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. Freedom Storm

    Seems his only intent it to put a notch in his glory pistol grip ... at the expense of ever more of our blood treasures.

    August 29, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  2. Joe

    What makes Rumsfeld a "war Criminal"?

    August 29, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. zaphed

    wow even darth evil himself does not agree. amazing.

    August 29, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. jshous

    Isn't this the guy who played a prominent role in getting into that perfectly useless war in Iraq?
    Isn't this the guy who said the Iraq war was 'forced on us'?
    Isn't this the guy who said, "You go to war with what you have" an excuse for our troops not being properly equipped?
    The Iraq war began at a time and in a manner of our (U.S.) choosing ~ it was anything but forced on us.
    Rumsfeld -after the mess he made in Iraq- is the last person in the world to be commenting on anything about going to war....not after how he screwed us over Iraq.

    August 29, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Jason

    I guess he is just mad at Obama for not asking him how to create false information to justify military actions. What a waste to leave such expertise unused.

    August 29, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. Steve Fielder

    "President Obama hasn't made the case".

    Look whose talking, Rummy!

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican. ...

    August 29, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Dougie

    Yeah like and he and George did. What a joke this guy is.

    August 29, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Bat

    Chalk it up to entertainment by government; lying and fabricating truth has become a embedded process. Open this Pandora box and US will live under condition Orange – Red for next 50 years under a government more security paranoid than ever. There's absolutely no win engaging Syria at this time as the factions are hard line immersed in their respective religions and tribal histories. But, foremost they're against any foreign intervention into their affairs and rally together to fight a common enemy. This is one fight the US needs to sit on its hands and watch.

    August 29, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Peter Grenader

    The irony of his statements is putrid. Regarding tipping your hand before the use of military force: The engineers who worked on the Manhattan Project, once seeing the power of the bomb they helped to created urged president Truman to send a film to them of it's potential as opposed to actually using it. Can you imagine the difference in our combined physiological stress levels during the cold war years had he taken their advice?

    August 29, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. soldier first

    WOW the Lier speaks

    August 29, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Lostlad

    Where is cuvre ball when you need him. You know, the guy the Germans had who told the CIA what they wanted and we went to war with Iraq because of it. Could Rumsfeld be our new curve ball?

    August 29, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. Paul

    Hey, you Rumsfeld haters! Forget the person...EXACTLY what is he saying that's incorrect?? Do you REALLY believe that Obama has made the case? Try stopping wringing your little hands in liberal angst and simply answer the question. Has Obama made the case???? The answer is no.

    August 29, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. jboh

    Why is this slimeball even being asked? He is a traitor and should have been tried and jailed long ago. He has zero credibility on anything except how to be a corrupt sleeze.

    August 29, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. The Rothschild

    Why can't Rumsfeld just go to sleep? Silly pensioner...........

    August 29, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. myrtlemaylee

    This is what Rick Ungar said about Rummy's obscene interview & I couldn't possibly agree more: "When one has led one of the most heinous conspiracies in modern American history—a conspiracy to create such a justification for war out of whole cloth and lies for the purpose of tricking the country into supporting an unnecessary invasion—I don’t think it unreasonable to expect that this individual should forever waive the right to advise presidents, politicians or the local street sweeper on such matters. This is particularly true when that individual’s efforts to fabricate and sell a justification for war has led to the death, disfigurement or disability of thousands of Americans while wasting trillions of taxpayer dollars in the process."

    August 29, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Jerry

    But Bush Justified the attack on Iraq?

    August 29, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Eland

    I thought this guy had croaked, but he pops up - Now Cheney will come on... Oh God – save us!

    August 29, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. Steve

    I think Rummy, the architect of the Iraq debacle, should keep his mouth shut.

    August 29, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Maybe they should make up some more WMDs that don't actually exist.

    August 29, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. No

    Maybe they should make up some more WMD's that don't actually exist. It's worked before to start an invasion.

    August 29, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. Michael

    Oh shut it!

    August 29, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. Hulot

    Rumsfeld wants Obama to lie like he did

    August 29, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. Hulot

    Strap Rumsfeld on missile and send to Syria

    August 29, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. MrsFizzy

    Neither did Bush make a good enough case, but let's LEARN from our mistakes!!!

    August 29, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    post board of hypocrites taking up for Obama, Bush, or Clinton – all war criminals.
    Root for your team of thugs and against their team of thugs, even if they do the same thing!

    August 29, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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