Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Fafblog Interview Week continues with our exclusive interview with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld!
FAFBLOG: Great to have you here Donald Rumsfeld! Lets get right to it an start by askin: what is with this torture thing, and how long have you known about it?
DONALD RUMSFELD: Good gosh, that's a tricky one there. Was it torture? Were detainees indefinitely held for days with bags over their heads? Yes. Were testicles electrocuted? You bet. Were orifices molested, flesh ripped by dogs, and nostils raped? Almost certainly. But torture? Hard to say.
FB: Wow - that IS hard to say.
DR: It sure is.
FB: A recent article in the New Yorker says you approved extending a secret interrogation program that allowed torture tactics to spread to Iraq. Is that true?
DR: My goodness me! Did the Pentagon implement a black ops interrogation program that greatly expanded what guards could do to prisoners? Maybe. Did I personally expand that program to low-level prisoners captured in Iraq? Possibly. Did this lead to the abuses at Abu Ghraib? Who can say?
FB: It's almost like the more questions we ask the fewer answers we know!
DR: The truth is a swirling miasma of shadow and fog, Fafnir.
FB: Now Secretary Rumsfeld, there are a lot of people criticizing your handling of the war over things like the undermanning of the military, the not preparing for reconstruction, the letting crazy militias run whole cities. What is your response to those critics?
DR: Well, jeepers, it's hard to say. It's easy for those people, in their press boxes and their ivory towers, to sit back and criticize without having to do the actual work of running the military. Now would another secretary of defense have done a better job, or do a better job? That question comes with a lot of unknowns. Some of those unknowns we know, and some of them we don't know. Do we have a metric for these known unknowns? Are there more unknown unknowns than known unknowns? Is that another unknown? We just don't know.
FB: It's all so crazy we might as well just leave things as they are with you in charge!
DR: If you say so.
FB: Now we can't let you go without askin you about one more thing. Some people have been sayin you should resign lately... John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Harkin, The Economist...
DR: Now, I've accepted responsibility before and I'll accept responsibility again for everything done under my command. But I'll be damned... damned... if I let a few systemic, widespread, and grotesque atrocities reflect on the character and conviction of the high-ranking civilian and military brass who created the environment that fostered those atrocities.
FB: ...The New York Times, The Army Times, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post almost, The Council for American-Islamic Relations...
DR: And I'll caution those in the press that they should be very careful about the way they handle and release these stories and these pictures, because right now by piling on the United States they're providing ammunition, aid and comfort to the enemy.
FB: ...Anthony Zinni, Al Gore, Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark...
DR: Thanks for having me here.
Tomorrow we will be interviewin Osama bin Laden, from his mysterious and undisclosed hiding-cave along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border! It is amazing, how are we gettin an interview with Osama bin Laden?
posted by fafnir at 11:51 PM