March 21, 2004

Rumsfeld's Resolutions. No idea when the new year begins.
  • is this a joke or for real. Either way rummy is a fucked up guy.
  • Visit with your predecessors from previous administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs.
    Gee. It's a pity he hadn't learned that one when Clinton appointees were trying to tell the administration about those pesky terrorist types and present their road map for suppressing them.
    It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.
    Hmm. You'd think he'd have picked that one up after selling Saddam iochemical weapons turned sour. Pity it wasn't before he got all fired up about invading Iraq.
    Don't divide the world into “them” and “us.” Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.
    He's got a lot of work to do on this one.
    * A president needs multiple sources of information. Avoid excessively restricting the flow of paper, people, or ideas to the president, though you must watch his time. If you overcontrol, it will be your “regulator” that controls, not his. Only by opening the spigot fairly wide, risking that some of his time may be wasted, can his “regulator” take control.
    Does this mean the President will now be reading the newspapers and watching television from time to time?
    Establish good relations between the departments of Defense and State, the National Security Council, CIA and the Office of Management and Budget.
    resumably this means that Defense will no longer be setting up new intelligence agencies when it doesn't like the answers it gets back from the CIA.
  • After scanning boredly through the list of umpteen "rules", I found this at this at the bottom "If you develop rules, never have more than 10."
  • Rummy's probably the most decent of all of them. Which is to say, if I was Grand High Evil Emperor, I'd want him on my staff.
  • I'm completely terrified that one of his slogans as Secretary for Defence of the most powerful country in the world is "“When you're skiing, if you're not falling you're not trying".
  • The list is long but full of excellent, common-sense advice for anyone in a government leadership role. Too bad people in these roles routinely ignore it. My favorite Rummy moment came from a press conference in March 2003, right after the war started. Here's the quote: Q: Mr. Secretary, at the White House last night, a senior White House official after the president spoke said that the decision to make the strike was made some time between 6:30 and 7:00 Eastern time. It's apparent that that decision to strike was not in line with what we have been led to believe about the war plan. Was the intelligence you got fragile enough where you felt you had to go at that moment and not start with, say, shock and awe or some other phase of the war? Rumsfeld: Well, Dick, calibrate me, but the first thing I'd say is I don't believe you have the war plan -- (laughter) -- a fact which does not make me unhappy. (Laughter.)
  • Blaise: I'm sure that sentiment (and others like it, such as the prune, prune, prune) are a great comfort to soldier and their families. "Hey, Ma, today I hear the boss is committed to pushing us until there's a huge fuckup, so he knows how far is too far!"