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News Transcript

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 1:14 p.m. EDT

Defense Department Operational Update Briefing

(Also participating; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace)

[excerpt on classification of Taguba torture report]



Q: General, a quick follow-up on that, please. Could you explain to us why the Taguba report was classified secret, no foreign distribution? Those of us who have read the report, there's clearly nothing in there that's inherently secret, such as intelligence sources and methods or troop movements. Was this kept secret because it would be embarrassing to the world, particularly the Arab world?

GEN. PACE: First of all, I do not know specifically why it was labeled secret. Potentially there are parts of the hundreds and hundreds of pages of documentation that are classified. I do not know that to be a fact, but normally we will classify a document at the highest level of anything that's in that document.

But as the secretary pointed out, immediately we told the world that we thought we had a problem. So there has been no attempt to hide this. What we've been trying to do is find out the truth of the matter so we can get on about correcting; finding out who did what, and then taking a proper action.

Q: Mr. Secretary, can you say why it was classified secret? Do you know?

SEC. RUMSFELD: No, you'd have to ask the classifier.

Q: Mr. Secretary?

Q: Mr. Secretary? Taking into account

SEC. RUMSFELD: You can ask General Casey, who's going to be down here discussing that later.