September 13, 2006
The Aug. 30 article discussing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's address to members attending the American Legion National Convention on Aug. 29 was misleading and prevented your readers from gaining an accurate summary of the secretary's remarks ("Rumsfeld: Bush Critics Are Like Nazi Appeasers").
For example, the article said, "By likening today's U.S. foreign policy to that during World War II and the Cold War, Rumsfeld sought to portray skeptics of the Bush administration as being on the wrong side of history." This may have been the reporter's interpretation, but it is not anything the secretary actually said.
We invite your readers to read the full text of the secretary's remarks at www.defenselink.mil/speeches.
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 does not undermine our nation's ability to prevail in what will be a long and difficult struggle against violent extremists.
Dorrance Smith, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.