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Donald Rumsfeld

February 8, 2011 by staff 

Donald Rumsfeld, Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is a politician and an American businessman who was the 13th secretary of defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977 and the 21st Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006. Overall, it was the second longest Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and serve behind the first to serve two nonconsecutive terms.

Rumsfeld was White House Chief of Staff during part of the Ford administration and has held various positions in the Nixon administration. He was elected to four terms in the House of Representatives of the United States, and served as Permanent Representative of the United States in NATO. He was President of GD Searle & Company from 1977-1985, CEO of General Instrument in the period 1990-1993, and Chairman of Gilead Sciences from 1997 to 2001.

Rumsfeld is best known for his dynamic leadership of the Ministry of Defence after the 9-11 attacks in 2001, and for his close supervision of the wars waged by the Americans in Afghanistan (since 2001) and Iraq (2003). His micromanagement of the defense ministry in anger many generals and the slow progress of the war in Iraq made him a political liability for Bush.

(CP) – A former Pentagon chief Donald H. Rumsfeld reveals in his new book he has urged a U.S. military strike on a suspected chemical weapons site in northern Iraq in 2003, and he wanted the attack timed to coincide with the Secretary of State Colin Powell’s address to the Security Council UN making the case for war.

In his new memoir, “known and unknown,” Rumsfeld wrote that the Joint Chiefs supported a strike, from what Rumsfeld said the CIA believed extensive but not conclusive evidence that the site housed an underground facility for tests chemical weapons. He called it a “fairly large transaction terrorists.”

The attack pre-war never happened, although the site was hit in the early days of the war that President George W. Bush launched in March 2003, about a month after Powell’s speech to the UN.

“For some reason, the administration has never made public the facts on WMD production facility assets managed by terrorists in Iraq,” Rumsfeld wrote.

He said he made the recommendation to Bush at a meeting Feb. 3, 2003 National Security Council in which Powell has outlined on his presentation to the UN two days later.

Rumsfeld himself quoted as saying at the meeting, “We must strike Khurmal during the speech, given that Colin will speak.” Khurmal is the name of a village near the site.

In his UN presentation, Powell has described as “terrorist poison and explosives factory, Khurmal.” Rumsfeld said Khurmal was operated by Ansar al-Islam, a militant Sunni group with ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian extremist with ties to the terrorist network al-Qaeda.

Rumsfeld wrote that he wanted to attack the site before Powell ended his presentation in New York, because otherwise the site would be abandoned.

Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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