Rumsfeld: Bush Let Too Many Voices Have Say On Iraq Policy

February 3, 2011

Mark Memmott

Among the most talked about stories of the morning are the early peeks in The Washington Post and The New York Times at former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoir, which goes on sale next week.

A few highlights from the Post's report:

— Rumsfeld "goes so far as to depict former President George W. Bush as presiding over a national security process that was marked by incoherent decision-making and policy drift, most damagingly on the war in Iraq."

— "Rumsfeld remains largely unapologetic about his overall handling of the Iraq conflict and concludes that the war has been worth the costs. Had the government of Saddam Hussein remained in power, he says, the Middle East would be 'far more perilous than it is today'."

— "Addressing charges that he failed to provide enough troops for the war, he allows that, 'In retrospect, there may have been times when more troops could have helped'."

The Times begins its story with Rumsfeld's account about being told by Bush, two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, to prepare review the Pentagon's plans for a war with Iraq. According to the Times:

"Two weeks after the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history, those of us in the Department of Defense were fully occupied," Mr. Rumsfeld recalls. But the president insisted on new military plans for Iraq, Mr. Rumsfeld writes. "He wanted the options to be 'creative.' "

Reactions are starting to come in.

On ABC's Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said of Rumsfeld: "thank God he was relieved of his duties and we put the surge in otherwise we would have had a disastrous defeat in Iraq." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.