Donald Rumsfeld's 2002 Epiphany: Saudi Arabia Dislikes Israel

More
parshley Aug31 p.jpg

Reuters


In an unclassified memo from the Rumsfeld archives, the former Secretary of Defense and crack memo writer expounded on an epiphany he had before a National Security Council meeting. The afternoon of June 20th, 2002, he reported discovering through Saudi television coverage that Saudi Arabia was less than enamored of Israel. He wrote, "It concerned me. I thought the U.S. government ought to give some thought to it."

The clincher: "Everyone agreed, including Powell, Cheney and the President." Consensus!

Given this enlightened thinking, it's a good thing our current President has navigated U.S.-Saudi Arabian relations so successfully. Here's the full text of the memo:

SUBJECT: Saudi Arabia

On June 19, before the NSC meeting started and while we waited for the Vice President, I talked to the President and those who were there about Saudi Arabia.

I expressed my concern about the country and the fact that they were putting things on television that were anti-Israel, paying suicide bombers' families and continuing to fund madrassa schools. We have a lot of Americans on the ground there, and it concerned me.

I thought the U.S. Government ought to give some thought to it.

Everyone agreed, including Powell, Cheney and the President.

See the original 2002 memo here.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Lois Farrow Parshley

Lois Parshley is an assistant editor at Foreign Policy magazine.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Cattoo': The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

"Feline art is really popular right now," says a tattoo artist in Brooklyn.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In