VFP solidarity delegation, Occupied Palestine, Feb.-Mar. 2017: Day One Videographer Chris Smiley
VFP solidarity delegation, Occupied Palestine, Feb.-Mar. 2017: Day One Videographer Chris Smiley
*Oops; not CNN but CGTN’s program “The Heat,” on China’s English-language cable channel. That’s why Ray and co-panelist Sam Sacks were able to speak, to speak freely, and to speak for more than two minutes.
Viewership? According to the CGTN producer, 80 million in 120 countries, plus viewers at the UN and UN-accredited Missions. The U.S. on-line community is expanding – but slowly. As for how many are likely to view this episode of “The Heat,” the producer said: “Definitely hundreds of thousands, if not more.” (But it would still be good to get some air on “mainstream media.” Ideas, anyone?)
April 18 (14 minutes)
Sam and Ray talked about the demise of the Fourth Estate, the corruption that largely accounts for the infantilizing of the majority of Americans, who don’t have a clue.
The first part of “The Heat” program (shown before Sam and Ray) includes (1) short clips of two pundits who personify the lamentable state of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) – Fareed Zakaria and Brian Williams, and (2) a 13-minute, pre-recorded interview with Peter Galbraith, a former US diplomat, long-time specialist on Iraq, and strong advocate of Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq, where he has acknowledged having large business – read oil – “activities.”
The Founders had it right:
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
Thomas Jefferson, January 16, 1787
A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
James Madison, August 4, 1822
How far we have come. But it is NOT too late – yet.
WANTED: Winter Soldiers
Videos and Update:
Pre-Action Observations by John Amidon, Ray McGovern, and Ed Kinane before starting out for Hancock drone base
April 14, 2017 (11 minutes)
Full live-streamed video:
During the first eight and a half minutes the crosses/drones are set up. Ray was first to mount and be “hung” – in the position, unfortunately, of the “bad thief” to the left of “Jesus.”
Update on Good Friday Arrests at Hancock Drone Base
Syracuse: On Good Friday, April 14, 2017, nine nonviolent civil resisters of Upstate Drone Action were arrested at the main entrance of Hancock Air National Guard Base witnessing against extrajudicial drone killings perpetrated from the base.
Three people hung on large drone crosses representing victims of US drone strikes in seven majority Muslim countries. Eleven others held smaller drone crosses headed by the phrase, DRONES CRUCIFY, each followed by one of these: Children, Families, Love, Peace, Community, the US Constitution, UN Charter, Rule of Law, US Treaties, Due Process, or Diplomacy.
The Good Friday Hancock Drone Action Statement reads, in part, “Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Recognizing that 70% of our nation identify as Christian, we come to the gates of the Hancock drone base to make real the crucifixion today. As Jesus and others were crucified by the Roman Empire, drones are used by the U. S. Empire in a similar fashion. In Roman times, crosses loomed over a community to warn people that they could be killed whenever the Empire decided. So, too, our drones fly over many countries threatening extrajudicial killings upon whoever happens to be in the vicinity. On this Good Friday, we recall Jesus’ call to love and nonviolence. We’re asking this Air Force base and this nation to turn away from a policy of modern-day crucifixion.”
The 14 “Stations of the Drone-Cross” were confiscated by base personnel.
Hancock Air Base is located on the backside of Syracuse International Airport. It hosts the 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard – the MQ9 Reaper drone hub. It is also the national Reaper maintenance-training center. The MQ9 Reaper is a robotic, satellite-linked, remote assassin drone. Hancock is currently one of 20 U.S. drone-warfare bases across the U.S., Germany, Australia, Italy, the U.K. and elsewhere. The “Drone Papers”—based on a leak by an internal military whistleblower – show that during a five-month period in 2015, 90% of all drone victims were bystanders, including children.
The civil resistance action is the latest chapter in Upstate Drone Action’s seven-year nonviolent campaign to expose the war crimes in which Hancock AFB plays a role. This resistance against drones is linked to the worldwide effort to ground killer drones and end all U.S. wars. Since 2010 there have been over 170 arrests at Hancock of those witnessing against the grim Reapers.
THOSE ARRESTED on April 14:
Ray McGovern, formerly CIA; Jessica Stewart, Bath Harbor Maine Catholic Worker; Ed Kinane, Upstate (NY) Drone Action; Tom Joyce, Ithaca Catholic Worker; James Ricks, Ithaca, NY; Joan Pleune, Raging Grannies, Brooklyn; Mark Colville, Amistad Catholic Worker, New Haven, CT; John Amidon, Veterans for Peace and Albany Friends Meeting; Brian Hynes, Bronx Catholic Worker.
Hanging on a Cross of Drones; Ray took the part of what used to be called “the bad thief” to Jesus’s left.
It’s Friday. BUT SUNDAY’S COMIN’ !!!
VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY
MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT
Syria: Was It Really a “Chemical Weapons Attack?”
April 11, 2017
Ray’s keynote talk at Forum on U.S. – Russian Relations
March 11, 2017; Mount Diablo, California
How Obama almost let himself be mousetrapped into open attack on Syria: Between minutes 13:00 and 29:30 Ray reminisces about the tense times in August-September when President Barack Obama faced into extreme pressure from extreme neocons to do “shock and awe” on Syria; he includes a personal anecdote of a close encounter of a strange kind with neocon archdeacons Paul Wolfowitz and Joe Lieberman.
Where is former JCS Chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, when we need him? President Barack Obama was lucky to have straight-shooter Dempsey around to tell him the truth and enable him to avoid being false-flagged into another unnecessary war in Syria. No such luck for President Donald Trump, beset with advisers proud of the moniker “Mad Dog.”
By Daniel C. Maguire, Professor of Moral Theology, Marquette University
April 8, 2017
About Dan Maguire (and similar Dans): One morning in January 1984, after reporting to his CIA colleagues on his morning briefings of VP George H. W. Bush and Secretary of State George Shultz with the President’s Daily Brief, Ray retreated to the Sheraton Hotel in DC to take part in the annual East Coast Conference for Religious Education for which Ray’s parish had registered him (he was teaching 11th graders in Sunday School at the time). Dan Maguire was the keynote speaker and the conference program listed his topic as “Educating for Peace and Justice.”
Ray reports that Dan’s talk got off to an unusually shaky start when he criticized the organizers for making an almost unforgivable error in stating the topic backwards. Justice has to come first, he said – before Peace. With faux indignation, Dan drove home the core point that, in the Biblical sense, PEACE IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE EXPERIENCE OF JUSTICE.
That woke everyone up and Maguire proceeded to educate the hundreds of nuns, priests, and other teachers crammed into the Sheraton ballroom on the reality that the Reagan budget announced the day before was, in Biblical Justice perspective, “a God-damned budget.” Dan was off and running; Ray says it was the best talk he ever heard – or read, for that matter – on Justice and Peace. Thanks to the modern technology of the times (the tape recorder), Ray was able to commit many of Dan’s observations to memory, plagiarizes freely at every opportunity, and uses Dan’s books in one of the courses Ray teaches at the Servant Leadership School: Biblical Justice: An Un-American Activity?
Last month, while in Israel/Palestine with other Veterans For Peace, Ray was reminded of his debt to three Dans in his life (Maguirebeing the first). Before Ray left for abroad, another mentor, Dan Ellsberg had expressed the hope that Ray would somehow find Dan’s close friend, Mordecai Vanunu, and give him Dan’s best. And whom did Ray and some of his small VFP delegation run into in East Jerusalem one evening but Mordecai Vanunu – the Israeli nuclear technician who blew the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons center at Dimona. He is now, finally, out of prison – for the nonce, anyway.
They all shared a meal looking down at the Damascus Gate into the Old City, and Mordecai Vanunu decided on the spot to become a member of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (the requirement for references having been waived). Posted on this website is a short article (with photos) about the encounter with Vanunu:
The other Dan is Berrigan. Suffice it to add that those who have read To Dwell in Peace, Dan’s autobiography and are familiar with Ray’s post-retirement activism will have some idea of the impact that this third prophet-Dan has had on Ray’s life.
By Ray McGovern, April 8, 2017
Ray cleaned up the posting titled “Investigating Russian Interference in Our Democracy,” and Opednews.com was happy to publish it.
March 31, 2017 (six minutes)
This interview was conducted at 7 PM. By that time on March 31, VIPS had heard from some of our U.S. military sources in the Middle East, who make a point of keeping us abreast at critical times, and who allergic to the all-too-common practice of “fixing” intelligence, trimming it to perceptions of what the White House should know. (Yes, it still happens – even after the fraudulent “intelligence” use to “justify” the attack on Iraq.)
So that evening Ray was able to share what we had learned about how this “chemical attack” actually went down. Briefly, Syrian aircraft “knew” there was a weapons cache in this particular rebel-held area. That was correct, and the Syrian aircraft bombed it.
What seems not to have been known was the existence nearby of a large storage facility for chemicals. That too was damaged, releasing a cloud of chemicals that the wind blew south and poisoned those villagers.
Is there a hint here as to why the U.S. Establishment has no love for RT?
Another backstory. Why, you ask, did we wait until now to post this particular interview? A couple of VIPS members had watched it live on RT International. However, when RT tried to post the interview on YouTube, Fox News demanded that it be taken down. Here is the message that appeared on the screen when those few who knew of the link tried to download the interview
“This video contains content from FOX News Network, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. Sorry about that.”
A complete mystery, so far, to RT. Anyone wish to hazard a guess? Let’s hope the interview will not been taken down again. After my repeated requests, RT has just given it to me unofficially, with the suggestion that I view it quickly before that happens. You may wish to do the same.