De Los Angeles Times bericht: 'Washington - When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld goes on the road to deliver a speech, it's usually in front of a relatively respectful audience: U.S. troops stationed overseas, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation dinner have been among his appearances this year. An audience in Atlanta on Thursday turned out to be a bit different. Rumsfeld was interrupted three times by antiwar protesters during his speech, and during a question-and-answer session afterward he was forced to defend himself against charges by a former high-ranking CIA analyst that he intentionally lied to push the U.S. into war in Iraq. Rumsfeld sought to make light of the flak during his address to the Southern Center for International Studies, a nonprofit educational group, telling the audience the protesters were just a few "close personal friends" of Peter White, the center's president. Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran who once gave then-President George H.W. Bush his morning intelligence briefings, engaged in what became an extended debate with Rumsfeld after asking why the Defense secretary had insisted before the Iraq invasion that there was "bulletproof evidence" linking Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda.
"Was that a lie, Mr. Rumsfeld, or was that manufactured somewhere else? Because all of my CIA colleagues disputed that and so did the 9/11 commission," McGovern asked near the start of the 45-minute question-and-answer session. "Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary?" At the start of the exchange, Rumsfeld remained his usual unflappable self, insisting, "I haven't lied; I did not lie then," before launching into a vigorous defense of the administration's prewar assertions on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But Rumsfeld became uncharacteristically tongue-tied when McGovern pressed him on claims that he knew where unconventional Iraqi weapons were located. "You said you knew where they were," McGovern said. "I did not. I said I knew where suspected sites were," Rumsfeld retorted. McGovern then read from statements the Defense secretary had made that weapons were located near Tikrit, Iraq, and Baghdad, which led Rumsfeld to briefly stammer. The Defense secretary recovered after admonishing a security guard who was trying to push McGovern away from the microphone.' Lees verder: