News & Politics

BREAKING: Don Rumsfeld, Former Secretary of Defense, Heads Into the Great Unknown

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his office in Washington, D.C. Aug. 13, 1976. (AP Photo)

Former congressman, White House chief of staff, and two-time secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has passed away.

Secretary Rumsfeld was famously quotable and always sought to think ahead of the threats to our country. During the Iraq war, which he led at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld delivered the following remarks before a bewildered White House press corps.

His remarks were perfectly defensible, in fact wise, in that he acknowledged that no matter how much you think you know and how much you may believe is out there that you don’t know, there is and will always be something you simply do not know.

Rumsfeld rushed toward danger on 9-11, running to the Pentagon, which terrorists had attacked with hijacked aircraft.

Rumsfeld suspected another plane hit the five-sided concrete fortress — a hulking symbol of American war power. He raced through smoke and jet fuel fumes to reach to the crash site. Nearly there, an Air Force lieutenant colonel told him, “You can’t go farther.”

But Rumsfeld was Rumsfeld. He could do whatever he darn well pleased.

“Outside I found fresh air and a chaotic scene,” he wrote. “For the first time I could see the clouds of black smoke rising from the west side of the building. I ran along the Pentagon’s perimeter, and then saw the flames.”

He picked up a piece of a shattered plane, identifying it as from an American Airlines passenger jet. We later learned that was American Airlines Flight 77, with 64 souls aboard. Among them was conservative attorney and pundit Barbara Olson.

Rumsfeld never shied away from defending America and its people and interests. This made him controversial to some.

Don Rumsfeld was a leader, a patriot, and an American original. He was surrounded by family when he passed away. He was 88 years old.