Unearthed by James Carter IV (of the "President Carter" Carters and the 47 percent video) and first shared by Talking Points Memo is this bit of video amazement. In it, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense under Bush, jokingly suggests that he "can't tell" if maybe President Obama now wants the terrorists to win the War on Terror.
A member of the audience at an interview between Rumsfeld and conservative writer David Horowitz posted yesterday prompts the response. He asks, "As you go around the country, do you have … the same sort of sinking that the rest of us have, that [Obama has] actually switched sides in the war on terror?" The audience applauds.
Rumsfeld grunts. "You know, I just don't feel competent to answer. I just can't tell."
Rumsfeld, on tour for his book Rumsfeld's Rules, notes that Obama campaigned in opposition to the anti-terror tools Bush put into place — renditions, military commissions, the Patriot Act, Guantanamo. But Obama kept most of them. "I think he still would prefer they didn't exist," Rumsfeld continues — then noting that the Bush administration didn't want them to exist, either. So it's not clear what constitutes the big differentiator between Obama and his old boss.
Except: "I have no idea what he thinks or how he operates," he concludes, "other than — it bothers me greatly that he's unwilling to identify the enemy." Rumsfeld was always very good at identifying the enemy. They can be found "in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
It appears, then, that for the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to demonstrate his loyalty to the Armed Forces, he must do two things. One: Bring back forced renditions. And, two: Insist that the terrorists are everywhere, waiting, lurking. Only then will he earn Rumsfeld's respect.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.