Rumsfeld Heckler's History Ignored by Media

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Former CIA Agent Raymond McGovern's televised argument with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has placed him in the media spotlight. But McGovern is a long-time critic of the Bush administration and his liberal views and alliances got little or no mention in the establishment media on Friday.

"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kinds of casualties and was not necessary?" McGovern peppered Rumsfeld during the defense chief's speech in Atlanta Thursday. Rumsfeld replied: "I did not lie."

The two continued their verbal spat until security started to remove McGovern from the crowded auditorium. Rumsfeld waved them off and requested that McGovern be allowed to stay.

McGovern has long accused Rumsfeld and President Bush of lying about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction, which were used as the original rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

On Thursday, the Associated Press referred to McGovern as "a former CIA analyst and noted critic of the war in Iraq." Other outlets, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN, called him a "former CIA analyst" while the Los Angeles Times and Fox News pointed out that McGovern worked at the agency for 27 years.

None of those news organizations mentioned McGovern's extensive involvement in the anti-war movement and his support of conspiracy theories concerning the build-up to the invasion of Iraq.

In January 2003, McGovern helped organize the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group that has called for the resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney and the impeachment of President Bush. The group appears to have been inactive since July 2003.

McGovern is a vocal supporter of efforts to investigate the so-called "Downing Street Memo," a document released in 2005 that allegedly reveals a conspiracy between the United States and Britain to fix intelligence to support the removal of Saddam Hussein.

Officials from both governments have declined to comment on the memo's authenticity, leaving bloggers on the right and left to argue the topic.

In a radio interview in 2005, McGovern warned that the Bush administration might create another terrorist attack to gain more control.

"We have to be careful, if somebody does this kind of provocation -- big violent explosions of some kind -- it could well be a provocation allowing them (the Bush administration) ... to get what they want," McGovern told host Alex Jones.

In an interview with Pacifica Radio host Dennis Bernstein on April 3, 2006, McGovern advocated the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for "war crimes."

"It's not an exaggeration to say that our president is a war criminal and those who cooperated with him are equally criminal," McGovern said. He said he believes the reason for invading Iraq "wasn't weapons of mass destruction, it wasn't ties between Iraq and al Qaeda; none of those things existed."

"What it was, was something I describe with the acronym OIL: 'O' for oil, 'I' for Israel and 'L' for logistics," McGovern said.

In addition to his allegations that the Bush administration fabricated evidence and lied to the American public to justify the war, McGovern has been involved in anti-war protests organized by groups such as Code Pink and Peace Action. He has also spoken at several universities across the U.S., where audiences usually favor liberal messages.

McGovern recently came to the defense of former CIA analyst Mary McCarthy, who was fired in April for allegedly leaking classified information about secret prisons in Europe to Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank.

"She saw war crimes in progress," McGovern told CBS News. "She saw no oversight by Congress. She said, 'Well, all right, somebody's got to do it. I'll take the risk.'"

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