News & Politics

Donald Rumsfeld Memo: Super Dumb!


Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense of the United States two different times, under President Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s and again under President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2006, meaning he’s been around for three major wars, in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Or not just around — you could say he’s played a large part in them. So imagine the surprise of the nation’s political blog-reading population, or their complete lack thereof, when Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic published a very public 2003 memo from Rumsfeld to his Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, basically equating U.S. foreign policy with deciding Tuesday’s lunch order. Observe the unrelentingly glib note in its full form:


So that’s Syria, Libya (topical!), Iraq, Pakistan, and Korea, or five of the top 10 major American diplomatic headaches, and a command that amounts to, pretty much, “Handle that, eh?” to an inferior government employee. And it’s available for all to see on’s online document archive. The man also has a book coming out, so maybe the meaty stuff is in here.

The Latest