US - Iraq War
Pros and Cons
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Donald Rumsfeld
Former US Secretary of Defense

The "On or before Mar. 19, 2003" column lists key statements made before military operations began in Iraq. The "On or after Mar. 20, 2003" column lists statements made after the military operations in Iraq had been initiated on Mar. 19, 2003 at 9:34 pm Eastern Standard Time. The statements are provided solely as a background resource to the question, "Should the US have attacked Iraq?"


On or before Mar. 19, 2003
[listed in reverse chronological order: most recent]

Jan. 7, 2003


Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's statement in a Department of Defense news briefing:
  • "The president has stated what he has stated. The Central Intelligence Agency has stated publicly, as well as in classified sessions, their conclusions. And their conclusions have tended to be, over a period of time, A, that we do not have evidence that they have nuclear weapons; we do have evidence that they have had a nuclear program that was robust; and that they were very skilled in denial and deception. With respect to chemical weapons, we know they not only have hid them but that they've used them. And with respect to biological weapons, we have clearly - the Central Intelligence Agency has said what it has said, and there's no doubt in my mind that they currently have chemical and biological weapons."
    Jan. 7, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Nov. 18, 2002

Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's media availability en route to Chile:

  • "There's no question but that in a repressive regime like Iraq, there tends to be a small ruling clique that runs the country, and there are people away from that who are part of the administration of the country. It may be the army; it may be the local police forces or border guards, or it may be people who keep the sewers working and the water system working that are technically part of the Iraqi government in one form or another, who in a very real sense may be like many citizens in the country, hostages to this small ruling clique. And certainly we are, have, are and will communicate directly with the Iraqi people and with elements of the Iraqi society the truth, namely the problem is the Saddam Hussein regime. It is the people that are engaged in developing weapons of mass destruction, and let there be no doubt anyone that is involved in the use of weapons of mass destruction will be particularly held accountable in the event that it becomes necessary and the president or the U.N. make a decision to use force in Iraq."

  • "Let me state what I think is accurate [concerning WMD on the ground in Iraq]. Weapons of mass destruction can be in various stages of evolution. They can be in the developmental, laboratory stage. They can be in production stage. They can be in the transit stage. They can be in the weaponization stage and they can be in the deployed weaponization stage, artillery shells, unmanned aerial vehicles, SCUDS with chemical weapons, whatever."
    Nov. 18, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


Nov. 14, 2002

Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview with Infinity CBS Radio:

  • "Well, we know that Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons. And we know he has an active program for the development of nuclear weapons. I suppose what it would prove would be that the inspections process had been successfully defeated by the Iraqis if they find nothing. That's what one would know if that turned out to be the case. There's no question but that the Iraqi regime is clever. They have spent a lot of time hiding things, dispersing things, tunneling underground, taking documentation and moving it to different locations in the past, preventing inspectors from getting access, listening in on what inspectors intend to do. And before the inspectors arrive to do it, seeing that what was there is moved or the effort is frustrated in some way."

  • "There is a danger that Saddam Hussein would do things that he's done previously. He has, in the past, used chemical weapons, for example, on his own people. And he's used chemical weapons on his neighbors. And one has to be prepared and concerned that that could occur.

    Terrorists have attacked the United States on September 11th, and U.S. interests around the world on other occasions. And I don't doubt for a minute that if he's [Saddam Hussein] able, he would like to try to see that terrorist attacks would occur in the event that force were to be used by the United Nations, or by a coalition of the willing."

  • "Well, I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11th and ask yourself this question, was the attack that took place on September 11th an imminent threat the month before, or two months before, or three months before, or six months before? When did the attack on September 11th become an imminent threat? When was it sufficiently dangerous to our country that had we known about it that we could have stepped up and stopped it and saved 3,000 lives?

    Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years, or a week, or a month, and if Saddam Hussein were to take his weapons of mass destruction and transfer them, either use them himself or transfer them to the al Qaeda, and somehow the al Qaeda were to engage in an attack on the United States, or an attack on U.S. forces overseas, with a weapon of mass destruction you're not talking about 300, or 3,000 people potentially being killed, but 30,000, or 100,000 human beings. So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something, is a tough question. But if you think about it, it's the nexus, the connection, the relationship between terrorist states and weapons of mass destruction with terrorist networks that has changed our lives, and changed the security environment in the world.

    And right now in the Congress the intelligence committees in the House and Senate are working very hard, trying to connect the dots as to who knew what before September 11th, how might it have been stopped. Our task, your task as a mother, and as a citizen, as a voter, and my task, is to try to connect the dots before something happens, not afterwards. People say, well where's the smoking gun? Well, we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction. We have an obligation to try to defend the people of our country and the interests we have, and that is why the president went to the United Nations and sought a resolution, and received unanimous support to try to see if we can't get a peaceful solution to the Iraqi problem."

  • "He [Saddam Hussein] is clearly a survivor, he is a brutal, repressive dictator; he has imposed enormous harm to his people. His determination to have weapons of mass destruction is so great that he's denied his people billions and billions and billions of dollars of revenue they would have if he wanted to give up his weapons and have the sanctions lifted. But, he won't do it. He has an attitude about himself that suggests that he wants to try to destabilize the neighboring countries, and periodically describes them as illegitimate, and attempts to take them over. I guess he is a long-term dictator who has killed an awful lot of people. He's even used chemical weapons on his own people."

  • "The terrorist states, one of which is Iraq. Another is Iran, and Libya, and Syria, and Korea and Cuba, and they're all on the terrorist state list, have varying relationships with these so-called terrorist networks, Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda, and six or eight others. In some cases, the relationships are quite well known, and well defined."

  • "And in the case of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, the words that have come back as being appropriate for release publicly are something like this: That the relationship -- that our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda is still developing. That there is no question but that there have been interaction between the Iraqi government, Iraqi officials, and al Qaeda operatives. They have occurred over a span of some eight or ten years to our knowledge. There are currently al Qaeda in Iraq.

    It is not possible for me to elaborate as to exactly what the linkage between the people in Iraq who are known Al Qaeda operatives, and the Iraqi Intelligence Service is. I can't comment on that, I can say that if you're living in a dictatorship that's repressive, that is as controlling as the Saddam Hussein regime is, it's hard for one to believe that there would be senior people from the al Qaeda in that country and have the regime not be aware of them."

  • "In the event that force has to be used with Iraq, there will be no World War III. The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that. And, it won't be a World War III. And if I were to characterize the difference between 1990 and today, the United States military is vastly more powerful. And the Iraqi Army and military capability has declined substantially. The difference is, the reason for needing to disarm Iraq, and that is chemical and biological weapons today, and a very robust effort to develop nuclear weapons tomorrow. And, that is the difference between today and then."

  • "It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil. It has nothing to do with the religion."

  • "And it's certainly not about oil. Oil is fungible, and people who own it want to sell it, and it will be available."
    Nov. 14, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 27, 2002

Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's comments at a press conference at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce:

  • "As we speak, chemist, biologists, nuclear scientists are toiling in weapons labs and underground bunkers around the world, working to give terrorist regimes and terrorist networks weapons of unprecedented power and lethality. Those regimes are working with terrorist networks. If they share weapons of mass destruction terrorist states could of course attack our people without fingerprints."

  • "There are a number of terrorist states that are pursuing weapons of mass destruction...no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to our security that that of Iraq.

    Consider the following: Saddam Hussein ordered the use of chemical weapons against his own people, in one case killing some 5,000 innocent civilians. His regime invaded two of his neighbors. He plays host to terrorist networks, assassinates his opponents -- both in Iraq and abroad. His regime has committed genocide and ethnic cleansing in Northern Iraq, ordering the extermination of some tens of thousands of people. They had amassed large clandestine stocks of biological weapons including anthrax and possibly smallpox. They had amassed large clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons including VX and sarin and mustard gas. His regime has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons.

    Earlier this month the President warned that that regime is a grave and gathering danger. He issued a challenge to the international community at the United nations to enforce the numerous, some 16 U.N. resolutions that the Iraqis have repeatedly defied and defy still today."

     

     

  • "Iraq, with its weapons of mass destruction, its listing as a terrorist state, its relationship with terrorist networks, is a part of the global war on terror. It's not a departure for the global war on terror. Our goal in that war is to prevent another September 11th or worse, a far more lethal weapon of mass destruction attack before it happens, whether that threat might come from a terrorist network or a terrorist state."

  • "We don't believe Iraq does currently have nuclear weapons. There's no question but that they have a very aggressive program. They've had it for some 15 to 20 years. They were much closer than anyone had estimated when the forces got on the ground after the Gulf War some 11, 12 years ago.

    But if you think about it, the last thing we should want is a smoking gun. A gun doesn't smoke until it's been fired and the goal has to be to stop such an attack before it starts."

  • "But we should be just as concerned about the fact that they already have biological weapons. For an idea of the devastation that a country could cause, inflict on our country with a biological attack consider the recent Dark Winter exercise that was conducted by Johns Hopkins University.

    It simulated a biological weapon of mass destruction attack in which terrorists released smallpox in three cities around the United States. Within two months the worst case estimates indicated up to one million people could be dead and another two million infected. Even if one cut that estimate in half, it's not a pretty picture."

  • "We are not opposed to inspections as part of a comprehensive solution, but even the most intrusive inspections have difficulty getting at Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Many of his capabilities are mobile. They have been widely disbursed into dozens and dozens and dozens of different locations. Vast underground networks and facilities and sophisticated denial and deception techniques have been employed. In addition they have been placed in close proximity to hospitals, schools, mosques and churches."

  • "Saddam Hussein's regime is not interested in disarming. They've demonstrated that over some 20 years. They have given up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues under the sanctions program so that they could in fact keep those weapons of mass destruction programs going. If they wanted to disarm, they would have been billions and billions of dollars wealthier and their people vastly better off."

  • "Saddam Hussein has also made his intentions clear. He's used these weapons against his own people. He's used them against his own neighbors. He's demonstrated an intention to take the territory of his neighbors. He plays host to terrorist networks. He has repeatedly praised the September 11th attacks. He is giving $20,000 or $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers who are killed in their terrorist attacks."

  • "Before I left for Poland I gathered some thoughts with a couple of people who work with me -- Paul Wolfowitz and others. We said why don't we get this into the intelligence community, let them scrub over the next week or so, see if they can find out what portion of it can be made public. They did, they came back, we ended up with five or six sentences that were bullet-proof. We could say them, they're factual, they're exactly accurate. They demonstrate that there are in fact al Qaeda in Iraq. But they're not photographs, they are not beyond reasonable doubt, they in some cases are assessments from a limited number of sources. They're in some cases hard information that were we to release it would reveal a method of gathering it. And it seems to me that if our quest is for proof positive we probably will be left somewhat unfulfilled."
    Sep. 27, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 25, 2002

Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's comments at a press conference following his meeting with NATO Ministers in Poland:

[In response to the question from Norah O'Donnell with NBC: Are there linkages between al Qaeda and Iraq? And where are they?]

  • "The deputy director of Central Intelligence briefed on that subject. I have no desire to go beyond saying the answer is yes."
    Sep. 25, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


09/24/02

Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's comments at a news conference following his meeting with NATO Ministers in Poland:

[Question: Did he [John McLaughlin, deputy director of central intelligence] say anything about whether there is a connection between Iraq and al Qaida?]

  • "Oh, certainly, there is."

[Question: And could you tell us what that connection is?
question: I mean, if Blair has already mentioned some of these...]

  • "Sure, read his report."

[Question: But can you...]

  • "I could, but I'm not going to. It's unhelpful to us to get into a lot of detail because it just changes our capabilities of doing things."

[Question: Do you believe that Iraq is helping al Qaida with weapons of mass destruction?]

  • "I've said all I want to say on the subject."

    Sep. 25, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 19, 2002

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

  • "I am here to discuss Iraq, as requested by the committee and by the president, and to try to address a number of the questions that have come up during this national debate and public dialogue that's been taking place.

    As we meet, chemists and biologists and nuclear scientists are toiling in weapons' labs in underground bunkers, working to give the world's most dangerous dictators weapons of unprecedented power and lethality. The threat posed by some of those regimes is real, it's dangerous and it's growing with each passing day."

  • "Moreover, since September 11th we have seen a new means of delivering these weapons, terrorist networks. To the extent that they might transfer WMD to terrorist groups they could conceal their responsibility for attacks on our people."

  • "He plays host to terrorist networks."

  • "He's amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons, including Anthrax, botulism, toxins and possibly Smallpox."

  • "He's amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, Sarin and mustard gas."

  • "His regime has an active program to acquire nuclear weapons."

  • "Iraq is part of the global war on terror. Stopping terrorist regimes from acquiring weapons of mass destruction is a key objective of that war, and we can fight the various elements of the global war on terror simultaneously, as General Myers will indicate in his remarks."

  • "We do know that the Iraqi regime has chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, they're pursuing nuclear weapons, that they've proven willingness to use those weapons, and that they have a proven aspiration to seize territory of their neighbors and to threaten their neighbors, and that they cooperate with terrorist networks and that they have a proven record of declared hostility and venomous rhetoric against the United States. Those threats should be clear to all."

  • "Well, if one were to compare the scraps of information that the government had before September 11th to the volumes of information the government has today about Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, his use of those weapons, his record of aggression and his consistent hostility towards the United States, and then factor in our country's demonstrated vulnerability after September 11th, the case that the president made in the United Nations, it seems to me, should be clear.

    If wartime passes and the attack we're concerned about were to come to pass, I would not want to have ignored all the warning signs and then be required to explain why our country failed to protect our fellow citizens from that threat. We do know that Saddam Hussein has been actively pursuing nuclear weapons for more than 20 years. But we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons. They're much simpler to deliver than nuclear weapons and even more readily transferred to terrorist networks, who could allow Iraq to deliver them without Iraq's fingerprints on the attack."

  • "Iraq's record of the past decade shows that they want weapons of mass destruction and that they are determined to develop them."

  • "Today we must decide whether the risks of acting are greater that the risk of not acting. And Saddam Hussein has made his intentions clear. He has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and his neighbors. He has stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and he is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons. If he demonstrates the capability to deliver them to our shores, the world would be changed."

  • "We already know that Saddam Hussein is willing to use weapons of mass destruction because he used chemicals on his own people. He's used them on the Iranians."
    Sep. 19, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 18, 2002

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee:

  • "As we meet, state sponsors of terror across the world are working to develop and acquire weapons of mass destruction. As we speak, chemists, biologists, and nuclear scientists are toiling in weapons labs and underground bunkers, working to give the world's most dangerous dictators weapons of unprecedented power and lethality.

    The threat posed by those regimes is real. It is dangerous. And it is growing with each passing day. We cannot wish it away."

  • "Further, because of the nature of these threats, we are in an age of little or no warning, when threats can emerge suddenly - at any place or time - to surprise us. Terrorist states have enormous appetite for these powerful weapons - and active programs to develop them. They are finding ways to gain access to these capabilities. This is not a possibility - it is a certainty. In word and deed, they have demonstrated a willingness to use those capabilities."

  • "Moreover, after September 11th, they have discovered a new means of delivering these weapons - terrorist networks. To the extent that they might transfer WMD to terrorist groups, they could conceal their responsibility for attacks. And if they believe they can conceal their responsibility for an attack, then they would likely not be deterred."

  • "We are on notice. Let there be no doubt: an attack will be attempted. The only question is when and by what technique. It could be months, a year, or several years. But it will happen. It is in our future."

  • "There are a number of terrorist states pursuing weapons of mass destruction - Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, to name but a few. But no terrorist state poses a greater and more immediate threat to the security of our people, and stability of the world, than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."

  • "No living dictator has shown the murderous combination of intent and capability -- of aggression against his neighbors; oppression of his own people; genocide; support of terrorism; pursuit of weapons of mass destruction; and the most threatening hostility to its neighbors and to the United States, that Saddam Hussein and his regime."

  • "He has ordered the use of chemical weapons - Sarin, Tabun, VX, and mustard agents - against his own people, in one case killing 5,000 innocent civilians in a single day."

  • "His [Saddam Hussein] regime plays host to terrorist networks, and has directly ordered acts of terror on foreign soil."

  • "Iraq is a part of the Global War on Terror - stopping terrorist regimes from acquiring weapons of mass destruction is a key objective of that war."

  • "The goal must be to stop Saddam Hussein before he fires a weapon of mass destruction against our people."

  • "We do know that the Iraqi has chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and is pursuing nuclear weapons; that they have a proven willingness to use the weapons at their disposal; that they have proven aspirations to seize the territory of, and threaten, their neighbors; proven support for and cooperation with terrorist networks; and proven record of declared hostility and venomous rhetoric against the United States. Those threats should be clear to all."

  • "We do not know today precisely how close he is to having a deliverable nuclear weapon. What we do know is that he has a sizable appetite for them, that he has been actively pursuing them for more than 20 years, and that we allow him to get them at our peril."

  • "But those who raise questions about the nuclear threat need to focus on the immediate threat from biological weapons. From 1991 to 1995, Iraq repeatedly insisted it did not have biological weapons. Then, in 1995, Saddam's son-in-law defected and told the inspectors some details of Iraq's biological weapons program. Only then did Iraq admit it had produced tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other biological weapons. But even them, they did not come clean. UN inspectors believe Iraq had in fact produced two to four-times the amount of biological agents it had declared. Those biological agents were never found. Iraq also refused to account for some three tons of materials that could be used to produce biological weapons."

  • "Iraq has these weapons. They are much simpler to deliver than nuclear weapon, and even more readily transferred to terrorist networks, who could allow Iraq to deliver them without fingerprints."

  • "The point is this: Iraq possesses biological weapons, and chemical weapons, and is expanding and improving their capabilities to produce them. That should be of every bit as much concern as Iraq's potential nuclear capability."

  • "Iraq's ties to terrorist networks are long-standing. It is no coincidence that Abu Nidal was in Baghdad, when he died under mysterious circumstances. Iraq has also reportedly provided safe haven to Abdul Rahman Yasin, on of the FBI's most wanted terrorists, who was a key participant in the first World Trade Center bombing [1993]. We know that al-Qaeda is operating in Iraq today, and that little happens in Iraq without the knowledge of the Saddam Hussein regime. We also know that there have been a number of contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda over the years. We know Saddam has ordered acts of terror himself, including the attempted assassination of a former U.S. president.

    He has incentives to make common cause with terrorists. He shares many common objectives with groups like al-Qaeda, including an antipathy for the Saudi royal family and a desire to drive the U.S. out of the Persian Gulf region. Moreover, if he decided it was in his interests to conceal his responsibility for an attack on the U.S., providing WMD to terrorists would be an effective way of doing so."

  • "First, we do not know where all of Iraq's WMD facilities are. We do know where a fraction of them are. Second, of the facilities we do know, not all are vulnerable to attack from the air. Some are underground. Some are mobile. Others are purposely located near population centers - schools, mosques, hospitals, etc. -- where an air strike could kill large numbers of innocent people."

  • "Many of his [Saddam Hussein] WMD capabilities are mobile and can be hidden to evade inspectors. He has vast underground networks and facilities to hide WMD, and sophisticated denial and deception techniques."

  • "Saddam's neighbors are deathly afraid of him - and understandably so. He has invaded his neighbors, used weapons of mass destruction against them, and launched ballistic missiles at them. He aspires to dominate the region. The nations of the region would be greatly relieved to have him gone, and that if Saddam Hussein is removed from power, the reaction of the region will be not outrage, but great relief. And the reaction of the Iraqi people will most certainly be jubilation."

  • "If, in 1998, Saddam Hussein posed the grave threat that President Clinton correctly described, then he most certainly poses a greater danger today, after four years without inspectors on the ground to challenge his WMD procurement and development efforts."

  • "Our objective is gaining Iraq's compliance. Our objective is an Iraq that does not menace its neighbors, does not oppress its people or threaten the United States."

  • "Today, we must decide whether the risks of acting are greater than the risks of not acting. Saddam Hussein has made his intentions clear. He has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and his neighbors. He has demonstrated an intention to take the territory of his neighbors. He has launched ballistic missiles against U.S. allies and others in the region. He plays host to terrorist networks. He pays rewards to the families of suicide bombers in Israel-like those who killed five Americans at the Hebrew University earlier this year. He is hostile to the United States, because we denied him the ability he has sought to impose his will on his neighbors. He has said, in no uncertain terms, that he would use weapons of mass destruction against the United States. He has, at this moment, stockpiles chemical and biological weapons, and is pursuing nuclear weapons. If he demonstrates the capability to deliver them to our shores, the world would be changed. Our people would be at great risk."
    Sep. 18, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


May 16, 2002

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview with Rush Limbaugh:

  • "I think Iraq is what it is. It's a dictatorship that we're working to develop and has some types of weapons of mass destruction. It's a threat to its neighbors and is properly on the terrorist list and is so active that it is giving $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers."
    May 16, 2002 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 11, 2001

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon briefing on terrorist attacks:

  • "We don't discuss intelligence matters."

  • "I don't know that there's a day that's gone by since I've been in this job that there haven't been threats somewhere in the world to some facility somewhere. It's a -- it's one of the complexities of the intelligence business that you have to sort through those kinds of things. But we don't get into the specifics."
    Sep. 11, 2001 Donald Rumsfeld


May 28, 2001

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's testimony to the House Armed Services Committee:

  • "So I think that it -->There are real threats out there. And if you think back to Pearl Harbor, nobody ran around saying, "Oh my goodness, the Japanese are going to bomb Pearl Harbor." It didn't seem probable. And I don't deny for a second that it's possible for someone to look at the threats from countries like Iran and North Korea and Iraq, if they had the freedom to do it, and say, 'Ah, not to worry.'

    The reality is those weapons are enormously powerful, they are spreading through the world, and we would make an enormous mistake to not be attentive to the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the ability to deliver them. And I would add one thing. A ballistic missile can be put into a boat, a ship, on a transport erector launcher, peel off the top, erect it and fire it. And it has been done by one of the countries that have those capabilities today. They do not have to be ICBM range; they can be shorter and just as deadly."
    May 28, 2001 Donald Rumsfeld

     

     

On or after Mar. 20, 2003
[this column in chronological order: oldest]

Mar. 24, 2003


Excerpts taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview on CBS' "Face the Nation":

  • "We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established."
    Mar. 24, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Mar. 20, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview on ABC's "This Week":

  • "The area in the south and the west and the north that coalition control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they [weapons of mass destruction] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
    Mar. 20, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


May 27, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview with WNYW-TV:

  • "I think the intelligence community provided the best intelligence available substantiating evidence of that. Colin Powell if you may recall at the UN mentioned the existence of these mobile biological laboratories and two of those are now in our custody and they seem to look very much like what Colin Powell said would exist."
    May 27, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


May 27, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview with WABC-TV:

  • "Weapons of mass destruction, the Secretary of State, Colin Powell mentioned there would be a biological laboratory -- mobile biological laboratories, it looks like two of those are now in the custody of the teams and survey teams that are out investigating various suspect sites. Whether they'll turn out to be exactly the same I don't know, but clearly the intelligence community is impressed that they are worth testing and examining and determining. So, if that's what Secretary Powell said at the United nations -- there's an example of something that's been found."

  • "And the risk posed by the President was that there would be the risk that terrorist networks would get their hands on weapons of mass destruction or that Saddam Hussein -- which has already used chemical weapons against the Iranians, already used chemical weapons against its own people -- was a danger to the region and a danger to the world."
    May 27, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


May 29, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview with Infinity Radio's "Town Hall":

  • "Well, I can assure you that this war was not waged under any false pretext. The material that Secretary Powell presented to the world and the United Nations, and the material that Prime Minister Blair and his government in England presented to the world, was intelligence information that had been gathered, accumulated and was appropriate for declassification.

    We believed then, and we believe now, that the Iraqis have -- had chemical weapons, biological weapons, and that they had a program to develop nuclear weapons, but did not have nuclear weapons. That is what the United Kingdom's intelligence suggested as well. We still believe that. We also know that he has used chemical weapons -- Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against his own people, against the Kurds, and against the Iranians. So it -- you have the combination of intelligence, good intelligence, plus a pattern of having already used those weapons.

    Now, why haven't we been able to provide the kind of evidence that would have validated all of that in the last seven weeks -- less than seven weeks, still, since Baghdad fell. And I think the answers are several reasons. And number one, it's not because they're not there. We believe they're there. But it is a country about the size of California. There are literally hundreds of suspect sites. Saddam Hussein had been functioning in an inspections environment for years and years, and had gotten very good at it."

  • "We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile weapons trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories. We have people who are telling that they worked in these vehicles. And they look at panels and say, 'That was my work station in that panel, and that's what it's for.'"

  • "It is also clear that they [Iraq] have permitted senior al Qaeda to operate in their country. And that is something that is -- creates a danger to the world, because we know what the al Qaeda can do in terms of killing innocent men, women and children."
    May 29, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


July 9, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee:

  • "The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence in a new light, through the prism of our experience on September 11th. On that day, we saw thousands of innocent men, women and children killed by terrorists, and that experience changed our appreciation of our vulnerability and the risks the U.S. faces from terrorist states and terrorist networks armed with powerful weapons."

  • "The objective in the global war on terror is to prevent another attack like September 11th, or a biological, nuclear or chemical attack that would be worse, before it happens. We can say with confidence that the world is a better place today because the United States led a coalition of forces into action in Iraq and because GEneral Tom Franks' skilled execution of the president's orders."

  • "There's no question but that this individual [Saddam Hussein] has created such fear in the part of the Iraqi people because of his brutality and the numbers of -- tens of thousands of people he's killed, and the willingness to use chemical weapons on his own people and on his neighbors, that -- that there is a fear, not just in Iraq, but in the region, that he -- that we have to be certain that he is not going to be around."
    July 9, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Aug. 25, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's remarks at the 104th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars:

  • "Think about it, just five months ago the Iraqi people lived lives of desperation. Death squads roamed the streets and thousands of men, women and children were murdered in cold blood - their remains to be piled into mass graves."
    Aug. 25, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 10, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's remarks at a National Press Club luncheon:

  • "I do [believe that WMD will be found at some point]. I think that the U.S. intelligence and the intelligence services of the other countries were never perfect, and it was a closed society, but sufficiently good that we'll find the kind of evidence of programs that Secretary Powell presented to the United Nations."
    Sep. 10, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 14, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview on CBS' "Face the Nation":

  • "In March the war was just beginning. The forces were moving from Kuwait up through southern Iraq towards Baghdad. They had not reached Baghdad. And all of the information that the intelligence community had suggested that the bulk of the suspect sites for weapons of mass destruction were in the area immediately south of Baghdad and north of Tikrit, and then on either side, that general area.

    We weren't there on the ground, and folks like you [Bob Schieffer, CBS News] were saying, 'Well, you've been inside of Iraq for 15 minutes. Why haven't you found anything?' And my comment was that the suspect areas were -- that we believed where they were, were in that area that we weren't there on the ground yet."
    Sep. 14, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Sep. 16, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's remarks in a Department of Defense press briefing:

  • "I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that [Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11th attacks]. We know he was giving $25,000 a family for anyone who would go out and kill innocent men, women and children. And we know of various other activities. But on that specific one, no."

  • "I have no reason not to believe the intelligence community's intelligence that was presented to us [concerning large clandestine stockpiles of weapons]. I believed it when it was presented. I believe it today."
    Sep. 16, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Oct. 16, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's leaked memo concerning the war on terror:

  • "It is not possible to change DOD [Department of Defense] fast enough successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either with DOD or elsewhere - one that seamlessly focuses on capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem."

  • "With respect to global terrorism, the record since September 11th seems to be:

    • We are having mixed results with Al Qaida, although we have put considerable pressure on them - nonetheless, a great many remain at large.

    • USG [United States Government] has made reasonable progress in capturing or killing the top 55 Iraqis.

    • USG has made somewhat slower progress tracking down the Taliban - Omar, Hekmatyar, etc.

    • With respect to the Ansar Al-Islam, we are just getting started."

  • "Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and disuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?"

  • "Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' cost of millions."

  • "It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog."
    Oct. 16, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Oct. 30, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's press briefing on Iraq:

  • "Look, a terrorist can attack at any time, at any place, using any technique. It's been going on in country after country across the globe throughout my entire lifetime and before. There aren't short-term fixes to these problems. The attacker has the advantage. And that is why the task is to root out terrorists and terrorist organizations where they are, to find them and to capture them or kill them. And that is what we are doing. And it's -- the idea that there's some short term fix -- you can put up barricades around your building. Sure, that'll stop a truck. And you can do that. And you can put -- hang wire mesh over your building, and it'll repeal a rocket-propelled grenade. And them they'll attack soft targets going to and from work. Terrorists are out to kill innocent men, women and children, and to alter the behavior and terrorize people. And free people can't be free and live in terror. Therefore, the only choice is to do what the president's doing."

  • "I have seen a torture tape. I wouldn't call it a 'torture' tape. I don't think cutting someone's head off is torture, just to be precise. And I have seen a tape. Whether it's the one you're talking about, I just don't know. But there are a lot of them around, I'm told, and they portray a regime that was about as vicious as any regime could conceivably be. When you have people filming, in front of crowds cheering and clapping, you have people cutting off peoples's tongues, and cutting off people's heads, and chopping off their fingers and chopping off their hands, throwing them off three-story buildings, you learn something about a group of people and how they live their lives and how they treated their people. And we are so fortunate they are gone and that those 23 million people are liberated."

  • "On the other hand, the task of finding WMD is important; it is a big interest to the world, understandably. It is also true that we're having people being killed by terrorists, so counterterrorism is important as well. We're not being killed by WMD at the moment."
    Oct. 30, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Nov. 2, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview on NBC's "Meet the Press":

  • "Tim [Tim Russert NBC News], the battles we're engaged in, the global war on terrorism, is an important one. It is a different one that we've been in previously, although terrorism's not new. But the nature of terrorism is that its purpose is to terrorize. Its purpose is to alter people's behavior. And to the extent free people end up behaving in a way that is different from the way free people behave, they've lost. And therefore, the only thing to do is do what the president has announced he's doing, and that is to take the battle, the war on terrorism, to the terrorists, where they are. And that's what we're doing. We can win this war. We will win this war. And the president has every intention of staying after the terrorists and the countries that harbor terrorists until we have won this war."

  • "Tim, we said from the outset that there are several terrorist networks that have global reach and that there were several countries that were harboring terrorists that have global reach. We weren't going into Iraq when we were hit in September 11. And the question is: Well, what do you do about that? If you know there are terrorists and you know there's terrorist states - Iraq's been a terrorist state for decades - and you know there are countries harboring terrorists, we believe, correctly, I think, that the only way to deal with it is - you can't just hunker down and hope they won't hit you again. You simply have to take the battle to them."

  • "This administration and the last administration and several other countries all agreed that they had chemical and biological weapons and that they had programs relating to nuclear weapons that they were reconstituting, not that they had nuclear weapons. No one said that. It was believed then. We know they did have them because they used chemical weapons against their own people. So it's not like it's a surprise that those programs existed. Furthermore, the debate in the United Nations wasn't about whether or not Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. The debate in the United Nations was about whether or not he was willing to declare what he had and everyone agreed that that declaration was a fraudulent declaration. Even those that voted against the resolution agreed with that."

  • "The theory that he took his weapons, destroyed them or moved them to some other country, that argument - is that possible? I suppose it's possible that he could have hidden them. The destroyed them part of it is the weakest argument. Why would he do that if by not allowing the inspectors to see what he was doing and making an accurate instead of fraudulent declaration - it makes no senses because he was foregoing billions and billion and billions of dollars that he could have had had he acquiesced and allowed the inspectors in the the country in an orderly way such that they could see really what was going on."

  • "If you believe the intelligence, which successive administrations of both political parties did and other governments in the world, that he [Saddam Hussein] was progressing with these program[s] and that this is a country [Iraq] who's used the weapons before, that's used them on its neighbors, used them on his own people - I don't know if you've seen any of the tapes more recently of what they do to their own people - cutting off people's heads and cutting off their fingers and their hands and pulling out their tongues and cutting them off, throwing them off three-story buildings. This is a particularly vicious regime, Saddam Hussein's regime."

  • "What they're doing is taking the battle to the terrorists. There are foreign terrorists coming into Iraq. That's true; we know that. We've captured 200 to 300 of them from various countries."

  • "The Ansar al-Islam was already in Iraq. There were al-Qaeda already in Iraq. The Iraqis were engaged in terrorism themselves. They were giving $25,000 to suicide bombers' families, who would go in and kill innocent men, women and children."

[Question: He [Saddam Hussein] still a threat?]

  • "Personally, no. No. I mean, is it a threat to have released 100,000 criminals in a country with 23 million people? You bet. Is it a threat to have foreign terrorists coming across the borders? You bet. Is it a threat to have leftovers of the Fedayeen Saddam and the murderers of Saddam Hussein's regime, the Ba'athists who benefited from his regime? Sure. It's a threat. And there's a lot of them. And there's a lot of weapons in that country. It was just - there are weapon caches all over the country. So is that a danger for people in Iraq? Yes."

  • "You know, since any war, when it starts, the questions are obvious. The questions are: How long is it going to last? How many casualties will there be? And how many troops will it take? Now, those questions can't be answered. Every time someone has answered those questions, they've been wrong. They've been embarrassingly wrong. I'll use another word. They have misinformed and misled the American people. I made a conscious decision at the outset of these conflicts to not pretend I knew something I didn't know. And what I have said is just that. I have said, 'It is not knowable.'"
    Nov. 2, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Nov. 2, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview on ABC's "This Week":

  • "There are weapons caches all over that country [Iraq]. They were using schools, hospitals, mosques to hide weapons. Think of it, in Bosnia, in the last six months, they have found 40 tons of weapons in a country that we've occupied for six years. So Saddam Hussein spent his money on palaces and on torturing people and on weapons. And that's -- and he's got a lot of them."

  • "But clearly, take the terrorist organization Ansar-al Islam. It was in Iraq. Saddam Hussein knew it was in Iraq. It was functioning. It left when we invaded Iraq, went to Iran, found a hospitable environment, apparently, and now has returned to Iraq. And we are capturing and killing these terrorists. It would have been better if they had not found a hospitable environment in Iran."
    Nov. 2, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld


Nov. 2, 2003

Excerpt taken from Donald Rumsfeld's interview on FOX's "New Sunday":

  • "There are foreign terrorists in that country, like the Ansar al-Islam, who have come back in from Iran and are trying to kill people, and there are the remnants of the Baathist regime, and they want to take that country back, and they're not going to. They're not going to come close to taking that country back. And they are the ones who want to have the kind of dictatorship that Saddam Hussein had, that is shown on the film clips on this station of people cutting off fingers, cutting off hands, cutting off heads, throwing them off the tops of buildings, cutting of tongues -- that is what those people want. I wouldn't call that resolve."

  • "If you think about it, there are places around the world where radical extremist clerics are teaching young men and women to become suicide bombers and to go out and kill innocent men, women, and children, an to do the kinds of things you saw Saddam Hussein's people doing -- cutting off hands and fingers."

  • "There is an organization called Ansar el-Islam, which was in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was there. It was functioning, and Saddam Hussein knew all about it, and they then went into Iran, when we invaded the country, and they are now back in. So they are foreign in the sense that they just came back in from Iran, and we're now in the process of finding them and capturing or killing them."
    Nov. 2, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld



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