Defense Department August 30, 2006 DoD Statement On Inaccurate Mischaracterization Secretary Rumsfeld spoke Tuesday to the American Legion Convention in Salt Lake City. The complete text can be found at www.defenselink.mil. The AP report of the speech seriously mischaracterized Secretary Rumsfelds remarks. Relevant portions of the Secretarys remarks are as follows: 1919 was the beginning of period where, over time, a very different set of views would come to dominate public discourse and thinking in the West. Over the next decades, a sentiment took root that contended that -- if only the growing threats that had begun to emerge in Europe and Asia could be accommodated, then the carnage and destruction of then-recent memory of World War I could be avoided. It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the western democracies. . . . I recount this history because we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the threat of a new type of fascism. Today another enemy -- a different kind of enemy -- has also made clear its intentions -- with attacks in places like New York, Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, and Moscow. But some seem not to have learned historys lessons. We need to consider the following questions: *With the growing lethality and increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased? *Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists? *Can we truly afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply law enforcement problems, rather than fundamentally different threats, requiring fundamentally different approaches? And *Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America not the enemy is the real source of the worlds troubles? These are central questions of our time. And we must face them honestly. . . . In every army, there are occasionally bad actors the ones who dominate the headlines today who dont live up to the standards of their oath and of our country. But you also know that they are a very, very small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of honorable men and women in all theaters in this struggle who are serving with humanity, and decency and courage in the face of continuous provocation. And that is important in this long war, where any moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere. . . . The Associated Press reported as follows in part: Rumsfeld Lashes Out at Bushs Critics by Robert Burns, AP Military Reporter. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces a new type of fascism and likened critics of the Bush administrations war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis in the 1930s. In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administrations critics as suffering from moral and intellectual confusion about what threatens the nations security. Clearly the AP report misrepresented the Secretarys remarks. The Department has asked for a correction from the Associated Press. The full text of Secretary Rumsfelds entire speech is available on the Defense Department web site at www.defenselink.mil. More information is available at the DoD Office of Public Affairs at 703-697-5131.