Rumsfeld Explains His Rules

The former Secretary of Defense explains the rules that got him through his career.

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Which criticism of you is most ridiculous and which is most valid?

Oh my goodness, I've never been asked that question. I have no idea. Clearly all of us make mistakes and goodness knows I have. One of my quotes in the book was from Napoleon: I've made mistakes so often that I no longer blush from them. If you do something, somebody's going to like it, and somebody is not going to like it. And if you do nothing, nobody will criticize you. But wouldn't that be a terrible life?

[See a collection of political cartoons on Syria.]

Why should President Obama read your rules?

Political leaders lead by persuasion, and to be persuasive you need trust. And to have trust from people, you've got to avoid saying things that within a relatively short period of time prove not to be true. So I would suggest, if I were to give any advice, and I'm not. This is all hypothetical, because I'm looking at it from outside [and] things often look very different from the inside. But it seems to me what they need to do is really get a grip on what they say and make sure that anything they say from now on actually proves to be the case.

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