(CNN) – Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who along with President George W. Bush helped send the United States military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in an interview Wednesday the White House has yet to justify potential strikes in Syria.
And he sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for allowing details about that potential military action to become public before any decisions have been made.
“I can’t imagine what they’re thinking, why they would want the Assad regime to have crystal clarity with respect to what they intend,” Rumsfeld said in an interview on the Fox Business Network.
Obama told the "PBS Newshour" on Wednesday that he hadn’t yet made a final decision about U.S. military action in Syria, though U.S. officials have been cited widely in news reports pointing to cruise missile attacks on military facilities as a likely American response to alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime.
Acknowledging it was difficult to fully ascertain the administration’s thinking as an outsider, Rumsfeld maintained it was puzzling the amount of information that’s made its way to the public.
"The idea of demystifying for the enemy what you're going to do is mindless,” he said.
Rumsfeld served a secretary of defense from 2001-2006, a period that saw the U.S. begin wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He said in the interview, however, that current statements from Obama and his aides haven’t met the threshold for intervention in Syria.
“There really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation,” he said. “When you think about what’s really important in that region – it’s Iran’s nuclear program and the relationship between Iran and Syria, the Assad regime, with respect to terrorists that go around killing innocent men, women and children, including Americans.”
He added that Secretary of State John Kerry, who left the U.S. Senate earlier this year for the top diplomatic post, had been “dealt a bad hand” by his predecessor Hillary Clinton and Obama, who he claimed had created a global leadership void.
“This administration has been in a withdrawal mode, an apology mode,” he said, adding: “That vacuum we’ve created is being filled by people that don’t have our values or interests.”
If Obama goes solo on this... God only knows what the repercussions could be. Bomb shelters anyone? He drags us into yet another war and if we end up being bombed as a result.. well... I think we all know what will happen.
Wow, when has Rumsfeld ever been right about anything?
Gosh, Where is Hillary when we need her. Heck, we could blame some poor sap for making an antimuslim film, lock him up then tell congress to "get over it". We need Hillary.
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." –on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
Who cares of architect Rumsfeld? I'm an architect but fortunately I make projects that make sense.
Are we kidding .. Anyone can say this but this man !!! of all the gall .. justify a strike , ..they didnt justify a war and an invasion. What a farce
this from the guy who said there were WMD's in Iraq.....
"It is unknowable how long that conflict [the war in Iraq] will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." -in Feb. 2003
who is this man
The only thing Rumsfeld ever did right was resign in disgrace.
this is hysterical...hey Rumsfeld, ever heard that saying about not throwing stones in glass houses? nobody in the world sees you as an expert on 'justifying attacks'. please just withdraw into the mansion that the Iraq war bought you and be quiet for the rest of your days. your credibility is, shall we say, completely absent.
What Rumsfeld is trying to say is that the Obama administration needs to concoct outrageous lies like the Bush administration did...
I cant believe that man would have the ____s to even make that comment
Obama is either a 'jerk' of a President or he's an accomplice to the terror going around the world. Either way, he should be removed from the office by Congress.
Yeah. Let's watch O start a war.
I'm pretty sure Rumsfeld is just saying Obama needs to come up with a lie before taking action. Kinda like He, Bush, and Cheney did for Iraq.
Donald Rumsfeld? What does this pathetic war criminal have to say about anything?
"he sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for allowing details about that potential military action to become public before any decisions have been made."
Because the bribes from defense contractors don't come if people don't go along with the lie.
And since when does the opinion of a lying war criminal like this matter?
Rumsfeld is a no-nonsense and assertive leader who would have sorted Syria out. No way would Assad dare use chemical weapons under Rumsfeld's watch.
We don't need to attack, the radicals will take over Syria and we will have a new enemy to deal with. However, something needs to be done to protect the civilians. I don't know what but if Assad used chemical weapons, then he needs to pay for his action.
Russia has a strongman at the helm named Putin. The USA needs an equally strong man. Rumsfeld would have been a formidable president, feared by his enemies and respected by his allies.
Of course there's an impact to US and world security. By not punishing the use of chem weapons then this sends a signal to the Syrians and others that chem weapons can be used in war, and that next use can be against the US military bases.
and if President Obama DOESN'T bomb them Rummy will be back here whining about how "weak" he is for not taking action.
I think he means that Obama is not going to lie to the American public like he, Bush and Cheney did.