The Bubble Bursters
From the 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.Check out the video of the confrontation here. A few points: give Rumsfeld a bit of credit for at least engaging McGovern instead of ignoring him, cutting him off, or allowing the thugs disguised as security guards to throw him out as they did to others. The audience members who booed the questions and applauded after Rumsfeld's responses? They must have been warm coated in wool on a spring day in Atlanta; it's a mistake to discount how dangerous the sheep can be. And kudos of course to the Bubble Bursters, who are both honorable and patriotic. We need more of them.
"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.
President Bush seldom faces such challenges. Demonstrators usually are kept far from him when he delivers public remarks.
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.
Responding to another protester who also accused Rumsfeld of lying, the secretary said such accusations are "so wrong, so unfair and so destructive."