Rumsfeld on Rumsfeld

Via Ethan via Atrios via CBS (pdf).

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these
weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why
then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you’re the–you and a few other critics are the
only people I’ve heard use the phrase `immediate threat.’ I didn’t. The
president didn’t. And it’s become kind of folklore that that’s–that’s
what’s happened. The president went…

SCHIEFFER: You’re saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I–I can’t speak for nobody–everybody in the
administration and say nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn’t say that? The…

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not–if–if you have any citations, I’d like to see ’em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says `some have argued that the
nu’–this is you speaking–`that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not
imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having
nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.’

Sec. RUMSFELD: And–and…

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I’ve–I’ve tried to be precise, and I’ve tried to
be accurate. I’m s–suppose I’ve…

Mr. FRIEDMAN: `No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate
threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and
the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.’

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It–my view of–of the situation was that
he–he had–we–we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other
countries had and that–that we believed and we still do not know–we
will know.

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