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You wouldn't think Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would sit for an interview with a humorist, especially one who writes Dubya's Dayly Diary and song parodies like this. And you'd be right:

MADKANE: Secretary Rumsfeld, welcome. And thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview.

RUMSFELD: It's my pleasure, Ms. Kane. I'm always happy to talk to a lovely lady.

MADKANE: Now you're not trying to disarm me, are you?

RUMSFELD: That all depends. Do you have any connections to Iraq?

MADKANE: That's a good one, Mr. Secretary. You're quite the kidder.

RUMSFELD: I wasn't kidding.

MADKANE: Well, in that case, no. I don't have any connections to...

RUMSFELD: Okay, I was kidding.

MADKANE: Which brings me to your reputation for using humor to diffuse tense situations.

RUMSFELD: I see you've boned up on military lingo.

MADKANE: Yes ... well ... moving on. Until recently, reporters (especially female reporters) described you as sexy...

RUMSFELD: Condi has better legs.

MADKANE: ...but those references have died out during the last few months. Do you miss being the hottest fellow in the White House?

RUMSFELD: The absence of evidence isn't evidence of abstinence.

MADKANE: Okay, then. Let's talk about recent events regarding Iraq. According to a Financial Times story, the creation of the Iraq Stabilization Group was done without your knowledge. So you were apparently cut out of the Iraq reconstruction loop. How...

RUMSFELD: Gee whiz, what an astounding thing to say!

MADKANE: So you deny that you're outside the loop?

RUMSFELD: There's no loop to be outside of.

MADKANE: But Condi Rice made an announcement that seems to have caught you by surprise.

RUMSFELD: I've never been caught, by surprise or otherwise.


RUMSFELD: My absence from the loop evidences the absence of a loop.

MADKANE: Then how do you explain...

RUMSFELD: The absence of a loop negates the need for an explanation.

MADKANE: What about the rumors that you're being punished for your Iraq planning failures?

RUMSFELD: There are no such rumors.

MADKANE: So you deny the truth of the rumors?

RUMSFELD: The absence of such rumors obviates the need to deny them.

MADKANE: One last question: Do you use big words like "obviates" in front of President Bush?

RUMSFELD: Only if I want to keep the President out of the loop.

© October 9, 2003 Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.

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