Q and A Gets Rough for Rumsfeld

By The Associated Press and E&P Staff

Published: May 04, 2006 5:50 PM ET

ATLANTA Anti-war protesters repeatedly interrupted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during a speech Thursday, and one of them, 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.

"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.

Three other protesters were escorted away by security as each interrupted Rumsfeld's speech by jumping up and shouting various anti-war messages.

Rumsfeld focused his speech on a U.S. need to increase its emphasis on more flexible partnerships with foreign militaries and rethinking of the role of long-established alliances like NATO.

A partial transcript of his encounter with McGovern follows. McGovern had opened by mentioning that top CIA officials had accused Rumsfeld of manipulating the facts and misleading the public; that Rumsfeld had firmly linked Iraq to al-Qaeda before the war, and that he had said the he knew where WMDs were located. This last reference appears to be based on the Pentagon chief's appearance on ABC on March 30, 2003, when he said about WMD: "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

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