Like newly minted American hero Stephen Colbert, he spoke “truth” to power this afternoon. And like Colbert, the usual suspects will be building statues of him tomorrow:
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….
When security guards tried removing McGovern, the analyst, during his persistent questions of Rumsfeld, the defense secretary told them to let him stay. The two continued to spar. “You’re getting plenty of play,” Rumsfeld told McGovern, who is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.
That’s as much bio as the AP provides of this fearless, plain-speaking truthteller. Journey back in time with me now to June 2005, where we’ll join WaPo reporter Dana Milbank at John Conyers’s kangaroo court impeachment hearings — already in progress:
The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration “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.”
Jacob Laksin of FrontPage has more:
McGovern was not above retailing anti-Israel conspiracy theories. Hence he claimed, inter alia, that an Israeli company had advanced warning of the 9/11 attacks—an accusation echoed in literature passed out by Democratic activists at the hearing.
And more still:
That Israel pulls the strings of American foreign policy is not the only conspiracy theory propounded by McGovern. While maintaining that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence information to justify the war against Iraq, McGovern has allowed for the possibility that WMD may be found in Iraq. But he hastens to add that any weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq will likely have been “planted” by American forces. “Some of my colleagues are virtually certain that there will be some weapons of mass destruction found, even though they might have to be planted,” he told Agence French Presse in April of 2003, darkly insisting that “that would justify the charge of a threat against the U.S. or anyone else.”
If McGovern’s name sounds familiar, it should: he’s been popping up on TV and in newspaper articles lately as one of the media’s go-to guys for quotes defending accused CIA leaker Mary McCarthy. Evidently, believing that Jews have their hands up the back of a U.S. puppet government isn’t quite the mainstream credibility-killer it once was.
But there’s more still. McGovern belongs to a group of ex-intel officials known as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, or VIPS. VIPS is infamous for — no, I’m not kidding — encouraging intelligence operatives to undermine the Bush administration by breaking their confidentiality agreements and leaking information. As McGovern himself put it in a September 2004 op-ed, “[l]eaking can be patriotic.” Here’s Rick Moran’s lengthy post about VIPS from April 25th speculating about the group’s possible role in the flood of leaks Porter Goss is hard at work trying to stop.
Bear all this in mind when those statues start going up.
Update: And up they go. From Olbermann Watch:
[O]nce again Krazy Keith chose an anti-administration story to highlight. As a clip ran of a speaker accusing Donald Rumsfeld of lying about WMDs, the banner on the screen read:
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
Update: Incredible. You know right off the bat that the whitewash is coming, and then it happens, right on schedule, and … you still can’t quite believe it. In. Credible.
Update: If you’re keeping score at home, the Great Colbert Media Blackout marked its fifth day with new pieces from the Washington Post, LA Times, U.S. News and World Report, and Time magazine, not to mention a host of smaller publications.
And note this from MSNBC:
Colbert’s roasting of the president this weekend got nearly 70,000 posts on blogs — the most of any subject Thursday.
Fair enough — but the New York Times didn’t reprint Colby’s monologue on its front page the morning after the dinner, did it? No. So, blackout.
Update: LGF has more, including a link to McG’s photo op with the patron saint of patriotic conspiracy-theorists everywhere, Cindy Sheehan.