Rice Assumes Responsibility for Randall Tobias: "Mistakes Were Made"

Washington, DC (APE) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today stepped forward to admit that the widening “DC Madam Prostitution Scandal” which has apparently entrapped Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, was largely at her behest. She expressed complete confidence in Tobias, however, stating that his accounting of services accepted as strictly massage in nature was totally believable, and well within the guidelines of a recent state department sponsored initiative designed to increase the effectiveness of its diplomats.

“It is sad that the press has elected to politicize this situation,” stated Miss Rice, “Mr. Tobias was merely acting upon suggestions from our internal studies that recommended improvement in negotiation skills for all employees. We have accepted his resignation for now in order to diffuse the situation until a suitable promotion can be arranged. Mistakes were made in the failure of the State Department to provide cover for this important program.”

Rice went on to express the administration’s anger with what it called the “irresponsible behavior” of ABC News in its decision to buy the phone records of controversial “DC Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey and pursue its own investigations. A Bush administration official announced that Monday it would likely introduce a legal motion to suppress ABC, citing grounds of state secrecy.

The White House expressed confidence in Ms. Rice’s ability to handle the current situation, and reinforced the importance of the continued covert program to increase the administration’s massage techniques. President Bush, himself, stated that the training that he had undergone had been invaluable.