Rumsfeld Declares End to Memo 'Blizzard'

The Associated Press
Friday, December 15, 2006; 4:59 PM

WASHINGTON -- After six years of dashing off short memos, dubbed "snowflakes," to prod the Pentagon bureaucracy, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued one final missive on Friday, his last full workday.

Addressed to all Pentagon personnel, the memo's subject line said, "'Snowflakes' _ the Blizzard is Over."

"This is my final snowflake _ as secretary of defense," he wrote.

"Over the past six years, thousands of these memos have fallen _ sometimes in blizzards and flurries and sometimes in cold and lonely isolation. Yet _ as surprising as this may seem to those who may have been buried in the deluge _ there are many people in the department who have never received a snowflake.

"A few souls have even requested one. This snowflake is especially for them."

On the day he was lauded at a public farewell ceremony by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rumsfeld used his final memo to thank all Pentagon employees.

And he injected a note of humor, saying he would not forget those who had failed to respond to earlier memos.

"Nonetheless, in the spirit of the season, as my last official act as secretary of defense, I hereby grant a general amnesty for any outstanding snowflakes. The blizzard is over! Thank you for all you have done for our wonderful country. Well done!"

© 2006 The Associated Press