Statement from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
The charges against Ray McGovern have been dropped and the government has decided not to proceed with its prosecution. Mr. McGovern, age 71, was subjected to an outrageous and abusive arrest, which left him bruised and bleeding. He had been standing silently with his back turned to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she delivered her address on Feb. 15 at George Washington University, in which she insisted other governments around the world not stifle free expression.
McGovern was an Army officer and CIA analyst for almost 30 years. He was among the first to expose the corruption of intelligence to “justify” the ongoing wars. He was wearing a Veterans for Peace T-shirt at the time of his arrest.
“The Constitution lives. I am hugely grateful for the widespread condemnation of the brutal treatment I encountered two weeks ago for exercising my First Amendment rights. It strikes me as an empowering example of what we can do together in standing for Justice and against the violence of war. If Defense Secretary Robert Gates is spared arrest when he acknowledges the folly of committing U.S. troops to a land war in Asia, we too should be spared arrest and brutality at the hands of those for whom the Constitution is merely a piece of paper,” stated Mr. McGovern.
“This outrageous arrest laid bare the hypocrisy of Clinton’s presentation about free speech and free expression. While lecturing other governments, she never even paused while Mr. McGovern was brutally hauled out right in front of her and arrested while peacefully and silently expressing dissent,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, one of Mr. McGovern’s attorneys at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which is representing Mr. McGovern.
Since Ray McGovern’s arrest, there has been a huge outpouring of support from people of conscience all over the country and widespread coverage in the alternative media in defense of free speech rights.
Mr. McGovern and his attorneys at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund are evaluating his next legal options.