Rumsfeld heckled … by wacko conspiracy theorist Ray McGovern

posted at 8:55 pm on May 4, 2006 by Allahpundit

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: Rick Moran says Rumsfeld lied yesterday — and lefties should be thankful that he did. Gateway Pundit has his own link round-up about McGovern.

Update: LGF has more, including a link to McG’s photo op with the patron saint of patriotic conspiracy-theorists everywhere, Cindy Sheehan.


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I’m glad Rummy sparred with him. This guy is a wacko. And dangerous.

Princess Bernie on May 4, 2006 at 9:01 PM

Wacko conspiracy theorist…can you get a PhD in that field of expertise? This is what happens to a person who can’t find anything but the “drive-by-media” as a source for his information.

He needs a good dose of “HOT AIR”!!!

Acts20:24 on May 4, 2006 at 10:11 PM

The guy is a wacko conspiracy theorist, but he did come up with statements that Rumsfeld denied saying but he did say. Not a big deal, really, considering Rumsfeld’s plate is very full. A tad embarassing for Rumsfeld at worst.

gmoonster on May 5, 2006 at 12:53 AM

Ask yourself what the media reaction would be if an ex-CIA analyst heckled a Democratic SecDef and it turned out he was a Bircher or a Klansman. Just imagine.

Allahpundit on May 5, 2006 at 1:31 AM

I thought Rumsfeld dealt with the interloper effectively and without undue emotion, something the left cannot do. To me, the heckler did come across as a conspiracy theorist and Rumsfeld came across as an intelligent and well informed person.

On another note, it is disturbing to me how we are seeing such lack of respect for our leaders today. Like them or not, they are elected and deserve at least some respect as elected officials.

As much as I disliked the Billary Clintons, attacking them so blatantly everyday and in ever news conference would not be something I would do.

This ever increasing level of discord will be very damaging to our governmental system as it just keeps rising.

LewWaters on May 5, 2006 at 1:32 AM

Amen, Lew. I never liked Clinton, but I respected ih role as President (even if it appears he didn’). I’m sure thats how many felt. Generally, the folks on the right are the adults, the folks on left the children.

L: WAR? I don’t want to got to war!
R: I’m sorry, son, I don’t want to go to war either, but we have to protect ourselves.
L: I don’t wanna, I DON’T WANNA!!

gmoonster on May 5, 2006 at 1:51 AM

I seem to recall during the tenure of President Clinton, people that showed up to disagree were simply arrested and hauled away by the secret service agents.

gary on May 5, 2006 at 7:11 AM

It’s hard sometimes to watch these type of of things. Part of me wishes Rumsfeld would “pull off the gloves” and just let these idiots have it. But I have to calm myself down by telling myself that most normal Americans see through these hissyfits, and know the truth.

However yesterday I read that 35% of Americans polled thought that voting for “American Idol” is as important, if not more important, then voting for the President of the US. Now that scares me. You wonder though if this 35% is the same group of Democrats who voted in the last election… coincidence – maybe, then again maybe not.

Bob Mileti on May 5, 2006 at 7:58 AM

Why didnt Rummy bring up up the fact that then CIA director George Tenant called WMD’s a “slam dunk,Mr. President,” when repeatedly questioned.
Did Tenant say this,or not?

lizzee on May 5, 2006 at 8:03 AM

When will this administration strike back at these hecklers, reporters, etc by telling the FACTS of what we have learned?

We have found plenty of evidence that WMD’s existed and were moved.
We know Sadam Hussien was trying to develope nuclear capability, we’ve found evidence.
We know there was an Al-Queada – Iraq relationship long before 9/11.

After 9/11, President Bush said we would go after terrrorists and “all who harbor them” – Iraq always promoted, funded, and harbored them.

I hope Tony Snow will lead the way and start a drumbeat of the stating the facts over and over and over again.

We can’t let the liberals get away with their reckless false statements regarding why we are in Iraq.

Richard Davis on May 5, 2006 at 8:05 AM

I’ve given up waiting for Bush to aggressively defend himself, or the spineless RINO’s to rally around him. I give the Democrats points for one thing; they stuck together and supported Clinton through everything. They still do. We get the pathetic Gang of Fourteen.

right as rain man on May 5, 2006 at 8:34 AM

Allahpundit:
Ask yourself what the media reaction would be if an ex-CIA analyst heckled a Democratic SecDef and it turned out he was a church going registered Republican. Just imagine.

right ascension on May 5, 2006 at 9:18 AM

The answer to the “ask yourself” questions above is that it would never happen. Liberal officials do not engage in debates with hecklers (See any Hillary speech of late – or better yet, John Murtha). The liberals will continue speaking and act as if the heckler is not there (ala President Hu) and hope security escorts these people out quickly The MSM will, of course, not give it any coverage (or it will be a footnote).

As for Keith Olbermann, he needs to stick to sports instead of politics (as he has somewhat started to do again on ESPN radio’s The Dan Patrick Show – it appears ESPN has forgiven him). He needs to stop trying to be like his idol Chris Matthews.

Rick on May 5, 2006 at 12:06 PM

One question
If this is the type of guy who was fired but stuck around for so long at the CIA, then what sort of other howling at the moon-bat schmucks are still around in hte CIA?????

Defector01 on May 5, 2006 at 3:13 PM

Rummy can be a little TOO polite sometimes. He shoulda said “If you would use as much time and energy translating all of those captured documents as you do accusing us of lying, maybe you’d find some more evidence that we were right.”

Suggested reading for HotAir Posters: “Saddam’s Secrets” by former lraqi air force General Georges Sada.

Warrior Princess ’08!

Tony737 on May 7, 2006 at 10:14 AM