Rumsfeld Regrets Saying U.S. Knew Location of Iraqi WMD

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a soon-to-be released autobiography writes that he regrets comments made during the initial stage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq that the United States knew the location of the Arab state's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the Washington Post reported today (see GSN, Jan. 24; Bradley Graham, Washington Post, Feb. 3).

In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on March 30, 2003, more than a week after the invasion began, Rumsfeld responded to a question on when alliance forces expected to discover the WMD stockpiles the Bush administration had repeatedly asserted were held by then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat," Rumsfeld said (U.S. Department of Defense release, March 30, 2003).

The Bush administration had made Husein's WMD threat a central component of its case for war. No viable unconventional weapons or active WMD-production programs were discovered in Iraq following the invasion.

In his 800-page memoir, "Known and Unknown," Rumsfeld continues to largely defend his general execution of the Iraqi invasion and the subsequent conflict. He argues that toppling of Hussein's regime was worth the cost, asserting that the region would be "far more perilous than it is today" if Hussein still ruled, the Post reported.

"Known and Unknown" is scheduled to hit bookshelves on Tuesday. Rumsfeld has also released many once-secret documents on his password-protected website (Bradley Graham, Washington Post).

February 3, 2011
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Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a soon-to-be released autobiography writes that he regrets comments made during the initial stage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq that the United States knew the location of the Arab state's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the Washington Post reported today (see GSN, Jan. 24; Bradley Graham, Washington Post, Feb. 3).

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