Thirty Four

Rummy's Press Conference began with a prepared statement.

"Good afternoon," began the Secretary, in the manly, no-nonsense way which, before the end of the world, had won the hearts of octogenarian widows the country over.

On behalf of the Department of Defense, I want to again express my deep regret and sadness over the tragic and unforeseen consequences of our nuclear devastation of much of Asia.
We have the deepest appreciation for the support of England, and Canada, and Australia, and all of our other coalition partners in the War on Terrorism. We all know that every conflict has its share of injuries to friendly forces, and they are truly painful when they occur. As we told the officials of our partner nations — their prime ministers, their defense ministers, and the chiefs of their defense forces — our Pentagon leaders and my staff will work closely with each other to thoroughly investigate the cause of the unfortunate accident.
Our sister nations were truly our allies and friends, in Operation Enduring Freedom as in all our other ventures worldwide. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

"Mr. Secretary," asked a sympathetic voice from the audience. "Can you tell us how the terrorists were treated at New Camp X-Ray?"

"Heckuva lot better than they'd have been treated in the countries they support, I can tell you that." There was applause among the audience. "They were given warm bedding, clean clothing, all the food they could eat, music to listen to. They were allowed to pray as they chose, and even to receive visitors. Regular little Honolulu Hilton, if you ask me."

"Mr. Secretary," asked another sympathetic voice from the audience. "Can you tell us what is the progress of the War on Terrorism?"

"As I've stated many times," said the Secretary in his manly, no-nonsense way, "we're in this for the long haul. The exact status of one person, or two persons, even persons in leadership positions, isn't important. The only thing that matters is that wherever they are, whatever they do, we'll kick their terrorist asses. You can take that to the bank." The audience exploded with applause.

"Mr. Secretary," Mary Ann asked. "Why were there no black people on the plane?"

The Secretary looked at her with disbelief, as though he thought that was the stupidest question he'd ever been asked, in a lifetime of fielding stupid questions. In his manly, no-nonsense way, he answered with the truth.

"Because we don't like niggers," he said.

Turd Blossom and the Old Ex-President's Wife ushered him promptly off the stage.