Passings: Donald Rumsfeld, 88 - Must Read Alaska
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Passings: Donald Rumsfeld, 88

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Former Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld died on Tuesday at the age of 88.

“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.  At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico,” his family wrote in a statement. “History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends, and the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to country.”

Rumsfeld served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. He was in charge of the response to the terrorist attacks on the country on Sept. 11, 2001 and oversaw the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan.

Rumsfeld served in the U.S. House of Representatives for three terms, representing Illinois, was White House Chief of Staff in 1974-75, was the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, and held many other positions in government. In addition, he served on the boards of various companies.

In 2006, he traveled to Alaska with U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens for the ribbon cutting of the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Memorial Sunday at Griffin Park in Fairbanks, installed to honor American and Russian aviators and troops who ferried nearly 8,000 American-built warplanes from the Midwest through Canada to and to Fort Wainwright at Fairbanks during World War II. 

From Fairbanks, members of the Soviet Air Force piloted the planes across Alaska and Siberia to the Russian warfront. Due to the severe weather conditions and mechanical problems, 133 airplanes crashed in North America and 44 in Siberia along the Alaska-Siberia Airway. 

“The way to pay proper tribute to the achievements of those we honor today is to answer the new dangers that we face with the clarity, unity and courage those aviators and the men and women who served here demonstrated in those desperate times,” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in 2006, during the ceremony at Ladd Field. “We hope we will face the troubled world as it is, and not as we wish it would be.” 

Rumsfeld, fulfilling that prophecy of living and facing the realities of an imperfect world, resigned later that year as the war in Iraq and Afghanistan became fraught with controversy.

Rumsfeld wrote his autobiography Known and Unknown: A Memoir, and Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life.

Former President Bush wrote and released this statement:

“On the morning of September 11, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld ran to the fire at the Pentagon to assist the wounded and ensure the safety of survivors. For the next five years, he was in steady service as a wartime secretary of defense — a duty he carried out with strength, skill, and honor.

“A period that brought unprecedented challenges to our country and to our military also brought out the best qualities in Secretary Rumsfeld. A man of intelligence, integrity, and almost inexhaustible energy, he never paled before tough decisions, and never flinched from responsibility. He brought needed and timely reforms to the Department of Defense, along with a management style that stressed original thinking and accountability. As Commander in Chief, I especially appreciated how Don took his job personally and always looked out for the interests of our servicemen and women. He was a faithful steward of our armed forces, and the United States of America is safer and better off for his service.

“In a busy and purposeful life, Don Rumsfeld was a Naval officer, a member of Congress, a distinguished cabinet official in several administrations, a respected business leader – and, with his beloved wife, the co-founder of a charitable foundation. Later in life, he even became an app developer. All his life, he was good-humored and big-hearted, and he treasured his family above all else. Laura and I are very sorry to learn of Don’s passing, and we send our deepest sympathy to Joyce and their children. We mourn an exemplary public servant and a very good man.”

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • We can say with some confidence that neither Trump nor the new GOP have added any years to Rumsfeld’s life. And unlike his buddy Cheney, Rumsfeld never got a new heart to make up for it.

  • I read known and unknown and passed the book around to more than one person after reading it and for a long time kept it on the end table in the living room and opened it many time to re-read parts of the book….Don was a remarkable person and lead a remarkable life and all America is a better place because of the life he gave us.

  • I met Mr. Rumsfeld on a sunny September day when he came to the Lend-Lease ceremony at the small park between the downtown courthouse and the Native Cultural Arts Center. The area was well secured, with agents positioned on top of the courthouse. Democrats, Lefties, and other protestors were held at bay several hundred yards away from the ceremony, so they couldn’t be seen or heard. Frank Murkowski and John Binkley were in attendance, as speakers, and both had just received a whipping from Sarah Palin, who was not in attendance. After the ceremony, many politicians and dignataries lined-up to greet Rumsfeld.
    But he skirted away from them and went straight to the small assembly of WW2 and Vietnam vets who were sitting in a special section. He spent almost an hour with them. I will never forget that.
    RIP………..Rummy.

  • Did he ever reveal where the missing trillions were? You know, the trillions he announced were missing the day before 9/11?

  • @DSL:
    Did Obama tell us why he sent $$hundreds of billions in taxpayer’s cash to Iran on pallets?
    Did the Clintons tell us why they sold out our satellite technology to China?
    Did Biden tell us where he put his kick-back money from his China deals while VP?
    Did Hillary disclose her money deals to the Clinton Foundation while she was Sec of State?
    You have a real problem, DSL. It’s called partisan ignorance.

    • Partisan in what way? I question Federal employees no matter which letter (D) or (R) is associated with their name. Know why? I’m an American. Not Democrat, not Republican, American. It is my duty. No, Obama did not tell us why he sent money, MY money (as well as others), to any country other than our own. I find that, among many other things that he did, traitorous. No, Biden did not tell us where he put his kick-back money from his China deals. Nor has he owned up to his criminal dealings in Ukraine, as well as those of his son’s. No, Hillary did not disclose her money deals to the Clinton Foundation while she was Sec of State. Nor did she ever honestly tell people what her Foundation was doing to all the children she supposedly ‘supported’. She is a sicko and should be in prison, or worse, for life. As should her husband, the Bidens, the Obamas, the Bushes, Cheney (as well as his daughter) Rumsfeld, and many, MANY more of our Federal employees, and all for the similar reasons.
      You have a real problem, Artfull Dogger. It’s called partisan ignorance.

      • Did I hear an echo in here? I want to know what happened to all the goodies in Hunter Biden’s laptop?
        .
        And, what about all the goodies in Gheslaine’s DVDs where it shows high ranking Democrats in compromising positions with underage girls?
        When do we get to see Bill Clinton running for cover again?
        ps…. You know it’s all going to be Democrats, otherwise the Republicans would have already been outed.

        • Julia:…….
          Hunter’s porno photos. Pictures of Hunter counting his kickback money with smiling Joe in the background. Epstein’s squeeze has Clinton and other Democratic cronies boinking underage girls, all on film. At least Gheslaine had the smarts to keep the DVDs hidden in a safe place. Hunter Biden took his laptop to the neighborhood computer repair shop and forgot to pick it up. The Bidens seem to have lots of memory problems.
          The Democrats and news media cover-up all of it.

  • As a soldier who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I can say without a doubt that there was no tougher Secretary of Defense. He was a steel rod in the back of America at a time when we needed it and the rock the waves of opinion broke against afterward. He accepted the hate of the public, but he loved his country and his soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines. RIP Mr. Secretary. I was privileged to serve in a time when America stood up to terrorism and terrorists; we helped the weak and oppressed; and we could not have done it without your leadership.

    • Angela:
      You have just so eloquently defined the patriotic Donald Rumsfeld’s truth. The Left-wingers cannot see the truth when it stares them in the face. That’s how hateful they have become.

    • I wonder if Rumsfeld felt a little complicit in the installation of Saddam, or for that fact, all those people who had to die, in order to clean up the whole mess. #meddling

      • I wonder if Joe Kennedy Sr. felt a little complicit when Hitler became head of the Nazi Party, and all of those American soldiers had to die in order to clean up that mess?

        • No, absolutely not, they were both egotistical sociopaths. #endpartisanism

          • Hear hear, Eric!

          • Sadaam was hung by his own people. Hitler poisoned himself. Joe Kennedy outlived his sons and realized he had a hand in their early deaths. Rumsfeld served his country as a Marine fighter pilot, and kept our enemies on the run, while serving two US presidents. The cowards here, that don’t like Rummy, are bold enough to register dislikes, but too afraid to wear a uniform.

  • RIP. Unfortunately, it is obvious by now to all that the Afhanistan war was a waste of American blood and money. Same is true of the invasion of Iraq over WMG. It seemed to me at the time that the US is not good at wars unless our allies are already under siege. That was not the case in Viet Nam, Afghanisan and Iraq; consequently, American blood and money were lost for no good reason.

  • I am disappointed, Suzanne, that you refused to post my comment about the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, just because it did not partake of the lauding of this man, who was first and foremost a warmonger and an enemy of truth and liberty.

    • Jefferson:
      Go put on your Biden mask and place your bullsh*t on Facebook. You sound like one of the cowards who would turn your own mother in for attending a Trump Rally. Are you seeking government money to have your testicles reduced?
      .
      Thank you, Suzanne, for screening these little cowardly boys who hide behind their brainwashed identities, while real men and women defend their right to speak of their cowardice.

      • Judie,
        I think your unfocused bile directed against me is unjustified, as I am neither a (usurper) Biden supporter nor a fan of FascistBook, with which I have never had any involvement. I am first and foremost a defender of liberty, which Mr. Rumsfeld, as part of the Neocon Bush administration, was adamantly not. I can and will attack the enemies of liberty whatever their partisan affiliations.

        • But Jefferson is too afraid to wear a uniform and protect his own country………..Rumsfeld was not afraid. That’s the difference.
          A true defender of liberty versus a guy who clicks computer messages from his foxhole in his home basement.

          • Be careful with this rhetoric, the name Richard Bruce Cheney, just may get brought into play……… #rumsfeldspartnerincrime

          • @Alvin Teague:
            .
            Bill Clinton = draft dodger, Coward.
            Obama = USA hater. Race monger.
            Kerry = fraud in a uniform.
            Biden = fraud in the White House.
            .
            The Left is full of despicable liars, cheats, haters, and mentally ill. The media protects them. We have Suzanne.

  • Jefferson reminds me of one particular Left-wing journalist who always finishes up by saying, “I am a fair, neutral and unbiased reporter, and only report the facts.”
    LMFAO. These wacko Libs actually believe their own BS. Try as they might to convince others of their alleged neutrality, they just can’t help themselves when it comes to their hatred for inapposite opinion.

    • Kemosabee, your blanket (and wildly incorrect) assumptions say much more about YOU than they do about me.

  • You don’t fool anyone, pal. Your words address your beliefs, without sophist’s interpretation. ADN is hiring. Go apply.

    • Well, apparently I am (inadvertently) fooling you, “Kemosabee”, and quite badly too.

    • Jefferson:
      You think Rumsfeld was a warmonger and an enemy of truth and liberty? Do you get your ideas from your 9th grade war-protesting teacher, or from watching CNN between episodes of the Simpsons and Family Guy………while camping downstairs in your mother’s basement? From the sounds of your juvenile posts here at MRAK, I don’t blame Suzanne for pulling your comments. You need heavy supervision, pal. Preferably from an adult who doesn’t smoke dope all day. Get help. Get therapy.

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