Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Don won’t go!

Tonight, boys and girls, we will explore the fascinating science, nay art, of forensic psychology.

Our subject? The Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Yes, grasshopper, he still holds that post. And he undoubtedly will for at least a few, or perhaps several weeks. Mr. Rumsfeld was scheduled to go to the NATO conference later this month with President Bush in Riga, Latvia. Here's what the Defense Department had to say about Rumsfeld's change of plans:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has dropped plans to join President Bush at a NATO summit this month in Latvia, in light of his announced resignation, a Rumsfeld spokesman said Monday. [italics are Spot's]

The Pentagon will instead be represented at the meeting by Eric Edelman, the undersecretary of defense for policy, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Karen Finn. Other officials had said earlier Monday that Gordon England, the deputy secretary of defense, might fill in for Rumsfeld at the summit meeting.

The NATO summit is Nov. 28-29 in the Latvian capital of Riga.

You have to ask yourselves, boys and girls, why would Donald Rumsfeld pass up a chance for one last hurrah? Why would someone who obviously loves the limelight forego the opportunity for a valedictory hob-knob with diplomats and heads of state? The answer is he wouldn't unless he had a really good reason.

Do any of you know what that reason might be?

Spotty, because he's afraid to fly?

No, grasshopper. Spotty doesn't think that's it. Rumsfeld used to be a naval aviator and flight instructor.

It doesn't make any sense, Spotty!

Ah, grasshopper but it does. Notice that the Defense Department officials didn't have their story entirely coordinated about who was going to replace Rumsfeld, suggesting that the decision was made in haste. Consider also the story that Spot told you about a few days ago, namely that prosecutors in Germany have recently been urged by detainees who were subjected to torture to press war crimes charges against Rumsfeld and other US officials.

Mr. Rumsfeld doesn't want to risk the chance of being detained on a Interpol warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges.

That's crazy, Spotty! Cray. Zee.

On the contrary, there is precedent for this, or zis, as Sigmund Spot might say. The same thing happened in January of 2005 when a human rights organization sought to have war crimes charges brought in Germany. This was before a conference in Munich:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cancelled a planned visit to Germany after a U.S. human rights organization asked German authorities to prosecute him for war crimes, Deutsche Presse-Agentur [DPA] has learned.

Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the U.S. embassy that he will not take part in the Munich Security Conference in February, conference head Horst Teltschik told DPA on Thursday.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights filed a complaint in December with the Federal German Prosecutor's Office against Rumsfeld accusing him of war crimes and torture in connection with detainee abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Rumsfeld made it known immediately after the complaint was filed that he would not attend the Munich conference unless Germany quashed the legal action.

Charges weren't brought at the time. Of course, we know much more about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo than we did in January of 2005.

Sadly, boys and girls, Donald Rumsfeld won't be sunning himself on the Riviera after retirement. If he does, it'll be the Redneck Riviera, the panhandle of Florida. Perhaps he and Henry Kissinger can vacation together!

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