In one memorable exchange from The Unknown Known, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld argues against claims that torture seen in Guantanamo Bay was exported to Iraq, leading to the abuses of Abu Ghraib. Anyone can read that for themselves in the Schlessinger Report, he adds. Documentarian Errol Morris quotes the report, which states the exact opposite opinion, and Rumsfeld immediately agrees with that position without irony. So it goes when trying to understand Rumsfeld, both the youngest and oldest defense secretary in U.S. history. An architect of the Iraq War, Rumsfeld is questioned about his policies, but Morris—who is unmatched as an interviewer—understands that his real story here is the enigma of Rumsfeld and not catharsis over an unpopular war. The title is a classic Rumsfeld conundrum, an example of a brilliant, frustrating statesman lost somewhere in (and slightly out of) his own mind.
Director: Errol Morris
Producer: Errol Morris, Amanda Gill, Robert Fernandez, Molly Thompson, Josh Braun, Dirk Hoogstra, Julian P. Hobbs, Tom Quinn, Jason Janego, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Celia Taylor, Angus Wall and Julia Sheehan