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Document Friday: Rumsfeld’s Snowflake, “Subject:Porpoises”

February 11, 2011

Porpoises and saddles.

This week, Donald Rumsfeld posted hundreds of government documents –many formerly classified– on his website to promote his book sales.  As Sharon Weinberger, John Prados, and others have pointed out, this mass declassification –though legal under Executive Order 13526— feels a bit like a slap in the face to those who frequently file FOIA requests.  The Archive long ago requested the Rumsfeld snowflakes.  A handful of requests were granted, and some were denied (strange considering the snowflakes were unclassified), but most are still pending review.

At any rate, Rumsfeld’s website does provide a wealth of documents, ranging from the Ford to W. Bush administrations.  Many will be of great value to historians.

And then, there’s this one.


Rumsfeld’s attempt at poetry? A botched haiku? Some type of anagram? An entry into a dream journal? A cryptic prophecy on the eve of the Second Iraq War? A pithy commentary on the minutia a SecDef has to deal with? An honest recount of military deployment orders?

If anyone knows or has a guess, leave a comment.  This one is certainly a known unknown to me.

  1. Tim permalink
    February 11, 2011 2:56 pm

    The first image of US boots (hoofs?)on the ground in Afghanistan was Rumsfeld showing a still photo of Special Forces guys on horseback to the travelling press on his plane on 11/16/01. He was pretty pleased with himself.
    From his remarks:
    “…the ones in light colors are u-s special forces… on horseback…and there is a cousin to my donkey “Mo”… moving equipment….i’ve seen drop orders for saddle, bridals and horsefeed.”


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