"One of the things that annoys me is that everyone is always trying to contrast everything I do with everything Secretary Rumsfeld did. But the transformation that he started has totally changed the American military, and, I believe, for the better."
Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, NEWSWEEK Magazine,
25 October 2008
Personal note: I spent my last two years on active duty (2004-2006) as a Navy Captain working alongside a superb Presidential Management Intern (Ms. Sarah Nagelmann - Now SOUTHCOM's Director of Strategic Communications) for Secretary Rumsfeld on the Detainee Task Force (formed on 14 May 2004 by the DEPSECDEF following the revelations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq). I found the Secretary to be infinitely forgiving, patient and magnanimous. In two years I can honestly say, that despite the horrific nature of the issues he was dealing with, he was never 'short' or 'ill tempered' as some have characterized him. He admonition to us was always - "We will go where the truth leads us." One investigation led to another, which led to another - all said and told, he ordered 14 major investigations that we were responsible for tracking. He never tried to cover up a single thing. His view was that it was probably worse than any of us could imagine. And, of course, that is how it turned out to be. In my mind, Secretary Rumsfeld is an American patriot with very few peers.