Home AMERICA Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who oversaw Iraq war, dies at 88

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who oversaw Iraq war, dies at 88

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Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gestures at the Pentagon on January 11, 2005 in Arlington, Virginia.

Sean Hesley | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has died at the age of 88, according to a statement released Wednesday by his family.

“It is with great sAcesparksess that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American politician and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. At the age of 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico. ,” the statement read.

“History may remember him for his extraordinary achievements in public service of six decades, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed, we are proud of his wife Joyce, his family and Will remember his undying love for friends, and the honesty he brought to a life dedicated to the country.”

Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense in the Republican administrations of President Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, oversaw the Pentagon’s response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

On the heels of the September 11 attacks, Rumsfeld directed a US military attack on Afghanistan that led to the toppling of the Taliban, which had sheltered Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders.

Two years later, Rumsfeld oversaw the US invasion of Iraq, aimed at the removal of then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

He also warned of a growing arsenal of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, but no such weapon was ever discovered.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (L) waves next to U.S. President George W. Bush during the Armed Forces Plenary Honors Review in honor of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon on December 15, 2006 in Washington.

Larry Downing | Acesparks

Rumsfeld, who initially earned praise for leading the US military into the conflict, was later criticized as the country grew tired of the Iraq War.

In 2004, Rumsfeld was convicted after photographs surfaced of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners detained in Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison.

Rumsfeld personally authorized rigorous interrogation techniques for detainees and later witnessed the opening of a US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where foreign terrorist suspects were tortured.

Rumsfeld resigned as Secretary of Defense in 2006 and was replaced by then-CIA director Robert Gates.

Before leading the Pentagon, Rumsfeld served as President Richard Nixon’s ambassador to NATO. Under President Ford, Rumsfeld served first as White House chief of staff, then as Secretary of Defense, the youngest person to head the nation’s largest federal agency.

In 1988, a US Navy aviator briefly ran for the Republican US presidential nomination.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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