Nike's Psyche

An outlet for my peaceful ponderings with, perhaps, the occasional rant.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

Taken from official transcripts:

The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Glass Box
You know, it's the old glass box at the—
At the gas station,
Where you're using those little things
Trying to pick up the prize,
And you can't find it. It's—
And it's all these arms are going down in there,

And so you keep dropping it
And picking it up again and moving it, But—
Some of you are probably too young to remember those—

Those glass boxes, But—
But they used to have them

At all the gas stations
When I was a kid.
—Dec. 6, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing

A Confession
Once in a while,
I'm standing here, doing something.
And I think,"What in the world am I doing here?"
It's a big surprise.
—May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

You're going to be told lots of things.
You get told things every day that don't happen.
It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't—

It's printed in the press.
The world think all these things happened.
They never happened.
Everyone's so eager to get the story

Before in fact the story's there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven't happened.
All I can tell you is,

It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.
—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

The Digital Revolution
Oh my goodness gracious,
What you can buy off the Internet
In terms of overhead photography!
A trained ape can know an awful lot

Of what is going on in this world,
Just by punching on his mouse
For a relatively modest cost!
—June 9, 2001, following European trip

The Situation
Things will not be necessarily continuous.
The fact that they are something other than perfectly continuous
Ought not to be characterized as a pause.
There will be some things that people will see.
There will be some things that people won't see.
And life goes on.
—Oct. 12, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing

I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.
And it will be known,

And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.
—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing


  • At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. He's a poet and didn't know it. Sounds so Orwellian. I believe the dystopia we have long feared is finally here.

    "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

    "Love is Hate"

    "War is Peace"

    “The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts.”

    “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...”

  • At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Cathy said…

    clear as mud!!!

    makes one wonder about our leadership.....

  • At 6:07 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    Don't you just love these? And now I hear that the government of Germany is planning on charging him with crimes against humanity, based on the incidents at Abu Ghraib. Surely, if they realized his poetic, sensitive nature, they'd drop the charges.

  • At 10:47 AM, Anonymous allyn aldrich said…

    The interesting thing about his sayings is that if you really study them, they are quite true. If so many people didn't dislike him and he wasn't so high profile he would be considered a sage.


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