What Did Rumsfeld Say?

The Pentagon has taken exception to an Associated Press article covering Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s remarks to the American Legion Tuesday, saying that the AP report “seriously mischaracterized” the Secretary’s remarks. At issue was AP’s statement that Rumsfeld had “portrayed” Administration critics as akin to Pre-World War II Nazi appeasers and “as suffering from ‘moral and intellectual confusion’ about what threatens the nation’s security.” Unfortunately, many other news media made much the same leap. Rumsfeld did not name names or single out specific groups when he said, “Some seem not to have learned history’s lessons.” And, he asked generically, “Can we truly afford to believe that … vicious extremists can be appeased?” Similarly, he did not name names when he said that “any kind of moral or intellectual confusion about who or what is right or wrong, can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.” Hmmm. Read the rest of Rumsfeld’s speech here.