Thursday, November 09, 2006

One Extremely Smart Official

Morning Edition was just gushing over Donald Rumsfeld. John Hendren was shining up Rummy's legacy. Steve Inskeep prepped the piece by letting us know that Rumsfeld "has probably set more records than any Defense Secretary in American history" -- and he wasn't talking about civilian lives snuffed out or soldiers lives wasted. Hendren then comes on admiring "the former Princeton wrestler" who "was both combative and commanding, sometimes charming his way out of answering questions." Hendren notices that "his speech was precise, and yet it was often confusing." After commenting on Rumsfeld's "silver tongue" Hendren states that "Pentagon insiders say Rumsfeld had been looking for at least a year for a chance to leave on a high note, but the rising tide of public resentment over the war simply made that impossible." Odd, I thought it was the rising tide of corpses and horror that one, two, or three more years would do nothing to improve.

Then later in the show Inskeep and Montagne comment on "memorable moments" of Rumsfeld. Inskeep states that "it is worth remembering the value of Rumsfeld’s public statements, they were more informative than most, careful listeners got some insight into one extremely smart official’s thoughts" (he's not being sarcastic!) As a finale to the adulation of Rumsfeld Inskeep and Montagne add this commentary on Rumsfeld's own "unknown unknowns" mishmash:

Inskeep states, "Here is something that is not as widely known: the context of Rumsfeld’s famous statement. He was speaking in 2002, before the war in Iraq. When he spoke of unknown unknowns he was suggesting that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq could provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, even though there wasn’t much evidence” (and then with no break) Montagne finishes up, “he was trying to say that what you don’t know can hurt you. The weapons never turned up, but as the war grew longer the secretary insisted on knowing what he could know."

I think they out Rumsfelded Rumsfeld!

1 comment:

Porter Melmoth said...

The horror, the horror. Leave it to the flyweights at NPR to swoon over the PR package that is 'Cut and Rummy's' legacy, confusing a malevolent pest's egomaniacal and sociopathic deeds with something akin to greatness! The lovefeast that certain observers celebrate over Rumsfeld can be attributed to many things, but when contemporary journalists indulge in it, it must be because they are truly impressed. After all, Rumsfeld's face, his very being, is intact; that is, the man looks exactly the same as when he entered into 'service' almost six years ago. Certainly, some reporters close to him must be in awe of this fact. This old sour fart, wow, he can probably still get it up at age 74. Plus, he's running a war and a Pentagon to boot, and hell, he's one of the most powerful men in the world! A real MAN. The stuff of Braveheart, of Olympian heroism; because, heck, there's no one else so heroic these days... Almost more than George W. Bush, Don Rumsfeld represents the climax of sophomoric contemporary leaders. No one more exemplary is currently in the running, so certain vacuums are filled with personages such as he. Greatness is nowhere to be seen. So, personalities at NPR, recognizing their own kind, naturally warm to the task of self-congratulation. It's as simple and as sad as that.