At a recent press conference broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio, the following exchange occurred:
Lytle: You said about a year ago that there was bulletproof evidence that Saddam -- of links between Saddam Hussein and the September 11th attacks. When will the American public see that sort of evidence?
Upon hearing the foregoing exchange, I immediately summoned up the forces of the Internet and Google-searched a likely collection of keywords. The first hit was the following:
which included Rumsfeld describing the evidence regarding links between Iraq and al Qaeda as "bulletproof."
Another hit in the same search was the following:
Rumsfeld: There's one other thing I forgot to do, and that is to go to New York Times editorial comment, which said something about me using the word "bulletproof." And it's true, I did. What happened was, as I recall, I think I was here on probably the 26th of September, I think I was told, and in a press briefing I was asked about the linkage between al Qaeda and Iraq. And I took a piece of paper -- this one, as fate would have it -- which I had gotten from the Central Intelligence Agency -- and asked them -- which I'd asked them for -- and I believe I said that, that a number of us had said, "Give us the definitive word." And so I read off of it and said it was from the intelligence agency, I believe. Then I was down the next day, I think, in Atlanta, and I was asked about this subject, and I said that the agency had come back to me with five or six sentences that were bulletproof. And it was the -- when I said the -- something was bulletproof, I was referring to the five or six sentences that I had read here off of a piece of paper which I'd received from the agency.
So he admits using the word, great. But there's more. At http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030713-secdef0384.html we find this scintillating exchange:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you about links to Al Qaeda. Do you still believe the intelligence that showed Iraq's links to Al Qaeda is bulletproof?Note that Rumsfeld wasn't objecting to the word "bulletproof" by George Stephanopoulos. But go back to the transcript on September 26, 2002 (now after Rumsfeld claimed to have never said it and you find the following:
Q: Mr. Secretary, on that topic, a related question is how they move around their chemical and biological weapons. And I wonder, given all this evidence that you've talked about today and the connection with al Qaeda and so on, and their ability to hide these things, is the time past when inspections by the U.N. would be of any use?
Inaudible? Just like Rosemary Woods and Nixon's seventeen minutes of audiotape. But what was left in plain sight was even more damning. In the same September 26, 2002 transcript, Rumsfeld says:
We know they have weapons of mass destruction. We know they have active programs. There isn't any debate about it. So -- so the idea that if you had an appropriate inspection regime, that they'd come back and say you were wrong is -- is so far beyond anyone's imagination that it's not something I think about. If you have an appropriate inspection regime, they're going to find weapons of mass destruction, or else they're going to get thrown out, or else they're going to be denied access and they're going to leave themselves, because they're there.
Remember those words when David Kay's Iraq Survey Group tries to flood the zone with paper about "weapons programs." Show me the WMDs or acknowledge that you didn't "know" anything at all.
D-Zine Editor/Ward 3 DFL Chair