Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s first mistake was agreeing to participate in the May 21 event organized by David Horowitz. As a rule, fair-minded people who want to maintain a degree of public credibility turn down such invitations.
But more important was what Rumsfeld had to say at the Los Angeles gathering. Our pal James Carter passed along the above clip, featuring an unnamed man asking Rumsfeld whether President Obama has “actually switched sides in the war on terror.” The Bush/Cheney-era Pentagon chief replied, “I don’t feel competent to answer. I can’t tell.”
So, in Rumsfeld’s mind, maybe the president with an impressive record of counter-terrorism successes is secretly siding with al Qaeda, maybe not. Rumsfeld “can’t tell.”
The former cabinet secretary went on to say, “It bothers me greatly that he’s unwilling to identify the enemy. I don’t see how you win if you don’t.”
I haven’t the foggiest idea what this is even supposed to mean, but Horowitz and his audience seemed to like it.
Incidentally, at the same event, Horowitz himself added this gem:
For those who can’t watch clips online, the right-wing activist hailed Rumsfeld’s work in bringing down Saddam Hussein’s regime, insisting that the former Iraqi dictator “would have nuclear weapons by now [and] he would have fired them.”
For what it’s worth, there is literally no reason to believe this assessment of the pre-war Iraqi threat.
What’s more, I should probably mention for those unfamiliar with Horowitz that he’s one of the nation’s most abrasive anti-Muslim activists, a notorious conspiracy theorist who’s dabbled in some ugly racial politics, and someone who believes political correctness will lead to a “totalitarian future.” He’s also written books with titles like “Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes” and “The Race Card: White Guilt, Black Resentment, and the Assault on Truth and Justice.”
In April, Horowitz spoke at a Republican National Committee event intended no help the party broaden its electoral appeal. No, seriously.