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CA Congresswoman challenges Rummy, looks silly (about midway down the page)

(I'm editing this for space ONLY)

(Rep. Loretta) SANCHEZ: The fluctuations of -- the numbers that you bandy around about how many troops we really have out there that are Iraqi police, et cetera, et cetera.

First you estimate that there are currently 136,000 trained Iraqi security forces in the field. About 79,000 of those are police and other interior ministry troops.

While the police a role in counterinsurgency, they're not organized, trained or equipped to engage in combat operations. We rely mainly on the Iraq army and the national guard to take the lead in counterinsurgency fighting, not the police.

Isn't that right, Mr. Secretary?

RUMSFELD: OK, I'll try to answer rapidly.

First, there's no question but that incidents like you described have occurred. They have occurred in militaries across the world and they happen. I think that fewer of them have happened lately, and they're getting better.

Second, you're correct that the strength of the insurgency is one part of the equation. The other is the capability and the numbers. It's not just numbers, but capability of the security forces, plus the progress on the economic and political side. I think it's important to keep those things in mind, because they are going to affect the intensity and the insurgency.

Third, in the materials we provide you, there are, I think, 12 or 15 different categories. There are police, civil intervention force, emergency response, border enforcement, highway patrol, dignitary protection, special police commandos for the interior department, army, national guard, intervention force, special operations, air force, navy for the military.

Now, you say we bandy around numbers. They're not my numbers. I don't invent them. They come from General Petraeus.

If you look up there, what you'll see is that the numbers originally, as I said in my remarks, included site protection people. And that dropped it by about 70,000.

We originally talked about on duty only, then we changed it and said trained, then we took the site protection out.

This has all been perfectly transparent to everybody. There's no bandying at all.

And now we're saying trained and equipped, just in the ministry of interior and defense. They are Petraeus' numbers.

Third -- fourth...

SANCHEZ: I have Petraeus' numbers. They're different than your numbers, by the way.

RUMSFELD: Well, what's the date? They aren't different because these came from Petraeus. He may have two sets of numbers, but they are not different if the date's the same.

The date on my paper here is February 14th. What's yours?

SANCHEZ: December 20th.

RUMSFELD: Not surprising there's a difference.

Pssst! Congresswoman Sanchez! It helps if your "evidence" is at least current!

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the war is still wrong... I can hear them say now...

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I heard this exchange on the radio. The print version doesn't do it justice, and I get the feeling that a video would be even better than the audio.

Evie Happy

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