Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88. The former Defense secretary oversaw Iraq, Afghanistan wars

Approved ~ MJM

Donald Rumsfeld — Republican powerbroker, controversial Defense secretary and architect of the Iraq war — died Tuesday, days before his 89th birthday, his family said Wednesday.

“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico,” the family said in a statement released Wednesday.

“History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service, but for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends and the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to country.”

Former President George W. Bush selected Rumsfeld for his second stint as Pentagon chief in 2001. Rumsfeld vowed to shake up the military bureaucracy, seeking to make it leaner and more agile.

The Sept. 11 terror attacks changed everything.

Rumsfeld oversaw the Pentagon’s response and its initial attack on al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan. With stunning speed, U.S. commandos and airstrikes toppled the Taliban from power and a new democratically elected government was established.