Ray McGovern

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11 April 2008, Phoenix, Ariz.
For the New York politician, see J. Raymond McGovern.

Raymond McGovern (born August 25 1939) is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them.


Post-retirement career and views

Intelligence activism

McGovern has been an outspoken commentator on intelligence-related issues since the late 1990s.[1] He was heavily critical of the government's handling of the Wen Ho Lee case in 2000.[2] 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.[3]

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. 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."

McGovern has been outspoken in rejecting the official story of the 9/11 attacks and has joined the call for a new and independent investigation of 9/11.


In May 2006, McGovern attended a speech by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and, during the question-and-answer session, accused him of lying about Iraq prewar intelligence. McGovern challenged Rumsfeld on several statements which Rumsfeld was on the record for saying. McGovern asked him;


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."[7]

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-Semite bigotry: 'The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.'"[8]

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 for National Security Affairs, a strong advocate of war to eliminate all perceived enemies of Israel — like Iraq.[9]

Arrested for Silent Protest at Clinton Speech

During a speech on February 16, 2011, at George Washington University by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he stood silently with his back turned during her remarks, leading to his arrest.[10] [11]

On Julian Assange

When asked on TVNZ whether Julian Assange was a hero or villain, he replied "Hero",[12] and has co-written an open letter of support for WikiLeaks and Assange.[13]

When asked whether Julian Assange was a journalist, he replied "Yeah, actually, with all due respect, I think you (the mainstream media) should be following his example.",[14] to the CNN reporter.

Personal life

McGovern has been married to Rita Kennedy for 50 years. Together they have five children and eight grandchildren.



See also


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Ray McGovern, "Unequal in the eyes of justice?," Christian Science Monitor (18 September 2000) p. 11.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ DefenseLink News Transcript: Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks on ABC "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"
  5. ^ THREATS AND RESPONSES: INTELLIGENCE; Rumsfeld Says U.S. Has 'Bulletproof' Evidence of Iraq's Links to Al Qaeda - New York Times
  6. ^ "CNN.com - Ex-CIA analyst: Rumsfeld 'should have owned up' - May 4, 2006". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/04/cnna.mcgovern/. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  7. ^ 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for May 4 - Tucker - MSNBC.com
  8. ^ Milbank, Dana (2005-06-17). "Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/16/AR2005061601570.html. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  9. ^ Ray McGovern: All Mosquitoes, No Swamp
  10. ^ Madeleine Morgenstern (17 February 2011). "Clinton backs Internet freedom". The GW Hatchet. http://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2011/02/17/News/Clinton.Backs.Internet.Freedom-3978190.shtml.
  11. ^ Priya Anand (17 February 2011). "Protester arrested during Clinton speech". The GW Hatchet. http://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2011/02/17/News/Protester.Arrested.During.Clinton.Speech-3978169.shtml.
  12. ^ Interview on TVNZ about Julian Assange and Wikileaks
  13. ^ Open Letter of Support for WikiLeaks and Assange
  14. ^ Interview on CNN

External links