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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


May 20, 2013 - 12:49 pm

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ripped President Obama today for “ducking, bobbing and weaving” rather than accurately describing the Islamist terrorist threat. Rumsfeld appeared on the Andrea Tantaros Show.

When the subject turned to Benghazi, Tantaros asked Rumsfeld who could possibly have given the “stand down” order that prevented US Special Forces from going to Benghazi to relieve the Americans under seige at the hands of terrorists in the 10-hour attack.

“When you have people that are being attacked, and everyone knew that there were al Qaeda-related organizations threatening Western facilities in Benghazi, the standard procedure is to try to protect your people,” Rumsfeld said, adding that “If you can’t protect them, you pull them out.”

“When they were under attack, at that point the tradition in our country and in the military is to step forward and do what you can to try to save the lives,” Rumsfeld continued. “There were forces that could’ve done something, from everything I can tell. In Tripoli there was a unit, in Sigonella, Italy I believe there was a unit. And someone in that chain of command said ‘Don’t do it,’ and I can’t imagine it. It is the most unprofessional, unmilitary thing. Unless there’s a good reason that I don’t know.”

Rumsfeld served as President George W. Bush’s defense chief from 2001 to 2006. During that time, Democrats smeared him with the Abu Ghraib scandal, charging that both he and Bush were directly responsible for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners because it occurred on their watch. They have not applied similar logic to Benghazi or any other scandal currently swirling around the Obama White House.

Tantaros asked Rumsfeld who he believes should be held most responsible for Benghazi.

“Certainly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the principal responsibility for ensuring the security of the people who work for the Department of State,” he answered. “The idea that she could go before a congressional committee and say, ‘What at this point does it matter?’ and chastise the members of the committee for asking questions, I think was inexcusable and I must say I was not very impressed by the response by the members of Congress.”

Later in the interview, Rumsfeld said that the flight time from several US bases near Libya is “relatively short.”

Tantaros also asked Rumsfeld if comparing the current Obama scandals to Watergate is apt.

“I think the comparison is useful one in this sense,” Rumsfeld said. “Leaders lead by persuasion. And to persuasive in our country, you’ve gotta be trustworthy. To the extent that what you say turns out to be inaccurate, incrementally you lose the trust of the American people. The idea that the government would turn against the American people with with Internal Revenue Service, with all of the power that they have, and all of the legal authorities, and all of the people and all of the money…is something that’s so fundamentally against how we function as a democracy.”

Rumsfeld added that lost trust weakened Nixon’s presidency, and he sees the same thing happening in the IRS, media and Benghazi scandals.

Rumsfeld also took issue with the Obama administration’s decision not to establish a status of forces agreement with Iraq, calling that decision “inexcusable.”

Listen to the entire interview here.

The Andrea Tantaros Show is produced for Talk Radio Network by the Fox and Rice Experience.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (9)
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In 1756, the British Admiralty sent Admiral John Byng to prevent the French from taking Minorca. Byng arrived when the island was already under siege, and, after an indecisive naval engagement, withdrew without relieving the siege. Byng was court-martialed and hanged for "failure to do his utmost."

French author Francois Marie Arouet (1694 - 1778, "Voltaire") had his fictional character Candide witness such a hanging in the eponymous novel and remark:

"Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres."
"In this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Slight quibble. Byng was shot on his quarterdeck, not hanged. On a more contemporary note, one of the positive side effects [from Obama's point of view] is that the Benghazi treason is an object lesson to the American military. If you are in trouble, you will be abandoned.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These last few words of Rumsfeld's are very troubling:

"And someone in that chain of command said ‘Don’t do it,’ and I can’t imagine it. It is the most unprofessional, unmilitary thing. Unless there’s a good reason that I don’t know.”

If the most recent former Secretary of Defense can't know such a detail, forgetting crass "partisanship", then we really are in trouble. He has no witting "contacts" remaining at the Pentagon in this affaire?.....hard to believe.

Are all of them remaining behind after the change in administrations so fearful of their jobs?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
confused....I always thought that the consulate's were considered the territory of the residing country - US consulate is like standing on US soil. So, when did that change that the territory does not need defended...a lot of people seem to think Benghazi was just bump in the road....or don't even know what happened there....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Pretty much sums up this administration.

Oh, how could the American people be so stupid?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Politically Incorrect thoughts follow:

We're immersed in a demographic revolution right now.....we've abandoned our Anglo-Saxon heritage and the courage and educational background of our Founding Fathers who were intimately familiar with English Commonlaw and constitutional backgrounds, and legislative processes.

That's all gone now.....gone.

We're in a sense starting from scratch with a nouveau arriviste voting bloc primarily concerned with up-ending all previous generations' precedents..... and opening/loosening our borders and visa requirements all in the name of that ephemeral "multiculturalism". Both parties competing for new voting blocs.

We'll probably end up with separate intellectual gated communities in a balkanized population.

There's simply no predicting what future Congresses will look like; the Supreme Court will only more gradually reflect these "modifications".

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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