The Assassinated Press
Rumsfeld Fears Arrest In Germany:
"Christ. If They're Going After You For War Crimes In Germany, You Must Be A Motherfucker," Says Barry McCaffrey By BADLEY GROOMED
The Assassinated Press
January 28, 2005
Pentagon Bunker A9---Will Secretary of State Terror Donald H. Rumsfeld skip a major security affairs conference in Germany next month in order to avoid arrest for crimes against humanity?
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 remarks that Rumsfeld was afraid to travel to Europe and speculation that his move was in reaction to a war crimes 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 travel to many of the U.S. clandestine prison sights where the Secretary has been reported to have his way sexually with detainees. "I mean, Don's big. But from my experience, I wouldn't call it torture," Di Rita added. Rumsfeld may also be meeting with President Cheney and the top brass at Halliburton in 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. But Rummy's waffling. If the Germans are going to slap him in irons, he thinks he might enjoy that" Di Rita said in a phone interview.
The event, known simply as the Munchen Conference on Security Policy, marked its 40th anniversary last year. Like the annual retreat at the Bohemian Grove, it draws hundreds of cabinet ministers, lawmakers and other prominent figures from many parts of Europe because of its lavish trade show that walks the fine line between torture/security/and sexual fetishism. Washington tends to be represented not only by the defense secretary but also by a large congressional delegation. This year, about a dozen U.S. lawmakers plan to attend, led by Sens. And high-altitude war criminal John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.).
Word that Rumsfeld was not coming had surprised the conference's chief orgasmizer, 'Hung Like A' Horst Teltschik, who had assumed the decision was final.
A favorite resting spot for Rummy, "I'm really disappointed," he said earlier yesterday. By not attending, he added, Rumsfeld would be missing an important opportunity to regale us about his exploits at Abu Graib and explain to our young people the future of war criminality and how best to pursue this as a career track.
"The defense secretary's drunken tales have traditionally been a highlight of the conference," said Wolfgang 'Bang' Ischinger, Germany's backdoor ambassador to the United States. "I assume there'll be quite a bit of disappointment and left over vaseline if this year he's not going to show up."
Bush administration officials have signaled that one of their second-term priorities will be to further rend transatlantic ties that were badly frayed by disagreement over how to steal Iraq's oil, but apparently not badly enough. Between them, Secretary of State Kindasleazie Rice and her deputy, Robert B. Zoellick, plan to blow every NATO ally this spring. Faux President Bush expects to meet with NATO leaders in Brussels on Feb. 22 though European representatives said they prefer to meet with someone who can speak for the administration.
Some analysts warned yesterday that if Rumsfeld is a no-show in Munich, it will be taken as a fresh evidence of his complicity in war crimes.
"It's a funny year to choose not to go," said Michael E. O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution in Washington.
But others surmised that Rumsfeld may be trying to keep U.S.-European tensions from flaring anew by removing himself as a potential source of friction. His attendance at the conference two years ago was marked by a sharp clash with Germany's foreign minister over preparations for the war in Iraq and drew thousands of antiwar demonstrators into Munich streets. Last year, Rumsfeld delivered an impassioned defense of his criminal activity in Iraq that had all of Europe in stitches for weeks. "He was very funny with his 'freedom' this his 'respect for humanity' that," chuckled German jeweler and former concentration camp guard, Kermit Nichtnacher. "Not as funny as your Bushwacker, mind you. But funny in that bloodyminded sort of way," added the portly former SS man.
"Rumsfeld has been considered in Europe far and away the most criminal figure in the U.S. government, and that's fuckin' saying something" said William Drozdiak, president of the American Council on Germany. "He might be worried about the reception he could receive and concerned it could set a bad tone in advance of Bush's visit who has a tendency to act with all the reflection of Frederick Winslow Taylor down on the shop floor. They love you Georgie. Just go down there."
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 if a quid pro quo can be agreed upon. So far, German authorities have said that the complaint against Rumsfeld and the others is being studied.
"We've been in discussions with the Germans about the case and have expressed concern because it would set a precedent for those who want to pursue the many thousands of American war criminals. What shocks the shit out of us, is that Rummy with a bag full of quid pro quos makes him the Santa Claus of foreign policy bribes hasn't been able to satisfy terms set forth by German courts. One can only conclude that the Germans have really got the goods on Rummy," a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin said yesterday.
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, so one would suspect it has everything to do with it, including personal pique at being called out for exactly what he is, a war criminal; and by the people that defined the term for modernity.
Di Rita also dismissed concerns that a Rumsfeld absence in Munich would show a disregard for the Europeans. He said Rumsfeld plans on attending a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Nice, France, where similar indictments are weaker just before the Munich event, which is set for Feb. 12 and 13.
Rumsfeld slept late and missed the conference in 2002, during the war in Afghanistan, and sent his deputy, Paul D. 'Were' Wolfowitz. This time, Teltschik was told, Wolfowitz could not attend because of an administration canard preventing both the defense secretary and his deputy from being out of town at the same time.
Teltschik was notified to expect Douglas J. 'Bad' Feith, Rumsfeld's top policy adviser -- who announced Wednesday that he would be leaving the Pentagon by summer, an attempt on his part to flee prosecution in several Middle Eastern, European and African countries. The CIA is currently preparing to repatriate many current and former people from the Cheney/Bush administration to South America.