San Francisco Chronicle
September 13, 2006
What Rumsfeld Said
Editor -- Edward Epstein's Sept. 6 article, which discussed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recent address to the American Legion national convention, was misleading and prevented your readers from gaining an accurate summary of the secretary's remarks.
Epstein implied the secretary's remarks referred to congressional Democrats and as "linking his critics to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policies of the late 1930s." This may have been Epstein's interpretation, but it is not anything the secretary said. Instead, the secretary's remarks were an effort to remind people of the similarities between past and current periods in U.S. history, so that a mentality of dismissing real and gathering threats while focusing nearly exclusively on American imperfections -- rather than the nature of the enemy -- does not undermine our nation's ability to prevail in what will be a long, difficult struggle against violent extremists.
We invite your readers to read the text of the secretary's remarks at: www.defenselink.mil/speeches.
Bryan Whitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Washington