THE PLANK NOVEMBER 1, 2007
This Washington Post article about a bunch of recently released internal memos Donald Rumsfeld wrote while he was Secretary of Defense has a lot of good bits. (And how could it not? According to the article, Rumsfeld wrote 20 to 60 of these memos, called "snowflakes," a day. That's a lot of material to choose from.) But, for my money, this is the best one:
A November 2006 editorial in the New York Times that said the Army was ruined "is disgraceful," Rumsfeld wrote to Smith. The editorial said that "one welcome dividend" of Rumsfeld's departure was that the United States would "now have a chance to rebuild the Army he spent most of his tenure running down."
Rumsfeld later reprimanded his staff, writing, "I read the letter we sent in rebuttal. I thought it rather weak and not signed at the level it should have been." He then instructed staffers to prepare an article about the Army. "We need to get that story out," he wrote on Nov. 28, 2006, a Tuesday. He ordered a draft by Friday.
There's something almost kind of poignant about this one. By this point, after all, Rummy had been fired. He was just biding his time at the Pentagon until Bob Gates got confirmed. But there he was still imperiously chewing out his staff and complaining that they weren't sufficiently supporting him. You can almost imagine Rummy's underlings not even bothering to read his memos and just tossing them straight in the trash.