A reader's guide to Bob Woodward's State of Denial.

A reader's guide to Bob Woodward's State of Denial.

A reader's guide to Bob Woodward's State of Denial.

How to read juicy books.
Oct. 4 2006 11:59 PM

Woodward and You

A reader's guide to State of Denial.

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Page 19: Soon after Rumsfeld takes office, Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, receives a letter from a retired Navy captain who worked at the Pentagon during Rumsfeld's first tour. "The captain claimed that Rumsfeld could not be trusted, [and] that he despised the uniformed military."

Page 34: Stephen Cambone, undersecretary for Intelligence, was hit with a bout of insecurity after an encounter with the secretary of defense. "One day Cambone got chewed out by Rumsfeld and came whimpering into Quinn's office. 'Am I doing that badly?' he asked."

Page 72: Cambone wasn't the only one. When the author asked then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Richard Myers about Rumsfeld, "Myers put both his arms on the small table and then laid his head down on top of them," writes Woodward. "I could not tell if it was a sign of exasperation or despair or something in between. I had not seen this before—a senior officer cradling his head in his arms."

Page 98: Col. Steve Rotkoff, a senior military intelligence officer, wrote brilliant war haikus, one of which touched on the secretary of defense:

Rumsfeld is a dick
Won't flow the forces we need
We will be too light.


Page 316: In an assessment of post-Iraq planning and execution problems, Rumsfeld's friend compares his "style of operation" to the "Haldeman model," referring to Nixon's White House chief of staff. That's like comparing a woman's skills as a mother to the Joan Crawford model.

Rumsfeld as Micromanager

Page 24: Rumsfeld's unsigned memos written on white paper and known as "snowflakes" buried the Pentagon shortly after he arrived. "Rumsfeld was into everyone's business. No one was immune. Many in the Pentagon looked at the snowflakes as an annoyance. Others found them intrusive and at times petty. For some, there was no way to keep up."

Page 42: Jimmy Carter reportedly was such a nit-picker he insisted on keeping the schedule of the White House tennis court. Donald Rumsfeld arranges seating charts. Leading a delegation from Congress to the funeral for Rep. Floyd Spence, Rumsfeld personally fiddled with the seating, putting Rep. Duncan Hunter in the back.

Page 181: After watching a Bush campaign event at the plant in Lima, Ohio, where the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank is produced, Rumsfeld called Chief of Staff Andy Card. The Abrams tank was a thing of the past, he argued, not part of his transformation of the Army and therefore should not have been picked for the event.

Former President Bush and Barbara Bush Worry About George