Armed with a dictionary and a gleam in his eye, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday he meant every word of a leaked memorandum to Pentagon leaders questioning progress in the U.S. war on terrorism. In a surprise visit to the Pentagon briefing room, Rumsfeld fenced verbally with reporters, defending his depiction of the U.S. mission in Iraq and Afghanistan as “a long, hard slog.” Rumsfeld denied charges from critics who say he and administration officials for months have tried to paint a rosy picture of the situation in Iraq while privately harboring doubts, saying it was his job to raise questions about the war on terror, launched by President Bush after the 2001 attacks on America. The private memo, sent to four other top military and civilian defense officials last week, was released by the Pentagon on Wednesday after a leaked version appeared on the USA Today Internet site. Full Story
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