Rumsfeld Memos: 'Keep Elevating the Threat'

'Snowflakes' urge linking Iraq and Iran
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2007 1:08 PM CDT
Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing investigating the friendly...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – During his six years as defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld told staffers to “keep elevating the threat” and develop “bumper sticker statements” to sell administration war policies. Internal memos obtained by the Washington Post depict a media- and politics-obsessed Rumsfeld who instructed staffers to link Iraq and Iran, contemplated re-naming the war on terror, and ordered detailed rebuttals to critical newspaper columns.

Rumsfeld saw terrorism as a “worldwide insurgency” intent on “ending the state system” and driving “non-radicals from the world.” In one memo he says Muslims “are against physical labor,” and hence prone to terrorism, because “an unemployed population is easy to recruit to radicalism.” One Rumsfeld aide criticized the Post story as grossly mischaracterizing carefully selected quotes.