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Donald Rumsfeld memoirs promise to lift the lid on Iraq, WMDs and Saddam

By David Usborne

Even casual addicts of American politics are likely to pounce on Known And Unknown, the memoir that Donald Rumsfeld has been writing since resigning as George W Bush's Defence Secretary in 2006. Sentinel Books, an imprint of Penguin, has said the book will be released in January.

The title implies that secrets will be divulged.

And because it is meant to evoke a famously obfuscatory line that he uttered at the Pentagon about pre-invasion Iraq, we can also assume that the secrets in question will have to do with the period of history that most threatens the author's legacy — Iraq, the weapons of mass destruction (or lack thereof) and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Apparently there is so much for us to learn that reams of previously unseen documents will be put up on a website that accompany the book — documents that presumably will assist in correcting any ill impressions readers may have of Mr Rumsfeld (78).

“This book will tell readers things they didn't know and it may unsettle a few people who think the history of certain events has already been written,” Rumsfeld aide Keith Urbahn said.

“Never-before seen memos and previously classified documents will let sceptics make their own judgments based on the information Rumsfeld had.”

The timing means the book won't be on this year's Christmas gifts list.

But author and publisher may have opted to leave a decent gap after the promised early-November release of Mr Bush's memoir, Decision Points.

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