Instead, NBC, CBS, FOX and the Associated Press all edited his responses to former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. Here's the actual exchange, via Media Matters.
Then see how they edited it to make McGovern's questions seem impertinent.
Media Matters - NBC, CBS, Fox cropped Rumsfeld questioner's challenges, Rumsfeld's "stammer[ing]" replies:
From Rumsfeld's May 4 speech:
Read the edits for yourself:
McGOVERN: Atlanta, September 27, 2002, Donald Rumsfeld said -- and I quote: There's "bulletproof" evidence of links between Al Qaeda and the government of President Saddam Hussein.
Was that a lie, Mr. Rumsfeld, or was that manufactured somewhere else? Because all of my CIA colleagues disputed that, and so did the 9-11 Commission.
And 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 and that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?
RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven't lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn't lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate. And he presented that to the United Nations.
The president spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence people and he went to the American people and made a presentation. I'm not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.
McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were.
RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and we were just --
McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and north, east, south, and west of there. Those are your words.
RUMSFELD: My words -- my words were that -- no, no, no wait a minute, wait a minute. Let him stay one second. Just a second.
McGOVERN: This is America.
RUMSFELD: You're getting plenty of play, sir.
McGOVERN: I'd just like an honest answer.
RUMSFELD: I'm giving it to you.
McGOVERN: We're talking about lies, and your allegation that there was "bulletproof" evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Was that a lie or were you misled?
RUMSFELD: Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.
McGOVERN: Zarqawi? He was in the north of Iraq in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That's where he was.
RUMSFELD: He was also in Baghdad.
McGOVERN: Yeah, when he needed to go to the hospital. Come on, these people aren't idiots. They know the story.
RUMSFELD: You are -- let me give you an example. 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?
They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons. 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.
McGOVERN: That's what we call a non sequitur. It doesn't matter what the troops believe, it matters what you believe.
I'm a trained journalist, and this is not journalism. This is not even biased journalism; it is a complete misrepresentation of the truth. In other words, Rummie may be a lying bastard - but those who hide that fact are worse.
It's time to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
Or if you prefer a more Libertarian approach - ignore the MSM. There's no sense wasting precious photons or brain space on lies and pandering.
However, as a Libertarian, I then feel that television and radio should pay fair market value for their right to "free speech."
tag: conservatism, national security, liberalism, rumsfield, Ray McGovern, MSM