Sec. Donald Rumsfeld: Obama is leading from behind

On radio this morning, Glenn interviewed former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about the latest scandals to rock the White House and his new book Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership, Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life.

“We have Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on with us,” Glenn said. “Here's a guy that, you know, everybody said he and Dick Cheney were the worst of the worst. ‘They were awful. My gosh, we've got to stop them.’ They weren't intimidating people like this. They weren't using the IRS. And they weren't tapping people's phones. They weren't doing all of these things.”

While Glenn is not a big fan of the Bush administration, he has always appreciated Rumsfeld’s candor and conviction. “We have been a fan of yours from the beginning,” Glenn explained, “because you're one of the few people that actually say what you mean and mean what you say. And you stand by it. There's no mealy mouth about you.”

“Well, thank you,” Rumsfeld responded. “One of my rules in my new book is that dogs don't bark at parked cars. And if you do something, somebody's not going to like it and you have to be comfortable with that and life goes on.”

In the case of both Benghazi and the IRS, Rumsfeld noted there is a common thread involving the government turning on its people. “I think that is something that is so unacceptable in our society,” he said.

Benghazi is a unique situation because all evidence seems to suggest that the government could have potentially saved the four Americans who died on September 11, 2012, but instead they chose to do nothing. “I don't recall a time in American history where we had the capability of saving people and we said, ‘Let them die. Abandon,’” Glenn observed.

“You know, we lost four public servants,” Rumsfeld said. “And the British saw the threat and pulled their people out, and our people saw the threat and reported back that they needed greater security and they didn't receive it. And then once that happened and they were under attack, it appears that there were capabilities that might have been used. But I think the hearings that Congress is having are very important.”

In his new book, Rumsfeld provides leadership advice in the form of ‘rules’ he has picked up over the years from the people he has met, worked with, and known. There have always been those who question President Obama’s leadership both at home and abroad, but given the lack of oversight he seems to have even within the confines of his own administration, these questions have become more fervent than ever.

“I mean, somebody in the White House characterized his leadership role overseas as leading from behind. In this case he's leading from behind even internally in the White House,” Rumsfeld said in regards to the President’s leadership strategy. “And the only thing he's really stepped up and taken responsibility for was SEAL team 6. And the killing of Osama Bin Laden.”

One of the threats Rumsfeld believes this country faces stems from the fact that our leadership in Washington often refuses to recognize the dangers of radical Islam in the Middle East. There are people out there that are raising money and recruiting people to go out and kill innocent men, women and children, radical Islamists whose goal in life is to defeat the idea, the concept of a nation state and impose a Caliphate,” Rumsfeld said. “And the fact that this President will not even acknowledge that and calls the Fort Hood killings workplace violence and sends up cabinet officers who aren't even willing to mention that there's such a thing as Islamism…”

“I have to tell you, I am amazed that you would say that,” Glenn responded. “How can we possibly survive if the only time I've really ever heard anybody of any importance talk about a Caliphate is right now with you?”

If people begin to accept the fact that a War on Terror does in fact exist and is an ongoing threat to America, Rumsfeld suggested it is a fight we can win – but not with bullets. “It's not like World War II or World War I or Vietnam. It's more like the Cold War. You have to be willing to compete against the, in the ideological space. And if you're not willing to even identify the enemy, it seems to me you don't have a chance of prevailing.”

While the vast majority of Muslims are not Islamist radicals, we have to be willing to identify the people who are radical and are a threat to this country. “We are a country that believes in freedom of religion and we've demonstrated that,” he explained. “But I don't see how we can prevail like we did in the Cold War over decades against this enemy unless we're willing to identify the enemy.”

When it comes to the latest scandal involving the Department of Justice subpoenaing the phone conversations of AP reporters, Rumsfeld has a unique perspective considering he was a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Information Act when it was passed in the 1960s.

“It's inconceivable,” Rumsfeld said about the notion President Obama had no idea the Department of Justice had subpoenaed the AP. “He'd have to be informed. If his Attorney General says this is one of the most serious – one, two, or three most serious things he's ever seen by way of damage to our national security in terms of a leak – the President would unquestionably have to be informed… And I guess at some point we'll know what it was, what was leaked and what the damage was. And we'll be able to make our own judgments about it. I would defer coming to a conclusion until I have more information.”

Ultimately, we can all agree that strong leadership is going to be the key to getting this country back on track, and the leadership of this administration (scandal or no scandal) has not been up to snuff.

“Where do we end up if we don't act, if we don't change our course,” Glenn asked.

“Well, you hate to even think of the thought that there could be a tipping point, but I suppose in many things in life, there can be a tipping point,” Rumsfeld said. “I'm 81 in July. And every time I've seen things get bad, I've seen the American people get out of their chairs and change their priorities and if the pendulum goes too far in one way, they push it back. And I've always had a lot of confidence in that... I still have confidence in this country of ours, but I have to be realistic. I think it's conceivable you could get to a tipping point where there weren't enough people ready to push it back. And that's why I mentioned the comment about reading history and having our schools teach civics and the responsibility that each of us have to help guide and direct the course of our country.”

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

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Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.

'The fool builds walls': China blasts Trump over tariffs

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

I can picture it now: Thousands of years ago, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, standing before hordes of his followers, in the Qin Dynasty, with a bright red bamboo hat on, and chanting, "Build that wall!"

It took a couple centuries to build the thing, but it got built. And it has been carefully maintained over the last 2,000 years, but, today, the Great Wall of China is so massive that astronauts can see it during good weather conditions from the lower part of low Earth orbit. The wall boasts over 3,000 miles of towers and brick embankments, with over 1,200 miles of natural defensive barriers. It's worth mentioning that the Chinese government is also exceptionally good at imposing digital walls, so much so that China ranks worst in the world for internet freedom.

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So it's a little strange to hear an editorial run by a major news network in China criticized President Trump for his proposal to build a large wall along the southern border of America.

"Following the path of expanding and opening up is China's best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world," the author wrote. "The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls."

Similarly, the Pope told reporters in 2016, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel."

Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

If you've been to the Vatican, you know that it is surrounded by enormous walls. The same goes for all the celebrities who live in heavily walled compounds—a safety measure—but who have also vehemently criticized President Trump's plans to build a wall.

You know the adage: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at other people's glass houses." Perhaps the phrase needs an update: Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

An immaculate Nazi doctor hovers over newborn. He probes and sneers at it. "Take it away," he says. This is the very real process that Nazi doctors undertook during the era of Nazi Germany: Nazi eugenics, the studious, sterile search to find children who would define a pure breed for the German lineage. The Übermensch.

RELATED: Glenn responds to advocates of aborting Down syndrome babies: 'No better than Nazi Germans'

During a speech to a delegation of Italy's Family Association in Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis referred to this cruel Nazi practice, which he used as a comparison to the increasingly popular process throughout Europe of "ending" birth defects, by offering abortions to women who have babies with chromosomal defects.

Here are two passages from the Pope's remarks:

I have heard that it's fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let's send it away.

And:

I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.

When CNN got the quote, and it shocked them so much that they had to verify the quote with the Vatican—in other words, it didn't fit the usual narrative.

It didn't fit the usual narrative.

The Pope also addressed claims that he has dedicated himself to LGBTQ causes:

Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of "diversified" families: different types of families. It is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of stars, family" of trees, "family" of animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don't believe.

The media have largely seen Pope Francis as the cool Pope, as the Obama of Catholicism. It'll be interesting to see how abruptly and severely that perspective changes.