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Rumsfeld's Bad Day In Atlanta

Rumsfeld's Bad Day In Atlanta

It just wasn't a good day for Rummy. He usually speaks only to "safe" audiences of carefully selected military personnel. But on May 4, he made the mistake of speaking to a public audience at the Southern Center of International Studies in Atlanta. The result was predictable!

In a protest organized by World Can't Wait--Drive out the Bush Regime, at least three different protesters were hustled out by cops for interrupting Rumsfeld. One carried a banner denouncing Rumsfeld as a war criminal. Another stood in the audience with her back to Rumsfeld. The Associated Press reported that "the outbursts Rumsfeld confronted on Thursday seemed beyond the usual."

Toughest of all for Rumsfeld was the persistent questioning from Ray McGovern. McGovern, a witness before the Bush Crimes Commission ( and a member of the current Commission campus tour, put a hard line of questioning to Rumsfeld beginning with "Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary." Cops were about to drag off McGovern when Rumfeld waived them off and lamely tried to respond.

"I'm not in the intelligence business," Rumsfeld said about U.S. assertions that now-deposed President Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons and was seeking nuclear arms.

Rumsfeld next tried to blame it all on then-Secretary of Colin Powell, in his February 2003 speech before the United Nations detailing U.S. beliefs about Iraqi arms, had "spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate."
And Rumsfeld tried to put it on Bush saying that Bush, who made the threat posed by Iraq's weapons his main justification for war, also "spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence people" before making his case to the American people.

"They gave the world their honest opinion," Rumsfeld added. "It appears that there were no weapons of mass destruction."

McGovern shot back, "You said you knew where they were," referring to the Iraqi weapons.

"I did not," Rumsfeld retorted. "I said I knew where suspect sites were."

"You said you know where they were, near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and north, east, south and west of there. Those are your words," McGovern shot back.

"I'd just like an honest answer," McGovern added. "We're talking about lies," also mentioning the administration's assertions of prewar ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.

A week and a half into the war, Rumsfeld was asked on March 30, 2003, on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," whether he found it curious that U.S. forces had not yet found weapons of mass destruction.

"Not at all," Rumsfeld responded, according to a Pentagon transcript of the interview.

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

Rumsfeld on January 20, 2003, said Saddam's government had "large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, including VX, sarin, mustard gas, anthrax, botulism, and possibly smallpox," as well as "an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons."

Later in the day CNN had Ray McGovern on for a nationally broadcast interview.

For more info on Rumsfeld in Atlanta see

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