The AP reports this:
"President Bush dispatched Rumsfeld on Tuesday to Saudi Arabia, Oman,
Egypt and Uzbekistan
-- all pivotal nations in the fight against Osama bin Laden, his al-Qaida terrorist network
and the Taliban regime that shelters them in Afghanistan."
Try to get an image into your mind. Bush is sitting at his desk in the
Oval Office. He picks up the phone
and tells his secretary to get Rumsfeld into his office. Rumsfeld walks in. "Mr. President, how are you today?"
"Good, Don. Listen, I know this is short notice, but I need you to go
to the Middle East. We need to get
some diplomatic muscle over to the Saudis, Egypt, and especially Oman and Uzbekistan. I'm getting reports
from State and other intelligence agencies that some people over there are starting to get restless,
and we need this coalition to stay together if we have a chance of rooting out bin Laden and the rest
of the al-Qaida network. I'd use Powell, but he's really busy right now and I can't spare him."
Needless to say, I think the chances of this happening are similar to
the chances of Ari Fleischer getting
through a week without lying, or the chances of Bush running a real press conference sometime soon.
More likely Karl Rove sent him without even telling Bush, and Bush got the news from reading
the AP copy about it, that is, if he could get through all those big words.