Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Rumsfeld's heckler shoulda read me

Retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern heckling Rumsfeld (see the side-bar video):

McGovern: You said you knew where [the WMD] were.
Rumsfeld: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sights were....
McGovern: You said you knew where they were. Near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and north, east south and west of there. Those were your words.
McGovern seems to have gotten his out-of-context Rumsfeld quote from ThinkProgress' Iraq timeline, which I scrutinized here.

Here's Rumsfeld's full quote (emphasis mine):

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? 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?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Second, the [audio glitch] facilities, there are dozens of them, it's a large geographic area. ... The idea, from your question, that you can attack that place and exploit it and find out what's there in fifteen minutes.

I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting.

Not being a mind-reader, I don't know if McGovern spoke from ignorance, dishonesty, misplaced trust in ThinkProgress, his own poor reading skills, or what.

P.S.: CBS News correspondent David Marin, one of the story's authors, could have looked into it himself.

Update: We've seen this guy before.

Update, 5/5: Full transcript w/nothing new at Daily Kos.


(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

In everything quoted Rumsfeld says "We know where they are."

By your thinking, you must believe that Al Gore created the Internet.

Any honest reading of Rumsfeld's quote must include "... there may be nothing left."

Rumsfeld's statement is exactly correct: "I said I knew where suspect sights were"

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