View Full Version : A True American Patriot, Ray McGovern, Calls Out Rumsfeld - Video Inside

05-04-2006, 05:19 PM
A True American Patriot, Ray McGovern, Calls Out Rumsfeld
Thanks to www.thinkprogress.org (http://www.thinkprogress.org)

Click Here (http://images1.americanprogress.org/il80web20037/ThinkProgress/2006/rum.320.240.mov)

05-04-2006, 05:35 PM
Fucking brilliant. And they were kickin' him out for asking a question!!!!!!!

05-04-2006, 05:51 PM

One question I'd like to ask would be "How's the PNAC plan working out?"

05-04-2006, 05:52 PM
That's my hero.

05-04-2006, 06:13 PM
Can you believe Rumsfeld tried to put the WMD blame on the troops sayin they put on those suits on in Kuwait because they also thought WMD's were there? Unbelievable. Talk about a new low.

05-04-2006, 06:18 PM

"The crowd, which is always carefully selected to ensure majority support for whichever Bush administration talking head takes the podium, applaud Rumsfeld's answers and are also heard to cheer the attempt to remove McGovern from the room..."

"Audiences that are not pre-screened for subservience produce a very different reaction. Such as the Washington Nationals baseball crowd, 80% of which booed Dick Cheney (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/april2006/180406sheengetsapplauded.htm) even as he walked out on the field with injured Iraq veterans..."

05-04-2006, 06:33 PM
Yeah... that's why Ray asked, "Is this America?"

05-04-2006, 07:22 PM
Rumsfeld Heckled by Former CIA Analyst
Rumsfeld Challenged on Iraq, Heckled by a Former CIA Analyst and Others, During Atlanta Speech



ATLANTA May 4, 2006 (AP)— Anti-war protesters repeatedly interrupted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during a speech Thursday and one man, a former CIA analyst, accused him in a question-and-answer session of lying about Iraq prewar intelligence.

"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked Ray McGovern, the former analyst.

"I did not lie," shot back Rumsfeld, who waved off security guards ready to remove McGovern from the hall at the Southern Center for International Studies.

With Iraq war support remaining low, it is not unusual for top Bush administration officials to encounter protests and hostile questions. But the outbursts Rumsfeld confronted on Thursday seemed beyond the usual.

Three protesters were escorted away by security as each interrupted Rumsfeld's speech by jumping up and shouting anti-war messages. Throughout the speech, a fourth protester stood up in the middle of the room with his back to Rumsfeld in silent protest.

Rumsfeld also faced tough questions from a woman identifying herself as Patricia Robertson, who said she had lost her son in Iraq. Robertson said she is now raising her grandson and asked whether the government could provide any help.

Rumsfeld referred her to a Web site listing aid organizations.

President Bush seldom faces such challenges. Demonstrators usually are kept far from him when he delivers public remarks.

Rumsfeld has been interrupted by anti-war demonstrators in congressional hearing rooms as he has delivered testimony to lawmakers in recent months.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has had direct confrontations overseas. These include demonstrators who called her a murderer and war criminal in Australia in March, and throngs of anti-war protesters who dogged her every move in northern England in April.

Demonstrators were kept far away from Rice during a visit last week to Greece, where riot police confronted a violent street mob that smashed shop windows in protest of U.S. policies and Rice's role in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

05-04-2006, 07:24 PM
"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked Ray McGovern, the former analyst.

"I did not lie," shot back Rumsfeld, who waved off security guards ready to remove McGovern from the hall at the Southern Center for International Studies.

THAT'S IT?!? That's all ABCNews has to say?

05-04-2006, 07:24 PM
Fucking McMedia.

05-04-2006, 07:28 PM
I can watch this over and over.

05-04-2006, 07:49 PM
Here's every article we have written by Ray McGovern.

Ray Mcgovern, D.C. Emergency Truth Convergence, July 23rd, 2005, Lafayette Park

McCarthyism: Mary And Joe (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9889)
There Is Such A Thing As "Too Late" (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4046)
Attacking Iran, I Know It Sounds Crazy, But... (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1218)
Blowing Cheney's Cover (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9581)
I Do Not Wish To Be Associated With Torture (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8701)
Will The Whistles Blow Before We Attack Iran? (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8355)
Juggernaut Gathering Momentum, Headed For Iran (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8195)
The Empty Shirts, Courtiers, And 'Crazies' (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7862)
Proof Bush Deceived America (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7697)
Heck Of A Job Hayden! (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7571)
J. Edgar Hoover With Supercomputers (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7531)
Will Republican Senators Save The Republic? (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7242)
Bush's Underwhelming Gesture On Torture (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7140)
Cheney And Fried Rice In Hot Water (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7011)
A Clear Strategy - For Disaster (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6826)
Murtha And The Colonels (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6431)
CIA V. Cheney (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6202)
A Moral Barometer For America (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6043)
Cheney's Chickens Come Home To Roost (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5665)
Abu Ghraib: Command Responsibility (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5164)
Plamegate: Dick Cheney's Role (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3430)
A Torturous Silence (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5069)
The Downing Street Fixation (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2797)
Goodbye To Intelligence (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2095)

Thanks Ray.

05-04-2006, 11:07 PM
Thank you Ray from ova here as well.

05-05-2006, 01:02 PM
Ex-CIA analyst: Rumsfeld 'should have owned up'
'It's a matter of telling the truth,' man says after Iraq questioning

http://cnn.worldnews.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=CNN.com+-+Ex-CIA+analyst%3A+Rumsfeld+%27should+have+owned+up%27 +-+May+4%2C+2006&expire=-1&urlID=18142899&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2006%2FPOLITICS%2F0 5%2F04%2Fcnna.mcgovern%2F&partnerID=2006


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Hecklers repeatedly interrupted a speech Thursday in Atlanta by Donald Rumsfeld, and a former CIA analyst in a question-and-answer session accused the defense secretary of lying about Iraq prewar intelligence.

Rumsfeld denied lying and defended the basis for his claims about weapons of mass destruction and links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

CNN anchor Paula Zahn spoke hours later with the former analyst, Ray McGovern, a member of a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity that has been critical of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war.

ZAHN: Did you go to this speech today with the intent of challenging Secretary Rumsfeld?

MCGOVERN: I had no predetermined objectives. I just wanted to see what he had to say. But I did get very motivated when the first lady was ejected ... from the crowd.

ZAHN: What was it, then, that you wanted to accomplish by following her rather pointed question?

MCGOVERN: Well, you know, she talked about lies. And I get very upset when Donald Rumsfeld shakes his head and says, "Lies, gosh, lies. I hate it when somebody says that our president would tell lies."

Of course, she hadn't said the president; she said Rumsfeld. But he said that lies are fundamentally destructive of the trust, without which government cannot work.

And that's true. And I found myself really agreeing with that.

ZAHN: Essentially, what he told you is: I never said exactly where the weapons of mass destruction were. I was referring to, we had a pretty darn good idea where the sites were. ... Do you buy what he said today?

MCGOVERN: His words [in 2003] were: "We know where -- where the WMD are. They're near Tikrit and Baghdad, and north, south, east, and west of there." That's a direct quote.

And when he used that wonderful non sequitur by looking at the uniformed personnel in the front row and saying: "Well, they went in with protective gear; they certainly thought there were weapons of mass destruction there." Well, my goodness, of course, they did. Because you, Donald Rumsfeld, told them that they were there.

And, you know, it's not polite to say this, but that was a bald-faced lie. And ... he should have owned up to it, if he wants there to be a modicum of trust.

ZAHN: How much of an ax do you have to grind with Secretary Rumsfeld?

MCGOVERN: It's not a matter of axes to grind. It's a matter of telling the truth.

And we pledged, in my day at the CIA, to tell it without fear or favor, to tell it like it is. And, when I see that corrupted, that is the real tragedy of this whole business.

ZAHN: There was a point where it appeared as though you were going to get kicked out.


ZAHN: Donald Rumsfeld encouraged whoever I think had their hands on you at the time to let you stay there. Does he get any credit for that today?

MCGOVERN: At first, I thought, "Well, that was rather gracious."

But, then I got to thinking, I was not abusing the privilege. I was simply asking pointed questions. And for the national TV audience to see me carted away for asking Rumsfeld to explain what any objective observer would call a lie, that wouldn't have been good PR.

So, yes, I'm glad he let me stay. But I think it was for self-interested reasons.

05-05-2006, 09:54 PM
Say thanks to Ray! (http://www.ThankYouRayMcGovern.org)

05-05-2006, 10:28 PM

05-06-2006, 11:33 AM
Paula Zahn And Ray McGovern
Thanks to www.crooksandliars.com

Click Here (http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/05/05.html#a8173)

05-06-2006, 11:36 AM
I love Ray.

05-06-2006, 02:39 PM
A Liberal Thug Called William Arkin

Washington Post Blogger Rushes to Rummy's Defense Against Ray McGovern

By DAVID SWANSON - Counterpunch

WaPo's William Arkin has posted a blog with the headline "Rumsfeld Didn't Lie, But He Should Still Go. (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2006/05/rumsfeld_didnt_lie_but_he_shou.html)"

He quotes Rumsfeld's exchange with Ray McGovern and then writes:

"If the issue here is Saddam Hussein's connection to al Qaeda and his involvement in 9/11, to the 'bulletproof' evidence the administration claimed, and more important for America, to the likelihood that Saddam would have ever shared any WMD with terrorists -- the true strategic assumption behind the Iraq war and the justification for our entire WMD obsessed foreign policy today -- McGovern scored."

No, he did not, because this was not a basketball game. This was a rare instance of someone acting as a reporter and questioning a member of the gang that lied this country into an aggressive war. And it was not "the adminitsration" that made those claims. It was individual people, including Rumsfeld.

"But if the issue is Zarqawi, and a spooked and reeling Bush administration worrying that they just don't really know what's going on in places like Iraq, that they can't rely on the great CIA, and that they can't predict what will happen, Rumsfeld scored."

Again, this was not a basketball game. No scoring. Rumsfeld not only did not rely on the CIA. He created his own "intelligence" operation in the Pentagon called the Office of Special Plans. Has the Washington Post heard about this?

"Yesterday the Secretary of Defense was able to say without equivocation and hesitation that 'it appears there were not weapons of mass destruction' in Iraq, but that is not the headline. Certainly we remember not too long ago administration officials saying that WMD were still to be found, that it's not over 'til it's over."

Ponder for a moment the frame of mind of someone so unconcerned with the emergence of facts but obsessed with the statements of people in power that he imagines it is news that Rumsfeld admitted what the whole damn world knows. Amazing. Arkin has not said anything to suggest that Rumsfeld didn't lie, but he has explained the second half of his headline. Rumsfeld should go, he clearly thinks, because some powerful people have said so. What other reason could there be for anything to happen?

"In the end it comes down to McGovern's question: Why did you lie, not did you."

It does? OK, what's the answer? To either question. Did he lie? And if so, why?

"A better question for McGovern, once he was given a chance to talk, once he was standing there on television, once he had Rumsfeld captive, would have been: Mr. Secretary, do you now see that you or the administration were wrong about Iraq's WMD or the characterization of Iraq as imminent threat?"

So, rather than answering Ray's question which "it comes down to," Arkin is fantasizing about how much nicer it would have been had he asked a softball and let Rummy smash it out of the park.

"I know that Rumsfeld could have slipped away with some political answer. It is still a better question."

Why is it?

"I imagine McGovern's goal yesterday was to get on the evening news. It was a spectacle, and McGovern wasn't really seeking an answer to any question: he already had the answers; he was just seeking to expose."

Why imagine these things? You could ask Ray. Pick up the phone and call him. He might have some actual insight into what he was trying to do.

"The protestors screeching impeachment and 'lying' yesterday, as well as McGovern, can't accept that there is a difference between being wrong and deceiving."

They can't? Have you asked them? And, by the way, what is your definition of screeching? Rumsfeld was not wrong. Rumsfeld was deceiving. How do we know this? It's not because Rumsfeld has admitted it, and therefore it's not for any reason you'll ever accept. It's because of the enormous quantity of evidence that Rumsfeld (the man who asked Richard Clarke on September 12, 2001, to find a way to attack Iraq) was bent on war with Iraq no matter what. The plans are laid out publicly by the Project for a New American Century. Each claim that Rumsfeld promoted, from the ties to 9-11 to the aluminum tubes to the niger uranium to the chemical and biological weapons was known by him to be false. See www.afterdowningstreet.org (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/)

This is a man who claims to be promoting freedom but has authorized detention without charge and torture. This is a man who claims to be helping the Iraqis, but has used napalm, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous on them as part of their liberation.

Does it not abuse the English language at this point to even entertain the possibility that "Rumsfeld didn't lie"?

Arkin presses on:

"They are so stuck in a mode of accusation and certainty they don't really think there is any point in political dialogue with the administration. Bush is Hitler, and with that he, nor Rumsfeld, deserves human courtesy. Human courtesy would mean understanding fallibility, fear, pride, the drive of false certainty in office. I'm not asking anyone to accept the war or the dominant national security orthodoxy, which I abhor."

Oh, of course, and it shows, it really does.

"I just don't want the only answer to be pulling a lever every four years; there are alternatives, even politicians and the administration learns. We are here as citizens to teach and guide them."

And to impeach them and remove them from office. May I mail you a copy of the US Constitution?

"In the end, my respect for the Secretary went up when he said, responding to another protester that accusations of lying are 'so wrong, so unfair and so destructive.'"

And that's even true, when the person accused HAS NOT BEEN LYING.

"My guess is that the impact of the confrontation won't be for Donald Rumsfeld to seek forgiveness. More likely, the Secretary will just become ever more careful to say nothing at the podium or in interviews in the future."

So, when a citizen challenges a cabinet secretary who has nothing to hide, the result is that our noble public servant then hides his worthy work from us. So, the proper behavior would be to obey, and then the facts would all come out? Suddenly I understand how the Washington Post operates.

"The best reason for Donald Rumsfeld to step down as Secretary is that he has become the debate, a lightening rod who can no longer continue to perform this important duty. America needs someone in charge of the military who can give candid answers without fear of having yesterday's candid answers thrown back in their face. America also needs to give its leaders a chance to be wrong. The implications such intolerance to error is to push human beings up against the wall, a place where there is no good outcome."

So he's right, but should resign because we barbarians think he's a lying criminal. I'm sorry. If he had an ounce of honesty in him and were in any way wrongly accused, I would advocate for him remaining. Arkin, on the other hand, has just openly confessed to writing columns without content. There is not a word here on the topic of whether Rumsfeld lied. Arkin should resign immediately.

05-07-2006, 03:26 PM
Rumsfeld's heckler
The story behind Ray McGovern


(Gold9472: Here's what the PNAC has to say about this.)

by The Scrapbook
05/15/2006, Volume 011, Issue 33

The story line was compelling: A face-off between a beleaguered secretary of defense and a brave former intelligence professional. "Rumsfeld Heckled by Former CIA Analyst" blared the headline on the ABC News website. The AP reported that a "former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, asked [Donald Rumsfeld], 'Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?'" When we Nexised "Ray McGovern and Rumsfeld" last Friday, the day after their confrontation during Rumsfeld's appearance in Atlanta, 50 stories turned up.

What all but one failed to report was the relevant fact that McGovern is not simply a veteran of the CIA but a hard-left conspiracy theorist who blames the Iraq war on "O.I.L." As McGovern that night told MSNBC's Tucker Carlson, the only member of the mainstream media with the elementary curiosity to broach the subject, O stands "for oil; I for Israel; and L for logistics, logistics being the permanent . . . military bases that the U.S. wants to keep in Iraq."

McGovern's extremism on the subject is no secret. He was the star witness in June 2005 at a mock impeachment hearing organized in the basement of the Capitol by John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. As Dana Milbank reported at that time in the Washington Post, McGovern "declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by adminis,tration 'neocons' so 'the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world.' He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 'Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation,' McGovern said. 'The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.'"

Milbank further reported that "at Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations--that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an 'insider trading scam' on 9/11--that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks."

It was all too much for Democratic party chairman Howard Dean, who the following day joined the unnamed previous director of Central Intelligence in his low opinion of McGovern: "As for any inferences that the United States went to war so Israel could 'dominate' the Middle East or that Israel was in any way behind the horrific September 11th attacks on America," Dean pronounced, "let me say unequivocally that such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric."

In January, McGovern popped up again, this time as front man for an exceedingly unsavory group called Not In Our Name. According to the group's press release, McGovern served war crimes "indictments" from a "people's tribunal" on the Bush White House. Not In Our Name is a coalition formed in 2002 by the likes of the Maoist Revolutionary Communist party. It is commonly referred to as anti-war, but it's no such thing. Some of its constituent groups profess a deep belief in revolutionary violence--which is to say, they are pro-war, they just want the United States to lose.

The moral of the "Rumsfeld heckler" story is clear. So long as someone is trashing the Bush administration's Iraq policies, most journalists these days will happily sanitize the critic's unseemly views. As long as Cindy Sheehan was an attractive club to swing against the Bush White House last summer, she was portrayed simply as a grieving mother who had lost her son in Iraq. Which she was, but she was also, rather like McGovern, an enthusiast for the violent left who called Bush a "lying bastard," said that "this country is not worth dying for," and called the Islamist insurgents in Iraq "freedom fighters."

Rumors that McGovern will be lecturing on the Israel lobby at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government this fall appear to be unfounded.

05-07-2006, 04:32 PM
O stands "for oil; I for Israel; and L for logistics, logistics being the permanent . . . military bases that the U.S. wants to keep in Iraq."

They left out the fact that the logistics base in Iraq is there for taking out Syria or Iran if need be....but of course they already knew that.

05-08-2006, 10:45 PM
My Meeting With Rumsfeld
Ray 'The Fuckin Man' McGovern (http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/05/08/my_meeting_with_rumsfeld.php)

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. A 27-year veteran of CIA’s analyst ranks, he now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

“Hold ‘em, Yale” is one of the best short stories of "Guys and Dolls" creator Damon Runyon, who depicted the New York City underworld in the 1920s. The story deals with an undercover operation to scalp ducats before the annual Yale-Harvard football game. It begins:

What I am doing in New Haven on the day of a very large football game between the Harvards and the Yales is something calling for no little explanation, for I am not such a guy as you are likely to find in New Haven at any time—and especially not on the day of a large football game.

A variant came to mind Thursday as I walked through a posh Atlanta neighborhood to the Southern Center for International Policy to hear a speech by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

What I am doing in Atlanta on the day of a very large lecture by Donald Rumsfeld to an establishment audience is something calling for no little explanation, for I am not such a guy as you are likely to find in such a venue at any time—and especially not when the ducat requires $40 up front.

But serendipity prevailed. The ACLU of Georgia had invited me to their annual dinner on Thursday, May 4, to receive the National Civil Liberties Award. Friends in Atlanta arranged for me to bookend my remarks at the ACLU dinner with a Wednesday presentation to Pax Christi, the Catholic peace movement, and a talk on Friday evening at Quaker House in Decatur. I planned to put the rationale for looming war with Iran in context by drawing an unhappy but direct parallel with the bogus reasons adduced to “justify” the U.S. attack on Iraq more than three years ago.

When those friends learned last Monday that Rumsfeld would be in Atlanta Thursday to give an afternoon speech at the Center, it seemed a natural to go. The event was said to be open to the public, but it took tradecraft skills assimilated over a 27-year career with the CIA to acquire a ticket. (The event was strangely absent from the Center’s website, reportedly at the insistence of the Defense Department.)

The fact that my presence there was pure coincidence turned out to be a huge disappointment for those who began interviews later that day by insisting I tell them why I had stalked Rumsfeld all the way from Washington to Atlanta. Especially people like Paula Zahn, who asked me on Thursday evening "what kind of axe" I had to grind with him.

To prepare for my presentations, I took along a briefcase full of notes and clippings, one of which was a New York Times article datelined Atlanta, Sept. 27, 2002, quoting Rumsfeld’s assertion that there was “bulletproof” evidence of ties between al-Qaida and the government of Saddam Hussein.

This was the kind of unfounded allegation that, at the time, deceived 69 percent of Americans into believing that the Iraqi leader played a role in the tragedy of 9/11. Rumsfeld’s “bulletproof” rhetoric also came in the wake of an intensive but quixotic search by my former colleagues at the CIA for any reliable evidence of such ties.

A fresh reminder of the Bush administration's Iraq deceptions surfaced Thursday morning, when the Spanish newspaper El Pais published an interview (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060504/wl_mideast_afp/iraqusciaattacks) with Paul Pillar, the senior U.S. intelligence specialist on the Middle East and terrorism until he retired late last year. Pillar branded administration attempts to prove a link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein “an organized campaign of manipulation... I suppose by some definitions that could be called a lie.”

I arrived at the Rumsfeld lecture early, took a seat near a microphone set aside for Q-and-A, and thought I might ask Rumsfeld to explain his use of the “bulletproof” adjective, which came at a time when none other than Gen. Brent Scowcroft was describing such evidence as “scant,” and the CIA was saying it was non-existent. (The 9/11 commission later ruled definitively in CIA’s favor.)

Rumsfeld brought up bête noire terrorist al-Zarqawi as proof of collaboration between al-Qaida and Iraq, but that was a canard easily knocked down. It appears that Rumsfeld thinks no one really pays attention. Sadly, as regards the mainstream press, he has been largely right—at least until now.

When Rumsfeld broadened our dialogue to include the never-to-be-found Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, saying, “Apparently, there were no weapons of mass destruction,” I could not resist reminding him that he had claimed he actually knew where they were. Anyone who followed this issue closely would remember his remark to George Stephanopoulos on March 30, 2003:

We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

As soon as the event was over, CNN asked me for my sources, which I was happy to share. The CNN folks seemed a bit surprised that they all checked out. To their credit, they overcame the more customary “McGovern said this, but Rumsfeld said that”—and the dismissive “well, we’ll have to leave it there”—kind of treatment. In Rumsfeldian parlance, what I had said turned out to be “known knowns,” even though he provided an altered version on Thursday of his “we know where they are.” Better still, in its coverage, CNN quoted what Rumsfeld had said in 2003.

That evening a friend emailed me about a call she got from a close associate in “upper management at CNN” to ask about me. She quoted the CNN manager: “We checked and double-checked everything this guy had to say and he was 100 percent accurate.” He then asked if those protesting the war “were getting organized or something.” She responded, “Indeed we are and have been for some time, and it’s about time the mainstream media caught up.”

With the exception of CNN—and MSNBC which also did its homework and displayed the tangled web woven by the normally articulate defense secretary—the other networks generally limited their coverage to the “he-said-but-he-said” coverage more typical of what passes for journalism these days. Even CNN found it de rigueur to put neocon ideologue Frank Gaffney on with me for Wolf Blitzer. Gaffney is well to the right of Rumsfeld, so I should not have been surprised to hear Gaffney take the line that the U.S. may still find evidence of ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Hope springs eternal.

And there were more subliminal messages. In some press reports I was described as a “Rumsfeld critic” and “heckler” who was, heavens, “rude to Rumsfeld.” Other accounts referred to my “alleged” service with the CIA, which prompted my wife to question—I think in jest—what I was really doing for those 27 years. I believe I was able to convince her without her performing additional fact checking.

All in all, my encounter with Rumsfeld was for me a highly instructive experience. The Center’s president, Peter White, singled out Rumsfeld’s “honesty” in introducing him, and 99 percent of those attending seemed primed to agree. Indeed, their reaction brought to mind film footage of rallies in Germany during the thirties. When Rumsfeld replied (http://www.crooksandliars.com/stories/2006/05/04/transcriptOfRumsfeldAndMcgovern.html) to my first question about his false statements on Iraq 's WMD, the applause was automatic. “I did not lie then...,” he insisted.

This was immediately greeted with what Pravda used to describe as “stormy applause,” followed immediately by rather unseemly shouts by this otherwise well-disciplined and well-heeled group to have me summarily thrown out. At the end, as we all filed out slowly, I could make eye contact with only one person—who proceeded to berate me for being insubordinate.

Scary. No open minds there. A graphic reminder for those wishing to spread some truth around that we have our work cut out for us. We have to find imaginative ways to use truth as a lever to pry open closed minds.

05-10-2006, 08:37 PM
The Daily Show Covers Ray McGovern

Click Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrXaFluPY4A&search=tds%20mcgovern)

05-10-2006, 08:46 PM
The Daily Show Covers Ray McGovern

Click Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrXaFluPY4A&search=tds%20mcgovern)
I saw that today on C & L, Stewart was right on the mark, as usual.

05-10-2006, 08:48 PM
I saw that today on C & L, Stewart was right on the mark, as usual.

I can't believe Rumsfeld referred to that piece of the plane as "Wonderful".

05-10-2006, 09:07 PM
Yeah, what a dumbass. But remember, "He's brilliant".

05-10-2006, 09:09 PM
Yeah, what a dumbass. But remember, "He's brilliant".

"It's almost like you're enjoying IT".

05-10-2006, 09:21 PM
I think Rumsfeld is enjoying all of this.

Tucker Carlson's "I won't take it back" after reffering to Ray McGovern as being a heckler just shows how childish and unfair he plays. McGovern was clearly asking a question. Just because it made Rummy uncomfortable (which happens when you are a liar and get caught) doesn't make him a heckler. Tucker Carlson is a jackass.

Also, I love the term they used in this segment: UNvestigate.

05-10-2006, 11:17 PM
Heckling is a fine and proud tradition on this side of the Atlantic. In fact many see the comeback to a heckle as being a kind of test of a politician (a bit like a comedian).

It even happens in parilament. I don't know if this happens in the US Congress (it seems far too prim and proper and such for this sort of thing), but in the British and Irish parliaments there is regular namecalling, outbursts, heckling of speakers, interruptions and so on. It can be quite brilliant to watch sometimes - especially when the Irish Socialist Party member of parliament is on form!

Of course he himself is regularly Red-baited by the government and the 'loyal opposition' - "Go back to Russia" and so on - to which the best reply I think he ever gave was along the lines of "I have been opposed to Stalinism all my life, but the Prime Minister seems to have made his peace with that abonimation of socialism. Only last month he recieved the Chinese Prime Minister in a State Visit!"

05-10-2006, 11:28 PM
Wow I never realized how bad McGovern was treated by the media.

05-11-2006, 03:12 PM
BuzzFlash interview: Ray McGovern



Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why? -- Ray McGovern, Questioning Donald Rumsfeld, May 4, 2006, Altanta

Twenty-seven-year CIA veteran and BuzzFlash contributor Ray McGovern confronted America's Secretary of Defense in a public forum in Atlanta on May 4, asking the questions that are on all of our minds. He peppered Rumsfeld with facts that clearly contradicted Rumsfeld's own words. He asked Rumsfeld whether he lied, or was misled, about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction and significant ties to al Qaeda. As Rumsfeld obfuscated, he urged him to be up front with the American people, adding: "These people aren't idiots. They know the story." Like Stephen Colbert the week before, Ray McGovern laid out the truth for all to see. Ray McGovern spoke with BuzzFlash about that experience, about the lead up to the Iraq war, and about what he fears may come next.

BuzzFlash: After Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke at a forum in Atlanta, there was a question-and-answer period. You lined up to ask a question, and got your chance. How did you begin?

Ray McGovern: Rumsfeld had wrung his hands and reacted most somberly when a woman accused him of telling lies. He pointed out that the President would never tell lies, and this is very destructive, as he put it, of the trust between the people and their leaders. It struck me that this was really disingenuousness– cynicism in the extreme.

I had been preparing a couple of talks to give in Atlanta, and one of the things in my notes was a New York Times report of September 2002 in which Don Rumsfeld says the evidence linking Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda is "bullet-proof." That was extraordinary, in the extreme, since the CIA had long since concluded there was no evidence of that. At that time, Brent Scowcroft, Chair of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, was saying that such evidence as there was was "scant" - that was his word – scant.

My colleague Paul Pillar, national intelligence officer for the Middle East for counterterrorism, had allowed himself to say to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, that the campaign to link Saddam Hussein with al Qaeda, and by extension with 9/11, was a gross manipulation, and one indeed might call it a lie - which is about as far as Paul Pillar will go. So I thought, I should ask Secretary Rumsfeld about this particular piece. I would ask him where he got this "bullet-proof" business – where did it come from, and was it a lie, or was he misled?

BuzzFlash: Boy, you asked him the question: Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary?

Ray McGovern: It was his disingenuousness that brought that on. He diverted from what I’d asked him, and started talking about Colin Powell really believing what he was saying, and the President. Both of them spent weeks meeting with the intelligence people. And, of course, "I’m not in the intelligence business," says Rumsfeld.

BuzzFlash: Right, sure.

Ray McGovern: Then he stopped, and he said, “It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.” It was at that point that I said, “But you said you knew where they were.”

BuzzFlash: The key point from our perspective is you caught him in a lie.

Ray McGovern: That’s correct.

BuzzFlash: You quoted from an interview with George Stephanopoulos, when Rumsfeld was saying that he knew sites in Iraq where there were weapons of mass destruction. And his argument back to you during this question-and-answer was that he never really said that. He just said that he suspected there were some areas where there might be.

Ray McGovern: The direct quote from the Stephanopoulos interview on March 30, 2003 is as follows: “We know where they are.” "They" referred to weapons of mass destruction. “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” When I paraphrased that, it was almost a verbatim account, it was just in my head. I mean, these are things that any intelligence analyst will remember. Here is the Secretary of Defense telling a bald-faced lie, two weeks into the war.

BuzzFlash: Well, this was your job - for 27 years, as an analyst for the CIA, to pick out contradictions in what people say was part of what you did.

Ray McGovern: Yes. So that stuck in my craw, and I had it almost verbatim, but in every essential aspect, it was the same. And what he said was: no, I didn’t say that. I said there were some suspect sites here and so on. And then they started to carry me away, as I recall. He said: oh, no, no – let him stay. And they never really finished that one either, but he lied when he said he talked about suspected sites, because it’s right up there. It’s exactly what I just read you.

BuzzFlash: And you did ask him in general way, why he lied us into a war with Iraq, and he just side-stepped that issue. "Why even bother asking, because I don’t lie." That was his attitude.

Ray McGovern: Actually, he was not at all his typical dismissive self. He paused gravely and said, “I didn’t lie then.” And immediately, the audience burst into applause. It reminded me of, the Soviet Union. I had watched the Soviet Union for about 25 years, and in Pravda, when a Soviet leader would make a speech, every three paragraphs there would be a little notation in italics which meant "stormy applause." Everyone stands.

BuzzFlash: So you felt you were in the same situation.

Ray McGovern: All he had to do is say, "I didn’t lie," and the applause was terrific. And when I said something, it was all this great welling of the group. And, also, "Get him out of here! Get him out of here! Pull him out of here!" It was remarkable.

BuzzFlash: In this brief exchange, you caught him in two lies – one, the lie claiming he never said he knew specifically where there were weapons of mass destruction – which he had told George Stephanopoulos - not only that he knew they were in Iraq, but he knew right where they were. And then you got him into a corner on the alleged al Qaeda-Saddam relationship. You point out that Zarqawi was in Kurdish territory, not under Saddam's control, except when he went to the hospital. Although, obviously you weren’t in full-fledged debate with him - he was only going to let you go on for so long. He made some dismissive comment to you like, boy, you really got your moment of glory here. What did he say to you? It was very funny.

Ray McGovern: "You're getting plenty of play, sir."

BuzzFlash: And we’ve learned subsequently that Bush passed up several chances to capture or assassinate Zarqawi, but chose not to.

Ray McGovern: Yes, that, too.

BuzzFlash: You didn’t have time to bring that up. Another thing you didn’t have time to bring up, which was glaring to me, was Rumsfeld was talking about why did we have chemical weapons protective clothing and gear for our troops, which they put on in Kuwait, if we really didn’t believe WMDs were there? The issue of the chemical weapons, of course, is a touchy one, because Rumsfeld was the liaison under Reagan who basically allowed Saddam Hussein to acquire some chemical weapons from the U.S. and gave the green light for them to be used in the Iran-Iraq war by Saddam.

Ray McGovern: Sure, and we’ve got that wonderful photo of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam Hussein’s hand when he was over there in the ’82-83 time frame with the war.

BuzzFlash: And he never says this. We even had observers, in this town that Bush keeps bringing up, that Iraqis were gassed, and Bush keeps saying that here’s a man who gassed his own people.

You’re an intelligence officer. I don’t want to ask you to leak classified information, but it’s been reported in The New York Times – we actually went there to see the effects of the gas on the people. So it’s not as though America was telling Saddam: oh, this is a horrible thing. It was actually used by American intelligence to see the impact of the gas on people.

Ray McGovern: Yes, it was unconscionable policy, and we knew what we were doing. We knew that the precursors had been given to them, and we could have stopped it, but we did not.

BuzzFlash: So this is more gross hypocrisy from Donald Rumsfeld. But let’s return to this encounter, which obviously made quite a stir nationally. Here was a citizen, a former CIA analyst with 27 years of experience. You have an incredible educational record. You’ve had military service, a distinguished record. You’re there as a citizen to ask Donald Rumsfeld these questions and point out two documented, air-tight, bullet-proof lies from Donald Rumsfeld. And the mainstream press – except for some minor exceptions - basically grouped you with the hecklers. They said Rumsfeld heckled by a questioner, or something like that. We didn’t see a headline that said "Rumsfeld caught up in lying," or "Rumsfeld accused of two lies." It was more that people were disrupting the Secretary of Defense’s presentation.

Ray McGovern: Yes.

BuzzFlash: There was some disruption going on among protesters, in addition to what you were doing. But you were just a person asking questions. What do you think is the story there? You were acting as a reporter should act, which is, if a government official lies, the reporter should confront that official with the lie. They’re accountable to the American people. The press is supposed to hold the government accountable and relay that to the American people. You ask a question the press won’t ask of Donald Rumsfeld – you pointed out two lies. And the press treats you as though you’re some sort of pariah who is being disrespectful to the Secretary of Defense.

Ray McGovern: That’s largely true. I have to tell you a curious thing that happened. As soon as the event was over, CNN was on the phone. They wanted to know what my sources were. They were actually fact-checking, and they seemed surprised that it all checked out. To their credit, they had me on pretty much the rest of the evening on one show or another, and some of those shows, they put parallel things that I had said and the direct quotes from what Rumsfeld said – for example, about knowing where they are and that kind of thing.

BuzzFlash: But that was the exception. Certainly in the print media, they just tossed you in with the hecklers for the most part.

Ray McGovern: It’s easy to conflate me with the hecklers.

BuzzFlash: Second of all, you also had the Paula Zahn incident on CNN.

Ray McGovern: It was on Tucker Carlson as well. I was glad to get before those audiences, and they went pretty well, from my point of view. But I didn’t expect anything but challenging questions.

BuzzFlash: Paula Zahn said to you, what’s your axe to grind with Donald Rumsfeld?

Ray McGovern: Yes.

BuzzFlash: Instead of saying, why is this only coming out now? Or, do you think there are other lies? Her attitude was that this was something personal between you and the Secretary of Defense.

Ray McGovern: I’m sure she was reading the script that was written for her, you know. Maybe she was pissed off because, when this very officious woman called me a couple hours before and said, “Mr. McGovern, you have made quite a stir. Paula wants you on her show,” I said, “Who’s Paula?”

BuzzFlash: Our readers know you’ve been on BuzzFlash. You write for Tom Paine. You write for many different publications on the Internet and in the mainstream press, as a commentator. You’re indefatigable about this. You read BuzzFlash, so you know we’re constantly perplexed in that these people go around and around. On a Friday afternoon a couple years ago, Bush said in effect, “No, we have no evidence that there’s a relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam. We never did. There isn’t any relationship. End of story. Goodbye.” That Sunday, if I recall, or a week later, Dick Cheney was once again claiming there was a direct link between al Qaeda and Saddam. So They don’t make any sense. They contradict each other. They lie right and left.

Are they just so full of feeling that they’re masters of the universe that they don’t know they’re lying? Or do they just have contempt for the American public? Or do they just think no one can stop them from doing what they’re doing, that they can get away with lying? Or all of the above?

Ray McGovern: All of the above. They have contempt for the mainstream press – that much is clear. And when talking about Rumsfeld, he’s the quintessential debater. Didn’t he win all the awards at Princeton for debating?

BuzzFlash: And he was a wrestler, too.

End Part I

05-11-2006, 03:13 PM
Ray McGovern: You can kind of put yourself in his position here. He’s got what he thinks is a very benign audience. They’ve already clapped several times when he was introduced. And seriously enough, Peter White, who is the President of the Center, singled out Rumsfeld for his honesty in introducing him, kind of, you know, protesting a little bit too much. And everybody clapped.

So here he is before this benign audience, and he’s expecting to be able to handle pretty much anything that comes along. So I ask him a pointed question and quote him back to himself, and his whole demeanor changes. These are indisputable facts, in his own words. And so how is he going to handle this?

He thought he could pretty much talk about Zarqawi and persuade everyone that that was the right answer to that. Or he could deny what he said, but I didn’t let him. So what I’m suggesting is that these incidences are going to be fewer and further between now, when we talk about how careful they are to put themselves up to their own people, or only friendly audiences. But that’s the syndrome. He’s supremely confident. He’s the matinee idol. No one in the Pentagon press corps is going to ask him any questions, because they’ll lose their job, or they’ll not be given access, and they wouldn’t be called on again. The whole thing is so damn corrupt it’s sickening.

BuzzFlash: Again, you had this right as an American citizen. Second of all, you were asking the questions the reporters won’t ask. You as an American citizen and former CIA analyst have to go in there and ask the Secretary of Defense questions about why he lied us into a war. And you proved it, which the journalists won't do. So what are they getting paid for?

Ray McGovern: CNN, which I normally don’t have very soft spots in my heart for, they checked and they double-checked. I got an e-mail from a friend in Oklahoma, and she said, “You know, last night I had this call from a very, very senior CNN manager who happens to be a friend of mine. And what he said was this – she quotes – “We checked and double-checked everything this guy had to say, and he was 100% accurate.” Then the CNN guy says, “What, are you war protesters getting organized or something?”

BuzzFlash: Maybe we are, huh?

Ray McGovern: Indeed we are. A hell of a time that you should catch up with this. But that was good to hear. And the other thing was that Keith Olbermann at MSNBC did a very, very credible job.

BuzzFlash: He’s the one person on cable who’s kind of been willing to come out with the truth and be steadfast about it.

Ray McGovern: So both of those guys deserve special mention. He juxtaposed these quotes from Rumsfeld and what I had said, and he was really very good. The best, I thought.

BuzzFlash: You were an analyst, so you dealt with facts. Your job at the CIA was to come out with intelligence analysis that could be used to further decision making for the national security of the United States. We have a Secretary of Defense, a Vice President, and a President who seem, according to the Downing Street Memo, to "fix facts."

Ray McGovern: Yes.

BuzzFlash: There was much talk - which Pat Roberts, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, won’t investigate – that indeed Vice President Cheney was visiting CIA Headquarters in the run up to the Iraq war and pressuring the intelligence analysts and senior staff there to come up with fixed facts. So we’re not really talking about getting intelligence, and analyzing it properly, which was your job for 27 years, but molding it. I guess my question is, you’ve got the Secretary of Defense up there. People are applauding him. Does anyone have a memory anymore beyond you or some of the people on the Internet? Rumsfeld said they would greet us with flowers. We’d be out of there in six months. We’d needed a lighter force, not a heavier force. I mean, he’s a failure.

Ray McGovern: It would pay for itself, too – don’t forget that.

BuzzFlash: It would pay for itself in Iraq. He’s a failure. In America, we used to be a country that prided ourselves on success. And now we are worshipping at the feet of failures.

Ray McGovern: Well, the biggest sea change in the 43 years that I’ve been engaged directly is the fact that we no longer have a free press in any meaningful sense of the term. People are badly informed. The other thing is that, it’s really a kind of mind problem. It’s denial to a great degree here.

If you follow these facts, you cannot avoid the conclusion that the President of the United States is arguably a war criminal – a person who started a war of aggression as defined by Nuremberg as the supreme war crime, because it differs from other war crimes only insofar as it contains the accumulated evil of the whole. And what we mean by that – we’ll think about torture, think about kidnappings, think about taking people and putting them in black holes, incommunicado. These are things that we didn’t used to do, and I know that for a fact.

So if you get this information, it’s very disquieting. It’s far easier just to tune into Fox and let yourself be entertained, and not have to grapple with the fact that your government is a rogue government that does not obey, not only international law but domestic law – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, for example – wire-tapping us at will. That’s a lot to deal with, and most people prefer to say, it can’t be that bad. If they acknowledge that it is that bad, they might have to do something about it. Most people are just too comfortable to try to do something about it.

BuzzFlash: Life hasn’t changed dramatically for most Americans, except the gas price has gone up.

Ray McGovern: Yes.

BuzzFlash: Bush is sending poor, and rural, and immigrant people who want to become U.S. citizens, ironically, to Iraq. A lot of Americans aren’t aware that one of the routes to becoming a citizen is volunteering in the Army. These are the people that are dying, so it doesn’t have an impact on most of the American population. Bush is borrowing up to the hilt, and our country is on the verge of bankruptcy. We’re owned by China and the oil countries, in terms of loans, to keep us afloat. And Bush is playing a big con game, a shell game.

But let me just say to you, congratulations. It was a tremendous moment in courage. Probably hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to pay journalists, and none of them would ask the questions you did, and point out to the Secretary of Defense that he’s a liar. It’s mind-boggling, and you just pointed out two of the lies. I mean, he just sort of gets up every day and improvises. He’s almost a jazz musician. It doesn’t matter what he played the day before. He’ll just start a new tune, even if it’s completely opposite of what he was playing the day before. He doesn’t care. He kind of likes pulling the wool over people’s eyes and showing he’s all-powerful, and that it doesn’t matter if he lies. He can get away with it.

But what amazes us is that we have failed leadership. The Afghanistan situation is deteriorating again. The Taliban are being resurrected. Osama bin Ladin was never caught. They said that we were going into Iraq for a regime change. Well, we got Saddam Hussein, and we’re still there. Now we’re going to nuke Iran. And Bush allegedly had Jack Straw, the foreign secretary of the UK, removed because he said that it would be nuts to nuke Iran. We have a failed leadership. And yet they’re applauding him at this forum in Atlanta. They were applauding Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who is probably the key figure in the military failure. They’re applauding him, and kind of thinking you’re some sort of nudnick protester or something.

Ray McGovern: A wild lefty.

BuzzFlash: It’s mind-boggling. If we’re going to prosper as a country and be the successful, energetic innovator of democracy, you don’t worship at the feet of failures. These people are not just liars; they’re failures.

End Part II

05-11-2006, 03:13 PM
Ray McGovern: I would have to say one caveat, and that is that I think this audience wasn’t typical of anything other than the very wealthy, Southern white establishment. I don’t know that for a fact, but I looked around and I saw, and these were mostly men, well-dressed, well-heeled, clearly affluent. The place itself was in an area of Atlanta that rivals Saddam’s palaces, I’m sure. So I think it was atypical, and I do have great hope now that so many Americans are seeing through the lies with respect to Iraq, and the way young people are continuing to die.

But you know where he’s most pernicious? This rhetoric about they hate our way of life? That’s very, very intentional. That’s what George Bush the first used for the Gulf War. And what it means is, we need the oil, folks. You want it to be five, six, seven dollars a barrel? We need it. And I’ve had people that tell me – look, McGovern, you’re some sort of wimp. If we need the oil, I’m the first one to say we go to war to get it. And we just get it – corner it.

I had a very well-heeled guy come up to me in a very affluent suburb outside of Milwaukee and say, “Mr. McGovern, what’s your problem? You don’t dispute that we need the oil, do you?” I said no. He said, “Well, you have to admit that five, six, seven GIs a week is not very much in terms of a price to pay for the oil. I mean, Vietnam, we had hundreds a week. So what is your problem?” I said, “Well, suppose it was one of your sons who was one of those five or six last week?” And he looked at me as though the thought had never crossed his mind - and that’s the problem. It wouldn’t be his son? And so we’re all very comfortable. We’re all saying, well, this may not have worked out, but let’s let these kids from the inner city and from the foreign countries – let them see if they can "stay the course" for us for a couple more years. Then this might turn out okay. It is an unconscionable abrogation of our responsibilities as citizens, as far as I’m concerned.

BuzzFlash: I do want to ask a general question about the turmoil at the CIA under the Bush Administration. Clearly the agency’s been in turmoil, and as Porter Goss said about his own resignation, some things are just mysterious.

In my lifetime, nothing has ever occurred like this – an unprecedented number of retired generals, and retired CIA folk like yourself and Pillar – key people who know about the Middle East and analysts who know how the CIA operates and how intelligence should be used to effectively insure national security – we have seen just an unprecedented number of them speak out on behalf of national security, saying basically the Bush Administration, the Rumsfeld policy, the Cheney policy, are harming our national security. And we saw John Murtha, who is widely believed to be speaking out on behalf of some of the brass in the Pentagon who are prohibited by military code from speaking out in criticism of their Commander in Chief. We’re almost seeing a public mutiny of retired military top brass and CIA top brass, and what appears to be leaking from within the CIA among current staff, one of whom was just fired – Mary McCarthy – and we’re seeing leaks from the Pentagon that are just unprecedented. You didn’t really see this in the Vietnam war to this level. This is just astonishing and rather alarming. The former Pentagon people – at least some of them – are saying the Bush Administration is the war hawk that you've got to watch out for. What’s going on there?

Ray McGovern: There are a whole bunch of things. One is politicization and the other is ineptitude. And they go hand in hand. To put this in context, we’ve had 25 years of politicization – that is, the corruption of intelligence analysis to suit the policymakers – since Bill Casey was appointed by Ronald Reagan. So we’ve had a whole generation of people who have bubbled to the top of the CIA and other intelligence organizations, not for what they know, not for their professional expertise, but because of their ability to smell the winds from the seventh floor, or smell the winds from the White House, and trim their analytical sails accordingly. Now that is a pernicious development, but it came into full bloom when George Tenet went back finally to the CIA and said Congress tells me that they’re not going to vote for this war unless we do an estimate on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and it’s got to come out just the way Dick Cheney said it was on August 26, 2002.

BuzzFlash: Fix the facts.

Ray McGovern: We only had three weeks to do it, because we want to enforce this before the midterm elections. So you get the picture? Let’s do it. Now if that had happened in my day, I swear, we would have said, “George, you’re not serious.” If we discerned that the Director of the Central Intelligence was serious, we would have got up and walked out, because we didn’t do that. That’s not what we did, okay? Even if we didn’t walk out, he would have known he had a major insurrection on his hands. And no longer is that the case, because he could look around that table and see all these people that bubbled up, starting with Casey, and just knew which side their bread was buttered on if they wanted to get promoted – careerists in the worst sense of the word.

So they came forth with the very worst intelligence estimate ever done in the CIA. The only thing close to it was the one done on Cuba in September of 1962, which confidently predicted that the Soviets would never, never try to put missiles in Cuba. Now that was an honest mistake. This Iraq thing on weapons of mass destruction was dishonest from the get-go, and everybody knows that. And anybody who hangs around the CIA is either hunkering down, waiting for a better day with a new regime, or has left.

Now what does that mean? It means that a parallel process has happened in the armed services. As a former Army officer, this gives me pain to say this. But the corruption in the Army – and you can see this from their so-called investigations of the torture – has reached to the very top. To get a star on your shoulder in the U.S. Army now, I daresay you have had to make so many compromises that it’s difficult to discern whether to obey or when to obey laws or orders that may be illegal.

So I do not hold out any hope. These retired generals – fine. Where were they? Where were they when they saw that we were going in with only a third of the troops that we needed? Being courageous after you leave is nice. It’s better than keeping quiet. But where were all these people when this was going on? What I’m saying here is that the corruption is so contagious and so pervasive that it’s possible to act as though you’re a decent person among your colleagues because everybody’s doing it. And that is a very sorry pass to which we’ve come.

Not only that – it’s extremely dangerous. I am very worried that Iran is very high on the list now. I can see our President being persuaded by the fellows with the blue suits and the stars on their shoulders that we can bomb the hell out of Iranian nuclear sites and send in cruise missiles as well and everything will just be fine. Well, everything won’t be fine. That will be a catastrophe that will make Iraq look like a – pardon the expression – a cakewalk, okay? And that’s going to happen unless we all get off our rear ends and do something more. I feel that very strongly.

One last thing that I’ll say is that the very first memorandum to the President – this was a same-day critique of Colin Powell’s speech at the U.N. - we gave him an A for performance and a C-minus for content. If we knew then what we know now, we would have flunked him outright. In any case, we finished that memorandum by saying this: Mr. President, we strongly advise that you widen the circle of your advisors beyond those already determined to make a war for which we see no cogent reason, and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.

What’s the circle like now? It’s still tighter. Not even Colin Powell, for whatever he was worth – not even he is around anymore. So unlike the Cuban missile crisis which I referred to just a minute ago, where John Kennedy knew which end was up and insisted that the former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Llewellyn Thompson, be there at every one of those deliberative sessions – unlike that, we have no Llewellyn Thompson around today. And even if we did, he would not be given entrée to the circle.

What does that mean? That means that Llewellyn Thompson prevented the most likely nuclear clash in 1962 that we’ve ever faced. How did he do that? After Curtis LeMay had his bombers all loaded up with nuclear weapons, he said to the President – and we have it on tape and it’s wonderful – he said, “Mr. President, I disagree.” He said, “Pardon?” “Mr. President, I disagree.” “What do you mean, Llewellyn?” “Well, you know, I know Khrushchev really well. I think he needs to be let down easy. He sent us two messages. One’s conciliatory and one’s really obnoxious. The last one – you know, he did that for the benefit of his own generals. Answer the first one. We can deal with this guy. We’ll have to make a compromise here and here, but we can diffuse this crisis if we just talk to him.”

That is what prevented a very likely nuclear exchange. And now, when we’re talking about mini-nukes and Iran, we’re talking about, well, they’re just a little bit more explosive than high explosive weaponry. You know, there isn’t a person here that has any military experience. And there isn’t any Llewellyn Thompson. And so I fear very greatly. They may not intend to use nuclear weapons in the first strike. But what happens when the Iranians send two divisions over the Iraqi border - our guys who are not disposed to handle that. We’re fighting the terrorists, looking for terrorists. The temptation’s going to be very, very great.

BuzzFlash: Not only that – the largest Shiite faction in Iraq is aligned with the Iranian Shiites, so that’s going to make our soldiers sitting ducks.

Ray McGovern: You’re exactly right. So my point is, the temptation would be almost irresistible to use what we have. We don’t have enough troops, so we use these mini-nukes. It’s very, very volatile, very dangerous, and that’s why I’m going around the country, speaking everywhere I can, to warn people. Look, this is what happened before Iraq. Look at him now, folks – it’s the same thing.

BuzzFlash: And in time for the midterm elections.

Ray McGovern: Exactly.

BuzzFlash: Once again, thank you for speaking up for America. Keep up your wonderful work on behalf of our national security and our Constitution.

Ray McGovern: You keep up your good work, too. I must say that I rely on your double dose daily of those Alerts that you send out, and some of your own editorials are really good guidance and good information. So keep up the good work.


05-11-2006, 04:02 PM
Good read.

05-17-2006, 02:56 PM
Catching Rumsfeld Red-Handed ... on Global TV: An Interview with Ray McGovern
By Larry Everest - Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/everest05172006.html)

Courageous actions and boldly speaking the truth-even by one person-can galvanize the feelings of millions. This happened last year when Cindy Sheehan camped outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas and demanded he meet with her to explain for what "noble cause" her son died in Iraq. And it happened on May 4 in Atlanta when Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran, a founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), and a participant in the Bush Crimes Commission, confronted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about his Iraq War lies-and caught him red-handed-on national TV. At the beginning of Rumsfeld's televised speech, a woman shouted, "I cannot stay silent, this man needs to be in prison for war crimes. Drive Out the Bush Regime!" Two more protesters stood up and accused Rumsfeld of war crimes and lying, and another man stood with his back to Rumsfeld. Then during the question-and-answer period, McGovern confronted Rumsfeld-with facts.

Ray McGovern (quoting from a New York Times report): Atlanta. Sept. 27, 2002, Donald Rumsfeld said (and this is in quotation marks), "There is bulletproof evidence of links between al Qaeda and the government of Saddam Hussein."

Was that a lie, Mr. Rumsfeld? Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties?

Rumsfeld: Well, first of all I haven't lied. I didn't lie then. Colin Powell didn't lie... It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

McGovern: You said you knew where they were.

Rumsfeld: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were, and we were-

McGovern: You said you knew where they were: near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and north, east, south, and west of there. Those are your words

Rumsfeld: My words-my words were that-

[On March 30, 2003, Rumsfeld told ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "We know where they (the WMD) are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, west, south, and north somewhat."]

The McGovern-Rumsfeld exchange immediately flashed through the media and cyberspace. CNN, MSNBC and other major media broadcast the back-and-forth, and compared McGovern's words with Rumsfeld's March 30, 2003 statement, showing that Rumsfeld was lying-yet again. It became grist for a Jon Stewart segment (http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/05/10.html) lampooning Rumsfeld and sparked the lead editorial in the New York Times on May 7.

I interviewed Ray McGovern about the encounter.

Larry Everest: Why did you decide to focus on the question of Rumsfeld's lies about the war?

Ray McGovern: That day I was surfing the web and noticed that my former colleague, recently retired Paul Pillar, had referred in an interview to the "campaign of manipulation of intelligence" that tried to create out of whole cloth ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. Until he retired late last year, Pillar was the most senior analyst/manager for the Middle East; now he is speaking out.

So that morning I was thinking of that unconscionable manipulation of intelligence that was used to trick Congress into voting for an unnecessary war, but that had not been my first choice of a question to pose to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Rather, I have been longing for someone to ask him directly whether he had been personally involved in the torture of detainees. Fresh in my mind was an official Army Inspector General's report, released last month in response to a Freedom of Information request, which includes sworn testimony by Army Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt who interviewed Rumsfeld twice in early 2005. Schmidt testified that Rumsfeld was "personally involved in the interrogation at Guantánamo of high-value al-Qaeda detainee Mohammed al-Kahtani in Dec. 2002." On Dec. 2, 2002, Rumsfeld had approved 16 harsher interrogation tactics for use against Kahtani. Army investigators called "degrading and abusive" the treatment of Kahtani by US soldiers implementing measures the defense secretary had approved. Rumsfeld, in turn, was "talking weekly" with the notorious Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller with his campaign ribbons from Guantanamo and Abu Graib (who has now taken the Army equivalent of the Fifth Amendment). During the 18 to 20-hour per day interrogation of Kahtani for 48 days, he was forced to do "dog tricks" on a leash, to stand naked in front of a female interrogator, and to wear women's underwear. According to Lt. Gen. Schmidt, when he asked Rumsfeld about this, he replied, "My God, you know, did I authorize putting a bra and underwear on this guy's head?" So I had been thinking of asking Rumsfeld the obvious question that Pentagon-accredited pussycat press people never would; i. e., "Well, did you...or did you not?"

But what Paul Pillar had said the day before about the artificial creation of a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda, seemed even better to raise, since Rumsfeld's comment that evidence of such ties was "bulletproof" was his own word and cut right to the key issue of the corruption of intelligence. The success of that campaign can readily be seen in the fact that for a long period of time, 69 percent of the American people believed it at the time. It was, of course, a bald-faced lie but one that was assiduously insinuated into the discussion by the administration. And from the White House's point of view, the campaign bore very good fruit.

That was a particularly sore bone of contention with me because the CIA had been leaned on very strongly by the likes of Rumsfeld and Cheney to come up with evidence that there were meaningful ties between al Qaeda and Saddam. The agency labored long and hard for years and finally concluded there was no evidence of meaningful ties. Yet here is Rumsfeld saying the evidence was "bulletproof."

So I was thinking of what Pillar said-and one other thing that had just happened. When Rumsfeld was several minutes into his Atlanta speech, he was interrupted by two women who accused him of lies. Rumsfeld paused, and after the women were ejected, he chose to address the charge as though they had accused the president rather than Rumsfeld. He proceeded to wring his hands and solemnly intoned:

"You know, that charge is frequently leveled against the president for one reason or another, and it is so wrong, and so unfair, and so destructive of a free system where people need to trust each other and the government. And the idea that people in government are lying about something is fundamentally destructive of that trust and, at bedrock, untrue."

That was almost too much to take-the feigned abhorrence of lies and how destructive they are. Lucrative material for Jon Stewart or Saturday Night Live, but nonetheless outrageous.

That got my Irish up. So I decided when the question period came up I would try to ask Rumsfeld about that-about lies. There was certainly no lack of material.

Everest: How did he react to you?

McGovern: He seemed surprised. When I pointed out I was a 27-year veteran of the CIA he sort of smiled as if to say, "This fellow will do no harm." When I pointed out that I was a member of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity), his demeanor changed a bit. I led off by complimenting Rumsfeld on his observation that lies are fundamentally destructive of the trust that government needs to govern. Then I went on to ask him why he talked about "bulletproof" evidence when virtually all the intelligence analysts said there wasn't any at all.

Everest: What kind of response have you gotten afterward?

McGovern: The media response has been interesting. No sooner was I out the door, when I got a call from CNN. They asked for my sources so I gave them chapter and verse. Ten minutes later, I was booked for several shows on CNN that evening. Clearly, CNN had checked the facts, verified what I had said and thought the encounter with Rumsfeld might make a good story. I'm not sure that just a year ago this would have happened.

That evening CNN and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann took the trouble to display Rumsfeld's earlier statements and compare them with what he said last week in Atlanta. CBS and Fox simply provided the familiar "he-said-but-he-said-and-I-guess-we'll-have-to-leave-it-at-that" treatment. No apparent fact checking; no pursuit of truth there.

Everest: You've made an important comparison between the US today and Germany in the 1930s. What changes do you see in the US that makes you feel that way, that concerns you so much?

McGovern: First and foremost people need to reassert the primacy of the rule of law. The familiar administration line is that after 9/11 everything changed and that we now have a new "paradigm." Well I hope we haven't decided to substitute that "paradigm" for the Constitution. If we still give primacy to the Constitution, lawmakers and other leaders need to confront the clear illegalities that have been taking place. It's actually hard to keep track, given what I call "outrage fatigue." It seems there is a fresh outrage every week, and it becomes very hard to prioritize them and decide which to focus on.

But if we don't focus on these violations of law then fascism will take hold. Indeed, we are already well down that road-for example, when we see what the National Security Agency has been doing at the President's direction; when we see a U.S. Air Force officer, Michael Hayden, unable to stand on the principle of law and instead allow himself to be corrupted by nearness to power, we're in a dangerous situation. Like me and all other officers, Hayden swore an oath to defend the Constitution; we were also taught that no military officer is obligated or permitted to obey an illegal order.

05-17-2006, 02:56 PM
There was no one in the USA who knew more about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 than Hayden did. He knew it was illegal to spy on Americans without a court order, but he saluted and did it anyway. It is not for some idle or capricious reason that warrantless eavesdropping is illegal. It's illegal because of what was done before 1975 when the Church Committee exposed the outrageous abuses of Fourth Amendment protections that President Richard Nixon, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and others had been committing with such surveillance, like wiretapping and trying to blackmail Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example.

So you have to observe the law. If you have some reason that law is outdated, then you ask Congress to change it. You don't just ignore it. If you start ignoring laws then our democracy is lost. The bottom line is Congress makes laws and the executive branch is supposed to implement and observe them. No president is empowered to say, "We'll simply ignore the law because after 9/11 everything has changed." If he is allowed to do this, we endanger all laws-like the President is already doing with "signing statements." It's incredibly corrosive of the democratic process and constitutional protections, and it can lead to the end of the Republic.

Adding insult to injury, many of these law-skirting actions are being kept secret. Knowledge is the oxygen of democracy and we are slowly suffocating. Down with the new "paradigm"!

Watch the MSNBC broadcast (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1FTmuhynaw)on McGovern's confrontation with Rumsfeld and the protests against Rumsfeld by World Can't Wait and others.

Larry Everest is the author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567512461/counterpunchmaga), an organizer of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity by the Bush Administration, and a contributor to a new book: Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney (http://www.counterpunch.org/1583227431/counterpunchmaga), forthcoming from Seven Stories Press. This interview originally appeared in Revolution. He can be reached through his website (http://www.larryeverest.com/).