Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on September 11, 2001:
CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq — even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.
That’s according to notes taken by aides who were with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on Sept. 11 – notes that show exactly where the road toward war with Iraq began, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.
New National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn shortly after September 11, 2012:
Days after Islamist militants stormed the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn reached a conclusion that stunned some of his subordinates at the Defense Intelligence Agency: Iran had a role in the attack, he told them.
Now, he added, it was their job to prove it — and, by implication, to show that the White House was wrong about what had led to the attack.
In Rumsfeld’s case, his assertion was never proven, but he got the war he wanted anyway and half the planet is still grappling with the consequences. In Flynn’s case, his assertion was never proven, and the war is TBD. I know we’re living in a post-fact world, but it should be terrifying to pretty much everybody that the people setting national security policy for Donald Trump practice the same “here’s my conclusion, now go find facts to support it” method that Bush 43’s team used to such great effect.
That whole profile on Flynn is frankly frightening, but I thought this bit deserved particular highlighting.