NEW: Ricky Varandas, host of “The Ripple Effect Podcast” (RvTHEORY6), conducted a long Skype interview of Ray on Jan. 21, 2016.  A discursive, laid-back conservation, they covered a broad spectrum of issues, past and present.

Issues included were:
-The creation of the CIA and the role of Pearl Harbor.
-Vietnam: the Communist “domino effect” scare; LBJ lying politics, spinelessness of his courtiers; Tonkin Gulf; unacknowledged rift between Russians and Chinese.
-The misconceived conception of the CIA – the notion that covert action over-throwers of governments should be thrown in with the tell-it-like-it-is analysis group that Truman envisaged for the CIA; a structural fault from the outset (witness Nicaragua, Chile, for example).
-CIA Director William Colby fired for disobeying Kissinger’s orders to lie to Congress about earlier CIA abuses.
-How CIA analysts, with the help of innovative technical collection systems, were able to assure Nixon, Reagan, et al. that they could verify agreements on strategic arms limitations and reductions (“trust but verify”).
-Two Bushes – two attitudes toward “the crazies.” 
-How and why the “mainstream” media, owned and operated by the “blood-drenched arms traders,” beat the drum (almost always successfully) for war; the powerful incentives for endless war; drone strikes = a good way to do that.
-How more sober forces overcame both media and neocons, in thwarting an overt attack on Syria in late summer 2013; how President Vladimir Putin then pulled Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire – another reason the media/neocons hate Putin.
-Ukraine – one “regime change” too many; Feb. 22, 2014 Putsch in Kiev was advertised in advance on YouTube; was later called “the most blatant coup in history” (George Friedman of STRATFOR).
-Surveillance and blackmail opportunities; is Obama afraid?
-Assassination of John Kennedy; James Douglass book: “JFK and the Unspeakable.”
-Drones: All those killed are assumed to be terrorists, unless they can later prove they were not terrorists and not dead (like Lazarus).
-Israel: The elephant in the room.
-Irish grandparents on the “Upper Crust,” and why the sun never sets on the British Empire.

(Intro can be skipped by starting at minute 11:00; interview was on Jan. 21, 2016; posted Feb. 5.)

NEW: Salon has just posted a piece by veteran journalist Patrick L. Smith, who interviewed Ray in Moscow on Dec. 10. The article is the first of two parts, covering pretty much the waterfront.

NEW: Ray Tells CNN’s Don Lemon He Should Stop Following White House Instructions to Call Julian Assange a “Terrorist” (from Dec. 2010)
Lemon says one correct thing: “That will have to be the last word.”  It turned out to be Ray’s last words on CNN. (five minutes)
​NEW: RT International interviewed Ray on Feb. 5, 2016 (just before RT America did) on arbitrary detention of Julian Assange, the elephant in the room, and how the joint British-Swedish circus brigade happily tends to the elephant droppings.
Ray suggests we should be thankful that the provisions of the 800 year-old Magna Carta lasted as long as they did.
(4 minutes)
NEW: The UN rules “arbitrary detention” in Julian Assange case.  Ah, but UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond calls the ruling “frankly ridiculous.”
Frankly, what is “frankly ridiculous” is further proof that “British Justice” is an oxymoron, as Ray learned years ago at his Irish grandmother’s knee.  (She and her kin knew quite a lot about “arbitrary detention.”)  So Ray found it a little much, reading Hammond’s statement that the UN finding “ignores the facts and the well recognized protections of the British legal system.”  Right!
Sadly, that “legal system” has become so corrupted by subservience to U.S. diktat, that the gutsy nobles who forced the Magna Carta on King John 800 years ago must be rolling over in their graves.  Same for the servile Swedes – a particular pity, since they once enjoyed a decent reputation on human rights.
(6 minutes)
NEW: When Hillary “Pulled the Plug” on Ray for His Witness at GWU 5 years ago...
In a Feb. 2014 interview Abby Martin and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund recall what happened to Ray as then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drove home the point that authorities need to respect freedom of expression – in Iran.  The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund was able to get an unconstitutionally draconian BOLO (for “Be On Look-Out") order for Ray rescinded 7 months after this interview.  (8 minutes)
A Russian Diplomat’s Take on the World
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s Tour d’Horizon (banned in Boston)
By Gilbert Doctorow, January 29, 2016
Ray uses fresh opportunity on brief video interview to:
1-Comment on the (in)effectiveness of bulk surveillance, quoting Ed Snowden: “If you collect everything, you understand nothing;” 
2-Ape retired East German Stasi Col. Wolfgang Schmidt on why “they” collect everything anyway.
Ray found a quiet corner in a McDonalds in Hagerstown, MD, Friday on his way south from arrest/jail/bail with the Hancock 12 on Jan. 28; he persuaded McDonalds staff to turn off the music; but it was dinner time, so the background noise is from fellow-diners.
Bush & Cheney Could Not Have Destroyed Iraq Without GUGs (rhymes with “thugs”) – Greedy Unconscionable Generals.
In a 32-minute radio interview with WZBC’s John Grebe on Jan. 30, 2016, Ray addresses a little known disgrace; namely, how patsy generals practice the kind of kneejerk salute that not only enables crimes like torture and wars of aggression, but also guarantees big-buck jobs in retirement.
Arrest, jail, charges with 11 other witnesses against drone killings enabled by Air Force video-game warriors of the NY State National Guard based at Hancock base, NY, was an uplifting action for Ray last Thursday.
Ray suggests that silence, inaction on this critical issue amounts to complicity.
(2 minutes)
On January 28, 2016, thirty life-size cutouts of the late Syracuse peacemaker Jerry Berrigan – brother of Dan and Phil Berrigan – blockaded the main entrance of Hancock Air National Guard Base outside Syracuse, NY. The cutouts of Jerry Berrigan were backed up by 12 live nonviolent drone resisters, who were arrested after blockading for an hour and a half.  Press release (slighted edited) follows:
*  *  *
Jerry Berrigan Memorial Drone Blockade 
Hancock Air Drone Base, Jan. 28 – Twelve Activists Arrested
On Thursday morning, January 28, thirty life sized cutouts of Syracuse peacemaker Jerry Berrigan blockaded the main entrance of Hancock Air National Guard Base outside Syracuse, NY. The 30 cutouts were accompanied by twelve, nonviolent, drone-resisters, who were arrested and jailed after blockading for an hour and a half. See 2-minute video (of the blockade and arrests).
Jerry Berrigan, who died on July 26, 2015 at the age of 95, dedicated his entire life – like his brothers Dan and Phil – to Jesus’ command to love one another, Jerry came to the base on a bi-weekly basis whenever he was able, in his words, “to remind the base commander of our government’s pledge under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, a treaty to safeguard non-combatant’s well-being in any warzone in which U.S. forces are engaged in combat.”  And further, “to register horror and indignation at reports of bombing missions by drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan which resulted in the deaths of many innocent civilians; men, women and children.”
Those arrested and jailed for standing with the Memorial were Beth Adams, Bev Rice, Bill Ofenloch, Brian Hynes, Charley Bowman, Ed Kinane, James Ricks, Joan Pleune, Joan Wages, Pete Perry, Steve Baggarly, and Ray McGovern.
They were all charged with one misdemeanor and two violations, with the exception of Bev Rice and Joan Pleune, who were both charged with an additional misdemeanor (for allegedly violating an order of protection taken out by the base commander).
In 2008 Jerry was asked if there was anything he would change in his life. Jerry replied, “I would have resisted more often and been arrested more often.” The activists brought Jerry’s image to the gates to remember that this is where he would be, speaking out and putting his body on the line to say a clear “NO” to killing. Jerry’s widow was among the supporters on Thursday.
The group also remembered Mary Anne Grady Flores, who is serving a six-month sentence for violating an order of protection, taken out by the colonel at Hancock Air Base. Courts in rural New York apparently believe that a colonel at this highly armed base needs protection from nonviolent citizens calling attention to the drone killings.
More and more evidence mounts regarding the illegality of U.S. drone policies, from the “Drone Papers” published by The Intercept, to the four drone pilots who have come forward to speak out about what this policy is doing. (See also: )
Those malnourished by the New York Times know next to nothing about the drone killings, much less those who believe them to be crimes.
On Thursday, activists tried to deliver a letter addressed to the Hancock military personnel, stating “Under the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice you must not be complicit in these crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In fact, you are required to disobey unlawful orders from a superior.”
Hancock Air Base deploys hunter/killer Reaper drones 24/7 over Afghanistan and probably elsewhere. These weaponized robotic drones are instruments of terror. They perpetrate extrajudicial killings, violate due process, violate national sovereignty, and kill non-combatants and civilians.
For more information, see The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars,
Ellen Grady (607) 279-8303,
Carol Baum (315) 383-5738,
Hillary Clinton’s Iraq War Albatros
Jan. 30, 2016
By Ray McGovern, January 26, 2016
Rumsfeld may have been the most corrupt Pentagon leader in recent memory, but he was not alone. The Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George W. Bush fit neatly into that same category.  Apparently, not much has changed since President John F. Kennedy’s Under Secretary of State George Ball used very undiplomatic language to describe the Joint Chiefs inherited by Kennedy.  There is reason to believe they were among those responsible for JFK’s assassination.
Comments by Ray and others in a Russian documentary regarding NATO creeping eastward and missile defense were shown recently on one of Russia’s major TV channels, provoking a lot of discussion.  The film ends with a clip of Ray reciting a (universally human) poem by Nikolay Nekrasov, “Heeding the Horrors of War,” at the EU Parliament in Brussels on Dec. 1, 2015.
(Those wishing to hear the poem can go to minute 47:18 – or can start a minute before to see John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well.  The first time Ray thought it appropriate to recite this poem to a Russian audience was in late April 2015, at a tree-planting commemoration in Moscow of the 70th anniversary of the meeting of Russian and American forces on the Elbe, April 25, 1945, two weeks before V/E day.  Translation is pasted in below.)
Hat tip to Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.  Last fall he and other Maine activists protested the Bath Iron Works “christening” of an Aegis destroyer with missile defense systems, which in turn inspired the Russian filmmaker to do a wider documentary dealing also with Russia’s concerns over encirclement by U.S./NATO.
Since this could end up destroying the whole lot of us before climate changes does; since Western media dismiss it all as Russian propaganda (if they mention it at all); and since Moscow’s very real concerns are pooh-poohed or dismissed as paranoia – perhaps it’s time to revisit some of the things President Vladimir Putin said publicly shortly after the U.S.-sponsored, largely fascist-led coup in Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, which “regime-changed” the duly elected government of Ukraine:
On April 17, 2014, six weeks after what has been (rightly) called “the most blatant coup in history” (George Friedman, President of STRATFOR, Dec. 2014, on the coup in Kiev), Putin held a Q and A session on Russian TV.  In answer to a question, Putin said the following:
“We were promised ... that after Germany’s unification, NATO wouldn’t spread eastward. ... However, it started expanding by incorporating former Warsaw Pact member-countries and later on, the Baltic states, former Soviet republics.
“I used to say at one time: ‘Why are you doing this?” ...  I heard in response: ‘This doesn’t concern you.’...
“But ... when the infrastructure of a military bloc approaches our borders, we have grounds for certain apprehensions and questions. ... this compels us to counteract. ...
“Missile defense ... is no less, and probably even more important, than NATO's eastward expansion. Incidentally, our decision on Crimea was partially prompted by this.
“Needless to say, first and foremost we wanted to support the residents of Crimea, but we also followed certain logic: If we don’t do anything, Ukraine will be drawn into NATO sometime in the future. We’ll be told: ‘This doesn’t concern you,’ and NATO ships will dock in Sevastopol, the city of Russia’s naval glory. ...
“But if NATO troops walk in, they will immediately deploy these forces there. Such a move would be geopolitically sensitive for us because, in this case, Russia would be practically ousted from the Black Sea area. We’d be left with just a small coastline of 450 or 600km, and that’s it!
“This is a serious thing. So ... we must consider these circumstances and react accordingly. ...
“US missile defense ... is not a defensive system, but part of the offensive potential deployed far away from home. Again we’re being told: ‘This is not against you.’
“However, at the expert level, everyone understands very well that if these systems are deployed closer to our borders, our ground-based strategic missiles will be within their striking range. Everyone is well aware of this, but we’re being told: ‘Please believe us, this is not against you.’...
“If they deploy these elements in Europe, we’ll have to do something in response, as we’ve said so many times. But this means an escalation of the arms race! Why do this?
“It would be much better to look at this issue and determine if there are missile threats from some directions and decide how this system should be controlled or accessed. It would be sensible to do it together, but no, they don’t want that.”
The following day (March 18, 2014) Russia annexed Crimea.  In a formal address to State Duma deputies in the Kremlin, Putin addressed these serious issues but chose at one point a more jocular touch about most NATO sailors being “wonderful guys, but...” (see below):
“We have already heard declarations from Kiev about Ukraine soon joining NATO. What would this have meant for Crimea and Sevastopol in the future? It would have meant that NATO’s navy would be right there, and this would create not an illusory but a perfectly real threat to the whole of southern Russia. These are things that could have become reality were it not for the choice the Crimean people made, and I want to say thank you to them for this.
“But let me say too that we are not opposed to cooperation with NATO. [But] NATO remains a military alliance, and we are against having a military alliance making itself at home right in our backyard or in our historic territory. I simply cannot imagine that we would travel to Sevastopol to visit NATO sailors. Of course, most of them are wonderful guys, but it would be better to have them come and visit us, be our guests, rather than the other way around.”
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.
On the eve of President Obama’s last State of the Union address, Ray and Eugene Puryear discussed Obama’s legacy so far.
On "Loud and Clear," Sputnik’s Brian Becker led an hour-long radio tour d’horizon, which focused mostly on what Ray called Obama’s legacy of putting steroids on the Military-Industrial Complex, about which President Eisenhower warned in his own Farewell Address.
Under Obama the MIC cancer has metastasized.  Apres Obama, the Deep State will ensure that the disease continues to spread, UNLESS we-the-people step up and apply uncommonly strong therapy to our ailing body politic ... and soon.
Call the disease late-stage Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media-Security Services Complex -- usually fatal.
Muslim woman ejected from Trump rally after standing silently
(includes 10-minute video)
Why does this have a familiar ring?  Perhaps this?
Ray focuses on Syria, Israel, & Russia, December 28, 2015, in interview with by Brian Becker on Sputnik International’srecently launched radio program Loud and Clear.  (one hour)
How a false-flag chemical attack near Damascus almost mousetrapped Obama into launching  “shock and awe (II)” on Syria in late summer 2013.
New evidence from Turkish court proceedings and a Turkish Parliamentarian adds to the many previous signs that the perpetrators of the sarin attack were, in fact, rebels in Syria supported and supplied by Turkey.  Sounds of Dissent’s John Grebe of WZBC-Boston on January 2 gave Ray the hour needed to explain what happened and the implications.
Before you listen: Doesn’t what you’ve seen in the NY Times convince you that Assad “gassed his own people?”  Please listen:
A Call for Proof on Syria-Sarin Attack
Documentary evidence based on an official Turkish investigation-then-cover-up corroborates earlier reporting that rebels in Syria – with the indispensable support of Turkey -- were responsible for the chemical attack, not President Assad’s government (as U.S. officials and media stenographers keep claiming).
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, December 22, 2015
In Moscow on Dec. 10, Ray asked former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn about the August 21, 2013 sarin attack outside Damascus that brought the U.S. inches from applying “shock and awe” to Syria.  Like, whose sarin was it?
It happened on Gen. Flynn’s watch; he was in charge of DIA at the time; but, alas, he could not remember the incident.  Early Alzheimer’s?
Ray’s was the first question in the Q & A following an interview of Flynn by RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze.  It begins at minute 29:45.  The other questions are also interesting; the answers not so much.
A Blind Eye Toward Turkey’s Crimes
By Robert Parry, Dec. 16, 2015
To refresh memories, in late summer 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry, the neocons, and the Fawning Corporate Media – all lusting for an open U.S. armed offensive to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – came within inches of mousetrapping President Obama into ordering a “shock and awe” attack on Syria. 
The proximate casus belli was a sarin attack outside Damascus.  It was blamed on the Syrian government, but the intelligence smelled to high heaven.  As VIPS wrote in a Memorandum for the President on Sept. 6, 2013, Turkish-supported rebels were probably the culprits – a false-flag attack their chosen modus operandi.
Better late than never, confirmation has finally come that Turkish intelligence, not Bashar al-Assad, was responsible for the infamous sarin gas attacks outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.  Intelligence analysts, including those in the Defense Intelligence Agency, strongly suspected that this was the case, but they were shut down by the White House and Kerry.
Ray had an opportunity to raise this question last Thursday in Moscow during a Q and A following a presentation by Gen. Michael Flynn (DIA Director from 2012 to 2014).  Flynn said he did not remember anything about the sarin attack and its aftermath.
But the neocons remembered; they were cheated out of their war.  As Ray reported at the time, Paul Wolfowitz and Joe Liebermann looked as though their mothers had just been run over by a truck, when Ray found himself in their company at CNN on Sept. 9, 2013.  The ambiance was funereal.  The dearly departed – the almost-war on Syria.
On Dec. 3, 2014, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), then ranking member and now chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, complained bitterly that the U.S. military was poised to launch a “very targeted, very brief” operation against the Syrian government for using chemical weapons before President Obama called off the attack at the last minute.
“I think the worst moment in U.S. foreign policy since I’ve been here, as far as signaling to the world where we were as a nation, was August a year ago when we had a 10-hour operation that was getting ready to take place in Syria but it didn’t happen.”
Well, bummer.
Corker’s remarks provide insight into the extent of military plans for imminent attack, which were ordered up by the White House in August 2013.  A reporter covering Sen. Corker for The Hill dutifully wrote that it was all because Syrian President Bashar Assad defied Obama's "red line" against using chemical weapons against rebels in the country’s civil war.
Corker added, “In essence — I’m sorry to be slightly rhetorical — we jumped in Putin’s lap, and we are where we are today in Syria.”
Another revealing remark.  Yes, Russian President Putin helped pull Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire by immediately persuading Assad to give up his chemical weapons for destruction.  But the neocons are, if anything, persistent.  The Western-instigated coup in Kiev a short six months later was, in part, payback for Putin’s effrontery in easing Obama’s “embarrassment” for having “chickened-out” of the wider war for which the neocons had been salivating.
Larry Wilkerson on Empire (MUST SEE)
Interviewed by Abby Martin, Telesur; Dec. 11, 2015 (24 minutes)

Julian Assange (live-streamed), Phil Giraldi, Gregory Copley, and Ray devote an hour to Security or Surveillance: Privacy vs. Anti-Terror Security in the Digital Age at RT observance of its 10th anniversary at Metropol Hotel in Moscow, Dec. 10.  Thom Hartmann moderated. (The segment containing Ray's most relevant remarks is found between minutes 21:00 and 24:35.)

Follow-up interview on whether Saudis, Qataris, Turks can now be expected to join the U.S.-led coalition in a serious effort to “destroy” the very terrorists they have been funding, arming, and ushering into Syria.  This was the question put to Ray at the start of the interview; it is what he called a “sick joke.”  Dec. 15; 9 minutes
Ray highlighted the risk of another provocation by Turkey, NATO’s loose cannon and skillful provocateur.  A Turkish member of Parliament had just substantiated much of what Seymour Hersh wrote about Turkey in his April 17, 2014 London Review of Booksarticle, “The Red Line and the Rat Line:”
Seven months earlier VIPS had written a more timely (if less comprehensive) Memorandum to the President: Is Syria a Trap? (Sept. 6, 2013)
Both pieces reported that Turkey appeared to have played a key role in the false-flag sarin gas attack outside Damascus on August 21, 2013.  Obama came inches from letting himself be mousetrapped by the neocons into launching full-scale war on Syria, with John Kerry leading the charge and groups like “Human Rights Watch” and the NY Times cheering them on.
With Kerry meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and President Putin this week – today (Dec. 15) it turns out, Ray offered some guesses as to what Kerry is likely to hear -- besides appeals to rein in the Turks.  What neither Kerry nor Obama seem to be able to grasp as yet, is that geography itself makes jihad in Syria and nearby countries a far more urgent problem for Russia than for countries sitting behind a large ocean.
Should it be so difficult to understand Kremlin fears that thousands of the terrorists enlisted, trained by the U.S. and others, paid by the Saudis, and granted safe passage by the Turks hail from, and will go back to, Russia?  It is reasonable to assume that upon their return they will constitute huge problems not unlike those Moscow confronted in Chechnya not too long ago.  This is not a synthetic concern but a real one, involving what the Kremlin sees as a clear and present danger to Russian national security.
Ray comments on recent release of Shaker Aamer, UK resident held in Guantanamo for almost 14 years without charge
RT International, December 15, 2015 (7 minutes)
The Courage From WhistleBlowing
By Ray McGovern, Dec. 11, 2015
Whistleblowers: The Debt We Owe Aaron Swartz and Others (YouTube)
Ray interviewed as part of RT 10th anniversary celebration
Metropol Hotel, Moscow, Dec. 10, 2015 (one minute)
​​STAY HUMAN: Ray's talk in Brussels at EU Parliament, Dec. 1, 2015
Giulietto Chiesa, one of the moderators of the 9th annual EU Parliament Members' Forum on Russia recorded Ray's speech there and has posted it on his website:
There is voice-over in Italian, but Ray spoke mostly in English and a lot of that is audible.  Thankfully, no one voiced-over the Russian poem by the 19th Century poet Nikolai Nekrasov: "Vnimaya Uzhasam Voiniy" ("Paying Attention to the Horrors of War").  (translation ** below)
Ray's talk came on the second day of the Forum; until then, almost all of the speeches were pretty much head-speeches.  So Ray tried a little heart therapy and called his presentation "Stay Human."
Ray is now in Moscow, where he will be one of three panelists discussing "Security or Surveillance: Can the right to privacy and effective anti-terror security coexist in the digital age?" The panel is tomorrow at a Moscow conference arranged by RT to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Coincidentally, the UN has designated Dec. 10th (tomorrow) Human Rights Day; Ray's will suggest the obvious: Since humans do have a right to privacy, it's high time to reverse recent infringements on that very important freedom.
** Poetry always looses something in translation, and this attempt 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 for those who read Russian. 
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
The US-Russia Proxy War in Syria
By Ray McGovern,  December 1, 2015
CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou Honored
By Ray McGovern
Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War
By Ray McGovern
Can the British Establishment Expose One of Their Own ... Like Blair?
Not likely, says Ray; seems more likely that Godot will arrive before Chilcot report.
Syria:  Will the Saudis buy fewer arms if we twist their arms to stop arming ISIS?  One large elephant in the room has been Israel with a marked preference for “no outcome” in Syria.
Russia: were seeds of cooperation sown at the UN on Sept. 28, when Obama and Putin spent 90 minutes behind closed doors?
These and other issues discussed by Ray via Skype, live on Richie Allen Show, London, Oct. 29 (28 min.)
Syria: Crosstalk Speakers Struggle to Interpret the Most Recent Russian, U.S., and Iranian Moves
As Yogi Berra put it, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”  The Russians are in Syria big-time and Obama has surprised almost everyone by choosing, while taking care to include de rigueur bashing of Moscow, to welcome the Russian move as an opportunity to turn primary attention to stopping the Islamic State and the flood of Syrian refugees into Europe.
Some of the earlier preconditions to talks have been waived, and negotiations began on Friday in Vienna.  Moreover, the key powers seem agreed that, as Defense Secretary Ashton Carter conceded on Tuesday, “The structures of the Syrian state are going to be important in the future, and we don’t want them to dissolve entirely. ... The U.S. approach to removing Assad has been mostly a political effort.” (Could it be the Smart People in Washington have learned something from the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya?)
From Ray’s perspective, those are the key pieces of the news this week – not the familiar attempts by Secretary Carter to flex his muscles, announcing token military reinforcement, to show that the Pentagon means to stay in the game, somehow, in Syria.
Washington Post lead story on Tuesday, Oct. 27, reports Pentagon proposals to “put U.S. troops closer to front lines” in Syria and Iraq
Early Tues. morning, PressTV asked Ray for preliminary reaction; he replied with 4 minutes of commentary over the phone:
Later Tues. morning, the Senate hearing on the same issue prompted Ray to don his old President’s Daily Brief hat, impersonate today’s Russian intelligence analysts, and prepare a notional PDB item -- for President Putin to appear the following morning:
A “President’s Daily Brief” for President Putin
By Ray, October 28, 2015
After presenting to a SRO crowd in Berlin on evening of Sept. 16, Elizabeth Murray and Ray were interviewed by KontextTV.
 The video is in English (after the 45-second introduction) and runs up to minute 18:30.  Text also included in following link:
Issues discussed include:
-How does it happen that intelligence analysts become activists?
-Why so many refugees from Syria?  Implications for Europe.
-Is there “no daylight” between U.S. and Israeli behavior on Syria?
-Germany and the drone war; the critical role of U.S. base in Ramstein.
-Why not assemble stakeholders on Syria around a table, and figure out how to stop the carnage?  Need to get the Saudis, in particular, to stop supporting ISIS.
Coleen Rowley & Ray on top Iowa TV show, “The Steele Report”
Had time to explain purpose behind their Veterans for Peace-sponsored lecture tour of Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Davenport, Parnell, Iowa City, Ames, Des Moines, and places in between – mostly at universities.  At the University of Iowa, Ed Snowden was live-streamed into an overflow crowd of 850.
In early 2015, three Iowa chapters of Veterans For Peace decided, “If we build it, they will come.”  Coleen and Ray came in September; more important, hundreds and hundreds of Iowans also came – and learned things that are very hard to learn from “mainstream media.”
(2 segments: the first is 11 min; the second is 7 min.)
Fox News: Giving the Nod to a Wannabe CIA Con Man
Ray takes a lighter – but still instructive – approach to the latest Foxy howler, L’Affaire Wayne Shelby Simmons.  Our man Simmons convinced Fox News and defense contractors that he was part of CIA’s “outside paramilitary special operations group,” and had led “Deep Cover Intel Ops.”
Alas, the “credentials” Simmons claimed proved as hard to verify as claims of WMD in Iraq.  On Thursday he was accused of making false statements and major fraud against the United States, arrested, and jailed.  Ray was in downtown Washington on the 16th, when RT International called for a 5-minute interview.  Fun.
Those who click the above link will learn that, by happy coincidence, a day earlier Ray had his own personal encounter with Fox.  That experience offered some rich material pointing to how carefully some Fox personalities, like Sean Hannity, vet their guests, while other Foxy folks – well, not so much.
According to the Washington Post (see link below), Senior Fox News War-on-Terrorism promoter/commentator, retired Army Gen. Paul Vallely, has spoken highly of colleague Simmons, describing him as “very knowledgeable,” and “able to talk in depth about CIA operations, covert operations especially.”  Vallely added that Simmons “came off to me as a very honest, down-to-the-earth guy.”
As for other endorsements of Simmons, none other than former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld commended him for a spy thriller Simmons wrote:  “He doesn’t just write it.  He’s lived it, and that’s why he ... can tell this spy thriller in such an engrossing way.”  Rumsfeld, of course, is second to none in spinning a yarn.  Indeed, his fulsome memoir (726 pages) titled “Known and Unknown” belongs in the “fiction” section of bookstores.  In fairness here, it is an unknown known how known Simmons actually was to Rumsfeld.
L’Affaire Wayne Shelby Simmons is a helpful reminder of the kind of things CIA con men can get away with (ask Nancy Pelosi or Dianne Feinstein).  And this guy was just a wannabe.  For further amusement, click below on the link to a report by Matt Zapotosky, that was front-paged in the Washington Post on Oct. 16.  His tongue must have been buried deeply in his teeth, but for the most part he succeeds in writing it with a straight face.
NEW: Holly Sterling, wife of imprisoned whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, spoke at the National Press Club on October 15, together with Jesselyn Radack, Tom Drake, Delphine Halgand, U.S. Director of Reporters Without Borders, and Ray.
Norman Solomon of ExposeFacts coordinated the press conference and moderated the discussion, during which Holly described a letter she wrote to President Obama, asking that Jeffrey be pardoned.
(Ray’s 8-min. comments start at minute 42:00.)



Counting Civilian Casualties from Drone Strikes -- or Not


The Institute for Public Accuracy has just put Jesselyn Radack and Ray on a press release focusing on today’s revelations by The Intercept re the use of drones, in particular:


Assassination Complex

By Jeremy Scahill, et al.


The press release cites a piece Ray wrote three years ago:


Silence of the Drones

Ray McGovern, Oct. 1, 2012


Here’s an excerpt from the article, which is interesting in retrospect:


Tight Leash?

Just four months later, a May 29 New York Times article on Obama’s secret “Kill List” revealed how the President rationalized his claim that the number of civilians killed was “not huge.” Far from “a very tight leash,” it was a numbering gimmick.


The Times report quoted several Obama administration officials admitting that all military-age males in a strike zone are counted as combatants, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. (Yes, you read that right – posthumously.)


Small wonder that counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan could claim in June 2011 that there had been zero civilians killed in Pakistan for almost a year. And small wonder that another senior administration official could tell the Times several months later that the number of civilians killed by drone strikes in Pakistan was in the “single digits.”


In April 2012, Brennan was still at it, describing civilian casualties from drone strikes as “exceedingly rare” – as if saying something often enough can make it true.


One former senior intelligence officer did express serious misgivings. “It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the former officer told the Times. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.”


So much for posthumous exoneration.


For people with a conscience this is a lot to take in; to reflect on; and to take responsibility for as an American citizen.  Serious though these issues are, there are times when a satirical touch can cut to the chase – not to trivialize this sadder-than-sad reality, but rather to render it easier to understand and to drive home its full import.


Stephen Colbert performed a useful service with his commentary on the New York Times report on Obama’s “Kill List.”


As for Congressional oversight:


Lest anyone lose sight of how closely Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein was riding herd on the use of drones, here’s more:


Intel Chair: Civilian Drone Casualties in Single Digits Year-to-Year

NYT February 7, 2013

By Lee Ferran


“The chairman of the Senate's Intelligence Committee said today that the number of civilians killed in America's drone strikes each year ‘has typically been in the single digits.’


“The chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), made the claim in her opening remarks at the Senate's confirmation hearing for CIA Director nominee John Brennan. Brennan, currently President Obama's counter-terrorism advisor, is widely described as the architect of the administration's counter-terrorism policy, including its increased reliance on targeted drone strikes.


"’I've… been attempting to speak publicly about the very low number of civilian casualties that result from such strikes, [but] I've been limited in my ability to do so,’ Feinstein said. ‘But for the past several years, this committee has done significant oversight of the government's conduct of targeted strikes and the figures we have obtained from the executive branch, which we have done our utmost to verify, confirm that the number of civilian casualties that have resulted from such strikes has typically been in the single digits.’


“Feinstein's assertion appears to challenge data compiled by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism from media [now apparently including The Intercept], human rights and purported eye-witness reports, which say that American drones have killed hundreds of civilians since 2008 from Pakistan to Yemen and Somalia. ...



Daniel McAdams of Ron Paul Liberty Report interviews Ray on KH17

Sixteen minutes was enough time to draw parallels, for example, with the Ronald Reagan-neocon-type reaction to the opportunity afforded by the “deliberate” Soviet shoot-down of KAL007 on Sept. 1, 1983.  The U.S. lied in saying that the Soviets knew it was a passenger plane -- as Alvin A. Snyder, one of the State Dept. types involved, admits in his book “Warriors of Deceit.”


But Snyder had a job to do: producing the video that his superiors wanted. “The perception we wanted to convey was that the Soviet Union had cold-bloodedly carried out a barbaric act,” Snyder wrote.


Only a decade later, when Snyder saw the complete transcripts — including the portions that the Reagan administration had hidden — would he fully realize how many of the central elements of the U.S. presentation at the UN were false. ...


It was clear to Snyder that in the pursuit of its Cold War aims, the Reagan administration had presented false accusations to the United Nations, as well as to the people of the United States and the world. To the Reagan administration, the ends of smearing the Soviets had justified the means of falsifying the historical record.


More telling still is the moral Snyder draws:


Acknowledging his role in the deception, he draws an ironic lesson from the incident. This senior official wrote, “The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.” 


And so it goes.



Ray discusses Dutch report on shoot-down of KH17 over Ukraine

Netherlands “vassal state” comes through for John Kerry’s dubious claims.



Russian TV Channel 1 Reports on Refugee Crisis in Europe

Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, 9 PM (Moscow time)

A short 60 Minutes-type segment includes a clip from Fox News and then (at minute 7:50) a brief comment by Ray: “For them [the pundits and politicians] it’s all a chess game.  They have had no personal experience with innocent human suffering, and that’s a problem.”



How CNN Shapes Political Debate

By Ray McGovern, October 11, 2015



Brookings’s Michael O’Hanlon & Ray find common ground on Russia/Syria

“Crosstalk,” RT, October 8, 2015, (23 minutes)



Elizabeth Murray & Ray speak on Intelligence/Policy at Lutherkirche, Cologne

September 18, 2015

According to the pastor, the only other time he sees so many people in the church is on Christmas Eve. The turnout was a tribute to the many Activisten/Justice & Peace people, who promoted the multi-city tour of Germany by Elizabeth and Ray.  Attendance was quite good in all the cities.

The presentation was Elizabeth's and Ray's Schwanengesang; the title given for that evening was the "Role of Intelligence in Foreign Policy," and they took an empirical, case-study-type approach.  It seemed to work well.

short version (highlights): 13 minutes

full version: 1 hour 17 minutes



The Hope Behind Putin’s Syria Help

By Ray McGovern, October 4, 2015



Ray speaks at Sept. 30 protest against drones before Air National Guard base in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Pilots” at the base are slated to take part in the arm-chair, video-game-like, remote control, computer-screen, cowardly, “bug-splat” killing of faraway folks whom they are told might be, or might become, or might be thinking of becoming “terrorists.” (7 minutes)

Ray quotes from a 1961 Thomas Merton poem, “Chant to Be Used in Processions Around a Site with Furnaces.”  It is actually an anti-poem spoken by the Commandant of a Nazi death camp who, after proceeding matter-of-factly through his daily routine of genocide, concludes with this admonition:

“Do not think yourselves better because you burn up friends and enemies with long-range missiles without ever seeing what you have done.”



Ray on significance of Russian military involvement in Syria

RT interviews Ray via Skype from airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

October 1, 2015 (8 minutes)



Sputnik interviewed Ray via email on Sept. 30, while Ray was in Des Moines, regarding Syria, Russia, and U.S. policy.

The interview took place a couple of hours before John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Obama and Putin, after their meeting on Sept. 28, had instructed the two top diplomats to work things out.

Kerry and Lavrov emphasized that their instructions include the urgent task of establishing communication between top U.S. and Russian military leaders for “de-confliction” (as in, making sure that U.S. and Russian aircraft don’t run into each other while attacking ISIL in Syria).

If sane minds prevail, and if Obama can face down the Israel lobby – as he did on the Iran nuclear weapons deal – a broader anti-USIS “coalition” (not “led by the U.S.”) may be in the offing.



Should US Ally with Al Qaeda in Syria? 

Robert Parry addresses this seemingly odd but active question.

October 1, 2015



Spreading Truth Around in Iowa


Coleen Rowley and Ray have been speaking/interviewing in Iowa since Sept. 24 on a tour arranged by the three Iowa chapters of Veterans For Peace. Yesterday evening, Ed Snowden joined us via live stream at the University of Iowa.  Ten years ago, Coleen, a graduate of the UI law school, and Ray gave their first joint talk at this UI “Lecture Series.”  The house was packed yesterday (on Sept. 28), as it was the years ago.


As can be seen at the link below, “Whistleblower Tour Coming to Iowa,” the travel itinerary and appearances are many, and they have been kept on the run.  Today’s Iowa papers (Sept. 29) have a couple of items, the links for which are:


Snowden to Iowa City audience: ‘What are we going to do about it?'

Edward Snowden, who leaked details of U.S. surveillance programs, spoke to the Englert crowd via videoconference from Russia

By Vanessa Miller, The Gazette (includes short video)

September 28, 2015 | 10:23 pm


Snowden Video Conferences Into Iowa City

Mon, Sep 28 2015, 07:31 PM IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and former FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley urge citizens to demand the truth.


Whistleblower Tour Coming To Iowa


By Ed Flaherty, September 14, 2015

FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern will launch their weeklong barnstorming speaking tour on September 24 in Dubuque. The tour, dubbed “The Truth Shall Make You Free,” is sponsored by the three Iowa chapters of Veterans for Peace and thirty-one other organizations. The itinerary includes nine cities and seven institutions of higher learning.



U.S. Drones Cannot Destroy Cellphones and People Without Ramstein

If Germans don’t want to create still more jihadists and increase the risk to Germany itself, Berlin need to “grow up” and exercise its sovereign right to shut down the critically important satellite station in Ramstein. Ray, Elizabeth Murray, and Elsa Rassbach spoke in Berlin, Sept. 16, 2015. Following is link to a segment, in which Ray addresses der Drohnenkrieg and describes Germany’s key role in it.

(English with German subtitles; 7 minutes)



A Moral Challenge for Pope Francis

To whom and how long does “The Sanctity of Life” apply?

By Ray McGovern, September 21, 2015



Will Pope Francis Be Polite or Prophetic

By Ray McGovern, Baltimore Sun op-ed, Sept. 20, 2015



Throwing Money at War? Ignorance, Not Bliss

By Coleen Rowley & Ray McGovern

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Sept. 20, 2015

(Coleen & Ray are speaking in Dubuque this week: please see NOTE below.)



The Drone Wars

In Berlin on Sept. 6, 2015, Ray is asked about Ramstein, the U.S. base the German government allows to be used as the satellite link necessary for all drone attacks in the western hemisphere.

(two and a half minutes)



Video appeals to drone pilots to REFUSE TO FLY

For 15-second video, please scroll down to bottom of



Retired and Former U.S. Military Personnel

Urge Drone Operators to Refuse to Fly Missions

(The following paid advertisement appeared in the “Air Force Times” on Sept. 14.)


As retired and former members of the U.S. military, we urge U.S. drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/assassination missions. These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.


According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as of September 1, 2015, up to 6,069 lives have been taken by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. This figure does not include uncounted lives lost to U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan before 2015, or in Iraq, Libya, the Philippines and Syria. All were killed without due process.


These attacks, which are also terrorizing thousands, are undermining principles of international law and human rights such as those enumerated in the U.N.  International Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 with the blood of the atrocities of World War II freshly in mind. The United States is a signatory to this declaration. 


Those involved in U.S. drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting in accordance with Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950:


“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him of responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible.”


So, yes, you do have a choice — and liability under the law. Choose the moral one. Choose the legal one.



US Intel Vets Decry CIA’s Use of Torture

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Sept. 19, 2015



​In Berlin on Sept. 16, ex-CIA analysts Elizabeth Murray and Ray McGovern gave a presentation to an overflow crowd, drawing on their own experiences with the “Deep State.”

Die beiden ehemaligen hochrangigen US-Geheimdienst-Mitarbeiter Ray McGovern und Elizabeth Murray besuchten gestern Berlin und referierten zu dem Thema „Wie werden Kriege gemacht?“. Doch der Vortrag könne genauso gut „Wie werden Flüchtlinge gemacht?“ heißen, so McGovern. Das müsste eigentlich jeden in Deutschland interessieren. Doch die deutsche Mainstream-Presse ignorierte, wie miteinander abgesprochen, die Veranstaltung – was wohl vor allem an den Antworten lag, die McGovern und Murray gaben.



On Sept. 8, RT International interviewed Ray on Julian Assange’s new book, “The WikiLeaks Files: The Way the World Sees the US Empire.”

The book relies largely on U.S. diplomatic cables shedding light on U.S. policy and actions in the Middle East, including Syria.  So far, the book has been published only in Australia and the UK.


Ray hazarded a (pretty safe) guess with respect to what this new light that WikiLeaks shines on U.S. policy in Syria might reveal. He pointed to a NYT article of Sept. 6, 2013 in which bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, apparently inadvertently, gave the game away.


Asking prominent Israelis what Israel’s preferred outcome in Syria is, Rudoren was somewhat take aback to hear that, for the Israelis, the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, is no outcome.  Rudoren quoted Alon Pinkas, former Israeli consul general in New York:


“This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie ... Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.” 


Rudoren commented that, for Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.


Getting the neocons of Establishment Washington to go along with that?  No problem.  Did no one think there might be a mass exodus of refugees?


Here’s the YouTube link to the (taped) 12-min. interview of Ray on Tuesday.


What Julian Assange said the following day, speaking to RT’s 'Going Underground' host Afshin Rattansi, supports (happily) Ray’s guess.  Assange, basing his comments on U.S. diplomatic cables, indicated that the U.S. planned to:


“...foster tensions between Shiites and Sunnis. In particular, to take rumors that are known to be false... or exaggerations and promote them – that Iran is trying to convert poor Sunnis, and to work with Saudi and Egypt to foster that perception in order to make it harder for Iran to have influence, and also harder for the government to have influence in the population.”


Assange stressed that this particular cable was “quite concerning,” adding that while you often have to read between the lines in cables, “its all hanging out” in that one.  See:



Ray was asked by RT International on September 2 to comment on the latest hare-brained suggestion by David Petraeus on defeating the Islamic State.


Petraeus is no foreigner to the issue, having played, eight years ago, an important role in facilitating the emergence of the Islamic State by his overly clever – actually naïve, or worse – policy of co-opting the Sunni with promises of shared power in Baghdad, and then simply looking away as the U.S.-installed Shia government in Baghdad ditched those promises.


The pervasive bedlam in Iraq shows, inter alia, that you can earn a Princeton PhD, writing erudite nonsense about

“counter-insurgency,” and still flunk war.  To be fair, the continuing carnage Petraeus left in his wake was probably more a function of the myopia that attends overweening careerism and political ambition, rather than a deliberate attempt to enflame the area for continued, wider war.  (He had already gotten his fourth star.)


Are there moderate terrorists in Syria?  Ray says no – not the first time Ray disagreed with the be-medaled former general or, for that matter, with Obama and Kerry, who each make a cameo appearance trying their best to look like they know what they are talking about.  Only 2 minutes long:



Blaming Russia: But the Reality Is; Whoever Lies First, Wins

Ray’s Interview With Burt Cohen, former New Hampshire State Senator


“The key is to lie first.” Thus far the words of Alvin A. Snyder.  He was head of the U.S. Information Agency’s TV and Film Division in 1983 and helped prepare fraudulent testimony for use at the UN to blame Russia for a cold-blooded, barbaric act in deliberately downing an aircraft with full knowledge it was a passenger plane – KAL007 shot down over Siberia on September 1, 1983 killing all 269 aboard.


Snyder had been given a doctored tape “fixed” to blacken the Soviets by “indicating” they knew it was a passenger plane.  When he learned a decade later that the Soviets did NOT know the intruding plane was a civilian airliner, Snyder wrote a book he called Warriors of Disinformation.  This is the lesson he drew in his own words: “The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.”


So, whoever lies first, wins.  Ray suggests that the same kind of “diplomacy” may be behind John Kerry’s attempt to demonize Putin and the Russians by accusing them of downing Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and killing all 298 aboard.  The highly dubious “evidence” adduced by Kerry brings quickly to mind the disingenuous but highly effective campaign 32 years ago to blame the Soviets for downing KAL007, “fixing” the evidence to “prove” they knew it was a passenger plane and shot it down anyway.


In a very relaxed and at times funny, 57-minute conversation with Burt Cohen, Ray explores the evidence, such as it is, and the highly consequential nature of the charges against Russia – on the strength of which the U.S. was able to put pressure on European countries to impose mutually harmful economic sanctions against Russia.  Still more worrying is the blasé attitude of the sophomore policy makers in the White House toward escalating tensions and the possibility of a hot war involving the two main nuclear powers.  Nothing could be more consequential, but there is little sign they realize this.

The interviewer, Burt Cohen, won election to New Hampshire’s State Senate in 1990 and was elected to seven terms, including time as Democratic Senate Majority Leader.  He calls The Burt Cohen Show “Keeping Democracy Alive.”  You may wish to tune in:



Brad Friedman quizzes Ray on Ukraine, MH17, and increasing tension with Russia during interview on August 20, 2015

Brad usually does his homework, and this was no exception.  He asked good questions and raised additional, salient issues.  This made it easy for Ray to go deeper into what the evidence suggests – especially about the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner on July 17, 2014 – the consequences already, and further implications for relations with Russia.

(minutes 15:42 to 43:00)



Propaganda, Intelligence and MH17

By Ray McGovern, August 17, 2015



Ray interviewed by Jeff Blankfort on Ukraine-Russia-U.S.; shoot-down of MH-17 (where’s the evidence?); Kerry credulity on the issue; and frustrated neocons who feel cheated again -- no attack on Syria in 2013; and none on Iran in 2015.  (35 min.)



Scott Horton interviewed Ray on August 12 regarding the building tension in Ukraine; the strength of the proto-fascist Right Sector and the Wrong Sector (ably represented by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, one of Dick Cheney’s star pupils).

Ray laments Official Washington’s blasé attitude toward getting into a firefight in Russia’s front yard (or is this perhaps what the neocons have in mind for Ukraine?).  He refers to a WikiLeaks-divulged Feb. 1, 2008 cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow in which Amb. William Burns reports Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s strong warning that “Nyet means Nyet” – Russia’s red line against NATO membership for Ukraine.  Two months later, a NATO summit in Bucharest declared that Ukraine and Georgia “will be come members of NATO.”  Last year, Putin reiterated what Lavrov said seven years ago, making clear with respect to Ukraine that Moscow will not allow it to become a member of NATO.

25 minutes (can skip commercials from minute 0:00 to 0:30 and from 10:00 to 10:40)



RT International asked Ray on August 15 to comment on the Kafkaesque denial of the habeas petition of Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni hunger-striker being force-fed at Guantanamo.  “Is this who we are?”  Should we hold a Memorial Service for the Magna Carta?

After 13 years there, Ba Odah, 36, is down to 74 pounds – 56 percent of his ideal body weight – and is said to be close to death.  On Aug. 14, the Department of Justice filed an extremely rare secret challenge to his release, even though he had been cleared for release by a six-agency task force in 2009.  Ray attributed the bizarre situation to a lack of courage on the part of President Obama, who limits himself to asking plaintively, “Is this who we are?” and then caves before the DoD thugs and DoJ faux-lawyers who theoretically work for him.

​(6 min.)



U.S. Intelligence Veterans Call For Full Disclosure on Shoot-Down Of Airliner Over Ukraine

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Appeal to Obama to Release the Intelligence on This Mass Murder, Whether It Supports the Propaganda Campaign Against Russia, Or Not.

Like Ol’ Man River, Obama must know something; but he don’t say nothing; he just keeps rolling out new contests to determine which of his young lieutenants can come up with the nastiest name for Putin. Meanwhile, like Bre’r Fox, those responsible for blowing plane and people (298 of them) out of the sky a year ago lie low. Obama looking forward again, not back



Is the ‘Military Option’ on Iran Off the Table?

By Ray McGovern, Baltimore Sun, July 21, 2015



On Anniversary of the Shoot-Down of MH17 Over Ukraine

The “Investigation” Still Stagnant a Year Later

“Crosstalk:” with Alexander Mercouris, Patrick Henningsen, and Ray



“Ukrainian Weekly” Highlights Letter Taking Ray to Task


Letters to the Editor: A CIA official’s advice on Ukraine


“By Staff”


Dear Editor:


On June 28, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote an opinion article in The Washington Post in which he comments on his and two other senators’ recent return trip to Ukraine. Sen. McCain argues that “the ceasefire with Russia is fiction, and U.S. assistance is vital to deterring further Russian aggression.” He goes on to state: ”President Obama has wrongly argued that providing Ukraine with the assistance and equipment it needs to defend itself would provoke Russia. Putin needed no provocation to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea.” The senator stresses that “it is the weakness of the collective U.S. and European response that provokes the very aggression we seek to avoid.”


On June 30 the newspaper printed a response by Ray McGovern of Arlington, Va., who claims that Sen. McCain was wrong to say that Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea without provocation. Mr. McGovern describes the events on the Maidan as “the coup in Kiev” [sic], which was “provocation enough.” This nonsense could be dismissed as another pro-Russian troll parroting the Russian line, were it not for the newspaper identifying the writer as “former chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch of the CIA.” On his webpage, Mr. McGovern says that he “served as CIA analyst for 27 years, from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H.W. Bush” and his “duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief.”


On March 3, 2014, Mr. McGovern and Prof. Timothy Snyder of Yale University were interviewed by journalist Amy Goodman on the independent news program “Democracy Now!” in a debate on the topic of “Who is provoking unrest in Ukraine?” Throughout the whole discussion, Mr. McGovern constantly referred to “the Ukraine” and warned the U.S. government that “you go a bridge too far when you threaten a strategic interest the Russians consider so sensitive as the [sic] Ukraine.” When Prof. Snyder reminded him that ”Ukraine is a sovereign country” and that Ukrainians on the Maidan “complained that we [Americans and Europeans] were far too close to the Russians, that in effect we were helping the Russians hurt them,” Mr. McGovern responded: “Russian interests exist, and they have since the ninth century, OK? That’s where Russia began, you know, Kievan Rus’, in Kiev.”


On April 22 of this year, the online English-language version of Moscow’s Pravda printed an article headlined “Ex-CIA officer Ray McGovern: V-E Day celebration spoiled by Washington’s support for Ukrainian revolution.” The headline speaks for itself. In the article, Mr. McGovern writes about “the U.S.-arranged coup d’état of Feb. 22, 2014 in Kiev.”


One can only shudder at the thought of what kind of advice this high-ranking CIA official provided to various presidential administrations concerning Ukraine.


Leo Iwaskiw





Here’s Ray’s letter to which Mr. Iwaskiw took offense:


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.



WASHINGTON, July 15. /TASS/.  The West has ignored the need for an unbiased investigation into the downing of a Malaysia airliner over eastern Ukraine last year and embarked on a path of sweeping accusations against the people’s militias in the Donbass region, an ex-CIA official told TASS on Wednesday. 


Ray McGovern, a retired Central Intelligence Agency analyst, was commenting on the controversy surrounding the idea of creating an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of having shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.


"A truly independent investigation is what the world and a decent respect for the opinions of mankind and honoring those killed requires," McGovern said. "Finding and bringing to Justice those responsible for downing MH17 should be given absolutely top priority. But, sadly, absolute priority was given from the start -- without persuasive evidence -- to blaming ‘pro-Russian separatists’."


McGovern, who for 27 years served seven U.S. presidents and regularly prepared daily security briefings for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, pointed to the fact that ahead of the first anniversary of the disaster on July 17, it was certain "the U.S. (and Russia) know more now than a year ago".


"Surely, in the year that has passed, better intelligence has been gathered than that which was available when [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry made his accusations. It strains credulity beyond the breaking point to suggest that more precise and persuasive intelligence has not been gathered over a whole year," he said, noting however that "when asked, U.S. intelligence spokespersons contend that there is no additional evidence since Kerry's rush to judgment on July 20, 2014.”


"One would surmise that if the U.S. had any persuasive evidence to support Kerry's charges, Kerry or someone else would be shouting it from the rooftops as part of Washington's current anti-Russia propaganda campaign," McGovern said. "I can only conclude that the U.S. – now, as when Kerry leveled the charges -- either has no persuasive evidence to support its charges, or has collected intelligence that does not fit with Kerry's charges and thus is being suppressed.


Russian version (with different lead-in):


Международная панорама

15 июля

Экс-сотрудник ЦРУ: Запад сделал ставку на обвинение ополченцев в уничтожении Boeing




Если бы американским властям удалось подкрепить теорию о том, что лайнер был сбит ополченцами, то "госсекретарь США Джон Керри или кто-либо еще кричали бы об этом с крыш", считает бывший разведчик

[If American leaders could substantiate their theory that the airliner was destroyed by the people’s militias ..., they would be shouting it from the rooftops, says the former intelligence officer.] 




ВАШИНГТОН, 15 июля. /Корр.ТАСС Дмитрий Кирсанов/.


После катастрофы Boeing-777 "Малайзийских авиалиний" на Украине 17 июля 2014 года Запад пошел по пути огульных обвинений в случившемся ополченцев Донбасса и игнорирования необходимости проведения объективного разбирательства обстоятельств трагедии. Такое мнение высказал корр.ТАСС ветеран американской разведки Реймонд Макговерн, комментируя противоречия вокруг идеи создания международного трибунала для привлечения к ответственности виновных в уничтожении авиалайнера.



Obama’s Deadly Cold War Legacy: Beneath the Propaganda

An honest picture of Ukraine-Russia-US not in the Fawning Corporate Media

By Robert Parry



Perpetual War Creates Endless Consequences

By Norman Solomon

Solomon Takes to Task Democrat Enablers, with ample justification.



Still Waiting For USS Liberty’s Truth

By Ray McGovern



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


*  *  *


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.




Ray McGovern

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:


Ray Comment:


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: – 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, 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

May15, 2015



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, 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,


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.

For now:

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



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:

In this March 11 interview with Scott Horton of, 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

Courage Personified

Brave New Films




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.

Arlington, Va.
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, , 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

(4 minutes)



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:



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

​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:          follow Ray on twitter:  @raymcgovern

Bill Binney wins 2015 Sam Adams Award

Ray with Danny Schechter

Tom Drake and Bill Binney

Kathy Kelly and Ray in front of CIA HQS