Rumsfeld “Served with Distinction”:

President Bush, who presided over the final ceremony ushering out the only Defense Secretary who has served two Presidents, said of Donald Rumsfeld, he is “one of America’s most skilled, energetic, and dedicated public servants.” He remarked on Rumsfeld’s naval service and his terms as a Congressman, Presidential counselor, ambassador to NATO, and White House chief of staff, saying he “served with distinction in many important positions.” Rumsfeld, in his remarks, noted that when he left the top defense post for the first time—in 1977—he had cautioned that “weakness is provocative.” He went on: “Today it should be clear that not only is weakness provocative, but the perception of weakness on our part can be provocative as well. A conclusion by our enemies that the United States lacks the will or the resolve to carry out missions that demand sacrifice and demand patience is every bit as dangerous as an imbalance of conventional military power. … America’s enemies should not confuse the American people’s distaste for war—which is real and which is understandable—with a reluctance to defend our way of life.”