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For instance, Morris asks Rumsfeld about his memos regarding what is permissible and what is not permissible in the interrogation of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. There follows from Rumsfeld an almost jovial listing of the two columns: what is OK and what is not OK. Meanwhile, images of beaten and hooded Abu Ghraib prisoners flood the screen, and we see key words from Rumsfeld’s memos - “water-boarding,” “sleep deprivation,” “torture” - sliding and spinning almost ballet-like into a deep black pit, where they disappear. Unlike McNamara, who clearly feels a burden, Rumsfeld seems unable or unwilling to get beyond words, concepts -abstractions. The viewer gets the feeling that Rumsfeld merely watched the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as a spectator. He even seems amused by his discussion with Morris. There is one supremely appropriate English-language term for the Rumsfeld who emerges in The Unknown Known - a term that has recently been imported into serious philosophical discussion, possibly for the first time, in an influential 2005 monograph by the Princeton philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt. The term is “bullshit,” and practitioners of this dark art are bullshit artists (or bullshitters). According to Frankfurt, “The bullshitter is neither on the side of the true or the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” Regrettably, McNamara lied at times when he was in office. But he was not a bullshitter, not like Rumsfeld.
-Politico: Donald Rumsfeld Hasn’t Learned a Damn Thing (via kileyrae)