As I noted on the 16th of Dec., and the WaPo is just getting around to reporting, Rummy is having second thoughts about going to Germany for a major security conference in Munich.
The belated report in today's edition says:
"Will Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld skip a major security affairs conference in Germany next month or won't he?
Two weeks ago, he sent word to organizers of the annual event not to expect him, saying he would be traveling elsewhere in mid-February.
The news, reported in Germany but not announced here, prompted complaints that Rumsfeld was snubbing Europe and speculation that his move was in reaction to a legal complaint filed against him in Germany.
By late yesterday, however, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Lawrence T. Di Rita, was waffling on the secretary's plans. He said Rumsfeld is weighing a number of "competing scheduling priorities," including other possible travel and preparation for congressional testimony on the defense budget. Di Rita left open the possibility Rumsfeld will attend the conference.
"I just don't know who will end up representing the Department of Defense," Di Rita said in a phone interview. [Sounds like they're a little off message.]
The German press agency Deutsche Presse Agentur first reported last week that Rumsfeld had decided not to go to Munich. The agency said the decision was prompted by a criminal complaint, filed Nov. 30 with the federal prosecutor's office in Germany, accusing him of war crimes in connection with detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The 160-page complaint was brought by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, a group of lawyers representing four Iraqis who say they were mistreated at the prison outside Baghdad.
In addition to Rumsfeld, the complaint singles out eight other high-ranking U.S. military authorities and former CIA director George J. Tenet.
It is based on a German law, enacted in 2002, that gives the Karlsruhe Court "universal jurisdiction" in cases involving alleged war crimes. A prosecutor is obligated to investigate the claims but does not have to act on them further.
So far, German authorities have said that the complaint against Rumsfeld and the others is being studied.
Rumsfeld is known to have fumed privately with aides about the case. But Di Rita said it has had "nothing to do" with the secretary's deliberations over whether to attend the conference..." [Yeah, right.]
"Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish."
Michael Ratner, the lawyer leading this case said on Democracynow.org yesterday about this issue:
"There was an article in the Washington Post today that said that the Pentagon denies that he isn't going because of the lawsuit. What I think is really happened here is floated a - it's not a rumor, it may be true he's not going - but floated it as a way of putting pressure on the German government to say: "Get rid of this lawsuit."
This is serious business, we're considering not sending Rumsfeld there. But on the high -- on the level of calling them, "No, no, no, this isn't what this is about." And I think what the conferences February 11 and 12, it is the major security conference for Europe, the Secretary of Defense has been going for 40-some years.
My view is we're reaching a point in this lawsuit in Germany where something is going to give.
We're filing major new papers, actually, today and Monday. One of them, of course, names Alberto Gonzales now as an additional defendant in the case."
One of the key people, Keitel,(Wilhelm Keitel) who got a death sentence in Germany was the man who scrawled on a memo to the high command about Russian soldiers that said, "Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish."
Remember the word that Gonzales used to describe Geneva, "obsolete". And when they sentenced Keitel to death, what they said was one of the reasons we're giving you the death penalty is for basically saying the Geneva Conventions are obsolete."
Yes, that Alberto Gonzales is a real piece of work. Turns out the dems in the senate want to have more debate on the nomination before they're ready to vote.
Gosh, it looked so easy for Bush and Co. before the inauguration didn't it? Condi would be confirmed as W was being sworn in and Alberto (Waterboard boy) would be right after.
That pesky torture memo and his lies and distortions in his oral and written testimony are making even some republicans queasy. Do we have another Bernard Kerik here?
The Bushies seems very off balance here the past few days. They've swallowed the Koolaid and they believe their own hype and I think all this opposition is knocking them for a loop.
Voting holiday in Iraq.
That's what their calling the lock down of Iraq, a "holiday!" That's rich.
On the first day of the holiday, insurgents pierced the green zone and killed two Americans on the grounds of the embassy. If we can't protect the green zone, how can we protect anything there?
"BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with a rocket Saturday, killing two Americans.
Militants also set off explosions that killed eight Iraqis and a U.S. soldier and blasted polling places across the country Saturday as Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government urged Iraqis to overcome their fear of violence and vote in landmark elections.
Seven American soldiers were killed Friday in the Baghdad area, including two pilots who died in the crash of their OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter. [Two helicopters and 44 soldiers dead in two days.]
Attacks on polling stations were reported in at least eight cities from Dohuk in the far north to Basra in the south.
In Basra...hundreds of Iraqi police uniforms have gone missing in Iraq's second largest city and may be in the hands of insurgents to help them slip through checkpoints, according to a report by the British media pool.
Four police vehicles were stolen by insurgents from a prison at Umm Qasr south if Basra, British authorities said, raising fears the cars could be used in suicide attacks."
Have no fear,though, our naked emperor said in his Saturday radio address that:
"As democracy takes hold in Iraq, America's mission there will continue. Our military forces, diplomats and civilian personnel will help the newly elected government of Iraq establish security and train Iraqi military police and other forces.
Terrorist violence will not end with the election. [Now, he tells us!] Yet the terrorists will fail because the Iraqi people reject their ideology of murder."
Or maybe the Iraqis, our puppets and the insurgents, will just force us out altogether.