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 Home > News & Policies > September 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 30, 2006

Myth/Fact: Five Key Myths in Bob Woodward's Book

     Fact sheet In Focus: Iraq
     Fact sheet Setting the Record Straight

"The reality is the President knows we're in a long war with a determined enemy, and has said so from the start."

-White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, 9/30/06

MYTH #1: Woodward Says The Facts Of A May 24 Intelligence Assessment Refuted The President's Forecasts In A Chicago Speech Two Days Earlier. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

FACT: President Bush Knows We Are In A Tough, Critical Struggle And Consistently Reminds The American People Of This, Including In His Chicago Remarks. In Chicago, the President said: "Our nation has been through three difficult years in Iraq. And the way forward will bring more days of challenge and loss." (President Bush, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 5/22/06)

  • President Bush: "The Path To Freedom Is Always One Of Struggle And Sacrifice. And In Iraq, Our Brave Men And Women In Uniform Have Accepted The Struggle And Have Made The Sacrifice." (President Bush, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 5/22/06)

  • President Bush: "The [Iraqi] Government Is Still A Work In Progress, And Overcoming Longstanding Divisions Will Take Time. Iraq's New Leaders Know They Have A Great Deal Of Work Ahead To Broaden The Base Of Their Government And To Unite The People." (President Bush, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 5/22/06)

  • President Bush: "And I Can Understand Why People Are Concerned About Whether Or Not Our Strategy Can Succeed, Because Our Progress Is Incremental. Freedom Is Moving, But It's In Incremental Steps." (President Bush, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 5/22/06)

  • President Bush's December 2005 Address To The Nation: "Yet Our Work Is Not Done. There Is More Testing And Sacrifice Before Us." "Since the removal of Saddam, this war, like other wars in our history, has been difficult. The mission of American troops in urban raids and desert patrols, fighting Saddam loyalists and foreign terrorists, has brought danger and suffering and loss. ... The work in Iraq has been especially difficult - more difficult than we expected. Reconstruction efforts and the training of Iraqi security forces started more slowly than we hoped. We continue to see violence and suffering, caused by an enemy that is determined and brutal, unconstrained by conscience or the rules of war. ... The terrorists will continue to have the coward's power to plant roadside bombs and recruit suicide bombers. And you will continue to see the grim results on the evening news." (President Bush, Address To The Nation, Washington, DC, 12/18/05)

MYTH #2: Woodward Claims The Administration Ignored Paul Bremer's Requests For More Troops. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

  • FACT: Bremer Has Said His Request Was Considered. BREMER: "[Rumsfeld] said he'd received it and would consider it and he did he consider it." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 1/15/06)
  • FACT: Sec. Rumsfeld Has Said Bremer's Request Was Considered. RUMSFELD: "Just before he left he sent a memorandum to me indicating that he thought there should be more troops, and it was within a matter of weeks before he departed. And I took that and sat down with General Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and said, this is a reasonable proposal from a reasonable person; let's look at it. And he took it down into the Joint Staff and the tank and had the chiefs - and they spent several weeks in making evaluations with respect to it, and at some moment came back to me - I acknowledged receiving the memo from Jerry Bremer when I received it, told him what I was going to do with it, giving it to General Myers." (Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, Press Briefing, 1/12/06)
  • FACT: Gen. Pace Has Said Bremer's Request Was Considered. PACE: "Sir, we did a very thorough analysis of that recommendation and when we got done, all the chiefs agreed with the commanders in the field that the numbers of troops in the field then, as now, was appropriate to what we were fighting." (Gen. Peter Pace, Press Briefing, 1/12/06)
    • Tony Snow: "The Idea That Somehow The President Rejects Or Ignores Advice Is Simply Wrong." "There is a chain of command, and the chain of command involves a lot of people, and the President will give differing advice. But the idea that somehow the President rejects or ignores advice is simply wrong. And the President - and so what you have here are people making serious determinations. Donald Rumsfeld is the Secretary of Defense, and in the chain of command, he is the person who will make the recommendations. What you have not heard, I don't think, are the Generals involved in the theaters saying, I asked for something and I didn't get it. Tommy Franks' book is replete with discussions of that. And you can ask the Generals in the field, because the President has said it over and over again, if they ask for it, they'll get it." (Tony Snow, Press Briefing, 9/29/06)

MYTH #3: Woodward Claims Condoleezza Rice Brushed Off George Tenet And Cofer Black's July 2001 Warning About Al Qaeda. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

  • FACT: According To State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, The Recollections Portrayed By Woodward Do Not Reflect Tenet And Black's 9/11 Commission Testimony. "But Rice and other State Department officials denied [Woodward's claim], noting that the report of the Sept. 11 commission, which had sworn testimony from Tenet and others at the meeting, made no mention of the July 10 encounter. 'The recollections as portrayed in the Woodward book in no way reflect the public and private testimony under oath of those individuals to the 9/11 commission,' said Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman." (David E. Sanger, "White House Disputes Book's Account Of Rifts On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/30/06)

MYTH #4: Woodward Claims Gen. Abazaid Alleged Sec. Rumsfeld "Doesn't Have Any Credibility Anymore." (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

  • FACT: Gen. Abizaid's Spokesman Says Gen. Abizaid Denies Saying This, And In Fact "General Abizaid Has Nothing But The Greatest Respect For Mr. Rumsfeld." (David E. Sanger, "White House Disputes Book's Account Of Rifts On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/30/06)

MYTH #5: Woodward Claims Then-Chief Of Staff Andy Card Tried To Remove Sec. Rumsfeld, And Mrs. Bush Also Wanted Him Removed. (Bob Woodward, State Of Denial, 2006)

  • FACT: Card Has Made Clear That Woodward Ignored The Situation's Context. "'Right after the election, I went to Camp David and talked to the president, and we talked about a lot of changes, starting with the chief of staff,' Mr. Card said, recounting how he used to tote around what he called his 'hit by a bus book,' a notebook of lists of potential replacements for senior White House staff members and top cabinet officials. 'It's not inaccurate to say that we talked about Rumsfeld,' he said. 'I can understand why Bob would try to create a climate around these conversations.' But he added: 'There was no campaign, and I didn't go out and solicit others to back any view about getting rid of anyone. I could talk about these things with the president, and plant seeds, because there is a cadence to life in Washington and you raise these issues periodically.' Mr. Card acknowledged that he renewed the question of replacing Mr. Rumsfeld this year, but again insisted that it was not part of a specific effort to single out the defense secretary for removal." (David E. Sanger, "White House Disputes Book's Account Of Rifts On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/30/06)
  • FACT: "Mrs. Bush's Office Has Said, Not True ... Flatly Not True." (Tony Snow, Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 9/29/06)

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