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"The terrorists are actively manipulating the media in this country by falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan."
— Donald Rumsfeld, 10/06
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"It ought not be surprising, it seems to me, that the US is developing a very good relationship with Vietnam."
— Donald Rumsfeld, 6/5/06

"I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."
— George W Bush 4/18/06

General Says Prison Inquiry Led to His Forced Retirement
by David S. Cloud

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2007 — The Army general who investigated the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal has said he was forced into retirement by civilian Pentagon officials because he had been “overzealous.”

In an interview with The New Yorker, his first since retiring in January, Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba said that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other senior civilian and military officials had treated him brusquely after the investigation into the formerly American-run prison outside Baghdad was completed in 2004. He also said that in early 2006 he was ordered, without explanation, to retire within a year.

“They always shoot the messenger,” General Taguba said. “To be accused of being overzealous and disloyal — that cuts deep into me. I was ostracized for doing what I was asked to do.”

In a brief interview on Saturday in which he confirmed his comments to The New Yorker, General Taguba said that Thomas F. Hall, the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, was the first to tell him, in January 2006, that he was being forced out.

“He called me in and said I was no longer part of the team,” General Taguba said. “When someone calls you in and says ‘I have to let you go,’ and offers no explanation, you connect the dots.”

That same month, he added, Gen. Richard Cody, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told him that he would have to retire within a year.

Mr. Hall could not be reached for comment on Saturday. General Taguba was assigned to the Office of Reserve Affairs at the Pentagon after completing the Abu Ghraib investigation. His March 2004 report on the scandal found that “numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees” at Abu Ghraib by soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company from October to December 2003.

He also questioned Mr. Rumsfeld’s claims that he had been unaware of the extent of the abuse and that he had not seen photographs documenting it until months after the Army began an investigation into the allegations in January 2004. General Taguba said senior Pentagon officials had been briefed on the case and given accounts of the pictures early in the investigation.

When he briefed Mr. Rumsfeld the day before a May 7, 2004 Congressional hearing, he said Mr. Rumsfeld had complained then about not having a copy of his report. But General Taguba said he had submitted copies to superiors two months earlier.

Lawrence Di Rita, a former top aide to Mr. Rumsfeld, said Mr. Rumsfeld had not viewed the photographs because he had been advised by lawyers that doing so “could materially affect the ongoing criminal investigation.” He said Mr. Rumsfeld finally looked at the pictures the day before his Congressional testimony, the same day he was briefed by General Taguba.

Mr. Di Rita said General Taguba’s assertion that he was ostracized as a result of his investigation “is simply false.” He added, “Secretary Rumsfeld believed General Taguba managed a difficult assignment to the best of his abilities.” General Taguba said some of the most graphic evidence of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib had not been made public, including a videotape he said he had seen of a male soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.

While his inquiry was limited to the conduct of the military police guarding the prison, he said he had strongly suspected that the guards had been influenced by military intelligence units, who were in charge of interrogating prisoners. Seven members of the military police, all enlisted soldiers, were convicted for their role in the abuse.

Rumsfeld Claims Terrorists Manipulate Media

By Robert Burns
Aug 29, 2006

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.

"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.

Rumsfeld was asked whether the criticism he draws as Pentagon chief and a leading advocate of the war in Iraq is an impediment to performing his job. He said it was not and he knows from history that wars are normally unpopular with many Americans. "I expect that," he said. "I understand that."

"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.

Later, at a Reno, Nev., convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rumsfeld made similar points.

"The enemy lies constantly — almost totally without penalty," he told the veterans group, which presented him with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award. "They portray our cause as a war on Islam when in fact the overwhelming majority of victims of their terrorism have been the thousands and thousands of innocent Muslims — men, women and children — that they have killed."

He added, "While some at home argue for tossing in the towel, the enemy is waiting and hoping that we will do just that."

Rumsfeld often complains about what he calls the terrorists' success in persuading Westerners that the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a crusade against Islam. In his remarks at Fallon he did not offer any new examples of media manipulation; he put unusual emphasis, however, on the negative impact it is having on Americans in an era of 24-hour news.

"The enemy is so much better at communicating," he added. "I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say — all of which are not true — is harmful. It's cumulative. And it does weaken people's will and lessen their determination, and raise questions in their minds as to whether the cost is worth it," he said alluding to Americans and other Westerners.

Rumsfeld flew to Fallon on Monday from Fairbanks, Alaska, where he spent the weekend meeting with families of soldiers deployed in Iraq. He also visited a missile defense site at Ft. Greely and met Sunday with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov to discuss Iraq and other issues.

Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the VFW convention in Reno on Monday morning. He asserted to the veterans that policies initiated by the Bush administration are the reason the United States hasn't been attacked since the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes five years ago.

Cheney defended the Iraq war as necessary in the overall battle against terrorism and reiterated the administration's position that U.S. troops would not withdraw until Iraqi forces were able to maintain order and stability.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

Donald Rumsfeld’s Dance With the Nazis

September 3, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist


PRESIDENT BUSH came to Washington vowing to be a uniter, not a divider. Well, you win some and you lose some. But there is one member of his administration who has not broken that promise: Donald Rumsfeld. With indefatigable brio, he has long since united Democrats, Republicans, generals and civilians alike in calling for his scalp.

Last week the man who gave us “stuff happens” and “you go to war with the Army you have” outdid himself. In an instantly infamous address to the American Legion, he likened critics of the Iraq debacle to those who “ridiculed or ignored” the rise of the Nazis in the 1930’s and tried to appease Hitler. Such Americans, he said, suffer from a “moral or intellectual confusion” and fail to recognize the “new type of fascism” represented by terrorists. Presumably he was not only describing the usual array of “Defeatocrats” but also the first President Bush, who had already been implicitly tarred as an appeaser by Tony Snow last month for failing to knock out Saddam in 1991.

What made Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech noteworthy wasn’t its toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason. That’s old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld’s performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has now lasted longer than America’s fight against the actual Nazis in World War II.

Here’s how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler’s appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain’s hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?

Mr. Rumsfeld didn’t go to Baghdad in 1983 to tour the museum. Then a private citizen, he had been dispatched as an emissary by the Reagan administration, which sought to align itself with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was already a notorious thug. Well before Mr. Rumsfeld’s trip, Amnesty International had reported the dictator’s use of torture — “beating, burning, sexual abuse and the infliction of electric shocks” — on hundreds of political prisoners. Dozens more had been summarily executed or had “disappeared.” American intelligence agencies knew that Saddam had used chemical weapons to gas both Iraqi Kurds and Iranians.

According to declassified State Department memos detailing Mr. Rumsfeld’s Baghdad meetings, the American visitor never raised the subject of these crimes with his host. (Mr. Rumsfeld has since claimed otherwise, but that is not supported by the documents, which can be viewed online at George Washington University’s National Security Archive.) Within a year of his visit, the American mission was accomplished: Iraq and the United States resumed diplomatic relations for the first time since Iraq had severed them in 1967 in protest of American backing of Israel in the Six-Day War.

In his speech last week, Mr. Rumsfeld paraphrased Winston Churchill: Appeasing tyrants is “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.” He can quote Churchill all he wants, but if he wants to self-righteously use that argument to smear others, the record shows that Mr. Rumsfeld cozied up to the crocodile of Baghdad as smarmily as anyone. To borrow the defense secretary’s own formulation, he suffers from moral confusion about Saddam.

Mr. Rumsfeld also suffers from intellectual confusion about terrorism. He might not have appeased Al Qaeda but he certainly enabled it. Like Chamberlain, he didn’t recognize the severity of the looming threat until it was too late. Had he done so, maybe his boss would not have blown off intelligence about imminent Qaeda attacks while on siesta in Crawford.

For further proof, read the address Mr. Rumsfeld gave to Pentagon workers on Sept. 10, 2001 — a policy manifesto he regarded as sufficiently important, James Bamford reminds us in his book “A Pretext to War,” that it was disseminated to the press. “The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America” is how the defense secretary began. He then went on to explain that this adversary “crushes new ideas” with “brutal consistency” and “disrupts the defense of the United States.” It is a foe “more subtle and implacable” than the former Soviet Union, he continued, stronger and larger and “closer to home” than “the last decrepit dictators of the world.”

And who might this ominous enemy be? Of that, Mr. Rumsfeld was as certain as he would later be about troop strength in Iraq: “the Pentagon bureaucracy.” In love with the sound of his own voice, he blathered on for almost 4,000 words while Mohamed Atta and the 18 other hijackers fanned out to American airports.

Three months later, Mr. Rumsfeld would still be asleep at the switch, as his war command refused to heed the urgent request by American officers on the ground for the additional troops needed to capture Osama bin Laden when he was cornered in Tora Bora. What would follow in Iraq was also more Chamberlain than Churchill. By failing to secure and rebuild the country after the invasion, he created a terrorist haven where none had been before.

That last story is seeping out in ever more incriminating detail, thanks to well-sourced chronicles like “Fiasco,” “Cobra II” and “Blood Money,” T. Christian Miller’s new account of the billions of dollars squandered and stolen in Iraq reconstruction. Still, Americans have notoriously short memories. The White House hopes that by Election Day it can induce amnesia about its failures in the Middle East as deftly as Mr. Rumsfeld (with an assist from John Mark Karr) helped upstage first-anniversary remembrances of Katrina.

One obstacle is that White House allies, not just Democrats, are sounding the alarm about Iraq. In recent weeks, prominent conservatives, some still war supporters and some not, have steadily broached the dread word Vietnam: Chuck Hagel, William F. Buckley Jr. and the columnists Rich Lowry and Max Boot. A George Will column critical of the war so rattled the White House that it had a flunky release a public 2,400-word response notable for its incoherence.

If even some conservatives are making accurate analogies between Vietnam and Iraq, one way for the administration to drown them out is to step up false historical analogies of its own, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s. In the past the administration has been big on comparisons between Iraq and the American Revolution — the defense secretary once likened “the snows of Valley Forge” to “the sandstorms of central Iraq” — but lately the White House vogue has been for “Islamo-fascism,” which it sees as another rhetorical means to retrofit Iraq to the more salable template of World War II.

“Islamo-fascism” certainly sounds more impressive than such tired buzzwords as “Plan for Victory” or “Stay the Course.” And it serves as a handy substitute for “As the Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down.” That slogan had to be retired abruptly last month after The New York Times reported that violence in Baghdad has statistically increased rather than decreased as American troops handed over responsibilities to Iraqis. Yet the term “Islamo-fascists,” like the bygone “evildoers,” is less telling as a description of the enemy than as a window into the administration’s continued confusion about exactly who the enemy is. As the writer Katha Pollitt asks in The Nation, “Who are the ‘Islamo-fascists’ in Saudi Arabia — the current regime or its religious-fanatical opponents?”

Next up is the parade of presidential speeches culminating in what The Washington Post describes as “a whirlwind tour of the Sept. 11 attack sites”: All Fascism All the Time. In his opening salvo, delivered on Thursday to the same American Legion convention that cheered Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bush worked in the Nazis and Communists and compared battles in Iraq to Omaha Beach and Guadalcanal. He once more interchanged the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center with car bombers in Baghdad, calling them all part of the same epic “ideological struggle of the 21st century.” One more drop in the polls, and he may yet rebrand this mess War of the Worlds.

“Iraq is not overwhelmed by foreign terrorists,” said the congressman John Murtha in succinct rebuttal to the president’s speech. “It is overwhelmed by Iraqis fighting Iraqis.” And with Americans caught in the middle. If we owe anything to those who died on 9/11, it is that we not forget how the administration diverted our blood and treasure from the battle against bin Laden and other stateless Islamic terrorists, fascist or whatever, to this quagmire in a country that did not attack us on 9/11. The number of American dead in Iraq — now more than 2,600 — is inexorably approaching the death toll of that Tuesday morning five years ago.

Rumsfeld Heckled by Former CIA Analyst
By SHANNON McCAFFREY, Associated Press Writer    5/4/06

Protesters repeatedly interrupted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during a speech Thursday and one man, a former CIA analyst, accused him of lying about Iraq prewar intelligence in an unusually vociferous display of anti-war sentiment.

"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked Ray McGovern, the former analyst, during a question-and-answer session.

"I did not lie," shot back Rumsfeld, who waved off security guards ready to remove McGovern from the hall at the Southern Center for International Studies.

With Iraq war support remaining low, it is not unusual for top Bush administration officials to encounter protests and hostile questions. But the outbursts Rumsfeld confronted on Thursday seemed beyond the usual.

Three protesters were escorted away by security as each interrupted Rumsfeld's speech by jumping up and shouting anti-war messages. Throughout the speech, a fourth protester stood in the middle of the room with his back to Rumsfeld in silent protest. Officials reported no arrests.

Rumsfeld also faced tough questions from a woman identifying herself as Patricia Roberts of Lithonia, Ga., who said her son, 22-year-old Spc. Jamaal Addison, was killed in Iraq. Roberts said she is now raising her young grandson and asked whether the government could provide any help.

Rumsfeld referred her to a Web site listing aid organizations.

President Bush seldom faces such challenges. Demonstrators usually are kept far from him when he delivers public remarks.

Rumsfeld has been interrupted by anti-war demonstrators in congressional hearing rooms as he has delivered testimony to lawmakers in recent months, and at some speeches around the country.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has had direct confrontations overseas. These include demonstrators who called her a murderer and war criminal in Australia in March, and throngs of anti-war protesters who dogged her every move in northern England in April.

Demonstrators were kept far away from Rice during a visit last week to Greece, where riot police confronted a violent street mob that smashed shop windows in protest of U.S. policies and Rice's role in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

More than half of Americans say the war in Iraq was not worth the cost financially or in loss of life, recent public polling has found. Just over one-third of those surveyed say they approve of Bush's handing of the war. Public sentiment about the war has been at those low levels since fall.

Just over one-third of the public says Rumsfeld is doing an excellent or pretty good job, according to polling in March, while six in 10 said fair or poor.

In the run-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration repeatedly spoke of evidence that Saddam Hussein had acquired weapons of mass destruction. No such armaments have been found. Officials also spoke about connections between Saddam and al-Qaida that critics say remain unproven.

In recent weeks, at least a half dozen retired generals have called for Rumsfeld's resignation, saying he has ignored advice offered by military officers and made strategic errors in the Iraq war, including committing too few troops. But he has received strong backing by Bush, who repeatedly has indicated he will keep Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

When security guards tried removing McGovern, the analyst, during his persistent questions of Rumsfeld, the defense secretary told them to let him stay. The two continued to spar.

"You're getting plenty of play," Rumsfeld told McGovern, who is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.

Responding to another protester who also accused Rumsfeld of lying, the secretary said such accusations are "so wrong, so unfair and so destructive."

At one point, Rumsfeld was praised by an audience member who said he had followed Rumsfeld's career and wondered what in his upbringing had shaped his positive outlook on life.

"I guess one thing I'd say is that my mom was a school teacher and my dad read history voraciously. And I guess I adopted some of those patterns of reading history," Rumsfeld replied.

Rumsfeld focused his speech on a U.S. need to increase its emphasis on more flexible partnerships with foreign militaries and rethinking of the role of long-established alliances like NATO.

He called such changes "necessary adjustments, based on the new realities and the new threats that have emerged since the end of the Cold War."

He also said, "We need ways to make sure we're better understood in the world than we are."

Rumsfeld also likened the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Cold War.

"There is no question our country is facing difficulties in Iraq and difficulties in Afghanistan," he said

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press.

Rumsfeld: "Don't call it an insurgency."
By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued on Tuesday that the guerrillas fighting U.S.-led foreign forces and the American-backed government in Iraq do not deserve to be called an "insurgency."

Asked at a Pentagon news conference why he did not think the word insurgency applied to enemy forces in Iraq, Rumsfeld said he had "an epiphany."

"I've thought about it. And, over the weekend, I thought to myself, you know, that gives them a greater legitimacy than they seem to merit," Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld instead referred to the guerrillas in Iraq as "the terrorists" and "the enemies of the government." U.S. military statements also have referred to insurgents as "anti-Iraqi forces."

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines an insurgent as "a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government."

It is not the first time Rumsfeld has quibbled with words describing the enemy in Iraq. In June 2003, for example, Rumsfeld said the conflict was not a "guerrilla war," only to have his top commander in the region two weeks later call it "a classical guerrilla-type campaign."

"I think that you can have a legitimate insurgency in a country that has popular support and has a cohesiveness and has a legitimate gripe. These people don't have a legitimate gripe," Rumsfeld said.

"They've got a peaceful way to change that government -- through the constitution, through the elections. These people aren't trying to promote something other than disorder and to take over that country and turn it into a caliphate and then spread it around the world."

'I'M NOT TRAINABLE' During the briefing, the top U.S. military officer, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, slipped up twice and said "insurgent." With Rumsfeld standing at his side, Pace told reporters, "I have to use the word 'insurgent' because I can't think of a better word right now."

"'Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government' -- how's that?" Rumsfeld told Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Moments later, Pace again referred to "the insurgents," then told his boss, "Sorry, sir. I'm not trainable today."

Rumsfeld and reporters previously have sparred over the dictionary definition of words such as "quagmire" and "slog."

Rumsfeld described the enemy in Iraq as a mixture of "foreign terrorists," Saddam loyalists, Sunni Arab "rejectionists," criminals, and "people that do it for money."

U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003 and deposed President Saddam Hussein, but since then guerrilla forces have engaged in a bloody war for 2-1/2 years. More than 2,100 U.S. troops have died and nearly 16,000 more have been wounded in action.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
December 2, 2004

Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld Interview with Bill O'Reilly for The O'Reilly Factor

O’REILLY: What do you think is the biggest mistake the U.S.A has made in Iraq?
RUMSFELD: Well, I suppose you could, one looking at it today with 20/20 hindsight, would say it’s not anticipating, first of all, not finding WMD’s until, apparently it was wrong, or else they're buried or else we’ll find out something later. But at the moment it looks like they weren’t there. And I suppose the second thing would be, more current, would be the fact of, was it possible to better estimate the insurgency?

O’REILLY: Did somebody say to you, look, once we depose Saddam, these guys are going to go and fight a guerrilla campaign? Did any general or human being that advises you tell you that?
RUMSFELD: Oh, my goodness, I,

O’REILLY: (Brent) Scowcroft, he was saying that.
RUMSFELD: Course you, we’ve heard everything. We heard they were going to burn the bridges, light up the oil wells,

O’REILLY: Right.
RUMSFELD: There would be a humanitarian crisis, there would be a nasty refugee problem, that they were going to use weapons of mass destruction, so our people strapped on chemical suits every day. We, you can find intelligence that says almost anything. If you're asking, was there any kind of understanding or agreement that there would likely be a long insurgency afterwards, I don't believe that anyone would say if you dropped a plumb line through all that intelligence, that anyone would say that.

O’REILLY: Colin Powell didn't say it?
RUMSFELD: I’m not going to get into what people say in confidential meetings. I’ve seen all this stuff about,

O’REILLY: Woodward reports that he said it, in his book.
RUMSFELD: Well, then let Woodward, I haven’t read the book. I don't know.

O’REILLY: Okay. So you wouldn't say that it was a mistake that the United States made, not putting more soldiers there to fight the insurgency in the beginning?
RUMSFELD: No, I think not. I mean, there have been a lot of people who thought there should be more troops in Afghanistan,

O’REILLY: Right.
RUMSFELD: Not a question in Iraq. If you think about it, the Soviets had two (hundred thousand) or three hundred thousand in Afghanistan. And lost. Think about that. We had seventeen thousand and won.

O’REILLY: But I don't know if we’re going to win the aftermath.
RUMSFELD: In Afghanistan?

O’REILLY: No, in Iraq.
RUMSFELD: Okay. I’m talking about Afghanistan.

O’REILLY: All right.
RUMSFELD: But in Iraq we had the number of troops that the battlefield commanders asked for.

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] Then what could we have done differently?
RUMSFELD: And one has to believe that they know something about the subject.

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] Yeah but,
RUMSFELD: More than maybe some armchair people speculating from the side.

O’REILLY: True. But Marine General (Anthony) Zinni for example, said, you need more people in there. Senator McCain said, you need more people in there. So there were voices. But,
RUMSFELD: But who are you going to go with?

O’REILLY: I, listen, you're, you're,
RUMSFELD: [Overlapping Voices] Are you going to go with a battlefield commander,

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] The buck stops with you.
RUMSFELD: Exactly.

O’REILLY: The buck stops with you. You gotta make the call.
RUMSFELD: I mean, the senior military advisors, Dick Myers and Pete Pace, the battlefield commanders, Tom Franks, General Abizaid, General Casey, General Metz, every instance they have had exactly the number of troops they’ve asked for.

O’REILLY: Then what could you have done differently to stop this insurgency that is causing so much trouble?
RUMSFELD: Well, you're suggesting that it’s stoppable easily, and I,

O’REILLY: No, I’m not. No, I don't want to,
RUMSFELD: [Overlapping Voices] The question, the question implies that.

O’REILLY: But, but you said, we,
RUMSFELD: Let me answer, let me answer.

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] All right, but, let me, let me outline [Inaudible]. You said that the U.S.A. made a mistake in underestimating the insurgency.
RUMSFELD: You said that. I, I said that--

O’REILLY: Well, one of us said it.

O’REILLY: What, could we have done anything differently to fight this insurgency before it got out of hand?
RUMSFELD: We have been doing things differently ever since we got in there. In other words, what you have is a plan. And then you have a whole, a flexibility to, to deal with a whole set of excursions that might occur. You're dealing not with a static situation, you're dealing with an enemy with a brain. They get up every morning, go to school on what we’re doing, and change what they’re doing to advantage themselves. We get up every morning, see what they’re doing, and change what we’re doing to advantage ourselves against what they’re doing.

O’REILLY: How do we beat them?
RUMSFELD: Oh, well, it’s a test of wills. I mean, they haven’t won a single battle the entire time since the end of, of major combat operations.

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] Same thing happened in Vietnam, though,
RUMSFELD: [Overlapping Voices] They never, never won,

O’REILLY: They never beat us.
RUMSFELD: Oh, that's different. Vietnam. I, would set that aside, it’s somewhat different. But this is a test of wills, and that was, to be sure. We have a president who was determined to not yield to the extremists who are out chopping off people’s heads. Imagine if that country were turned over to those people. That's what they do.

O’REILLY: Oh, absolutely, they would let that,
RUMSFELD: It would be a terrible thing, just a ghastly thing.

O’REILLY: We agree on that. Can’t get out.
RUMSFELD: [Overlapping Voices] And what it takes is it takes some steadfastness and some purposefulness and having talented men and women out there in uniform doing an absolutely wonderful job. Think what’s happened. Twenty-five million people in Afghanistan have been liberated, they had an election. It’s a breathtaking accomplishment. Think of what’s happened in Iraq. Twenty-five million people have been liberated. The schools are open with new textbooks, the hospitals are open, the clinics are open, the stock market’s open, people are coming back into the country. Now, are there people being killed? Yes. Is it an ugly situation in parts of the country? Yes. Is it basically not ugly in most of the country? That's true. I mean,

O’REILLY: Can you,
RUMSFELD: If you take the provinces, three-quarters of them are relatively peaceful.

O’REILLY: Within two years, can the United States beat these insurgents?
RUMSFELD: It is, the, the task is, using the word beat sounds like you're in a war.

O’REILLY: Well, stabilize the country.
RUMSFELD: I think so. I think so. Well, I shouldn’t say that. The United States won’t do it, the Iraqi people will.

O’REILLY: Do you really believe the Iraqi people will fight? The South Vietnamese did not fight. Do you think the Iraqi people will fight?
RUMSFELD: Well look, we’ve lost -- and every one of them is a heartbreak --something like nine hundred and sixty-eight, (nine hundred) seventy men and women in uniform, killed in action. And two (hundred) or three (hundred) or four hundred others have been killed -- have died in accidents of various types. The Iraqis have lost more people than we have in their Iraqi security forces already. And they’ve only been organized in the last year or so. So, the Iraqi security forces are out there fighting. They're not sitting in their barracks hiding.

O’REILLY: Can they win? Can they beat these terrorists?
RUMSFELD: Well, of course they can. They're going to.

O’REILLY: All right.
RUMSFELD: I believe it.

O’REILLY: I hope so.

O’REILLY: I mean, we’re all praying that,
RUMSFELD: Well I am, too.

O’REILLY: And I, all loyal Americans want,
RUMSFELD: Yeah. I know that.

O’REILLY: A stable Iraq. We all do.
RUMSFELD: And I must say you have been terrific, your program has been terrific supporters of the troops.

O’REILLY: We try to be fair.
RUMSFELD: And, and uh,

O’REILLY: We absolutely try to be fair.

RUMSFELD: In fact I brought you this dog tag from America Supports You.

O’REILLY: Well, thank you. That's very kind of you. That's our pleasure, [Overlapping Voices] and our privilege to do it. Now let’s talk about Iran. What kind of a problem is Iran aiding these insurgents in Iraq?
RUMSFELD: It’s a big problem. The border is porous, there's nothing you can do about it. These people go back and forth pretty freely, and where there is a checkpoint bribery works, in that part of the world, we know that. The Iraqi -- the Iranian government has been harboring, Al Qaeda. It has a desire to influence what happens in that country in a way that favors people that are friendly to them, and they’ve been unhelpful. They also have religious sites for the Shi’a religion, and they’re going to be coming in there continuously. So there's not much you can do about it except the Iraqi people have to do it.

O’REILLY: Well that's right.

O’REILLY: I mean, the killing will continue unless the Iraqi people start to say we want it to stop.
RUMSFELD: And they are. I mean, the people in Fallujah starting giving assistance to the troops and to the Iraqi forces up there fighting. They're doing it now in Mosul. The Iraqi people are going to have a tolerance level that's going to be breached at some point, and they're going to say by golly, this is a country that we want to have. These people are killing Iraqis, they're killing many more innocent Iraqis, the extremists are, than they're killing the coalition forces.

O’REILLY: Again, I hope you're right. Now, we find out today, that Iran is now, has a long-range missile development system to go along with their nuclear development. Are we going to have to confront Iran militarily, in your opinion?
RUMSFELD: The President’s obviously decided thus far that it’s a diplomatic matter, and he’s been trying to work with European allies and with the United Nations to get the, I.A.W -- the IAEI to put pressure on the Iranians to behave differently with respect to their nuclear programs, [Overlapping Voices] and they haven’t. And what one has to do at that stage is continue to put pressure on them, and it’s up to the countries of the United Nations to decide what kind of steps they may or may not want to take.

O’REILLY: But the United Nations is corrupt, weak, and ineffective.
RUMSFELD: It ultimately stepped up pretty much on the Iraqi matter.

O’REILLY: The United Nations did?
RUMSFELD: Well sure, they passed resolutions finally,

O’REILLY: We had to do it all. We’re doing it all over there. It’s Britain and the United States. The U.N.’s not helping us over there. They pulled out as soon as the first bomb went off.
RUMSFELD: [Overlapping Voices] No, in terms of resolutions, in terms of the resolutions.

O’REILLY: But I mean, look, I think the American people are very worried about Iran, don’t you?

O’REILLY: I think the American people are very worried about Iran. They’re harboring Al Qaeda, as you’ve pointed out. They’re developing nuclear as you pointed out. Now we find out they got long-range missiles. I mean, the Israelis can’t like that.
RUMSFELD: That's true.

O’REILLY: So, what are the odds of us having to confront these people militarily?
RUMSFELD: Well, I guess that's, those are calls for the President to, or for the, or for other leaders of other countries to make, and, but, let me put it this way. If you think about Iran, it is a big country. It is a country with an interesting history. It’s a country with an educated population. It is a country with a large number of women and young people who are being managed by a small handful of clerics in a way that is basically unacceptable to them. That is not a stable situation.

RUMSFELD: My hope is that over time we will see a shift in that country, just as we saw a shift from the Shah to the Ayatollah. It happened almost overnight.

O’REILLY: But we can’t let a North Korea develop in Iran, can we? Where they got nuclear weapons, we can’t let that happen.
RUMSFELD: The Iranians are making a lot of mistakes, let me just put it that way.

O’REILLY: All right.
RUMSFELD: And they're notably unhelpful in Afghanistan and they’re notably unhelpful in Iraq.

O’REILLY: I’m going to take that as a, we can’t let another North Korea develop in Iran.
RUMSFELD: I generally say roughly what I think. And I said they are being unhelpful.

O’REILLY: Okay. What did you think about the Pakistani army withdrawing from northwest Pakistan and saying hey, we’re not going to look for Osama up there any more. That was pretty bad; that just happened last week.
RUMSFELD: I don't think it happened.

O’REILLY: They said it did.
RUMSFELD: I know they did. And I don't know who they is, but, I read it,

O’REILLY: The Iraqi, the Pakistani army.
RUMSFELD: I read it, right, I read it, and I saw a brief interview that was kind of halting in English that sounded somewhat like you said. On the other hand, we’ve checked with the Iraqi government,

O’REILLY: The Pakistani government.
RUMSFELD: I mean, correction, the Pakistani government. President Musharraf is coming here on Saturday. And, and I do not believe that is their position, that what I have been advised is that they fully intend to continue putting pressure on the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They have been doing it. President Musharraf has done an outstanding job of managing a very difficult situation in that country, we are so fortunate to have a courageous leader in that nation which has a lot of pressures from extremists, on him, several assassination attempts against him. He has put (the) Pakistani army into the tribal areas where they’ve never gone before historically, and he has been putting pressure on the Taliban and the Al Qaeda, and it’s been very helpful to us because we’ve been working the other side of the border.

O’REILLY: Right.
RUMSFELD: Now, will he continue it? We’re told yes, he will.

O’REILLY: Let’s hope so. Where is Osama?
RUMSFELD: You sound like my wife.

O’REILLY: [Laughs]I hope that's a compliment.
RUMSFELD: If I knew I wouldn't tell you.

O’REILLY: No, do you have any general idea where he is?
RUMSFELD: Well, everyone thinks he’s in Pakistan, but –

O’REILLY: Is that still the,
RUMSFELD: But if you don’t know where he is, you don’t know where he is. And so when people speculate about where they think he is, I say to them, myself, [Inaudible] smart person who thinks they know where he is, go find him.

O’REILLY: Shouldn’t we know where he is?
RUMSFELD: Well, I mean, how long do people stay on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List in our country?

O’REILLY: Most wanted man in the world, though.
RUMSFELD: Ten, fifteen, twenty years. We haven’t found Mullah Omar. On the other hand, we found Saddam Hussein and his two sons, and we’re plucking off the leadership of Al Qaeda and the leadership of the Taliban and the leadership of the extremists in Iraq. Day after day after day people are getting scooped up in Iraq.

O’REILLY: What do you think of the International Red Cross condemning the way the U.S.A is treating prisoners in Guantanamo Bay?
RUMSFELD: I have not had a chance to read the latest missive from them.

O’REILLY: They basically say we’re torturing them.

O’REILLY: That's what they say.
RUMSFELD: They say basically that holding people for the long term without indicating to them, is tantamount to mental torture.

O’REILLY: Do you agree with that?
RUMSFELD: Well, I guess it’s not. I’m not a lawyer, and I, my attitude is that if uh, that our President and our country and our government and I support it, made a decision that we lost three thousand people in this country, on September 11. And they were killed by extremists. And, the idea that we should go out and try to stop extremists from killing three thousand more, or thirty thousand more, for that matter, that we, we should go out and, and capture or kill them, and then release the ones that are alive, back into the terrorist movement so that they can kill more people, I just don’t understand that.

O’REILLY: Well, they want them to have lawyers, is what the Human Rights Watch and all these people, they want them to have lawyers.
RUMSFELD: Well the basic, I think the basic thing most recently from the I.C.R.C. is the concept that they’ve developed, which I don't think exists in the Geneva Convention,

O’REILLY: It doesn’t,
RUMSFELD: It doesn’t exist in international law.

O’REILLY: Right.
RUMSFELD: That they’ve decided on their own that it is tantamount to quote, torture, and of course that's a hot button word. It’s tantamount to torture to keep somebody without telling them what, how long they're going to stay in jail. Well, every war, prisoners of war were kept in, without charges, without lawyers, until the war was over.

O’REILLY: They don’t see it as a war, the International Red Cross.
RUMSFELD: I understand.

O’REILLY: So that's just, you're not taking that seriously.
RUMSFELD: We just have a fundamental disagreement.

O’REILLY: Right. Good. What about this poor Marine in Fallujah? I mean, I don't think this guy should be hung, I’m sorry, I, you know, I’m following this, and our audience is extremely concerned about this Marine,

O’REILLY: He’s back in Camp Pendleton now. Whereas his,
RUMSFELD: Well, let me say two things. First is, as Secretary of Defense, I’m in the chain of command. And there's a thing called command influence, where if I said anything, that biased it one way or another, it would adversely affect the case. It could adversely affect him,

O’REILLY: Is that right,
RUMSFELD: Absolutely.

RUMSFELD: And so I can’t,

O’REILLY: All right.
RUMSFELD: On the other hand, let me just say generically what’s going on out there. We’ve got a wonderful group of volunteer soldiers, sailors, and Marines and the Air Force. And those ground forces go out every day and they know there are bodies that are booby traps. They know that there are snipers, they know that they're vulnerable, they know that their colleagues get killed or wounded, from day to day. And they're asked to make -- kind of like a policeman is in an inner city -- you're asked to make a decision, a life or death decision in a split second. That is a tough job.

O’REILLY: So why is this Marine, why don’t you just say hey, you know, he did what he had to do and let him go?
RUMSFELD: Oh, because we have a legal system here, the Uniform Code of Military Justice,

O’REILLY: Tell them to speed it up, you can do that.
RUMSFELD: Speed it up, I told them to speed it up,

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] Yeah. I mean, do you know what agony,
RUMSFELD: [Overlapping Voices] It would adversely affect the case.

O’REILLY: All right, maybe that's true.
RUMSFELD: If I say anything about, maybe it’s true? It is true.

O’REILLY: Put the guy on with me and I’ll tell him.
RUMSFELD: [Laughs]

O’REILLY: Because the family, no, but really, it’s not a laughing matter. The family of this Marine’s going through hell, he’s going through hell, it’s a morale buster for our troops, everybody knows it. Let’s get this thing done, and let this guy go back to his unit.
RUMSFELD: Look, there was a case in the past where a person in the chain of command was asked about a person who was charged with a felony. And he said, he made a comment about the person, favorable or negative, and that was sufficient to throw the case out, or, to,

O’REILLY: Yeah, all I want is that they expedite it quickly. That's what I want. I think everybody wants that. Fast.
RUMSFELD: Listen, justice delayed is justice denied.

O’REILLY: Right. Okay. Last question about policy, and then I want to ask one about you if you don’t mind. The ACLU is attacking the Boy Scouts,
RUMSFELD: Again, and again, and again.

O’REILLY: And again. We all know this is a don’t ask, don’t tell policy.
RUMSFELD: And they do it to raise money.

O’REILLY: I, well,
RUMSFELD: I shouldn’t say that, I don't know that,

O’REILLY: Are you a supporter of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy, number one.
RUMSFELD: That's the policy of the department.

O’REILLY: Do you support it as a Secretary of Defense?
RUMSFELD: Why certainly.

O’REILLY: You do.
RUMSFELD: I support all the policies of this department, I have to.

O’REILLY: Do you think it’s a fair policy?

O’REILLY: All right, so, so don’t ask, don’t tell, policy of this administration, you're okay with it. Because that's the genesis of all these attacks. With the ACLU filing a lawsuits against the D.O.D., has succeeded now in having the D.O.D. not sponsor Boy Scout troops all over the world. Now you know, I got thousands of letters from military people going, we want our kids in the Boy Scouts, in the base in Okinawa, and everywhere else.

O’REILLY: What are you going to do about it.
RUMSFELD: Okay, here's the situation. I was a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, an Eagle Scout, a distinguished Eagle Scout, and I’m for the Scouts. Let there be no doubt. the Department of Defense has had a long-standing excellent relationship with the Boy Scouts. It has been mutually beneficial. It has helped the Department of Defense and the soldiers and sailors,

RUMSFELD: And it helps the Boy Scouts. And that's a good thing. Apparently what happened was a macro lawsuit by the ACLU and at some moment the Department of Justice and the, some lawyers in the Department of Defense settled a sliver of that suit. When we found out about it, we heard that Senator Frist was sponsoring some concurrent resolutions and he supported that, and he now is working on some legislation which we are working with him on. The current situation is, we do not believe, and I, again, I am not a lawyer, but I am told by the lawyers, I do not believe that what took place in terms of that sliver of the larger case that was settled will alter in any way anything that the Boy Scouts and the Department of Defense have done together in the past.

O’REILLY: So you’ll still sponsor Scout troops.
RUMSFELD: The phraseology, I think, is,

O’REILLY: You might change the phraseology.
RUMSFELD: I think that there's a, a marginal difference, I’m told, by the lawyers, between cooperating, allowing the Jamborees to occur,

O’REILLY: Right.
RUMSFELD: And all of these things, and a base commander officially becoming the sponsor of something,

O’REILLY: All right, so, so you can dance around with,
RUMSFELD: Exactly. But, but this is a good relationship, it ought to continue, and as long as I am here I’ll do everything to see that it does.

O’REILLY: Can’t you institute a draft for the ACLU, just them?
RUMSFELD: [Laughs]

O’REILLY: Can’t, can’t you do that and just,
RUMSFELD: I’m against the draft. That's one of these myths that went around during the campaign.

O’REILLY: [Overlapping Voices] I know, I know, I just want to see if we could deploy them maybe to, some outpost somewhere, Saipan? All right. What about your future, are you quitting, are you going to retire, are you leaving? Tell me the truth.
RUMSFELD: The truth is that this is an issue between the President and a cabinet officer. And it strikes me that it’s up to the President to make any decision –

O’REILLY: You're not going to, you're not going to quit.
RUMSFELD: I’m not going to discuss it. [Laughter]

O’REILLY: Your prerogative, you're an American and you don’t want to discuss it, I can’t force you. Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us today.
RUMSFELD: Thank you. I appreciate your coming in and it’s good to visit with you.

O’REILLY: All right, that was great.

Rumsfeld says no 'strong, hard evidence' of Saddam-Qaeda connection

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday he has seen no "strong, hard evidence" linking former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein with Al-Qaeda, backing away from his pre-war assertions that contacts between the two went back over a decade.

"I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way," he told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations after being asked what Saddam's connection to Al-Qaeda was.

Rumsfeld said there were differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was.

"To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," he said.

The nexus between terrorism and the Iraqi regime was a key point in the US effort to persuade the world that Saddam Hussein had to be dealt with after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

In September 2002, Rumsfeld said the United States had "credible" information that Al-Qaeda and Iraq had discussed safe havens and non-aggression agreements, and that Al-Qaeda leaders have sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction.

In his comments Monday, Rumsfeld said he had relied on the Central Intelligence Agency for his information in the past, and appeared to blame the intelligence reporting for the way the relationship between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein was portrayed.

"I just read an intelligence report recently about one person who's connected to Al-Qaeda who was in and out of Iraq. And it is the most tortured description of why he might have had a relationship and why he might not have had a relationship," he said.

"There are reports about people in Saddam Hussein's intelligence service meeting in one country or another with Al-Qaeda people for one person or another, which may have been indicative of something or may not have been," he said.

"It may have been something that was not representative of a hard linkage," he said.

Rumsfeld added, however, that Saddam and his regime were "not Little Sisters of the Poor." Iraq was on the State Department's terrorist list and made payments for Palestinian suicide bombings, he said.

"The relationships between these folks are complicated. They evolve and change over time. In many cases, these different networks have common funders.

"In many cases, they cooperate not in a chain of command, but in a loose affiliation, a franchising arrangement, almost, where they go do different things and cooperate," he said.

He said most of Al-Qaeda's senior leaders had sworn an oath to Osama bin Laden.

"And to my knowledge, even as of this late date, I don't believe (Abu Mussab al-) Zarqawi, the principal leader of the network in Iraq, has sworn an oath, even though ... they're just two peas in a pod in terms of what they're doing," he said.

Zarqawi's reported presence in Baghdad before the war has been cited in the past by the US administration as evidence of a link between Saddam and Al-Qaeda.

In his comments two years ago, Rumsfeld said the presence of senior Al-Qaeda leaders in Baghdad was backed by "solid evidence," and there was reliable reporting of contacts over the previous decade that had grown in frequence after 1998.

"For a long time I have not said what I believe, nor do I ever believe I what I say, and if indeed sometimes I do happen to tell the truth, I hide it among so many lies that it is hard to find."
— Niccolò Machiavelli

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, facing growing demands that he resign or be fired, apologized to Congress on Friday for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Rumsfeld said, 'I take full responsibility. This happened on my watch. I feel terrible.' He went on to add, 'My heart goes out, yada yada yada, you had me at hello, blah blah blah, I'm a genius you're all morons, you can't handle the truth, can I go now, ahhh.' "
— Tina Fey

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said today that those pictures of Iraqi POW's being humiliated are deeply disturbing. Well, dude what else is he going to say, 'Well you know, I found them to be kind of a turn on.' "
— Jay Leno

"Rumsfeld said that the Geneva Convention applies to Iraqi prisoners, but not to those at Guantanamo Bay... That's because nobody has pictures of Guantanamo Bay."
— Conan O'Brien

"I'm not a lawyer, but what has been charged is abuse, which is technically not torture."
— Donald Rumsfeld

"I'm also not a lawyer, so I don't technically know if you're human... But as a fake newsperson, I can tell you from the pictures we've seen, it's fucking torture."
— Jon Stewart

"When I'm asked a question as to whether I've read the entire report, I answer honestly that I have not. It is a mountain of paper and investigative material."
— Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about the Abu Ghraib report

"Secretary of State Rumsfeld has served our nation well."
— George W. Bush, on whether he'd ask Rumsfeld for his resignation over cover-up at Abu Ghraib.

"You're going to have good days and bad days."
— Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about violence in Iraq  3/7/04


Monday, December 1, 2003 Posted: 1:26 PM EST (1826 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A comment last year by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was awarded the "Foot in Mouth" prize Monday by Britain's Plain English Campaign.

Rumsfeld, renowned for his uncompromising tough talking, received the prize for the most baffling comment by a public figure. "Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know," Rumsfeld told a news briefing. "We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

John Lister, spokesman for the campaign, which strives to have public information delivered in clear, straightforward English, said: "We think we know what he means. But we don't know if we really know."