A Response From Donald Rumsfeld

Keith Urbahn, a spokesman for former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, e-mails a statement denying that Rumsfeld had anything to do with the Christianization of those World Intelligence Update cover slides.

The slides in the "World Intelligence Update" were prepared on a daily basis by military personnel serving on the Joint Staff, which reported to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, not the Secretary of Defense.  The report was briefed regularly to senior military officials in the Pentagon - only occasionally to the Secretary of Defense and not to the President of the United States.

Rumsfeld was fully aware that words and actions could be harmful and counterproductive to the war effort.  It's safe to say that some of these cover slides could be considered in that category.   The suggestion that Rumsfeld would have composed, approved of, or personally shown the slides to President Bush is flat wrong.  It did not happen. 

Given that Draper used anonymous sources for this charge as well as for the rest of the innuendo in his piece, one would think he might have at least done a cursory review of the facts.  He might then have avoided being taken by people with an axe to grind.  When Draper goes back and checks reality against his reporting, he might also check whether GQ is in need of a new gossip columnist.


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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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