The news that SecDef Rumsfeld's double super secret surprise farewell tour of Iraq was being taken without any press accompanying him was not contradicted by the news that Sean Hannity was on the plane with him.
As Rummy hopped from base to beleaguered base, still promoting the Iraq war as the one true way to stop Al Qaeda from making more 9/11s, who better than Hannity to have along as a fluffer? Prepare for a week of EXCLUSIVE!s reassuring Fox viewers that we are, indeed, going to stay the course, and that Bush's bipartisan blather about A New Way Forward is just mush for the wimps. Who cares what 41's girly-men think? No one comes home from Viet - I mean, Iraq, until Kissinger says so.
Not only can Hannity be counted on to deliver the "Rummy is no surrender monkey" eulogy for the departing Secretary. Giving the Fox bullyboy the only media seat on the plane provided Rumsfeld with the pleasure of saying f-you to the New York Times and the Washington Post, to the networks and the wires, to the com-symps and America-haters who bedeviled his press conferences and sorely tried his royal patience. I wonder why Armstrong Williams and Bob Novak didn't get asked along.
The images of Rumsfeld saying goodbye to the troops on this trip are no doubt the ones he wants us to remember him by. Too bad for him that the pyramids of naked Iraqis don't wash easily from the mind. Tough luck that the flag-draped American coffins, no matter how hard he tried to prevent them from being photographed, are more enduring than the footage Fox will be flogging this week when it's not too busy defending Christmas from the Hassids.