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DoD News Briefing Feb 28 - Rumsfeld and Gen Myers

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Friday, February 28, 2003 - 1:43 p.m. EST

(Also participating was Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.)

Rumsfeld: Good afternoon. I had a meeting with -- goodness, it must have been 15 or 20 of the liaison -- military liaison people that are at the Central Command. They were in the Pentagon visiting. And had a chance to shake hands with them and visit with them and thank each of them -- they must have represented 15 or 20 different countries -- thank each of them for the wonderful relationship we have with their countries. They came from every continent on earth and are here for some intensive discussions and sessions.

Second, we just completed a lunch a bit earlier with the minister of defense -- secretary of defense of the Philippines, Mr. Reyes. We had a very good discussion. As you know, the United States and the government of the Philippines have a very long-standing relationship. It is a close and constructive one that's mutually beneficial.

The Philippines have been not just a part of the global coalition in the war on terrorism, but have been very stalwart and stand up in their activities. As we all know, they have some terrorist organizations in their country. They have been working not only worldwide with us on the linkages between the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya in their country, with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, but they have been working inside their country to aggressively deal with that set of issues and doing it effectively.

The United States, of course, has a number of exercises with the Philippine government every year. In addition, last year we had the Balikatan activity, which was on Basilan island, and was highly successful in dealing with the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization, not only the cooperation and the support and the training that we provided in that exercise, was successful in driving out and killing a number of the terrorists, but in addition, there was a substantial effort with respect to humanitarian affairs and civil works that has been helpful with respect to the population as a whole.

For some weeks have been discussing the possibility, the probability, the certainty of having some sort of a Balikatan, which in Filipino means "shoulder to shoulder," I'm told, activity in this year, '03. We will do that. We have -- are still in the process of discussing exactly how we ought to do that and what shape it ought to take, what makes the most sense from their standpoint, which is what our interest is, and what we can do and they can do in a manner that's consistent with each of our circumstances.

We had an excellent discussion, and I know that those discussions will continue in the days and weeks ahead. And I suspect we'll have an announcement at some point in the future as to precisely what that will be.

General Myers?

Myers: Nothing to add, sir.

Rumsfeld: Charlie?

Q: Mr. Secretary, we were recently led to believe, by Defense officials, that the new deployment in the Philippines, the new U.S. military deployment, would go beyond just training and that the American troops would be actually involved in offensive operations again Abu Sayyaf, not just return fire if you're fired upon or threatened. Is that the case? Is that what you want to do, and it's just such a politically explosive subject in the Philippines that you haven't come to an agreement on that? Is that not the case?

Rumsfeld: I don't -- I understand that the -- Secretary Reyes had a press briefing this morning where he discussed some of that.

Q: He did, but he didn't clarify very much.

Rumsfeld: Well, let me see what I can do. What the heck!

The -- as you know, the Philippine Constitution, which I believe dates back -- I don't know -- 50 years or something, is fashioned in a way that it prohibits the presence of foreign forces in a combat role in their -- on their land, I believe. Now that's not a legal definition, but it's something like that. The -- therefore, what you described would be difficult from them from a constitutional standpoint.

They have a variety of things they do in training their people, including exercises that involve combat situations, which is kind of the end point of training, from their standpoint, as I understand it. And what they do is they end up with the end of that process putting their folks into combat -- into a circumstance that conceivably could result in combat. You never know when you're dealing with terrorists, as opposed to something -- an opposing army, navy or air force.

From our standpoint, we can do either. We can do training. We can do exercises. We can do operations. But what we do is -- whatever it is we do, we describe in language that is consistent with how we do things. And we do not tend to train people in combat, if you will. We do not tend to do exercises in combat. And that is, I believe, what he explained this morning in his press briefing. So, exactly what the formula will be, I don't know. We're still discussing that. But there will be a Balikatan activity in '03 -- I'm absolutely certain of that -- and it will be one that's consistent with each of our circumstances. And we will, when we have it, be describing very precisely what it is our role will be, and whatever that role is, it has to be consistent with their constitution and their circumstance. But we want to be helpful.

Q: Is the idea here, sir -- you used shoulder to shoulder -- is the idea to more aggressively go after Abu Sayyaf; U.S. -- both U.S. and Philippine groups to more aggressively go after Abu Sayyaf?

Rumsfeld: The -- I suppose the way to characterize it is that the Philippine armed forces are pursuing the terrorists in their country. And second, they're cooperating worldwide with the global war on terror. The United States recognizes the linkages between the terrorist organizations in that country and al Qaeda and other terrorist networks in the world. It is very much in our interest to try to be helpful -- find ways that are comfortable for the Philippines that we can be helpful to them. And what we will do is we will -- the perfect world is that they have the institutional capability to deal with terrorism in their island and, in addition, contribute to the worldwide effort against terrorists. They are in a position today that suggests that they would like our assistance in various ways -- and support -- so that they can develop those capabilities somewhat more than they currently are. What the model will be, I don't know. But clearly, the goal of the Philippine government is to deal aggressively with the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya.


Q: Mr. Secretary, officials here in the Pentagon have been authorized to say over the last few weeks that this would be a joint combat operation, led by Philippine military assisted by the United States military. Is it still your understanding as of today this will be some type of joint combat operation?

Rumsfeld: I don't know who you said was authorized to say that.

Q: They were officials here in the Department of Defense who were authorized to speak on background and describe these kind of --

Rumsfeld: Huh. All I can tell you is --

Q: That's still your understanding, at least --

Rumsfeld: I think I've done an excellent job of explaining the situation. And the fact is that the way you phrased it would be perfectly comfortable from our standpoint. >From their standpoint, it would be inconsistent with their constitution. Therefore, what we have to do is find an approach where we can provide the maximum benefit to them and do it in a way that is not inconsistent with their circumstance.

Q: Is this a semantic approach, or is this something of substance on the ground that you've got to work out or an arrangement involving the actual forces?

Rumsfeld: Oh, I think in the last analysis, the United States government is -- daily demonstrates its inability to deal with nuance. (Laughs, laughter.) Therefore, I think what you'll find -- (laughter) -- I think what you'll find is, whatever it is we do substantively, there will be near-perfect clarity as to what it is. And it will be known, and it will be known to the Congress and it will be known to you, probably before we decide it, but it will be known. And it will have to be something that is consistent with their circumstance as well.

Myers: And I would also say that our assistance will be value-added, whether it's what you described or something else. I mean, there are lots of ways that we can be value-added to assisting, to helping, to training the Philippine armed forces. And that's what I think the secretary has asked Admiral Fargo to work that out with the Philippine government and come back with some proposals.

Rumsfeld: Yes?

Q: Mr. Secretary, could I just take you a little step further on this? Can you describe what the U.S. objective in this is? Is it to do away with Abu Sayyaf, or is it just to support -- it's certainly not a training mission. What is the U.S. objective?

Rumsfeld: There clearly is -- first of all, we have lots of exercises with them, and the purpose of those are to develop our capabilities and our interoperabilities, because that's important.

Q: And what will the end result be when this exercise is done? Will the Abu Sayyaf be taken down? Isn't that really the objective?

Rumsfeld: The goal is to have the Philippine military capable and successful in dealing with the terrorist problems that exist in that country. To the extent we can be helpful to them in a variety of different ways that are consistent with their circumstance, we want to do that. And we've been doing it. We're doing it today in various ways, and we will continue to do it.

Myers: And training --

Q: Is it what they want?

Myers: And training can be a big part of that. Do not dismiss the importance of training. I mean, that's what we've done in other countries. We're doing that in Georgia today. We've done that in Yemen. The exercise in training that we had before on Basilan Island was exactly -- it was 95 percent training with the Philippine armed forces.

Q: General Myers, we're conditioned to think of training as people going in and helping teach other people to do things, not guys going in harm's way, shooting at targets --

Myers: That's the kind of training I'm talking about, exactly.

Q: You're talking about live-fire training.

Myers: I'm not talking about combat, I'm talking about training, because of the things you can do short of combat --

Q: So troops will or won't be involved in combat?

Rumsfeld: Well, we have said that we're in the course of discussions. I don't know how many times I have to say it. We will announce precisely what ends up when it ends up. But the discussions are going on. They have been going on for a few weeks. And at some point we will have something like a Balikatan '03, that will be related to terrorism, and it very likely will have an intelligence component, a command-and-control component, a training component, some exercises. And whatever it ends up being, it will clearly be consistent with their constitution and it will be consistent with what we tell you we are doing.

Q: Secretary Rumsfeld, yesterday you attempted to provide some --

Rumsfeld: (Inaudible) -- I take it.

Q: -- near-perfect clarity for the nuance in General Shinseki's comments about the need for a -- size of a post-Iraq force. Nevertheless, critics of the Pentagon are seizing on Shinseki's comment, his opinion, as evidence that the Pentagon may be underplaying or under-representing what the post-war commitment will be. And General Shinseki -- some of his aides are telling us that he sort of stands by his opinion that he offered that -- have you --

Rumsfeld: I've not talked to him.

(To General Myers) Have you?

Myers: I have not talked to General Shinseki either.

Q: Well --

Rumsfeld: First of all, people are entitled to their own opinions.

Q: Well, do you find that unhelpful, and do you plan to discuss it at all with him?

Rumsfeld: I don't know. I'm sure I'll see him. I see him every week for one reason or another. And I'm sure it will come up. But you mean did I pick up the phone yesterday and ask him to come and see me or call --

Q: To discuss whether or not this is helpful to your case.

Rumsfeld: The -- well, if he's right, it's helpful. My personal view is that it will prove to be high. The problem we have is that anyone who tries to go to a single point answer has to have made a series of judgments about a set of six to eight variables, and he has to in their mind decided, well, this is how that variable is going to be decided, and therefore, I can come to a single point answer.

I'm not deft enough to take six or eight working variables --

Q: My question, I guess, is General Shinseki in any trouble? You're his boss.

Rumsfeld: No! Come on! Absolutely not. No.

John, what are you trying to do, stir up trouble?

Q: Well --

Rumsfeld: No. Look, he nods yes. (Laughter.) A few heads going.


Q: Mr. Secretary, the Spanish prime minister has been quoted recently as urging President Bush -- or at least suggesting that there be more Powell and less Rumsfeld. And I was wondering --

Rumsfeld: That's not a bad idea! (Laughter.)

Q: -- are you inclined to take that advice?

Rumsfeld: Oh, goodness. I haven't heard it from the president.

(Scattered laughter.)


Q: Back to the Turkish question. The Turkish parliament tomorrow is going to make a major decision one way or the other. Can you review the bidding here in terms of the military significance of having a number of U.S. forces in the region in terms of how it complicates Iraqi defenses against the U.S., and might facilitate a quick, rapid campaign, that the president hopes for?

And, General Myers, could you address that also?

Rumsfeld: I don't think we both have to answer each of his questions, do you? I think -- why don't you just do it?

Myers: Okay --

Q: (Off mike) -- military refine the point. You can --

Myers: Well, I think you're right, Tony. I think -- my understanding is that the Turkish parliament will vote tomorrow. That's the plan right now. They've been trying to address this issue of U.S. troops, and overflight, and basing of aircraft in Turkey for some time now, in case there is conflict in Iraq. Without going into the operational detail, clearly there are a lot of things that are important about northern Iraq, and that's why we're in these negotiations with Turkey right now. And I don't want to get into the operational details of what that might entail, but --

Q: But aren't you past the point where you needed to get an answer?

Myers: No.

Rumsfeld: We'll be all right.

Myers: We'll be -- yeah.

Q: Well, how long would it take to unload 40 vessels, just kind of a time line here that --

Myers: You want me to tell the Iraqi regime exactly how long to get our forces in place? I'm sorry, but I don't want to do that.

Rumsfeld: Don't be sorry. (Laughter.)

Myers: I don't want to do that, but we've calculated that. There are -- General Franks, as we speak, is looking at lots of options. My guess: in the end, we will have U.S. forces in northern Iraq one way or the other.

Rumsfeld: Barbara, why are you in the back, in the penalty box? Is there something -- you want to get through the door fast?

Q: You were late, and I have a story I've got to write, and I didn't want to walk out in the front row.

Q: (Off mike.)

Rumsfeld: Just a second. Wait.

Q: Are you fully satisfied that the Air Force can conduct a complete and independent investigation of the rape scandal at the academy, or are you entertaining the congressional requests -- the growing congressional requests for an independent investigation of the military academies, the Air Force and others?

Rumsfeld: I have not -- it's not a subject I've gotten into. My -- I have read what Secretary Roche and General Jumper have said. There -- it seems to me there shouldn't be any ambiguity as to whether or not they intend to see that there is a full investigation.

I am not knowledgeable about the congressional inquiries or suggestion --

Q: The report that they have come out with, saying the Pentagon ought to conduct its own IG investigation of the academy, rather than leave the Air Force to investigate itself.

Rumsfeld: I wonder why we have IGs for each of the services, then, why the Congress required that we each have IGs if they don't have a function relating to their service. I mean, if -- there is a departmental IG, and there are independent commissions that do things from time to time on subjects that lend themselves to that. But the reason we have service IGs is to investigate service matters, to -- there are occasions when it is appropriate to use the departmental IG, rather than the service IG. But I haven't seen any of the facts that one might suggest would lead you to do that at this stage.


Q: The last month has been one of the busiest, if not the busiest, in the no-fly zones, against Iraqi targets, after they have, according to the different releases by CENTCOM, provoked the United States. The U.S. has gone after a series of repeater stations, some days hitting five and six at a time. Is there a correlation between these strikes and sort of future planning that the United States has with regard to Iraq?

Rumsfeld: I don't know that the number is up. Is it up noticeably?

Myers: I'd have to look at the facts. But the primary -- we patrol the no-fly zones in accordance with what is called for in previous U.N. resolutions.

We respond when we're shot at. And so I think the facts are, we're getting shot at about two out of every three times that we fly. And these are responses.

The repeater stations are part of their defense network. And so what we're trying to do is to have some impact on their defense network where they can't bring our air crews into harm's way, and that's what it's all about.

Q: How about the surface-to-surface missile batteries? You hit four in one day this week, and those aren't threatening aircraft.

Myers: No, but they are -- they have been deployed, some down to the South, within range of Kuwait, where we have lots of coalition forces; some close to the Turkish border, where we and our ally Turkey are located as well. And they become a threat to our forces, absolutely, because they were new deployments. They were --

Rumsfeld: Yes?

Q: We had been told last week that the Philippine activity or whatever -- the upcoming program had been agreed upon and was beginning -- would be beginning soon. So has the start of it been delayed by this disagreement over semantics, or --

Rumsfeld: Well, I don't know that it's just semantics. It is trying to find a formula where we can provide the maximum help in a manner that's consistent with their constitution.

Q: But again, we were told that that was agreed upon.

Rumsfeld: You weren't told by me.

Q: Well --

Rumsfeld: I mean, you're going to be told lots of things. You get told things every day that don't happen. It doesn't seem to bother people. They don't -- it's printed in the press. The world thinks all these thing happen. They never happened. It's -- everyone's so eager to get the story before, in fact, the story's there that the world is constantly being fed things that haven't happened.

All I can tell you is, it hasn't happened, it's going to happen, and we're worrying through those issues in a very constructive, friendly, positive way.

Q: What about a delay from the initially planned start?

Rumsfeld: I don't know when the initially planned start was. I know that most of the things we do start at some level with an idea. This is -- hundreds of things in this department start with an idea here or here or here. They then work their way around with other countries, if it involves other countries, and then they start moving up a process. And then it leaks and everyone in the world thinks it's this. And then it goes up another and it gets changed and fixed and it -- then it leaks again and it's different. And then finally something gets decided, and it's been fully vetted in the world more than it probably needed. And then something happens.

And the problem is that people think that news is something that is announced before it happens, as opposed to something that is reported when it does happen. And I can't help that. All we can do is recognize we live in a democracy, we're dealing with a democracy; that's going to happen. And we'll keep doing our best to get an answer for you, and when we do, we will be here too, and you'll be the first to know.

Q: General Myers, do you know if it's been delayed?


Myers: Very nice try! (Laughter.) I think the secretary's description is absolutely right. You remember, this is -- (laughter) -- well remember, this is an agreement between two governments, and those negotiations have been, I think, fairly continuous now for some time. And this meeting today with Secretary Reyes is just one more part of that.

Q: Mr. Secretary, today you're talking about the Philippines. You still have troops in Afghanistan hunting down terrorists. What's the next hotbed of activity that you see? Is Africa a hotbed of terrorist activity?

Rumsfeld: There are certainly terrorists on every continent, and there's no question but that there are terrorists in Africa. I wouldn't say it's the next area of activity. I mean, we have activity there now. We have activity in the Gulf. We have activity in the Philippines, in Central Asia. This is a global problem. It's got 90 countries involved using all elements of national power to try to find these people, track them down and get them off the street. I don't know where the next area will necessarily be.


Q: But as far as what you're seeing in Africa, as far as like terrorist cells, you have troops in the Horn of Africa.

Rumsfeld: We do.

Q: Well, what's the assessment?

Rumsfeld: The assessment is that there are terrorists in Africa and -- and we wish there weren't. But they're in every continent.

Myers: And we're trying to keep the pressure on everywhere we think it's prudent to do so.

Rumsfeld: Yes?

Q: You owe me a question from the Foreign Press Center, Mr. Secretary. (Laughter.) My question is, what is the total number of U.S. troops that will be deployed under Balikatan '03, and what will they be - Army, Green Berets, Marines?

Rumsfeld: We don't know. Until the details get worked out as to how we can assist them, we can't know either the numbers or the types of forces that will be used. At some point when that's sorted through, we then would announce them. There are exercises that take place where we can give you numbers, because those things are the kinds of things that are annual exercises; they're planned in advance. The Balikatan '02 and '03 were things that were devised since the global war on terrorism and are in each case distinctively different from the pattern of regularized exercises.

Q: But I don't -- I mean, you say you can't know -- (inaudible) -- and yet, we were told 350 Special Operations troops, supported by 400 other troops and 1,000 Marines. Was this made up?

Rumsfeld: And it could be true. We just haven't finalized it. I'm not saying it is or isn't true. What I'm saying is that we are working through those details. I can't understand why that isn't acceptable.

Q: Mr. Secretary --

Rumsfeld: You want to say, "Oh, Don, thank you!"

Q: Oh, Don, thank you! (Laughter.)

Rumsfeld: (Laughs.) That's good -- all together now! (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, Don, thank you!

The briefs on the two ships that were specifically mentioned this week, that were going to be leaving on Monday, which was confirmed, are not leaving on Monday.

Rumsfeld: I tell you, the -- here's the way this thing works. You've got a chairman and a secretary. You've got a combatant commander, Admiral Fargo, in Hawaii. You've got people that work for him that deal with the Philippine military. We've got Doug Feith and the Policy people who deal with the policy level in the Philippines. And all of those circuits are working on this thing, trying to figure out the best, most appropriate way that we can help, and participate and support a very fine ally with respect to a very serious terrorist problem that exists in their country. How that gets done at the military linkage level and the policy level so that it's comfortable for both governments, and comfortable for both militaries, and constructive and we're spending the money on is something that isn't done like that.

Q: But I just don't understand how you could have people confirming that a ship was leaving from this dock on this date with these people, and now you're saying, but none of that had ever been finalized.

Rumsfeld: I tell you, until something starts and is done, it isn't finalized. And it isn't. We are -- we have been going through these discussions about how we can get a comfort level in each country with respect to this that makes sense. It is not complicated. It is -- this is exactly the circumstance. It seems difficult to take aboard, but it shouldn't be.

Myers: And let's be clear, the secretary never made a final decision on this. He has not -- and ultimately that's where the authority and responsibility resides. And he's just not decided. In fact, knowing for some time that Secretary Reyes was coming to town was a good reason to have these discussions today.

Q: But nuance-wise, did this building just get a little bit ahead of you? Is that what we're talking about?

Rumsfeld: I wouldn't put it that way. I mean, I think probably everything you were told was believed completely by the people who told you those things, and that was their best judgment at that moment with respect to what was going to happen. It just happens that when you try to connect the two policy shops and the two military shops, the connections have not yet gotten finalized. And we can't go do something that in any way would be considered by the people of the Philippines to be inconsistent with their constitution. That's -- that's -- that's not surprising.

Q: Mr. Secretary?

Rumsfeld: Let me -- there was someone with a hand up here.


Q: The president said today that the military is ready to accomplish any mission that they're asked to. Does this mean that your forces that are based in the Gulf region and around it are ready to strike Iraq any minute?

Rumsfeld: Assuming you accurately quoted the president, needless to say, the president is correct. (Laughter.) Whatever it was he said.

Q: Mr. Secretary, I have a question from our news after it was announced file as opposed to before --

Rumsfeld: Good.

Q: Today you released the draft military commission instructions.

Rumsfeld: True. Is it no longer newsworthy?

Q: I would just like to know, does this mean the U.S. is any closer to bringing anyone before a military commission?

Rumsfeld: That, as you know, is a decision for the president. What this means is that we have moved another step with respect to military commissions by drafting the types of crimes and the -- what's the word -- elements ? that would be a part of this -- and I haven't seen the release, but I authorized that it go out -- so that it can be out for comment, as you suggest. You have at do that. It had been widely coordinated within the government, and now it's at a point where we're looking for external comments, and at some point it then would be finalized. That would have to be done before a person was brought -- sent by the president to be put before a military commission. So it does mean you're a step closer. It does not necessarily mean that there's a person who's ready to be put into that process.

Q: Mr. Secretary, a member of your General Counsel staff said that one of the ways that the president -- someone might come before the president to be designated that way would be that you would make a recommendation. Are you prepared to recommend anyone --

Rumsfeld: I suppose anyone could recommend. You know, the attorney general could, the agency could, I could, the White House could, the president could get it from his own counsel. If you're asking do I have someone in mind that I'm going to tee up, the answer is no.

Q: Could I --

Q: Can I ask my question now? Are the U.S. forces ready to strike in Iraq at any minute, once they're given the order?

Myers: I think the secretary said it exactly right. What we're trying to do is provide maximum flexibility to the president of the United States, so if he decides a certain course of action is required, we'll be ready to do that. And we're ready. Rumsfeld: We'll make this the absolute last question.

Q: Could the --

Rumsfeld: No, I didn't like the earlier one you had. Maybe I'll try someone -- (laughter) --

Q: I never get a --

Rumsfeld: (Laughing) Sorry! I'm kidding! I'm kidding!

Q: The rules for the military commissions, could that be applied to Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi military personnel in a prospective war?

Rumsfeld: I forget what it was called, but the president issued an -- I think an executive order -- or a military order, is what it was called. It seems like years ago now. And whatever it provides -- my recollection is that it specified no U.S. citizen. That could be amended; he could change that. But under the current military order, no U.S. citizen could be. But I think any other national could be.

Rumsfeld: Hm. You say certainly you have in your mind. You know, the truth is, no, I didn't have that in my mind. I haven't thought much about it, to be perfectly honest. I would not anticipate that in a -- in the event force is needed with respect to Iraq, and the president makes that decision, I would not personally anticipate large numbers of Iraqi soldiers being sent to Guantanamo Bay or being put through -- necessarily put through a military commission. It just happens to be something that I'm not focused on.

Q: Well, what about leadership, though? You've specifically said and warned very publicly Iraqi generals or other officials not to take -- carry out certain activities, or they could be prosecuted for war crimes.

Rumsfeld: That's true.

Q: Would this not possibly come into play there?

Rumsfeld: It could. This would be one vehicle that would be available among several others that would be available. There are all kinds of ways that Iraqis could be brought to justice. They could be brought to justice in Iraq. They could be brought to justice in other countries. They could be brought to justice through a military commission, one would think. They could be brought to justice --

Q: What would you do with POWs in the event of a war?

Rumsfeld: Well, we sure don't want to take lots of them down to Guantanamo.

Q: You had that -- this same position during Desert Storm.

Rumsfeld: Yeah.

Q: Is there an agreement with another country to handle that or --

Rumsfeld: There will be provision made for prisoners, and I assume it will be in Iraq, in the event something like that were to occur.

Q: And it would be dealt --

Rumsfeld: I'm going to close the session by asking our friend General Richard Myers how old he's going to be tomorrow.

Myers: And I thought we had a relationship! (Laughter.) This is -- (chuckles) --

Q: I think you do, and that was evidence. (Laughter.)

Myers: I'll be 61 tomorrow.

Q: Whoo!

Q: Some kind of up and out?

Rumsfeld: Just a child. (Laughter, cross talk.)

Q: You're a child.

Q: Mr. Secretary, do you know that Antarctica is a continent? Antarctica is a continent, and you keep saying that there are terrorists from every continent and coalition partners from every continent.

(Cross talk.)

Rumsfeld: Can you assure me there are not? (Laughter.)

Q: No, but you said that there were.

Q: If you would release a list, sir --

Rumsfeld: I stand corrected.

Q: Do you have evidence --

Rumsfeld: How old are you today?

Q: I'm not at liberty to say. (Laughter.)

Q: All right.

Q: I don't know.

Q: Happy birthday!

Q: I've seen some of those penguins that look like they might --

Q: Is your birthday tomorrow?

Myers: Yeah. It is.

Happy birthday.

Q: Happy birthday.


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