Donald Rumseld (Credit: NBC News)

Donald Rumsfeld justifies voting for Trump with same "logic" he used to push for invasion of Iraq

Comparing your candidate of choice to a universally disparaged war may not be the best way to support him


Scott Eric Kaufman
June 23, 2016 5:37PM (UTC)

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld voiced support for his fellow Donald in the upcoming presidential election by unwittingly comparing the act of voting for him with what is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest intelligence failures of the modern era -- one so great, in fact, that Trump even lies about ever having supported the military adventure built upon it.

In 2002, Rumsfeld defended the decision to invade Iraq in part on its role as a supplier of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations. He claimed that "as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

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In his memoir -- conveniently titled "Known and Unknown" -- Rumsfeld claimed he borrowed the terminology from former NASA administrator William Graham, but the fact remains that he was widely criticized at the time for involving America in a war on foreign soil based on an "unknown unknown." So when he spoke to The Daily Mail about the upcoming election, even he should have known better than to acknowledge his support for Trump in the worst possible way.

"Mrs. Clinton is a known known -- Donald Trump is a known unknown, a recent entry into the equation," he said. "I am a lot more comfortable with a known unknown, who I will support, than with a known known who is unacceptable."

He claimed that one of the "known unknowns" he and Trump share is their "knowledge" that America has been infiltrated by Islamic extremist sleeper cells or "Trojan horses," as the candidate put it last week. "He's absolutely right,' Rumsfeld said.

"Anyone who thinks the radical Islamists are not going to try to utilize every venue they can find to infiltrate in the United States, and in western European countries, to achieve their goals -- these people just don't get it. They've announced what they're going to do."

Read the rest of Rumsfeld's interview at The Daily Mail...

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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