Thursday, January 20

Donald Rumsfeld, Former US Secretary of Defense, Dies at 88 | Donald rumsfeld


Donald Rumsfeld, a two-time US Secretary of Defense who was a key architect of America’s divisive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has died at the age of 88.

Rumsfeld died surrounded by his family in Taos, New Mexico, his family said in a statement Wednesday.

His career spanned decades of American political history. Rumsfeld was President Gerald Ford’s chief of staff in the mid-1970s and later served as secretary of defense.

He made a brief run for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination, but quickly failed. It was his second term as head of the Pentagon, under President George W. Bush, that would make him the focus of intense liberal criticism.

Rumsfeld was at the Pentagon on September 11 and was seen in a movie helping survivors out of the building. His face became familiar to millions of viewers during subsequent press conferences when the United States invaded Afghanistan to hunt down al Qaeda.

The terrorist organization was responsible for the attacks in which hijacked airliners flew into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, while one crashed into a field en route to Washington, killing a total of nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

Rumsfeld famously said: “There is known knowledge. There are things we know we know. We also know that there are known unknowns. That is, we know that there are some things that we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, those that we do not know, we do not know. “

That war, which cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, has lasted longer than Rumsfeld, and Joe Biden must withdraw US troops on September 11, the 20th anniversary of the original attacks.

Rumsfeld, paying attention to neoconservative voices around Bush, also pushed the idea that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The United States launched a war against Iraq in 2003. No weapons of mass destruction were found.

Rumsfeld offered his resignation to Bush twice in 2004 amid revelations that US troops had abused detainees held in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, an episode he later referred to as his darkest hour as secretary. defense.

Bush replaced Rumsfeld in 2006 when the US military was bogged down after three and a half years of fighting.

On Wednesday, Bush issued a statement calling Rumsfeld “a man of intelligence, integrity and almost inexhaustible energy, he never paled before difficult decisions and never backed down from responsibility.”

The former defense secretary then led the Rumsfeld Foundation to promote public service and work with charities that provide services and support to families of wounded military and veterans.

He also published an autobiography, Known and Unknown, which attempted to repair his legacy, accepting almost no blame for the debacle in Iraq and stating that the Middle East would be “much more dangerous than it is today” if Saddam had remained in power.

Rumsfeld is survived by his wife, Joyce, three children and seven grandchildren. The family said their statement Wednesday: “It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, grandfather and great-grandfather.

“History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends, and the integrity that brought to a life dedicated to the country ”.

Rumsfeld is the only person to have served as Pentagon chief twice. The first time, in 1975-1977, he was the youngest in history. The next time, in 2001-2006, it was the biggest.


www.theguardian.com

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