Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rumsfeld: Lying, Deluded or Both?

This is from a transcript of yesterday's Dept. of Defense Press Briefing:

Question: First of all, did those Marines ask for a thousand more troops? And can you explain to people who see the security situation as still serious in Iraq, who know that the Iraqi forces aren't ready to take over, why there aren't more troops needed?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I'll start. And I think Larry could well have said I don't doubt for a minute that there are people in the country at the colonel level or lieutenant colonel level who might not want more at one moment, who might not want less in another moment. And there's 137,500 U.S. forces and a good slug of coalition forces, and how they are parceled out and allocated within the country of Iraq is a matter for General Casey and General J.R. Vines to determine. They do it every day. And at any given moment, they're moving people from one place to another. That's their job.

So the idea that someone in Washington -- or that because someone wishes they had more at a certain moment suggests that the total number is wrong, I think is a non-sequitur.

Question: But are there enough troops --

SEC. RUMSFELD: Obviously a non-sequitur.

Question: But explain to people why more troops aren't needed. People look at the security situation, General Myers said --

GEN. MYERS: More troops are needed. More troops are needed, and they're being provided by the Iraqis. And if you just think back, if you trace the number of Iraqi security forces that have come on line -- and to answer, partly, Bret's -- there's 178,000-plus of them, and every day when they wake up, they go out to defend their country, whether they're on the border or whether they're a brand new unit that's guarding a fixed site somewhere, they're at risk, they know they're at risk, they've lost a lot of their own members.


OK so here are MY Questions (and real Rummy responses from yesterday)........

Question: Operation Quick Strike recently conducted in the Anbar Province involved 800 U.S. Marines and 180 Iraqi soldiers. Since this was an important offensive involving several campaigns how come there were only 180 Iraqi forces involved if there are now 178,000 Iraqi forces available?

SEC. RUMSFELD: I don't hint. .(laughter)

Question: Uh? And this is funny to you guys? (looks at fellow members of press) Let me try another way. An Iraqi Army Division with about 8000 soldiers was stationed in Tal Afir region. How come there were only 180 Iraqis helping in Operation Quick Strike if there were thousands more available in North West Iraq?

SEC. RUMSFELD: I think you're misstating what you hear from this podium --

Question: Actually I don't understand what is said from the podium....But ....Mr. Secretary Joe Galloway a veteran war correspondent has said that "the new Iraqi force is heavily infiltrated by the very people that are the enemy, and it is so poorly trained and led that perhaps no more than 5,000 of them can be trusted to operate independently without constant American support and in company with American troops. That doesn't seem to support what has been said from this podium does it?

SEC. RUMSFELD: There's always a risk when people grab into the middle of something, take the worst of what might be, and then wave it around as though it's reality.

Question: Well don't you think you take best estimates and represent that as reality ?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Obviously a non-sequitur.

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