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Protesters Disrupt Rumsfeld Speech & Tell Him: "You're Fired! Your Foreign Policy Is Based on Lies"

September 11, 2003

The two protesters held a sign reading "bloody hands" and kept screaming as security guards dragged them out of the National Press Club.

A transcript of the interaction between the protesters and Rumsfeld:

The war that began two years ago tomorrow, the global war on terror, is well begun, but it has only just begun. A good deal has been accomplished. The president has rallied and sustained possibly the largest coalition of countries in human history — some 90 nations, nearly half the world, are engaged in the global war on terror.

Within weeks of being attacked, coalition forces were responding in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban and put al Qaeda on the run in a matter of months.

Protester: Mr. Rumsfeld, you’re fired! Your foreign policy is based on lies. The war in Iraq is unjust and illegal, and the occupation is immoral. There are U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq —

Audience Member: Go home!

Protester: — every day! Still dying! Bring the troops home now.

Protester: Tell us when the troops are coming home!

Protesters: (Chanting.) Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say? — How many troops did you kill today?! Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say? — How many troops did you kill today?! Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say? — How many troops did you kill today?! (Hecklers escorted out of room.)

Rumsfeld: Well, now. (Laughter.) You know, I just came in from Baghdad, and there are now over 100 newspapers in the free press in Iraq in a free Iraq, where people are able to say whatever they wish. People are debating, people are discussing — something they have not done for decades. So, if one looks back just four and a half months ago, that regime was still in place, it was still creating mass graves and filling them with bodies of innocent men, women and children. It still had prisons still where they were executing people. It was still repressing thought and speech in that country, and that has ended. Those people are liberated. (Applause.)

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