An Afternoon With Rummy: He Has No Time for These Things You Call Books
Every now and then, we tune in to the Pentagon briefings given by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Today's briefing, while not as entertaining as the one from last month -- you know, the one where Rummy took a swipe at Maureen Dowd -- had its moments.
Rumsfeld was very irascible today, even more so than usual. The reporters kinda got things off on the wrong foot, asking him early on about the calls by retired generals for him to resign. Rummy: "There are hundreds and hundreds of retired generals, and they have opinions, and that's fine."
Reporters tried to steer Secretary Rumsfeld towards Iran and rumors of a U.S. strike on Iran, but he refused to get into what he called "Fantasyland" speculation. When a reporter began a query by saying, "let me attempt another question on Iran," Rumsfeld cut in: "A fool's errand!"
Another reporter tried to ask Rumsfeld about the account in Bob Woodward's book about the path leading up to the Iraq war. Rummy shot him down: "You think I'm going to stand around reading your books and validating or not validating them? I have a day job. If I disputed all of the mythology that comes out of this group [gesturing towards press pool], I'd have no time to do anything else."
Okay, not as saucy as telling Maureen Dowd readers to "get a life," but we also enjoyed this quip from Rumsfeld: "Woodward's book is not the Bible. Some of you may not know that."
It can't be denied that Rummy is often funny and highly quotable. Given the frequent calls for him to resign, it's easy to forget that he was once a media darling.
But times have changed. To quote Rumsfeld himself: "Stuff happens."