by ralphlopez, Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 05:39:23 PM EST
Full disclosure: I am friends with Ray McGovern, and have never been prouder to be able to say so.
After being shamelessly distorted by the major media as an incident of "heckling," Ray McGovern, 27-year CIA veteran who has served under seven presidents, gave this interview (embedded below) to PressTV, the Iranian news agency, on the assault on him which left him bloody and bruised after he stood silently with his back turned at a Clinton speech.
McGovern, whose duties including delivering morning intelligence briefings to the president, is now a leading opponent of the wars. The 72 year-old McGovern was wearing a Veterans for peace t-shirt when he was assaulted. The video captures the assault occurring before Clinton's eyes no more than 30 feet away, with her never batting an eyelash or breaking stride. The subject of the speech was freedom of expression.
McGovern had been standing silently with his back turned in silent protest. It was just as Clinton had delivered the line "...and then they pulled the plug," with a slight pause and smile, that McGovern was pounced upon. The now viral video shows McGovern being dragged out, which is when he utters his first words "So this is America?"
McGovern's silent protest was intended to shun Clinton, who he criticizes as someone who "never met a war she didn't like," citing her support for the invasion of Iraq, for the war in Afghanistan, and for her present leading role in beating the drum for an attack on Iran.
McGovern, a Vietnam Veteran, shows his trademark sense of humor in the interview, and describes the juxtaposition of the content of Clinton's speech with what was transpiring before her eyes as "Kafka-esque." The one thing McGovern has never laughed at is the suffering of people, on all sides, caught on the pointy end of the stick of American foreign policy.
A consummate gentlemen, McGovern reserves his harsh words for people in power. This is the manner in which he gained some measure of fame when he confronted Donald Rumsfeld in a press conference in 2006. To initial jeers from the audience, McGovern asked Rumsfeld a series of pointed questions about his statements before the Iraq invasion. Strangely enough, it was Rumseld the Neocon Republican who choose to engage him and stopped security from throwing him out. Rumsfeld shouts out to security "No no, let him stay..." when they began to close in on him.
McGovern told OpedNews:
"At the same [Rumsfeld] speech, there was a courageous guy who stood with his back to Rumsfeld the entire speech. They left him completely alone and he walked out at the end, unbothered. Four years later, things have changed.
As one would expect of McGovern, he does not dwell on the thugs who left him bruised and bleeding in a DC jail cell but asks immediately - "Who gave the order?" - and says this is the question which deserves an answer.
If he does not get this answer and satisfaction, HILLARY MUST RESIGN.
On this eve of a congressional vote to further fund the war in Afghanistan, citizens can show their solidarity with McGovern by demanding their congressmen co-sponsor the resolution put forth by Rep. Barbara Lee , which will stop all further funding of military operations in Afghanistan except those necessary to effect an orderly withdrawal, beginning immediately.
To Those Who Second-Guess Our Police State Status: Shame on You! I just received the following news and I am way too upset to write a coherent piece on this. Ray McGovern is a good friend of mine. We live less than 10 miles apart. Together we have participated in many events and protests. He is one of the most informed, articulate, gentle, peace-loving and peace-seeking human beings I’ve ever known…For me, this hits too close to home: My father was similarly brutalized by dictator regimes, and that was only the beginning, before it escalated to being tortured and having his toenails pulled out by the state police. Why? He was a doctor, a surgeon with an inquiring mind, and he spoke out whenever he could against dictatorships and for liberties. Participating in peaceful demonstrations, encouraging others to rise up for their rights, and reading authors such as Steinbeck (the American author black-listed there as ‘communist and anarchist’) landed him on the list of to-be-punished and pacified… Right now, at this point, all I have to say to those who second-guess our nation’s police state status is this: “Shame on you!” As for my irate minority friends over here at Boiling Frogs, please help disseminate this news, because the scum bag media won’t;’ thank you.
Excerpt from 2006 press conference with Rumsfeld:
Rumsfeld: It turns out there were not weapons of mass destruction McGovern: You said you knew where they were. Rumsfeld: I did not... McGovern: You said they in Tikrit, around Baghdad, and north, south, and west of there. Those were your words..." -Ray McGovern in a press conference exchange with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 2006
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