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ONE OF RUMSFELD’S other favorite tactics was obfuscation. “He was always bringing questions,” recalls a senior White House adviser of Rumsfeld. “Never answers.” The SecDef most famously revealed this obsession with mystery in a February 2002 news conference while speculating on Iraq’s links to terrorist groups. There were, he explained, “known knowns” and then “known unknowns—that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know.” But, he added, there were also “unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” The paradox of Rumsfeld’s tenure is that in seeking to know all he could know, he also sought to control all he could control—and control inevitably came at the expense of accurate knowledge.

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