Ray McGovern

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April 2008, Phoenix, Ariz.

Raymond McGovern (born August 25, 1939) is a veteran CIA officer turned political activist.[1] 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 to protest the CIA's involvement in torture.[2] McGovern's post-retirement work includes commenting on intelligence issues and in 2003 co-founding Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Personal life[edit]

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 nine grandchildren.

Career[edit]

McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years (1963 to 1990), routinely presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House.[3] His CIA career began under President John F. Kennedy, and lasted until the Presidency of George H. W. Bush.[4] 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.[5] At his retirement in 1990, McGovern received the CIA's Intelligence Commendation Medal.[2][5]

He worked as an officer for the CIA, where he was responsible for the analysis of Soviet policy in Vietnam.

Views and activism[edit]

Intelligence activism[edit]

After retirement from the CIA, McGovern became an outspoken commentator on intelligence-related issues since the late 1990s.[6] He was heavily critical of the government's handling of the Wen Ho Lee case in 2000.[7] 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.[8]

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.[2]

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 2006 McGovern returned his Intelligence Commendation Medal in protest at the CIA's involvement in torture.[2]

On October 9, 2013, McGovern, along with three former winners, gave the Sam Adams Award for integrity in intelligence to Edward Snowden in a Moscow ceremony.[9][10]

McGovern is a founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.[11] In September 2015 McGovern and 27 other members of VIPS steering group wrote a letter to the President challenging a recently published book, that claimed to rebut the report of the United States Senate Intelligence Committee on the Central Intelligence Agency's use of torture.

"O.I.L."[edit]

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."[12]

McGovern testified at a Democratic National Headquarters forum in 2005 that had been convened by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) of the House Judiciary Committee on the Downing Street Memo.

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-semitism: 'The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-semitic.'"[13]

Arrests[edit]

During a 2011 speech at George Washington University (GW) by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, McGovern stood with his back turned during her remarks, blocking the view of some of the audience and media for about five minutes in "silent protest" of Clinton's foreign policy.[14][15] McGovern refused to cooperate when asked to leave by security, which lead to his arrest for disorderly conduct[14] and inclusion on the State Department's "be on the lookout" (BOLO) list, which authorizes law enforcement to stop and question him on sight.[15] The charges were subsequently dropped two weeks later. In 2014, McGovern's lawyer filed a lawsuit against the GW police department for allegedly using excessive force and also against the university and State Department for allegedly violating his right to peacefully protest.[15]

In 2014, McGovern was arrested by the New York City police department at an event where former CIA director and retired Army General David Petraeus was giving a speech. McGovern said he wanted to ask Petraeus about his involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but security told him he was not welcome.[16] He claimed he had a ticket to the event, but was charged for resisting arrest and criminal trespassing.[17]

On Julian Assange[edit]

When asked on TVNZ whether Julian Assange was a hero or villain, he replied "hero,"[18] and has co-written an open letter of support for WikiLeaks and Assange.[19]

When asked whether Julian Assange was a journalist, he replied "Yeah, actually, with all due respect, I think you should be following his example,"[20] to the CNN reporter.

2016 Presidential election[edit]

November 7, 2016 he wrote in an e-mail to the supporters of Jill Stein "I am in Europe now, but voted for Jill Stein, as a matter of conscience, before departing the U.S." and "I thought of my grandchildren, in deciding to cast my vote for Jill Stein, knowing that she and the Greens are hard at work trying to assure that my grandchildren will have the clean air and pure water that most of us “grown-ups” still take for granted.".[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patrick Smith, Salon, 7 February 2016, [1]
  2. ^ a b c d Ambika Behal, United Press International, 10 March 2006, The U.S. has run amok; former CIA analyst
  3. ^ Dan Chapman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7 December 2003, Q & A / RAY McGOVERN, former CIA analyst: 'We're trying to spread a little truth'
  4. ^ Die Tageszeitung, 30 October 2013, „Obamas Angst vor Geheimdiensten“
  5. ^ a b Donald P. Russo, The Morning Call, 13 May 2006, No shortage of evidence that Bush is slipping
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Ray McGovern, "Unequal in the eyes of justice?," Christian Science Monitor (18 September 2000) p. 11.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ http://en.ria.ru/world/20131010/184056940/Snowden-Has-Secret-Moscow-Meeting-with-US-Leakers.html
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWikiLeaksChannel
  11. ^ Andy Worthington (2015-09-15). "28 Veterans of US Intelligence Fight Back Against CIA Claims That the Bush Torture Program Was Useful and Necessary". Archived from the original on 2015-09-28. 
  12. ^ 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for May 4 – Tucker – MSNBC.com
  13. ^ Milbank, Dana (2005-06-17). "Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  14. ^ a b Anand, Priya (February 17, 2011). "Protester arrested during Clinton speech". The GW Hatchet. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c Gurciullo, Brianna (March 3, 2014). "Man who protested 2011 Clinton speech sues UPD officers for excessive force". The GW Hatchet. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Details Painful Arrest at Petraeus Event". Democracy Now!. November 4, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  17. ^ Tracy, Thomas (November 2, 2014). "Former CIA analyst arrested after trying to crash event with David Petraeus". NY Daily News. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  18. ^ Mike Hosking, Ray McGovern (December 10, 2010). "Interview on TVNZ about Julian Assange and Wikileaks". Close Up. TV NZ. 
  19. ^ Ellsberg, Daniel; Grevil, Frank; Gun, Katharine; MacMichael, David; McGovern, Ray; Murray, Craig; Rowley, Coleen; Wilkerson, Larry (December 8, 2010), "Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures", Daniel Ellsberg's Website, retrieved March 27, 2017 
  20. ^ Don Lemon, Ray McGovern (December 12, 2010). "Metrodome Roof Collapse; Lure of the Outsider; WikiLeaks War; Christmas in Washington; Sarah Palin in Haiti; Dream Act in Jeopardy; Atlanta Cheating Scandal". CNN Newsroom (video). Transcript. CNN. 
  21. ^ Ray McGovern

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