Ray McGovern: War Criminals Welcome at Fordham Law?

John Rizzo, the CIA’s top lawyer, who gave the green light for torture, is dead. My former CIA colleague, John Kiriakou, who knew him well, has written a fitting “encomium.”

Kiriakou knew Rizzo well and describes him as “the unapologetic godfather of the CIA’s torture program, a monstrous crime against humanity that he defended unabashedly until his death”. Kiriakou found himself atop the CIA’s WANTED list when he confirmed publicly that the CIA had been carrying out a White House-approved torture program, using techniques virtually identical to those in the Gestapo Handbuch. He (Kiriakou, not Rizzo) ended up having to do two years in prison.

So, why did Fordham Law School honor John Rizzo by inviting him to discuss, on Jan. 30, 2014, his book-length unapologetic apologia for the role he played in “dark-side” crimes like torture – including his passing along the Bush Justice Department “legal” opinions approving waterboarding, for example.  Rizzo’s performance at Fordham was … well, it might be described as an “extraordinary rendition” – a shameless, ethically vacuous defense of the indefensible. The video of that event (sans a question I asked of Rizzo) can be seen here.

Continue reading “Ray McGovern: War Criminals Welcome at Fordham Law?”

Ray McGovern on Exit From Afghanistan: An Intelligence Failure?

During a 7-minute interview today I was asked whether a lack of good intelligence accounts for the surprisingly rapid Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

I used the opportunity to ring some intelligence-related changes on what Aeschylus wrote so long ago: "In war, truth is the first casualty." When U.S. forces are engaged in war independent intelligence analysis ranks right up there with truth as casualty.

This was abundantly clear at a critical juncture during the war in Vietnam. In 1967, an intelligence community National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on enemy strength was suppressed. Richard Helms, head of the intelligence community as well as of CIA, declared he would not dare to get into a "pissing contest" with the US Army at war. And so, the South Vietnam-wide Viet Cong offensive at Tet (Jan.-Feb. 1968) came as a disastrous surprise to folks who bought what "military intelligence" in Saigon had been saying.

Continue reading “Ray McGovern on Exit From Afghanistan: An Intelligence Failure?”

Ray McGovern: What Have Our Generals Been Up To?

In a half-hour interview on Afghanistan Tuesday I mused about how Washington’s generals and Pentagon-subservient policymakers thought the U.S. might be able to be the first outside nation to prevail in Afghanistan. And, prevail or not, what the MICIMATT saw to gain in waging this "endless war."

Generally, it was hard to put it better than Ron Paul already has:

The military industrial complex spent 20 years on the gravy train with the Afghanistan war. They built missiles, they built tanks, they built aircraft and helicopters. They hired armies of lobbyists and think tank writers to continue the lie that was making them rich. They wrapped their graft up in the American flag, but they are the opposite of patriots.

Defeat No Surprise

The defeat in Afghanistan was not only predictable, but predicted. ( See "Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President," March 28, 2009, and the more recent "Hold the Generals Accountable This Time."

Continue reading “Ray McGovern: What Have Our Generals Been Up To?”

Ray McGovern: Trust Lacking at Blah Summit

Aside from establishing face-to-face contact between the the two presidents, the Biden-Putin summit today met only the most modest expectations of those hoping for improved ties between the U.S. and Russia. By the same token, weapons makers and others profiteering on tension with Russia, and living in fear of a thaw in bilateral relations, can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s appearance on Russian TV early this morning, at which he dampened expectations, turned out to be a harbinger of things to come later in the day. Peskov said, "Clear signals had been sent to Moscow that the US would try to "restrain and pressure" Russia, adding that the constant talk about punishing Moscow "does not make the overall atmosphere any easier." Putin himself charged recently that US leaders "want to hold back our [Russia’s] development and they talk about this openly." At his press conference after the talks, Putin also charged that US attempts to "contain" Russia remained a huge fly in the ointment.

Continue reading “Ray McGovern: Trust Lacking at Blah Summit”

Swallowing Russia-Gate Hook, Line, and Sinker

Guess what. Those highly embarrassing Democratic National Committee emails published by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016 were not hacked by the Russians, or by anyone else. This was revealed in sworn, horses’-mouth testimony of Dec. 5, 2017 before he House Intelligence Committee by the head of the cyber security firm CrowdStrike.

The testimony was published exactly a year ago on May 7, 2020. "Mainstream media" deep-sixed it.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff was forced to release testimony given on December 5, 2017 by Shawn Henry of CrowdStrike, the outfit to which FBI Director James Comey deferred to investigate the theft of DNC emails. The emails showed how Hillary Clinton and top DNC officials had tipped the scales against Bernie Sanders. To divert attention from that, a major campaign was launched to blame the theft on the Russians. Russia-gate was launched in earnest; Sen. John McCain called the "Russian hack" an "act of war".

But wait. Testimony taken at the end of 2017? But that’s three and half years ago. Yes.

Continue reading “Swallowing Russia-Gate Hook, Line, and Sinker”