Transcript of Obama video clip:
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: Tomorrow, you had mentioned earlier, is when we commemorate Pearl Harbor, and so I'm going to be making announcement tomorrow about the head of our Veterans Administration, General Eric Shinseki, who was a commander and has fought in Vietnam, Bosnia, is somebody who has achieved the highest level of military service. He has agreed that he is willing to be part of this administration because both he and I share a reverence for those who serve. I grew up in Hawaii, as he did. My grandfather is in the Punch Bowl National Cemetery. When I reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans and, I think about how so many veterans around the country are struggling even more than those who have not served -- higher unemployment rates, higher homeless rates, higher substance abuse rates, medical care that is inadequate -- it breaks my heart, and I think that General Shinseki is exactly the right person who is going to be able to make sure that we honor our troops when they come home.
BROKAW: He's the man who lost his job in the Bush Administration because he said we will need more troops in Iraq than Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld thought we would need at that time.
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: He was right.
Think Progress flashes back to Shinseki's Senate testimony:
In the run-up to war in Iraq in early 2003, General Eric Shinseki testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that it would take "several hundred thousand soldiers" to secure Iraq:
"I would say that what's been mobilized to this point, something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers, are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We're talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that's fairly significant with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems."
Just two days later -- and exactly five years ago today -- then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, swiftly and infamously dismissed Shinseki's assessment.