Rumsfeld Refuses to Answer Simple Question from Al Jazeera Reporter


Uploaded by on Oct 5, 2011

‘Just a few days after Donald Rumsfeld praised Al Jazeera English in an interview with David Frost, the network released an interview in which D.C. bureau chief Abderrahim Foukara had an entirely less-pleasant exchange with the former defense secretary.

Foukara asked Rumsfeld whether, in hindsight, the Bush administration had sent enough troops into Iraq to secure the borders of the country, and whether that made the United States culpable in the death of innocent Iraqis. Foukara said people in the Pentagon told Rumsfeld the quantity of troops sent into Iraq was insufficient.

“You keep making assertions which are fundamentally false. No one in the Pentagon said they were not enough,” Rumsfeld said. The interview, taped in September, only went downhill from there.

Foukara pressed Rumsfeld repeatedly.

“Do you want to yell or do you want to have an interview?” Rumsfeld asked. “You’re being true to form.”

“Do you think the numbers that you went to Iraq with did absolve you from the responsibility of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed by the Coalition and those criminals that you talked about?” asked Foukara.

Rumsfeld called the question “pejorative,” said Foukara was “not being respectful” (Foukara disagreed) and was “just talking over, and over, and over again.”

“You have just disparaged me as a member of Al Jazeera. But that’s OK. Just give me a straight answer,” Foukara shot back.

Eventually, Rumsfeld called the exchange “worthless” and said, “This is not an interview. You’re haranguing.”

The interview was one of two with Rumsfeld taped by the network in September.

During the first, Rumsfeld told British journalist and Al Jazeera English staffer Frost that Al Jazeera “can be an important means of communication in the world and I am delighted you are doing what you are doing,” a big reversal from 2004, when he said Al Jazeera was “lying” in its reporting on the Iraq War.’…
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