Donald Rumsfeld, head of the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration and architect of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, died at 88 years of age in the state of New Mexico, his family announced Wednesday.
Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense between 1975 and 1977, under Gerald Ford, and after 2001 to 2006, under the Bush Jr. government.
“It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather,” said the official statement, posted on the former official’s Twitter account.
The cause of death was a multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer It affects plasma cells and usually occurs in the elderly, a family spokesman, Keith Urbahn, told the newspaper. The New York Times.
Along with former Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld formed the hard core of “hawks” that drove the Iraq war almost two decades ago.
In that second period, the official supervised the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which started the longest war in U.S. history, and then Iraq in 2003. It was in those years that he became a controversial figure in the United States and the rest of the world, criticized for his warmongering and his accusation of Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction, which later turned out to be false.
Even after leaving office, Rumsfeld always justified the Bush administration’s defense decisions, from the assassination of Saddam Hussein in Iraq to the Controversial practices at the Guantánamo base (Cuba), where terrorism suspects were tortured.
Born on July 9, 1932, the former official was a pilot and flight instructor for the Navy. For his military merits, Rumsfeld won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.
Rumsfeld He is the only person who has been the head of the Pentagon twice. The first time, in 1975-77, he was the youngest in history. The second time, between 2001 and 2006, he was the oldest.
In 1988 he briefly ran for the presidential nomination for the Republican Party, a failure that he himself described as a humiliation for a man accustomed to succeeding at the highest levels of government, including the terms of the White House chief of staff, US ambassador and member of Congress.
George W. Bush’s message
Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday expressed his grief over the death of Donald Rumsfeld, whom he remembered as “a man of intelligence, integrity and almost inexhaustible energy” who “never paled in the face of difficult decisions.”
“America is safer” thanks to Donald Rumsfeld, Bush said it’s a statement. “We are in mourning for an exemplary official, a very good man,” he added.