Earlier this month, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations, said President Obama’s decision to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden “gutsy,” saying that “people don’t realize” what a tough call it was and not everyone would have made the same decision.
In an interview that aired last night, PBS’s Charlie Rose, noting what Gates had said, asked his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld if he agreed that it was a “gutsy” call. “I don’t,” a defiant Rumsfeld quickly shot back, adding that he would have done the same thing. “It seems to me that it is a 15-minute decision and the first 14 are for coffee,” he said. Rumsfeld then, just like President Bush had done, credited himself for the raid’s success:
RUMSFELD: You can’t imagine the difference in competence and capability and the investment we made and the talent of these people [U.S. special operations forces]. We doubled their authorities, we’ve improved their equipment, we’ve increased their numbers. They have gotten better and better and better, they’re the finest warriors on the face of the earth. [...]
We took the investment that the Obama administration benefited from. The capabilities they have were developed during their predecessors and each President –
ROSE: The predecessor meaning the Bush administration you served?
RUMSFELD: And, yes exactly.
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