For those hoping to finally get the inside story of what really happened during the Bush administration, your best bet may not be George W. Bush’s forthcoming 14-step memoir, Decision Points. Instead, it might be worth pre-ordering Donald Rumsfeld’s just announced memoir Known and Unknown, to be released in January.
The man who turned feistiness into an art form, Donald H. Rumsfeld, has just announced the details of his memoirs, to be published by the Penguin Group’s conservative label, Sentinel. And if the title is any indication, the official maligned for helming the Pentagon during the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison will not be backing down.
The quip, “Known and Unknown,” is of course a riff on one of Rumsfeld’s more famous verbal parries during his 2001-2006 tenure as secretary of defense. When a reporter asked him in 2002 about Iraq’s links with terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld had this to say: “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Long famous for his black belt in bureaucratic karate, Rumsfeld, at 78, has not much to lose at this point, which could portend a rather juicy read. And he’s already announced an accompanying website on which he will release heaps of old documents from his nearly five decades of experience.
As he himself noted in his eponymous rules: “If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.”