Washington, DC (Rotters) – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld yesterday agreed to appear before a senate hearing on the war in Iraq after being assaulted by a thirty pound Dictionary lobbed by a pool reporter whose name was withheld by pentagon security. Rumsfeld had been engaging in one of his tried and true choreographed rhetorical question sessions over the growing civil war in Iraq when the reporter apparently snapped, throwing the dictionary at the Secretary. Rumsfeld’s glasses were broken in the spontaneous assault, but he quickly produced a pair of sunglasses and continued.
Just prior to the assault Rumsfeld had posed a series of questions: “Is it a high level of sectarian violence? Yes, it is. And are people being killed? Yes. And is it unfortunate? Yes. And is the government doing basically the right things? I think so..
“Does that constitute a civil war? I guess you can decide for your yourself. And we can all go to the dictionary and decide what you want to call something. But it seems to me that it is not a classic civil war at this stage.”
At this point the reporter began advancing from the back of the room holding what appeared to be a huge Oxford Annotated English Dictionary.
Rumsfeld, seeing the reporter, smirked and said: “Is that a dictionary you’re holding? Yes, I suppose it is. Do you want me to look up the definition of a “civil war”? No, I’m getting the feeling that you don’t. Are you considering throwing it at me? Yes, I guess you are. Do you know who I am and what I can do? I don’t think so. Are you aware of the places that you can be rendered to, and the powers that I have to do it? Hmmm… I’m not sure… Are you aware of the cat-like reflexes that I still…”
At that point, from approximately ten feet, the reporter tossed the dictionary, hitting Rumsfeld squarely in the forehead, breaking his glasses. The other assembled reporters, apparently in shock, were unable to even attempt to restrain the assailant. Only after what seemed an eternity of almost giddy silence did pentagon personnel step forward in an orderly and gentle manner to detain the reporter.
Afterwards, a slightly disheveled Rumsfeld made the announcement that he had reconsidered his decision to avoid testifying at the senate hearing scheduled for this morning. Capitol Hill security later announced that, because of the incident, increased screening has been put in place indefinitely and no books or periodicals larger than “My Pet Goat” would be allowed in either the house or senate.