Donald Rumsfeld quotes



"Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems."

"It is easier to get into something than to get out of it."

"If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much."

"If you try to please everybody, somebody's not going to like it."

"Needless to say, the President is correct. Whatever it was he said."

"Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small."

"The worst thing you can do is allow a coalition to determine what your mission is."

"To find the truth out takes weeks. To spread something that's not true takes five minutes."

"The question is not whether we can win; it's whether we have the will to persevere to win."

"Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post."

"As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

"Furthermore, you can't prove a negative. You can't say something didn't happen unless you go down and get ground proof."

"I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."

"Congress, the press, and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal."

"Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and distortions that are being told about our troops and about our country. America is not what's wrong with the world."

"Don't divide the world into "them" and "us." Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours."

"How else would we have found, captured or killed 42 out of the top 55? It's not a treasure hunt. You just don't run around looking under every rock for these folks. Much of that information came from people who we captured or killed or others who are against the former regime and want to see them defeated."

"We take the world like you find it; and Israel is a small state with a small population. It’s a democracy and it exists in a neighborhood that in many -- over a period of time has opined from time to time that they’d prefer it not be there and they’d like it to be put in the sea. And Israel has opined that it would prefer not to get put in the sea, and as a result, over a period of decades, it has arranged itself so it hasn’t been put in the sea."

"I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn't believe it. I read eight headlines that talked about chaos, violence, unrest. And it just was Henny Penny -- "The sky is falling." I've never seen anything like it! And here is a country that's being liberated, here are people who are going from being repressed and held under the thumb of a vicious dictator, and they're free. And all this newspaper could do, with eight or 10 headlines, they showed a man bleeding, a civilian, who they claimed we had shot -- one thing after another."

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones."

Compiled by Thomas George