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Open Mike

Blogger Profile: Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career at the CIA, he worked for nine CIA directors, several of them at close remove. Primarily a substantive analyst and briefer, he nonetheless served in all four of CIA's main directorates and, during one of his postings abroad, helped manage a large covert action project. In January 2003, he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Ray McGovern's Blogs

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Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

March 2nd, 2014

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?

Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative “regime changers” of Official Washington and their sophomoric “responsibility-to-protect” (R2P) allies in the Obama administration? Have they dangerously over-reached by pushing the putsch that removed duly-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych? Russian President Vladimir Putin has given an unmistakable “yes” ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

January 8th, 2014

NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong

In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders William Binney, Thomas Drake, Edward Loomis and J. Kirk Wiebe explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public. January ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

October 15th, 2013

Edward Snowden’s Brave Integrity

I’ve had a couple of days to reflect after arriving back from Moscow where my whistleblower colleagues Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, Tom Drake and I formally presented former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with the annual Sam Adams Associates award for integrity in intelligence. The thought that companioned me ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

September 7th, 2013

Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap? Precedence: IMMEDIATE We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

August 27th, 2013

The Broader Stakes of Syrian Crisis

Amid the increased likelihood that President Barack Obama will cave in to pressure from foreign policy hawks to “Libya-ize” Syria and to accord Syrian President Bashar al-Assad the same treatment meted out to Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the main question is WHY? Obviously, there is concern about the human rights catastrophe ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

August 12th, 2013

The Moral Imperative of Activism

That America is in deep moral and legal trouble was pretty much obvious to everyone before Edward Snowden released official documents showing the extent to which the U.S. government has been playing fast and loose with the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

July 28th, 2013

Puttin’ the Pressure on Putin

The main question now on the fate of truth-teller Edward Snowden is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will see any benefit in helping stop the United States from further embarrassing itself as it prances around the globe acting like a “pitiful, helpless giant.” That image was coined by President Richard Nixon, ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

May 29th, 2013

Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right

An article in the Washington Post on July 6, 2010, reported me standing before the White House, announcing a new epithet for President Barack Obama: “Wuss – a person who will not stand up for what he knows is right.” The report is correct – and so, I believe, is ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

May 16th, 2013

The Deepening Shame of Guantanamo

There have been nine congressional hearings on the Benghazi controversy – with more to come – but almost no one in Congress dares put the spotlight on the unfolding scandal surrounding the Guantanamo Bay prison where most of the remaining 166 inmates have opted to “escape” from indefinite detention via ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

March 18th, 2013

A Last-Second Appeal for Sanity

Ten years ago, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was only hours away, but the case for this unprovoked war was already falling apart with exposure of hyperbole, half-truths and even a forgery. On March 18, 2003, a group of U.S. intelligence veterans pleaded with President George W. Bush to postpone ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

March 5th, 2013

‘Talking Points’ for Hagel on Iran

From: Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern To: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Subject: Proposed Talking Points on Iran for Your Meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak You may wish to draw on some of the following talking points for today’s meeting, cast in the first-person, as though you were speaking. ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

February 25th, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut on the Iraq War

Ten years ago, as President George W. Bush and his administration were putting the finishing touches on their unprovoked invasion of Iraq, the mainstream U.S. news media had long since capitulated, accepting the conventional wisdom that nothing could – or should – stop the march to war. The neocon conquest ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

February 22nd, 2013

Brennan’s Loose Talk on Iran Nukes

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on John Brennan to head the CIA focused on lethal drones, but Brennan’s loose talk lumping Iran with North Korea as nuclear threats could be even more worrisome, recalling Iraq WMD exaggerations, as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity warn Sen. Dianne Feinstein. MEMORANDUM FOR: Senator ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

February 12th, 2013

To Obama: Close the Deal with Iran

Dear Mr. President: As you put the final touches to your State of the Union Address, I urge you to avoid overstating the “threat” from Iran. Indeed, I hope you might take this august occasion to declare your willingness to lift sanctions on Iran as a final step toward a deal ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

February 10th, 2013

John Brennan’s Tenet-Like Testimony

CIA Director-designate John Brennan’s assertion to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Iran is “bent on pursuing nuclear weapons” is precisely the kind of dangerous “mistake” made by his mentor, former CIA Director George Tenet, who made many such “mistakes” a decade ago in greasing the skids for war on Iraq. ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

February 5th, 2013

Colin Powell: Conned or Con-Man?

Ten years ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations in a speech which routed what was left of American resistance to the Bush/Cheney push for invading Iraq. The next day, the Washington Post’s editorial pages spoke for the conventional wisdom, filled with glowing reviews of Powell’s convincing ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

January 31st, 2013

When Truth Tried to Stop War

Ten years ago, Katharine Gun, then a 28-year-old British intelligence officer, saw an e-mailed memo from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) that confirmed for her in black and white the already widespread suspicion that the U.S. and U.K. were about to launch war against Iraq on false pretenses. Doing ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

January 15th, 2013

Post-Iraq-War US Intel Chief Praised

Thomas Fingar, former U.S. Director of the National Intelligence Council, will receive the annual award from Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence in recognition of Fingar’s work from 2005 to 2008 restoring respect for the battered discipline of U.S. intelligence analysis after the fraudulent assessments on Iraq’s non-existent WMD. ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

January 8th, 2013

Excusing Torture, Again

Would-be tough guys like former CIA torturer-in-chief José A. Rodriguez Jr. brag that “enhanced interrogation” of terrorists – or doing what the rest of us would call “torturing” – has made Americans safer by eliciting tidbits of information that advanced the search for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Rodriguez makes ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

December 28th, 2012

The Larger Question of Chuck Hagel

The Israel Lobby is hell bent on sabotaging President Barack Obama’s tentative plan to appoint former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. And – with Obama now dithering about this selection – the Lobby and its neocon allies sense another impending victory. Perhaps The New Yorker’s Connie Bruck described ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

December 4th, 2012

Why to Say No to Susan Rice

President Barack Obama should ditch the idea of nominating U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State on substantive grounds, not because she may have – knowingly or not – fudged the truth about the attack on the poorly guarded CIA installation in Benghazi, ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

November 29th, 2012

The Humiliation of Bradley Manning

It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while other military officers privately took note but did nothing. That was ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

November 11th, 2012

Pundit Tears for Petraeus’s Fall

A day after the surprise announcement that CIA Director David Petraeus was resigning because of marital infidelity, the pundits continue to miss the supreme irony. None other than the head of the CIA (and former bemedaled four-star general) has become the first really big fish netted by the intrusive monitoring ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

October 15th, 2012

The Real Blame for Deaths in Libya

If you prefer charade to reality, inquisition to investigation, trees over forest – the House Government Oversight Committee hearing last Tuesday on “Security Failures of Benghazi” was the thing for you. The hearing was the latest example of the myopic negligence and misfeasance of elected representatives too personally self-absorbed – ... continue reading

Ray McGovern

Retired CIA analyst

October 2nd, 2012

Silence of the Drones

Several friends of mine are among the 35 American activists assembling in Pakistan in recent days in an effort to seek ground truth on the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians there. I will be holding them and their Pakistani hosts and co-travelers in the Light, as my Quaker ... continue reading

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If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
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My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
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Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
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George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
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Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
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FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
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I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
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Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
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ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
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I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
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I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
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How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
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Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
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Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
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When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
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Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
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This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
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The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
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Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
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"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
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RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
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Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
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Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
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Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
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Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
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Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
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Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
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Open Mike

  • March 2nd, 2014

    Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?

    Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative “regime changers” of Official Washington and their sophomoric “responsibility-to-protect” (R2P) allies in the Obama ...

  • January 8th, 2014

    NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong

    In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders William Binney, Thomas Drake, Edward Loomis and J. Kirk Wiebe explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection ...

  • October 15th, 2013

    Edward Snowden’s Brave Integrity

    I’ve had a couple of days to reflect after arriving back from Moscow where my whistleblower colleagues Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, Tom Drake and I ...

  • September 7th, 2013

    Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

    MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap? Precedence: IMMEDIATE We regret to inform you that some of our former ...

  • August 27th, 2013

    The Broader Stakes of Syrian Crisis

    Amid the increased likelihood that President Barack Obama will cave in to pressure from foreign policy hawks to “Libya-ize” Syria and to accord Syrian President ...

  • August 12th, 2013

    The Moral Imperative of Activism

    That America is in deep moral and legal trouble was pretty much obvious to everyone before Edward Snowden released official documents showing the extent to ...

  • July 28th, 2013

    Puttin’ the Pressure on Putin

    The main question now on the fate of truth-teller Edward Snowden is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will see any benefit in helping stop the ...

  • March 2nd, 2014

    Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?

    Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative “regime changers” of Official Washington and their sophomoric “responsibility-to-protect” (R2P) allies in the Obama ...

  • August 13th, 2011

    They Died in Vain; Deal With It

    Many of those preaching at American church services Sunday extolled as “heroes” the 30 American and 8 Afghan troops killed Saturday west of Kabul, when ...

  • January 8th, 2014

    NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong

    In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders William Binney, Thomas Drake, Edward Loomis and J. Kirk Wiebe explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection ...

  • July 3rd, 2011

    A July Fourth Shame on the Founders

    Yes, that was I standing before the U.S. Embassy in Athens on the eve of the July Fourth weekend holding the American flag in the ...

  • September 17th, 2012

    Why the Mideast Exploded, Really

    “Why Is the Arab world so easily offended?” asks the headline atop an article by Fouad Ajami, which the Washington Post published online last Friday ...

  • September 7th, 2013

    Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

    MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap? Precedence: IMMEDIATE We regret to inform you that some of our former ...

  • October 15th, 2013

    Edward Snowden’s Brave Integrity

    I’ve had a couple of days to reflect after arriving back from Moscow where my whistleblower colleagues Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, Tom Drake and I ...

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