Reminders of Donald Rumsfeld’s open, staggering incompetence

Came across this bizarre little tidbit via RawStory. It originally came by way of Alexis Madrigal, science and technology writer over at The Atlantic.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has done an admirable job building out a digital document archive from his time in the government on his website, Rumsfeld.com. While I was watching the events in Libya unfold, I decided to search his papers to see what he’d written on the country. In so doing, I ran across a document that left me flabbergasted. It’s a message (probably an email) that Rumsfeld sent to then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith on April 7, 2003. Here it is in its entirety:

Is this some sort of joke? I had to double-check, I couldn’t believe it. Nope, it’s real. Madrigal’s co-worker couldn’t believe it either.

Do you figure Feith managed to “solve the Pakistan problem”? Did Doug get “Korea” to come around? What – there are two of them? Someone check the history books dated a week later, like April 14. Still two of them? How did Pakistan end up, by the way?

If ever there were a more shallow, talentless bureaucrat than Rumsfeld in a position of American power, I shudder for history. And he’s aware of his limitations. Why else would Rummy otherwise send out gobsmackers like this? Snap-snap, solutions for Syria, Libya, Pakistan and “Korea.” Time for one of his 56-word ditties, people need to get on this. Five of the hottest hot spots on Earth, 268 million people — I should e-mail Doug on it.

No wonder George W. Bush said, “You are a strong secretary of defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude.” The most difficult thing to grasp is just how stupid these people were, the winners of two elections. But there’s no other explanation.

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