Opinion | The Don Rumsfeld the Obituaries Won’t Write About

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Donald Rumsfeld fired me once.

I had been his chief speechwriter for two years when he was George W. Bush’s secretary of defense and in his retirement we were working together on his memoir. Now that collaboration was ending abruptly. He didn’t enjoy firing me—“stepping back” from each other as he put it—but he delivered the decision in his usual no BS, cards-on-the-table manner.

My offense was a book I’d recently written about my experience in the Bush administration that some of its leaders understandably did not exactly savor. Feeling loyal to his former colleagues, Rumsfeld felt he had no choice but to accede to their

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