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The Quotable Secretary of Defense

It has been an occasional interest of Dartblog the unending wit of Donald H. Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense. Lauren Day points me to—presumably a site about neoconservatism—which has an excellent compendium of Rumsfeld one-liners.

My favorite: “We’re not running out of targets. Afghanistan is.”

One more (and it is unbelievable how many people do not understand this): “There’s another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist.”

OK, just one more: “There is nothing that some people don’t think.” (You can tell he was responding to a loaded question from the press, there.)

Someone, probably not Rumsfeld, once observed that when societies go bad—when they lose their collective wisdom and their collective good, and turn instead to aggression—it is more often than not attended by an inability to laugh at the humor of the world. Isn’t it interesting to note that this happy warrior is in the employ of the United States? Do you suppose Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, Iran’s minister of defense, finds humor in things?


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