Raymond McGovern (born August 25, 1939) is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990, and in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He received the Intelligence Commendation Medal at his retirement, returning it in 2006 in protest at the CIA's involvement in torture. McGovern's post-retirement work includes commentating on intelligence issues and in 2003 co-founding Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
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Ray McGovern was born in the Bronx in New York City and grew up there. He earned a degree with honors from Fordham University and then served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964.
McGovern has been married to Rita Kennedy for 50 years. Together they have five children and eight grandchildren.
McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years (1963 to 1990), "routinely presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House". His CIA career began under President John F. Kennedy, and lasted until the Presidency of George H. W. Bush. McGovern chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief, and in the mid-1980s was "a senior analyst conducting early morning briefings one-on-one with the vice president, the secretaries of State and Defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the assistant to the president for national security." At his retirement in 1990, McGovern received the CIA's Intelligence Commendation Medal.
He worked as an officer for the CIA, where he was responsible for the analysis of Soviet policy in Vietnam.
Post-retirement and views
McGovern has been an outspoken commentator on intelligence-related issues since the late 1990s. He was heavily critical of the government's handling of the Wen Ho Lee case in 2000. In 2002 he was publicly critical of President George W. Bush's use of government intelligence in the lead-up to the war in Iraq.
In 2003, together with other former CIA employees, McGovern founded the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity or VIPS. The organization is dedicated to analyzing and criticizing the use of intelligence, specifically relating to the War in Iraq.
In January 2006, McGovern began speaking out on behalf of the anti-war group Not in Our Name. According to the group's press release, McGovern served symbolic "war crimes indictments" on the Bush White House from a "people's tribunal."
In a television interview with Tucker Carlson on MSNBC, McGovern said: "I‘ve been using the acronym O.I.L. for many — for two years now: O for oil; I for Israel; and L for logistics, logistics being the permanent — now we say “enduring” — military bases that the U.S. wants to keep in Iraq."
The Washington Post reported that, in his testimony, McGovern "declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration 'neocons' so 'the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world.' He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 'Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation,' McGovern said. Genuine criticism of official Israeli policy is often portrayed as if it were anti-Semite bigotry: 'The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.'"
Arrested for Silent Protest at Clinton Speech
On Julian Assange
When asked whether Julian Assange was a journalist, he replied "Yeah, actually, with all due respect, I think you (the mainstream media) should be following his example.", to the CNN reporter.
- Ambika Behal, United Press International, 10 March 2006, The U.S. has run amok; former CIA analyst
- Dan Chapman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7 December 2003, Q & A / RAY McGOVERN, former CIA analyst: 'We're trying to spread a little truth'
- Die Tageszeitung, 30 October 2013, „Obamas Angst vor Geheimdiensten“
- Donald P. Russo, The Morning Call, 13 May 2006, No shortage of evidence that Bush is slipping
- Ray McGovern, "How lies replaced intelligence at the CIA," Boston Globe (7 October 1999) p. A 27; Ray McGovern, "Protecting the homeland: Don't jeopardize intelligence links," Christian Science Monitor (15 July 2002) p.9.
- Ray McGovern, "Unequal in the eyes of justice?," Christian Science Monitor (18 September 2000) p. 11.
- Ray McGovern, "The best intelligence? CIA." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (22 November 2002) p. 19A; Ray McGovern, "How Intelligence Now Serves the Defense Department," Boston Globe (29 September 2002) p. D11.
- 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for May 4 - Tucker - MSNBC.com
- Milbank, Dana (2005-06-17). "Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Madeleine Morgenstern (17 February 2011). "Clinton backs Internet freedom". The GW Hatchet.
- Priya Anand (17 February 2011). "Protester arrested during Clinton speech". The GW Hatchet.
- Interview on TVNZ about Julian Assange and Wikileaks
- Open Letter of Support for WikiLeaks and Assange
- Interview on CNN
- Interview with Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN October 10, 2013 discussing his meeting with Edward Snowden in Moscow
- Radio interview on Progressive Radio
- Downloadable audio interview with Scott Horton
- The-war-at-home The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- Audio and Transcript of Brad Show interview, June 11, 2005
- "McGovern: Forged 'yellowcake' memo 'leads right back to' Cheney" (MSNBC Tucker Carlson Video)
- "Retired CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Takes on Rumsfeld Over Justification for Iraq Invasion" May 5, 2006 Democracy Now
- "A Compromised Central Intelligence Agency: What Can Be Done?", in Curtis, Alan (ed.) Patriotism, Democracy, and Common Sense: Restoring America's Promise at Home and Abroad, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005