Washington: Former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has reportedly scoffed at praise for President Barack Obama for ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden, saying he would have ‘recommended the operation in a minute’.
Rumsfeld bluntly said he does not agree with remarks made by his successor, Robert Gates that Obama made a “gutsy” call.
“It seems to me that it is a 15-minute decision and the first 14 are for coffee. For me, not a complicated answer. Do it,” Rumsfeld, former Pentagon chief best known for the Iraq invasion, said during a television interview.
He, however, conceded that he agreed with Obama’s decision to send in special forces and not an alternative to hit bin Laden’s compound with a missile, The Express Tribune reports.
“Had Obama ordered a missile strike, the United States would not have known immediately whether it killed bin Laden and would not have been able to collect valuable intelligence,” Rumsfeld said.
According to the report, Rumsfeld also denied accounts that the US botched the 2001 assault on the Tora Bora cave complex in Afghanistan, allowing bin Laden to slip into Pakistan.
“I can assure you that no one got up to any level anywhere near me or the President suggesting that anything should be done that was not done,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
Rumsfeld, however, said he has ‘never bothered’ to ask then CIA chief George Tenet for details about the intelligence agency’s operations during the Tora Bora battle.
First Published: Friday, June 01, 2012, 14:21