Donald Rumsfeld Pt. 1

  • Aired:  02/23/11
  •  | Views: 99,944

Donald Rumsfeld agrees that the Bush administration showed a face of certainty in presenting intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq war. (8:54)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK MY GUEST

TONIGHT SERVED AS A SECRETARY OF

DEFENSE IN TWO DIFFERENT

PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATIONS.

MOST RECENTLY UNDER GEORGE W.

BUSH.

HIS MEMOIR IS CALLED KNOWN AND

UNKNOWN.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

DONALD RUMSFELD.

SIR, NICE SO SEE YOU -- NICE TO

SEE YOU.

THANK YOU.

PLEASE COME AND JOIN US.

THANK USM.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

-- THANK YOU.

[ APPLAUSE ]

THANK YOU.

PLEASE THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: WE APPRECIATE IT.

THE BOOK IS "KNOWN AND UNKNOWN."

THAT'S YOU RIGHT INTEREST --

RIGHT THERE IN A VEST.

>> IN TAOS, NEW MEXICO.

>> Jon: IS THAT TAOS, LOVELY

PLACE.

OBVIOUSLY HE WILL TPAPBLT IN THE

ROOM, TENSION.

I THINK I KNOW WHY YOU ARE HERE

AND LET ME DEFLATE THE TENSION

RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

APOLOGY ACCEPTED.

[LAUGHTER]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

AND NOW WE CAN MOVE ON AND HAVE

A NICE DAY, A NICE CONVERSATION.

I KNOW IT'S BEEN TROUBLING YOU

FOR SOME TIME NOW.

I DO THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO

START.

SO LET'S START WITH IRAQ.

>> OKAY WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED?

>> Jon: I DON'T KNOW I'LL TAKE

YOUR STONEY SILENCE AS

ACCEPTANCE.

[LAUGHTER]

THERE'S AN INTERESTING QUOTE

THAT YOU HAD IN THE BOOK ABOUT

JOHN YOU ARE -- YOU URLICHMAN.

YOU SAY TO HIM ABOUT HIM, HE

SEEMED TO HAVE A HIGH DEGREE OF

CERTAINTY ABOUT HIS VIEWS THAT

BORDERED ON ARROGANCE, A TRAIT

THAT DID HIM NO FAVORS AS HE

GATHERED MORE INFLUENCE IN THE

WHITE HOUSE.

CERTAINTY WITHOUT POWER CAN BE

INTERESTING AND AMUSING.

CERTAINTY WITH POWER CAN BE

DANGEROUS.

I THOUGHT, BOY IF THERE WAS OF A

SOLID CRITIQUE OF HOW I FELT

ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATION YOU

SERVED UNDER UNDER PRESIDENT

BUSH IT WOULD BE THAT.

CERTAINTY WITH POWER IS

DANGEROUS.

TRUE OR FALSE?

[LAUGHTER]

>> IF YOU GO TO THE WEB SITE

THAT I PUT UP, RUMSFELD.COM,

THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF DOCUMENTS,

THOUSANDS OF PAGES, AND WHAT YOU

WILL SEE IS THE ABSENCE OF

CERTAINTY.

YOU WILL SEE PROBING,

QUESTIONING, WONDERING, DO WE

HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION, ARE

THERE MORE THINGS WE OUGHT TO

KNOW.

IT'S EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

>> Jon: IF YOU WOULD GO TO MY

TiVo.

>> I DON'T THINK I KNOW WHAT

THAT MEANS.

>> Jon: YOU SAID

RUPLZFELD.COM.

YOU ARE AHEAD OF ME.

I'M LICKING STAMPS AND PUTTING

THEM ON ENVELOPES AND HOPING IT

GETS TO WHEREVER IT'S GOING.

I GUESS I'M DRAWING A

DISTINCTION PERHAPS BETWEEN THE

INTERNAL DELIBERATIONS AND --

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: AND WHAT WAS PRESENTED

TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.

BECAUSE PRESENTED TO THE

AMERICAN PUBLIC WAS A PICTURE OF

NOT JUST RELATIVE CERTAINTY,

CERTAINTY BORDERING ON

ARROGANCE.

THERE WAS A DISMISSIVENESS TO

ANYONE WHO CHALLENGE THAT

CERTAINTY.

NOT HOW YOU REMEMBER IT?

>> IT ISN'T AT ALL REALLY.

>> Jon: WHY?

>> I KNOW WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH

MY MIND AND I KNOW THE KINDS OF

QUESTIONS THE PRESIDENT WOULD

ASK AND THE QUESTIONS THAT COLIN

POWELL OR CONDI RICE OR THE VICE

PRESIDENT WOULD ASK.

THERE WAS A SEARCHING -- THERE

WAS LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

>> Jon: A YEARNING, IF YOU

WILL.

>> NOT QUITE THE WORD I WOULD

HAVE USED.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: YOU DISAGREE THAT THE

ADMINISTRATION SHOWED A FACE OF

CERTAINTY WHEN IT COME TO THE

INTELLIGENCE IN THE LEADUP TO

THE IRAQ WAR.

>> NO, IN THAT RESPECT YOU ARE

EXACTLY RIGHT.

THERE'S NO QUESTION BUT THE

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY PRESENTED

THAT INFORMATION.

COLIN POWELL MADE THE

PRESENTATION AT THE UNITED

NATIONS.

HE SPENT -- HE PROBABLY HAD AS

MUCH EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH

INTELLIGENCE PRODUCTS AS ANYONE

IN THE GOVERNMENT INCLUDING THE

DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A.

HE SPENT DAYS ON IT.

HE WORKED HARD ON IT.

HE BELIEVED EVERY WORD HE SAID

AND HE PRESENTED IT THAT WAY.

NOW, THE INTELLIGENCE ALWAYS IS

NEVER PERFECT.

IT'S ALWAYS QUESTIONED.

YOU HAVE TO REQUEST IT.

>> Jon: DID YOU KNOW

INTELLIGENCE WAS NEVER PERFECT?

>> OH, MY GOODNESS, YES.

>> Jon: I FEEL LIKE WE'RE

SITTING ON A PORCH NOW SIPPING

LEMONADE.

>> I SAID WHAT I SHOULDN'T HAVE

SAID.

>> Jon: GEE WILLIKERS.

>> I MAKE FUN OF THAT BUT THERE

ARE PEOPLE WHO IN THE HEARTLAND

OF AMERICA THAT TALK LIKE I DO.

MAYBE NOT THE COAST.

>> Jon: ON THE COAST WE JUST

CURSE AND HAVE GAY SEX.

THAT'S ALL WE DO.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

WE JUST RETURN AROUND CURSING

AND GAY SEXING EACH OTHER.

[LAUGHTER]

>> LET ME GO BACK TO COLIN

POWELL.

>> Jon: POWELL WAS NOT THE

ONLY ONE.

>> OF COURSE NOT.

THE PRESIDENT MADE THE DECISION.

COLIN POWELL MADE THE

PRESENTATION.

THERE WAS NO ONE IN THE NSC WHO

DISAGREED WITH THAT.

>> Jon: I WOULD TAKE ISSUE

WITH SOME OF THEM.

BEFORE -- FOR INSTANCE, THE

LINKAGE BETWEEN SADDAM HUSSEIN

AND AL QAEDA IN TERMS OF THE

INTELLIGENCE.

>> THERE WASN'T MUCH OF A

LINKAGE AT ALL.

>> Jon: THANK YOU.

WE DIDN'T HEAR THAT THOUGH.

WHAT WE HEARD WAS THERE WAS A

DIRECT LINK.

YOU CAN NOT TALK ABOUT THE WAR

ON TERROR.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS FELLOW,

YOU DIDN'T MENTION HIS NAME BUT

AL LIBBY DESCRIBED TRAINING THAT

HAD BEEN OCCURRING FROM IRAQ TO

AL QAEDA.

>> THERE HAVE BEEN TRAINING

CAMPS AND THERE WAS AN AL QAEDA

CONNECTED GROUP THAT WAS

ACTUALLY PREPARING CHEMICALS.

WE FOUND TRACES OF RICIN AND

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE AFTER

OPERATIONS.

SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS GIVING

$25,000 TO THE FAMILIES OF

SUICIDE BOMBERS.

HE WAS ON THE STATE DEPARTMENT

TERRORIST LIST FOR YEARS.

>> Jon: NO QUESTION, HE WAS ON

THE LIST.

MY ULTIMATE POINT IS -- I'M

SOMEWHAT GETTING TO IT -- THERE

WAS NO REAL MOMENTUM FOR A WAR

IN IRAQ.

WE HAD TO FOCUS THE COUNTRY ON

THAT AFGHANISTAN DIDN'T TAKE

MUCH CONVINCING.

PEOPLE, I THINK, THEY ARE BEHIND

THAT.

>> THAT IS FAIR.

>> Jon: SO THE WHITE HOUSE,

AND THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT AND

THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAD TO

COORDINATE A PRETTY

EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT TO GATHER

INFORMATION AND CONVINCE AMERICA

THAT THIS WAS IN OUR BEST

INTEREST TO DO SO.

AND WOULD IT BE FAIR TO CONSIDER

THAT IN THE EFFORT THAT IT TOOK

TO SELL US THIS --

>> THAT'S A --

>> Jon: LET ME BACK UP.

>> A LITTLE STRONG.

>> Jon: IN THE EFFORT IT TOOK

TO THE ADMINISTRATION TO --

>> PRESENT -- I'M JUST TRYING TO

HELP YOU.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: THANK YOU I APPRECIATE

THAT.

IF ONLY I TALKED TO YOU BEFORE.

[LAUGHTER]

NOT SELL -- I WOULDN'T SAY

PRESENT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT

PRESENT.

THEY GAVE US -- AGAIN THEY WERE

PRETTY CERTAIN WHEN IT CAME OUT.

ALL THE DELIBERATION HAD BEEN

DONE.

>> YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT I DO AT

ONE POINT?

>> Jon: YES.

>> IN THE BOOK I TALK ABOUT IT.

I SAT DOWN AND PREPARED A LIST

OF ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD GO

WRONG.

>> Jon: A PARADE OF HORRIBLES.

>> EXACTLY.

ONE OF THEM WAS THERE MIGHT NOT

BE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

>> Jon: THAT'S RIGHT.

>> ANOTHER ONE WAS IT MIGHT LAST

SIX OR EIGHT YEARS.

>> Jon: DID YOU STAR THOSE?

>> NO, I DIDN'T.

I DIDN'T BELIEVE THEM I JUST

KNEW THAT A RATIONAL PERSON HAD

TO SAY WHAT COULD GO WRONG.

>> Jon: GREAT.

NOW WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE.

>> I PRESENTED THEM TO THE

PRESIDENT AND THE NATIONAL

SECURITY COUNCIL.

CAN I GIVE YOU A BACKGROUND.

>> Jon: NO.

WOULDN'T A RATIONAL PERSON -- I

GUESS WHAT I'M SAYING THE EFFORT

ON PRESENTING US THE INFORMATION

OF CERTAINTY THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN

WAS A GREAT THREAT THAT HAD

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

CAPABILITY AND WAS IN THE

PROCESS OF DISSEMINATING THAT TO

AL QAEDA OP PRA ACTIVES, THE

EFFORT TO -- OPERATIVES --

>> JIEWF OVERSTATED.

GOODNESS GRACIOUS.

>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

WE'RE GOING TO GO TO COMMERCIAL.

WE'LL COME BACK AND I WILL

FINISH.

I'LL TRY TO RE

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