NEW: Still Waiting For USS Liberty’s Truth
By Ray McGovern
NEW: Unshackling the Reality of the USS Liberty
By Greg Maybury
An Obama Anniversary Worth Noting
By Ray McGovern
We should have seen it coming. Exactly eight years ago came a clear sign that prudence dictated a hard look into the mouth of this gift (Trojan?) horse running for President. It was Barack Obama’s capitulation to NSA and the giant telecoms that should have raised our antennae higher.
As soon as Obama-the-candidate went back on his earlier promise, and said he had decided to vote, after all, for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation holding the telecoms and NSA harmless for having trashed the Bill of Rights, Ray wrote him a letter. Neither Obama nor John Brennan, the trustee who had just become Obama’s principal adviser on such issues, wrote back.
For a trip down memory lane, here’s the text, originally posted on afterdowningstreet.org:
* * *
Ray McGovern's Response to Obama's FISA Explanation
It's a Deal Breaker for This Intelligence Officer
Submitted by Ray McGovern on July 3, 2008 - 11:11pm.
July 3, 2008
Dear Senator Obama,
I speak from 30 years of experience in intelligence work. I don't know who actually briefed you on the eavesdropping legislation, but the bill is unnecessary for intelligence collection and POISON for our civil liberties—not even to mention the unconscionable retroactive immunity provision.
You have made a big mistake, Senator, in indicating you intend to vote for it. There is still time to change your mind. That's what big people do.
Your penultimate paragraph seals it for me. What you are saying relies not on principle—and still less on respect for the law, or respect for our Constitutional rights.
What I hear you saying is an all too familiar refrain: "Tough s___, progressive voter. You know you've got nowhere else to go. You want McCain in there?"
A painful reminder that the Republicans have no corner on arrogance. You think you have us over a barrel. Well let me tell you something those suits from K Street haven't told you; you need our active support, and you are about to blow it.
Your "explanation" was unworthy of one who has sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States (including the Fourth Amendment).
And your attitude is not that of a person I THOUGHT was different—and would be genuinely for change I could believe in.
We live just a couple of miles from where George Mason is buried. (As you may remember, professor of the Constitution that you have been, Mason actually refused to approve the Constitution—although he and fellow Virginian James Madison had pretty much drafted it—BECAUSE IT LACKED THE BILL OF RIGHTS).
Well, the air is still this evening. Our windows are open and George Mason can be heard tossing and turning in his grave, loudly moaning. Yes, moaning.
I went over to his grave; between the moans he explained that he had just heard of your plan to play fast and loose with his beloved Bill of Rights. "Hard to enjoy the Fourth tomorrow with the Constitution being shredded Right and Left," he whispered.
Remember, Senator, what Emerson said about those unable to change their "little" minds. Beware the K Street hobgoblins!
Again: Dissing us by the "So-you-want-McCain?" riposte is unworthy. Not only is it clear that you are "mis-underestimating" us but, frankly, I find it insulting.
Please get back on track.
US Army Infantry/Intelligence Officer: 1962-64
CIA Analyst, 1963-1990
Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Ray Gets Letter Printed in WashPost
Letters to the Editor, Washington Post, July 1, 2015
McCain, Ukraine and Mr. Putin
In his June 28 Sunday Opinion essay, “The Ukraine cease-fire fiction,” Sen. John McCain was wrong to write that Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea without provocation.
What about the coup in Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, that replaced President Viktor Yanukovych with pro-Western leaders favoring membership in NATO? Was that not provocation enough?
This glaring omission is common in The Post. The March 10 World Digest item “Putin had early plan to annex Crimea” described a “secret meeting” Mr. Putin held on Feb. 23, 2014, during which “Russia decided it would take the Crimean Peninsula.” No mention was made of the coup the previous day.
I have searched in vain for credible evidence that, before the coup, Mr. Putin had any intention to annex Crimea. George Friedman, the widely respected president of the think tank Stratfor, has described the putsch on Feb. 22, 2014, as “the most blatant coup in history.”
Ray McGovern, Arlington
The writer is former chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch of the CIA.
Why Let the Torturers Off the Hook?
Sonali Kokhatkar of KPFK's Uprising Radio interviews Ray
June 25, 2015 (19 min.); Click “Listen to this segment”
Formal Presentation of Framed Sam Adams Award Citation to Bill Binney
The occasion was the annual meeting of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters, June 13, 2015, at the BWI Doubletree Hotel -- oddly, surrounded by NSA buildings in Linthicum, MD. John Henry of the Committee for the Republic hosted the evening program titled: "The National Security Agency's War on the U.S. Constitution"
Main speakers were William Binney, Kirk Wiebe, Thomas Drake, and James Bamford. Bruce Fein, John Henry, and Ray McGovern also spoke.
The Committee for the Republic was eager provide an appropriate occasion for Binney to receive the framed citation (in English and German) for the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. The paper citation and traditional corner-brightener candlestick holder was originally presented to Binney at an SRO ceremony in Berlin on January 22, 2015.
Ed Snowden, who was live-streamed into that Berlin ceremony, emphasized, "Without Bill Binney there would be no Ed Snowden." Bill, in turn, had been greatly encouraged by the courageous, principled stand taken by Tom Drake in facing down the U.S. Department of Justice and NSA successfully, after four years of persecution that included government-provided "evidence" proven in Court to have been forged.
Actually, in a very real sense, it was a triple play: Drake to Binney to Snowden. So it was altogether appropriate that Tom Drake be the former Sam Adams Associate honoree to present the framed award to Bill Binney on June 13, 2015 in the belly of the (NSA) beast.
Tom also had been the clear choice of his colleague Sam Adams Associates to present the 2013 award for integrity to Ed Snowden in Moscow on October 7, 2013. As soon as Ed surfaced in Hong Kong, he made it clear that U.S. government abuse of Tom had convinced Ed that he had to leave the U.S. in order to achieve his mission and have some chance -- however slight it seemed at the time -- of avoiding spending the rest of his life in prison.
Hats off to Drake to Binney to Snowden: courageous patriots all!
America’s ‘Exceptional’ Negotiations
By Paul Pillar, June 21, 2015
A particularly sensible article by a former colleague of Ray
Will Justice Prevail? Assange’s 3rd anniversary in embassy of Ecuador
“Guantanamo Justice” in Britain (from Sunshine Press)
“19 June 2015 marks three years since Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, entered the embassy of Ecuador in London. He was granted political asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention ... Mr. Assange risks extradition to the US from both the UK and Sweden. He has been detained—without charge—in prison, under house arrest and in the embassy for nearly five years. He has not seen the sun in three years, as the embassy has no outdoor area. ...”
For the entire statement from Sunshine Press, see:
The British say they will arrest Assange the minute he steps outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.
I am reminded that the now defunct Magna Carta, while mocked by the New York Times on its 800th anniversary four days ago – see: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/15/opinion/stop-revering-magna-carta.html?_r=0 – has still not been given a proper burial. Shame on Britain, where the English once had the backbone to stand up to a king.
It is time to end the pretense. There should be a proper funeral, memorial service, and burial for the Magna Carta after eight centuries of protecting the human rights now denied to Julian Assange, to those in Guantanamo and to thousands of others now aping our new form of “democracy.”
The lawless U.S. "Justice" Department now plays the role of king, and British lawyers shame their ancestors, as well as their profession, in bowing low to carry out Washington's diktat regarding Julian Assange – as in so many other matters.
Sadly, this should come as no surprise. London’s agile lawyers did backflips to apply a veneer of legality to "justify" the U.S./U.K. attack on Iraq, launching what the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal defined as a "war of aggression" with its "accumulated evil" of kidnapping and torture, in which the British also cooperated.
“British Law” has become an oxymoron. And only a moron could be blind to the reality that Britain's servile lawyers are putty in Washington's hands. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had no business being at Runnymede on June 15 to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. Neither did the queen, nor any of today's much more malleable British barons.
Veterans Urge Drone Operators to Refuse Orders to Fly
Many U.S. military veterans are counseling military drone operators to refuse to fly drone surveillance/attack missions, and are sponsoring prime-time television commercials urging drone operators to "refuse to fly."
In a letter released today by KnowDrones.com, 44 former members of the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines whose ranks range from private to colonel ... “urge United States drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/assassination missions. Such missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.”
John Oliver on torture
June 14, 2015 (15 min.)
Barack Obama: No Jack Kennedy
By Ray McGovern, June 10, 2015
“Hohe Einsaetze fuer die G7” – High Stakes For the G-7
(“Analyse von Ray McGovern”)
German translation published on June 8 of Obama’s ‘G-1-plus-6’
Obama’s ‘G-1-plus-6’: Will Neocons Celebrate w/Bavarian Beer?
By Ray McGovern, June 7, 2015
Betrayed by Our Government
The Costs of Needless War: Deceased, Injured Veterans, Families; Moral Injury
Phil Donahue moderator: Kevin Lucey, Matthew Hoh, Ray McGovern, Cathy Smith
Sponsored by Military Families Speak Out
Left Panel Forum, John Jay University, New York, NY, May 30, 2015
How wonderful to have Phil Donahue back leading the discussion, 13 years after he was unceremoniously fired by MSNBC just three weeks before the U.S./U.K. attack on Iraq. Phil had the temerity to give airtime to guests opposed to the looming war. Owned largely by war profiteer General Electric, MSNBC explained in an internal memo leaked to the press that Phil would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war.”
Ray led off the panel discussion, but contributed little that might be new to readers of this website. In contrast, the sharing by Matthew Hoh, Kevin Lucey, and Cathy Smith is not to be missed. Matthew speaks of the moral injury so prevalent among combat veterans (minute 23:40 to 33:10); Kevin then describes what led his son, Marine Cpl. Jeffrey M. Lucey to take his own life and the toll that such loss exacts on families and friends (minute 33:50 to 48:15); and Cathy Smith, mother of Army Pvt. Tomas Young, wounded in Baghdad and paralyzed from the waist down, speaks briefly of the ordeal Tomas and those around him endured for the ten years before he died (minute 1:00:00 to 1:05:00).
Tomas’s spirit was indomitable; while he was still able, he no doubt saved many young lives and limbs by warning others not to let themselves be betrayed by politicians. Included after the link below is a short excerpt from a letter Tomas wrote to Bush and Cheney before he died.
Body of War, a documentary directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, follows Tomas as he adjusts to his paralysis and reflects on the lies responsible for so much death and injury. Short clips of the film are shown as part of the discussion. A lively Q&A follows, punctuated – thank goodness – by a few hilarious moments courtesy of Phil.
After clicking on the link below, scroll either right or down to “Left Forum 2015 Military Families Speak Out.” The entire event runs 1 hour, 48 minutes. You may find the above breakdown into segments by minutes helpful.
Excerpt from Tomas Young’s “Last Letter” – A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran
”I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.“
Open Letter to Angela Merkel: End Germany’s Role in Drone Killings
The U.S. Satellite Relay Station at Ramstein plays an essential role in ALL drone killings in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa. Given recent revelations in the media, Merkel can no longer feign ignorance. The open letter from U.S. activists challenges her to summon the courage to show some independence and enforce German and international law.
If Berlin will not do this as a matter of principle, then it should at least look at it in terms of Germany’s self-interest. Will Germany be able to prevent retaliation from the extended family members and friends of those murdered? Is it not clear to Merkel that craven complicity in cowardly computer console killing is likely to backfire against the German citizens Merkel is sworn to protect?
Ed Snowden: Livestreamed Q & A w/Amnesty International in UK
June 2, 2015 (42 minutes, beginning at min. 3:15)
Many key questions asked and answered.
Resurgence of the ‘Surge’ Myth
By Ray, May 28, 2015
How to Honor Memorial Day
How about trying a little honesty?
By Ray McGovern, May 24, 2015
Ray’s Remarks at UNAC Conference
It was the May weekend to celebrate the 70th anniversary of V/E and also Mother’s Day, so Ray sought help in the words of the “Poet of Russian Sorrow,” Nikolay Nekrasov, Julia Ward Howe, and Thomas Merton in giving a short talk on May 9, 2015 at the National Conference of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) in Secaucus, NJ. (Panel speakers were each given 7 minutes; Ray’s come between minutes 1:06:05 to 1:13:30.)
Ray reads an excerpt from a Merton poem, cited by James Douglass in his masterful JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters. Douglass writes:
“I first wrote Thomas Merton in 1961, at his monastery, the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, after reading a poem he had published in the Catholic Worker. Merton’s poem was really an anti-poem, spoken by the commandant of a Nazi death camp. It was titled: ‘Chant to be Used in Processions around a Site with Furnaces.’
“Merton’s ‘Chant’ proceeded matter-of-factly through the speaker’s daily routine of genocide to these concluding lines:
‘Do not think yourselves better because you burn up friends and enemies with long-range missiles without ever seeing what you have done.’”
“Close Ramstein Now” and “Consequential Corruption at CIA”
Two interviews of Ray at United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Conference, Secaucus, NJ, May 10, 2015 (6 minutes total)
William & Mary Honors War Criminal
By Ray McGovern, May 17, 2015
The Phony 'Bad Intel' Defense on Iraq
Ray McGovern: Free speech tamped down in US
PressTV interviews Ray on sentencing of Jeffrey Sterling
May 11, 2015 (7 minutes)
Punishing Another Whistleblower, Jeffrey Sterling
May 12, 2015
CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Speaks Out
ExposeFacts Documentary Starring Sterling, 15 minues
Obama’s Petulant WWII Snub of Russia
By Ray McGovern
The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence
Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.
How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?
From the Archive: The mainstream U.S. media is marking the Vietnam War’s end 40 years ago with superficial remembrances that downplay the horror that the U.S. military inflicted on the Vietnamese. That prevents the real Vietnam lessons from illuminating today’s conflicts, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern noted in 2014.
Ray Discusses Thursday’s House Committee’s Vote on Patriot Act
RT International, April 30, 2015 (5 minutes)
European Commission to Germany: Please explain why Berlin’s NSA subsidiary has been allowed to run amok
The camel’s back in Berlin will bend still lower with this straw: German-U.S. ties under further strain.
Presstv interviews Ray, April 30 (5 minutes)
Whistleblowers Sound the Alarm at the National Press Club on April 27
Bill Binney, Tom Drake, Dan Ellsberg, Ray, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley, and Kirk Wiebe give short presentations, in alphabetical order, followed by questions. Norman Solomon, who leads ExposeFacts.org, a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy, took the lead arranging this event. The NYT and WaPo reporters apparently were too busy to cover this unique event, but several others took part. Check it out on YouTube:
Paying Attention to the Horrors of War
As promised yesterday, here is a translation of the poem by Nikolai Nekrasov chosen by Ray for his talk at the Moscow commemoration of the 70thanniversary of the meeting of Russian and American forces on the Elbe, April 25, 1945, two weeks before V/E day.
Poetry always looses something in translation, and this is no exception. Ray has tried to be literal without undue sacrifice to verse and feeling. A lot is lost, though; so the original is included. The Russian is taken from Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 27, 2015, http://www.msk.kp.ru/daily/26372.5/3252925/
Рэй Макговерн декламировал по-русски
стихи Николая Некрасова:
Внимая ужасам войны,
Heeding the horrors of war,
При каждой новой жертве боя
At every new victim of battle
Мне жаль не друга, не жены,
I feel sorry not for his friend, nor for his wife,
Мне жаль не самого героя.
I feel sorry not even for the hero himself.
Увы! утешится жена,
Alas, the wife will be comforted,
И друга лучший друг забудет;
And best friends forget their friend;
Но где-то есть душа одна –
But somewhere there is one soul –
Она до гроба помнить будет!
Who will remember unto the grave!
Средь лицемерных наших дел
Amidst the hypocrisy of our affairs
И всякой пошлости и прозы
And all the banality and triviality
Одни я в мир подсмотрел
Unique among what I have observed in the world
Святые, искренние слезы –
Sacred, sincere tears -
То слезы бедных матерей!
The tears of poor mothers!
Им не забыть своих детей,
They do not forget their own children,
Погибших на кровавой ниве,
Who have perished on the bloody battlefield,
Как не поднять плакучей иве
Just as the weeping willow never lifts
Своих поникнувших ветвей.
Its dangling branches.
70th Anniversary of Meeting of Russian & American troops on the Elbe Celebrated With Speeches, Poetry, Song, and Planting of Birch Tree in Moscow Park
By Aleksei Pankin, April 25, 2015, w/photos and video, in mass-circulation Komsomolskaya Pravda.
It was a heat-warming observance of the victory of our wartime Grand Alliance...and what might be possible again today, were leaders of the "sole indispensable" country inclined to give more respect to the strategic interests of former allies.
Ray contributed a favorite poem -- one by Nicolai Nekrasov (the "Poet of Russian Sorrow") and led the singing of "Katyusha." We'll post an English translation of the poem tomorrow.
Gen. Petraeus: Too Big to Jail
By Ray, April 23, 2015
The West Snubs Russia Over V-E Day
By Ray McGovern, April 20, 2015
Russia Impinges on Israel’s ‘Right’ to Bomb Iran
By Ray, April 14, 2015
American neocons are in a lather over Russia’s decision to go ahead with the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. The apparent outrage is that Iran thinks it has a right to protect its citizens from Israel’s ‘right’ to launch airstrikes on Iran.
Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Middle East
By Ray McGovern, April 13, 2015
Wolfowitz: Excellent Adventures possible because Moscow “Won’t Stop Us.”
The Nasty Blowback From America’s Wars
By Ray, April 12, 2015
CAUTION: The embedded videos will disturb anyone with a conscience
Ray on RT America TV’s “Hawk’s Nest,” April 8, 2015
4th Estate Dead; but 5th Estate coming into its own – so there’s hope; US-Russia-Crimea; Russian “hacking;” cyber warfare; how we, and particularly young people, can help put our Constitution back together (8 minutes).
Judith Miller’s Blame-Shifting Memoir
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Why Iran Distrusts the US in Nuke Talks
By Ray McGovern
Facts not normally judged to be "fit to print"
Inimitable friend and fellow Bronxite Danny Schechter, the News Dissector, now dissecting the news from a different perch, informing/challenging new Powers-That-Be.
For those who know Danny, the customary “REST in Peace” will sound odd – and unworkable. Danny, we miss you; give ‘em hell up there with Nelson and others who – like you – pursued Justice fearlessly and whom you brought to life for the rest of us!
Below is a link to an unusually informative “obit,” followed by links to two articles Danny published early last year in Consortiumnews.com:
CIA Slush Fund for Karzai Tapped to Pay al-Qaeda to free Afghan Captive; $1 million from CIA + $4 million from “allies” and, poof, he’s free.
On March 16, RT America News asked Ray how this could be. (Segment runs from minute 4:40 to 12:15.)
CIA Director Brennan’s Restructuring Plan: How to Make Things Even Worse
Ray explains why, as soon as Brennan provided some detail on what he has in mind, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) reacted as quickly – and as strongly – as they did on March 9 (see: https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/09/us-intel-vets-oppose-brennans-cia-plan/.)
In this March 11 interview with Scott Horton of antiwar.com, Ray also touches on Germany’s opposition to strong pressure in U.S. to give arms to Ukraine and prospects for the current ceasefire. (18 minutes total: try min. 0.45 to 9:40; then 10:40 to 21:00, if you’re allergic to commercials)
Guiding Obama into Global Make-Believe
By Ray McGovern
Especially hard to distinguish between intelligence and “information warfare” on Ukraine
Michael Hayden takes gratuitous swipe at Germany; Ray speculates on why
Live RT International interview March 11, 2015 (4 minutes)
Ex-NSA chief puts Germany in its place; sorry, "Five Eyes" spy club is exclusive; (excerpts)
Michael Hayden (NSA alumni call refer to him as Elmer Fudd) speaks at the once-progressive New America Foundation, March 11, 2015. (RT immediately asked Ray to comment; see above)
Russia Insider has put English subtitles under Russia TV1 expose of Western media campaign to blame Putin for everything – from murder of Boris Nemtsov to the deep snow in Washington, DC.
Includes John Oliver, Ray, others. (5 minutes)
We posted original Russian segment on March 9, the evening it appeared on TV1 (see below).
Ray Paints Putin as Bête Blanche on Russian TV Channel 1 Evening News today (Moscow time)
The ten-minute segment focused on familiar Western media snow-job showing Putin = Pure Evil. Camera crew had to four-wheel it to Ray through heavy snow Friday to tape interview, much of which actually survived (in Russian). Cravenly, Ray seized the opportunity to fall in tune -- sort of – with the U.S. media that find all manner of reasons to paint Putin bête noire. Ray painted him bête blanche, as well, for arranging for so much snow to be dumped on Washington (Channel 1 actually left that part in).
In more serious vein, there is nothing remotely like this critique of U.S. media in U.S. media (surprise, surprise). Not even (as far as I know) by Jon Stewart -- not even by democracynow, which is still using labels like “pro-Russian separatists” for those more accurately as described as anti-coup federalists.
Speaking of which, this story on page A6 of today’s Washington Post, says it all – or maybe not all. Does anyone notice anything missing?
Putin had early plan to annex Crimea
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described a secret meeting with officials in February 2014 during which Russia decided it would take the Crimean Peninsula, the Black Sea region that Moscow annexed from Ukraine a month later.
In a trailer for an upcoming documentary, shown on state-owned television Sunday, Putin said he met with security officials early last year to make plans for saving Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych, who soon fled the country in the face of months of protests. Putin said that after the meeting he told the security chiefs that they would be “obliged to start working to return Crimea to Russia.”
He said the meeting was held Feb. 23, 2014, almost a month before a referendum in Crimea that Moscow has said was the basis for annexing the region.
— Associated Press
And so it goes.
Petraeus: Poster Child for Double Standards
By Melvin A. Goodman, March 9, 2015
US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s Plan to Restructure CIA
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), March 9, 2015
VIPS Memo: Curbs Needed on Surveillance State
March 5, 2015
This memo discusses in some detail how close we now are to what Ed Snowden called “turnkey tyranny,” and offers constructive suggestions as to how we can remain free. It was drafted by longtime NSA official Edward Loomis who, together with William Binney and Kirk Wiebe quit NSA when Director Michael Hayden decided (now by his own admission) that he had the power to suspend the 4th Amendment – previously known at NSA as its “First Commandment.” The memo is meant as follow-up to our VIPS Memorandum of Jan. 7, 2014:
“NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong:
Gen. Petraeus: Too Big to Jail
While “lesser” Americans face years in jail for leaking secrets – even to inform fellow citizens of government abuses – retired Gen. David Petraeus gets a misdemeanor wrist-slap for exposing covert officers and lying about it, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was jailed just for trying to ask Petraeus a question.
RT’s Crosstalk: Dangerously Spinning the Russia Story
Gil Doctorow, Neil Clark, and Ray discuss the yellow-journalism commentary on the murder of opposition figure Boris Nemstov and on the Ukraine conflict.
March 1, 2015, video (25 min.)
The War on Whistleblowers
Brave New Films
NOT TO MISS!
A Lucky Day (Ray gets into the Times once every 10 years)
To the Editor of the New York Times:
February 25, 20015; page A22
The headline of David Cole’s essay asks, “Did the Torture Report Give the C.I.A. a Bum Rap?” We should recall that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “torture report,” which rebutted C.I.A. claims that torture worked, was based on original C.I.A. documents.
Mirabile dictu, Mr. Cole gives the C.I.A.’s rebuttal equal weight: “When one places the C.I.A.’s accounts of the 20 cases side by side with the committee’s accounts, however, the truth is far from clear.”
As a former Army intelligence officer, I was proud when the Army’s chief of intelligence, Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, said at a 2006 Pentagon news conference: “No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tells us that.”
General Kimmons’s gutsy words were meant as a pre-emptive rebuttal of claims by President Bush just hours later that his “alternative set of procedures” yielded good intelligence.
The writer served as an Army intelligence officer from 1962 to 1964 and as a C.I.A. analyst for the next 27 years. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
I was an American sniper, and Chris Kyle’s war was not my war
By Garett Reppenhagen, VoteVets.org , February 21, 2015
A must-read antidote to Clint Eastwoodism
Rabble Rousers: Peace Activists Give Food for Thought
By Jacquelin Agostini, February 20, 2015
Ray was happy to spend February 14 at Sacred Heart parish, Camden, NJ, discussing the moral imperative of activism. It was a particular honor to be asked to share the podium with the Pastor of Sacred Heart, Fr. Michael Doyle of “The Camden 28,” and Bonnie and John Raines of the “Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI.”
Bonnie and John were part of a smaller group, which, on March 8, 1971, mounted a small raid on the FBI office in Media, PA, removing files that documented serious FBI crimes like COINTELPRO. They were never caught. Five months later, “The Camden 28” raided a Selective Service office in Camden, but the action was sabotaged by a FBI infiltrator.
After an historic trial in Camden, the jury decided that those committing this high-profile act of nonviolent civil disobedience in protest of an unjust war did the right thing. They were acquitted on all counts.
Good news: There is a very professional, and very moving, documentary on this, called “The Camden 28.” More good news: now there's one on the Media, PA, raid, as well, called simply, "1971."
When I was in NYC in early February for my Court appearance, I was invited to see this gripping new film by Johanna Hamilton, telling the story of the courageous folks who raided the FBI office in Media 44 years ago, escaped with documents more valuable than they could ever have imagined, and kept their involvement quiet until they announced it last year. This was no small embarrassment to J. Edgar Hoover and his stalwarts. It was not as though they were after professional criminals like Willie Sutton.
Stay tuned for further information regarding when and where to see “1971.”
Shocked Over Senate’s Gitmo Rhetoric
Helen Schietinger of Witness Against Torture asks Sen. McCain to reflect on whether the hate-speech of his colleagues earn them the epithet “lowlife scum.”
U.S. Drone Pilot Turns His Back and Walks Away
When Silencing Dissent Isn’t News
By Robert Parry
Veteran investigative journalist looks at Ray’s arrest and Oct. 30/31 jailing overnight in the “The Tombs” of NY Criminal Court with some informed commentary re what silence of the "mainstream media" tells us about what has become of the Fourth Estate.
Video Shows NYPD Arresting Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern When He Tried to Attend Petraeus Event last October
By Kevin Gosztola
Meanwhile, back in NY Criminal Court on Feb. 4, the Manhattan DA offered Ray an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal), meaning the charges against him of illegal trespass and resisting arrest will disappear after six months, IF Ray behaves as a “law-abiding citizen.” Ably advised by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, his pro bono attorney, Ray accepted the offer.
The Judge then asked him if he understood that he had to be a “law-abiding citizen” for the next six months. The defendant overcame the temptation to comment at some length and replied simply, “I do.” (On learning this, Rita labeled it Ray’s shortest speech ever.) The Judge said nothing about the First Amendment, so Ray is assuming it is still in effect.
After his short “speech,” Ray was interviewed for two minutes in front of the Criminal Court by RT:
A Pointed Letter to Gen. Petraeus
By Ray McGovern, Feb. 3, 2015
Respected German journalist reveals he planted CIA articles under his own name. (Will be interesting to see how “mainstream media” try to suppress or spin this one.)
Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for decades one of Germany's top “mainstream” newspapers, admits he accepted stories written by the CIA and published them under his own name. Ulfkotte said the aim of much of the deception was to drive nations toward war.
He sees that happening again with widespread yellow journalism exaggerating the threat from Russia. So he decided – despite all manner of threats against him – to blow the whistle and expose the widely accepted practice of a corrupt “journalists” beating the drums for war.
Luckily, this could never happen in the United States! Or.....?
Israel “mowing the lawn” in Gaza: Elizabeth Murray interview with Turkish TV (6 and a half minutes)
While in Berlin recently for the Sam Adams Award presentation to Bill Binney, Murray, who was Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East before retiring from the CIA, addressed the unspeakable callousness of Israel and its U.S. supporters toward Palestinians.
The interview alludes to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s outburst at Davos in January 2009, when pro-Israel pundit David Ignatius tried (in vain) to keep Erdogan from directly blasting then-Israeli President Shimon Peres over Israeli actions in Gaza.
For a 3-and-a-half-minute video clip of that revealing contretemps, see:
Erdogan Slams Peres in Davos; “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” & Walks Off Stage
Jan. 29, 2009, ten days after the end of the late 2008-early 2009 Israeli attacks on Gaza.
RT has “tiny, tiny audience in U.S.” Victoria Nuland to Brookings, Jan. 27.
In the last year RT's audience in seven of the largest U.S. cities has doubled; almost three million tune in each week; and RT's presence on YouTube is very large. John Kerry decried RT’s “bullhorn;” and Hillary Clinton spoke of watching RT and finding it “quite instructive.”
Hard to figure how that squares with “tiny, tiny?” “Tiny, tiny,” rather, applies to the amount of credibility to be given Victoria Nuland -- who, together with Kerry and Clinton, are shown in the 3-minute RT video included in: http://www.activistpost.com/2015/01/state-department-discusses-banning.html
Canada’s Global Spying Program Useless, Hinders Anti-Terrorism Efforts
Brief article by Alexander Mosesov, based on tel. interview of Ray, Jan. 29, 2015
What Ray shared were off-the-top-of-the-head remarks; his NSA alumni colleagues have since reassured, however, that he got it right, while keeping the message simple.
Honoring NSA’s William Binney and Ambassador Robert White
By Ray McGovern
In the shadow of Berlin’s Brandenburger Tor, Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence on January 22 presented its annual award to NSA’s former Technical Director Bill Binney and its first posthumous award to former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White – for demonstrating personally what integrity looks like.
Why Does the U.S. continue to incite rather than restrain its puppets in Ukraine? What is preventing Angela Merkel her government from emerging from their 70-year adolescence? And why has NSA’s bulk electronic surveillance not been able to prevent terrorist attacks; why is it actually increasing the danger from terrorists?
RT/Deutsch’s Jasmin Kosubek interviews Ray in Berlin for “Der Fehlende Part” (The Missing Part) program on Jan. 22, 2015 a few hours before the Sam Adams Associates presented this year’s award to former NSA Technical Director, Bill Binney.
Ray’s comments on Ukraine come between minute 5:30 & 11:35; his remarks on NSA’s hare-brained “collect-it-all” approach to data, and that evening’s Sam Adams award ceremony, are seen/heard between minute 15:00 & 19:45.
Most of the exchange is dubbed into German, but much can be heard also in English.
“Der Frieden ist schlecht fuer das Geschaeft” (Peace is Bad For Business)
On Dec. 30, 2014, RT/Deutsch ran recorded remarks by Ray on NATO, the seeds of the crisis in Ukraine, and why the Russians will not back down.
The interview goes for 13 minutes, from a little after minute 1 up to min. 14; there is extensive dubbing into German, but much of the English can also be heard.
NSA Whistle Blower William Binney Wins 2015 Sam Adams Award
By Hanna Borno International Business Times, January 26, 2015
Scroll down to the bottom for video of the entire event, which begins at minute 8:00 and ends at 1 hour, 36 minutes (courtesy RT)
Sam Adams Award 2015 in Berlin: Whistleblowers on Dangers to Democracy
By Charlie Skelton, Huffington Post UK, January 23, 2015
“Whistleblower sind keine Helden, sie sind Menschen wie du und ich!” – Sam Adams Awardverleihung & Videointerview
by Florian Gillberg, January 24, 2015
Whistleblowers should not be pedestalized as “heroes.” Placing them on a pedestal makes it too easy for potential whistleblowers to rationalize failing to act; they tell themselves, “Well, I’m not a hero,” and then do nothing. Whistleblowers, rather, are patriots, who honor the solemn oath they took “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
Those who do not read German can simply scroll down to the 7-minute interview filmed right after the award ceremony, with Bill Binney (2015); Coleen Rowley (2002); Ed Snowden (2013) appearing by livestream; Jesselyn Radack (2011); and Tom Drake (2011), in order of appearance.
U.S. Government Pursuing Courageous Whistleblowers: Former CIA Officer
Ray interviewed on the morning of the Sam Adams award presentation.
RT/Berlin, January 22, 2015, 4 minutes
NOTE: Ray is taking part in the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award ceremony this week in Berlin. Bill Binney is this year's awardee. SAAII website is samadamsaward.ch.
Here is a list of recipients of the award, followed by the year awarded: 1 -- Coleen Rowley -- 2002 2 -- Katharine Gun -- 2003 3 -- Sibel Edmonds -- 2004 4 -- Craig Murray -- 2005 5 -- Sam Provance -- 2006 6 -- Frank Grevil -- 2007 7 -- Larry Wilkerson -- 2009 8 -- Julian Assange -- 2010 9 -- Thomas Drake -- 2011 10 -Jesselyn Radack -- 2011 11 -Thomas Fingar -- 2012 12 -Edward Snowden – 2013 13 -Chelsea Manning – 2014 14 -William Binney – 2015
"The Usual Suspects" after "Beyond Orwell -- Surveillance, Secrets, & Whistleblowing" event at Georgetown University, April 22, 2014
Memorial day in Washington 2015
2 VFP leaders w/ Ray
With Coleen Rowley, FBI (ret.)
email Ray: email@example.com follow Ray on twitter: @raymcgovern
Tom Drake and Bill Binney
Kathy Kelly and Ray in front of CIA HQS