Donald Rumsfeld on Principles & Values
Secretary of Defense (Pres. Bush Cabinet)
The other major challenge with Don was his secretiveness in running the Pentagon. He claimed to delegate decision making to lower levels, but then didn't always ratify what his lieutenants had done. The people who worked for him were fearful of his wrath. The atmosphere in the Pentagon was one where nothing was really settled until the secretary had opined.
For the most part we managed the tensions between us. Still, on a few occasions, Don and I did tangle in front of others.
Indeed, when Nixon first considered naming Rumsfeld NATO ambassador in the summer of 1971, the appointment was delayed until after the presidential election. "He has done some good political stuff. NATO's fine, but it pulls him out of politics. He's an operator," Nixon said about Rumsfeld. In short, the secret White House tape recordings demonstrate that Rumsfeld was not nearly so marginal a figure in Nixon's political apparatus as he was later portrayed.
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