The Unknown Known

The Unknown Known

DVD | Widescreen
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Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld discusses his career in Washington, D.C. from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Edition: Widescreen
Branch Call Number: DVD 352.293092 RUM NVD
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (103 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
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Nov 18, 2017

It should not come as any surprise as to how we got to this particular point in time. Watching Donald Rumsfeld being interviewed by Errol Morris and how he is able to obfuscate history can be fascinating, but it is also disturbing.

Sep 18, 2015

Errol Morris and Rumsfeld studiously avoid any significant mention of Israel, which was the primary motive for invading Iraq in 2003. Rumsfeld was part of PNAC and the rest of the pro-Israel clique inside and out of the US gov't that pushed for the war on Israel's behalf as Colin Powell later (when it was too late) revealed. Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings warned us about it, too, but he was largely villified, when not being ignored. This information continues to be kept largely hidden from American citizens by people like Morris.

Despite this, "The Unknown Known" is still an illuminating film as it is illustrates the triumph of confidence over competence in American politics. Allthough in the case of Rumsfeld, confidence is almost a gross understatement. In any case, Morris gives him the rope and Rumsfeld unwittingly hangs himself. It would almost be amusing if so many people hadn't been killed and maimed by the decisions of Rumsfeld and his ilk.

Aug 20, 2015

People never name the names responsible for 9/11, so let's be unconventional for once: Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney // at the CIA: Buzzy Krongard and Alfreda Bikowsky Silverstein // at the NSA: Gen. Hayden and William Wechsler // at the DIA: Gen. Patrick Hughes // at the State Dept.: Robin Raphel // at the FBI: Robert Mueller, Frasca, Maltbie, Jeffrey Royer // at least two attorneys at the SEC. // at the Blackstone Group: Peter G. Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman // at AIG: Hank Greenberg // at Veritas Capital: Robert McKeon [since suicided by self-strangulation] // Anthony Elgindy, financial connection to the Saudis [since suicided] // Saudi connection: Adnan Khashoggi // at least one individual from EurekaGGN // Peter Janson when he was with AMEC.

Aug 20, 2015

All I can say is: Man, this guy is a liar! Rumsfeld even lies and contradicts himself during his interview for the film. It is absolutely terrifying that this man could rise to the office of Secretary of Defense in the world's most power nation.
The documentary was OK but seemed to lack a point at times.

Jul 13, 2015

Donald Rumsfeld is the " master " of doublespeak and doublethink- in other words he can spew out a bunch of words without actually saying anything at all. That being said I think that this is Errol Morris' poorest effort to date- he edits Rumsfeld in such a way that is manipulative- ironic considering who he is- but it's just plain sloppy work, with flashy graphics liberally applied to try and conceal this fact. Rumsfeld was a career politican who bailed out of the Nixon administration early so he'd still have a chance at vice-president or even president- and also the reasons why he never made it to these posts is fascinating viewing ( his views on overseas geopolitics being one- which are also enlightening to hear ).

May 11, 2015

It is good for us all to know our real fact history so we can try to never let them lie or mislead us ever again. It must end.

EuSei Feb 24, 2015

When Errol Morris planned this documentary, I am sure he did not expect to be railroaded by Donald Rumsfeld; it was naïve of him to pitch his average intelligence against Mr. Rumsfeld’s monumental intellect—tsk, tsk, tsk… As a result his plan backfired. He tried, but didn’t manage to discredit Rumsfeld. For example, on several occasions Rumsfeld is shown inexplicably looking at the camera, without uttering a word for several seconds. It was clearly meant to make him look bad, but anyone paying attention can see he was merely waiting for the “cut”! Shame on Morris, who doesn’t have Michael Moore’s talent to lie and distort, but tried to mislead the viewer nevertheless. Paraphrasing Morris, he was blinded by his own spurious convictions, and didn’t have humility to know that with his intellect he should not have tried to cross swords with this specific interviewee.

Mee2 Feb 20, 2015

Brilliant, a genius. I respect this man even more after watching this excellent documentary. A must see if you want to hear the man himself instead of second hand gossip. Now, let’s get the facts straight, shall we? According to a transcript at the Defense Department web site, in a DoD News Briefing on February 12, 2002, then Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the following: “I COULD [emphasis mine] have said that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or vice versa.” And when asked if he was “aware of any evidence” he answered: “Yeah, I am aware of a lot of evidence involving Iraq on a lot of subjects. And it is not for me to make public judgments about my assessment or others' assessment of that evidence.” So, almost any phrase taken out of context can be made to sound completely different than it was originally intended—and the way the person twisting it wants it to sound...

Nov 12, 2014

This film about Donald Rumsfeld viewed in 2014 is rather chilling. When asked about what evidence he had that Saddam Hussein had WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) even after the UN Inspectors could not find any after many months of searching for them, Rumsfeld states, “The absence of evidence [of WMD] does not mean this is evidence of absence.” In other words, we cannot really know, just because we cannot find any. With this kind of logic, one needs to invade and even if nothing is ever found, that does not mean they are not there. Is this just Rumsfeld BS? Did they just invade to attempt a takeover for a makeover of Iraq? Who knows why Rumsfeld says any of the things he says? A trillion dollars spent, a wrecked country, hundreds of thousands dead, and now the most dangerous situation of all – thousands of outside militants of all stripes flooding into Iraq/Syria trying to take over the whole middle-east to build their brand of a Caliphate and its massive executions of men and kidnapping of women. And through it all, Rumsfeld with his ubiquitous inappropriate laughter as if it were just a syllogistic game.

Scaltro Sep 14, 2014

Fascinating. a bit of history told by a real player

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EuSei Feb 24, 2015

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