Excerpt: It’s easier, for us and frankly for them, to dismiss those whose politics and policy decisions we abhor as monsters or Bond villains and leave it at that. What’s more interesting — in our interactions, and in our understanding of history — is to understand how smart people can make giant miscalculations, and dig in their heels.
Excerpt: Is [Rumsfeld] accidentally saying something that could apply just as easily to the Bush administration as it could to Saddam, or is there something subconscious happening? In his dealings with Morris, he comes across as someone who is either completely bereft of self-awareness, or so profoundly self-aware he now lives his whole life between quotation marks.
Excerpt: To his supporters, he will come off as a no-nonsense, witty, unflappable sage. His detractors will see a smug, narcissistic sociopath to whom his architecture of the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the devastation of America’s economy and prestige, are matters to be dismissed with a quip and a smirk.
Excerpt: Rumsfeld’s clinically devised responses are less than satisfying, to say the least. Rumsfeld, a vacuous careerist politician, has mastered the art of obfuscation so thoroughly that he doesn’t even recognize the stench of his own rotten mind.