- The Unknown
Reports that say
that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to
Because as we know,
There are known knowns.
are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
ones we don’t know,
We don’t know.
February 2002, Department of Defense news briefing]
Bin Laden is] either alive and well or alive and not too well
or not alive.
- I am not going to give you a
number for it because it’s not my business to do intelligent
[When 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.
- 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 mislead
- 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.
- I don’t do quagmires.
don’t do diplomacy.
- I don’t do
- I don’t do predictions.
- I don’t do numbers.
- I don’t
do book reviews.
- Visit with your predecessors
from previous administrations. They know the ropes and can help
you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes, rather
than needlessly repeating theirs.
- Don’t begin
to think you’re the president. You’re not. The Constitution
provides for only one.
- The price of being close
to the president is delivering bad news. You fail him if you don’t
tell him the truth. Others won’t do it.
You and the White House staff must be and be seen to be above
suspicion. Set the right example.
speak ill of your predecessors or successors. You didn’t
walk in their shoes.
- Don’t say “the
White House wants.” Buildings can’t want.
- 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 would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable
than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.
- Learn to say “I don’t know.”
If used when appropriate, it will be often.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
- With the press there is no “off the record.”
- Napoleon was asked, “Who do you consider
to be the greatest generals?” He responded, “The victors.”
- Remember: A’s hire A’s and B’s