Rumsfeld goes off message
NGUYEN: We want to go back now to that video that we're just getting in from Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq, a surprise visit, he is at Camp Victory here in Baghdad in this video speaking to soldiers in the mess hall. Let's take a listen.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: And to change that way of living, would strike at the very essence of our country. And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten -- indeed the word "terrorized" is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be. And that is exactly what we cannot allow to happen.
Whoa there, Mr Secretary. Surely you meant to say the people who "heroically wrestled control of the aircraft from the terrorists"? But no; in the context, that hardly makes even Rumsfeldian sense. Perhaps al Qaeda had a sleeper cell in an Amish community which took a lucky potshot at Flight 93? Or hey, maybe during the holiday season your conscience turns to Paul Wellstone, and you meant to say "Minnesota"?
Or it could have been an admission of what most of us have known since September 11: that Flight 93 was shot down by the US Air Force. There's no shame in that. It ought to have happened three other times that morning. But Flight 93's departure was delayed 40 minutes, which removed the successful completion of its mission from the window of plausible deniability. So it had to be taken out. And it had to be lied about, because - well, because that's what you do, isn't it? Lie to deflect attention from the inattention of the air force, and lie to fabricate the "let's roll!" heroism of Joe American to ramp up the populace to a war footing.
Just what were you saying, sir? Unfortunately, this is something you'll never be compelled to answer. Because even when the transcripts don't get scrubbed, even you get a pass. Even when you accidentally speak the truth, the media and public are conditioned to hear instead the comforting falsehood.
And this remark of yours, that the purpose of those who terrorize is to "alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."
Right again, Mr Secretary.