Rice Leaves on European Fence-Mending Trip

Washington (Poobah News Service) - Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice faced a tough barrage of questions from European allies today as she tried to answer questions about the US practice of "rendition" - the stealthy moving of detainees from prison to prison outside of the US. Critics say the practice allows the administration to claim the detainees are not subject to US or international legal protections while keeping alleged acts of torture from public view.

"If they can't find them, they can't try them," President George Bush said in a major foreign policy speech last week at the Corporation for Right Wing Studies and Fundamentalist Values. "We are not torturing or hiding detainees and I have appointed Vice President Cheney to study the matter to make sure nothing goes wrong," the President added. "He is clearly the most qualified man for the job."

"The US has fully respected the sovereignty of any nations involved. At every juncture we have adhered strictly to the GW Bush Conventions on Unilateral International Law Making, which everyone knows is driven by the highest moral and ethical standards," Rice said in a statement before leaving on a European swing to receive stern, but pleasurable European spankings on behalf of President Bush. "Everyone knows that President Bush would never stoop to hiding detainees from public view. He is already on record for stringing them up and hanging them during a public telethon to raise money for Republican candidates in the 2006 elections," she said.

Rice is expected to get plenty of heat from the countries involved, except for Poland which is the major lynch pin of Bush's Coalition of the Willing, and Maybe on a Good Day, Able. "We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations." Rice said. "But some governments choose to cooperate with the US in intelligence and law enforcement matters and that cooperation is a two-way street. Any time they would like us to hide a few prisoners for them, I'm sure we could work out the details," Rice said.

The US, she said, has shared intelligence that has "stopped terrorist attacks and saved innocent lives, in Europe as well as in the US and other countries. We just prefer to keep it a secret because the President is such an intensely modest and quiet man."

"The US does not permit, tolerate, or condone torture under any circumstances," Rice said. "Excuse me, let me amend that statement," she continued. "I meant to say that we do not permit, tolerate, or condone torture inside the US, or in any country in which we house prisoners, wherever they may be. I would elaborate on these countries, but this is a very touchy diplomatic situation so you'll just have to take our word for it that we don't do it."

At the end of her statement, Rice noted that she had been through inquiries about what could have been done to prevent the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that European leaders would not want to face similar probes. "I know what it is like to face an inquiry into whether everything was done that could be done," she said. "Those enquiries are brutal. Why just last week, when the Vice President and I were conducting our latest grueling probe over a lobster dinner, he mentioned to me that he felt really awful about 9/11 and the Iraq war, but was looking at the upside - the very patriotic and useful contracts that went to Haliburton to help rebuild Iraq after it was completely destroyed by Osama bin Laden. I believe his exact words were, 'Damn, but those Haliburton guys are the salt of the Earth Condi."

Rice refused further comment as she boarded her unmarked aircraft and as a small group of "A-rab-looking" men in handcuffs and ankle shackles were stowed in cages in the aircraft's cargo compartment. "Don't mind them, they're just the porters to carry my bags during the trip," Rice said. "I got it all cleared by the President before I left for this trip."

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, December 05, 2005

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