Monday, December 27, 2004

An In-Person Visit Beats a Personal Signature ANY Day of the Week

Per the AP last Thursday:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visited wounded soldiers and brought holiday greetings on Christmas Eve amid tight security at an air base in northern Iraq where an insurgent's attack killed 14 U.S. troops and eight other people earlier this week. [my emphasis]

Hoping to demonstrate compassion for soldiers' sacrifices, Rumsfeld landed in darkness and walked immediately from his plane to a combat surgical hospital where many of the bombing victims were treated after Tuesday's lunchtime attack on a mess tent. The most seriously wounded already have been transferred to a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

Out of concern for security, Rumsfeld's aides went to unusual lengths to keep his visit a secret prior to his arrival, with only a few reporters and one TV crew accompanying him on an overnight flight from Washington. [my emphasis]

In an interview aboard the C-17 cargo plane that brought him to Mosul, Rumsfeld said he'd been planning to visit U.S. troops here long before the deadly attack Tuesday, believed to have been carried out by a homicide bomber.

"The focus of the trip is to thank the troops and wish them a Merry Christmas," he said.

Two comments about the above:

1) I don't care what anybody says about Rummy, it takes balls the size of cantaloupes to go to Mosul literally within hours of that suicide attack, particularly when he was already scheduled to make the visit. Indeed, the terrorists just missed possibly snuffing him by that very same margin.

2) Do you suppose the Associated Press is bent out of shape by the Pentagon successfully keeping Rumsfeld's trip under wraps, in light of the AP's friendly affiliation with the jihadists? If the AP had known, might they have passed on the tip to their terrorist friends?

Seems like a fair question to me.

[Hat tip: Powerline]