Rumsfeld to "pull no punches" in autobiography

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (C) attends the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, May 1, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will release an autobiography in January that the publisher promises “pulls no punches” from a man who was one of the most ardent proponents of going to war in Iraq.

The publisher also plans to launch a website with thousands of pages of documents to support Rumsfeld’s account. Rumsfeld, 78, has said all profits will go to veterans’ charities.

“Like Donald Rumsfeld himself, this memoir pulls no punches,” said Adrian Zackheim, president and publisher of the Sentinel imprint of Penguin Group.

The book, titled “Known and Unknown,” will span the length of Rumsfeld’s life and explore some of the controversies such as the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq and allegations of human rights violations at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the publisher said.

The title is derived from comments made by Rumsfeld during a February 2002 news conference in which he referred to “known knowns” and “known unknowns.” Rumsfeld had been asked by a journalist whether there was any evidence that Iraq had tried to supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials cited the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as justification for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. No such weapons were found.

Rumsfeld was a leading architect of the Iraq war. He was fired by President George W. Bush as defense secretary in 2006 with U.S. troops bogged down after 3-1/2 years of fighting in Iraq.

Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.; Editing by Daniel Trotta