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Who HASN'T Rumsfeld Offended? Who HASN'T Rumsfeld Offended?

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National Security / PHOTOS

Who HASN'T Rumsfeld Offended?

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

February 8, 2011

Donald Rumsfeld's new book Known and Unknown has raised the bar on the talent he mastered as Bush's secretary of defense: offending just about everybody. Here's to those who have borne the brunt of Rumsfeld's criticism -- and those who have made it by unscathed, so far.

Offended: Condoleezza Rice

PBS’s Gwen Ifill says Rumsfeld may have thought of Condoleezza Rice as loyal but not competent as national security adviser or secretary of State, and that the two butted heads often: "'I don't want four hands on the steering wheel,' he advised [Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul] Bremer, who he discovered was talking daily to Rice."


Offended: George H. W. Bush

In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Rumsfeld was asked if he admired George H.W. Bush: "No. No. No, I was kind of disappointed in him.... He decided he wanted to leave people with the impression that he didn't want to go to the CIA [in the Ford administration]. And that someone made him go there. And it was probably Rumsfeld or something."

Offended: Colin Powell

In the ABC interview, Rumsfeld was also critical of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who he said "did not, in my view, do a good job of managing the people under him." Rumsfeld: "There was a lot of leaking out of the State Department, and the president knew it. And it was unhelpful. And most of it ended up making the State Department look good. We didn't do that in the Pentagon. I insisted we not do it." As for the Iraq war: "There's a lot of stuff [in] the press that say Colin Powell was against it. But I never saw even the slightest hint of that."

Offended: George W. Bush

According to Rumsfeld's memoir, his boss George W. Bush ordered a review of the military plan in Iraq just days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "Two weeks after the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history, those of us in the Department of Defense were fully occupied,” Rumsfeld writes. But Bush insisted on new military plans for Iraq, according to Rumsfeld, and "he wanted the options to be 'creative.'”

Offended: John McCain


Rumsfeld wrote that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had a “hair-trigger temper.” McCain did not take the comment lightly, firing back on ABC’s Good Morning America that Rumsfeld's war strategy "was doomed to failure. Thank God he was relieved of his duties and we put the surge in. Otherwise, we would have had a disastrous defeat in Iraq."

Not Offended: Dick Cheney

Rumsfeld continued to praise his longtime friend and Ford administration colleague in his memoir, "even noting that he used his working relationship with Cheney to encourage Ford staffers to ‘find a deputy they could trust’,” according to The Hill’s John T. Bennett.

Not Offended: Gerald Ford

Rumsfeld, who served as White House chief of staff and secretary of defense for President Ford, recalled that time fondly and praised Ford in an ABC interview. “He tried to right the ship of state after the Nixon resignation and the Watergate hearings, a terrible economy, the war in Vietnam coming to an abrupt close, not having his own team of people. He just did a wonderful job and reassured the country.”

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