Thursday, March 27
Profile: Washington hawk Donald Rumsfeld
BBC News, March 3, 2003

... Mr Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, once described his boss as "a constant, active source of energy... he generates a mini-storm wherever he goes".

Henry Kissinger once said that Mr Rumsfeld was the most ruthless man he knew.

He added that he was a "skilled full-time politician-bureaucrat in whom ambition, ability and substance fuse seamlessly".

Like Dick Cheney, Mr Rumsfeld is in a top job for the second time round - he served as the country's youngest ever defence secretary from 1975-77 under President Gerald Ford.

High-profile roles

He spent three years in the US navy before starting out his political career as an assistant to a congressman.

Twenty years and several jobs later, he was appointed defence secretary for the first time - nearly 25 years before he took the post under George W Bush.

Much of the time between was spent in big business, including stints as chief executive officer of pharmaceutical company GD Searle & Co, CEO of General Instrument Corporation and Chairman of Gilead Sciences.

But he also continued to advise Republican administrations and exercise his influence over issues of defence throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Ambition and ability

Correspondents say the 70-year-old former Princeton University wrestler is a tough and determined character.

Mr Rumsfeld wrote a pamphlet known as Rumsfeld's Rules - famous in US political circles - which collects nearly 30 years' worth of quotations and reflections by himself and others.

In a chapter titled "Keeping Your Bearings in the White House", one entry reads: "If you are not criticised, you are not doing your job".

Another, in a chapter headed "Serving in Government", states: "If in doubt, don't. If still in doubt, do what's right".
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