RUMSFELD: Not to my knowledge. There was speculation about a kidney problem, and yet here he is, years later, was alive and functioning.
VAN SUSTEREN: And he had to get from -- if he -- if he were -- if he had been in Tora Bora, he had to get from there to near Islamabad at some point. And I take it we were watching all the time, trying to figure out...
RUMSFELD: Oh, my goodness, yes. The CIA had an element that paid attention to it on a continuing basis. The Department of Defense had an element that paid attention. Our special operations people were always sensitive to the fact that they should be prepared to go after whatever high-value target might be developed.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I don't believe -- I don't know, but I really don't believe that the Pakistan military or intelligence didn't know he was there.
RUMSFELD: Did or did not?
VAN SUSTEREN: Did not.
RUMSFELD: Did not know?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. I mean, it's, like, if you -- if you put a new house up in my neighborhood, the first thing we all say -- Who's building that house? Who lives there? And if it's -- you know, if it's this big, eight times the size of any other house in the area, that would certainly be a curiosity.
RUMSFELD: Well, I don't know. You don't believe, I don't know. And I know I don't know. I think it's awfully easy to assume that somebody must have known, but hindsight is 20/20. There might have been a superb cover story for that house. That's not to say that possibly someone in the intelligence service, even possibly someone in the military, but more likely someone in the intelligence service might have known.
On the other hand, if you've got the amount of money and the amount of support that Usama had, you know of certain knowledge that if one other person knows where you are, then two people know where you are. And so you're very careful about paying attention to who -- how many people actually know. And I would guess there were cover stories that worked pretty well to take care and disabuse people of the assumptions you would make about a logical question, Well, why is that house protected?
VAN SUSTEREN: You think he's a total prisoner in this compound...
RUMSFELD: I wouldn't use the word "prisoner." He was evading. His life was not -- not very high quality. He had to spend every minute of the day or night not being caught. He couldn't talk on a phone. He couldn't move around. And I would guess he didn't go outside and that people didn't see him.
And it seems to me that if people inside of the intelligence services or the military did, in fact, know he was there and weren't subject to the same kind of misinformation and cover stories that a person in that position would logically use, then I think he might have been caught earlier because people just can't keep a secret.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were you confident at the time you were secretary that you were getting the straight story from the Pakistani intelligence, the Pakistani military and General Musharraf as head of the government?
RUMSFELD: I had confidence in General Musharraf, in what he told me. I had every reason to believe that the -- that there were undoubtedly people in the ISI that had very close relationships with the Taliban. We know that. We also know that Musharraf -- they tried to kill Musharraf two or three times, and he's lucky to be alive today. So it wasn't like he was sitting there with multiple sources of information and relationships and tricking the United States. I don't believe he was. I think he was dealing with us straight.
And I also have every reason to believe that there were people in the ISI with long relationships with Hekmatyar and with various people in the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Taliban in Pakistan which they really used as a foil to counter the Indian influence in the Northern Alliance. And it was no surprise. That was well known to us.
Now, does that mean that the entire institution of the Pakistani intelligence service was disloyal to the government and disloyal to the United States in terms of our understandings with the government? No, I don't think the entire ISI was. Were there people in there that were? I'm certain there were.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think...
RUMSFELD: But think of this. The Pakistani military did a pretty darn good job for us inside of Pakistan except in the federally administered tribal areas. They went in there one time and tried to be helpful, and they lost 200 dead from their military trying to be of assistance in the Fatah.
VAN SUSTEREN: But what I hear is that, like, for instance, the Haqqani network -- you know, every time we want to send a drone in in recent time into a particular area, we'd have to speak to the Pakistani authorities, and they would take their time answering us or tip off al Qaeda to get out of there. You know, so that looks -- you know, that looks rather dirty to me.
Then you've got A.Q. Khan, who is essentially the Wal-Mart of nuclear weapons, who was selling technology all over the world. He's -- you know, he's not the scourge of Pakistan, he's the hero of Pakistan.
RUMSFELD: Of the Pakistani people. No question.
VAN SUSTEREN: Then we give $7 billion in aid to Pakistan, and they get all mad and hot and bothered because we want to know how they're going to spend it because India's mad we're giving it to them, and we just want to make sure they're not spending it on terrorism, and they get all hot and bothered! And then I find that while we're trying to bail them out of their humanitarian crisis, that the people who are in the government have managed to manipulate the law so they don't pay any taxes and so they don't even support themselves. It's us. That to me...
VAN SUSTEREN: It's not a pretty picture!
RUMSFELD: No, Greta, you can cast it that way, the suggestion being that there's not corruption in other governments of the world. And the reality is, there's corruption in most of the governments of the world. We have congressmen who go to jail. So the idea that there's corruption in a country I think ought not to be a surprise.
Second, the relationship with them has been very beneficial to us. They have nuclear weapons. It's a Muslim country. They did not need to participate and assist us with respect to the war on terror. They have shared a lot of intelligence with us. They let us use their bases to resupply our forces in Afghanistan. They've given overflight rights.
And we have had understandings with their various governments that in the event we found high-value targets, we would deal with them in their country. A little embarrassing when one of our drones go in there and gets shot down and it says "Made in the USA" on it and we he haven't talked to them about it, but -- is it a mixed picture? Yes. Is it a perfect picture? No. But is the world a perfect place? No, it's not. And I think on the other side of the scale, you can put some pluses in terms of the relationship to match some of the minuses that you not incorrectly cited.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now look a little bit in the future. Al Zawahiri was number two. We've got Mullah Omar out there, Taliban. What happens to those guys? I mean, are they -- do they rise in power or...
RUMSFELD: Very likely. We had a region in northern Iraq, as I recall, where they had an al Qaeda leader, and we killed him. Our forces killed him. He was replaced. And we captured the individual. He was replaced. And we killed the next one. We went through three or four in a period of two or three or four years.
My guess is that's what's going to happen here. When you decapitate a terrorist network, it doesn't stay decapitated. And in fact, I expect we'll see someone replace Usama bin Laden, and that -- if that individual is taken out, there will be someone who replaces him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any conversation with President Bush 43 since the news broke?
RUMSFELD: I haven't. Haven't had a chance. I've been busy today. But he has to feel good about his administration and the decisions he made and the outcome that's the successful outcome of this operation.