T Nation

Rumsfeld baffles journalists in Brussels


"The United States Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has baffled journalists in Brussels by explaining the greatest threat to Western civilization may lurk in what he has termed 'unknown unknowns'."

"As we know, There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know There are known unknowns. That is to say We know there are some things We do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, The ones we don't know we don't know."-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld


Are you posting this because you're on to them now, or do you still really believe that the US government is honest?


What's so baffling about that? There are thing you know will happen which you can prepare for. Reasonable things you suppose may happen but don't know for sure if or when, which you can kind of prepare for. Then there are things that are so far off the radar they come out of the blue and generally catch you with your pants down and a magazine in your hand.


If we don't know anything about them, how can we tell they are a threat?


It's called a headline. Thought the T-hood might be interested.

Im not onto anybody. Im not a conspiracy theorist. Yes, I believe our government is doing a terrific job and stand by them 100%.

Supporting your government officials and being amused by their choice of words are two different things. I am amused with Rumsfeld words; I am NOT onto Rumsfeld because of his words.

There, is that clear enough?


Must you really look past the hilarious choice of wording and make this a political subject?


Sergius: Who's they? (1)
Did anybody here say someone is a threat? Just checkin.


I think he was just addressing threats. Of course you could inherit an island complete with harem from a uncle you never knew you had but you can't really prepare for that either.

We can take McVeigh and the OKC disaster for example. Sure the Army knew he was a nut since he failed the psych eval for Special Forces and maybe should have done some follow up but other than that the explosion was pretty much out of the blue and damn hard to prepare for. Those are the kinds of things that would fit in the unknown unknown threat category. I'd prefer the harem and maybe even the island but that's just me.

By the way I'd rather have the government telling me that there are things they don't know about and may not be prepared for rather than the way the USSR and later the Russians handled things. Look at the Kursk for a fine example. That hit close to home because I used to play bump in the night with those guys (I was on the far superior US side of the submarine game). The Russians told their people they had all the expertise in the world when in truth they are third rate at best in deep underwater rescue. They went so far as to turn down help that very well could have saved the men in the aft compartment out of pride and some ignorance.

Time to finsh my workout.


That sounds more like something Yogi Berra would come up with, rather than statesman.