Ladies and Gentlement, what you’re about to see is real, presented in an entertaining and perhaps depressingly frank way, I present to you, courtesy of Slate Magazine ( and the department of defense (official transcripts) – THE POETRY OF DONALD H. RUMSFELD, WAR CRIMINAL:

The Unknown

As we know,

There are known knowns.

There are things we know we know.

We also know

There are known unknowns.

That is to say

We know there are some things

We do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don’t know

We don’t know.

?Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Glass Box

You know, it’s the old glass box at the?

At the gas station,

Where you’re using those little things

Trying to pick up the prize,

And you can’t find it.


And it’s all these arms are going down in there,

And so you keep dropping it

And picking it up again and moving it,


Some of you are probably too young to remember those?

Those glass boxes,


But they used to have them

At all the gas stations

When I was a kid.

?Dec. 6, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing

A Confession

Once in a while,

I’m standing here, doing something.

And I think,

“What in the world am I doing here?”

It’s a big surprise.

?May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times


You’re going to be told lots of things.

You get told things every day that don’t happen.

It doesn’t seem to bother people, they don’t?

It’s printed in the press.

The world thinks all these things happen.

They never happened.

Everyone’s so eager to get the story

Before in fact the story’s there

That the world is constantly being fed

Things that haven’t happened.

All I can tell you is,

It hasn’t happened.

It’s going to happen.

?Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

The Digital Revolution

Oh my goodness gracious,

What you can buy off the Internet

In terms of overhead photography!

A trained ape can know an awful lot

Of what is going on in this world,

Just by punching on his mouse

For a relatively modest cost!

?June 9, 2001, following European trip

The Situation

Things will not be necessarily continuous.

The fact that they are something other than perfectly continuous

Ought not to be characterized as a pause.

There will be some things that people will see.

There will be some things that people won’t see.

And life goes on.

?Oct. 12, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing


I think what you’ll find,

I think what you’ll find is,

Whatever it is we do substantively,

There will be near-perfect clarity

As to what it is.

And it will be known,

And it will be known to the Congress,

And it will be known to you,

Probably before we decide it,

But it will be known.

?Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing