By Addison Blu
WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld died on Wednesday after he decided he could no longer live in a world without endless war in Afghanistan.
“He couldn’t take it, not after what they did to the Iraq War, too,” said friend and former Vice President Dick Cheney. “No father wants to outlive his children.”
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Rumsfeld graduated from Princeton University in 1954 and went on to serve as a U.S. Navy pilot for three years, where he earned the callsign “Captain Morgan” after then-Ensign Don “Rummy” Rumsfeld drank an entire handle of the infamous pirate liquor and shit his pants. He won a seat in Congress in 1962 and later became the youngest and oldest defense secretary in history.
“I guess you could say I had a little captain in me,” Rumsfeld later wrote to Pentagon staffers in one of his so-called “snowflakes” — short memos he would fire off to staffers in a self-described “flurry” that 59,000 pages later turned into a “blizzard.”
Overall, history will judge Rumsfeld on both the good things that happened and the bad things that happened during his tenure as defense secretary during the Bush administration.
He was well known for supporting, planning, and executing unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while turning a blind eye to torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and being a total dick to a soldier wanting to know when the armor for his Humvee was going to show up in Iraq.
But his devotion to war was unfailing. “We need to think through what presence we want in Central Asia when the war on terrorism is over,” he wrote in one snowflake memo from Dec. 17, 2001, while falling for the classic blunder to never get involved in a land war in Asia.
The sexagenarian will perhaps be most fondly remembered as the “sexiest cabinet member” of 2002, according to People Magazine. But in 2006, Rumsfeld was fired by President George W. Bush after a large group of retired general officers disagreed with that characterization. He later published two books and helped develop a digital app.
In lieu of flowers, the Rumsfeld family has asked that the public make a donation to Lockheed Martin in his name.