Ray McGovern


Ray McGovern, member of Veterans For Peace and former senior analyst at the CIA, discusses his brief, nonviolent protest during Hillary Clinton’s GWU speech about US support for protesters and free speech in Egypt and Iran; McGovern’s violent removal and arrest by uniformed and plainclothes security that left him bruised and bloodied; and how Clinton didn’t even pause during the disruption to contemplate the incredible hypocrisy of her smug lecture to those awful undemocratic Mideast governments.

MP3 here. (10:26)

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the John F. Kennedy administration to that of George H. W. Bush. His articles appear on Consortium News and Antiwar.com.

33 thoughts on “Ray McGovern”

  1. Meanwhile..

    "The US Government has yet again shuttered several domain names this week. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s ICE office proudly announced that they had seized domains related to counterfeit goods and child pornography. What they failed to mention, however, is that one of the targeted domains belongs to a free DNS provider, and that 84,000 websites were wrongfully accused of links to child pornography crimes."

  2. To Ray,

    I’ve been reading your articles for about two years. As a non-American I salute you in a deep heartfelt way. Regardless of how laud the MSM massive trumpeting of lies and twisting the truths are your powerful analytic arguments particularly on the war and peace issues are decisively convincing to all conscientious people of the world. …to all those who are silent but admire your courage, your sense of responsibility and humanity

    Wish you all the best.

    (For all, especially those who do not know Ray I earnestly recommend reading Robert Parry’s article in consortiumnews.com on the topic of this interview, as well as many other very informative articles presented on that site ).

  3. Hmm let's get this story straight, Ray McGovern, a lifetime CIA analyst who advised Nixon, Bush, Reagan et al and was trained by the Jesuits, is now our trustworthy messenger, since he protested Hilary Clinton and was ruffed up. Now, what do they say about CIA, once CIA always CIA. You don't quit and suddenly become a legitimate critic after a 30 year career however an retiring CIA intelligence agent could be sheep-dipped to serve many purposes. Is that what's going on here? If Ray McGovern is a legitimate critic of the system he was raised in and spent a lifetime working for, what serious, factual contributions has he made to dismantle the failing system of COIN?

    What are Angela and Scott's roles as foils to the sheep-dipping process? What significant contributions are they making to combat war and it's sibling COIN by interviewing the same people over over the same highly trained intelligence officers who have a lifetime as functioning information control agents?

    1. Perhaps you have the patience to read full interviews with him in Democracy Now's archives and decide for yourself. See also Lt Col Karen Kwiatkowski (retired) military intelligence archived at Lew Rockwell's website.

      1. Mark, I have read everyone, I have them and reread them everyday, I am paying attention.

        My point is relatively clearly stated below, if Ray McGovern was sincerely a peace movement activist working to build momentum, why would he spend the majority of this interview on pithy matters, instead of pertinent ones. As my parents taught me in the 60's you're gonna take some hits on the way to winning, focus on the goal and go for it.

        I've asked some relatively simple questions here about this interview and I've done so of many other interviews and articles, why do they lack substance? Why is the subject matter so light and apparently misdirecting. Why do so many focus on topic that if you speak up or ask questions you will pay a steep price? It's an attempt to discredit peaceful activism. period.

        I'm calling out Scott, Angela and today Ray for being, well, unfocused, representing peaceful activism as a position which will cause you to be mistreated, and a movement which fails to ask hard questions about the CIA's role, it's current and ex-agents roles, and basically a failure to identify COIN on the ground in the USA.

        In regard to Lt Col Karen Kwiatkowski (retired) she has made her case very well and very clearly. She is a critical component of the antiwar movement. She wasn't CIA.

  4. This is what I gather from the interview:

    If you speak up at a political event (albeit in a nonspecific manner with little consequence) you will be attacked somewhat unfairly. Well acted Ray.

    Yet there is no clear point made by Ray McGovern as to what he was protesting… He could have gone into detail as to what his concerns were with this media charade, yet his primary point of discussion is that Veterans for Peace who speak out will probably not make a good point and will probably be beaten, while neither of these are in general factually true.

    Furthermore, if your role was an inside CIA intelligence role whose function was to discredit the antiwar movement and you had an intelligence operation in place, what response would you expect; no response from Hilary and a overly dramatic response from the security and an even more overly dramatic response from the primary actor-McGovern. Each role is a clear cutout while in the real world people behave somewhat unpredictably and they react-unlike any other participants in this charade. If you were a cutout, your job is to play your role and do not waver.

    As we say in news parlance, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's a duck. Ray McGovern was and is apparently a counterintelligence officer, skilled in his technique, highly trained in misdirection and highly important to COIN on the ground in the USA.

  5. Two options

    A – Ray was a CIA agent for 27 years then defected.

    B – Ray is a CIA agent.

    What is the likelihood of the latter or former and what evidence is there to support either thesis?

      1. This comment is another attempt at fallacious logic known as the argument by extension – that is attempting to associate valid arguments with totally invalid arguments. It's an invalid point.

        Interesting as well that these questions, noted above are well intended by active listeners to the show, they are appropriate questions and they should be addressed not dismissed, by either skilled disinfo rhetoric nor by Scott. There are in fact so valid that they apparently make both this common poster Hacklher and Phil Girladi squirm in their collective seats.

  6. Altray, Hall, and Clancy – You are all nuts. Just because one has worked for CIA does not mean your conscience is surgically removed. Ray is a deeply religious, highly principled, and extremely courageous man who actually is willing to go out and do something while the rest of us whine and pound our word processor keys.

  7. With due respect to your service Phil, ad hominem attacks are fallacious attacks used by speakers and writers who have no factual point to argue, which is apparently the case you make for yourself. While I also have read every one of your pieces and listened to everyone of your interviews, the result is I end up asking who is Philip Giraldi? Who is Ray McGovern, who were they, what role have they played over the long hall? These are valid questions for the peace movement, certainly.

    Note, I do not use fallacious logic as you have, The points are basic:

    What is the role of CIA Intelligence? What is the role of counter intelligence? What is COIN? What does it look like on the ground in the USA?

    We can ask these important questions as a pathway toward peace. We must ask what were these two agents, McGovern and Girladi doing for their lifetimes? Have they changed? Drastically? Or are they playing the same role only in a public forum, a virtual psyop, a controlled opposition of the peace movement? What was McGovern conveying in his theatrical actions, are they clearly defined cutouts? What is his role in the interview?

    The aforementioned questions are important ones that Scott, Angela, and all peace activists must ask ourselves.

    The answer is this, these speakers McGovern and Giraldi are justifying our positions at war and as divided peace activists. They both play a similar role, neither or which is to out their prior roles in intelligence, the process they used to achieve their goals, neither mention the dollar investment in on the ground US media psyop cointelligence propaganda. Nor do they describe the process of leaving the CIA, if that's possible, which I doubt. Nor do they describe the process by they were apparently misled and also misled others into toward an Imperial geo-political foreign policy that has achieved a policy of attrition and incremental collectivism best described or attributed to the Fabian Socialist movement toward global imperialism.

    Now if you fault me for asking these obvious and apparent questions-then you have outed yourself, and if you fail to ask them yourself of yourself-you've outed yourself as well.

    So, as McGovern once wrote of his grandmother, "show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are."

    There you have it as simply as can be, we as objective peace activists must call it as we see it and loudly. You two are not serving the peace movement as effective speakers or organizers of peace while you are achieving an effective role as leaders of a passive, ineffective and divided peace movement.

    Furthermore, I ask you how could you? How could you have worked in CIA counter intelligence for so long and not known what you were doing? Obviously you know exactly what you were doing then and you know what you are doing now, its called counter intelligence. You are culpable for the disaster of US/OK global hegemony we face today.

    Now, if in fact you were simply misled for those years and were mistaken about your role just liker McGovern, or you tried really hard but they just wouldn't listen, then what does that say about you? What does any or all of this say about you two, you are exactly what you claim in your long resumes, intelligence officers for the government, agents of the military industrial complex for counter intelligence-hiding in the open.

    There are no surprises.

  8. Actually, RTS, you and the other posters of a like mind are insinuating that Ray and I are frauds. You are stating that because we worked for an organization that has been engaged in activities that are undeniably evil that we necessarily were a part of that activity. CIA has 20,000 employees and neither Ray nor I ever worked in counter-intelligence, whatever that is supposed to mean (you clearly do not understand the expression). I spent most of my 17 years with CIA working to identify and stop attacks by terrorists, starting with the Red Brigades in Italy, continuing on with Iranian Rev Guard killing teams in Western Europe, going on to Abu Nidal and Ghaddafi, and ending up with groups like ETA. These people were killers no matter how you want to dress them up and I offer no apologies for what I was doing. I will not speak for Ray, but he was a senior analyst who tried to interpret developments in the world for the highest level policy makers in the United States government. I am sure he was both honorable and honest while doing so.

    Both Ray and I have been appalled by the post 9/11 world and what has happened to our country. Why should that be seen by you as some sort of grand deception?

  9. Part 2 – Your comment " we as objective peace activists must call it as we see it and loudly. You two are not serving the peace movement as effective speakers or organizers of peace while you are achieving an effective role as leaders of a passive, ineffective and divided peace movement" is ridiculous. The peace movement hardly exists in this country and I do not identify with it. That is because it is largely composed of people like you mistrust everyone who does not come out of the same "progressive" cooky cutter that formed your views.

    1. Thank you for considering the points:

      In response, I might say, "there you go again" quoting Ronald Reagan, who used those words to discredit the truth spoken by then candidate Carter, however, instead I use those words to convey a point about how some people use dialectic to discredit common sense as Reagan did in the debate effectively, just as you are doing now.

      The Peace Movement is simply that, a movement of similar like minded people from different backgrounds with varied beliefs who share a common understanding of the problem with the military industrial complex and the solution that requires cooperation from diverse people, whether they are tea-partiers, beach partiers, libertarians or conservatives, the peace movement must gel as a common group with like-minded goals.

      Opposition to the peace movement is clearly defined by security, intelligence and Pentagon advisers, Whitehouse Czars such as Cass Sunstein's effective efforts to discredit peace activists and apparently yours. Their goals are to discredit peace activists by showing them to be ineffective. The intelligence strategists use fallacious rhetorical techniques much as we see in your posts, to your discredit, logic, common sense and reason in order to create cognitive dissonance and wear out the patience and drive of active peaceful people.

      On the other hand, we who believe in peace and are against global imperialism whether by the US the UK or any group, we support open discussion, open question and answer, we see questions and discussion as valid and important steps toward dialogue of understanding of our diversity. We do not use ad hominem attacks and we respect each other.

      In direct response to your defense of your roles in counter terrorism, I have and will continue to ask the important question; what role does counter terrorism play in terrorism? It's a valid and important question and your attempts to belittle it belie your intent and purpose, and certainly clarifies your awareness of the significance of the question.

      You must consider Mr. McGovern and yourself as having played a part in this fiasco, a central role while certainly also making some valiant steps, for example your outing of the false reports of materials from Niger for WMD, however in turn we must ask, why would such a blatant and obviously false story be planted with Judith Miller and supported by the New York Times only to be revealed to be uncertain to add credibility to a CIA agent-isn't that called sheep-dipping and its used to generate credibility for controlled opposition gatekeepers? What does that series of events convey? It conveys first a justification for an invasion of Iraq which was accomplished followed by a loss of faith in the US Government and Military? Who would want to use Iraq as a testing ground for various weapons, such as was accomplished under your tenure, followed by discrediting of both the USA and the Military not to mention the NYT? Who had the motive, means and who benefits? Well the answer is globalists working against US sovereignty, globalists in the footprint of Lionel Curtis?

      I challenge your position and that of Mr. McGovern in particular because you have both further served to divide and discredit the idea of peace activism, McGovern did so in this piece we are commenting on, and you in your post above, if it is really Mr. Giraldi, first you've done so with ad hominem attacks and second your position stated, "The peace movement hardly exists in this country and I do not identify with it. That is because it is largely composed of people like you mistrust everyone who does not come out of the same "progressive" cooky cutter that formed your views."

      1. Let me be clear and not be misdirected, there is a peace movement, it's strong as can be, it is growing in strength, whether defined by 1.6 billion Islamists or by 300 million derided and displaced Americans. The primary objective of the peace movement is to end the military industrial complex grasp of our businesses, media, and government. We as individuals are all quite different, we come from various backgrounds, of different ages, and yet we see ourselves as a common force for individual liberty, common law and in particular for peace and mutual respect.

        On our path to taking on the military industrial complex we will take on the infrastructure of war, which includes language, media, counter-intelligence security companies, all groups associated with terrorism and perhaps eventually the source of its funding.

        Let's admit this is a war, it's a war on the people, its multifaceted and in full force of operation, the war is being played out on every street, everywhere in the world, and its observed here on antiwar as much as anywhere, we simply need to identify it's tentacles, and go for the head whose primary tool is language.

        I thank you for your time and respect, I wish you all the best in this game, and I sincerely hope that you are working toward peace, that you'll take my comments seriously, and that you'll note that your use of fallacious logic and ad hominem attacks doesn't help your position and certainly discredits you. Lastly, I ask that you consider deeply the role the the Fabian Socialists, whether the wills of Cecil Rhodes, the efforts of Lionel Curtis, the Round Table Group, Lord Milner, College of all Souls, however you want to call it, you know I am speaking of the collective goals of the global imperialists which are in full force and being felt be every person intimately worldwide.

        Thank you again for your comments,

  10. Thanks for being there, Ray; indeed sorry for the way you were treated. As for all you taking shots from the peanut gallery, if you listened regulary to Anti-war radio, you'd know that Ray McGovern has discussed his current stance and his role in the CIA. You'd also know that he is a sincere voice with clear analysis regarding our current wars. How can you think that doesn't send a clear message, turning one's back while wearing a Veterans for Peace T-shirt? Shame on y'all.

  11. I am rather astonished at all those dumping on these former CIA men with convoluted theories about this or that. Can we not tackle this with a little less cynicism and a little more simplicity?

    It is possible, you know, for someone to change their views as they advance in age and, hopefully, wisdom.

    I've had to.

  12. If you can imagine a diabolic psychological tyranny whose grasp was felt through every cable, wire, monitor and web page, and you imagined what programmed responses would be best to discourage open discussion of pertinent questions, you would imagine programmed knee-jerk condemnation of anyone who asked the following questions:

    What is the role of CIA Intelligence? What is the role of counter intelligence? What is COIN? What does it look like on the ground in the USA?

    And here you see it happening at Antiwar, these extremely relevant questions, which are critical to our efforts toward peace are ridiculed by, well, many posters and few if any have attempted to answer these questions. Even it seems our highly knowledgeable authors and speakers with hands on knowledge. Why is that? Is it because of programmed institutional intelligence allegiance?

    At what point will antiwar.com see that peace must come within first, it must begin within each of ourselves, beginning with our denials of questions to ourselves and followed by going directly at those things that make us uncomfortable, those we resist, like why does antiwar.com have so many (ex)CIA and terrorism experts???

    Don't be afraid of what peace means, when you ask yourself about peace and what it looks like and feels like, go where ever it feels awkward and ask why and how does public and private language play a critical role as gatekeeper to peace.

  13. I agree with Paul and others in the thread about McGovern's actions that send the wrong message. I also question why a CIA agent was trashing the two women who've accused Julian Assange as being "CIA agents"? (With Dennis Bernstein on Flashpoint.) And I question exactly how Mr. CIA got so high in the antiwar movement. I've yet to see him write one column expressing any remorse over the CIA actions while he was in the CIA.
    More importantly, he's a non-stop distraction who repeatedly shades the truth.
    If there was a reason to be mad at Billary (and I'm sure there are many), they get lost in the lies of the interview. The people who removed and arrested Ray McGovern were not Hillary's "goons." They were the security for George Washington University
    It's a detail that Ray McGovern omits but those present know.

  14. When I listen to this interview, I wonder where did Scott Horton go when he went to LA back in the day? I thought he hoped to transition there but as I recall he did not report during the break-then returned to Texas, and I wonder was he in COIN training at Camp Pendelton? Where was he and what happened, why am I asking this question? Because more and more I sense a change occurred at that moment?

      1. I asked what did Scott do when he was gone to LA? He didn't discuss it as I recall. I missed him and wondered where he was and what happened, when he returned he seemed a little down. It was during those three weeks that Scott changed, that his style and the show changed and the effort changed and he no longer seems to speak to the strength of peace, the strength of the rule of law, respect, freedom of speech and the constitution. Now he tends toward speaking about the losses in the movement and the overwhelming strength of the military industrial complex which is a farce. I am not saying that Scott has intentionally changed, just that the shows direction has changed and that concerns me, why won't he or Angela respond seriously to the questions we are asking in this thread?

        Why not have a show about the Jesuit Order, the Nights of Malta and what their role is in the Vatican and within the US Government, such as Ray was a part of, Ray would be the perfect person to answer the hard questions to explain about the Black Pope and how the Vatican really works, or what happened when the Jesuits were banned and then resurrected? These are important historical questions that are relevant and critical to what is happening in the Middle East and in the US and were mentioned by Albert Pike in his letters to Giuseppe Mazzini.

  15. McGovern, Giraldi, and Kwiatkowski are American heroes; thank God they operate within a truly free and independent press in the cause of peace and liberty.

    Here's my question: To what extent are the AP, NYT, WaPo, etc., currently infiltrated or controlled by the CIA and the Feds in general?

    Ray's story and other such state-inflicted travesties are regularly — intentionally — kept off their pages. Surely there are financial and ideological incentives for "prior restraint." But who, if anyone, is blackmailing the managing editors, CEOs, et al.? How many "establishment" press members these days are Feds? Who are pulling the strings? And so on.

    The answers might turn out to be the most helpful WikiLeaks/Anonymous revelations yet.

  16. All this discussion about the "legitimacy" of Ray McGovern due to his history with the CIA misses the point of this issue.

    The point here is that during a speech by the Secretary of State (I even hate to use her name lately – it might encourage her) about freedom of expression in other countries, an audience member – IT MATTERS NOT WHO – stood up in a standard protest manner, with his back to the speaker.

    This is an accepted form of protest during a speech, since he made no noise or attempt to interfere with the audibility of the speech. It does "speak" loudly without making a sound, since it is quickly recognized as a protest of the event and/or the subject matter of the speech.

    Irony is too tame a word to describe this. Attacks on who is making the protest are immaterial in my opinion.

  17. I doubt the question was about the legitimacy of Ray McGovern, but instead about the combined thrust of the interview which failed to touch heavily on the "legitimate" point of the protest and instead was only about Ray being arrested unfairly which was highly predictable. I believe in the antiwar effort, I believe in Ray McGovern and the I believe in the antiwar effort toward peace an non-interventionism, however, as a participant and constituent I ask what is the apparent goal of Ray McGovern and Antiwar.com?

    Is it to rally support in a manner which conveys strength, overwhelming momentum for peace, or to illustrate dead-end tactics that are demeaning and have no possible positive outcome?

    Consider tactics which lead by example? As in, show good behavior, expect good behavior, ignore bad behavior, that's a method that has worked for ever and eons. Leading by example is the heart of the peace movement.

    I may be 100% wrong, the question is on my mind and I am asking for open discussion?

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