Free Markets, Free People

Robert McNamara Dies

Joe Galloway, Vietnam’s “Ernie Pyle”, sums up my feelings about McNamara’s death about as well as anyone:

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” —Clarence Darrow (1857–1938)

Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.

McNamara was the original bean-counter — a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.


8 Responses to Robert McNamara Dies


  • Robert Strange McNamara

    Huh…  I could have sworn that his middle name was “F*cking Idiot”…

  • I would like very much to pour a bottle of wine over his grave. I’ll drink it first . . .

  • In addition to the marvelous Vietnam war, let us not forget that he presided over the creation of the Edsel, and the early years of the World Bank.  He was the gift that kept on giving.

  • I recall reading (IIRC) in Jack Broughton’s “Thud Ridge” about a friend of his gearing up for a mission over North Vietnam. Just as he’s about to go out to the flight line, the telephone rings. It’s McNamara, calling PERSONALLY to tell the officer to attack a particular bridge in North Vietnam… with his 20mm cannon. Yep, going after a bridge in the pre-guided bomb days was hard enough, but Mac called to tell this pilot to attack a steel and concrete bridge with a lousy 20mm cannon.

    I’m sure that anybody in the military during the dark days of RSM can tell similar stories of such outright organizational stupidity and micromanaging.

    For his family, it’s sad that he’s dead. For a lot of other people, it’s sad that he lived.

  • I think the old Latin phrase, ‘De mortuis nil nisi bonum’ applies here. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything good to say about this individual.

    He will not be missed.

  • McNamara had nothing to do with the Edsel.

  • He also help the Allies defeat the Nazi’s and the empire of Japan, started the science of Operations Research, introduced seat belts, padded intrument panels and collapsible steering columns to cars as well as numerous other public health improvements through his work at the World Bank.

    I will miss him. He was a great human being.