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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Transcript

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Thursday, June 23, 2005

Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability after the Senate Armed Services Committee Testimony

                      QUESTION: Mr. Secretary how are you going to deal with the greater numbers of foreign fighters coming into Iraq?

            RUMSFELD: We’ve covered that in the hearing.


            SENATOR WARNER: We’ve had an excellent hearing. Very through questioning and I think very through responses to each of our questions. Commend the Secretary and our witnesses today. Take your questions.

            QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I was wondering if I could ask you just briefly (inaudible) the database (inaudible) is that response to recruiting difficulties (inaudible).

            RUMSFELD: My understanding is that there has always been work done with respect to the recruiting base and that’s not new. There may be some new aspects to it because of additional technologies or things that are available. We always worry about privacy issues and certainly as you know we’ve put together a panel on that subject, distinguished Americans who’ve looked at issues as they’ve come along as technologies have changed and circumstances, and I’m not knowledgeable about the details of this but it certainly is something the Department has to be sensitive to.

            QUESTION: Is this a response to (inaudible)

            RUMSFELD: Not to my knowledge.

            QUESTION: Senator Warner, is there a sense of restlessness or (inaudible) among Republican colleagues (inaudible) Senator Collins agrees with Senator Levin (inaudible) changing dynamics of Iraq (inaudible).

            SENATOR WARNER: In my judgment, in working very closely with my colleagues, not only the Republican side but the Democrat side I’m convinced that the majority of them are solidly behind the objectives as stated by the President and the other heads of state of governments of coalition forces. We have no alternative but to succeed in achieving our goals and aligning the Iraqi people to take over a secure nation and run it themselves.

            QUESTION: What about within the administration that we’re not seeing (inaudible) are you picking up any signals of that?

            SENATOR WARNER: I will let the Administration speak to that but I’m not picking up any signals.

            RUMSFELD: I don’t know of any.

            QUESTION: Are you picking up any signals?

            RUMSFELD: I don’t know of any.

            QUESTION: (inaudible)

            SENATOR WARNER: You’ve had your opportunity. Yes?

            QUESTION: (inaudible) support for the war and how do you feel about the Secretary’s statement (inaudible)?

            SENATOR WARNER: In my judgment the polls do reflect at this time the fact that fewer Americans are stepping up to lend their full support but I would not be swayed by the polls. I would look to the testimony today by our military leaders speaking on behalf of the men and women who really undergoing the brunt of this war that they are full square behind the goals as established by the leadership.

            QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, can I follow up on (inaudible)

            SENATOR WARNER: Thank you

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