A Disassociated Press Report, Washington, D.C., Monday, November 15, 2004
By Eric Mader
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the only high-profile member of the Bush Administration who is not completely bat-shit crazy, has submitted his resignation, the White House said on Monday.
"We are happy to announce that this unduly wise personage is no longer going to be around to annoy us," White House spokesman Andrew Eichmann said about the resignation. "Let the party begin."
Powell is one of four Cabinet officials whose resignations will be announced Monday, sources told the Disassociated Press.
The others will be Agriculture Secretary Anne Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, the sources said.
State Department officials told the Disassociated Press that Bush and Powell decided mutually that it was time for him to go.
"I'm tired of having you always reminding me of things like treaties and international law," the president is reported to have said.
"And I'm tired of swabbing the deck on a sinking ship," Powell is reported to have replied.
The officials said that Powell plans to keep working on a number of key issues, including North Korean nuclear talks, the Iraqi elections scheduled for January and the Middle East peace process.
"We didn't listen to him on these things before," Vice-President Dick Cheney said regarding Powell's plans for his last days in office. "We're certainly not going to start listening now."
Powell was scheduled to travel to Egypt next week for a conference on Iraq. Being the only Bush Administration official who is not barking mad, he is able to attend such conferences without being medicated.
A senior official said Monday that the State Department was trying to arrange a meeting between Powell and the new Palestinian leadership, but added the details have not been worked out. There are reports that Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is against Powell meeting with the Palestinians.
"The only way to establish peace in the Middle East is to bulldoze all the Palestinian homes and give their remaining bits of land to the Jewish settlers," Paul Wolfowitz said. "If the Palestinians don't have buildings to live in, they won't be able to find a hiding place to make the bombs."
"We're all glad Colin is leaving," said an administration insider who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He'd always sit quietly when the Holy Spirit descended on cabinet meetings and we began speaking in tongues. And one time when Dick was writhing on the ground under the influence of the Spirit, Colin dared to say: 'C'mon, Dick, come back to the table. We have to discuss strategy.' It was totally inappropriate."