Bill Binney and Ray discuss the latest disclosures by WikiLeaks revealing a bizarre arsenal of offensive (in both senses of the word) cyber tools developed by geeks recruited for the CIA cyber center established by former director John Brennan.


Yep, “they” really are keeping track of all of us and what we are doing, and have developed computer technology that can do things like take control of your automobile.  On March 7, after the WikiLeaks release earlier that day, Bill and Ray discussed the release, and more, in a relaxed conversation moderated by WBAI’s Live on the Fly radio host Randy Credico.


WikiLeaks’s trove of information reflects an Orwellian obsession at CIA with cyber/snooping/warfare, but also shows that with respect to defensive measures, CIA’s cyber-warrior geeks are embarrassingly inept.  Small wonder that senior spook managers, White House denizens, and sleepy members of Congress do not like Julian Assange.  They do not like him – not one bit.


Did President Obama know of these activities?  Was his pal John Brennan acting on his own, or perhaps with a presidential wink and smile?  Were Congress’s Intelligence Oversight/Overlook Committees briefed?  And what’s with these rubber-stamp judges of the FISA Court?  Who the hell is running the country anyway?


Bill and Ray banter in a relaxed way on the latest news, adding anecdotes, from their own personal experience, about main players past and present (including those making big bucks serving servile media).  One focus is on the current turmoil in Washington where someone seems to have put something in the water.  It was probably the Russians!




We Warned the American People about Naked Surveillance, but No One Listened

What follows is an article written VIPS member Kirk Wiebe, a former senior NSA official and whistleblower and a true patriot embodying the character and integrity essential for a strong, free America.


We Warned the American People about Naked Surveillance, but No One Listened




I’m from a small town in Indiana, where we often passed on knowledge with this simple bit of farmland wisdom:  “If you plant onions, you’ll pretty much get onions.”  Another way of stating it, perhaps more eloquently, is “You reap what you sow.”


Still another fitting bit of wisdom in the context of what we are witnessing today would be found in “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”


Over a decade and a half ago, the NSA Four (Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, Tom Drake, and myself), together with House Intelligence Committee Senior Staffer Diane Roark pleaded for a surveillance system that protected the innocent, in order to prevent the destruction of individual privacy guaranteed us all by the U.S. Constitution.


Nobody listened.  No one cared.  No one took corrective action.

Today, we see unfolding before our very eyes a Constitutional crisis of monumental proportions, one that threatens the very foundations of our nation’s system of governance.

People hidden in the bowels of the United States Intelligence Community are leaking classified information taken from the private phone calls of innocent people – people who have not been accused of committing any crime – to the press for purely political reasons, reasons that include an attempt to take down our duly elected administration.


Had the approach we advocated over 16 years ago been used – one that featured a built-in capability that prevented the kind of access to, and disclosure of, private information we are seeing in the news – we would not be witnessing the abject abuse of authority that is unfolding before us.  President Obama’s order just before departing the White House that spread access to NSA’s intercepts to hundreds of additional people across all 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community would not have mattered. Innocent people’s private information would have been protected.


The questions remain – is anyone listening? Does anyone care? Indeed, Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Is anyone taking corrective action to prevent such leaks, even in the absence of identifying the individuals who are continuing to break the law?


It might take a week, maybe two, maybe even three, depending on the IT architecture involved, to put the data protections in place.


For the American People.  For the nation.

Ambassador to the USSR (and then Russia) Jack Matlock puts “notorious” contacts with Russian officials in perspective

March 4, 2017


There is no more knowledgeable a specialist on issues like this obscenely over-hyped one.  Even Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador to Russia (Dec. 2011 to Feb. 2014), who made it a practice to cultivate and encourage everyone and his brother (and sister) who were strongly opposed to Kremlin leaders, and has been a Daily Beast favorite, has ridiculed the media witch-hunt pursuit of those who dare talk to Russians.  (Ray remembers reading, while in Palestine, of McFaul’s comments; strangely, Google seems unable to find them.)

“A Warning From the Middle East” – And “STANDING”

Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe, March 2, 2017


It can happen/is now beginning to happen in the U.S:


“First they came for the Mexicans, then for the Muslims, then for those standing at Standing Rock, then …”




This brave man was convicted of leaking secrets because he blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear bombmaking capabilities. He spend 18 years in prison, and he is not allowed to leave Israel. He’s also not allowed to meet with foreigners, unless it’s by chance, which this was.


Last night Ray got back from two and a half weeks in Palestine/Israel, with eight other Veterans For Peace, standing for justice for Palestinians.  Some of them were fresh back from icicled beards, standing with our Native American brothers and sisters at Standing Rock – and before that, standing with native Koreans against the U.S. Navy’s carving out a nuclear submarine base at Jeju Island, South Korea, and standing with the Mayor of Okinawa against the further U.S. militarization of Japan aimed at China.


A powerful witness to Ray – not only to be part of this non-flinching, but also nonviolent, group (our Palestinian friends and we were tear-gassed three times) – but also to be STANDING in the same human (even sacred) tradition as three “Dans,” to whom Ray owes so much:

Dan Maguire, fearless professor of moral theology at Marquette;

Dan Ellsberg, whose close friend/whistleblower-follower, Mordecai Vanunu, happened to spot a few of the VFP delegation in East Jerusalem and shared supper; and

Dan Berrigan, SJ, who pondered poignantly about “standing” in an unpublished poem Ray copied from the wall of the Catholic Worker Mary House, where Dorothy Day lived and died:






Some stood up once         and sat down.

Some walked a mile         and walked away.


Some stood up twice       then sat down.

I’ve had it, they said.

Some walked two miles     then walked away.

It’s too much, they cried.


Some stood and stood and stood.

They were taken for fools

They were taken for being taken in.


Some walked and walked and walked

They walked the earth

They walked the waters

They walked the air.


Why do you stand          they were asked           and

Why do you walk?


Because of the children, they said, and

Because of the heart, and

Because of the bread,


The cause

Is the heart’s beat

And the children born

And the risen Bread.


Daniel Berrigan, S.J.


“A tribute to my dear and honored friend, Eqbal Ahmed” Daniel Berrigan


The poem “Some” is © Daniel Berrigan, privately printed in Gaelic green in 2013 from hand-set type by the Larch Free Press of Ithaca, New York.

Confronting Settlers at Nabi Saleh, Occupied West Bank

By Ellen Davidson, Veterans For Peace Associate
Especially impressive was watching how well schooled in the difficult practice of nonviolence the younger VFPs, in particular, were.  Matt Hoh (former USMC) could easily have inflicted substantial harm, so to speak, on the settler cowards who attacked the women first, then the photographers/videographers, then women and men who were not as formidable targets as that presented by Matt.

And Mike Hanes, who sprang immediately to defend the women first attacked by the settler in the gray sweatshirt, showed incredible self-restraint and composure, when that settler pushed him over a rock.  Mike is former member of Marine equivalent of special forces.  Never mind that that particular settler wore a sidearm, Mike easily could have brought that settler to a “no-good end,” an expression the Chinese often use to describe — well, a no-good end.

Both Matt and Mike were among those VFPers who stayed that night (March 3-4) in Nabi Saleh, since it seemed very likely there would be a house-raid on Bassem’s house (which has already been earmarked for “demolition) after midnight, as is frequently the practice.  No raid took place.  Why? — perhaps because of the VFP presence; or perhaps because the settlers and soldiers prefer not to do such violent house raids on the Sabbath — religious folks that most of them are.

Let’s hope and pray there is no raid — and no demolition — now that the VFP delegation is back home in the U.S.  Asked about the risk incurred by Nabu Saleh residents’ periodic demonstrations against the illegal settlement nearby and the seizure of the spring, Bassem said matter-of-factly that the alternative is, in its own way, far more dangerous.  The alternative? –passive acquiescence and lost hope.  The courage of the Palestinians just won’t quit.

Veterans for Peace pics from Israel

We went over to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Demonstrating for Justice at U.S. embassy, Tel Aviv


The people across the street seemed perplexed by our banner.

Two Israelis ponder meaning of Veterans For Peace Banner


We go off to the beach. Here, Mike is drying his socks as he walks.

Tel Aviv beach: a good place to air out socks


Two young vets and…


An older and wiser vet


Writing love letters in the sand

Veterans For Peace Meetings at Knesset, Feb 28, 2017



-The first group photo with two of the Palestinian Members of Knesset


On the wall of the conference room.

-The photos of Rosa Parks and Dr. King on the wall of the Palestinian Members of Knesset conference room


They are called “Israeli Arabs” rather than Palestinians.

-Haneen Zoaby, fireball Palestinian Member of Knesset (and passenger on the Flotilla to Gaza, 2010)


-Two old “senior veterans, and…


-Two more recent veterans at table with Palestinian Members of Knesset.



More pics from Palestine

This brave man was convicted of leaking secrets because he blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear bombmaking capabilities. He spend 18 years in prison, and he is not allowed to leave Israel. He’s also not allowed to meet with foreigners, unless it’s by chance, which this was.

“It’s another nakba for the families,” Jamal says. “And what does it produce? A pile of hatred.”

Ray makes a point

L to R: Matt Hoh, Ken Mayers, Tarak Kauff, a local Hebron resident, Issa Amro of Youth Against Settlements, Ray McGovern, Miko Peled, Mike Hanes, Will Griffin

The crowd sets off from the mosque to try to get to the checkpoint preventing entry to Shuhada Street.

Many of the activists gather back at the Hostel in Hebron, where we stayed earlier in the week. We reunite with Munther and give him one of our sweatshirts. He is delighted and promises to wear it to the demonstration in Nabi Saleh next Friday, when we will see him again.

Ray talks to the sheikh.

Aziz Al-Toury is the head of the village. He serves tea the VFP delegation.

Letter From Ken Mayers, Veterans For Peace Delegation to Palestine/Israel, Feb. 16 to March 4


I have been inspired to make this effort because of two tremendously moving experiences in the past two days.


Most of you on my address list are more aware of the situation in Palestine and Israel than the American public at large. You are a well-read group, and a few of you have visited this part of the world. Some have been much more closely connected to the situation than have I. And most of you have seen at least some of the photos that our intrepid journalist, Ellen Davidson has been capturing on our trip.


There have been some highly dramatic instances, but to me, the most meaningful experiences have been the quiet revelations of the past two days.


The first of these took place in Ramallah, the administrative home of the Palestinian Authority. The so-called “separation barrier” follows a snaky line intended to incorporate the maximum geographical area into Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries while eventually including the smallest number of Palestinian residents. To achieve this objective, the Israeli government deploys a variety of cruel strategies, many relying on the enforcement of unreasonable, unjust laws.   Probably the most common and the most visible is the demolition of homes built or expanded without a construction permit. And since the Israeli government never grants building permits to Palestinians, almost all homes are subject to demolition orders.


Yesterday afternoon, our Veterans For Peace delegation met with a gentleman who is one of the leaders of the resistance to the wall. He took us to visit one of the areas targeted by the government for “maximum geography, minimum demography” described above. In this neighborhood seven homes and two apartment buildings had been demolished. Demolition crews — caterpillar D9 bulldozers (made in America) protected by police and/or soldiers come in the middle of the night and give residents ten minutes to take what belongs they can carry and vacate the house. In a few hours, there is nothing left but rubble. After viewing several of these houses, our guide took us to a still standing house, adjacent to which was a pile of rubble. He took us into a small garden next to the house, where the owner welcomed us to his home and explained that the rubble behind the house had been a 4-unit apartment building that he had built at a cost of $200,000 to house his sons and their families when they finish their university studies. He then chased his younger children into the house to get glasses and a pitcher of water for his guests. We all sat down to chat with this kindly, gentle victim of Israeli cruelty, and soon coffee, tea, and dishes of fruit, vegetables, and hummus appeared on the table, a miracle of generosity to strangers from a man whose life-savings had been destroyed by a housing demolition order. His residence remained only because it had been built before the 1967 conquest of the West Bank by the Israeli army. For the time being, pre-1967 structures are exempt from demolition orders. I’m sure the taste of the fennel, apples, and oranges we were given in that garden will stay with us all.


Then today we all took the bus ride down to the Negev Desert to visit the Bedouin village of Al Araaqib, one of the dozens of Bedouin villages in the Negev that the Israeli government considers “unrecognized, and therefore ineligible for services such as water, electricity, and trash collection. Nonetheless, the village has been there for centuries as was recognized by the Ottoman Empire in 1905, the British Mandate in 1929, and even Israeli documents in 1975. In June, 2010, the Israeli government demolished the village, destroyed all the houses, bulldozing 4500 olive tree and 900 fruit trees (figs, avocados, lemons and oranges), as well as the water cistern and the electrical generator. Immediately after this disaster, the villages rebuilt the village insofar as the could and credited activist Jewish Israelis with helping them in the revival.   But not long thereafter, the government destroyed the reconstructed village. Since 2010, the village has been demolished many more times over the last 7 years. But the steadfast Bedouins persist. Each time their material belongings and surrounding deteriorate further, but the spirit of “sumud” is more powerful than the D9 bulldozers. When we visited Al Araaqib in 2013, they still had a number of travel trailers in the village, one of which served as a computer classroom. The Israeli government destroyed them all. They are poorer than ever, but as hospitable and generous as ever.

As soon as we arrived we were offered tea and water.


Then Aziz, our host started preparing coffee, while telling us how important morning coffee is to the community. He started with raw beans, roasting them in a skillet in which he was continually flipping them while telling of his culture and the attempts of the Israeli government to destroy both their culture and their history. But he started this commentary by saying that the first thing every morning when he wakes up, he raises thanks to God for his life, and then raises thanks to the activist Jews who help the community survive. He teaches his son that he must not hate Jews. He may hate the police, the army, the “green patrols,” and the JNF (Jewish National Fund) — all of which are trying to drive them off the land. But he must not hate the people — or any people.


When the coffee beans were roasted to his satisfaction, his friend Saleem pounded them into power in an iron mortar and pestle. He poured the grounds into a beautiful brass pitcher which had been boiling over a flame while the beans were being pounded. He gently shook the pitcher for a while, the dropped a handful of cardamom branches into the mortar and ground them up, eventually adding a handful of cardamom to the coffee. Finally he poured coffee for us all. Our colleague Mike Haines declared it the “best coffee ever!” We all agreed. It had been made with love.


Then Aziz took us on a tour of the village fields. At one point he grasped a handful leaves from a plant that Mike said was called “mallow” in English. It grows wild in the winter in Al Araaqib and since time immemorial has been one of the staples of the Bedouin winter diet. But the Israeli government has declared it illegal to pick and had made violation subject to an 800 shekel fine (roughly $225 dollars.) He pointed out several more edible wild plants, all enthusiastically tasted by “forager Mike.” Then we were called back to the welcoming tent where a feast of Bedouin dishes had been set out for us. So once again, people from whom nearly everything had been taken were once again giving us loving hospitality so deeply rooted in their culture that it survives monstrous abuse.


After the feast, we joined them in their annual Sunday protest at the Lehavim highway crossing. Then the long bus ride back to Jerusalem.


What amazing human beings these are !!!