President George W. Bush praised Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during Rumsfeld’s departure ceremony today. Rumsfeld is resigning on Monday after close to six years with the defense department.

Bush said Rumseld is a “dedicated and energetic” person who “knows how to lead and did.”

“I have come to appreciate Don Rumsfeld’s professionalism, dedication, his strategic vision, his deep devotion to the men and women of this nation who wear the uniform and his love for the United States of America,” Bush said during the ceremony.
Rumsfeld spoke at today’s ceremony about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, saying they “awakened the world to the existence of a global extremist movement whose adherents believe it is their calling to kill Americans and other free people.”
Rumsfeld added, “Ours is also a world of many friends and allies, but sadly, realistically, friends and allies with declining defense investment and declining capabilities and, I would add, as a result, with increasing vulnerabilities. All of which requires that the United States of America invest more.” says Rumsfeld is a “casualty” of opposition to the war in Iraq. The announcement of his resignation came right after Democrats took control of Congress in the Nov. 7 election.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who worked as an intern for Rumsfeld in 1969, said today that his former boss is a “man of near perfect recall.”

“He has the way of asking you the one question you are not prepared for,” the vice president said. “And apparently he does not sleep. I’ve never worked harder for a boss and I’ve never learned more from one, either.”

Robert Gates will be sworn in as Rumsfeld’s successor on Monday.

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