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  •  The German news magazine, FOCUS, is (none)
    reporting the following (my translation):

    "Coats is to succeed Rumsfeld

    The American administration has apparently already picked a successor for the beleaguered Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld.

    American Ambassador to Germany, Daniel Coats, is to become Secretary Defence if Rumsfeld should be dismissed or decides to resign, according to FOCUS's diplomatic sources.  Condelezza Rice is said to have made him the offer during her visit to Berlin on 16 May, 2004.

    When asked by Rice if were prepared to take over as head of  the Pentagon, Coats replied that he was at the disposal of the Defense Department, according to FOCUS.  Rumsfeld is being placed under considerable pressure in the US because of the torture reports coming out of Iraq.  So far, Bush has continued to support his Secretary of Defense.

     61-year-old Republican Coats was considered a sure bet for the Cabinet position  in 2000 before the President suddenly decided to opt for Rumsfeld instead."  Original link:

    It's apparently being denied, of course.  I would just add, for those of you not familiar with the publication, that FOCUS has a very solid reputation of journalistic integrity in the German-speaking world.

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