Ray McGovern

Obama’s Daily Briefing


Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, discusses the prospect of a proper presidential intelligence briefing in an Obama administration, what questions Obama should ask his foreign policy gurus about Iran, how the NYT finally got the Georgia story right, how Russia’s recent show of force helped put the kibosh on an Iran attack, Cheney’s false flag operation fantasies and why Robert Gates is a greater threat to peace than Rumsfeld.

MP3 here. (45:14)

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for twenty seven years and a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

13 thoughts on “Ray McGovern”

  1. well, this is pretty excellent too, Scott, but, if I may offer a word of advice: don’t go all Alex Jones on us, and start introducing far-fetched comparisons to other supposed conservative social values, as you do here at about 30:00.

  2. I agree with Rowan. I suppose Scott’s knee-jerk libertarianism would say that Europe’s government-funded health care system “pays people to be sick”. Well, if that’s so, then Europeans should be sicker, and more expensively sick, than Americans. But golly, what do you know? The truth is, Americans are sicker than Europeans, and our health care system, with its inferior outcome, is far more expensive. I value Scott’s antiwar work, but spare us the ideological homilies, because they’re lame and shallow.

  3. Myron,

    Could you possibly make broader assertions without any facts to back them up? How about citing some statistics?

    Personally, I don’t know much about the state of health care on the European continent, but I do know something about the wretched state of the UK’s system. Much like that of the single-payer approach in Canada, it is indeed less expensive than America’s. It’s also based on price controls, rationing, waiting lines for basic procedures, and needless suffering and premature death. Is this the system we should emulate?

    While you’re at it, maybe you can comment on how the entire world is dependent on medical research conducted here in the US. If we waited for other countries to develop and deliver new medicines and procedures, we could claim to have a less expensive system, too. Are you willing to risk your life and the lives of your loved ones to the vagaries of foreign medical research? It doesn’t exist, because there are no incentives for doing so. But I suppose this is knee-jerk libertarian thinking at work….

    One more thing: please explain how you can be so critical of a monstrously large government that wages bloody wars for no benefit on the one hand, yet rely so blindly on that same bumbling bureaucracy to centrally plan a universal health care system on the other. Have you ever stopped to ponder the inherent contradiction of your position? Wishful thinking is no replacement for sound economic understanding.

  4. Steve: I didn’t expect Scott’s passing assertion of his opinion to be accompanied by a barrage of statistics, and neither was my assertion of the contrary opinion presented as a dissertation. But here are two articles you could start with, to learn the long-established facts:

    “US healthcare comes up short in survey of 7 nations”


    “Canada’s health system is as good or better than that of the United States and is delivered at half the cost, new research suggests.”


    And as for your wondering “how [one] can be so critical of a monstrously large government that wages bloody wars for no benefit on the one hand, yet rely so blindly on that same bumbling bureaucracy to centrally plan a universal health care system on the other”, the answer is simple: I don’t denounce war because government does it; I denounce war because it’s wrong and harmful. You blind ideologues equally denounce the provision of public services and the prosecution of wars, as being equally bad things, simply *because* governments do them. That is asinine.

    And to facilitate this asininity, you have invented that cute term, the “welfare/warfare state”, based on nothing but the superfical similiarity of the two words, as though these things go automatically hand in hand — and yet we don’t see the “welfare states” of Canada or Sweden at the vanguard of vicious war-making in the world. Quite the opposite: we see the world bastion of your anti-welfare ideology, the USA, in this role.

    This is why your absurd, knee-jerk ideologue candidates don’t get elected, even in America: you complain against “bumbling bureaucracy”, but you plainly don’t want government to be anything but bumbling bureaucracy; you don’t want it to function well, and so you wouldn’t concede that it functioned well even in any instance where it did, because that would conflict with your precious a priori.

    “Let us take control of the government so we can prove that the government can’t do anything!” What a brilliant platform! How can you lose?

  5. Want to see an example of socialized health care in America? Try Walter Reid hospital. Is that what you want? I don’t.

    Ron Paul on Interventionism/Walter Reid:

    As for the revealing discussion of this interview, thank you Ray McGovern for standing up against the lies we are fed through our mainstream media! Thank you Scott!!

  6. Myron,

    If the Canadians have such superior health care, why do they cross the border to get treatment here? Maybe it’s because a “free” service has to be available to be effective. And where will they go if we decide to copy their approach? And where will you go when it takes 6 months to get a simple MRI?

    So you hate war because it’s wrong and harmful, eh? What do you call a system which depends on the barrel of a gun to take property from someone who earned it in order to give it to someone who didn’t? For a patient to receive health care, it necessarily means that someone else must pay for it and provide it. If I am forced to pay for your doctor visit, how is this not “wrong and harmful”?

    Just out of curiosity, would you care to give examples of a well run government bureaucracy? Medicare? Social Security? Homeland Security? The Pentagon? How about the US Congress? The list of incompetent alphabet soup agencies that we are compelled to fund under threat of imprisonment is legion. To give these people even more power and control over our lives is truly the triumph of hope over experience. Take off the rose-colored glasses.

  7. Libertarians are moral cretins. Once you decide that all government is evil and that anything is evil simply because it’s done by a government, then you find yourself trivilaizing the horror of war as being evil merely *because* it’s something a government does. Wars, meat inspections, public libraries, what’s the difference to a libertarian?

    Look, I’m not an extremist. I’m not the opposite of you. The opposite ideology would hold that government is inherently and always good and should run and own everything. I don’t advocate anything of the kind. But I don’t share your cretinously simplistic hostility to government, nor your penchant for defining evil itself as whatever a government does. In other words, I’m sane.

  8. Thanks, Myron. I feel the love. Nice ad hominems too. Leftists like to portray themselves as advocates of diversity…unless someone disagrees with them, in which case the person is painted as insane and cretinous. Nice.

    I noticed that you failed to conjure up a single example of a well run government bureau. There are hundreds of agencies and hundreds of thousands of selfless public servants out there. If you can’t cite an example, where is the wisdom in giving the public sector the complete control over our health care?

    Try again, and ditch the name-calling. I dare you.

  9. Ah, Myron. What happened? You had an entire day to respond. Surely you can best an insane libertarian cretin like me with your dazzling brilliance. Tell me about all those wonderfully efficient and effective government agencies that will eliminate scarcity and suffering among the masses. There must be many examples.

    Don’t hold back, Myron. Show me the error of my ways. I stand ready to be educated by the anointed among us.

  10. Steve, let me see if I understand your propositions. You have said some really goofy things. I can’t blame Myron for walking away.

    Just in your first post, you listed many assertions, all unsubstantiated, and all of them questionable. You picked out a few countries like UK and Canada and said their healthcare is bad. This is easily refuted by the many statistics, such as infant mortality, showing the U.S. at the bottom of the worlds’ industrialized countries in health outcomes.

    You say that the Canadians coming to the U.S. for specialized treatments proves that the U.S. system is superior. Totally wrong. EVERYBODY knows the U.S. has terrific healthcare for the rich. The problem is that there’s no safety net for the poor. In the U.S. we let them pay, or die. In other countries, they provide some minimal healthcare.

    We are not intent on screwing the rich, for its own sake. We are intent on providing healthcare to the poor. You sir, are indeed a cretin and dissembler. Shame on you. Obviously you are only intent on tax cuts for the rich. And you don’t care whether this means death for the weak or powerless.

    This brings me back to the original issue, which is war. War is the deliberate and indiscriminate murder of other populations. You seem to think that’s fine. I think it is atrocious and despicable, and I will not have that.

  11. Why can´t the crazy Americans learn something from the Scandinavians ?
    Free Health Care + Robust Social Security = Low Crime. Government is for the happiness of the people – what else. The rich in United Bluff (and in England – and in Colombia) hardly pay any taxes at all. THAT´S THE PROBLEM !!!

  12. Who’s this Myron guy?
    Is he a liberal that is pissed off at libertarianism?

    As a logically consistent philosophy libertarianism blows liberalism out of the water.

  13. Why do “libertarians” kiss so much retired spook ass? Guys like Ray McGovern are such big saints after becoming pensioned off fossils. What I wanna know is where all this integrity and indignation was when they were 30? If you hate the MIC so much, Ray, then refuse the phat CIA pension and health insurance. After all, it’s not like you earned it.

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