Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld unloaded a double-barrelled attack on President Obama Thursday, charging that the administration is lying when it says the nation is safer because al Qaeda has been decimated.
Making a rare visit on a nationally syndicated radio program, Rumsfeld told the Andrea Tantaros Show that the president is acting weakly against terrorists, and that's inviting them to target Americans.
"The reality is the country is not safer, we are not more secure and indeed we are sending signals out of American weakness and creating a vacuum in the world," Rumsfeld said.
Discussing the shutdown of nearly two dozen embassies due to a terror threat from al-Qaeda stronghold Yemen, Rumsfeld added, "Everything that President Obama has been saying is simply not true, that we are safer and more secure. We face a very serious threat in the world. The idea that al-Qaeda has been decimated is utter nonsense. These people keep replacing the people that we kill or capture," said the former Pentagon boss under former President George W. Bush.
Rumsfeld seemed to relish a chance to rap Obama during his interview with Tantaros, also a member of Fox's "The Five."
For example, when she asked for his view of what happened in Benghazi, the author of "Rumsfeld's Rules" noted that one of his rules is not to talk about issues he doesn't have information on. But he did anyway, referring to what other insiders have revealed to him, including that there was military support nearby but not called in to help fend off the attack on the embassy in Libya.
"Why they were not used is beyond me," he said, adding that the British knew of the threats in Libya and removed people. "I think that if you have people on the ground, you have an obligation to either defend them or pull them out," he said. "They did exactly the opposite, they had the same warnings the British did and left them and did not defend them."
Rumsfeld said that the key to winning the war on terror is convincing the world that terrorists are on the wrong side of history. "It's going to won over time, much like the Cold War," he said.
But he argued that the administration isn't communicating its message. "I think the State Department has been absent and totally ineffective in helping to mobilize the world against radical extremists," he said.
"Clearly we are not going to be a factor in the world," he said.
"Weakness is provocative," he added, and "what the president and his administration is doing is demonstrating a pattern of weakness that is encouraging our enemies."
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.