Check out the transcript of Donald Rumsfeld’s talk with U.S. troops in Kyrgyzstan. He opens up the question and answer session with this:
Now I’d like to hear a few questions. It’s late in my clock. We’ve been traveling, so if you have any tough questions –If you have any questions that require diplomacy, the Ambassador’s right here. And if you have any nice, easy ones, I’m happy to respond.
And after fielding a somewhat difficult question, he wraps up with, “Last question. Make it an easy one. I’ve had a long day. I started in Baku.”
It’s not like he’s talking to the press here. The people he’s talking to are risking their lives for our country and are simply asking questions regarding their mission. At one point, true, Rumsfeld acknowledges the difficult circumstances they’re in:
So, I know that you folks are a long ways from your families and that they also sacrifice even though they’re not in a war zone or in a difficult situation – they’re not living in tents. I saw the tents when I came by. I can’t imagine what they look like with 10 or 12 inches of snow. Has anyone been here for that? Did any of the tents cave in? Did the heat go out? [Laughter]. Well, life’s like that.
Yet he repeatedly asks them to “go easy” on him in their questions. Pretty poor form. Check out Intel Dump for Phillip Carter’s further analysis of the substance of the Q&A session.