I was quite struck by two features of this AP article, Rumsfeld Is Confronted by Antiwar Protesters, on Rumsfeld’s encounter with Ray McGovern.
Consider the first three paragraphs:
ATLANTA, May 4 — Antiwar protesters repeatedly interrupted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during a speech Thursday, and one man, a former CIA analyst, accused him in a question-and-answer session of lying about prewar intelligence on Iraq.
“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.
First, note that neither here nor elsewhere in the article does the reporter note that McGovern read Rumsfeld his own statement. The result is to suggest the trading of accusations, not the allegation of a fact and the failure to respond to it.
Second, and most shocking of all, the reporter seems utterly unfazed by the idea that asking a tough question in a public meeting might suffice as grounds to have security wrestle McGovern away. Only Rumsfeld’s indulgence, he ‘waved off security guards’ saved him.
How have we come to this?