Posts Tagged ‘Ray McGovern’

The passing scene: November 13, 2014

November 13, 2014

Thank you for your service by Elizabeth Herrin for Medium.

All of My Friends Are Dying by Vince Emanuele for World News Daily.

John Fogarty defends ‘Fortunate Son’ song choice at Concert for Valor by Randy Lewis for the Los Angeles Times.  (via Bill Harvey)

Can you honor veterans for their service, while still thinking that the war they served in was wrong, or even that all wars are wrong?  My answer is: Yes.

College Athletes of the World, Unite by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for Jacobin magazine.  (via Bill Harvey)

I thought that star college athletes had it good, but evidently not.  This article was an eye-opener for me.

The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest by Ray McGovern for Consortium News.

CIA critic Ray McGovern was arrested for trying to attend a panel discussion in which CIA ex-chief David Patraeus participated.  His ticket was bought under somebody else’s name.  So how did the police at the door know to be on the lookout for him?


Law and justice: November 2, 2014

November 2, 2014

 Why Innocent People Plead Guilty by Jed S. Rakoff for The New York Review of Books.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury … .”   Yet few Americans charged with crimes ever go before a jury, and the U.S. criminal justice system would likely break down if they did.

The prosecutor threatens the defendant with the severest charge with the worst punishment if they insist on trial, and promise a less serious charge and lighter sentence if they plead guilty.

Innocent people sometimes do plead guilty.  About 10 percent of those exonerated of charges of rape and murder under the Innocence Project had accepted plea bargains and pleaded guilty.

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Arrested While Trying to Attend David Petraeus Event in New York by Kevin Gosztola for Firedoglake.   (Hat tip to Mike Connelly)

Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and current CIA critic, was arrested and roughed up Thursday when he tried to attend a talk by David Petareus, fomer CIA director, with Lt. Col. John Nagi, a tank commander during the 1991 Gulf War, and Max Boot, a neoconservativ writer.  McGovern had bought a ticket to the event for $45.

Interestingly, the police recognized the 74-year-old McGovern and his peace activist friends by sight.  The friends also were barred despite having bought tickets.  No doubt this is the result of McGovern being on the State Department’s BOLO (be on the lookout) list.

The IRS Can Seize Your Cash Through Forfeiture by Erin Fuchs for Business Insider.  (Hat tip to tiffany267)

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “no person shall … be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

But the Internal Revenue Service can seize your bank account without any warning if IRS officers think you have too many bank accounts under $10,000 and they suspect you are trying to evade a bank regulation regarding reporting of all bank accounts of $10,000 or more.

Gideon’s Army at Guantanamo by Phil Hirschkorn for Just Security.

Lawyers fight secrecy and eavesdropping to give accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay a fair defense.  They say they’re concerned not just about the judgment of the military tribunal, but about the judgment of history.

Q&A: Edward Snowden in The Nation.

Q&A: Laura Poitras in The Nation.

Is disrespect for authority now a crime?

October 1, 2014

Ray McGovern, then 71, stood up and turned his back on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was making a speech at George Washington University in 2011.

Ray McGovern after his arrest

Ray McGovern after arrest

He was grabbed, handcuffed and roughed up by university police, taken to a District of Columbia jail and charged with disorderly conduct (this was later dropped) and put on a State Department Be On the Lookout (BOLO) watch list.

Being on the BOLO list means that he was considered a threat to the Secretary of State, and State Department Diplomatic Police were ordered detain and question him any time he got within the Secretary’s vicinity.   The information also was sent to other law enforcement agencies so McGovern could be put in their terror watch lists.

McGovern is a former Army officer and was an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1963 to 1990.  From 1981 to 1985, he prepared the daily National Intelligence Briefing for the Vice President, Secretaries of State and Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Adviser.  He was given the Intelligence Commendation Medal when he retired in 1990.

Ray McGovern's BOLO poster

McGovern’s BOLO

What did he do to be considered a threat?  Engage in “political activism, primarily anti-war.”

He founded Veteran Intelligence Officers for Sanity in 2003, in protest against the way intelligence reports were distorted to justify the invasion of Iraq.   He returned his CIA medal in 2006 in protest against CIA involvement in torture.

The George Washington University incident had a happy ending.  With the help of the Partnership for Civil Justice, a civil liberties organization that works without fee, he sued the State Department and got an injunction against his BOLO listing.  But the list continues.

Anonymous officials have the power to put people on such lists, often without their knowledge and regardless of whether they have committed a crime or have probable cause to think they may have committed a crime.

The most striking thing to me about the incident is how the university police treated an act of disrespect as if it were a crime.  There is no reason to think that Hillary Clinton ordered them to do this.  It  just reflects a prevailing attitude that powerful people are entitled to the same kind of deference as kings and nobles in former eras.


Ray McGovern’s Blog | War Is a Crime.

Important victory in case of Ray McGovern’s brutal arrest by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

Watchlists and the Fourth Amendment by Peter Van Buren on his We Meant Well web log.