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Bobby Gates According to Bobby Gates

 

 


No Tears for the Real Robert Gates

 

 

Editor Comment: In Official Washington, the gap between image and reality can be wide, but there is a virtual canyon separating the mainstream’s awestruck regard for Robert Gates as a “wise man” and his record as a deceitful opportunist known to his former colleagues.

By Ray McGovern

In the early 1970s, I was chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch in which Robert M. Gates worked as a young CIA analyst. While it may be true that I was too inexperienced at the time to handle all the management challenges of such a high-powered office, one of the things I did get right was my assessment of Gates in his Efficiency Report.

Two Red Herrings Caught

NSA’s Preference for Metadata

Editor Note: The hidden ball in the debate over the NSA’s collection of phone and e-mail metadata (vs. tapping into actual conversations with a court order) is that the NSA actually prefers the metadata approach because it strips away privacy more efficiently, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.

By Kirk Wiebe

Senior national security officials, from President Barack Obama on down, have made light of the National Security Agency’s intrusive monitoring of the public by saying “only” metadata about communications, not the content of those communications, are collected. One might ask, then, why is it that intelligence and law enforcement officials much prefer this metadata approach?

At NSA: Corrupt Keystone Cops

NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong

January 7, 2014

Ediitor Note: In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders 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 7, 2014

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Former NSA Senior Executives/Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Input for Your Decisions on NSA

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Who Is Michael Hayden...I Mean, Really?

Gen. Michael ‘No Probable Cause’ Hayden

December 28, 2013

Editor Note:  Ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden, who once declared that “probable cause” is not part of the Fourth Amendment, is sure to hurl more stones at NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as at other guests on Face the Nation tomorrow.

By Ray McGovern

Barring a last-minute frantic call from the White House, CBS’s “Face the Nation” will interview whistleblowers Thomas Drake (ex-senior executive at the National Security Agency) and Jesselyn Radack (ex-ethics adviser at the Justice Department). Michael Hayden, who headed the NSA and CIA and now is a chief NSA defender on CNN and Fox News, will also be interviewed this Sunday.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is -- The CIA

Truman’s True Warning on the CIA

December 22, 2013

Editor Note:  National security secrecy and a benighted sense of “what’s good for the country” can be a dangerous mix for democracy, empowering self-interested or misguided officials to supplant the people’s will, as President Truman warned and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern

Fifty years ago, exactly one month after John Kennedy was killed, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence.” The first sentence of that op-ed on Dec. 22, 1963, read, “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency.”

Fire the Liar

Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper

December 11, 2013

(Editor Note)  Last March – before Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s sweeping collection of phone and other data – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no such operation existed. Now, a group of ex-national security officials urge President Obama to fire Clapper.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Fire James Clapper

We wish to endorse the call by Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Chair of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary, that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be removed and prosecuted for lying to Congress. “Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill. “The only way laws are effective is if they’re enforced.”

Did Snowden Do the Right Thing? Ray McGovern on CNN

...the rest of the sentence, before Erin Burnett timely interruptions, was "There is no way to square with the Fourth Amendment what NSA has been doing."

(just in case you were wondering).

CNN’s Erin Burnett gives the Snowden disclosures 3 min. on Out Front (Nov 4)

Ray gets a few words in about quaint folks like Ed Snowden, who take seriously their oath to support and defend the Constitution

http://cnn.it/19wfFfM

Countering Snow Jobs on Snowden

Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

November 3, 2013

Edior Note:  A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of that theme, but he has asked the New York Times to clarify it.

By Ray McGovern (addressing the New York Times editors)

I was quoted in Steven Lee Myers’s “In Shadows, Hints of a Life and Even a Job for Snowden,” published by the New York Times on Oct. 31, as saying (about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden), “He’s free, but not completely free” in asylum in Russia.

Is Obama verrueckt? German media is just asking

Germans are calling President Obama verrueckt (crazy); Gen. Alexander ganz schoen dumm (pretty damn dumb).

(Ray McGovern tells RTTV it may be the other way around.)

This is new; until now, U.S. presidents – even George W. Bush – have generally been spared this kind of vituperative name calling in serious German media.  Does Obama know all that NSA has been doing; or has he been sparsely informed, in order to give him latitude for "plausible denial?"
RT interview, October 25 (5 min.)

http://youtu.be/WkTgXOTMDW4

Snowden: Dangerous Symptoms of Patriotism...and Guts

Edward Snowden’s Brave Integrity

October 15, 2013

Editor Note: President Obama says he welcomes the debate on post-9/11 surveillance of Americans and the world, but that debate was only made meaningful by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was then indicted and sought asylum in Russia, where he just met with some ex-U.S. intelligence officials, including Ray.

By Ray McGovern

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 Week That Gave Peace a Chance

How War on Syria Lost Its Way

September 14, 2013

Editor Note: What looked like another U.S. march to war in the Mideast has turned in the direction of a peaceful settlement that carries hope of not only getting Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons but achieving a cease-fire and negotiations to end the civil war. But some parties want to resume the drive toward a U.S. attack.

By Ray McGovern

The just announced U.S.-Russia agreement in Geneva on a “joint determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons (CW) program in the soonest and safest manner” sounds the death knell to an attempt by Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to get the U.S. into the war in Syria.

If Obama Doesn't Reveal Sources on Syria, He Ain't Got 'em

Time to Reveal US Intel on Syria

September 9, 2013

Editor Note:  Countering growing opposition to plans for bombing Syria, the White House dispatched Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to the Sunday talk shows. But the choice underscored the Obama administration’s credibility problems and raised new doubts about the case for war.

By Ray McGovern

Were White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough not pushing for yet another war based on what look to be false pretenses, one might feel sorry for him after his multiple TV appearances on Sunday arguing for a military strike on Syria. This unenviable job fell to McDonough as pinch-hitter for the two more natural choices to push the Obama administration’s case for a “limited” war on Syria.

Who's Lying? Brennan, Obama, or Both?

Obama Warned on Syrian Intel

September 6, 2013

Editor Note: Despite the Obama administration’s supposedly “high confidence” regarding Syrian government guilt over the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, a dozen former U.S. military and intelligence officials are telling President Obama that they are picking up information that undercuts the Official Story.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap?

Precedence: IMMEDIATE

Gen. Dempsey Should Quit, IF.....

An Appeal to Gen. Dempsey on Syria

August 30, 2013

Gen. Martin Dempsey,  Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, has spoken soberly about the dangers from any military strike on Syria, but press reports indicate President Obama is still set on launching cruise missiles in the coming days, an action that former U.S. intelligence professionals say should prompt Dempsey’s resignation.

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Syria and Our Oath to Defend the Constitution

Dear Gen. Dempsey:

Syria is About Iran & Israel, Stoopid

The Broader Stakes of Syrian Crisis

August 27, 2013

Editor Note: Though some intelligence analysts still doubt that the Syrian government launched a chemical attack, the political momentum for a U.S. retaliatory strike may be unstoppable. But the broader framework of the crisis involves the Israeli-Iranian dispute and the future of regional peace.

By Ray McGovern

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 in Syria, but is the main target Syria’s main ally, Iran, as many suspect?

London Telegraph: Is Manning's Sentence "Too Lenient?"

Ray McGovern: Initial Comment on 35-yr Sentence for Bradley Manning

My London Telegraph interview yesterday, Skyped/taped right after the sentence was announced, ended up being “sanitized” to cut out unwelcome material – a reminder of why live interviews are always better.  It’s only six minutes, though, and perhaps worth a quick look.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/10258142/Video-debate-Was-Bradley-Mannings-sentence-too-lenient.html

I figured the Telegraph might try to set me up; here’s how the interview started:

“As Bradley Manning is jailed for 35 years for the biggest leak of classified documents in American intelligence history, the Telegraph's Tim Stanley debates with a Manning supporter about whether the sentence is too lenient.”

The Noah Principle: Put Up or Shut Up

The Moral Imperative of Activism -- Like Now

August 12, 2013

Editor Note:  Today’s crises – endless war, environmental catastrophe, desperate poverty and more – can seem so daunting that they paralyze action rather than inspire activism. But the imperative to do something in the face of injustice defines one’s moral place in the universe.  (With apologies for failing to find a recent photo of Aquinas)

By Ray McGovern

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.

Pastel Silk Ties Will Force Putin to Back Down

Puttin’ the Pressure on Putin

July 28, 2013

Editor Note: The Obama administration continues to compound the diplomatic mess around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The latest blunder was announcing that the U.S. wouldn’t torture or execute Snowden, a reminder to the world how far Official Washington has strayed from civilized behavior.

By Ray McGovern

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, who insisted that the giant of America would merit those adjectives if it did not prevail in South Vietnam.

Gen. Hayden's Snow Job on Snowden - or - Have You Finally No Shame?

 

Gen. Hayden’s Glass House

By Ray McGovern

July 21, 2013

Editor Note: Official Washington’s national security/mainstream media incest was on scandalous display when ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden posed as a CNN analyst to denounce Edward Snowden for exposing surveillance excesses that Hayden had a hand in creating.

Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden should not throw any more stones, lest his own glass house be shattered. His barrage Friday against truth-teller Edward Snowden and London Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald invited a return rain of boulders for Hayden committing the same violations of constitutional protections that he is now excusing.

Veteran Intelligence Officials Salute Brandon Toy for Courage

 

Brandon Toy’s Act of Conscience

July 19, 2013

Editor Note: Courage, like cowardice, often comes in individual, incremental pieces building toward something great and honorable, or small and dishonorable. The resignation of Brandon Toy from General Dynamics fits into the former category and is so honored by an organization of former intelligence officials.

A Respectful Salute to a Soldier/Contractor/Truth-teller

By Sam Adams Associates

Truth Teller Snowden Honored by Former Intelligence Officers

Ex-Intel Officials Cite Courage of Snowden

July 8, 2013

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, an organization of former national security officials, has honored NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, praising his decision to reveal the extent of U.S. government electronic surveillance of people in the United States and around the world.

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Give Annual Award to Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, an ex-contractor for the National Security Agency, has been named recipient of this year’s award for truth-telling given by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, the group announced Monday.

Germans Remember Das Leben des Anderen

Gauging Sympathy for Snowden

July 3, 2013

Editor Note: As the U.S. media turns on NSA leaker Edward Snowden – and as many Americans say they’re happy to trade some privacy for more security – samples of public opinion abroad are more sympathetic. An online poll by a major German daily reflects that sentiment, writes ex-Danish intelligence analyst Frank S. Grevil.

By Frank S. Grevil, Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence

British Eavesdropping: How Awkward at High Tea

UK Grapples with Spying Disclosure

June 17, 2013

Editor Note: British authorities are scrambling to justify how they – while hosting a global economic summit in 2009 – spied on their guests with help from America’s National Security Agency. Some UK media outlets seem a little spooked themselves in getting commentary on the incident.

By Ray McGovern

How inconvenient for Great Britain. Just as world leaders of the G-8 countries gather for a meeting in Northern Ireland, The Guardian front-pages the news that the last time they got together in territory controlled by the UK, the British subjected them to the kind of intrusive eavesdropping that most folks still think is reserved for “suspected terrorists” or “foreign enemies.”

The Right Reverend Honorable General Keith B. Alexander

 

Secrecy’s Tangled Web of Deceit

June 13, 2013

Editor Note: U.S. government officials insist that their secret surveillance techniques are so valuable in fighting “terrorism” that they must be kept completely in the dark – along with the American people. This alleged imperative has justified even lying to Congress.

By Ray McGovern

The name card at the Senate hearing read, “Hon. General Keith B. Alexander,” but layering on the extra honorific title was not enough to change the sad reality that the National Security Agency’s director – a proven prevaricator – was not “honorable.”

You might have thought that some impish congressional staffer was trying to inject a touch of irony into the proceedings by prefacing “General” with “Hon.” – like Mark Antony mocking Julius Caesar’s murderers as “honorable men” in Shakespeare’s play. But that didn’t seem to be the case.

Snowden a Patriot Warning "Turnkey Tyranny"

Another Truth-Teller Steps Forward

June 10, 2013

Editor Note: Edward Snowden, who disclosed top-secret documents on the U.S. government’s massive surveillance programs, is reportedly seeking asylum from countries that value openness and freedom, conditions seen as slipping away at home, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

Before the U.S. government and the mainstream media engage in the customary character assassination of truth-teller Edward Snowden – a fate endured by Pfc. Bradley Manning and others – let’s get on the record the motives he gave for releasing the trove of information on intrusive eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

Why would someone like Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of national-security contractor Booz Allen & Hamilton, jeopardize what he calls “a very comfortable life” in order to blow the whistle on the U.S. government’s abuse of power?

Bradley Manning: the Moral Dimension

Moral Imperative of Bradley Manning

June 3, 2013

Editor Note: Official Washington still glorifies George W. Bush’s “successful surge” in Iraq while ignoring the wanton slaughter inflicted on Iraqis. So, there remains a high-level desire to harshly punish Pvt. Bradley Manning for exposing the horrific truth about that and other war crimes.

By Ray McGovern

Although we had to swelter in the Maryland sun on Saturday, I found the pre-trial rally at Ft. Meade to support Bradley Manning particularly spirit-filled. It seemed there was an unspoken but widely shared consciousness that Manning is as much Biblical prophet as Army private.

Obama: POTUS Impotens

Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right

May 28, 2013

Editor Note: In his counterterrorism speech, President Obama ruminated about the moral and legal dilemma of balancing the safety of the American people against the use of targeted killings abroad. But Obama’s handwringing did not sit well with some critics including ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

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.”

Tsarnaev's Handwriting on the Wall

Boston Suspect’s Writing on the Wall

May 17, 2013

Editor Note: Hiding and near death, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly scrawled on the inside of a boat that he did what he did to avenge innocent Muslims killed by U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a rare look at the why behind “terrorism."

By Ray McGovern

Quick, somebody tell CIA Director John Brennan about the handwriting on the inside wall of the boat in which Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding before Boston-area police riddled it and him with bullets. Tell Brennan that Tsarnaev’s note is in plain English and that it needs neither translation nor interpretation in solving the mystery: “why do they hate us?”

Small Miracle: Guantanamo Dissected at House Briefing, May 10

The Deepening Shame of Guantanamo

May 13, 2013

Editor Note: For more than a decade, the Guantanamo Bay prison has been a blot on America’s conscience. President Obama vowed to close it but acceded to congressional demands to keep it open. Now, an emerging humanitarian crisis – a mass hunger strike – is drawing only scant attention.

By Ray McGovern

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 the only way open to them – starving themselves to death.

Intelligence Fraud from the Outset: Launching War on Iraq

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 the attack. The text of VIPS's March 18, 2003 Memorandum for the President follows.( A list of all 23 corporate memoranda produced by VIPS since its first, on February 5, 2003, is found at warisacrime.org/vips.)

March 18, 2003

Memorandum for: The President

From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Subject: Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth: A Problem

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