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Will Obama Have Hagel's Back, or Only Netanyahu's?

The Larger Question of Chuck Hagel

December 28, 2012

Editor Note: The up-in-the-air nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary has become a test of whether the Israel Lobby can still shoot down an American public servant who is deemed insufficiently passionate regarding Israel, a test that now confronts President Obama, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

The Israel Lobby is hell bent on sabotaging President Barack Obama’s tentative plan to appoint former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. And – with Obama now dithering about this selection – the Lobby and its neocon allies sense another impending victory.

No More Rice, Please

Why to Say No to Susan Rice

December 3, 2012

Editor Note: Key Republicans object to Susan Rice getting a promotion from UN ambassador to Secretary of State, citing her flawed account of the Benghazi assault. But a more legitimate concern is her lack of judgment on the Iraq War and other foreign policy decisions.

By Ray McGovern

President Barack Obama should ditch the idea of nominating U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State on substantive grounds, not because she may have – knowingly or not – fudged the truth about the attack on the poorly guarded CIA installation in Benghazi, Libya.

Kangaroos Missing Tuesday at Court for Bradley Manning Trial

The Humiliation of Bradley Manning

November 28, 2012

Editor Note: The pre-trial hearing on Pvt. Bradley Manning’s court martial for leaking classified documents about U.S. government wrongdoing has turned up evidence that even Manning’s Marine jailers were worried about the controversy over his degrading treatment in their custody, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while other military officers privately took note but did nothing.

McGovern: Petraeus Was Firmly "Invited" to Resign

Ray on New Zealand TV:  Why Petraeus’s Clay Feet Tipped Him Off His Pedestal  (NEW)
HINT: IT WASN’T THE DALLIANCE
(6 minutes)
http://youtu.be/sV5hAtU4ME0

Petraeus ex Machina and the Femme Fatale

Pundit Tears for Petraeus’s Fall

November 10, 2012

Editor Note: Much of Official Washington is in mourning after David Petraeus admitted to an extramarital affair and resigned as head of the CIA. Top pundits were as smitten by the former four-star general as his mistress was -- probably more so -- writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

A day after the surprise announcement that CIA Director David Petraeus was resigning because of marital infidelity, the pundits continue to miss the supreme irony. None other than the head of the CIA (and former bemedaled four-star general) has become the first really big fish netted by the intrusive monitoring of the communications of American citizens implemented after 9/11.

Policy Bankrupt, Diplomats Dead

 

The Real Blame for Deaths in Libya

Editor Note: Rep. Darrell Issa and the Republicans are making political hay from last month’s killings in Libya of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. But the real blame traces back to Official Washington’s endless interventions in the Middle East.

By Ray McGovern

If you prefer charade to reality, inquisition to investigation, trees over forest – the House Government Oversight Committee hearing last Tuesday on “Security Failures of Benghazi” was the thing for you.

The hearing was the latest example of the myopic negligence and misfeasance of elected representatives too personally self-absorbed – and politically self-aggrandizing – to head off misbegotten wars and then too quick to blame everyone but themselves for the inevitable blowback.

The Buzz on Drones

Civilian Casualties From Drone Attacks in Afghanistan

October 1, 2012

Editor Note: Even as the United States has withdrawn from Iraq and has begun to wind down the Afghan War, the lethal reach of the U.S. military has been extended into other countries through drone aircraft. What is less known is the full human and political costs.

By Ray McGovern

Several friends of mine are among the 35 American activists assembling in Pakistan in recent days in an effort to seek ground truth on the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians there. I will be holding them and their Pakistani hosts and co-travelers in the Light, as my Quaker friends like to say, and will now try to do my part in what follows to put this dangerous journey in perspective.

Netanyahu's Science-Project Poster Disguises Backdown on Iran

 

Netanyahu Backs Off on Iran

September 28, 2012

Editor Note: While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was belligerent in tone at the UN, he signaled a retreat on substance, postponing his threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. That suggests he is reading the U.S. polls and thinks he may have to deal with President Obama in a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

The main takeaway from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s U.N. speech was the inference that he has been forced to relent on the possibility of military action against Iran, with his threats deferred past the U.S. election on Nov. 6 and off into next spring and beyond.

LINK TV to Show Ray McGovern Talk on Israel-Iran Starting Sept. 21

Israel and Iran: Facts ≠ Fear — Ray McGovern Talk Starts Playing Tomorrow on LINK TV

Ray’s Sept. 2 speech (and the Q&A following) on Israel & Iran: Facts ≠ Fear starts showing on LINK TV Friday, Sept. 21, at 3:00 Eastern.  Ray gave the talk at a benefit for a Justice-oriented non-profit he admires very much – the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) in Berkeley, CA.  In the following URL, LINK TV lists the schedule for its running (six more times in the coming days).

http://www.linktv.org/programs/ray-mcgovern-israel-and-iran

It's Their Thin Skin That Makes Muslims Hate Us, Right?

Why the Mideast Exploded, Really

September 17, 2012

Editor Note: The new conventional wisdom, in the wake of angry protests roiling the Middle East, is that Muslims are either way too sensitive or irrational. How else to explain the fury over an offensive anti-Islam video? But the video was just the spark that ignited a long-smoldering fire, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

“Why Is the Arab world so easily offended?” asks the headline atop an article by Fouad Ajami, which the Washington Post published online last Friday to give perspective to the recent anti-American violence in Muslim capitals.

While the Post described Ajami simply as a “senior fellow” at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, Wikipedia gives a more instructive perspective on his checkered career and dubious credibility.

Stay-Out-of-Jail Chit for CIA Torturers

 

Obama Ruling Shields Torturers

September 7, 2012

Editor Note: Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute CIA torturers in two high-profile homicides bows to the political difficulty of going after field agents while sparing superiors, including ex-President George W. Bush. But the all-clear on torture sends a dangerous message, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

When Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu said last week that the ex-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. should be made to “answer for their actions” in attacking Iraq on the basis of lies, Western savants and pundits greeted the remarks from the retired archbishop of South Africa with an all-too-familiar knowing, dismissive shrug.

Was Mary of Nazareth a "Hooligan?"

Pussy Riot’s Appeal for Justice

August 20, 2012

Editor Note: A Russian judge has sentenced three female “punk” rockers from the group “Pussy Riot” to two years in prison for performing a protest song at a Moscow cathedral, what the judge called anti-religious “hooliganism.” But Ray McGovern sees the protest as in the spirit of Mary, mother of Jesus.

By Ray McGovern

The song to which the punk band “Pussy Riot” danced on Feb. 21 in Russia’s iconic Christ the Savior Cathedral ends with a prayer asking Jesus’s mother Mary to “become a feminist,” but Mary always was a feminist through and through, with a voice speaking strongly for justice.

Centuries of saccharine portraits and iconography have obscured a more reality-based appreciation of this gutsy young woman. But recent scripture study throws light on how Mary implanted a vision of inclusive justice into the heart of Jesus.

Veterans For Peace Appeals to Non-Alignment Movement Leaders: Stop War, Stop Sanctions on Iran

Peaceful Action Urged on Iran Crisis

August 19, 2012

With the Non-Aligned Movement meeting this week in Tehran, Veterans For Peace is urging the organization of 120 nations not formally allied with any major power bloc to take steps to deter the Israeli-American threats of war against Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.

APPEAL TO NON-ALIGNED LEADERS MEETING IN TEHRAN

FROM: Veterans For Peace

This is an urgent appeal from Veterans For Peace. We are an organization of U.S. veterans formed in 1985 to try to bring an end to war. VFP is a non-profit organization recognized by the UN as an NGO.

Batten Down the Hatches: Israel Likely to Strike Iran Before November

Israel’s ‘Bomb Iran’ Timetable

August 12, 2012

Editor Note: As the clock ticks down to the U.S. elections in November, another clock is ticking in Israel. There is increasing evidence that Israel's leaders plan to get hostilities going with Iran in the coming weeks, in the expectation that Obama will have no alternative but to commit U.S. forces to support Israel.

By Ray McGovern

More Washington insiders are coming to the conclusion that Israel’s leaders are planning to attack Iran before the U.S. election in November in the expectation that American forces will be drawn in. There is widespread recognition that, without U.S. military involvement, an Israeli attack would be highly risky and, at best, only marginally successful.

Veteran Intelligence Officers Warn President re Potential for Mischief in Persian Gulf

A Persian Gulf ‘Hot Line’ Proposed

July 31, 2012

With tensions again rising in the Persian Gulf, an accident or provocation around the narrow Strait of Hormuz could precipitate a war. In this memo for President Obama, 11 former U.S. intelligence officials urge a U.S.-Iranian system for communications — a “hot line” — in case of crisis.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Avoiding Spiraling Violence in the Persian Gulf

We write respectfully to call your attention to the clear and present danger of escalation in the Persian Gulf and to suggest ways to lessen that likelihood. There needs to be a reliable way for our Navy to communicate at a sufficiently high level with Iranian naval counterparts. Otherwise, incidents occasioned by accident or provocation can readily escalate in ways neither side intends.

War will be "justifed by the conjunction of terrorism & WMD" — Iran Redux

Home  > News  > Commentary

Is Israel fixing the intelligence to justify an attack on Iran?

Netanyahu's rhetoric has eerie echoes of the run-up to the Iraq war

By Ray McGovern

Baltimore Sun, July 31, 2012

Will Intelligence be "Fixed" on Iran (a la Iraq)?

Will Downing St. Memo Recur on Iran?

July 23, 2012

Editor Note: A decade after the infamous “Downing Street Memo” and its “fixed” intelligence for invading Iraq, the pressure is on again to make the case – whatever the facts – for a new war with Iran. Will the UK’s MI6 and the CIA bend again or hold firm, ask ex-intelligence analysts Annie Machon and Ray McGovern.

By Annie Machon and Ray McGovern

Recent remarks by Sir John Sawers, who heads Britain’s MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service that is Britain’s CIA counterpart), leave us wondering if Sawers is preparing to “fix” intelligence on Iran, as his immediate predecessor, Sir John Scarlett, did on Iraq.

Scan Scam: FDA/GE - Who Cares About Extra Radiation?

FDA & GE: Harassing Whistleblowers
 
July 17, 2012

Editor Note: Food and Drug Administration officials reacted to suspected whistleblowing by some of its scientists, about excessive radiation from medical imaging devices, by spying on several. But the larger issue is the need to alert the public to unnecessary risks, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Yasser Arafat's Bout With ... Polonium?

The Mystery of Arafat’s Death

July 10, 2012

Editor Note: In 2004, when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat suddenly fell ill and died, suspicions swirled that he might have been poisoned, but no autopsy was performed. Now, nearly eight years later, his death is getting new scrutiny, though ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern doubts a complete answer will ever be found.

By Ray McGovern

We may never know with complete certainty whether the still unexplained health crisis that suddenly did in Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was due to natural or unnatural causes. But the recent discovery of polonium on Arafat’s clothing, added to a considerable body of circumstantial evidence, has increased an already widespread suspicion that Israel was involved in his sudden demise.

An "Aardwolf" - Iranian Intelligence Field Assessment for Tehran (alas, notional)

How Iran Might See the Threats

June 28, 2012
 
Editor Note: Hard-headed realism and outside-the-box thinking might be needed to avert another catastrophe in the Middle East, this time an Israeli attack on Iran and the unpredictable consequences. In that light, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern imagines a bleak report that an Iranian intelligence officer might report back to Tehran.

By Ray McGovern  

In CIA jargon, “Aardwolf” is a label for a special genre of intelligence report from field stations abroad to headquarters in Washington. An Aardwolf conveys the Chief of Station’s formal assessment regarding the direction events are taking in his or her country of assignment – and frequently the news is bad.

Julian Assange Was Given Sam Adams Award for Integrity in 2010

June 25, 2012

Asylum for Julian Assange

By Ray McGovern

     (for Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence)

Editor Note: Decisions to speak out inside or outside one's chain of command -- let alone to be seen as a whistle-blower or leaker of information -- is fraught with ethical and legal questions and can never be undertaken lightly. But there are times when it must be considered. Official channels for whistle-blower protections have long proved illusory.

Julian Assange Gets Out of Dodge

Julian Assange’s Artful Dodge

June 20, 2012

Editor Note: Faced with extradition from London to Sweden to face sex-abuse allegations, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy and asked for asylum, what ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern considers an artful dodge to avoid possible U.S. persecution.

By Ray McGovern

Barring a CIA drone strike on the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s sudden appeal for asylum there may spare him a prison stay in Sweden or possibly the United States. Assange’s freedom now depends largely on Ecuadorian President Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, a new breed of independent-minded leader like Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Iran: Facts vs. Fantasy

Sorting Out the Facts about Iran

By Ray McGovern

Editor Note: Neocons, including the Washington Post’seditors, keep playing games with the facts regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The plan apparently is to guide the United States into a military confrontation whether President Obama and the American people want one or not.  McGovern will discuss these issues at 6:00 PM Thursday, June 7, at Random Row Books, 315 West Main St., Charlottesville, Virginia.

On the issue of Iran’s “nuclear ambitions” you hear one thing on Monday, a different thing on Tuesday. “It’s a puzzlement!” to quote Yul Brunner’s famous line in The King and I. But in this case, the confusion is hardly insignificant.

Worker Bees vs. Drones at Fordham

Graduation at Fordham: Worker Bees vs. Cowardly Drones

By Ray McGovern and Nick Mottern

We have reported on White House “Kill List” compiler and alumnus John Brennan’s second coming to Fordham for commencement inside Fordham’s Bronx campus http://warisacrime.org/content/priests-or-hench-men — (see embedded link “imaginative protests” on the line above the subhead, Bellying Up.)  And several readers have expressed gratitude to learn that a few Justice-oriented graduates found inventive ways to protest this indignity at graduation on May 19.

"Priests?" or Hench Men?

 

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

May 30, 2012

Editor Note: Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has been called President Obama’s “priest” as they wrestle with the moral dilemma of assembling a “kill list” of “bad guys,” a role that recalls how established religions have justified slaughters over the centuries, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

In an extraordinary article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane throw macabre light on the consigliere-cum-priestly role that counterterrorist adviser John Brennan provides President Barack Obama.

Neocons Mount Another Pre-emptive Strike on History

Applying the Six-Day War to Iran

May 17, 2012

Editor Note: America’s neocons continue to beat the drums for war with Iran, brushing aside warnings even from Israeli intelligence veterans. Another part of the propaganda is to merge a future war against Iran with the heroic memories of the Six-Day War nearly 45 years ago, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

With the 45th anniversary of the Six-Day War of June 1967 coming early next month, pro-Israel pundits like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer are again promoting Israel’s faux-narrative on the reasons behind Israel’s decision to attack its neighbors.

Gory Glory at Fordham Commencement (Be There, If You Can)

Honoring a ‘Terror War’ Architect

May 12, 2012

Editor Note: In this season of graduations – and the rush to bestow honorary degrees on the “great and powerful” – one ironic moment will play out at Fordham University, where Jesuits are giving top billing among its honorees to White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, notes Fordham grad (and ex-CIA analyst) Ray McGovern.

 

By Ray McGovern

Brennan Befuddled By the 'Why' Behind Terrorism

Not Explaining the Why of Terrorism

May 2, 2012

Exclusive: President Obama signed a U.S.-Afghan strategic agreement on May 1, committing U.S. combat forces to withdraw by the end of 2014 while leaving behind U.S. counter-terrorism teams for another decade. But Obama and his aides still duck a full debate over the causes of terrorism, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

John Brennan, President Obama’s chief adviser on counter-terrorism, has again put on public display two unfortunate facts: (1) that the White House has no clue as to how to counter terrorism; and (2) (in Brennan’s words) “the unfortunate fact that to save many innocent lives we are sometimes obliged to take lives.”

It Ain't Necessarily So

Iran’s Phantom Menace

April 16, 2012

Editor (Consortiumnews.com) Note: For years, a propaganda drumbeat has been rising to justify a war to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, though U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran isn’t building one and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has decried nukes as a “great sin.” But nothing has stopped the drumbeat, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

Last Thursday, I took part in a panel discussion on “Targeting Iran: Sanctions and War” at California State University, Fresno. The panel discussion took place against the backdrop of all-too-familiar warnings to Iran that it has one “last chance” to stop doing what the CIA and pretty much all serious intelligence agencies say it is not doing — namely, working on a nuclear weapon.

on Rattlesnakes

Render to Caesar, Extraordinarily

April 6, 2012

Exclusive  Consortiumnews.com Editor's Note: On Good Friday, Christians observe the brutal torture and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of Roman occupiers, but many modern Christians don’t mind when it’s “their” side doing the extraordinary renditions of alleged subversives to be tortured and sometimes killed, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

Some of us pause on Good Friday to mark the torture and death of a high-value detainee rendered, extraordinarily, to Roman occupiers.

Although the charges against Jesus of Nazareth were trumped up, the Romans decided to err on the safe side by going to the “dark side.” They applied enhanced torture techniques with the ultimate hanging.

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