Some conservatives are already ridiculing an Atlantic Monthly hit job on the late Donald Rumsfeld. Apparently, they don't realize that a magazine staff writer is an expert on war and management. (This guy brags about how astonished DOD aides were, when he outlined his critique of the Iraq War.)
Journalists are like doctors: They know everything, especially in fields they have no experience in.
I knew Rumsfeld a little--indeed, a very little--when he was on our board of directors. He had a razor-sharp mind, a mastery of details, and the ability to construct a big picture. He had a commanding presence, and I recall when he put the number one conservative movement executive in his place.
On the downside, he seemed to have little understanding of the real problems we face in the USA, still less of the challenge of Islam, and a business management theory of how to manage the American military that was disastrous to morale, at least among the officers I knew. He was a patriotic American with element of greatness, who unfortunately was the wrong man for the job.
His duplicity about American mistreatment of POWs--"We're Americans, we don't do that," was a symptom of his failure. (I hope he did not actually believe that any more than Cheney, a thoroughly evil man, believed the mobile chemical lab disinformation. He was an all American boyscout in a world that had left such people behind. He was the Quiet American with a sense of humor.
Men like Rumsfeld built America, but they also caused its downfall. This country shall probably never recover from the Bushes and their unjust wars run by truly awful cronies like Dick Cheney. I believe that Rumsfeld, in his intentions, was a far better man than Cheney, but all his good qualities were enlisted in the service of wickedness.