NEW: Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance: (The Ukraine in 50 Years of Context)
By Ray McGovern, April 20, 2014
NEW: Ray interviewed by Scott Horton on radio on afternoon of April 17 right after Putin’s virtuoso performance in Moscow during a 4-hour TV Call-In program:
Putin's interview here:
(Comparisons can be invidious; they can also be instructive. Click on the link immediately above and compare Putin’s marathon but-relaxed interview with similar performances by top U.S. officials before our mainstream presstitutes. You owe it to yourself to sample some of it.) Also, when Scott called Ray, the U.S.-Russia-EU-Ukraine agreement in Geneva on Ukraine had just been announced.
Ray spoke on cellphone from a bench on windy Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, VA. Interview goes until minute 32:30, with a minute out for commercials at minute 11 to 12.
NEW: The Failed Pretext For War: Seymour Hersh, Eliot Higgins, MIT Rocket Scientists On Sarin Gas Attack in Syria, April 15, 2014
The U.S. almost-attack on Syria last September and John Kerry’s estranged relationship with the truth: As usual, the devil (aka the “Father of Lies”) is in the detail, but these damning revelations have been totally censored out of the “mainstream [corporate] media.”
Ukraine: An Unusually Sensible Article
By Gerard M. Gallucci
Gist: Russia has real interests in Ukraine, the West does not. The Ukrainians have fundamental interests. The Western role should be to help them make the best deal possible with Russia while there may still be one to make.
The Russian bear has made monkeys of the West
By Bruce Anderson
In Financial Times, April 16, 2014
… and yet another; campaign $$$$$ and ideologues poison diplomacy by U.S.
Russian Diplomats Are Eating America’s Lunch
By James Bruno, Politico, April 16
Ray interviewed on RT about Ukraine by Sophie Shevardnadze (granddaughter of Gorbachev's foreign minister, Eduard Shevardnadze), who asks some good questions.
29 min (with commercial break from min. 12:30 to min. 16:50)
Second half includes Ray singing WWII Russian love/war song, "Katusha."
CIA Torture More Enhanced than Enhanced
Ray says the CIA’s torture techniques used during the presidency of George W. Bush were identical to methods used by Nazi Germany’s secret police and were at times more enhanced than enhanced.
Together with Mike German (ex-FBI), Julia Angwin (ProPublica), David Pozen (Columbia Law professor), Ray took part in a March 11 panel on “Whistleblowers: Dissenters, Advocates, Criminals, or Loyalists?”
The panel discussion was co-sponsored by the Center on National Security at Fordham Law and PEN American Center, with Suzanne Nossel of PEN moderating. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein provided fresh grist for the discussion earlier that day in a major speech sharply criticizing the CIA.
Ray’s sort-of-prepared remarks go from minute 9:00 to minute 20:30. The Q&As begin at minute 50:30.
Ray interviewed April 7 by Scott Horton on how Obama barely escaped being mousetrapped into another unnecessary war with Syria late last summer.
Ray has time to describe the play-by-play last August/September, when neocons were within hours of getting Obama to attack Syria, but were thwarted this time by senior officials with integrity – first and foremost, JCS Chairman Martin Dempsey. The interview was occasioned by Sy Hersh’s disclosures that morning in his explosive “The Red Line & The Rat Line” (see below) about how the sarin gas attacks near Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013 actually went down. The Fawning Corporate Media has missed this story so far (surprise, surprise).
25 min (from minute 1:00 to 26:00)
Talks, tears highlight rally vs. drones at Whiteman AFB, April 6
Catholic Worker Brian Terrell returned to the scene of the prophetic “crime” for which he spent 6 months in jail. Ray had privilege of joining Brian, intrepid justice and peace advocates from Missouri and elsewhere, and having the opportunity to reflect and speak on the metaphorical irony of “Whiteman.”
The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case: No Solace in Having Been Right
By Robert Parry, August 8, 2014
(The usual suspects are dredging up already discredited “evidence” to support John Kerry claims that the Syrian government was responsible for the Sarin attacks.)
THE REAL DEAL ON SYRIA...
Why Were We Inches Away From War Last Summer?
First, a verse for John Kerry, John Brennan and Turkish PM Erdogan (with apologies to Sir Walter Scott)
Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.
But once we've practiced for a while,
We markedly improve our style.
The Red Line and the Rat Line
By Seymour Hersh, London Review of Books, April 6, 2014
Hersh shows how the neocons and the Turks very nearly mousetrapped Obama into a major war with Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry was not telling the truth on Aug. 30, 2013 when he declared, 35 times, “we know” that the Syrian regime was responsible for the Aug. 21, 2013 chemical event near Damascus. He did NOT know; he adduced no evidence. Hersh presents a convincing case that the perpetrators were NOT the Syrian government but the “rebels.”
While the neocon-dominated media beat the drums for what Kerry called an “unbelievably small war,” Hersh writes that the “small war” was also a fiction. Rather, it was to be Shock and Awe Number 2.
Integrity thwarted it. Honest British and US military and intelligence officers, led by gutsy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, nipped war in the bud. Dempsey told Obama the truth, leaving Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham fulminating as they complained at White House the following day. The neocons would not get their war with Syria.
Worse still from the neocons’ point of view, Vladimir Putin moved quickly to pull Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire by getting the Syrians to agree to give their chemical weapons over to be destroyed.
No wonder the neocons hate Putin so much. I’m reminded of why those “Indian savages” kept hating Gene Autry. They hated him yet from an earlier movie!
The Fawning Corporate Media hate Sy Hersh yet from his stunning first installment of this story on Dec. 8, 2013: Whose SARIN?
This is what Ray wrote at the time: “It is extremely telling that Sy could not find anyone in this country to publish this investigative piece so embarrassing to the powers that be (as well as to lazy journalists). Like Mearsheimer and Walt when they did their major piece on the Israel Lobby, Sy had to go to the London Review of Books.”
Let’s face it: Investigative journalists – the fewof them still left – are an endangered species. Look for the media to do their best to ignore Hersh’s story, as they did with Part One on Dec. 8.
In vivid contrast, Robert Parry of consortiumnews posted this story within an hour or two of when the Hersh article appeared online.
Was Turkey Behind Sarin Attack in Syria?
By Robert Parry, April 6, 2014
At the very outset, when John Kerry said, in effect, “Trust me,” rather than adduce any convincing evidence that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the Aug. 21 chemical attack, Robert Parry smelled a rat. In a relentless string of 15 or so articles, he pursued this story in a way no other journalist did. Do a quick search for “Parry and Syria” on the consortiumnews.com website and peruse this remarkable record.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, too, has a not-too-shabby record. Here are links to three corporate memos warning Gen. Dempsey and President Obama himself. Links to three other relevant articles penned by Ray at the time are also included.
An Appeal to Gen. Dempsey on Syria
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
August 30, 2013, 1330 EDT
Obama Warned on Syria Intel
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
September 6, 2013, 1615 EDT
Time For Proof on Syrian Attack
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) October 1, 2013
* * *
Should We Fall Again For ‘Trust Me’
By Ray McGovern, September 3, 2013
Time to Reveal US Intel on Syria
By Ray McGovern, September 9, 2013
How War on Syria Lost Its Way
By Ray McGovern, September 14, 2013
Back to other current topics...
Ray debates Amy Knight on Ukraine on Aljazeera TV (15 min.)
(Ray has mastered saying Russian, vice "Soviets;" is now learning to say EU rather than "EC.")
Former CIA analyst praises Edward Snowden
From The Joplin Globe, April 4, 2014
Interview with Ray on CIA torture
One need not be a rocket scientist, or a super-analyst, to piece together why current CIA director John Brennan has been delaying release of the comprehensive Senate Intelligence Committee on CIA torture. It is a no-brainer: the report implicates Brennan and some of his closest co-conspirators, including his patron, former CIA director George Tenet – all of whom have gotten away with murder, literally, until now.
Ray comments on one purpose for which torture “works like a charm,” namely, extracting the kind of false information needed to start a war – read Iraq.
After Ray lectured at the University of Missouri in Columbia on the evening of April 1, he was interviewed by phone by Radio New Zealand. (5 min.)
national/programmes/ checkpoint/audio/2591211/cia- torture-did-not-yield- signficant-intelligence
Ray's thoughts on goings-on in Ukraine as well as his recent visits to England, Netherlands, National Press Club, State Department
KKFI radio, Kansas City, MO, March 27, 2014
Ray talks about Edward Snowden at Drury University, Springfield, MO
March 31, 2014
TheRealNews reports on Coleen Rowley, Norman Solomon, and Ray discussing Edward Snowden, his right to get his passport back and be free of threats.
This short segment highlights Establishment Washington and Mainstream Media hypocrisy in their continued effort to “kill the messenger,” while at the same time measures are being taken to end the abuses made known only through the patriotic whistleblowing of that same messenger, Edward Snowden.
The scene was the National Press Club on March 25; The Real News Network, as usual, has put together an excellent short package, based primarily on the reporting of a TRNN correspondent on the scene. (8 min.)
Edward Snowden And The Right To Travel
Supporters are pushing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to revalidate Snowden’s right to travel. Writer elaborates on issues discussed at March 25 event at National Press Club and their implications.
By Carmen Russell-Sluchansky, March 29, 2014
Is NSA spying on the president? Is Obama afraid to find out?
RT interviews Ray, March 25, 2014 (8 min)
Is Obama Afraid of CIA and NSA?
Ray suggests, once again, that this seems to be the case. See link (below) to relatively detailed report including remarks of Coleen Rowley, Norman Solomon, and Ray at National Press Club, March 25, 2014
Video: News Conference on Edward Snowden with Ray and Coleen Rowley at National Press Club: Why Snowden is a Patriot & Should Get His Passport Back
March 25, 2014 (52 min); Q&A starts at minute 32:32.
Whistleblowers: Intelligence Community is Out of Line & Embarrassed by Snowden Revelations
Mintpress account of National Press Club event re Edward Snowden, March 26, 2014, quoting Coleen Rowley, Norman Solomon, and Ray
Report on News Conference by Charlie Clark of Government Executive
Ray has since called Clark’s attention to the clip (see below) of Michael Hayden telling a supine, sleepy audience at the same National Press Club on Jan. 23, 2006 that the 4th Amendment does not say “probable clause.” How easily NSA came to mean No Such Amendment!
You have to see it to believe it. Thanks are due Jonathan Landay for asking the question that elicited Hayden’s extraordinary interpretation of the 4th Amendment.
Gen. William Odom, one of Hayden's predecessors as NSA Director, had already told an interviewer (on Jan. 4, 2006) that Hayden "should be court-martialled" and that President Bush "should be impeached."
Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of NSA (1999-2005) on “Probable Cause”
Like ... Is it in the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, or not?
We Are Everywhere
David Rovics singing (3 min.)
China’s “The Heat” is on, with Ray talking Ukraine and Russia
“Heat” is China Central TV’s daily talk show, airing in 171 countries; audience numbers in the millions. Ray’s interview aired on the Ides of March, the day before the referendum in Crimea; his segment goes from minutes 5:40 to 13:15.
Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?
By Ray McGovern, March 1, 2014
Who is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on the Role of Russia, the U.S. in the Regional Crisis
Yale History Professor Geoffrey Snyder and Ray, March 3, 2014 (38 min)
Ray telephone interview with presstv regarding events in Ukraine
March 3, 2014 (5 min)
Understanding Ukraine: Helpful Commentaries
For best running commentary, read Robert Parry every other day or so at consortiumnews.com. Below are links to useful background pieces:
The U.S. has treated Russia like a loser since the end of the Cold War
By Jack Matlock, U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. from 1987 to 1991
The Hypocritical United States of Amnesia and Russia
By Walter Uhler
What’s behind Russia’s moves in Ukraine? Fear of NATO
By Edward W. Walker, March 4, 2014
By Stephen F. Cohen, Feb. 11, 2014
Includes critique of arguments made earlier by Ray’s debating partner (democracynow, March 3), Yale’s Professor Geoffrey Snyder.
On Divorce: Dianne Feinstein & John Brennan
Ray on Democracy Now
March 12, 2014
Dragnet Nation: Julia Angwin’s Quest for Privacy & Ray McGovern on FISA Court’s "Raw Take" Order
Democracy Now! March 12, 2014, Part Two
Jon Stewart on Brennan & Feinstein
Is Torture Now a "Gray Area" at Fordham? Ray Talks CIA, Whistleblowing & Memories at Fordham Law
By Joseph Vitale, the FORDHAM RAM
The video of the panel discussion is expected to be posted later (hopefully in unedited form; see below).
On Jan. 30, Fordham Law had invited former CIA “lawyer” John Rizzo to discuss his book-length unapologetic apologia for the role he played in “dark-side” crimes like torture. It was Rizzo who passed along the Bush Justice Department “legal” opinions approving waterboarding, for example.
Rizzo’s performance at Fordham Law was ... well, it might be described as an “extraordinary rendition” – a shameless, ethically vacuous defense of the indefensible. The video of that event (most of it, anyway) can be seen at: http://www.centeronnationalsecurity.org/node/1049
Ray had been asked to teach a class at Fordham College on Jan. 30. So, that evening he held his nose and came downtown to the Law School for the Rizzo performance. He managed to ask a question during the Q&A, but, alas, has just discovered that his question has been redacted from the final videotape.
Asking his question, Ray spoke clearly into a portable microphone like most other questioners. What he remembers saying (see below) can be checked, of course, against the original videotape; that is, unless that tape has met the same fate as the 92 videotapes of harsh interrogation that were destroyed by the CIA on Nov. 9, 2005. Rizzo was CIA’s top lawyer at the time and had been ordered by the White House counsel not to allow the tapes to be destroyed. Here’s Ray’s question:
“Mr. Rizzo, I imagine you are feeling quite affirmed at being invited to Fordham, ‘The Jesuit University of New York City.’ I imagine President Joseph McShane had a hand in bringing you here, and in your book you make it clear that you share an admiration for Fordham alumnus John Brennan, now Director of the CIA. As for Brennan, though, not all were happy when McShane gave Brennan the honor of giving the university Commencement address in May 2012.
“A graduating senior expressed his qualms to McShane, in the presence of others, about Brennan’s role in torture and in drone killings. McShane’s response was not what I learned in Fordham College 55 years ago. I had learned that torture inhabited the same moral category as rape and slavery – intrinsically evil, always wrong. Fordham’s president told the graduating senior, ‘Well, we don't live in a black and white world, we live in a gray world.’
“Mr. Rizzo, am I right in thinking you must feel affirmed at being invited here, and at sharing President McShane’s views on torture as a grey area?”
Someone deleted my question from the final videotape (linked above), and substituted (at about minute 49:17) a slide containing this:
“How do you feel about coming out and talking about your book? Do you view torture as morally evil or is it one of those grey areas?”
Responding to Ray’s question, Rizzo conceded that his invitation probably had been blessed by Fordham’s president. And Rizzo’s book makes it clear that McShane and Rizzo have a mutual friend in John Brennan, to whom McShane gave the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane letters (sic) at Commencement 2012.
Well before that, Brennan had publicly defended the practice of “extraordinary rendition” (aka kidnapping). For many captives/prisoners, this was the sine-qua-non first step in CIA’s torture protocol.
Ray confesses to continued wonderment that Fordham’s president would be so infected by the “celebrity virus,” that he would allow my alma mater to be sullied by thugs like Brennan and Rizzo and would pressure the law school to let itself be used in an attempt to grant them a measure of richly undeserved respectability.
As for Brennan, he has been buffeted over recent days for allegedly spying on the Senate committee that is supposed to be overseeing the CIA. Ray’s guess is that Brennan will probably escape serious consequences from this most recent caper. Why? Because Obama simply lacks the courage to take the risks that would be involved in trying to rein in miscreants like Brennan. Oddly, the record shows that President Obama fears Brennan fully as much as President McShane admires him.
O Tempora, O Mores!
email Ray: email@example.com follow Ray on twitter: @raymcgovern
With Coleen Rowley, FBI (ret.)
Kathy Kelly and Ray Witness Before Gates of CIA
For more on the Dec. 14 protest at CIA Headquarters, see:
Kathy was the main speaker. She and Ray were boat-mates, together with other Justice people, on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, summer 2011. This photo of Kathy and Ray reflects not only the joy of solidarity, but the strength Ray derives from having fallen in with prophets who are unafraid – and ending up barricaded from the gates of the Establishment.
Kathy departed the next day for Pakistan to continue her work there and in Afghanistan – not only to stop killer drones, but also (for the umpteenth time) to put her body on the line to honor Isaiah’s: “Comfort Ye, My People” – and not just sing the song.
(Not that Kathy lacks a beautiful voice.... So there we were in early July 2011 with other boat-mates on a brutally hot night in a equally hot neighborhood jail in Athens – courtesy of the U.S. embassy and embarrassed but compliant local Athens police. We were singing so beautifully, if loudly, that the neighbors shouted out complaints just as loudly; at which point the sheepish police actually apologized to us and let us all go at 3:30 AM.)
Kathy Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a truly creative, gutsy community, which needs all the support they can get. See: http://vcnv.org/
Ray's Catholic Worker friends & other Justice people created a new exhibit at the Museum of American History on Jan. 11, the 12th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at Guantanamo. America's shame.