NEW: ‘The U.S. Surveillance State’
Ray Sept. 18, 2014 presentation at California State University, Chico. Ray’s talk goes from minute 8 to 43; followed by panel discussion.
NEW: The morning after Ray took part in the U.S.-Russia Forum in Moscow (Sept. 8 & 9) he was interviewed by Alexandr Khristenko of Rossiya 1 TV for its 60 Minutes-type Sunday evening program ‘News of the Week,’ which aired on Sept. 14. Cameramen shot the video as Khristenko and Ray walked through the Arbat, an historic district of Moscow. The footage and commentary comprise roughly the second half of the program from minute 8:00 to 13:00.
To see the video, click on the above link and then on the first button ‘видиорелортаж‘ (on the button you will see a small video camera) in upper left-hand corner; this will launch the TV program. (Ray hopes to find time soon to translate the text into English.)
The segment bears the title: "Intelligence Veterans Summon Obama to Sanity,” and two of VIPS’ recent issuances are specifically cited:
1- Memorandum for the President; May 4; ‘Needed: Urgent Action on Ukraine’ (re need for a ceasefire followed by Obama-Putin summit); and
2- Memorandum for Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; August 29; ‘Ukraine and NATO’ (urging Merkel to kick the tires of any intelligence cart rolled out by NATO allies with blemished records for trustworthiness).
Alexandr Khristenko also had conducted a ten-minute interview of Ray upon his arrival in Moscow on Sept. 7; that interview “looped” several times on TV channel Rossiya 24 on Sept. 8. Some of the English is audible under the dubbing:
NEW: DVD with the presentations of all 24 speakers at the National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Special Relationship,’ at the National Press Club on March 7, 2014, can be ordered at:
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/ (Scroll down the column on the right.)
DVD includes talks by Stephen Walt, Paul Findley, Paul Pillar, Phil Giraldi, Alison Weir, and Ray. As we posted last March, YouTube carried Ray’s 20-minunte talk, ‘Does Israel Act Like a U.S. Ally?’ at:
NEW: Ray discusses how far our government has strayed from the Constitution – at a Sacramento, CA, gathering organized by the ACLU, Veterans for Peace, and others: Sept. 23, 2014 (1 hour; plus Q & A)
Obama’s Sept. 24 UN Speech: Divorced From Reality
The President spoke as Ray was winding up 12 days of speaking/interviews/etc. in northern California – mostly at colleges. En route to Santa Rosa from Sacramento, Ray took some notes on Obama’s fulsome rhetoric, found a quiet corner at a McDonalds, and gave this interview to Jeffrey Blankfort of KZYX, Mendocino. The conversation begins with the “howlers” that leap out of a speech that could have been written by Franz Kafka in his prime. Ray is asked to address other issues, as well – including Syria, Ukraine, and “wise-man” Bobby Gates. (35 min.)
In ‘Watch Lists & the First and Fourth Amendments’ (Sept. 25), Peter Van Buren homes in on the State Department’s BOLO (Be On Lookout) for Ray that has just been lifted, and puts into wider perspective the indignities Ray suffered for simply standing up quietly and turning his back on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"Be On the Lookout Alert” (BOLO) warning about Ray as been rescinded, according to the pro bono attorneys at the Foundation for Civil Justice Fund, who have filed a civil rights lawsuit on his behalf. This is a significant first-step victory.
London Real TV did an unusual tour d'horizon-type interview with Ray in London
The interview was not devoted to current crises per se -- like Ukraine -- but also to wider issues, including what draws Ray to activism. Here's the link to the FULL INTERVIEW (you may wish to skip the commercials from 5:35 to 10:20)
“Ukraine: Russia was always elected to be the enemy”
On the 2nd day of the NATO summit (Sept. 5), Ray gave an interview in Berlin to Nadja Vancauwenberghe, Editor of “Exberliner Magazine.” The resulting article, published in English on Sept. 11, addresses the summit then under way and also includes in one convenient write-up a lot of what Ray has been saying/writing about Ukraine/NATO/Russia over recent months.
The West vs. Russia: Divorce or Just Long-Term Separation?
In Moscow, Ray joins RT’s Crosstalk program with Gilbert Doctorow, Nicolai Petro, and host Peter Lavelle to discuss this issue against the background of Ukraine.
September 9, 2014 (25 min.)
Ray interviewed by Rossiya 24 upon arrival in Moscow, September 7
Wide-ranging interview is airing on Rossiya 24 several times on Sept. 8.
RT/Berlin Interviews Ray on NATO and Ukraine against the background of VIPS Memorandum to Angela Merkel cautioning her about faux intelligence
May 4, 2014 (5 minutes)
Ukraine and NATO: Caveat Emptor
VIPS Memo for Chancellor Angela Merkel, August 31 2014
A Cheney Anniversary – Honesty Still in Short Supply
By Ray McGovern, August 26, 2014
Russia’s Humanitarian “Invasion” of Ukraine
By Ray McGovern, August 23, 2014
RT’s Crosstalk: Russian Foreign Policy
Ray joins Martin McCauley & Nebojsa Malic in discussion
August 21, 2014 (24 min.)
Ray gives interview to TeleSUR/English on the long awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture
August 13, 2014 (5 min., from 2:20 to 7:30)
Not to hold your breath; it is a case of Waiting for Godot – a pas de deux being danced by CIA Director John Brennan and Sen. Dianne Feinstein with Obama humming the music. A brief year ago, Feinstein sat atop Brennan’s dance card, but he kept stepping on her feet.
The elderly Senator has shown she can still dance. Indeed, she cannot afford to be a wallflower, because she and her co-opted colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee have had guilty knowledge of horrific (as well as just plain unconstitutional) intelligence abuses and have kept their mouths shut. And so the complicity is uneasily shared by both sides (three, if you count the faux judges who acquiesce in frequent invocation of the “State Secret Privilege,” as well as the co-opted judges of the feckless FISA court).
And so the dance goes on and Obama keeps humming. He would probably like to stop the music and release the report on CIA torture but, in doing so, he would cross Establishment Washington. Besides, he lacks the guts. So does Feinstein, who is empowered under the law to publish the report herself, with the approval of the whole Senate (though nobody seems to know that). Ray thinks Obama and Feinstein live in fear of retaliation from the unsavory thugs let loose during the Cheney/Bush years – who are cut from the same cloth as those who killed John F. Kennedy.
US Intelligence Vets Criticize Obama for Peddling Weak MH17 Evidence
By Matthew Phelan, August 18, 2014
When you’re not part of the Fawning Corporate Media, you can do a creditable job assessing what VIPS is, and what we’ve been trying hard to do since Jan. 2003.
A USS Liberty Hero’s Passing
By Ray, August 17, 2014
Were it not for the bravery and ingenuity of young seaman Terry Halbardier, Israel would have achieved its mission to sink the Liberty and kill all 294 crew.
“If you blow the whistle, you should be thanked ... and certainly shouldn’t be punished:” President Obama, Aug. 7, 2014
Comment, including Ray’s, posted by the COURAGE FOUNDATION
“The world needs truth tellers; they need COURAGE.”
Posted on August 13, 2014
“If you blow the whistle, you should be thanked. You should be protected for doing the right thing. You shouldn’t be ignored and you certainly shouldn’t be punished.”
These were the surprising words of President Obama on 7 August 2014, as he signed a $16 billion bill to improve veterans’ access to medical care. The bill followed a report from the Department for Veterans’ Affairs, which confirmed many of the complaints whistleblowers had been making – waiting lists were indeed being manipulated to hide how long veterans were having to wait for medical appointments.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claims that the Administration has “made important progress” in “protecting whistleblowers” and “disclosing previously classified information.” Earnest cites the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act as evidence that the Administration has “fought for and won better protections for whistleblowers.”
But the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that the White House claims offers better protections for whistleblowers is limited.
...Blowing the whistle within official channels does not guarantee public disclosure of the information and does little to facilitate what Yochai Benkler has called “accountability leaks… that challenge systemic practices.”
At any rate, it is not the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act for which this Presidency is likely to be remembered but the intelligence whistleblowers who have faced severe reprisals on its watch. The Obama Administration, famously, has initiated eight prosecutions under the Espionage Act - more uses of the 1917 Act than all previous US presidents combined.
Ray McGovern, a former CIA senior analyst, founder of whistleblower group Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), responded to Obama’s comments saying, “President Obama is giving hypocrisy a bad name.”
McGovern, who is also a member of Courage’s advisory board, said:
Obama’s record speaks for itself; he has prosecuted more than twice as many whistleblowers – for espionage, no less – than all former presidents combined. As for those whose crimes have been whistle-blown upon, like those who did the torture, Obama continues to call them ‘patriots.’ Former CIA operative John Kiriakou, who opposed torture, sits in a Pennsylvania prison allegedly because he revealed the name of one of the torturers.
Too bad Kafka is dead.
The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities
By Ray McGovern, August 13, 2014
The East Germans started building the wall on August 13, 1961. It fell 28 years later. But like Humpty Dumpty, lasting peace in Europe could not be put together again. Here Ray (and Bill Bradley) discuss why. Don’t miss the embedded 6-minute video showing Bradley’s frustration.
The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture
By Ray McGovern, August 12, 2014
Top CIA lawyer honored... now squirming
RT interviews Ray on fresh, post-Snowden leaks on U.S. intelligence abuses
August 5, 2014 (5 min)
email Ray: firstname.lastname@example.org follow Ray on twitter: @raymcgovern
With Coleen Rowley, FBI (ret.)
Preparing to speak at rally before White House, June 16, 2014
"The Usual Suspects" after "Beyond Orwell -- Surveillance, Secrets, & Whistleblowing" event at Georgetown University, April 22, 2014