In an interview last night, Bill O’Reilly asked Rumsfeld about the ongoing violence in Iraq and the hundreds of billions of dollars the U.S. has spent on the war. Rather than answer the questions, Rumsfeld shamelessly exploited the tragedy of 9/11 to deflect them:
RUMSFELD: And there’ve always been people who have looked at the problems and they’re real problems, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s a pretty picture. It isn’t a pretty picture. It’s a tough business, and our guys over there [in Iraq] are doing an absolutely superb job and they’re proud of what they’re doing and they know that they’re making progress and they know they can’t lose over there.
O’REILLY: No, they can’t lose militarily, but it’s cost the United States taxpayer about $400 billion up this point.
RUMSFELD: Think of what 9/11 cost us. Wouldn’t you rather fight those people over there instead of fighting them here?
RUMSFELD: Think of what happened to our economy, think what happened to the stock market.
RUMSFELD: Think of what happened to the airlines here after 9/11.
Rumsfeld would have us believe the war in Iraq has reduced the threat of terrorism. Actually, it has turned Iraq into “the training ground for the next generation of ‘professionalized’ terrorists,” according to the National Intelligence Council, an arm of the CIA.