And unknown knowns?This just in:
He may not know it -- or know that he knows it -- but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has won this year's "Foot in Mouth" award for the most baffling statement by a public figure.
Britain's Plain English Campaign, scourge of jargon, cliches and legalese, announced the honors Tuesday, giving runner-up to California governor Arnold Schwartzenegger.
The top prize went to Rumsfeld for this logic-twister he gave at a press briefing on Iraq:
"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," Rumsfeld said.
"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."
"We think we know what he means," said Plain English Campaign spokesman John Lister. "But we don't know if we really know."
What Rummy and all of us should really be worried about are the unknown knowns. For example, the likely complications of US military occupation of Iraq were very well known to experts, and pretty evident to amateur observers. But at the apex of the Pentagon, those were unknown knowns.