There once was a time when former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was considered a visionary. His sweet-tooth for technology in warfare won him sexualized praise from other conservative men’s wives. The trouble is that Rumsfeld, among other things, is a fraud who doesn’t actually understand the first thing about technology, preferring to fetishize the idea of technology. Case in point: Rumsfeld was apparently confounded by a public bus.
Here in DC, we have a rechargeable plastic farecard for the Metro system’s bus and subway lines. It’s called a SmarTrip. You wave it over a fare reader; it deducts the appropriate amount for your trip; and you go about your travel. This was a concept lost on the former defense secretary, according to Raw Story’s John Byrne, who’s going off a subscription-only Roll Call report. Last Thursday Rumsfeld apparently didn’t do such a great job of catching the No. 42 bus at Dupont Circle.
“It was almost like the guy at the first day of work,” [Roll Call]’s source remarked. “He was looking at the card, thinking, ‘How does this work?’”
My goodness gracious. Did his research assistant buy him the card or something?
Right now, Rumsfeld is working on a memoir defending his possibly-worse-than-McNamara tenure at the Pentagon. When you read it — particularly its inevitable defenses of network-centric warfare or other pet theories of future combat — remember that it was written by a man who couldn’t understand that you can essentially use a kind of credit card for public transportation.
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