Donald H. Rumsfeld

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Donald "Rummy" Rumsfeld

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Donald Henry Rumsfeld resigned his position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense on November 8, 2006. Rumsfeld served during both the first and second George W. Bush administrations. Like his former second in charge Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld is a neo-conservative.

On November 8, 2006, President George W. Bush nominated former CIA Director Robert M. Gates as his replacement.


Time for change in strategy: no longer stay the course in Iraq

Just two days prior to his resignation, in a November 6, 2006, classified memo leaked by Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, in what President George W. Bush called "a helpful 'laundry list' of ideas," Rumsfeld "proposed major changes to the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq," the BBC reported December 3, 2006.

Rumsfeld's memo states that "US strategy in Iraq 'is not working well enough' and calls for 'a major adjustment'," the BBC wrote. "'In my view it is time for a major adjustment, ... Clearly, what US forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough'," Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld ordered harsh interrogation methods at Abu Ghraib

Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the former U.S. commander of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq until early 2004, "was quoted as saying in Spain's El País newspaper that she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld ... detailing the use of harsh interrogation methods ... that allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation," Reuters reported November 26, 2006.

"Karpinski, who claims to have been unaware of the abuses at Abu Ghraib until pictures surfaced in the press, earlier alleged the existence of the memo in an interview with law professor Marjorie Cohn, now president of the National Lawyers Guild, in August 2005," Ryan Olden wrote November 26, 2006, in the Jurist. "The former Army Brigadier General has also charged that Rumsfeld further violated the Geneva Convention by 'ordering us to hold [a] prisoner without registering him... on various occasions.'"

Karpinski "alleged early last year that the interrogation techniques were approved by top US officials and has testified to that effect in support of a recent bid to have the German federal prosecutor bring war crimes charges against Rumsfeld and others under German universal jurisdiction laws," Olden wrote.

Rumsfeld and the Generals

Affiliations

Rumsfeld has strong ties to the Intelligence Community, as well as to the Atlantic Institute, and is a member of the Bilderberg group. He is a financial supporter for the Center for Security Policy. Rumsfeld was one of the signers of the January 26, 1998, Project for the New American Century (PNAC) letter sent to President William Jefferson Clinton. [1]

According to a December 28, 2000, report by CNN, "Rumsfeld's nomination also appeared to settle a disagreement among those advisers over the defense post. Colin Powell reportedly wanted Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge for the job, while Dick Cheney and other congressional Republicans supported Daniel R. Coats. But aides close to Bush said the president-elect did not feel comfortable with the former Indiana senator; Cheney then recommended Rumsfeld, his old boss" in the George H.W. Bush administration. [2]

In his March 9, 2003, article "Family ties connect US right, Zionists", Jim Lobe wrote:

"As godfather of the [neo-con] movement, Irving Kristol played mentor to Norman Podhoretz, the long-time but now-retired editor of Commentary, the influential monthly publication of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Originally identified with the anti-war left in the mid-1960s, Podhoretz converted to neo-conservatism late in the decade and transformed the magazine into a main source of neo-conservative writing, despite the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community itself rejecting those positions.
"Podhoretz and his spouse, Midge Decter, a polemical powerhouse in her own right, created a formidable political team in the 1970s as they deserted the Democratic Party, and then, as leaders of the Committee on the Present Danger -- like PNAC a coalition of mainly Jewish, neo-conservatives and more traditional right-wing hawks like Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld -- helped lay the foreign-policy foundation for the rise of Ronald Reagan. After Reagan's victory, Decter and Rumsfeld co-chaired the international offshoot of the committee, called the Coalition for the Free World."

On 6 May, 2004, "Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) introduced eight articles of impeachment against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld amid Congressional outrage over the Pentagon's handling of charges of prison abuse by U.S. soldiers." [3]

"I think that this rises to the point that it's a high crime and misdemeanor if he disappointed the president, kept information from the Congress and kept this information from the American people," Rangel said on the House floor.

Rumsfeld & Big Pharma

Rumsfeld has served on the boards of pharmaceutical companies Gilead Sciences, Pfizer Inc., and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, according to Open Secrets.

Gilead Sciences

"Rummy was Chair of the Board of Directors at Gilead Sciences until named to the Bush cabinet and, like [Vice President Dick] Cheney, still has ties that bind to the 'old company.' Now isn't it an 'amazing coincidence' that the drug Tamiflu patented by Gilead Sciences is being pushed by the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases as the NUMBER ONE choice for flu, which, wonder of wonders, is sweeping through in one epidemic after another," Free Market News related October 21, 2005, from a January 2004 web posting.

As of September 22, 2004, Rumsfeld held a "stake in Gilead Sciences Inc. worth $5 million to $25 million." [4]
Incidentally, Newsday reported October 22, 2005, that, according to drug makers, Tamiflu "will remain in short supply for as long as a year because of the drug's complicated chemistry."
The delay is perhaps related to the controversy over property rights to the Tamiflu patent. See Dr. Joseph Mercola's "Who Owns the Rights on Tamiflu: Rumsfeld To Profit From Bird Flu Hoax," Global Research, October 26, 2005: "Since Rumsfeld holds major portions of stock in Gilead, he will handsomely profit from the scare tactics of the government that is being used to justify the purchase of $2 billion of Tamiflu."

According to its January 3, 1997, press release announcing Rumsfeld's ascension to Chairman of the Board, Rumsfeld had been with Gilead Sciences "as a stalwart board member since the company's earliest days" in 1988.

"Gilead is fortunate to have had Don Rumsfeld," said Michael L. Riordan, M.D., "who founded Gilead in 1987 and [had] served as Chairman since 1993," ... "and we are very pleased that he has accepted the Chairmanship. ... He has played an important role in helping to build and steer the company. His broad experience in leadership positions in both industry and government will serve us well as Gilead continues to build its commercial presence.'"

Rumsfeld served as Gilead's Chairman of the Board until January 22, 2001. Upon his departure, John C. Martin, Ph.D., Gilead's President and CEO, said "Don Rumsfeld’s insight and contributions over the last twelve years have been invaluable as Gilead has evolved from a promising biotech company into the worldwide biopharmaceutical corporation it is today." [5]

G.D. Searle & Company/Pfizer Inc

The 1997 Gilead Sciences press release stated that from 1977 to 1985, Rumsfeld had "served as chief executive officer of G.D. Searle [bought out by Pfizer Inc.], a worldwide pharmaceutical company ... During this time, his stewardship of Searle earned him awards as the Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the pharmaceutical industry in 1980 and 1981." Rumsfeld was instrumental in the approval of the controversial sweetener aspartame by the FDA.

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Ties with the American Legislative Executive Council

Rumsfeld was the chairman of ALEC's business policy board in the 1980's. Rumsfeld said that his interests in economics and government regulation, rather than social issues, led him to become involved with the organization.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Shareholder

During the summer of 2004, Rumsfeld sold shares he held "in at least five companies after they were identified as doing business with the Pentagon, according to his latest financial disclosure form," Jim Wolf reported in the September 22, 2004, Boston Globe.

As of June 28, 2004, Rumsfeld had sold all his shares in defense contractors Chemicals Inc., St Paul Companies Inc., Sonoco Products Co., VF Corp. and Zebra Technologies Corp..

On July 27, 2004, "Rumsfeld's designees were 'in discussions' about divesting his shares in Community Health Systems Inc., which also was identified as a Pentagon contractor, according to the Pentagon's Standards of Conduct Office, which reviewed Rumsfeld's report for any perceived conflicts of interest. Community Health Systems was held via a venture called FLC Partnership," Wolf wrote.

Member of the Boards

Open Secrets reports that Rumsfeld has also served on the boards of ABB Ltd. (Asea Brown Boveri), Gulfstream Aerospace, Motorola (bought out General Instrument), General Dynamics, Allstate, Kellogg, Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Tribune Company. In 1997, Gilead Sciences reported that Rumsfeld was then an adviser to Metricom, Inc..

A December 28, 2000, CBS News report on Rumsfeld stated that he was not only serving as chairman of the board of directors of Gilead Sciences, but was also serving "as a member of the boards of directors of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Ltd., Tribune Company and RAND Corporation"; was "currently chairman of the Salomon Smith Barney International Advisory Board"; served as a member of the board of directors of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (1991-1996); chairman and chief executive officer of General Instrument Corporation (October 1990 to August 1993); and "served as a senior advisor to William Blair & Co., an investment banking firm" (1985-1990)."

"As a director for Gulfstream Aerospace, his stock in the company reportedly was valued at $11 million when the company was acquired by defense contractor General Dynamics in 1999. But Rumsfeld scrupulously avoided any direct dealings with defense companies, either serving on boards or purchasing stock, a decision that helped to avoid the appearance of impropriety when he was asked to lead the Defense Department again," Open Secrets reports.

The 9/11 Souvenir

John Solomon, writing March 12, 2004, for the Associated Press, reported that "Rumsfeld Kept 9-11 Souvenir", an act which BuzzFlash characterizes as both "macabre and disgusting."

"The Justice Department investigation that criticized FBI agents for taking souvenirs from the World Trade Center site also found that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and a high-ranking FBI official kept items from the Sept. 11 attack scenes.
"The final investigatory report said the Justice Department inspector general confirmed Rumsfeld 'has a piece of the airplane that flew into the Pentagon.'
"The Justice Department investigation also collected testimony that Pasquale D'Amuro, FBI Director Robert Mueller's executive assistant director for terrorism until last summer, asked a supervisory agent to 'obtain a half dozen items from the WTC debris so the items could be given to dignitaries.'"

Profiles

"Prior to being sworn in as the 21st Secretary of Defense, Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was in private business. He served on a number of boards, including service as non-executive Chairman of Gilead Sciences Inc. Previously, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Instrument Corporation from 1990 to 1993." [7]

"Secretary Rumsfeld held a variety of positions in the Gerald R. Ford and Richard M. Nixon Administrations. From 1974 until 1977, he served under President Ford as the youngest Secretary of Defense in the country's history, Chief of Staff of the White House and Chairman of the transition to the Presidency of Gerald Ford. From 1969 to 1974, he served President Nixon as U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Director of the Economic Stabilization Program and Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois in 1962, at the age of 30, and was re-elected in 1964, 1966 and 1968. Secretary Rumsfeld was a naval aviator from 1954 to 1957. He is a graduate of Princeton University."[8]

Quotes

  • "We know where [Iraq's WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat." - March 30, 2003, in statements to the press.
  • "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." - February 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
  • "Once in a while, I'm standing here, doing something. And I think, 'What in the world am I doing here?' It's a big surprise." -- May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times.
  • "The absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence of absence" [9]
  • "'I don't know. Isn't that clear? You don't understand English?' ... telling a German reporter he was unaware of a new White House Iraq policy group." USNews.com, October 20, 2003

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NOTE: An internet search for Coalition for the Free World directs back to the Jim Lobe article. However, an internet search for Coalition for a Free World links it to "Moonie" organizations and recruiting "fronts". No address or other information attaches to the name.