Ray McGovern

Raymond McGovern born 1939, is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over 27 years and presented the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many years.

McGovern was born and raised in the Bronx and was a graduate, summa cum laude, of Fordham University. A "Distinguished Military Graduate", he served in the US Army from 1962-64 as an intelligence officer. McGovern also received an M.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham University, a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University and was a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

McGovern was a mid level officer in the CIA in the 1960s where his focus was analysis of Soviet policy toward Vietnam. McGovern was one of President Ronald Reagan's intelligence briefers from 1981-85 when he was in charge of preparing daily security briefs for the President, the Vice President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Cabinet and National Security Advisor. Later, McGovern was one of several senior CIA analysts who prepared the President's Daily Brief (PDB) for President George Herbert Walker Bush.

Upon retirement, McGovern was awarded the Intelligence Commendation Medal from George Herbert Walker Bush (which he later returned, see below) and worked for Washington-based non-profits before becoming co-director of the Servant Leadership School in Washington. He has been married to Rita Kennedy for forty-two years, with whom he has five children and six grandchildren.

McGovern has become an outspoken critic of the current Bush administration, and together with other former CIA employees, founded the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity or VIPS. The organization is dedicated to exposing what these former Intelligence professionals believe to be the mishandling of important intelligence, specifically relating to the War in Iraq.

In January, 2006, McGovern began speaking out on behalf of Not in Our Name. According to the group's press release, McGovern served "war crimes indictments" on the Bush White House from a "peoples tribunal."

On June 1, 2006, McGovern said, on the Alex Jones radio show, that staged terror attacks across Europe and the U.S. are "probable" in order to justify the invasion of Iran.

McGovern was interviewed by Les Jamieson on Thursday, July 20, 2006, on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC. MP3s of this interview are available here.

With 15 other VIPS, McGovern participated in a protest of torture and returned his Intelligence Commendation Award medallion to Congressman Pete Hoekstra, R-MI, and Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He argued that he did "not wish to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture," and that "this is an order of magnitude different from my experiences in the past — there has been torture before, but never before has it been ordered and openly justified."

He believes the CIA has bowed to pressure to alter its reports to suit the White House, and wants the agency to maintain accountability and adherence to the truth.

McGovern also believes that U.S. presidents have a history of manufacturing evidence in order to start wars. In a piece he co-authored with David MacMichael, McGovern accuses both Ronald Reagan (for supporting the Contras against the Sandinistas) and George H.W. Bush (for going to war in Iraq in 1991) misused or manufactured intelligence.

McGovern has called for President Bush's impeachment. He argued with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld after a speech in Atlanta, Georgia on May 4, 2006, directly questioning the Secretary: "Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?"

In his defense the Secretary answered he had not lied. McGovern affirmed that Rumsfeld had said that he knew where the WMD were: “near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and northeast, south and west of there.” The Secretary once more denied having used that language, although he said precisely that in an interview with ABC on March 30, 2003, little over a week before US forces would take control of Baghdad and one more before they would enter Tikrit. Rumsfeld had added in the original statement in reference to one particular facility, "we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don't know that. But it's way too soon to know."

CNS News quoted from McGovern's appearance on the Alex Jones radio show in 2005:

"We have to be careful, if somebody does this kind of provocation -- big violent explosions of some kind -- it could well be a provocation allowing them (the Bush administration) ... to get what they want," McGovern told host Alex Jones.

McGovern notes CIA operations such as the Operation Ajax, Operation PBSUCCESS, the Gulf of Tonkin while stating his suspicions on the War on Terror.

He is one of 100 signatories to a petition "which calls for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war."

McGovern blames the war in Iraq on "O.I.L." In a television interview with Tucker Carlson on MSNBC, he explained: "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."

McGovern testified at a Democratic National Headquarters forum in 2005 that had been convened by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) 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-semite bigotry: 'The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.'"

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean denounced McGovern's claim regarding Israel: "As for any inferences that the United States went to war so Israel could 'dominate' the Middle East or that Israel was in any way behind the horrific September 11th attacks on America," Dean pronounced, "let me say unequivocally that such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric."

McGovern described the incident with former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey in an article in Counterpunch:

I thought of the debate I had on Iraq with arch-neoconservative and former CIA Director James Woolsey on PBS' Charlie Rose Show on August 20, when I broke the taboo on mentioning Israel and was immediately branded "anti-Semitic" by Woolsey. Reflecting later on his accusation, it seemed almost OK since it was so blatantly ad hominem. And his attack was all the more transparent, coming from the self-described "anchor of the Presbyterian wing of JINSA"-the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, a strong advocate of war to eliminate all perceived enemies of Israel-like Iraq.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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