Future historians tralling through the mountain of Rumsfeld memos fired off to staff (the infamous ‘snowflakes’) can be assured of at least one thing: Don Rumsfeld, as much as any of the Neocons, was obsessed with AgitProp. In an earlier, healthier time, his manically manipulative preoccupations would have generated almost unanimous condemnation and rejection — after all, the Voice of America and USIA were forbidden to manipulate directly or indirectly the American political process.
Ever the master of bureaucratic bullshit (over substance), Rumsfeld circulates astoundingly cynical recommendations such as “Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists” (emphasis added). And true to form, when called on it for the above story, he via a staffer says well I was merely quoting what some ‘analysts’ told me. Woodward in his belatedly honest book “State of Denial” documented time and again how Rumsfeld would use such passive aggressive techniques seeking to escape blame. (Another memo directed OSD to make every effort to link Iraq with Iran, etc.) Western civilization in the post-1945 world –until now — rejected the defense of hiding behind technicalities to cover up moral and intellectual failures of the first order.
Regardless of subject, the snowflakes reveal a man has a glass jaw — good at throwing punches but internally unable to take one. For example, what a down market pundit like a Ralph Peters says in an op-ed throws him for a loop. Same for the Philadelphia Inky. In fact, his mind is completely absorbed by trends in the public narrative — no matter how shallow. While making every effort to be disdainful of the whole thing. We often wondered how our old acquaintance Larry DiRita endured it all. We knew he gravitated to the far Right during the 1990s. But to become the Mouth of Sauron for such petty warmongers and indeed, war criminals? The facets of the regime’s psychopathology never fail to shine in new and different ways.