Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Review of A.Cockburn's Rumsfeld bio

Socialist Review: "What emerges is a transfixing portrait of a man whose vanity and venality are matched only by his ruthless careerism and serial incompetence."

"Rumsfeld's creepy obsession with disappearing off to take part in nuclear war simulation games for the Pentagon is also revealed. Cockburn quotes an official involved with organising these games: "Rumsfeld always wanted to move to retaliation as quickly as possible. He was one who always went for the extreme option."

"The sections on Iraq and the "war on terror" are full of extraordinary revelations. Cockburn provides detailed evidence about how Rumsfeld not only authorised torture in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib - he personally micromanaged it, issuing instructions from his Pentagon office as to how particular prisoners should be treated.

"But the most striking aspect of Cockburn's account of Rumsfeld is the portrait it paints of a US elite composed of thoroughly corrupt individuals who absolutely loathe each other. Marx famously described the ruling class as a "band of warring brothers". The levels of venom that the super-rich Republican hawks sling at each other are truly eye-popping."

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