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Rumsfeld tells Kennedy he's all WET

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Sen. Edward M. Kennedy yesterday that he was "all wet" when the Senator alleged that the Bush administration lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify going to war.

The verbal clash came during Mr. Rumsfeld's testimony at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing probing the state of pre-war intelligence.

Sen. Kennedy began his questioning of the Defense Secretary by saying, "Don't you think some members of the Bush administration should be held legally accountable for the lies they told about Iraqi weapons, and the subsequent cover-up?"

"First, with all due respect Senator Kennedy, you're all wet," said Mr. Rumsfeld. "The administration has not lied or covered up. However, in general, I do believe that when a man commits a crime he should face the bar of justice. He should not be allowed to serve in positions of power in our government, and be hailed as a leader, when the question of his guilt remains unresolved, if you know what I mean."

"I'm sure I do not know what you mean," Mr. Kennedy said. "But the American people deserve to know why you can't find Saddam's weapons of mass destruction."

"Sometimes things are hard to find, even when you know where they are," said Mr. Rumsfeld. "For example, I've heard of a man who missed a bridge and drove his car into the water, even though he knew where the bridge was. And then sometimes you just keep diving into a problem and despite repeated efforts, you come up empty handed. That doesn't mean that nothing's there. As you know, eventually, the truth comes to light."

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