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Editor’s Note: The link references below comprise a small subset of what Ed Curtin is pointing at. Additional source recommendations are welcome.

A Message to Donald Rumsfeld’s Ghost About My Known Knowns
by Edward J. Curtin, Jr., 9 Oct 2023,

Four Died Trying Surrounded By a Rogue’s Gallery of US Warfare State Front Men

On February 12, 2002 at a Pentagon news conference, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked by Jim Miklaszewski, the NBC Pentagon correspondent, if he had any evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was supplying them to terrorists. Rumsfeld delivered a famous non-answer answer and said:

Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

When he was pressed by Jamie McIntyre, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, to answer the question about evidence, he continued to talk gobbledygook, saying, “I could have said that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or vice versa.”

He never said he had evidence, because he didn’t.

Rumsfeld, who enjoyed his verbal games, was the quintessential bullshitter and liar for the warfare state. This encounter took place when Rumsfeld and his coconspirators were promoting lie after lie about the attacks of September 11, 2001 and conflating false stories about an alliance between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in order to build a case to wage another war against Iraq, in order to supplement the one in Afghanistan and the war on “terror” that they launched post September 11 and the subsequently linked anthrax attacks.

A year later on February 5, 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell went before the U.N. Security Council and assured the world that the U.S. had solid evidence that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction,” repeating that phrase seventeen times as he held up a stage prop vial of anthrax to make his point. He said, “My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources – solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.” He was lying, but to this very day his defenders falsely claim he was the victim of an “intelligence failure,” a typical deceitful excuse along with “it was a mistake.” Of course, Iraq did not have “weapons of mass destruction” and the savage war waged on Iraq was not a mistake.

Scotte Ritter, the former Marine U.N. weapons inspector, made it very clear back then that there was no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but his expertise was dismissed, just as his current analysis of the war in Ukraine is. See his recent tweet about Senator Diane Feinstein in this regard:

I met Senator Diane Feinstein once, in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She had just recently been assigned to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (in 2001), and it was in that capacity that she had a senior staffer from the committee ask me to come to Washington...

– Scott Ritter (@RealScottRitter) September 29, 2023

Thirteen months after Rumsfeld’s exchange in the news conference, the United States invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, knowing it had no justification. It was a war of aggression. Millions died as a result. And none of the killers have been prosecuted for their massive war crimes. The war was not launched on mistaken evidence; it was premeditated and based on lies easy to see. Very, very easy to see.

On January 28, 2003, eleven days before Powell performance, I, an independent writer, wrote a newspaper Op Ed, “The War Hoax,” saying:

The Bush administration has a problem: How to start a war without having a justifiable reason for one. No doubt they are working hard to solve this urgent problem. If they can’t find a justification, they may have to create one. Or perhaps they will find what they have already created.... Yet once again, the American people are being played for fools, by the government and the media. The open secret, the insider’s fact, is that the United States plans to attack Iraq in the near future. The administration knows this, the media knows it, but the Bush scenario, written many months ago, is to act as if it weren’t so, to act as if a peaceful solution were being seriously considered.... Don’t buy it.

Only one very small regional Massachusetts newspaper, the North Adams Transcript, was willing to publish the piece.

I mention this because I think it has been very obvious for a very long time that the evidence for United States’ crimes of all sorts has been available to anyone who wished to face the truth. It does not take great expertise, just an eye for the obvious and the willingness to do a little homework. Despite this, I have noticed that journalists and writers on the left have continued to admit that they were beguiled by people such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joseph Biden, con men all. I do not mean writers for the mainstream press, but those considered oppositional. Many have, for reasons only they can answer, put hope in these obvious charlatans, and some prominent ones have refused to analyze such matters as the JFK assassination, September 11th, or Covid-19, to name a few issues. Was it because they considered these politicians and matters known unknowns, even when the writing was on the wall?

Those on the right have rolled with Reagan, the Bushes, and Trump in a similar manner, albeit for different reasons. It causes me to shake my head in amazement. When will people learn? How long does it take to realize that all these people are part of a vast criminal enterprise that has been continuously waging wars and lying while raking in vast spoils for the military-industrial complex. There is one party in the U.S. – the War Party.

If you have lived long enough, as have I, you reach a point when you have, through study and the accumulation of evidence, arrived at a long list of known knowns. So with a backhand slap to Donald Rumsfeld, that long serving servant of the U.S. war machine, I will list a very partial number of my known knowns in chronological order. Each could be greatly expanded. There is an abundance of easily available evidence for all of them – nothing secret – but one needs to have the will for truth and do one’s homework. All of these known knowns are the result of U.S. deep state conspiracies and lies, aided and abetted by the lies of mass corporate media.

My Known Knowns:

Donald Rumsfeld, as a key long time insider to U.S. deep state operations, was surely aware of my list of known knowns. He was just one of many such slick talkers involved in demonic U.S. operations that have always been justified, denied, or kept secret by him and his ilk.

One does not have to be a criminologist to realize these things. It is easy to imagine his forlorn ghost is wandering since he went to his grave with his false “unknown unknowns.”

Yes, when he said, “I could have said that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or vice-versa,” he did say it, of course. Despite double-talkers like him, evidence of decades of U.S. propaganda is easy to see through if one is compelled by the will-to-truth.

“Ancestral voices prophesying war; ancestral spirits in the danse macabre or war dance; Valhalla, ghostly warriors who kill each other and are reborn to fight again. All warfare is ghostly, every army an exercitus feralis (army of ghosts), every soldier a living corpse.” – Norman O. Brown

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