Donald Rumsfeld, who during his time in the Bush White House labeled Al Jazeera Arabic "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable," made news last week by praising the English network, saying he's now "delighted you are doing what you are doing." That was in an interview with David Frost. But he held another interview with the network that day that's just coming to light! It is truly something else, meaning it's scary and contentious.
Here, via the Huffington Post, is a taste of how Rumsfeld's sitdown with Al Jazeera English's Washington bureau chief Abderrahim Foukara went:
"You keep making assertions that are fundamentally false," he said. "Correct," Foukara replied. Rumsfeld insisted that all of the troop levels had been highly vetted on multiple levels. "Does that make the numbers right?" Foukara interjected.
"Do you want to yell or do you want an interview?" Rumsfeld shot back. "I'm having an interview, and I'm actually enjoying this interview," Foukara said, almost cheerfully. "You have a choice," Rumsfeld said. "You're being true to form."
Foukara attempted to ask his question again. He wondered if Rumsfeld felt responsibility felt responsibility for "tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed by the coalition," as well as by the "criminals" who Rumsfeld had blamed for much of the violence in the country. Rumsfeld didn't even attempt to answer the question. He accused Foukara of asking him "pejorative" questions, and told him he though it was in his "being" and "nature" to be disrespectful.
Let's limit the field of prospective Al Jazeera interviewers to old white people from now on, please.