CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou Honored for Integrity

By Ray, September 26, 2016

CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou Honored for Integrity

Former CIA official John Kiriakou, who spent two years in prison for revealing the truth about White House-sanctioned torture, became the 15th recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity (see at a ceremony at American University on Sept. 25.  While John sat in prison, Senate Intelligence Committee investigators were uncovering heinous details about torture by the CIA – details contained its own original, banality-of-evil cables, which also showed that the agency and others had lied in claiming torture “worked.”

President Barack Obama chose to add his weight to a remarkably brazen effort to cover it all up and scuttle the Senate report. To her credit, committee chair Dianne Feinstein, with support from other Democratic senators, faced the President down and published an executive summary in December 2014.  While almost three weeks have passed since Obama’s intervention was revealed by The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, who interviewed the Feinstein’s chief investigator, for some reason the “mainstream” media missed it.

The President’s active acquiescence, so to speak, not only in CIA’s attempt to suppress the Senate report, but also in the agency’s attempts to retaliate against the investigators – in the process, playing fast and loose with the separation of powers – is stunning.  It is no surprise that White House-controlled media decided the less said about this the better.  (And what could be better than zero?)  This is one reason why Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence wove this new finding about the President and torture into John Kiriakou’s citation, the text of which is included in Ray’s Consortiumnews article (link above).




Former CIA officer John Kiriakou (right) receiving 2016 Sam Adams Award for Integrity from Elizabeth Murray (left) and Coleen Rowley on Sept. 25, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Linda Lewis)

Attacks in Syria Ratchet Up Likelihood of U.S.-Russia military clash


… about which Ray tried to explain – and warn – four weeks ago, when Kerry and Lavrov reached their next-to-last Potemkin-Village-type agreement to tamp down the violence.  This clip was posted at the time (on


RT asked Ray for instant reaction to the sputtering marathon talks today in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as soon as the concluding press conference was over on August 26th.


(six minutes)


Normally, it takes Ray just 15 minutes to get to RT’s studio in Washington.  He suspects this is largely why he has become a go-to interviewee on fast-breaking developments like the penultimate Kerry-Lavrov failure (on August 26) to work out an agreement that could stick.  Ray called the thinly disguised failure what it was and addressed the factors that made it so.  Those same factors have brought the instant crash of what now seems to be the ultimate (as in “last’) Kerry-Lavrov agreement on Syria.


In a word, the Pentagon and CIA are running foreign policy for Obama.  Could Kerry have been unaware that, when push came to shove, they would prevail?  Did he think, rather, that he might prevail by force of personality over the “blood-soaked” arms industry and Russia-bashers?


Most important, the possibility of direct U.S.-Russian military clashes (not just vicarious ones through proxies) now looms LARGE.  Hapless President Obama and his sophomore advisers – with little appreciation of Russia’s military power and its determination to use it to protect its soft underbelly – are in this thing way over their heads.  Needless to say, this is dangerous.


As the November election approaches, Obama is likely to give even freer rein to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.  Carter, together with his hawkish generals and civilian officials (not to mention the bevvy of former officials waiting in the wings for senior appointments under Hillary Clinton), have made no secret of that their common preference is to bloody, not cooperate with, the Russians.


President Putin and his military, for their part, are likely to see the next few months as crucial to saving the Bashar al-Assad government AND decimating the threat from ISIS and other terrorists – “moderate” or immoderate – supported by the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, et al.  As long as Obama keeps playing the fiddle while Syria burns, the U.S. military will be doing more shock and awe in there.  And the Russians, with far more skin in the game than Washington has, are likely to strike still harder.  Fasten your seat belts.

Ray discusses with RT International the latest claptrap from Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence.


Two months ago, in a moment of inadvertent candor, Clapper called the raft of reporting about Russia trying to influence the U.S. election “hyperventilation.”  He added, though, in the next breath (a la the film “Casablanca”) that the “usual suspects” were being pursued and “unnamed government sources” quickly indicated that Russia was the most likely culprit to have had a hand in providing email grist for nasty people who don’t like Hillary .


Ray cannot get out his head words from an old college ditty: “…when a gentleman dapper stepped out of the crapper, and these are the words that he said.”  On September 20, the words the dapper Clapper said were essentially the same as what he said two months ago.  At an evening event sponsored by the Washington Post, Clapper suggested Russia was behind the computer hacking of emails from the Democratic Party.  Ray tried, again, to explain the Magnificent Diversion mounted by Hillary and the media to turn attention away from the content of those email records (blame Russia, blame Assange, poor Hillary, they are trying to sabotage her, and the Russians want Trump to win).

In a word, the emails show Hillary and the DNC stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders.  Ray added a few words about gentleman dapper Clapper’s credibility, or lack thereof.

(4 minutes)

“Law and Disorder Radio” did an 18-minute interview of Ray on September 14.  It aired four days later.

(The segment with the interview of Ray runs for 18 minutes, from minute 41:20 to 59:30.)


Ray was asked to talk about the changes after 9/11, to include why, with a few other CIA “alumni,” he created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).  The idea was to warn President George W. Bush there was no need to attack Iraq – even if some of what Colin Powell told the UN was true.  VIPS went on to expose the fraudulent (NOT “mistaken,” fraudulent) intelligence cooked up by former analyst colleagues accustomed to giving more importance to career than to truth.


Ray’s experience watching, up close and personal, the corruption of the analysis directorate of the CIA suggests that it takes a generation to destroy an ethos of integrity in an institution. And that this can most readily be done by promoting malleable managers willing to pimp prostituted intelligence for the next promotion.  And that’s how it (and they) went down in helping Bush and Cheney “justify” the attack on Iraq.


The interviewers also asked Ray to comment on why President Obama joined CIA Director John Brennan in trying to scuttle the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation on CIA torture, and how, for once, the Senate stood up to the White House and published a redacted executive summary including depiction of the heinous torture practices revealed in CIA’s own banality-of-evil cables.  In sum, Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein refused to throw her tenacious investigators under the bus.  This is explained in suspenseful detail in a recent Guardian series written by one of the best investigative reporters, Spencer Ackerman.  See link (posted on below: “US Media Ignores CIA Cover-up on Torture,” by VIPS, September 16, 2016, which in turn contains links to the Guardian series.


Nice coincidence.  A good friend of Ray, Jeff Haas, a National Lawyers Guild attorney, who just spent 10 days at the Standing Rock Native American tribe encampment in North Dakota, was interviewed during the first segment.  I was not surprised to learn that Jeff is working with other lawyers to see that the Native Americans are, finally, treated with true justice.


When Jeff and his equally intrepid wife Mariel Nanasi lived in Chicago, they laid the groundwork for putting former Chicago PD Commander (and torturer) Jon Birge behind bars.  Jeff also represented the family of Black Panther Fred Hampton and successfully proved that Hampton was assassinated by the FBI and the Chicago PD.  Haas wrote a riveting book about all this: “The Assassination of Fred Hampton.”

(Jeff’s segment runs from minute 01:15 to 19:00.)

US Media Targets Russia: the Politics Behind the New Witch Hunt

Brian Becker of Sputnik’s “Loud and Clear” moderates a wide ranging discussion among Salon journalist Ben Norton, Clinton Ehrlich (an American researcher in Moscow), and Ray.  Strategic issues of Russian foreign policy – like whether the Russians are preparing for war – are discussed, after obligatory palaver regarding how Russia is “interfering” in the U.S. election process (as “some say”).

September 19, 2016 (53 minutes)

US Media Ignores CIA Cover-up on Torture

By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

September 16, 2016


US Media Ignores CIA Cover-up on Torture

VIPS describes how a constitutional crisis emerged when President Barack Obama tried to help CIA Director John Brennan scuttle a comprehensive Senate Intelligence Committee report, based on original CIA banality-of-evil cables, revealing the grotesque, heinous torture techniques used by the CIA after 9/11.  For the first time in recent memory, Congress faced the President down.  Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein rose to the occasion and refused to throw her intrepid investigators under the bus.


It is a truly gripping story, about which few details have been available –UNTIL NOW.  The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman has interviewed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top investigator, Daniel Johns, who took major risks to put an unvarnished report together and get it published.  Sen. Feinstein had to face both the CIA AND its powerful apologist, President Obama, to get the report published before Republicans took over the Senate.


The VIPS Memorandum thanking Sen. Feinstein, and asking her to see that the Guardian interviews of Daniel Jones get some play in U.S. media (there has been some kind of embargo so far), gives just a small taste for this fascinating inside story.  But it is not just “inside baseball,” so to speak.  Rather it has much wider relevance.  Perhaps most interesting are two things they reveal in gory detail: (1) Obama’s strong support of Brennan’s attempts to deep-six the report; and (2) Sen. Feinstein’s determination to prevent that from happening.

NOT Banned in Boston: reporting by editor Robert Parry, VIPS, and Ray about the almost-mousetrapping of Obama into a major attack on Syria exactly three years ago has found its way onto the pages of the Boston Globe, thanks to a Tufts professor who apparently knows a thing or two about chemical agents like sarin.


Here’s the text of Professor Jerry Meldon’s Letter to the Editor, September 12, 2016

Indira A.R. Lakshmanan understandably laments President Obama’s limited response to Syria’s endless humanitarian crisis (“The only change in Syria is for the worse,” Opinion, Sept. 2). But she’s on shaky ground when she reprises the 2013 neocon war-hawk allegation that the Bashar al-Assad regime “used sarin gas in Ghouta, killing . . . hundreds of civilians.”

Assad did possess chemical weapons, and Obama had ominously warned that deploying them would cross a “red line.” Fortunately, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered a deal whereby Assad relinquished his deadly arsenal, which helped dissuade Obama from bombing Syria in retaliation for Assad’s purported authorization of the sarin attack.

In retrospect, it defied logic for Assad to deploy chemical weapons just when UN inspectors were in the Ghouta region. To former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, writing last month in, “the evidence suggested instead a . . . Syrian rebel false-flag operation aimed at fabricating a pretext for direct US intervention.”

Veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh might well agree. In a recent interview in Truthout, Hersh stated that at the time of the August 2013 sarin attack, “the US and its allies knew from highly classified . . . intelligence reporting . . . that the jihadist opposition to Assad . . . had the ability to manufacture a crude form of sarin.”

Rather than criticism, Obama deserves great credit for defying the war hawks.

Jerry Meldon


The writer is an associate professor in the chemical and biological engineering department at Tufts University.