CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Rumsfeld: War Not a Success if Saddam Lives
Aired April 9, 2003 - 17:03 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Before we do anything else I want to go to Capitol Hill in Washington, that's where the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is speaking right now.
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QUESTION: The reason I ask that is, because there are other exiled groups other than those of Mr. Chalabi with the INC...
QUESTION: ... who're saying that he's getting special treatment from the Pentagon and...
RUMSFELD: Not to my knowledge. I mean, we've been assisting the Kurds in the north. We have special forces assisting them. We've been bringing in lethal and nonlethal assistance to the Kurds in the north. So we've been assisting a whole lot of people, people from inside and from outside.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, sir, how important is it for us to have definitive evidence of the health or Saddam Hussein's whereabouts for us to be able to call this a complete success?
RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, it isn't a complete success. We've got a lot difficult work yet to do.
Today was a very good day. It's wonderful to see the faces of people being liberated.
On the other hand, there is a lot of fighting that's left in this battle over changing the regime in Iraq. And the task is to see that that regime is not there. There's a good portion of the country where that task has been achieved. There's a good portion of the country where it has not yet been achieved, and we intend to finish it.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, there's been a lot of -- the investigation into what happened at the 507 and Private Lynch getting captured and the like. There was a lot of talk that they had taken a wrong turn. Has there been a further investigation (OFF-MIKE) clearer picture as to what happened in any of this?
RUMSFELD: I don't know. I'm sure they will eventually, but I don't know.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you know -- in Baghdad Saddam is no longer in control; does that mean U.S. forces are actively governing the city right now?
RUMSFELD: No, it doesn't.
QUESTION: Then who is governing the city right now?
RUMSFELD: Let's just be logical. The regime controls the country and Baghdad at the start of the war. Then what happens is the regime is systematically removed from portions of Baghdad. And there's a period where it's contested, where it's unclear, and then there's a period where, for the most part, the coalition forces control it, but not completely, and then at some point they control it completely. Obviously, we do not control Baghdad completely and nor does the regime, you can be sure of that.
QUESTION: So it's in a transitional point.
RUMSFELD: Of course, as is the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, folks, the defense secretary's got to go. You said you're on tight schedule.
RUMSFELD: I should say one thing. Torie tells me that at the last stakeout we mentioned...
BLITZER: ... speaking briefly with reporters. We're going to continue to monitor all of his statements, of course. Critical statements three weeks into this war, not declaring victory yet. But clearly a very, very happy United States secretary of defense.
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