Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's Not My Business to Do Intelligent Work

Mr. Rumsfeld goes to Washington, and hoo-boy, does he tear it a new one. Our esteemed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld answered some questions before Congress yesterday. Well, "answered" isn't really the right word. But he was definitely asked some questions. His behavior has the stink of "I am so outta here" all over it. You know how when your co-worker gives his two week notice and then if he even shows up, it's pulling teeth to get him to do anything other than print out resumes and read The Onion?

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reports:

Two dozen members of the House Armed Services Committee had not yet had their turn to question Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at yesterday's hearings when he decided he had had enough.

At 12:54, he announced that at 1 p.m. he would be taking a break and then going to another hearing in the Senate. "We're going to have to get out and get lunch and get over there," he said. When the questioning continued for four more minutes, Rumsfeld picked up his briefcase and began to pack up his papers.

The chairman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), apologized to his colleagues for a rather "unusual" situation.
Hey! This one isn't his fault. Denny's only offers a 10% discount on their All-American Slam until 1. And he sure as hell ain't getting the French Slam.
Asked about the number of insurgents in Iraq, Rumsfeld replied: "I am not going to give you a number."

Did he care to voice an opinion on efforts by U.S. pilots to seek damages from their imprisonment in Iraq? "I don't."

Could he comment on what basing agreements he might seek in Iraq? "I can't."

How about the widely publicized cuts to programs for veterans? "I'm not familiar with the cuts you're referring to."

How long will the war last? "There's never been a war that was predictable as to length, casualty or cost in the history of mankind."
Weird, though. He was all about predictions a couple of years ago:
"You don't know if it is going to last two days or two weeks or two months," he said. He is sure of one thing: "It certainly isn't going to last two years."

"It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
I'm sure Rumsfeld would tell me to stop livin' in the past, man! So let's get back to yesterday:
When the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Ike Skelton (Mo.), asked about the number of insurgents in Iraq, the secretary said, "I am not going to give you a number for it because it's not my business to do intelligent work." (He presumably meant to say "intelligence.") Ultimately, Rumsfeld admitted he had estimates at his fingertips. "I've got two in front of me," he said.

"Could you share those with us?" Skelton inquired.

Not just now, Rumsfeld said. "They're classified."

In Europe last week, Rumsfeld joked that he was no longer the "old Rumsfeld" who disdainfully referred to France and Germany as "Old Europe."

But Wednesday, he made it clear that the new Rumsfeld would not be a softy. When he scolded Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) by saying she incorrectly described his role, Tauscher inquired: "Is that old Rumsfeld talking to me now?"

"I think so," Rumsfeld said, smiling.

"I'd prefer new Rumsfeld," she requested.

"No, you don't," he said.
Is he threatening to kill her? Wouldn't that be a scene? Rummy leaps up out of his chair, dives over the big desk thingee, thrusts his hand into her chest, tears out her heart, and feasts on it as the beating slowly stops, peering at everyone as the blood drips down his chin.

Yargh! It's hard to think that Rumsfeld hasn't killed with his bare hands though, isn't it? I imagine that for a relaxing vacation, he heads on over to Abu Ghraib for a couple of waterboardings in the morning, a facial and a steam after lunch, and electrodes to the genitals after dusk with a highball and a Cuban cigar.

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