Blair Still Convinced“We know Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but we know we haven’t found them. I have to accept that we have not found them, that we may not find them.”—British Prime Minister Tony Blair, New York Times, July 7.
It Takes Time“I can’t tell you how long that’s going to take. It’s dangerous. I remember when people were up here eight years ago, saying we’d be in Bosnia only for a year. We are finally about to end the Bosnia mission—what is it?—eight years later. This is a vastly more important mission for our national security, and it’s important to stay and finish it.”—Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, on how long the mission in Iraq might last, House Armed Services Committee, June 22.
White vs. Rumsfeld“Rumsfeld is a very strong Secretary of Defense, and he made it very clear early on what his druthers were about troop levels. It’s a tad disingenuous of him at this late date to say, ‘Well, gee, I told them all along they could have what they wanted.’ ”—Former Army Secretary Thomas E. White, Dallas Morning News, July 13.
No Butts About It“More people are leaving technical training as tobacco users than those who enter [basic training]. It’s very difficult once people are addicted to nicotine to get them to quit. We want to prevent them from ever starting.”—Col. Russell Eggert, AETC health promotion branch chief, on new policy that bans tobacco use or possession by airmen in training while on base or in uniform, Air Force Print News, June 21.
Inequity of Draft Calls“You just can’t go out equitably and grab five percent of the young people and force them into uniform without making all the young people begin to do something comparable.”—Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on problems with conscription to fill today’s relatively small military force, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” July 4.
Panjandrum, Maybe?“Five hundred years of rigidity and stupidity followed by Bolshevism isn’t a good model for the management of the American Intelligence Community.”—Former CIA Director James Woolsey on term “intelligence czar” to describe “director of national intelligence,” who would oversee all US intelligence agencies, House Select Homeland Security Committee hearing, June 24.
The Great Moviemaker“We are furious that Greg was in that casket and cannot defend himself. ... I’m sure he would have some choice words for Michael Moore. Michael Moore would have a hard time asking our family for a glass of water if he were thirsty.”—Kandi Gallagher, aunt of USAF Maj. Gregory Stone, killed in Iraq, on Michael Moore’s use, without permission, of video footage of Stone’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery for Moore’s movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Washington Times, July 13.
Handful for a Brother ...“When a rich brother goes to visit a poorer brother, the rich brother should not go empty-handed.”—Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, acknowledging secret payments to North Korea to induce participation in inter-Korean summit four years ago, London Financial Times, June 19.
... But Not From This Brother“We are not prepared to compensate North Korea somehow for not doing something that they never should have done to begin with.”—State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher on suggestion of compensation to entice North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program, Associated Press, June 22.
Bad Planning for Civilian Force“During its downsizing in the early 1990s, DOD did not focus on reshaping the civilian workforce in a strategic manner. ... With more than 50 percent of its civilian personnel becoming eligible to retire in the next five years, DOD may find it difficult to fill certain mission-critical jobs with qualified personnel.”—Government Accountability Office report, quoted by GovExec.com, July 1.
Force, However, Is Big Enough“The fact that [the Ready Reserve call-up] is rare ... does not, of course, mean it is inappropriate.”—David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, on recall of 5,600 veterans to fill needs in Iraq and Afghanistan, House Armed Services Committee, July 7.
A Father’s Duty“As I see it, a father has to do his best to help raise children who will be good citizens, good leaders, and good parents in their own right. He also has a responsibility to make the world a better place for his children and grandchildren.”—USAF Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, named a “Father of the Year” by the National Father’s Day Committee, European Stars and Stripes, June 19.
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