Over half a century ago we moved into a house in Dayton, Ohio when my dad was working his way up in Gulf Oil. He had a promotion and we paid $60/mo to rent this mansion where we lived for a few years before we moved again. There were three bedrooms upstairs, my parents, my sister's and the one I shared with my brother. We had 2 beds and a dresser - no closet. My sister's room, when I was allowed to enter, had a floor grate that was in the heating system. We didn't have one in our room. One day my sister dropped some pins and many of them settled into the grate and she didn't get them out. I walked in when she was away just to see what was what and stepped on the grate and got a foot full of pins - one going all the way through my big toe. I was torn because if I didn't get help I was sure I was going to die and if I did call for help my sister would know I was in her room. I pulled them out and put them back in the grate vowing never to tell anyone and to be truthful, this is the very first time I admit or even talk/wrote about the experience.
I bring this up in context of Mr. Rumsfeld as he too went into his sister's room - the forbidden room - and got in a fix and decided not to tell anyone about it - I mean the real truth as it was happening. Now, some years later he is writing out the tale of events - his version of 'what happened' and some folks, like Ms. Dowd are fairly quick to say "look here buster - that's not how it went".
The issue is here that few people would ever know "how it went" as just about all the supporting papers and evidence is so loused up in state secrets and classified documents that it will be years before anyone can really do a fact check against stuff that will either refute or exonerate his account. What we know is this:
The facts that are out there - that are part of the immediacy of events reported real time - aren't supporting Mr. Rumsfeld and unlike Ms. Dowd, Mr. Rumsfeld writes in the most obscure areas of the English language - why say it in 20 words when 200 will do.
Moreover and to my experience, what is past is past and the truth be told I snuck into my sister's room and I stepped on pins and I pulled them out and I didn't tell her or anyone for 55 years or so and in the course of events, she doesn't care and I don't feel better or worse for telling the story and telling all of it as it happened.
Mr. Rumsfeld might have taken the opportunity to be a McNamara and have gone the "I'm bad, me bad" route here and there and his writing could be of instructive value. Half the nation hates him anyway and he can't make it worse. Half the nation likes him regardless and he can't make it any better than that. Like Ms. Dowd, no matter what, he is what he is and says what he says.
I'm kinda sorry that he didn't just realize that his introspection and memory were and are subject to the ultimate test of "if you weren't allowed in your sister's room, how did you get the pins in your foot"?