"I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than
the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."
"We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in
Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad
and east, west, south and north somewhat." -on Iraq's weapons of mass
"Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."
crimes and do bad hings." -on looting in Iraq after the U.S. invasion,
adding "stuff happens"
"As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you
might want or wish to have at a later time."
"I am not going to give you a number for it because it's not my business
to do intelligent work." -asked to estimate the number of Iraqi
insurgents while testifying before Congress
"I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know
what I think, and, well, I assume it's what I said."
"Needless to say, the President is correct. Whatever it was he said."
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting
to me, because 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."
"If I said yes, that would then suggest that that might be the only
place where it might be done which would not be accurate, necessarily
accurate. It might also not be inaccurate, but I'm disinclined to
"There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of
evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same
thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that
something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it
doesn't exist." -on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
"It is unknowable how long that conflict [the war in Iraq] will last. It
could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." -in Feb. 2003
"Well, um, you know, something's neither good nor bad but thinking makes
it so, I suppose, as Shakespeare said."
"Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been
before this administration except for those instances where Colin's
"Learn to say 'I don't know.' If used when appropriate, it will be often."
"I don't know what the facts are but somebody's certainly going to sit
down with him and find out what he knows that they may not know, and
make sure he knows what they know that he may not know."
"I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepts."
"I don't do quagmires."
"I don't do diplomacy."
"I don't do foreign policy."
"I don't do predictions."
"I don't do numbers."
"I don't do book reviews."
"Now, settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the
morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here."
"If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll
just respond, cleverly."