Ray talks to RT about an uncommon outbreak of integrity at the Pentagon IG (of all places). Not only whistleblowing, but also the integrity that undergirds it is, thankfully, contagious. Ray focuses in on two friends – Tom Drake, straight-shooter par excellence; and Ed Snowden, whose only problem, in Ray’s view, is that he is too good to be true – literally. (It’s just awfully hard for those Americans malnourished on the thin gruel of the mainstream media to wrap their heads around that kind of integrity.)
Brian Becker of Sputnik’s Loud and Clear interviewed Ray on May 25, just after U.S. media started reporting on a State Department IG report critical of the hacker-friendly email arrangement that former Secretary Hillary Clinton employed to conduct official State Department business and her disdain for the security regulations that are applied to mere mortals.
Ray reads a brief email exchange between Clinton and one of her top aides, in which she instructs him to strip a document of its proper classification and send it to her en clair – a genuine “smoking gun.” Also discussed is the May 23 VIPS Memorandum for the President, “Intel Vets Urge Fast Report on Clinton Emails.”
VIPS to Obama: End the Tortoise Pace of the FBI Investigation “Thoroughness” is not a credible excuse, when NSA already has chapter and verse on exactly what happened.
Dan Ellsberg reminisces on camera about May Day 1971 and resistance to the war in Vietnam, in an interview with Judy Gumbo Albert (in Berkeley, 2016). Dan describes the almost decade-long Movement – not only antiwar, but also civil rights, women’s rights – organizing in the cities, everybody feeling connected, a feeling of hope. Dan concludes by saying:
“I wouldn’t have thought of leaking the Pentagon Papers, without the example of young men who were subject to the draft at that point, choosing nonviolent resistance, choosing to go to prison. It wouldn’t have occurred to me ‘What can I do to help end the war, now that I’m ready to go to jail?’ And what we saw on May Day (1971) was thousands of young people asking themselves where can I best put my body now, now that I’m ready to go to jail to help end the war. And the war did end.”
Click on the third video listed, “Judy Gumbo interviews Daniel Ellsberg on Mayday 1971.” (19:22 minutes; the above quote starts at about minute 17:35)
By Jeremy Varon, May 12, 2016
The funeral Dan wanted with his community is behind us. But as Steve Kelly, S.J., himself a frequent disrupter of “good order,” said in his sermon, “Death has no dominion.” Dan lives on in us. Jeremy’s moving article, including the quote from Dan’s niece, Frida Berrigan, brings to mind the words of Annie Dillard, “There is only us; there never has been any other.”
Frida completed the multi-part eulogy by pointing pointedly to the power of community, pointing to the gathering before her as a good example. (Get the point?) As I watched via live-stream, I was reminded of a banner hanging prominently on the wall of a Catholic Worker house: “The first duty of discipleship is to support one another.”
So now, Dillard’s dictum dictates what we do; it comes into full force. All that is left is us and our love for Dan and the things he loved. “It’s enough,” said Frida.
Let it be so.
Ray spoke in Santa Cruz, CA, on April 30, an hour after learning of Dan Berrigan’s departure for a better place. In introducing the evening and the film Drone, before his talk (see link to YouTube video below), Ray spoke of the last time he visited Dan at Fordham. It was just a couple of weeks before the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence learned they would be able to go to Russia to present Edward Snowden with the annual SAAII award (for 2013).
Reminiscing about that time with Dan, Ray recalled that he asked him, “Is there something you would like to say to Ed Snowden?” “Yeah,” came the immediate answer, “Tell him he did the right thing!” When mutual friend Dan Ellsberg came up later in the same conversation, Fr. Dan interrupted with, “You tell him he did the right thing, too!”
Typically simple and at the same time bedrock profound. In any case, this will help explain why, in his subsequent remarks in Santa Cruz, Ray focused on our common need to figure it out and “do the right thing.”
Those words seemed appropriate to set the stage for emphasizing the need to be very intentional about trying to figure out and then do the “right thing” – eschewing the the all too common hand-wringing and exculpatory moans like “Yes, BUT WHAT can we do?” in favor of trying to discern “What can WE DO!”
by Chris Hedges
Hedges: “Dan provided, for me, the most cogent definition of religious faith: Dan said, ‘The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere. I believe that if it is done in that spirit, it will go somewhere, but I don’t know where. I don’t think the Bible grants us to know where goodness goes, what direction, what force. I have never been seriously interested in the outcome. I was interested in trying to do it humanely and carefully and nonviolently and let it go.’”
By Riocard O Tiarnaigh, Irishman & editor of the German magazine schattenblick.de
(Excerpts: full text at:
“In conversation Fr. Berrigan revealed himself to be quite critical of his own order, the Jesuits. In his opinion, while they do good charitable work in the slums, at the same time they help to maintain an unjust and inhuman social order through their educational establishments, which cater to the middle and upper classes. …
“… O Tiarnaigh (Shattenblick ‘SB’): Do you reject the Just War Theory, which the Catholic Church, among others, propounds and, if so, could you tell us why?
“DB: Yes, of course I do. I think the term Just War should be removed from the Christian vocabulary. No modern war can be just, because it’s indiscriminate ….
“SB: If we take it as given, that the majority of the population will reject the message of the prophet – a term used here not just in a metaphorical sense but also with reference to the antiwar activities, in which you and your brother Daniel were involved and which led to the setting up of the Plowshares Movement – what is the point of such a person even engaging with other people and not becoming a recluse? Could it be, that the effort to reach out to his fellow man, by virtue of its very pointlessness, is the right thing for him to do, regardless of what others think or whether he reaches them with his message? (emphasis added)
“DB: We have to reconcile ourselves to the idea, that the peace-making, antiwar cause is bound to be a minority project and is going to require the type of concerted action, which small groups are engaged in currently right across the world, be it through involvement in the protests against the illegal prisoner-of-war camp in Guantánamo Bay or against the planned construction of a new massive base for the South Korean navy on the island of Jeju. The Catholic Church in South Korea is at the forefront of the latter protests and is doing very good work, for which I commend it.
“… unfortunately. It seems to me, that too many people believe, what the media want us to believe, namely that violence is acceptable and that whenever the USA make use of it, it is only as a last resort. We should listen more to the minority voices, who oppose violence and war. It is a matter of integrity, that having taken this position; one then sticks to it, regardless of whether the goal, the ending of war, will be achieved during one’s own lifetime or not. In this way the mercy and the righteousness of the few will bring about the solution to the problem. (emphasis added)
“SB: Could it be, that it is the individual’s striving for material comfort, for security for himself and his progeny along with his fascination with the ephemeral world, which allows evil, destruction, militarism etc. to prevail?
“DB: That’s exactly true. The evil of war continues unimpeded, because the Christian churches, to stay with my own religious tradition, have given up on their own heritage, their own love of life. The non-violence movement in history is the Lives of the Saints, who are invariably opposed to war and the machinations of the violent and powerful. So I don’t have any difficulty with the argument you made in your question, because it’s an old story.
“Every imperial state pronounces itself to be the last word in human evolution and the key to the future of humanity. Yet each one proves to be a deceit, a lie, and is overcome eventually. Those of us opposed to war have to work, as though the path of peace is the truth. We must proclaim, that it is the truth. We must insist, that it is the truth about human life.
“This truth is what our God looks like, is what Jesus looks like. This is what Jesus preached to his church. And if there are those in our church, who are unable to accept this, then they should walk away from it and stop purporting to be Jesus’ disciples.”