The Unknown Known (2013) Movie Script

Let me put up this next memo.
You want me to read this?
Yes, please.
"February 4, 2004.
Subject: What you know.
There are known knowns.
There are known unknowns.
There are unknown unknowns.
But there are also
unknown knowns.
That is to say,
things that you think you know
that it turns out
you did not."
I wonder if in the future
public figures will write
as many memos as I did.
I doubt it.
I must have gotten
in the habit of dictating
things that were important.
Not a diary.
Not a journal.
They're almost all
working documents.
Now, they've become historical
documents in retrospect,
but at the time,
they all had a purpose.
In the later years
of my using the dictaphone,
why, they were called
because they were
on white paper.
What would you say
the total number of memos
might be?
They said I dictated 20,000
just in the last six years
at the Pentagon.
There have to be millions.
"July 27, 2001."
A memo to Condoleezza Rice
concerning Iraq.
"We have discussed Iraq
on a number of occasions.
The discussions
have been inconclusive.
Sanctions are being limited
in a way that cannot weaken
Saddam Hussein.
We can publicly acknowledge
that the sanctions don't work
over extended periods
and stop the pretense
of having a policy
that is keeping Saddam
'in the box'
when we know he has crawled
a good distance out of the box.
Within a few years,
the U.S. will undoubtedly
have to confront
a Saddam armed
with nuclear weapons.
If Saddam's regime
were oustered,
we would have
a much-improved position
in the region
and elsewhere."
Why the obsession
with Iraq and Saddam?
Well, you love that word,
I can see the glow
in your face when you say it.
Well, I'm an obsessive person.
Are you? I'm not.
I'm cool.
I'm measured.
If you look
at the range of my memos,
there might be 1/10 of 1%
about Iraq.
The reason I was concerned
about Iraq
is 'cause four-star generals
would come to me and say,
"Mr. secretary,
we have a problem.
Our orders are to fly over
the northern part of Iraq
and the Southern part of Iraq
on a daily basis,
with the Brits,
and we are getting shot at.
At some moment...
could be tomorrow,
could be next month,
could be next year...
one of our planes
is gonna be shot down
and our pilots and crews
are gonna be killed
or they're gonna be
The question will be,
"what in the world were
we flying those flights for?
What was
the cost-benefit ratio?
What was our country gaining?"
So you sit down and you say,
"I think I'm gonna see
if I can get
the president's attention.
Remind him that our planes
are being shot at,
remind him that we don't have
a fresh policy for Iraq,
and remind him that we've got
a whole range of options."
Not an obsession.
A very measured,
nuanced approach,
I think.
In my confirmation hearing
when I was nominated
to be secretary of defense,
the best question
I was asked was,
"what do you worry about
when you go to bed at night?"
And my answer was, in effect,
The danger
that we can be surprised
because of
a failure of imagining
what might happen
in the world."
There are known knowns,
the things we know we know.
There are known unknowns,
the things we know
we don't know.
There are also
that third category
of unknown unknowns,
the things we don't know
we don't know.
And you can only know more
about those things
by imagining what they might be.
Pearl harbor was
a failure of imagination.
We didn't know we didn't know
that they could do what they
did the way they did it.
We had people working
on breaking codes.
We had people thinking through,
"what are the kinds of things
they might do?"
And lo and behold,
the carriers were able to,
on a Sunday morning,
get very close to Hawaii,
launch their planes, and
impose enormous destruction.
Was it failure of imagination
or failure to look
at the intelligence
that was available?
They had thought through
a great many
more obvious possibilities.
People were chasing
the wrong rabbit.
That one possibility
was not something
that they had imagined
was likely.
"July 23, 2001.
'Pearl harbor post-mortem.'
in some future hearing,
I am going to say
that I do not want
to be sitting before this panel
in a modern-day version
of a pearl harbor post-mortem:
Who didn't do what,
when, where, and why.
None of us would want
to have to be back here
going through that agony."
A month or so before
September 11, 2001,
it would be wrong to think
that someone who wrote it...
namely me, was prescient.
I wasn't.
I simply had read enough history
that I worried.
American 11, climb,
maintain flight level 350.
American 11, climb,
maintain flight level 350.
American 11, Boston.
The American on the frequency,
how do you hear me?
American 11,
if you hear Boston center
re-contact Boston center
on 127.82.
That's American 11, 127.82.
My military assistant,
admiral Ed Giambastiani,
came in and said,
"a plane has hit
the world trade center."
It was assumed
to be an accident.
And I went into my office
from the conference room,
and admiral Giambastiani said,
"another plane has hit
the other world
trade center tower."
And of course, at that point,
it wasn't an accident;
It was an attack.
Within minutes,
I felt the Pentagon shake.
That's how our day began
on September 11th.
They had hit the center
of economic power in New York,
and they then had hit
the center of military power
at the Pentagon.
You need to find out
what had happened.
What was it?
I got up and
went down the hall, and...
on my floor,
until the smoke was so bad
I had to get outside.
Then I went downstairs and
outside and around the corner,
and here were pieces of
that American airlines airplane
just spread all over the apron,
all over the grass.
Flames and smoke,
people being brought out
of the building
who were injured
and burned and wounded.
The first responders
really hadn't arrived yet.
There were
very few people there.
How do you think
that they got away with 9/11?
It seems amazing in retrospect.
Everything seems amazing
in retrospect.
Pearl harbor seems amazing
in retrospect.
It's a failure of imagination.
It's not as though you aren't
aware of possibilities,
but you tend to favor
some possibilities
more than others.
And it's enormously important
to have priorities.
What are you gonna worry about?
What is it you want to do?
What are you gonna
be prepared for?
And you have to pick and choose.
Well, to the extent
you pick and choose
and you're wrong...
...the penalty can be enormous.
"September 30, 2001."
Title: "Strategic thoughts."
"The U.S. strategic theme
should be aiding local peoples
to rid themselves of terrorists
and to free themselves
of regimes
that support terrorism.
The regimes of such states
should see that it will be fatal
to host terrorists
who attack the United States.
The United States government
should envision
a goal along these lines.
New regimes in Afghanistan
and another key state or two
that supports terrorism.
Syria out of Lebanon.
Dismantlement or destruction
of weapons of mass destruction
If the war does not
significantly change
the world's political map,
the U.S. will not
achieve its aim."
On my orders,
the United States military
has begun strikes
against Al-Qaeda
terrorist training camps
and military installations
of the Taliban regime
in Afghanistan.
In relatively short order,
a matter of weeks,
Kabul was occupied,
the Taliban was defeated
and run out of the country
in large measure,
and a lot of Al-Qaeda
were killed.
Osama Bin Laden escaped
into Pakistan eventually.
The target of the
largest manhunt in history
still eludes capture.
Cave by cave, for any sign
of Osama Bin Laden,
dead or alive.
The high probability that
Osama Bin Laden is still alive.
With Afghanistan's
porous borders,
it's possible Bin Laden
has already slipped
out of the country.
Osama gets away,
and a confusion sets in.
People began to think
that Saddam was connected
with Al-Qaeda and with 9/11.
Oh, I don't think so.
It was very clear that
the direct planning for 9/11
was done by
Osama Bin Laden's people,
and in Afghanistan.
I don't think
the American people
were confused about that.
In 2003,
in a Washington Post poll,
69% said they believe
it is likely
the Iraqi leader
was personally involved
in the attacks
carried out by Al-Qaeda.
I don't remember anyone
in the bush administration
saying anything like that,
nor do I recall
anyone believing that.
Mr. secretary, today
in a broadcast interview was...
Saddam Hussein said,
"there is only one truth.
Iraq has no weapons
of mass destruction whatsoever."
And he went on to say,
"I would like to tell you
we have no relationship
with Al-Qaeda."
And Abraham Lincoln was short.
Would you care
to respond directly
to what Saddam Hussein
has said today?
how does one respond to that?
It's just a continuous pattern.
This is a case of the local liar
coming up again
and people repeating
what he said
and forgetting to say
that he never...
almost never...
rarely tells the truth.
There are two sides to the coin.
One is,
"belief in the inevitability
of conflict
can become one
of its main causes."
That is a truth.
The other side of the coin,
which is also true, is,
"if you wish for peace,
prepare for war."
But if both were true,
well, you can use that
to justify anything.
There's a similar thing
in Rumsfelds rules
where I say,
"all generalizations are false,
including this one."
There it is.
The president did
harden his stand towards...
the United States
is on the road to war.
officials say the effort
to pressure Iraq has moved
into a final phase.
All the military pieces
should be in place
to go to war with Iraq.
On January 11, 2003,
the vice president's office
and requested that I come over
to meet with him
and the Saudi ambassador,
prince Bandar.
It was unusual.
I mean, I...
I wasn't often
in the vice president's office.
We sat down.
Dick proceeded to tell Bandar
that the president
was going to invade Iraq
and change the regime in Iraq.
That was the first time
that I'd heard anything
that sounded truly definitive.
What was the Saudi
ambassador's reaction to this?
He wanted reassurance
that when it was all over,
Saddam Hussein would be gone.
They needed to know
that the president was serious.
That is why, I'm sure,
the vice president said it
the way he said it.
Is it at all strange
that you would hear about it
in this way?
No, I don't think so.
If the purpose of the war
is to get rid of Saddam Hussein,
why can't they just
assassinate him?
Why do you have
to invade his country?
Who's "they?"
You said, "they."
You didn't say, "we."
Well, "we."
I will rephrase it.
Why do we have to do that?
We don't assassinate
leaders of other countries.
Well, Dora Farms,
we were doing our best.
That was an act of war.
The beginning of the war,
even before it started,
George tenet came to see me
in my office at the Pentagon.
He said, "we think we know
where Saddam Hussein is."
I said, "terrific,"
and I called the White House
and said to the president,
"we're coming over."
We met in his office.
George tenet would go
from the oval office
in to a side office
and talk to the people
in the central
intelligence agency
who were talking to the agents
on the ground in Iraq.
The word came back
that somebody had identified
Saddam Hussein
as being at Dora Farms.
George tenet was convinced
that his people on the ground
were giving him
the straight dope.
They were certain he was there.
We'd put on alert aircraft.
The aircraft took off
and went to that location.
The president
went around the room asking,
"should we do this
or not?"
Everyone in the room,
as I recall,
agreed it was
sufficiently solid intelligence,
sufficient to do it.
We just were so hopeful
that by killing Saddam Hussein,
we could end the need for a war,
that in fact, by that act,
you would change the regime.
The planes went in,
and they struck the farm...
...killed some people.
They came out
with a stretcher with a body.
People there
on the ground asserted
that it was Saddam Hussein.
They think they killed him.
And it turned out, it was not.
What a wonderful
thing it would have been
if he could have been killed.
The war would have been avoided.
It's possible.
May not have been,
but it's possible.
You wonder why
they didn't respond
to all the efforts
that were made
to avoid that war.
How could they be that mixed up
in what the inevitable
next steps would be?
Why they wouldn't sit down
and have
an agonizing reappraisal,
and it come to some
logical conclusion?
I was elected to congress.
I was 30 years old.
It was during the Vietnam war
and the civil rights era.
There were big issues before us.
I would come back sometimes
knowing I didn't know
if I voted right,
that there are arguments here
and there were arguments there.
"Ugh, I hope I voted
the right way.
Why did I do what I did?"
And I'd sit down
and dictate that.
After almost every vote,
every amendment,
I would go back
with my little dictaphone.
I would dictate a note and say,
"here was the vote.
The ayes were this.
The nays were that.
Here were the amendments,
and here's what I did
and why I did it."
And then when I went
in the executive branch,
I would want to clarify
my own thinking,
so I would try to put it down
on paper and edit it,
and I'd go through
three, four, five drafts,
getting it the way
I really wanted it.
I would do it
for communications to my staff.
I wanted them to know
what I was thinking.
Did you imagine
that they would produce
this vast archive?
Oh, it never crossed my mind.
I never knew
what I was gonna do next.
The only thing I've ever
volunteered for in my life...
one was to go in the Navy,
and the other was
to run for congress.
The other was to get married.
You look at being
married to the same woman
all those decades...
when you're 20, 21, 22,
what did you know?
Both of us were young
and unformed.
How in the world
can you be that lucky?
How did you propose?
I was getting ready
to leave for Pensacola.
About 10:00 in the morning,
I said to my folks,
"I'll be back.
I'm gonna go down
and see Joyce."
I asked her to marry me.
I didn't get down on my knees.
I didn't do anything fancy.
I didn't want to get married,
but I sure as heck
didn't want her
to marry anyone else.
And I was correct.
It was a good decision.
It just hadn't been
part of my plan.
Director of the
office of economic opportunity
was Rumsfelds first job
for Richard Nixon.
Later, when O.E.O. Seemed
headed for extinction,
Mr. Nixon named him director
of the cost of living council.
After friction developed
between Rumsfeld
and H.R. Haldeman,
Rumsfeld requested a change
and was sent to Brussels
as the U.S. ambassador
to the north Atlantic
treaty organization.
He got out just in time
and survived Watergate
with reputation intact.
A person who works
that hard to become president
had to believe that
everything he did or thought
would be useful to preserve.
He puts in place
these recording devices,
like other presidents had,
and then he'd go about
being himself,
and sometimes
he'd let his hair down
and say things in ways
that he might not have said
had he remembered
that each second of the day
that it was being recorded.
All of us say things
we shouldn't say,
that on reflection,
we wish we hadn't said.
I expect he just felt that
on balance,
everything was worth preserving
because he was
an historic figure.
Did presidents after
Nixon make recordings
in the White House?
The only president
I was close enough to
to answer that question about
was Gerald R. Ford,
and I can assure you he did not.
My guess is that people
tend not to fall
in exactly the same potholes
that their predecessors do.
More often than not,
they make original mistakes.
We all do.
But I assume the presidency
under extraordinary...
Gerald Ford had announced,
when he first took office,
that he was not gonna have
a chief of staff.
He was going to be
the anti-Nixon,
the anti-Haldeman,
the anti-Ehrlichman.
He had said he was
gonna have a coordinator
or something like that.
And that's when I told him
he'd have to find somebody else,
because it wasn't gonna work,
and I didn't want
to be a party to it.
After a while,
he agreed that I was right.
At the time,
there were a number of people
still being looked at
by what was then called,
"the special prosecutor."
This is really
an extraordinary moment.
The White House is filled
with lawyers and investigators.
That's exactly right.
It was September 29, 1974,
in the morning
that I dictated this memo
on the subject of the safe
in the chief of staff's office.
"I arrived
at approximately 5:00 P.M.
I wanted to clean out the
place so that I could move in,
and I wanted to make sure that
there was nothing in the place
that I didn't want there,
such as recording equipment,
telephone bugs, and the like.
At approximately 5:15 P.M.,
bill Walker commented
that there was a safe
in the cupboard."
This says, "to the left
of the fireplace."
If you're standing
in the fireplace,
it was to the left.
Actually, it was to the right
if you faced the fireplace.
So here's a safe,
and it's locked.
And I thought, "oh, my goodness.
I wonder
what's in that safe?"
I said to Dick Cheney,
my assistant who was helping me,
"look, why don't we get
the secret service,
get 'em down here with people
who can move the safe
and open it
or do whatever they have to do."
And what happened
to the safe in the end?
The end for me was when
I got it out of my office
under a proper
chain of evidence.
I'm dreaming
of a white Christmas
just like the ones
I used to know
where the treetops glisten
and children listen
They put the word out,
"stay tuned
to armed forces radio.
When you hear it said
that the temperature is rising
to 105 degrees
and you hear, 'I'm dreaming
of a white Christmas, '
you'll know
the evacuation is ordered."
The north Vietnamese
and Viet Cong forces
moved into Saigon
directly towards
the U.S. facilities.
The scenes of the helicopter
lifting people off
of the roof of the building
were really heartbreaking,
because you had
really wonderful people
who'd worked with our forces
and knew that their circumstance
when the Vietcong
and north Vietnamese
took over that country
would be difficult,
that they'd be killed
or put in jail.
They kept lifting
more and more out,
and more kept coming.
They ended up landing
so many helicopters
on the carrier that they
started shoving helicopters off
so that they could get
more helicopters on.
Were you with the president
when all of this was going down?
Yes, I was in the oval office
with secretary Kissinger
and the president
and other close aides
to the president.
It was a day anyone involved
will never forget.
The inevitable ugly ending
of an unsuccessful effort.
Do you think that there's
a lesson to be taken from this?
Well, one would hope
that most things
that happen in life
prove to be lessons.
Some things work out.
Some things don't.
That didn't.
If that's a lesson...
yes, it's a lesson.
President Gerald Ford
had given a talk
to a labor group.
He went out the back,
and we went into
a freight elevator.
The doors went open,
we walked out,
and the top door came back down,
and it hit Gerald Ford
right across the forehead.
And he ended up with a cut
about an inch and a half wide.
Of course, at that moment,
Chevy chase and these people
were talking about Ford
bumping his head
or stumbling.
So we went up in the room
and the doctor started
putting powder on it
to see if he could calm it down
so it didn't look like
a neon sign.
It came time to leave.
He waved and shook hands.
Got out to the street corner...
A shot rang out.
Sara Jane Moore
was across the street,
fired a bullet.
It went by his head,
by the secret service
guy's head,
by my head.
A matter of inches
from both of us.
We got in the car,
pushed him down
on the floor, and...
Secret service man on top,
I'm on top.
The car races out of the city...
...not knowing
what might be next.
Finally you hear
this muffled thing
from president Ford,
and he says,
"come on, you guys.
Get off.
You're heavy."
And so we sat up,
went to the airplane, and left.
I used to tease him and say
I hoped he appreciated fully
how I handled his departure
from the hotel in San Francisco.
No one ever noticed
that he had the neon sign
on his forehead.
"Mr. President,
I care a great deal
about you as a person
and about your success.
I care deeply about the country
and believe
it is vitally important
that you be re-elected.
The morale is low
in the White House
because of the organizational
approach you have tolerated.
The job you need done
cannot be done
unless major changes
take place."
Dick Cheney and I
both attached our resignations
to the memo.
There wasn't anything
in the memo
I hadn't talked to him about
four, five, six times.
I decided that putting it down
in one place,
deciding to resign,
causing him to register
how strongly we felt about it.
He ended up separating
the positions
of secretary of state
and national security advisor,
which Henry had held
both of them.
And he made
several other changes.
Put George Herbert Walker bush
in the central
intelligence agency.
He wanted to make a change
at the Pentagon,
asked me to become
secretary of defense,
then my deputy, Dick Cheney,
to become chief of staff.
Of course, this becomes
known as the Halloween massacre.
I guess it is.
You know, a narrative
gets built out there
over a period of time.
Big personalities
going at each other.
In fact,
it's perfectly understandable.
They represent
different institutions,
and they have
different perspectives.
But it gets written up
in the media
as though it's jealousies
and personalities
and that type of thing
as opposed to
different perspectives.
When Shakespeare wrote history,
it was all character defects,
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
In Shakespeare,
it's the motivating force
of history.
Maybe Shakespeare got it wrong.
Well, you know,
it was a different time.
He was dealing
with different issues.
Maybe he had it right.
Maybe it just was different
Nelson Rockefeller has taken
himself out of consideration
as a vice presidential candidate
on president Ford's ticket
next year.
Rockefeller has
little choice in the matter.
Rumsfeld's calculated plan
to pave his own way
as a running mate
for president Ford.
Donald Rumsfeld has
been mentioned for months
as a possible vice presidential
running mate with president Ford. congress think
his new job
as defense secretary is a means
of putting Rumsfeld
in the running
for the vice presidency.
Donald Rumsfeld
takes over the Pentagon
but also keeps most
of his personal influence
with president Ford.
...the shake-up
took place.
The consensus is that Rumsfeld
again emerged the winner.
conservative influence
at the White House
will be carried on
by 34-year-old
Richard Cheney,
who said in his office
this afternoon,
he'll be running things
just like don did.
In November 1975...
I became the youngest secretary
of defense in history.
It's important, I suppose,
to go back
and set the background
for this occasion.
Henry Kissinger had the job
of fostering Detentes,
a lessening of tension
with the Soviet Union.
The more talk there was
about Detentes
and the more
these negotiations went on
and the more people sat around
clinking champagne glasses
with great big smiles,
and the world saw all of that,
the congress
and the American people
would not be in favor of
increasing defense investment.
It was really fundamental
differences of approach.
Weakness, historically,
tends to prove to be provocative
and create instabilities
in wars and conflicts.
Strength on our part
will contribute
to peace and stability
in the world.
I'm not saying with certainty
that the Russians are coming.
I'm saying the trends are here.
I'm not saying
the Russians are 10 feet tall.
I'm saying they used to be 5'3".
They're now 5'91/2",
and they're growing,
and we're not.
To be brand-new
in the department of defense
with a presidential campaign
going on,
my task was to meet with members
of the United States congress.
Small, intimate setting
where I could take
a classified briefing
and show them
the overhead photographs
that were highly classified,
that were top secret,
let them see for themselves
what the Soviet Union was doing.
I would get 6 or 8 or 10 of them
and bring them down
to the Roosevelt room,
which is right
across from the oval office
in the west wing
of the White House.
Not in the Pentagon;
In the White House.
In the White House, absolutely.
If you have a meeting
in the White House
in the Roosevelt room,
and the president stops by
and says hello to 'em,
it is much more memorable
for them.
I had a major fraction of
all the United States senators
and all the members
of the congress
come in to those meetings,
you know, night after
night after night.
When you would show
these photographs to people
from satellites
or from a u-2,
people were amazed by them.
In addition, we prepared a
unclassified series of charts.
One was on U.S./U.S.S.R.
Military manpower.
Another one had U.S. and Soviet
military investment...
ballistic missile developments...
Changes in
strategic force levels...
Warheads, megatonnage,
estimated production rates.
No one statistic
was determinative.
What was important is,
what were the trend lines?
Did it come as a surprise
that Carter beat Ford in 1976?
He started out way behind.
If it had gone on
another week or two,
he might very well have won.
The republican
national convention
begins here tomorrow, and most
of the players are in place.
Everybody's playing the
vice presidential guessing game.
One big question remains.
Who will be Reagan's
vice presidential choice?
The Republicans are
floating some of the rumors
in an effort to keep...
the list includes former
ambassador George Bush,
who gave Reagan his
toughest primary battle,
or the defense secretary,
Donald Rumsfeld.
The questions about
Rumsfeld are whether his ties
to republican big business are too close
and whether he's too ambitious
to fit in
playing second fiddle to Reagan.
There is the picture
of Donald Rumsfeld
as Machiavelli,
and that you managed
George H.W. Bush
into the CIA
as a way of destroying
his presidential ambitions.
It's utter nonsense.
He had to know the truth.
And why he would
promote that idea...
he must have believed it
for some reason.
I suppose it's kind of
more fun for somebody
to be able to say
they were pushed,
rather than they tripped.
Reagan was up a floor above.
I was with my wife, Joyce.
I had a man glued at my hip,
ready to tell me
if governor Reagan called
and wanted me
to be vice president.
The press was filled
with this excitement
about the possibility
of president Reagan
selecting Gerald R. Ford.
I was stunned at the thought.
It's like sticking four hands
on the steering wheel.
You're gonna end up
putting the truck in the ditch.
My phone rang.
It was governor Reagan.
He said, "don,
I want you to know
that I've decided to have
George Bush be
my vice presidential nominee."
I said, "fantastic.
I am so relieved
that you decided
not to have Gerald Ford."
He said, "oh, no, don.
Jerry and I decided together
that it wouldn't be
a good idea."
It seems to me
that if that decision
had gone
a slightly different way,
you would have been
vice president
and future president
of the United States.
That's possible.
I was living in Illinois
and was chief executive officer
of a pharmaceutical company,
G.D. Searle and co.
In a barracks in Beirut,
a truck loaded with explosives
came racing through the gate,
under the building.
Killed 241 Americans.
Shortly after,
the secretary of state,
George Shultz, called and said
that they wanted me to serve
as special envoy
for president Reagan
to the Middle East.
...with our new representative.
So, don, good luck,
and our hearts are with you.
Mr. President...
I began traveling in the region.
I would send cables back
trying to report back
on my observations.
I entitled one of them,
back in November of 1983,
"the swamp."
"I suspect we ought
to lighten our hand
in the Middle East.
We should move the framework
away from the current situation
where everyone is telling us
everything is our fault
and angry with us
to a basis where
they are seeking our help.
In the future,
we should never use U.S. troops
as a peacekeeping force.
We're too big a target.
Let the Fijians
or New Zealanders do that.
And keep reminding ourselves
that it is easier
to get into something
than it is to get out of it.
I promise you,
you will never hear
out of my mouth the phrase,
'the U.S. seeks
a just and lasting peace
in the Middle East.'
there is little that is just,
and the only things I've seen
that are lasting
are conflict, blackmail,
and killing."
We arrived at night,
as I recall.
The building where
Saddam Hussein had his office
had sandbags all around it
because Baghdad is so close
to the Iranian border.
And they were at war with Iran,
and they were being shelled
from time to time.
We went into this building,
got in an elevator,
went up,
got out of the elevator,
and the three or four people
I was with
were walking along.
All of a sudden,
an Iraqi cut me off
and took me down a corridor,
a dark corridor.
Oh, yeah, I don't know,
20 paces, 30 paces.
And then into a room.
And I was alone in the room,
and I looked up,
and here is this man
in fatigues
with a pistol on his hip.
And it turned out
to be Tariq Aziz,
the deputy prime minister
and foreign minister.
It was hours that we were
in there talking alone.
It looked like
it had leather walls,
padded walls,
maybe Naugahyde or something.
We would have a meeting
with Saddam Hussein
the next morning,
and the time was set.
And we went in,
and there he was.
A brutal dictator
in his military fatigues
with his pistol at his hip.
It was just a preliminary step,
and it became almost iconic... shaking hands
with this brutal dictator
who later became known as
"the butcher of Baghdad."
He postured constantly
and was presenting himself
as the great leader,
which dictators apparently do.
They foster that,
and have schoolkids praise them,
make sure that their image
is everywhere,
whether in a photograph
or a statue,
and cause people
to bow and kowtow.
And, you know, if you see
your picture everywhere
long enough,
and if you see enough statues,
pretty soon you might even
begin to believe that.
He almost became
a caricature of himself,
by my standards, as an outsider
not prone to worship idols.
He was living
his image of himself,
which was pretend.
There are those
who suggest today
that the United States
is in decline,
that, in fact, we should allow
someone else to contribute
to the stability in the world.
I happen to disagree with that,
and I think that we need
to provide leadership,
and I think that leadership
can make an enormous difference
in what the world's gonna look like
in the 1990s and the year 2000.
If you read the newspapers
or watch television today,
and you look at the polls,
first they rank Gorbachev
as the reason that
these changes are occurring,
and second,
they gave Reagan some credit,
which is ridiculous.
The credit belongs
to Truman and Adenauer
and to steadfastness
over a period of 40 years.
The credit goes
to the investments
of billions of dollars
over a long, sustained
period of time
by people who were carped at
and criticized
and said, "oh, my goodness,
you're warmongers."
It went to the concept
of peace through strength.
And we need to understand
how we got to where we are,
because going forward, we're
gonna have to make a judgment
as to what role
our country ought to play,
and a passive role
would be terribly dangerous.
But who do we want to lead...
provide leadership in the world?
Somebody else?
We're here today
to swear in don Rumsfeld
as secretary of defense
and welcome him back
to the public service.
We were colleagues in government
for nearly six years,
and here, quite simply, is a
man who's been an executive,
a statesman, and a human being
of the first order.
I assume that Dick Cheney
brought you
into the bush administration.
I would assume that's the case.
I don't think George W. Bush's
father recommended it.
Obviously, George W. Bush
was his own man,
made his own decisions.
"Subject: Chain of command."
A memo to Condoleezza Rice.
"Because I've failed
to get you and the N.S.C. Staff
to stop giving tasks
to combatant commanders
and the joint staff,
I've drafted
the attached memorandum.
I'd hoped it would
not be necessary
for me to do it this way,
but since your last memo stated
that we should work it out
from our end,
I'm forced to do so.
You are making a mistake.
You're not in
the chain of command.
Since you cannot seem
to accept that fact,
my only choices
are to go to the president
and ask him to tell you to stop
or to tell anyone
in the department of defense
not to respond to you
or the national
security council staff.
I've decided
to take the latter course.
If it fails, I'll have to go
to the president.
One way or other, it will stop,
while I am secretary of defense.
Waging a high-profile war
has thrust Donald Rumsfeld
into the public eye.
Two months into
the war against terror...
Rumsfeld, who has
become the voice of the war.
80% public approval.
Give and take
with the Pentagon press corps
is now must-see television.
Good morning.
Good afternoon.
You know, something's
neither good nor bad
but thinking makes it so,
I suppose.
Yes, you may ask that...
But will I answer that?
I do not want the record to show
that I even bothered
to deny it, however.
So I've decided that
I'm not gonna go asking
for an unclassified
piece of paper.
I don't need it.
You need it.
So you get told things
every day that don't happen.
It doesn't seem
to bother people.
But I'm working my way
over to figuring out
how I won't answer that.
We'll make this
the last question.
Last question.
Mr. secretary, could I just
ask one thing about Gitmo?
Oh, no, no, I love that ending.
I'm... uh...
if you think I'm gonna mess
that one up, you're wrong.
The U.S. and its Afghan
allies clearly have the momentum
in the battle for Tora Bora.
Secretary Rumsfeld admitted
it is unclear
when this fight will end.
The number of
prisoners is climbing.
Two weeks ago,
secretary Rumsfeld dismissed
the idea of detaining
large numbers
of captured fighters.
Well, this week,
he reversed himself,
saying a large number would
likely be taken into custody.
"January 19, 2002."
The subject:
"Status of Taliban
and Al-Qaeda."
"The United States
has determined
that Al-Qaeda and Taliban
under the control
of the department of defense,
are not entitled
to prisoner of war status
for purposes of the Geneva
conventions of 1949."
Don't you think
that the decision on Geneva
caused so much trouble?
Oh, my goodness, it would
have been so much easier
if you could treat people,
all of them,
the same as prisoners of war.
Then you wouldn't have
to interrogate anybody.
You could just house them
Now, would that have been
a responsible thing
for the president
to do? No.
The president needed to know
what was gonna happen next.
Every day,
the intelligence reports said,
"this is a risk.
This is a risk.
Watch out for this.
Something could happen there."
It was the responsibility of the president
to try to prevent a future attack.
Tell you what I'm gonna do.
I am gonna stay here
and answer as many
detainee questions
as need to be answered.
I don't know
that I'll know the answers
to all the questions, but I...
if I don't, we'll find them,
because it seems to me
it's time to tap down
some of this hyperbole
that we're finding.
Mr. secretary...
Mr. secretary...
- Mr. secretary...
- Mr. secretary.
Is John Walker being treated
the same way
- as the other detainees?
- Yes.
hooded in the transfer...
oh, my goodness.
Now, look.
Is he being treated
like the other detainees,
shackled, hooded,
and what have you?
Oh, well,
let me say this about that.
When people are moved,
they are restrained.
That is true in prisons
across the globe.
Will any single prisoner
be treated humanely?
You bet.
When they are being moved
from place to place,
will they be restrained in a way
so that they are less likely
to be able to
kill an American soldier?
You bet.
Is it inhumane
to do that? No.
Would it be stupid
to do anything else?
Mr. secretary...
what about all these
so-called "torture memos?"
Well, there were, what,
one or two or three.
I don't know the number,
but there were not
"all" of these
so-called memos.
They were mischaracterized
as torture memos,
and they came, not out of
the bush administration per se,
but they came out of
the U.S. department of justice,
blessed by the Attorney General,
the senior legal official
of the United States of America,
having been nominated
by a president and confirmed
by the United States senate
Little different cast
I just put on it
than the one you did.
I'll chalk that one up.
Was the reaction unfair?
Well, I've never read them.
- Really?
- No.
I'm not a lawyer.
What would I know?
I've never seen so much
misinformation communicated
about a place than was the case
about Guantanamo bay, Cuba.
This prison was
exceedingly well-run,
yet the impression that's left
is that it was a terrible place,
and people were tortured,
and people were abused.
Prisons aren't pretty places,
but that prison
is probably as well-run
as any prison
on the face of the earth.
If you go and ask somebody
in a big audience,
"how many people do you think
were waterboarded
at Guantanamo?"
And people stick their hands up,
and someone will say,
"well, hundreds."
The answer is,
Zero were waterboarded
at Guantanamo.
The military
never waterboarded anybody
in an interrogation.
The CIA waterboarded,
as I understand it,
three people.
But it wasn't at Guantanamo,
and it wasn't done
by the United States
department of defense.
Al Qahtani
was never waterboarded?
Now, were there some things done
that shouldn't have been done
at Guantanamo?
You bet.
When someone looked
like they were
a very high-value detainee,
the department of defense
didn't deal with them.
The central intelligence agency
did, and properly so.
In the case of Qahtani,
he was a high-value detainee,
and for some reason,
he wasn't transferred.
Someone junior
in the chain of command
decided that he was probably
the 20th hijacker.
General hill wrote a memo.
"There are three categories
of interrogation techniques
that we would like you
to consider for approval."
How unusual were
these techniques?
Oh, they ran the gamut.
One of the techniques
recommended was waterboarding,
which I rejected.
Others would be,
"yelling at the detainee,
techniques of deception,
where you'd use
multiple interrogator...
interviewer may identify himself
as a citizen of a foreign...
with a reputation
for harsh treatment...
category II techniques...
stress positions, like standing,
for a maximum of four hours.
Falsified documents
or reports...
the use of isolation
facility for up to 30 days.
Deprivation of light
and auditory stimuli.
Hood placed over his head
during transportation
and questioning.
20 hour interrogations.
Removal of all comfort items,
including religious items.
Removal of clothing. Forced
grooming, shaving of facial hair.
Detainee individual phobias,
such fear of dogs,
to induce stress.
Category III techniques.
Use of non...
physical contact such as
grabbing and light pushing."
I think that's all.
Good grief,
that's a pile of stuff.
Jim Haynes, the general counsel,
sent it to me with a cover memo.
"I recommend that you approve
most of the things
in category I, if not all,
most of the things
in category II, if not all,
and one or two or three
of the things in category III.
But disapprove the others."
I remember one of the things
required that
he'd stand for three or four,
five, six hours.
When I approved it,
I wrote down that, you know,
I stand for eight or ten
hours a day.
I forget what I said,
but something like that.
Needless to say,
I did not intend
that my memo would then be sent
back down the chain of command.
In the case of Qahtani,
some of the things
that were done to him
were not approved.
And the interrogation plan
involving the duration
and the combination
of the techniques
was not proper.
Up came a concern expressed
to the general counsel.
"We hear some of these things
are being done to this fellow
that aren't approved
or aren't proper
in the interrogation plan."
And he came in and told me,
and I immediately
rescinded that memo.
Some weeks later, we reissued
the enhanced
interrogation techniques.
There was criticism
from some of the military people
in the chain
that by suspending them
for a period of weeks,
we were putting at risk
the American people.
How do you know
when you're going too far?
You can't know with certainty.
All the easy decisions
are made down below.
When you say,
"how can you know?"
The answer is,
"you can't."
Wouldn't it be wonderful
if we could see around corners,
have our imaginations anticipate
every conceivable thing
that could happen and then,
from that full array
and spectrum,
pick out the ones
that will happen?
Is there any
evidence to indicate
that Iraq has attempted to
or is willing to supply
terrorists with weapons
of mass destruction?
As we know,
there are known knowns.
There are things
we know we know.
We also know
there are known unknowns.
That is to say,
we know there's some things
we do not know.
But there are also
unknown unknowns,
the ones we don't know
we don't know.
We just want to know,
are you aware of any evidence,
because that would increase
our level of belief
from faith to something
that would be...
- Yeah...
- Based on evidence.
"Subject: To discuss with P.,"
meaning the president
of the United States.
"The absence of evidence
is not evidence of absence."
When you say,
"the absence of evidence
is not evidence of absence,"
what you're saying
is that there is an absence
of evidence about something,
but you ought not to say
that therefore that is proof
that something doesn't exist.
It's an easy thing to go
from the first part of that
in the wrong direction and say,
"well, the absence of evidence
means it isn't there."
If an inspection team
goes in now
and finds nothing because
perhaps Iraq is very good
at hiding it
or perhaps they have nothing...
but you all are of the belief
that they have it...
if they find nothing, does it
make your job more difficult
in trying to assemble
an international coalition
to disarm him by other means?
Goodness gracious,
that is kind of like
looking down the road
for every conceivable pothole
you can find
and then driving into it.
I just don't...
I don't get up in the morning
and ask myself that.
we know they have
weapons of mass destruction.
We know
they have active programs.
There isn't any debate about it.
It was thought to be
the best intelligence available.
How do you describe it
when it turns out
to be not accurate?
Do you describe that
as a failure of intelligence?
I suppose some can,
not unfairly, suggest that.
Saddam Hussein
may have been fearful
that he would be discovered
as having those weapons,
removed them or destroyed them,
but not wanted to tell anybody
that he'd done so.
He may have destroyed them,
unwilling to admit it,
fearful of being seen as weak.
Wouldn't it be strange
if he had destroyed his W.M.D.
And got invaded anyway?
Of course, I'm not suggesting
that that's the case.
I honestly do not know
what the case is.
All I know is that
the intelligence community
persuaded the president
and secretary Powell.
He spent days preparing himself
to make his presentation
to the united nations.
And he spent years
trying to explain
why he had done it.
It's a short sentence.
The reason he presented it
was 'cause he believed it.
"October 15, 2001.
Subject: Definition.
Please give me
a good definition for terrorism
and some elaboration as to
what it is and what it isn't."
"December 28, 2001.
Adopting common terminology.
I suggest we use
the following terms.
'Afghan Taliban':
Afghan officials and fighters
of the former regime."
"October 31, 2002.
Definition of victory.
Where is that definition
of victory?"
"January 6, 2003.
Subject: Terminology.
I want to make a list of things
I've done at the Pentagon,
like getting rid of words.
National missile defense,
ready for what?"
"October 1, 2003.
Subject: Please get me the
Oxford dictionary definition
of 'several'
and type it up for me.
"May 14, 2004.
Please give me
the dictionary definition
of 'scapegoat.'
And where did this term
"shock and awe" come from?
I don't know.
Apparently, general Franks
read it.
He used it.
It became
part of a press discussion.
But the idea of shock and awe?
I've told you all I know
about that phrase.
I picked up a newspaper today,
and I couldn't believe it.
I read eight headlines
that talked about chaos,
violence, unrest.
And it just was, "Henny Penny,
the sky is falling."
I've never seen
anything like it.
And here is a country
that's being liberated.
Here are people
who are going from being
and held under the thumb
of a vicious dictator,
and they're free,
and all this newspaper could do,
with 8 or 10 headlines...
they showed a man bleeding,
a civilian who they claimed
we had shot.
One thing after another,
it's just unbelievable
how people can take that away
from what is happening
in that country.
Stuff happens.
But in terms of what's going on
in that country,
it is a fundamental
to see those images
over and over and over again
of some boy walking out
with a vase,
and saying, "oh, my goodness.
You didn't have a plan."
That's nonsense.
They know what they're doing,
and they're doing
a terrific job.
And it's untidy,
and freedom's untidy,
and free people
are free to make mistakes
and commit crimes
and do bad things.
They're also free
to live their lives
and do wonderful things.
And that's
what's gonna happen here.
Mr. secretary...
this was another violent
day in the streets of Baghdad.
One of Washington's
nightmares came true today.
The bush administration
is admitting it wasn't fully
prepared for the huge task
of governing post-war Iraq.
Now troops patrol these
streets knowing that to many,
they are not liberators,
but occupiers.
It's a situation
the Pentagon admits
it failed to anticipate.
The Pentagon is
scoffing at suggestions
that an organized guerrilla
resistance is forming.
"July 23, 2003."
To general John Abizaid.
"Subject: Definitions.
Attached are the definitions
of 'guerilla warfare, '
'insurgency, '
and 'unconventional warfare.'
they came from
the Pentagon dictionary.
It seemed to me
that there are ways
you can talk about
what the enemy's doing
that help the enemy
and ways you can talk about
what the enemy's doing
that harm the enemy,
that make his task
less legitimate,
more difficult.
What you're seeing is
Rumsfeld floundering around,
trying to figure out,
what do all those words mean?
What do other people think
they mean?
What are the best ones to use
that will benefit
the United States of America?
One of you suggested
I go to the dictionary.
I didn't ask this question.
Yes, but he would have.
I have since gone
to the dictionary,
and I have looked up
several things,
one of which I can't
immediately recapture,
but one was "guerrilla war."
Another was "insurgency."
Another was
"unconventional war."
Pardon me?
No, that's someone
else's business.
Quagmire's the...
I don't do quagmires.
As I looked at the dictionary,
I'm not uncomfortable
with "unconventional,"
because it is not an army,
and it is not a Navy,
and it is not an air force.
But even there,
the dictionary...
the Pentagon dictionary...
I haven't looked
in a regular dictionary.
The Pentagon dictionary does not
even land that one perfectly
on what's taking place.
The bush administration has been
on a stepped-up P.R. Campaign
to stop the erosion
of support at home
for the dangerous mission
in Iraq.
Today, an unprecedented
series of bombings
left a trail
of death and devastation.
The concern
that Iraq's reconstruction is,
in fact, falling well short
of expectations.
Today in Fallujah,
Iraqi guerrillas
used a roadside bomb to bring
an American patrol to...
Briggs accused the Rumsfeld
team of being under-prepared
for post-war conditions
on the ground and unwilling
to share decision-making
with other government agencies.
that long-simmering tensions
over Iraq and its aftermath,
particularly between
the departments of state
and defense,
have now reached full boil.
October of 2003.
I became worried
that we were having trouble
measuring progress,
and I wrote a memo called
"global war on terror."
"Are we winning or losing
the global war on terror?
Is D.O.D. Changing
fast enough to deal
with the new 21st-century
security environment?
Are the changes we have
and are making too modest
and incremental?
My impression is that
we have not yet
made truly bold moves,
although we have made many
sensible, logical moves
in the right direction."
"But are they enough," I asked.
"Today we lack metrics to know
if we are winning or losing
the global war on terror.
Are we killing or deterring
more terrorists every day
than the madrassas
and the radical clerics
are recruiting and deploying
against us?
It's pretty clear
that the coalition can win
in Afghanistan and Iraq
in one way or another,
but it will be
a long, hard slog."
It was Christmastime.
I can recall going up
to the secure phone closet.
It's in the second floor
of our house,
not too far from my bedroom.
What was in there
was a noise system
that sounded like an ocean wave.
They had scooped up some people,
low-level people,
who might have some reason
to know where he might be.
He'd been moving
around the country every day,
sleeping a different place,
moving around in taxicabs.
Also moving around
were some body doubles,
people who looked
exactly like Saddam Hussein,
indeed, had the same
distinguishing marks
on their bodies.
Some low-level individual
said that he believed
he knew where
Saddam Hussein was.
They inspected this farm
out in the middle of nowhere.
There was a trapdoor.
They opened this up.
Lo and behold, here was
this bedraggled, bearded man
down in that hole.
Saddam Hussein clearly
concluded it was all a bluff.
The United States
was a paper tiger.
They weren't gonna do anything.
The first Gulf war
left him feeling
that no one
was gonna bother him.
He was the person who prevailed.
He obviously felt
that he was a survivor.
And he was, for a while.
Someone said, "do you want
to go see Saddam Hussein,"
after he was captured.
And I said,
I said, "I would like
to talk to Tariq Aziz."
It's a complicated situation
for me.
As the number two man,
deputy prime minister
and foreign minister
for Saddam Hussein,
and you meet with him,
you come away
with that he is a perfectly
rational, logical individual.
I've spent hours and hours
with him.
You wonder what goes on
in a mind like that.
I would love to talk
to Tariq Aziz and figure out
what in the world
they were thinking.
What else might
the United States have done
to reach out to them
and get them
to behave rationally.
On February 6, 2003,
to Jim Haynes.
"Subject: Detainees.
I am concerned
that the detainee issues
we were wrestling with
have not been resolved.
And as far as I can see... has just
dropped into a black pit.
We have to get it figured out.
"January 10, 2003.
Subject: Detainees.
I have simply got to know
when you folks
are going to be prepared
to brief the White House
on detainees.
In fact, I don't think
I'll even do it that way.
Instead, let me just say,
you should be prepared
to brief the White House..."
"Subject: The N.S.C."
"Or the principals committee
on detainees,
including the most recent
issue that has been raised,
no later than next Tuesday."
"January 14.
I want to get briefed
on the Iraqi detainees fast.
I'm really worried about it.
When the pictures came,
it had an impact
that was well beyond
anything that I'd experienced.
Why do you think
the pictures did it?
What it showed was people
engaging in acts of abuse
that were disgusting
and revolting.
There were pictures
showing that prison guards
in the midnight shift
were doing things to prisoners
that didn't kill them,
that didn't create injuries
that were permanent,
but they were engaging
in sadistic things,
and there was nudity involved.
I knew that it would create
a advantage for the terrorists,
for Al-Qaeda and for the people
in the insurgency,
who were out recruiting.
They could show
that the Americans
were treating people badly.
It worked against everything
we were trying to do.
I walked in
and said to the president,
"I'm the senior person,
and I believe in accountability.
Here's my resignation."
It was in my handwriting.
I didn't want to dictate it
or have it typed up by somebody.
I felt a very strong sense
that something terrible
had happened on my watch.
He said, "don, I recognize
how you feel about this,
but that's not gonna
solve the problem."
I testified before the house,
testified before the senate,
tried to figure out
how everything happened.
When a ship runs aground,
the captain of the ship's
generally relieved.
You don't relieve
your presidents,
and I couldn't find anyone
that I thought
it would be fair and responsible
to pin the tail on.
So I sat down and wrote
a second letter of resignation,
and I still believe to this day
that I was correct
and it would have been better,
better for the administration
and the department of defense
and better for me,
if the department
could have started fresh
with someone else
in the leadership position.
So you wish
it had been accepted?
There's a claim
that the interrogation rules
used in Guantanamo
migrated to Iraq,
where they led
to incredible abuse.
The evidence is to the contrary.
There were 12 investigations
that looked at these issues,
some by civilians,
distinguished people like
Dr. Harold brown
and Dr. James Schlesinger,
former secretaries of defense,
others by military officials.
To suggest that
the procedures from Guantanamo
migrated over to Iraq
is to suggest that
the procedures in Guantanamo
would have encouraged the kind
of unbelievably bad, illegal,
improper behavior
that took place at Abu Ghraib,
and there's nothing
that would have permitted
anything like that.
Anyone who reads
the investigative reports
knows that's not the case.
This is from
the Schlesinger report.
"Changes in D.O.D.
Interrogation policies
between December 2, 2002,
and April 16, 2003,
were an element contributing
to uncertainties in the field
as to which techniques
were authorized.
Although specifically limited
by the secretary of defense
to Guantanamo, and requiring
his personal approval,
given in only two cases,
the augmented techniques
for Guantanamo
migrated to Afghanistan and Iraq
where they were neither limited
nor safeguarded."
Yeah, I think
that's a fair assessment.
Are you saying
stuff just happens?
Well, we know that
in every war
there are things that evolve
that hadn't been planned for
or fully anticipated
and that things occur
which shouldn't occur.
Wouldn't it have been
better not to go there at all?
Well, I guess time will tell.
Barack Obama opposed
most of the structures
that president George W. Bush
put in place:
Guantanamo bay, the concept
of indefinite detention,
the patriot act,
military commissions.
Here we are, years later,
and they're all still there.
I think that kind of has to
validate, to some extent,
the decisions that were made
by president George W. Bush.
We went to Bethesda
and Walter Reed
a great many times.
The strength that you felt
from the families
and the people wounded
was just absolutely
an inspiration.
It was an intensive care unit.
The doctor said,
"this guy's not gonna make it."
We walked in, met the man,
talked to him,
talked to the family.
I don't know what the word is.
But the family...
the wife said,
"I know he'll make it."
I think it was probably
two, three, four weeks later
I went back, and sure as heck,
the doctor said he made it.
So we're
a very fortunate country,
and the good lord willing,
we won't have
to be engaged in wars,
but I'm afraid,
human nature being what it is,
that we'll have to continue
to ask young men and women
to come and serve our country,
and their lives will be at risk.
When you're in a position
like secretary of defense,
do you feel that you actually
are in control of history
or that history
is controlling you?
Oh, neither.
you don't control history,
and you are failing
if history controls you.
Are you surprised
when you go back
and read these memos?
Oh, my goodness, yes.
I can't believe
some of the things I wrote.
I don't know where
all those words came from.
"February 4, 2004.
Subject: What you know.
There are knowns knowns.
There are known unknowns.
There are unknown unknowns.
But there are also
unknown knowns.
That is to say,
things that you think you know
that it turns out
you did not."
If you take those words
and try to connect them
in each way that is possible...
There was at least
one more combination
that wasn't there:
The unknown knowns.
Things that
you possibly may know
that you don't know you know.
But the memo doesn't say that.
It says we know less,
not more, than we think we do.
Is that right?
I reversed it?
Put it up again.
Let me see.
"There are also unknown knowns.
That is to say,
things that you think you know
that it turns out you did not."
Yeah, I think that memo
is backwards.
I think that it's closer
to what I said here than that.
Unknown knowns.
I think you're probably, Errol,
chasing the wrong rabbit here.
As ubiquitous
as those suicide bombers
have become in Iraq, far more
people are now being killed
by executions
than by those bombings.
Another 40 bodies today dumped
on the streets of Baghdad,
But with
an especially deadly October
and Iraq tipping toward chaos...
the U.S. is on
the brink of failure in Iraq.
A parade of generals called
Rumsfelds war strategy flawed.
The democrats are in;
Donald Rumsfeld is out.
Firing secretary of
defense Donald Rumsfeld
and replacing him with a veteran
of his father's administration.
Mr. President,
thank you for your kind words.
The great respect that I have
for your leadership
in this little-understood,
unfamiliar war,
the first war
of the 21st century.
It is not well known.
It was not well understood.
It is complex for people
to comprehend.
And I know with certainty
that, over time,
the contributions you've made
will be recorded by history.
Thank you.
Mr. secretary.
This way.
"December 15, 2006.
To: Pentagon personnel.
From: Donald Rumsfeld.
Subject: 'Snowflakes...
the blizzard is over.'
over the past six years,
thousands of these memos
have fallen,
sometimes in blizzards,
and sometimes in cold
and lonely isolation.
Yet, as surprising
as this may seem
to those who may have been
buried in the deluge,
there are many people
in the department
who have never received
a snowflake.
This snowflake
is especially for them.
Its message is, perhaps
typically, to the point.
Thank you.
The blizzard is over."
One last question.
Why are you doing this?
Why are you talking to me?
That is a vicious question.
I'll be darned if I know.