WASHINGTON — Very few things send Washington into a tizzy like a forecast of snow. But those palpitations are nothing compared to the tsunami shudder that coursed through the Pentagon at the thought of a ”snowflake” circulating up and down its more than 17.5 miles of hallways.
That would be a Donald Rumsfeld snowflake — the nom de plume for the often short, well-crafted memos the former Defense secretary would send to staff, colleagues and anyone else he thought needed his guidance or prodding — notes that would send fretting subordinates into an intellectual swoon as they grappled with an unanswerable question sent by the former collegiate wrestler.
Like the rare D.C. snowstorm, it is snowflake time again — thanks to the unsealing of dozens of the former Defense secretary’s missives.
Some are well-known and previously reported, such as declaring the Pentagon bureaucracy the biggest threat to the U.S., in a snowflake on Sept. 10, 2001 — the day before four airplanes crashed into the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and the Pennsylvania countryside.
Other memos are being seen for the first time, adding to the robust context many who have chatted, communicated or parried with Rumsfeld carry in their memories.
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