Rumsfeld, architect of Iraq war, says Obama hasn't yet justified Syria attack
August 29th, 2013
09:30 AM ET
9 years ago

Rumsfeld, architect of Iraq war, says Obama hasn't yet justified Syria attack

(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.”

Filed under: Donald Rumsfeld • Syria
soundoff (636 Responses)
  1. PtBarnumBoy

    Now here's a guy that knows a thing or two about "making the case." Not saying anything about an honest and truthful case mind you.

    August 29, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. For the Duration

    Rummy can kiss it.

    August 29, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Jim

    Oh my god! If anyone should be keeping his mouth shut!

    August 29, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. dick Delson

    Ah yes, Donald "Crummy Rummy" Rumsfield, the creep who gave us the B.S. about WMD

    August 29, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. storymagination

    Why is Rumsfeld even offering an opinion? He was a failure.

    August 29, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Gill

    Can you imagine what he is saying – The bunch of thugs who made phony case to bomb Iraq. He is saying Obama has not made a case yet. Well at least He has not bombed Syria yet. Why news papers even have to interview these sham people.

    August 29, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. 1234ihatealgore

    Wow, this coming from the guy who straight up lied about WMD's just so he and his stooges could kill a million Iqaqi's, and a bakers dozen of kids daily. This man has one huge sack, I mean it, monstrous flipping sack. It's made of gold, silver, and bronze, coated in the tanned leather of a million plus Arabs.

    August 29, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Thinker

    Rumsfeld should stfu. Instead he should spend the rest of his sorry life helping to take care of the vets whose lives he squandered. His ability to comment seriously is just not there. He has no credibility at all. His efforts at "making a case" were to lie, falsify information, cherry pick, and then send our soldiers to die.

    August 29, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. JEB

    Four words, Rumy – Weapons of Mass Destruction. That was your case??

    Obama isn't making a case in Syria, the world is...

    August 29, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Thinker

    Why is this war criminal being given any type of platform?

    August 29, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Rumsfeld's remarks are motivated by the fact that we haven't started dropping bombs, yet, and he can't understand why.

    August 29, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. K. HARNETT

    Politicking HYPOCRITE!

    August 29, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. joe

    The reasons for doing it have not be adequately made up yet, he should send an envoy to Africa and check to see if they have requested yellow cake,,, maybe ask a member of the oposition for some pictures of railroad cars that are,,,,,, railroad cars,, then bomb the crap out of the military sites, Take out landing strips, bomb the palace, screw up Assad's wife credit so she can't shop,

    August 29, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Ed Kimble

    Once again CNN focuses on what is important - a evil con artist's criticism of the President. Stick to sappy "human interest" non-news. It's what you're good at, and I never get suckered into looking at those!

    August 29, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Scotty

    For Rummy to say someone ELSE has not made a case- hubris, they name is Donald.

    The mind reels with sarcastic remarks. But I am not in favor of war in Syria.

    August 29, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Dennis L M

    CNN, you have got to be kidding! This Donald is goofier than "the Donald". Shame on you for giving him any press. He is a total hypocrite. This story is enough to make me go to MSNBC for credible news.

    August 29, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. glennrobert

    Why would anyone listen to Rumsfeld

    August 29, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Henry

    Rumsfeld? Really? REALLY? Not even TEAGOPers care to hear any "wisdom" from RumDum Donnie Rumsfeld. Satan has a special chair of eternal pain waiting for Donnie. Now just guess what the Prince of Lies has in store for the Duke of Deception, the Harbinger of Hypocrisy, Darth Cheney.

    August 29, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Sane Person

    Cheney is an expert in "not making cases." I cant believe this idiot has the nerve to comment on the commitment of US forces.

    August 29, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Robert J Zeigler

    Rumsfeld can take his high-and-mighty hypocrisy and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

    What kind of gall is required for a death-monger like him to make these accusations????

    August 29, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. EdL

    A Syrian attack may not be justified but it is required. Obama laid down his Red Line and he is stuck with it even though he apparently did not know what he was doing. If he does nothing the credibility of his presidency and the U.S. suffers. If he sends a couple of cruise missiles with military guidance from ex-sgt Hagel nothing favorable will be accomplished but there will be those who congratulate him for bravery. The now unknown unexpected consequences may be disastrous. Then Obama and Hagel will say, "Oops!"

    August 29, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Bob Ross

    Rumsfeld is a blithering idiot.

    August 29, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Tomcat

    Visit the GW Bush library with its "revisionist history" and see why Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and the rest of the ilk continue to attempt relevance in world affairs. Here you have the architect of the Iraq fiasco that neither had the vision or an endgame as to how things would turn out.....hard as they try, history will not be kind to this bunch.

    August 29, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Roger Burnett

    Lest we forget, President Clinton bombed Iraq for 4 days in 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. The reason? Iraq would not allow UN inspectors in the country to look for..... WMD's. Iraq used chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war. Now President Obama wants to let missiles fly over Syria. Land there as well. So, Clinton and Obama got it right, Bushie lied. How about just got it wrong?

    August 29, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. srgntyork

    Why in the hell does this war criminal think he has a right to open his lying mouth about anything?!?!?!?!?

    August 29, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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