“We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”
So said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on March 30, 2003, when ABC This Week’s George Stephanopoulos asked him, “And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven’t found any weapons of mass destruction?”
Shorter Donald Rumsfeld: “They’re everywhere.”
Yeah, you tell ‘em, Rummy. I know just where you’re coming from! I kid you not, there are elves living in the woods to the “east, west, south and north somewhat” of my own little abode here in the mountains.
Don’t laugh! They’re just like those snooty Tolkiensian wood elves who treated brave Bilbo and the dwarves so poorly in the true story, “The Hobbit.” They’re so damned sneaky! I hear them out there all the time, to the “east, west, south and north somewhat,” raising hell, having their bacchanalian feasts in the clearings, partying hearty and maybe even egaging in orgies, but just you try to find them to give them a piece of your mind, tell them there are people trying to sleep around here, and they’re gone! Poof! Just like that. It’s so annoying! And with magic like that, you know they must have some hellacious weapons. Maybe even ... WMD! Some of them might even be gay!
So, OK, I’ve never actually seen the little fuckers, but by God, I know they’re there – and you can’t prove they aren’t!
Neener. Neener, neener, neener.
Yesterday in Atlanta, Rummy was taking questions from the crowd. One woman was forced to leave the room, presumably by Secret Service agents, when she asked him about his lies regarding our cool little “pre-emptive” war in Iraq. Yes, the brave woman used the L-word. Apparently, that word isn’t included on the Approved Word List regarding freedom of speech in America.
A few minutes later, former 27-year CIA veteran Ray McGovern, who was in the audience, stood up and asked Rummy a similar question. (Hat-tip to Think Progress, who has both the video and the transcripts of the event.)
He asked, “So I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people. Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?”
Uh-oh. That pesky L-word again!
Rumsfeld protested that he hadn’t lied. Nor had Colin Powell, he said, when he addressed the United Nations. Both of them, and the president too, evidently, spent “weeks and weeks” with the CIA and concluded, apparently there were WMD in Iraq.
McGovern was having none of it. “You said you knew where they were.”
“I did not,” said Rummy. “I said I knew where suspect sites were and --”
“You said you knew where they were – Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.”
He left Rumsfeld momentarily speechless.
“My words — my words were that --” Rumsfeld began, but at that point, the SS thugs had reached Mr. McGovern and were about to remove him, forceably if necessary, from the room. “No, no, wait a minute, wait a minute,” Rumsfeld said. “Let him stay one second. Just a second.”
“This is America,” McGovern observed.
“You’re getting plenty of play, sir.”
“I’d just like an honest answer.”
“I’m giving it to you.”
McGovern tried again. “Well we’re talking about lies and your allegation there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al Qaeda and Iraq.”
“Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact,” said Rumsfeld.
“Zarqawi? He was in the north of Iraq in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That’s also…”
“He was also in Baghdad.”
“Yes, when he needed to go to the hospital.” McGovern paused, then said, “Come on, these people aren’t idiots. They know the story.”
“Let me give you an example,” Rumsfeld said. “It’s easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical weapon protective suits? Because they liked the style?”
The audience laughed. Nothing like a little snark from the Secretary of Defense.
“They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons,” he went on, as the audience gave him a round of applause. “Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He’d used them on his neighbor ... the Iranians, and they believed he had those weapons. We believed he had those weapons.”
Once again, McGovern didn’t back down. “That’s what we call a non sequitur. It doesn’t matter what the troops believe; it matters what you believe.”
For all those uneducated hoardes out there, like me, according to Answer.com, a “non sequitur is a thought that does not logically follow what has just been said: “We had been discussing plumbing, so her remark about astrology was a real non sequitur.” Non sequitur is Latin for “It does not follow.”
The moderator stepped in then. “I think, Mr. Secretary, the debate is over. We have other questions, courtesy to the audience.”
Saved by the bell!
It seems that Secretary Rumsfeld didn’t know who he was talking to. McGovern has been one of the most vocal critics of the war in Iraq – and he used to brief Dubya’s daddy in the White House on intelligence matters of national security. Rumsfeld seemed to think he had just another imbecilic sheeple on his hands, though he WAS sweating a little. But nothing a little simple dodge-and-weave, along with a sneer or two, couldn’t handle.
Oops. Hey, Rummy. We love ya. We know what you meant to say even though you didn’t mean to say what you thought you said. Heh.
Today, on CNN, the idiotic Paula Zahn interviewed McGovern about his discussion of lies, the war in Iraq and WMD with Rummy in Atlanta. In it, as Zahn tries to knock him down a few notches, McGovern stays calm, focused and on the point.
He doesn’t give an inch.
And neither should the rest of us. They should all be made to answer for the lies they told – and that they have continued to maintain, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary --that have brought about the deaths or maimed so many American soldiers and innocent Iraqis. And those are just the lies about Saddam, Iraq, and WMD. We haven’t even begun asking the hard questions about everything else.
It’s time we do.
(Thanks to www.infowars.com for the photo of Mr. McGovern)