He's back, with all his contempt for the media intact. Now Donald Rumsfeld is proposing a “21st-century agency for global communications” that would use blogs, social networks and talk radio to visit verbal shock and awe on Muslim extremists.
Addressing an "information warfare conference" co-sponsored by such defenders of free speech as Boeing, Lockheed and Curtiss Wright, Rumsfeld said the US is “sitting on the sidelines” in a global battle of ideas and "barely competing.”
When Sharon Weinberger of Wired asked what his new agency would do, the former Secretary Defense referred nostalgically to the good old days when the Army paid locals to plant stories in the Iraq press until American media spoiled the fun by reporting about it.
Rumsfeld insisted that his new propaganda ministry would not interfere with traditional journalism.
“It doesn’t mean we have to infringe on the role of the free press, they can go do what they do, and that’s fine,” he said. “Well, it’s not fine, but it’s what it is, let’s put it that way.”
What the architect of the Iraq war wants to do now is “tell the story of a nation that was carved from the wilderness and conceived in freedom” to those benighted souls who live under regimes that don't respect our First Amendment, as he does.