So, what keeps Donald Rumsfeld awake at nite? The war on terror? The war in Afghanistan? The war in Iraq?
It's the war with the media.
(AP) Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.
"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.
"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.
"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.
Rumsfeld, of course, never lies with impunity.
Rumsfeld often complains about what he calls the terrorists' success in persuading Westerners that the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a crusade against Islam. In his remarks at Fallon he did not offer any new examples of media manipulation; he put unusual emphasis, however, on the negative impact it is having on Americans in an era of 24-hour news.
"The enemy is so much better at communicating," he added. "I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say _ all of which are not true _ is harmful. It's cumulative. And it does weaken people's will and lessen their determination, and raise questions in their minds as to whether the cost is worth it," he said alluding to Americans and other Westerners.
This, coming from the man who runs the Pentagon's massive Psyops programs going so far as to produce comic books for Middle Eastern kids and censoring Hollywood movies while getting major media companies like CBS's 60 Minutes (Abu Ghraib photos) and the New York Times (SWIFT bank records story - among others) to hold off on airing or printing stories until Rumsfeld gives them his okay. But, that's not enough for Rummy. He wants absolute control and he wants the American public to actually believe that terrorists are manipulating western media, even though he can't provide any proof.
I'm sure everyone who has lost a loved one in Rumsfeld's wars will feel comforted when they hear that Rumsfeld stays awake at nite because he's worried about terrorists infilitrating western media coverage.