"We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."
“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.” From a February 2002 Department of Defense briefing
"Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."
“Freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. ... Stuff happens.” On looting in Iraq in April 2003 after the U.S. invasion.
"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 destruction
“You’re thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don’t. I think that’s old Europe.” From a January 2003 DOD briefing
“Needless to say, the president is correct. Whatever it was he said.” From a February 2003 DOD briefing.
“I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.” From a DOD briefing, April 2003
“Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the president and do wonders for your performance.” Published in the Wall Street Journal, January 2001.
"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'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty."
"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."
"Learn to say 'I don't know.' If used when appropriate, it will be often."
"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."
"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
"If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll just respond, cleverly."