tv Charlie Rose PBS June 20, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> rose: welco to our program, bin this eveneng with a talk about afghanistan and libya with the ranking republican on the senate foreign relations committee, senator richard lugar. >> the fact remains that we are having a budget debate in the united states, itnvolves afghanistan as a part of the military budget, $127 billion more or less spent this year by the united states and ghantan d that's likely to come down. and the requestthen is how many troops should come outor what impression should given by the speed with which the troops come out? there are many who believe that as a matter of fact we are going to be in afghanistan indefinitely. that our support financially of
afghanistan will be indefinite. but that's becoming a less and less popular view and perhaps unsustainable on its own. >> rose: we continue with donald rumsfeld, the former secretary of defense, talking about his memoir "known and unknown." >> the photographs of the people that abused prisoners in our care in iraq damaged the country damaged the military, and i knew they would be prosecuted and they were. some were still in jail, and they should have been. they were not interrogators interrogatg people they were guards. the people they were abusing were not people that should be interrated, they were just being detained and that was terrible thing what they did. and it seems to me that there has to be accountability and so i did resign twice. >> rose: a closing note for the interview with donald rumsfeld. if you want to see more of it, go to our w site, charlie rose.com.
tonight all about foreign policy wi richard lugar and then donald rumsfeld next. every story needs a hero we can all root for. who beats the odds and comes out on top. but this isn't just a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not just a dollar. business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small.
captioning sponsored by roseommunications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: there is much talk about afanistan these days from secretary of defense robert gates to the republicans who are seeking their party's presidential nomination to inside the obama administration where there's much talk about w many troops will be withdrawn next month, a decision comes as congressional pressure has grown over the cost and the length of the war. the killing of's has only intensified those questions. over the weekend, the secretary of defense confirmed that the u.s. has been involved in preliminary talks with the taliban. >> my own view is that real reconciliation talks are not likely to be able to make any
substantive headway until at least this winter. i think that the taliban have to feel themselves under military pressure and begin believe that they can't win before they're willing to have a serious conversation. we've all said all along that the political outcome is the way most of tse wars end. the question is, when and if they're ready to talk seriously about meeting the red lines that president karzai andhe coalition have laid down. including totally disavowing al qaeda. >> rose: there are also questions abouthe u.s. involvement in libya. the white house has been criticized by some lawmakers over its refusal to seek congressional authorization to continue the mission there. joining me from washington, senator richard lugarhe is a ranking republican member of the senate foreign relations committee, i'm pleased to have him back on this program. welcome, senator. >> thank you very much, charlie. >> rose: what's your assessment of where we are on the ground in
afghanistan and if we are at a place where talks with the taliban may be productive? >> my imsuppression the fighting is very intensive and will continue that way for several weeks. clearly, there have been indications from president karzai and now from secretary gates that some talks with the taliban may be under way. but i think as the secretary inferred, they're unlikely to be conclusive until well down the trail and he suggested the winter. and even then some observers believe that talks with some taliban might be possible on the part of the afghan government and the united states but that other talib will remain outside and thus will continue to operate by attacking, maybe not on a full frontal basis but certainl creating difficulties for afghanistan. >>ose: do you believe there's a growing momentum to bring o thtroops faster than they
might have expected a year ago or six months ago. >> yi. i think there is. after last year's debate, the year 2014 was often cited as the time in which most of the troops would come out. not all, but most. and n 2012 is being subjected as more likely to be that date. and it's coming about because, by and large, there is the feeling that we have, in fact, achieved some peaceful circumstances, some provinces of afghanistan. but they are ones that are less close to pakistan or to the taliban who are up against border. and th there we really have a continual fight on our hands. the questi is on the part of the afghans themselves. are they prepared, really, to stay wh the united states to undergo the training that's
necessary? not to desert but to fight on? orventually will they seek to make their own peace as has been the case historically with afghanistan, with ma hostile neighbors around. >> rose: as you know, there was a debate within the administration between counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. after the killing of osama bin laden, some say that the argument for counterterrorism has gained momentum. do you believe that to be true? >> yes, i do. and further more we've had testimony before the senate foreign relations committee. dr. richard haas, for example, i've citedn several occaons, suggested that if we were to go more into the anti-terrorism situation we might reduce our forces in afghanistan to 30,000 or 40,000 as opposed to well over 100,000 presently and, in fact, employ new intelligence means not only to search out for
terrorists in afghanistan or pakistan but like wise for yemen somalia, a whole host of other countries that might at some point be harboring al qaeda or al-shabab or others who could mount attacks upon the united states. hand that we really have much more international focus. or at least we should, than the preoccupation with afghanistan alone. >> rose: you have said? a conversation with my colleague al hunt that you thought we could reduce 20,000 to 30,000 troops within a year. >> just the di cushion we were having whether we're headed toward anti-terrorism, the more sophisticated intelligence means as opposed to so many boots on the ground, very extensive training of police and military people and i say this because although we always press situation representatives we really have no satisfactory answer as to how much this war
in afghanistan igoing to cost after 2014. other words, where is in the world is the afghan budget and the facts of life are that it's very, very small. and most of the argument comes back to in the event we're going to continue the retraining and american forces on the ground in afghanistan the american taxpayers will be paying. it is not something that's going to come to in an in 2012, 2013 or 2014. there are some of my colleagues say we need to stay there for as long as it takes. you simply cannot announce in advance various dates because at eliminates your negotiating posture. everyone knows you're going to be gone. but as a matter of fact we have seral considerations here. we're not going to be gone if we have good intelligence situations in an anti-terrorist mode sand something that we're more likely to be able to pay
for and sustain at least budget over a course of time. >> rose: as you well kn, after the republican debate in new hampshire for those peek ople seeking the republic mination for president, there was aurprising-- at least to some people-- sense of these republican candidates for the republan nomination suggesting th they thought the war in afghanistan oughto be round down. thenou had senator john mccain say over the weekend he worried about isolationist tendencies in the republican party. where are you on that? >> well iee no isolationist tendencies and i think that senator mccain i would differ with that republicans who are talking about more reasonable courses in afghanistan are hardly isolationists. to say the lst a sense of international politics now requires an ability to think through what we are going to do in several different locations simultaneously.
on a more limited fwhugt this country. so we're going to... those of us who, at least, espouse the thought of international leadership by the united states, figure out how we do all of this with a situation in which we've come to the end of our ability to borrow and we're running a trillion and a half deficit. >> rose: do these arguments suggest to you that we should be very careful about getting invoed in libya or in syria or any other place where there is conflict that isithe happening or looming? >> yes, indeed. we ought to be very careful about it. my own view point-- which i've expressedirectly to president obama and others-- is that we ought noto be involved in libya. it appears to me that this was clearly a war of choice. it came about because, in fairness to the president, he was fearful that moammar qaddafi
would kill a lot of civilians in libya. of course, a civil war was going on in libya. the qaddafi government was being attacked by so-called rebels. people tt we don't know very much about. some of which apparently were fighting against united states in iraq recently. so these rebels are not exactly democracy builders, although some have reputations internationally for trying to work things out. my point, however, is that this clearly, belve, was an overreach and the a costly one, it's going to cost a billion dollars through september is one that already has led to dilemmas with our nato allies who say that they are running out of budget and we're providing 80% now of the refueling. a greadeal of the infrastructure behind the scenes but are being calledupon now to provide aid to help out in a
humatarian way. and who knows what suggests will be made in the event that the qaddafi vernment falls, things are general chaos and we're left with a nation-building predicament in lya. i think we need to define when we have security threats to the united states. libya was not one of them. and even if one would like to go about the world trying to prevent the killings of civilians or other persons by cruel leaders, that is going to be beyond our foreign policy portfolio, i believe, for some time to come. >> rose: you think we should do nothing with respect to the what's happening in syria? i agree that we should not be involved in a war, we should not be involved in trying to get the united nations to ps a resolution which we did in the case of libya or looking to the arab league or anybody else for that matter. i think that our diplomacy to put pressure upon the prime minister... president, mr. assad, is very appropriate.
from time to time president obama has really thought that perhaps some movement of reform might be under way. hard for that to happen inhe middle of a civil war, but nevertheless we shall see. but i would say frankly we do not want to have a repetition of the libya experience. this is why i've asked senator kerry, our chairman of foren relations, to have a hearing in which heill have the 28th this month and the administration will finally testify the constitutional basis for going into libya at all. that very afternoon there may be a markup that is a vot in the foreign relations committee on a resolution or various resolutions dealing with the situation that has gone well beyond the war powers act and have had no declaratio of war to begin with. >> rose: do you think there should have been a vote in the congress and the war powers act does apply the what happened in libya? you have suggested that the argument by the president that the war powers act does not
apply is both legally dubious and unwise. >> well, i think it is legally dubious and unwise, but i would just say first of all if we're going go to war the constitutional situation is that the congress needs to declare war. the administration needs to make a case for why american security is jeopardized, what sort of costs are going to be involved both human and monetary to the nation and other considerations as to alliances and how we go about obtaining success, what the metrics might be of this. now, in the past many presidts-- and this one is not th first-- have simply ignored that general stricture and somehow hoped for good luck that the whole thing might be over rapidly. buthis is why the war powers act was enacted. and it said certainly after a
number of days while the president has latitude, the he has a cclusion of enough is enough. the continue ha to authorization enough of this. this particular case, president obama has felt that this was not a war toegin with, it's humanitarian gesture and even though we have pumps about a half billion dollars worth of tomahawk missiles into the country plus other auxiliary expenditures with troord our nato allies it remains a non-war but one in which the president would welcome some sort of resolution from the congress which applauds what he's doing and indicates that he ought to be carrying on. >> rose: do you think he could gate favorable vote in the war powers resolution? >> i don't know. i think that's why it's important to have the hearing we're about to have a week from tuesday to engage at least what the basis is so the miniration has a chance to make his case for the first
time. they've notsought to do that, but they're going do it. and then members of congress will need to determine pragmatically given the ct that t war powers act has been generally ignored and gone beyond all together in terms of days of fighting and heaven only knows how much longer hostilities may go on or even it may preil. threbels in according to some press accounts are saying they've run out of money. they need the united states and its allies to provide resources for them to continue on the fight. so then we would have the choice of supporting supporting one cause in a civil war against another but at the same time with the president saying no boots on the ground. and the nato allies agreeing by a faly large majority in their public opinion polls they don't want any boots on the ground in libya. so this is clearly if not a
fiasco a situation that goes on and on without relief. >> rose: mr. lugar, thank you so much for coming on the show. >> thank you, crlie >> rose: donald rumsfeld is here. he was secretary of defense under president george w. bush from 2000 to 2006. he becameuch criticized for the invasion of iraq and insurgency that followed. in november, 2006, president bush accepted his resignation. during h career, he was a three-term congressman from illinois. he served in the cabinets of four presidents. he was a successful corporate executive in the private sector. his memoir came out in february. it is called "known and unknown." i am pleased to have donald rumsfeld back at ts table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: what do you want usto know about donald rumsfeld that we don't know? >> well, i don't really think of it as knowing about donald rumsfeld. it's more about the lt third of our country's hisry. the depression, world war ii
that my time in congress during the vietnam war and the civil rights era and it's more an interest on my part in having people understand public service the importance of their helping to guide and direct the country, the way decisions are made, the reality that they're often made with incomplete information, inadequate information, sometimes even inaccurate information. and a sense of the things that work well and things that don't work quite so well. and i hope they come away a sense of gaining an interest in the history of our times but also in the process of governing. >> rose: i want you to see a tape. this is an interview you did with me 2005. roll tape. >> t people involved, the soldiers andailors and marines and airmen, the coalition countries and the iraqis will look back in five or ten or 15
years and feel they've been a part of something truly historic and if that's true, if it is a success-- and i believe it will be-- you wilhave a cntry that has resoues,that have intelligence people, that has size, located right in the center of that region andt will have an enormously beneficial effect. >> rose: so what will history say about iraq? >> i think it's still not certain what they'll say. but what i just said so many years ago is evolving in that way. the government of iraq is a government that is respectful of the diverse elements within the country. it's a government that isn't going to be invading its neighbs, it isn't going to be developing chemical and biological nuclear weapons, it isn't ing to get in a war with
iran, one would think. >> rose: suppose there had not en an iraqi war and that we'd stayed in afghanistan. how would history be different? >> one thing we know would be different is that qaddafi would probably have nuclear weapons. when qaddafi saw saddam hussein getting pulled out of that spider hole and ultimately tried and executed by the iraqi people he came to the west and said he didn't want to be a saddam hussein. >> rose: how close was he? >> i can't say technically, you never know, but it was well advanced. >> rose: others will argue the following: that if we had not done that, toppled saddam hussein, that he also would be a victim of the arab spring. like qaddafi. >> possibly. >> like yemen, like mubarak. >> it is possible. we don't know. it's a counterfactual. it didn't happen so we won't know. it's certainly possible.
although he was a particularly reessive, brutal vicious... >> rose: well, you knew that because you had met him. >> of course. >> rose: give me your assessment of the cost of the war. >> well, the cost, of course, the most important cost and the one thing that anyone involved in having young men and women go into war is the human cost and each... lives were changed, lives were ended and each life is precious. and it is a heart breaking thing the... every war has costs, there's no question about that. war is a nail your of diplomacy and even in this case, for example, president bush made a last-minute effort to try to get him to leave the country prior to engaging in battle.
and he refused. >> rose: nobod quite knows why that was true except he seemed to believe that if the world thought he had nuclear weapons he would be better off and he also never believed he would attack. >> that's right. he remembered the gulf war and when the gulf war was over in 1990/'91, he announced to the world that he had fought the mother of all battles and won and shortly thereafter george bush was out of office, herbert walker bush, mrs. thatcher was out of office and he announced he was still there. and he believed that he was the victor in that war. and he had it in his mind that no one would g after him, not withstanding the fact the congress of the united states in the late 1990s passed leslation fo rege change in iraq and president clinton signed it. he didn't believe it. he just didn't believe it. >> rose: why do you think that
was view? >> well, i think i suppose the sa reason that osama b laden considered the united states a paper tiger. a country that would don't anything to him. >> rose: wouldn't come after him in afghanistan? >> well, wouldn't come after him anywhere. after the attacks on the "cole," after the attacks on the embassies in africa, the u.s. response was to lob a couplef cruise missiles andthen indict people in absentia i so new york court. and they were convinced that the united states was not going to do anything other than that. and the more they believed that, the more they were willing to take risks and push the united states. >> re: didou subject on september 12 that you might invade iraq? >> no, actually it was well before september 11 i sent... on my web site rumsfeld.com there's a memo that i sent to the president saying this
administration ought to have a policy on iraq. our planes were getting shot at everyday, over 2,000 times in the northern and southern no-fly zones of iraq. and ir was the only country in the world shooting at our aircraft on a regular basis as we were enforcing the u.n. no-fly zones. >> rose: that alone makes a point, that alone is nothing wrong... >> nothing wrong with what? >> rose: saying we ought tv policy. to have a policy is one thing, to see that used as an argument for invading iraq is very different. >> no, that was not what the memo says. if you'll see if grow to the web site, it was suggesting to the president that we have some national security council meetings and discuss iraq and decide... it was pretty clear entually one of r planes would be shot down, we'd end up with people either killed or captured in which case you'd have a hostage situation like you did in iran. an i said well before the fact that we ought to think about it and develop a policy on it.
and i listed a group of options, including one was to approach aq and see if we couldn't encourage them to behave in a more rational way. >> rose: so when did you decide after 9/11 that iraq ought to be the target of the united states? >> i didn't. the president did. the president made that decision >> rose: did he ask your opinion >> no, in the book i discuss that. >> rose: that's why i'm asking. >> after a national security council meeting he called me into his office and said "do we have an iraq plan?" contingency plan. "i think you should have the department think about that and prepare a plan and i sqhod could i talk to and he said no one for the time being. except the... in e penton, the planners. and he said "i'll talk to the other people at the appropriate time and tell you what that is.
anthat began the planning process. you said did he ask me at any time. he has indicated that he didn't. >> rose: that's right, he said that. that's why i'm asking. >> it's interesting. people think that's amazing. >> rose: he said the reason he didn't is because henew what you thought. >> i don't remember him asking me... >> rose: he knew what you thought. if he had asked you what would you have said? >> i think i would have said... >>ose: we shld overthrow saddam hussein whatever the risk to the united states. >> that we should. >> rose: because? >> um... the... for the exact same reasons that the congress vote red jet stream change in the 1990s democratic congress exactly the same reasons that the president clinton... >> rose: the 1990s regime change in terms of iraq war one? >> no, no. >> rose: when iraq invaded... >> no, late 1990s well after the first iraq w. the democratic congress, house, and senate pass red jet stream change legislation. clinton signed it, agreeing with it, and it was the policy of the
united states that saddam hussein was a regime that should be changed. that was the policyof the united states. >> rose: that was one thing. it's another policy to overthrow. sdup >>nd you say why and i would say for exactly same reasons t congress passed the resolution authorizing the president to engage in the war with iraq. the that the u.n. passed 17 resolutions. there was an absolute conviction on the part of our intelligence people, on the part of the president, on the part of the congress, the leading people in the congress who saw exactly same intelligence that in fact saddam hussein's contentions th he had nuclear weapons... >> rose: if you had know he wouldn't have had nuear weapons would you have been opposed to an invasion of iraq? >> you know, you can't go back and say that because we di't have that information. >> rose: but i can ask you in your frame of mind. >> you can ask me anything you want but information you gain after the fact is helpful for the future. >> rose: you never assumed he had nuclear weaponss? >> no, absolutely not.
>> rose: so you said let's do this without... >> let me tell you what i did thing think. we were told by the intelligence community, but george tenet's people that he had a nuclear program, not ben weapons. in fact, it was reasonably clear they had not been weaponized at that stage. and theeason... one of the reasons is that when they went in in '90 they discovered a nuclear program that was much more advanced than they had believed it would be. when the united states forces were there. and, of course, the israelis had gone in and taken out their nuclear program well before that. it was chemica and biological weapons that the u.n. was particularly concerned about and that saddam hussein's regime refused to tell the u.n precisely what had happened and stockpiled. now, we know saddam hussein had them, we know he used them on his own people, we know he used them on the iranians. when the war ended, there were not large stkpiles found as
the u.n. had assumed he had becaushe had refused to indicate that he did not. what they did find, the duelfer report found this, was precursors for chemical weapons and biological weapons. the competent people who kn how to do it and had done it previously together. and dual-use facilities that would enable them to have stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons within a matter of weeks according to the dell fur report. so it really didn't make a lot of difference that there were there weren't stockpiles as long as you had the ability to have stockpiles within a relatively short period of weeks. so the concern that the president had it seemed to me was well founded. >> rose: what was the reality? >> the reality was he had these people, he had the dual-use facilitieshe had the precursors and the ability to have chemical and biological weapons in a very short period of time. that's the fact. >> rose: and is it...
>> according to the duelfer report. >> rose: i understand, and charleduelfer has been on th program to talk about this. for all the talk of weapons of mass destruction your assumption is he had them because he had the capacity in a matter of weeks. >> accorng to the duelfer report. >> rose: if he disband it had army in term of those generals who had inmany cases a sunni background... >> hundreds and hundreds of generals. >> rose: absolutely right and they were later part of the uprising, too, as you have pointed out. uh-huh. >> rose: did the oer come from donald rumsfeld? did the order come from the chairman of the joint chiefs? did the order come fm the president of the united states oras it a decision made by paul bremner the field? >> i write about hit in the book he writes about in the his book. >> rose: and? >> it is unclear. >> rose: i know. how could it be unclear? >> well, because he was making a series of decisions. he was proud that he'd made the decisions. he wrote up the fact that he had done it and it was one of his first orders as the head of the we ligs provisional authority.
he feels he got the impression from... it was discussed in the national security koun still but my feeling is that it... the real problem was not the fact that it was disband... because it had disband itself, the real problem was if there had been me way to reconstitute it faster after... the ones that we wanted or some way to pay the conscripts while they were out before they were reconstitutes. now, we did put in place, obviously, organizing an training and equipping the iraqi security forces and allow those people... a lot of those people were brought back in. petraeus, i put petraeus in to do that. >> rose: let me just talk about personalities for a second, you and the president. he said, i think, atne point. >> "he" the preside? >> he, the president. he said rumsfeld frustrated him with his abruptness toward military leaders and members of his staff. >> i haven't rea that but i've heard that. >> rose: yes.
you didn't read his book? >> i haven't had a chance, no. >> rose: are you serious? >> yes. i have been so busy with my book. >> rose: oh... >> believe me. >> rose: this book was pubshed when? >> february 8. this book was well... his book was well before that. >> rose: i know. it is now june 1 when we tape this. >> and i have... >> rose: your commander-in-chief... >> i had coffee with him the other day when i was in texas and had a good visit. >> rose: but you have not read his book? >> not yet. i will. >> rose: that's amazing to me. you would not want to know liz view of the most important events of his life and your life? >> i will certainly rea it. >> rose: hase read yours? >> he didn't mention it. i don't know. >> rose: he said he was frustrated with your abruptness toward the military. do you plead got that? >> i supposef you're there six years and you tryto get something done that you may get abrupt at some point.
you mentioned earlier i had a passion for changing the military. >> rose: you told me that! >> no, t me... iad never been a part of the rev pollution military affairs group. i'd never written on the subject. president gave speeches at the citadel before he was elected. he campaigned on bringing the military into the 21st century, into the information age. when he asked me to become secretary of defense that wa his charge to me. and i was there because he wanted that done and we made some terrific progress. we moved from divisions to brigades, we increased our special operations capabilities by increing their budget two or three times, increasing their numbers by something like 50%, getting the marines involved. we increased the unmanned aerial vehicles in the united states inventory dramatically. we may... we rebalanced our forces around the world. the kinds of things he wanted done we did in large measure. >> rose: if there had been no
9/11 and no afghanistan and no iraq that's what you thought your legacy would be at the pentagon? >> i didn't think about my legacy, charlie. that's for others. i'll be long gone. >> rose: you talk about the nationalecurity council. >> uh-huh. >> rose: and its inability, in your judgment, to be decisive. and you would come fromeetings and you didn't think it was ear as to what the marching orders were. >> it's a terribly difficult job, the national security council. you'veot these stove pipes coming u and... separately in the congress monitors and overseas the different departments and agencies and the... they then come up and they have to be bent as they go towards the president. so the threads go through a needle head in a reasonable rational way for him. and it's tough. it's difficult. and you've been around for a long time and you've seen history and the suggestions that henry kissinger had difficulties with bill rogers and with jim
schlesinger at the defense department and that brzezinski has troubled with cy vance and that george schultz and caspar weinberger had difficulties. it was carried on in the press as though it were the clashes of personalities and it really wasn't. it was substantive. there were different views, different perspectives. >> rose: now that you've brought that up-- and you're right-- >> and the press likes to make flesh and blood around it. >> rose: so define for me the differences in views of donald rumsfeld and col powell about iraq. who prevailed? >> well, i... as we talk about in the book at some length, i felt we should be in and not make a career out of it. >> rose: you thought go in there, do the job and get out. >> exactly. >> rose: leave a very small force. >> i never... the force size was the commanders' decisions. but at i wanted to do was not
to be seen asn occupying force for a long period. and tory to transfer responsibility to responsible iraqis as quickly as possible. and the state department and, indeed, the national security council and certainly the coalition provisional authority decided that we should be slower than i was encouraging. and that was a substantive difference, for example. >> rose: it's more than that. thatounds too easy. they decided that the pace should be slower? i mean... >> the pa was slower than i would have preferred. >> rose:and... why was the space slower? because it seems to me that the basic differences between you and colin powell were different other than the pace of slower versus fast. >> what do you think? >> rose: the differences are? >> yeah. >> rose: i think he... he's spoken to this, obviously, himself and... but were there not differences over reservation he is had about iraq and that
perhaps... >> not that i ever heard him express. >> rose: not to you or never heard them expressed to the president in terms of if you break it you own ? >> i never heard imexpress concern about force levels or going into iraq. >> rose: you do... >> he was the one who studied the intelligen. he was the one who made the speech to the u.n. he had dealt with intelligence matters most of his adult life. more than anyone else in the national security council. including george tenant. and he made a judgment that the speech he made to the united nations representing the united states of america was accurate. he believed that. he didn't lie. he picked the words, he wrote it he studied the intelligence, and he made the speech. now, the narrative out there is to the contrary. but i was there on the inside. >> rose: what do you think the narrative is? >> oh, i think narrative is what you're suggesting, what you just said. >> rose: that there was the difference in terms of what
ought to be... i mean, there were... first caspar wine berger and then colin powell who he worked with, there were a certain principle that he enunciated ant when the united states should go and it should go in with full force and you know the rules he articulated. that would be a difference from what you might have been saying. >> no. >> rose: okay. >> no, he didn't express differences of views inmeeting at i was attending. >> rose: you can tell me that you know of no conflict that existed on either stlat ji or ins between you and the secretary of state? >> the intelligence material that he studied day after day out at the agency in the national secury council. >> rose: you said before he made the speech. >> and then he made a decision what should be in the speech. he gave the speech. he believed every wd in ts. >> rose: i don't tnk anyone questions whether he believed it.
he clearly did. but some questions have been raised as to whether the information he'd been given was right. >> there were portions of it that weren't right! >> rose: clearly. >> and that's always the case with intelligence. my goodness, we knee. think of all the differences between intelligence assessments and what actually evolves. it always been the case. now, the only time he ever raised the issue, he said to me... no, he called, i think, tommy franks and said "i may raise a question in an n.s.c. meeting." tommy told me that. i said "fine, raise all the questions you want." he didn't raise the questions in the meeting. >> rose: did you two ever sit down and say "you're the secretary of defense, i'm the secretary of state"? >> i said repeatedly we wanted to combat and... theommanders to come into the meetings, talk to everybody, make sure that everyone in the national security council process was comfortable with the plan, comfortable with the numbers, comfortable with the entire process and we had meeting after
meeting after meeting. that's just a fact. >> rose: what's the relationship between you and colin powell. >> very professional. not close personally, obviously. but it was a professional relationship: there were not big battles or fights... >> rose: and lee spree in >> same thing. profession. there were not big bats or anything that the press like characterize as clashes of personalities. there were... >> in the interest of this... >> i wrote about it. >> rose: you keep saying that. >> i did, it's there. >> rose: unless i ask you the questions, no one will know what's in the book. (laughs) >> i see your point. >> rose: you want people to read this book, i assume. >> sure, it's a good cause. the proceeds are going to military charities. >> rose: right. let me just stay with this idea. the thing that you said you resgret that you did not resign
over abu ghraib when you had submitted your resignation. you were not as strong as y might have been in insisting that the president do it. the president had his own reasons for not accepting it. >> i resigned twice and he refused it twice. snipe right. >> the reason i... >> rose: do you not make the point here that you wish in retrospect... >> i do, i think it was correct in that rerd. my view was that the photographs of the people that abuse prisoners in our care in iraq damaged the country, damaged the military, and i knew that would be prosecuted and they were. some are still in jail and they should have been. they were not interrogators interrogating people, they were guards. the people they were abusing were not people that should be interrogated. they were just being detained. and it was a terrible thing what they did. and it seemed to me that there
has to be accountability. so i did resign twice and i think the president should have been better if you have a we couldn't find anybody that was the logical villain other than the people being questioned. >> rose: beyond that-- this is a question-- do you believe there has been on the part of-- up to you-- full accountability for what happened? >> below me. >> rose: from you on down? >> yes. there's no question thathe people involved were prosecuted and punished. >> rose: and were there people who knew... >> the people immediately abo them who i don'telieve knew and didn't act... you said that, i'm not going to say that. >> rose: i'm asking. i'm just asking >> no, i think there were... they were punished and i think prosecutedn some way. above that, there were 12
studies onetention polies and not one of them suggesd anyone above that had any responsibility at all and in fact jim schlesinger and harold down shared a panel that concluded that as did two or three others. now... so i think the proper accountability... the problem was that the people in the army that had the responsibility for training interrogators and guards and prison people had changed. the secretary of the army had changed, the chief of staff of the army had changed by then. the people who had tonight? the combatant operational chain of command, the general for iraq had been by my standards put into a very difficult situation. he was junior, he was... had insufficient experience, i think.
anfurther more he... the army had not staffed his cmand to the extent they shod have. and to blame him, i felt, was unfair. and therefore the only person above him was abizaid and he'd just gotten there. every... because of the moving parts, i was the only one that i felt you could fairly say had been in the chain ofcommand a i thoughthe impression or the visibility of accountabity would have been a good thing. >> rose: you were basically sang "it happened on m watch so i'm resigning." >> ectly. exactly. >> rose: here's an impression that if you know about you and you read a number of things... there have been lots of books written, from tom ricks and michael gordon and... >> they weren't there. >> rose: but these are very reputable journalists. are you questioning tha
>> theyweren't there. >> rose: but journalists are... >> rose: >> this book is written by someone who was there and backed up with thousands of... >> rose: if they were here, they would say "we talked to people that were there." >> they don't quote them. and they don't document it. i do. >> rose: but are you saying that therefore your story is true and their storys not? >> am saying that this is a memoir that was written in the 21st century when weave digitization and it is backed up by a web site and documents. ana lot of notes. and i believe it to be accurate and i believe it to be fair. >> rose: you've said everything that was necessary to say about your... >> exactly >> rose:... engagement in... >> and i don't question for a minute that other people can write books that they believe are correct and that may have gotten information from people suggesting this, but personally i think this is probably going to stand over time as a more
accurate narrative. now, ishould say this. you know, when you write a book like this-- and i've never done it before-- what you're putting out there is your slice of history. and there are other slices. and it will be all of those slices that ultimately will be used by historians to write the history of that period. >> rose: and that's why it's an important book. it is an important book because you were a central player. >> exactly. >> you are considered as good a bureaucratic in-fighter washington has known. you really are. jim baker is another. you. and we could go on in others in terms of people who really understood how power works. it is also said about you... that's one impression, okay? >> (laughs) >> rose: do you disagree with that? >> i can remember henry kissinger wrote that one time. >> rose: yes, exactly. so you accept that. >> he was pretty good. >> rose: indeed, he was. secondly, it is said that when you were at the pentagon in
part-- in part, to your credit-- you were constantly questioning the military men and women who worked for you andasically saying "is there a better try look at this? rethink this. i want to hear the truth." yes? >> absolutely. always. >> rose: that was part of your modus operandi. >> absolutely. i asked a lot of questions. >> rose: but here is whatome people look and they say rumsfeld did that, yes, but he didn't do it enough when he simply agreed with what he thought the conclusion was. and in those cases he would say "well, it was not my responsibility" or "that's what the field commander said." and there wasn't the level of incisiveness because you were a prty tough guy about... and pretty arrogant about your own confidence in your own judgment. >> well, you know, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. i ask a lot of questions. >> rose: i'm talking about power more than beauty.
>> no, i'm asking questions because i want to know the answers. and the subject matter we were dealing with was so important to the country that it seemed to me i was... had to be willing to vest the time andhe effort and it's true. i mean, if i got people who came up with answers that were not solid or sound or well documented i suggested that i wasn't comfortable with that answer. in a gracious way. you could say that. >> rose: (laughs) >> and suggested they go back ando some more work and come back in another day and we'd have a talk about it. but it... it... i think the people who work closely with me would give you a different perspective. >> rose: than what i just id? >> yeah. i think if you talked to people... general pace or general meyers or general franks or the people i dealt with regularly... i mean, i'll give you an example. someone comes in and i'm going to get briefed on a warplane.
>> rose: right. >> and they start briefing me on the plane and i say "well, what arthe assumptions on that plan?" and they say "well, what do you mean what are the assumptions?" an i say "well, is some other country nearby going to give you to fly airplanes off that someplace what weapons do these countries have?" u have to have a list of assumptions that a plan is rooted in. now, if they don't have that, their plan has got both feet firmly planted in midair. and that happens to me on a number of case occasions and i sent them back and said "come on with the assumptio that the plans are based on." >> rose: did you do that with cas this w which you essentially agreed with being told. >> i didn't have any opinion at all on what i was being told because the work had not been rooted in a set of assumption that you could see the logic of . eisenhower, of course, once said that the pn is nothing, planning is everything. it's the process of planning. and thinking about i >> rose: i thought he said the
plan changes on the first day of battle. >> it does. everything. the first contact with the enemy. because the enemy's got a brain, he starts making adjusents. >> re: dyou undstand why you're so controversial? >> well, sure! my goodness, you can't be in positions in a wartime and... where you're faced... where you're faced with tough decisions and you make tough decisions and not have it be controversial. some people are gointo agree with you, some people aren't. >> rose: are the decisions that you made that you now regret? that you think... when you made it you based on the best evidence you had, when you look at it now it was wrong? >> there are certainly things that i've discussed in there that... >> rose: no, tell me now. >> tell you now. well, we just talked about one not insisting that i resign. >> rose: okay, what else? what else? >> i think the... the inability on my part and the administration's part but my part to not be able to
communicate effectively the fact that, for example, guantanamo bay is an exceedingly well-run facility, it's probably one of the best in the world, it is a... been tarnishednd is a stain on our country's reputation and it shouldn't be. no one was ever waterboarded at guantanamo. >> rose: where were they waterboardd? >> i don't know. the department didn't do waterboarding. >> rose: stop. >> just a minute. just a minute. not one person was waterboarded by the department of defense. >> rose: i'm not making a point about that. no, no, stop... >> the c.i.a. waterboarded tee people and we have not... i have not been told where they were waterboarded. i don't know where they were waterboarded. they were waterboarded. we've had four c.i.a. directors say that they waterboarded three people and they got an enormous amount of information about al qaeda from doing that. but the impression in the world is that there was torture at
guantanamo and there wasn't. those people down there gained 20 pounds. they had religiously appropriate food. they had soccer. they have had v movies. they have all kinds of things. >> rose: it's not a country club down there. >> i didn't say it was a country club. but by golly they get the same health care our troops do and the abuse that's been heaped on guantanamo bay and the u.s. military people who operate that facility is disgraceful. it is an exceedingly well-run place. it is not a place where torture has been... >> rose: well,oth. >> and that's wrong! >> rose: i'm way over time here so i have to do this. >> (laughs) >> rose: almost ed to continue this in another way. but guantanamo bay, i think, surely president oba campaigned that he would... what he would do...e found it difficult and they changed what was going to happen. >> i think they also found it isn't what they thoughtt was. >> rose: but president bh, i think,asically was not... was epared to do something about guantanamo bay but he didn't know where to do it! >>e's the one tt requid that the department of defense detain these people. >> rose: right.
>> we then looked at all over the world for the best place to do it, guantanamo bay had been used by previous presidents of both parties to detain people. >> rose: your successor was robert gates, who's retiring. >> uh-huh. >> rose: he's been prescribed as... described as most the effective secretary of defense in history. >> i think he's done a good job. >> rose: would you rank him that high? >> oh, goodness. i don't know. i think you need to let time walk over these things but i personally think he's done a good job. he's a fine man. >> rose: thank you. >> uh-huh. >> rose: donald rumsfeld's book is called "known and unknown" it is about a life, not just about iraq, which we've talked about. it is about a life and his own view of his experiences and, as i said, it is part of history and we need see and understand and appreciate the views of peopl who shape our history and he certainly did that. it is al worth saying that he urges you go to his wiebe site where there are documents and more to reca having to do with
thebasi of which he wrote this book. and as he said and he would want me to repeat, i thin the funds for this book go not tohis pocket but also to the effort to help people who have been wounded in the service of our country. so thank you. >> thankou. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org