Much as I may dislike Rumsfeld (along with the rest of the Bush administration), I always figured he at least had some amount of intelligence. But this latest “I didn’t say that” spiel is nothing short of ludicrous…
…on Feb. 20, a month before the invasion, Rumsfeld fielded a question about whether Americans would be greeted as liberators if they invaded Iraq.
“Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?” Jim Lehrer asked the defense secretary on PBS’ “The News Hour.”
“There is no question but that they would be welcomed,” Rumsfeld replied, referring to American forces. “Go back to Afghanistan, the people were in the streets playing music, cheering, flying kites, and doing all the things that the Taliban and the al-Qaeda would not let them do.”
But on Sept. 25, – a particularly bloody day in which one U.S. soldier was killed in an ambush, eight Iraqi civilians died in a mortar strike and a member of the U.S-appointed governing council died after an assassination attempt five days earlier – Rumsfeld was asked about the surging resistance.
“Before the war in Iraq, you stated the case very eloquently and you said . . . they would welcome us with open arms,” Sinclair Broadcasting anchor Morris Jones said to Rumsfeld as the prelude to a question.
The defense chief quickly cut him off. “Never said that,” he said. “Never did. You may remember it well, but you’re thinking of somebody else. You can’t find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said.”
Does Rummy really think he’ll be able to get away with claiming that he didn’t say these things? In today’s ‘net connected world, anything said on the public record is there for good once it propagates into news stories posted across the ‘net.
If Rummy’s memory is really that bad, perhaps Google could help him refresh it with results like this PBS transcript of the interview with Jim Lehrer that the quote comes from. Or this Department of Defense transcript of the same interview.
Let’s try that “You can’t find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said,” statement again, shall we?