Debunking Trump’s Casus Belli

Intelligence community insiders are getting restless for a whistleblower to step forward.

By Philip Giraldi

WANTED: A sane, patriotic WHISTLEBLOWER, before Defense Secretary James (aka “Mad Dog”) Mattis and his equally mad four-star colleagues ignite a regional – or wider – war by escalating hostilities in Syria.  

Sure, such a whistleblower would run afoul of CIA Director Mike (Mad Dog) Pompeo who, in his first public speech as head of CIA, amply demonstrated that his disregard for the Bill of Rights matches that of the other merry men to whom President Trump has given extraordinary powers.

Pompeo recently “confirmed” that it was the CIA that instantly concluded that the Syrian government was responsible for the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” in Khan Shaykhun, which persuaded Trump to fire cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase two days later.  We were good, and fast,” Pompeo pompously added, “and we got it right.”

(see: ).


Trouble is that’s a half-truth.  (Uncommonly fast? Yes.  But right? No.).  Trouble is many potential whistleblowers in the U.S. intelligence and armed forces communities know it to be a half-truth.  Trouble is we all swore an oath to support and “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.”


So, who will have the guts to step up to the plate this time, when the stakes are even higher?


Last time around, in the months before the US/UK attack on Iraq, the only intelligence officers with the courage to blow the whistle were from the UK (Katharine Gun of NSA’s British partner GCHQ), Australia (Col. Andrew Wilkie of the CIA-equivalent Office of National Assessments), and Denmark (Army intelligence officer Major Frank Grevil.)


NOTE for those thinking of doing the right thing this time: (1) Free experienced legal help is available.  And (2) such whistleblower(s) would instantly make the short list of nominees for the annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence (see: and could join the 15 awardees (including Katharine Gun and Frank Grevil) so honored, in the wake of 9/11 and the faux intelligence undergirding the flurry of wars it spawned

Ray laments lack of free media in US: CNN* panel discussion: “How the US media covers war and foreign conflict”

*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.”

(13 minutes) 

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

Crucifixion by Drone: Justice Action at Hancock Drone Base, Syracuse

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.



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.


See also:

“U.S. – Russia: From Trust to Tension in Just Three Years”

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.”

Trampling the US Constitution for War

By Daniel C. Maguire, Professor of Moral Theology, Marquette University

April 8, 2017


Trampling the US Constitution for War

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.