Last month, Fortune magazine reported that Rumsfeld may have helped North Korea develop its nuclear prowess when he sat on the board of Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a Zurich-based engineering giant, in 2000.
Rumsfeld has never said whether he knew the company was bidding for a nuclear contract. ABB spokesman Bjoern Edlund told Fortune that board members were informed about this project. A former board member told the magazine that Rumsfelds job was to lobby his pals in Washington on the firms behalf. Other company officials said there was no chance that Rumsfeld, who was earning $190,000 a year for his trouble, could be oblivious about such a high-profile project.
The $200 million contract, the fruit of a 1994 deal between the U.S. and Pyongyang, supplied North Korea with the know-how to build two light-water nuclear reactors in return for Koreas dropping its budding nuclear-weapons program. The deal was part of President Clintons policy of persuading the North Korean regime to play nice with the U.S through diplomacy and negotiation.
Now, of course, Rumsfeld regards North Korea as part of the axis of evil alongside Iraq and Iran.
Shed some light on your journey, Rummy.