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Rumsfeld Stakeout at the Pentagon

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
April 12, 2002

(Stakeout at the Pentagon)

Secretary Rumsfeld: Every day somebody says something and that is something that I guess if you ask me when I got up in the morning and we've got people getting killed in the Middle East, and we've got a war going on in Afghanistan, if I'm going to change my schedule and go chasing after the rumors on things like that, it's unlikely.

Generally what happens in my circumstances, something that ends up becoming relatively important ends up getting up to me in a reasonable amount of time in a reasonably orderly way.

Press: [inaudible] investigation, or he has [inaudible]?

Secretary Rumsfeld: I would doubt it, but I just don't know.

Press: [inaudible]

Secretary Rumsfeld: Ask CENTCOM?

Press: Yeah.

Secretary Rumsfeld: I'm sure the minute the rumor -- Every time I do something like that, which I haven't, but every time I do I find out that the minute the rumor starts someone hears it before me and they go and say gee, someone ought to get ahold of that and see what that's about. These are responsible people. They know that someone's going to ask in the press, someone's going to ask in the Congress, someone's going to ask in the building. [Laughter]

Press: We're your friends.

Secretary Rumsfeld: I'm out of here! [Laughter]

If that was the biggest story, to talk yet or not, it seemed to be --

Press: [inaudible]

Secretary Rumsfeld: Yeah. The short answer on Abu Zubaydah is that he is --

Hi, good to see you.

[Multiple voices]

Abu Zubaydah. He had holes in him and he had some infections and he was not in great shape, and he obviously talked when people asked him questions and he said this, that and the other thing. Has he started to give any intelligence? I would assume so, but anything useful? It's not clear yet. And I don't know that I want to get into daily reports on it. But his health is improving.

Now why don't the rest of you people go do pushups like this guy? Look at those muscles. He's got muscles in places I don't even have places. [Laughter] Look at him.

Press: Thank you.

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