Saturday, July 3, 2021
President Richard Nixon was undone by his attempts to conceal and excise the official record. Mr. Rumsfeld knew better by the time he was serving under Mr. Nixon’s successor. The trick was to marginalize the record, to litter it with so many contradictions that a rebuttal to any future historian could always be found. His memos (known as “yellow perils” in the Nixon administration and “snowflakes” under Ford) would pile up in drifts, disguising the underlying historical landscape. It’s a level of genius that has not been acknowledged in the press — the founder of the Freedom of Information Act is the guy who figured out how to render it almost totally worthless.
— Errol Morris, "Donald Rumsfeld’s Fog of Memos," The New York Times