In an explosive interview with Al Jazeera’s English Washington bureau chief Abderrahim Foukara, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld blasted the journalist for "haranguing" and refused to answer his questions -- accusing Foukara of having it in his "being" to be "disrespectful."
The heated exchange erupted when the topic came to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Foukara asked Rumsfeld whether he felt responsible for the deaths of "innocent Iraqis" because, according to Foukara, the Bush administration "didn't secure the borders" of the country and sent in too few troops.
"You keep making assertions that are fundamentally false," Rumseld blasted. "Correct me," Foukara replied.
That's when the situation escalated. Huffington Post reports:
Rumsfeld insisted that all of the troop levels had been highly vetted on multiple levels. "Does that make the numbers right?" Foukara interjected.
"Do you want to yell or do you want an interview?" Rumsfeld shot back. "I'm having an interview, and I'm actually enjoying this interview," Foukara said, almost cheerfully. "You have a choice," Rumsfeld said. "You're being true to form."
Foukara attempted to ask his question again. He wondered if Rumsfeld felt responsibility for "tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed by the coalition," as well as by the "criminals" who Rumsfeld had blamed for much of the violence in the country. Rumsfeld didn't even attempt to answer the question. He accused Foukara of asking him "pejorative" questions, and told him he though it was in his "being" and "nature" to be disrespectful."
"This is not about me," Foukara said. "If you want to attack me personally, fine, but give me the answer to the question."
"Why should I do everything you want and you won't do anything I want?" Rumsfeld asked.
"Because I'm the interviewer." Foukara said.
In the end, Rumsfeld stated, “this is worthless, this is not an interview – you’re haranguing.”
Watch the contentious exchange below: