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Rumsfeld Paints Optimistic Picture of Iraq

Reported by Ellen - March 30, 2005

Baier started the report by saying that the National Council in Iraq had met for a second session today and the meeting ended with arguments. It apparently got so bad that the plug was pulled on the tv coverage by the leaders towards the end. This tv coverage is aired throughout Iraq.

But Baier said that Rumsfeld was not alarmed. He then cut to a press conference with Rumsfeld and said that a reporter had asked Rumsfeld if he was alarmed.

Rumsfeld answered with a question and answer period with himself. (Paraphrased, but pretty much exactly what he said)

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith, he went to Brett Baier at the Pentagon for a story on the Iraqi National Council and Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld: Will they get there? Sure

Rumsfeld: Is it going to be as efficient as a dictatorship? No

Rumsfeld: Is it going to be vastly more desirable? You bet

Rumsfeld: Is is going to be a tug and a pull, and a debate and an argument and what about this and what about that? Sure it will, it's going on right now, cause there's a lot at stake.

These questions and answers that Rumsfeld asked and gave came of course, in rapid succession.

Then they cut to file video of about six Iraqi troops going through training (I wondered if this was one of the pre-packaged commercials that the Pentagon has been releasing).

Baier then commented that Rumsfeld likes to answer his own questions.

Smith then commented that this was the first time he had heard a correspondant admit this. Smith said that Rumsfeld is always asking himself a series of questions then answering them himself. Smith wondered why Rumsfeld didn't just 'remove' the reporters in there and conduct the press conferences with only himself.

Baier commented that this style was 'Rumsfeldesque'.

Comment: As Smith had commented, Rumsfeld does this frequently. He doesn't really need the press, he can have a press conference with only himself in attendence.

From the National Council, it doesn't sound real optimistic at this point, and why pull the plug on the tv coverage, don't the people of Iraq deserve to see 'democracy in action'?

I also wondered about the 'training tape' that was released. Was this one of the pre-packaged 'commercials' that has been reported here in the past that the Pentagon is now famous for releasing? Hmmmmm.......we report...you guys decide.

Reported by: Donna

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