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Letter from an alumnus about Taking issue with Rumsfeld

I take issue with Mark Bernstein’83’s assertion in the Oct. 6 PAW that those who admire Don Rumsfeld tend to use the same words to describe him as those who do not. I do not admire Mr. Rumsfeld. The words I use to describe him are “war criminal.”

In the years leading up to the United States invasion of Iraq, the Department of Defense developed its techniques of prisoner abuse at Guantanemo Bay Prison in Cuba. These techniques were later instituted in Iraq at Abu Ghraib Prison and elsewhere. When Defense Department and Red Cross investigators reported Iraqi prisoner abuse to the Pentagon in January 2004, Rumsfeld’s department immediately banned the use of digital cameras and picture cell phones at the prisons. No actions were taken to curb the abuse itself until after the photographs became public in April.

In other words, the documentation of the abuse was the perceived problem at the Department of Defense. The cessation of the abuse was a lower priority. These immoral actions of American military personnel against captive prisoners are a sad chapter in our history. Mr. Rumsfeld chose to stand by and allow it to continue. What would Adlai Stevenson ’22 have to say about that?

Robert Schlosser ’74
Albion, Calif.

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I was disappointed to see Princeton's apparent pride to have educated Donald Rumsfeld, the man responsible for violating Geneva Convention protocols and inciting rabid anti-Americanism in the Middle East through implementing policies of physical and sexual abuse of detainees in American control. I have often watch Rumsfeld chuckling in news conferences over casualties on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

While it is expected that a Secretary of Defense engage in military activities, it is a heartless man who actually relishes killing in any context. The fact that Rumsfeld is a Princeton alum goes a long way to dispelling the notion that education has a civilizing effect on people. I wouldn't think Princeton would  enjoy admitting that.

Jennifer Gottlieb k’58
Location TK (daughter of Felix I. Gottlieb M.D. '58)

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