(2003-01-22) -- U.S. Secretary Defense Donald Rumsfeld apologized today for referring to France and Germany as an "Axis of Weasels."
"I'm sorry about that Axis of Weasels remark," said Mr. Rumsfeld. "I didn't mean to dredge up the history France and Germany share of pathetic compliance with ruthless dictators."
The Defense Secretary said he was "way out of bounds" with the comments.
"I should have known better than to remind people that these two nations--which live in freedom thanks only to the righteous might of America, Britain and their allies--that these nations are morally and politically bankrupt, and have failed to learn the lessons of history," he said. "It really was an inappropriate thing to say--you know, the Axis of Weasels thing. I really should not have called them the Axis of Weasels. I think it's the 'Weasels' part that was most offensive...you know, when I said that France and Germany form an Axis of Weasels. Of course, I'm so sorry."