism having any ethics at all.

Posted by: kalamere | March 2, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Woodward is talking about his own work. Pot, meet kettle. Woodward lies so much he thinks it's a way of life. Don't all liberals think the same way? Did you ever know a liberal like Woodward to write an honest book? My advise to you Bob is to sit down and shut up.

Posted by: rchaa27aa | March 2, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

With hundreds of footnotes and 50 pages of source documentation, Mr Woodward will be hard pressed to challenge the validity of Mr. Rumsfeld's memoir with his own sources, unnamed leakers, disgruntled officials and DC hangers-on ie, ousiders.
Mr.Woodward is far from being a disinterested party. At best Woodward's information is second hand but in most cases probably third or fourth hand filtered through his own biases.

Posted by: mosmanpat | March 2, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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