Elegy, Not Eulogy, for Russia-gators

By Ray McGovern

Ray and Scott Horton — the journalist, not the lawyer/“expert on Russia-gate” — discuss its fizzling out, and what may lie in store for high-level miscreants like Comey, Clapper and Brennan.

Exactly 14 months ago Caitlin Johnstone and Jimmy Dore rang an earlier death knell (link below).  It may be worth another look, now that “Russian hacking of the DNC” has gone the way of “Trump-Russia collusion”.

What Would Wikileaks Do

Leaking to WikiLeaks of US malfeasance on covid-19 could have saved 12 times the number of people killed on 9/11; see “Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives” 

Imprisoning/torturing Julian Assange to intimidate leakers = cutting off nose to spite face. Unlike before 9/11 and the attack on Iraq, WikiLeaks today is operational. 
Pity that those who knew of US misfeasance did not leak and save lives.

John Brennan Seems Scared…

Ex-CIA director John Brennan scared – hopes “individuals like [FBI Director] Chris Wray, who is a remarkable public servant, will continue to stay strong …” https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/very-concerned-john-brennan-clings-to-fbi-director-christopher-wray-as-russia-secrets-emerge
Too late, John, horse has left barn. US Atty John Durham has enough to indict you, and have you not heard? Russiagate is over https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/19/ray-mcgovern-turn-out-the-lights-russiagate-is-over/
Oh, and “Obamagate” is real, John, w/ you playing the starring role.

Will Harvard Pull Obama’s Law Degree, Absent a Confession?

By Ray McGovern, May 17, 2020

Obama’s recent remarks indicate that the former president needs remedial instruction in the law. Happily, this has now been offered by Sidney Powell, a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and attorney for Gen. Michael Flynn.  Will Obama be able to swallow his pride and correct his inaccurate statements about legal precedents regarding Flynn?  Or will he let them stand in Nixonian-type variant; as in, “If a (former) president says it’s illegal, that means it’s illegal.”


Ralph W. McGehee, Agent Who Exposed the C.I.A., Dies at 92

By Tim Weiner, May 14, 2020


A crisis of conscience in Vietnam led McGehee to conclude that the agency was “a malevolent force” and to lay it bare in a memoir, “Deadly Deceits.”  That memoir of 25 years with the C.I.A. chronicled operations in Southeast Asia and his realization that U.S. efforts in Vietnam were doomed.

Ralph W. McGehee, a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine crusades in Vietnam who went to war against the C.I.A. itself, died May 2 at an assisted-living facility in Falmouth, Maine. He was 92.  The cause was Covid-19, his son, Dan McGehee, said.

Mr. McGehee’s 1983 memoir, “Deadly Deceits,” was a scathing critique, a chronicle of the C.I.A.’s Cold War covert operations in Southeast Asia and his dawning realization that the American cause in Vietnam was doomed. He recalled his epiphany: At the end of 1968, he sat drinking alone in a sparsely furnished villa outside Saigon, listening to a tragic pop song, “The End of the World,” as helicopter gunships circled overhead and B-52s dropped bombs in the distance.

“My idealism, my patriotism, my ambition, my plans to be a good intelligence officer to help my country fight the Communist scourge — what the hell had happened?” he wrote. “Why did we have to bomb the people we were trying to save? Why were we napalming young children? Why did the C.I.A., my employer for 16 years, report lies instead of the truth?” He struggled to answer those questions for the rest of his life.

After growing up on the South Side of Chicago, starring on Notre Dame’s undefeated college football teams from 1946 to 1949, failing a tryout with the Green Bay Packers, and working as a management trainee at Montgomery Ward, he received a telegram from out of the blue in January 1952. It asked: Would you like to serve your country in an unusual way? Football players, given their brawn and affinity for teamwork, were prime candidates for paramilitary missions, in the eyes of the C.I.A.

The Korean War was at its height and the C.I.A., founded in 1947, was expanding exponentially, from 200 officers in the beginning to roughly 15,000 in 1952, with some 50 overseas stations and a budget exceeding $5 billion in today’s money. The agency searched frantically for Americans capable of conducting covert operations overseas.

Mr. McGehee made the grade. After training and indoctrination, the agency sent him out into the world. Serving over the years in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and South Vietnam, he confronted confounding problems: for example, a richly compensated foreign agent from Taiwan whose highly touted secret reports on Communist China were based on nothing but newspaper clippings. In northern Thailand, he worked on counterinsurgency operations with opium-smoking hill tribesmen, to little avail. He tried, with some success, to train the Thai national police to gather intelligence.

Mr. McGehee rose to the very middle of the C.I.A.’s ranks, and in 1968 he landed in Saigon to work in liaison with the chief of the secret police. He then faced a spiritual crisis. The war was going badly for the United States, and as bad turned to worse, it shattered him. He questioned America’s role in the world, the C.I.A.’s role in Vietnam, his role in the C.I.A., and his very existence. He wrote that he had contemplated unfurling a banner reading “THE C.I.A. LIES” and then killing himself to protest the war.

As a football star at Notre Dame, Mr. McGehee had the kind of talent the C.I.A. was looking for.  By 1973, after he returned to headquarters, labeled a malcontent and relegated to a backwater desk, the agency confronted its own existential crisis. The wars of Watergate would breach the ramparts of its secrecy. Cold War skeletons tumbled from the closet: assassination plots, covert support for autocrats, spying on Americans. Presidents had approved such exploits in secret, but the C.I.A. was blamed and shamed. By the time he retired in 1977, Mr. McGehee was convinced that the agency was a malevolent force.

“Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the C.I.A.” appeared six years later, after the agency had sought and won significant deletions. Though C.I.A. veterans had published memoirs since the 1960s, few had accused the agency of distorting intelligence to deceive American presidents and the American public to protect its power.

“The American people are the primary target audience of its lies,” Mr. McGehee wrote.  Now-declassified Cold War records tell a more complicated story. The C.I.A.’s primary audience was presidents, not the public. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon had rejected the C.I.A.’s pessimistic reporting on Vietnam, telling the American people that victory, or peace with honor, was at hand when it wasn’t. The presidents, their national security advisers and the Pentagon had pressured the C.I.A. to confirm their political preconceptions. Sometimes the agency bent to their will, but not often.

Those records do bear out Mr. McGehee’s critique that the C.I.A. had neglected the gathering and analysis of intelligence, its founding mission, in favor of bold covert operations that changed the world, often for the worse, especially in the years leading up to the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, approved by President John F. Kennedy, in 1961.

Ralph Walter McGehee Jr. was born in Moline, Ill., on April 9, 1928. His parents managed an apartment complex, his mother as a bookkeeper and his father as a maintenance man.

His wife of 63 years, Norma (Galbreath) McGehee, died in 2012. In addition to his son Dan (who is also known as Keenan Dakota), his survivors include another son, Scott; two daughters, Jean Marteski and Peggy McGehee Horton; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

In later years Mr. McGehee developed and maintained CIABASE, an online collection of open-source information, and gave lectures, occasionally laced with conspiracy theories. He once told a reporter for The New York Times that he realized that his book would not change the C.I.A. But, he said, “I guess I justify myself by thinking that I fought for what I thought was right.”

TEXT of Ray’s Subpoena Response to Aaron Rich and DNC-Affiliated Lawyers

( Follow up to May 11, 2020. https://raymcgovern.com/2020/05/11/so-how-did-the-dnc-emails-get-to-wikileaks/ )

Ray has been asked to post the text of his initial response to Michael J. Gottlieb to the subpoena served to Ray last December, as a new, separate posting sans introduction.  For background on Gottlieb, see this short clip in which he and Anderson Cooper discuss  “conspiracy theories” about Seth Rich: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9t6zLx6hl8 .

Raymond L. McGovern

Michael J. Gottlieb
C/O Graebe Hanna & Sullivan, PLLC
4350 Lassiter at North Hills Ave., Suite 375
Raleigh, NC 27609

Re: Subpoena, Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-00681-RJL
Aaron Rich Plaintiff v Edward Butowsky et al.

Dear Mr Gottlieb:

Reference is made to “Document request No. 1,” to wit:

All Documents and Communications, excluding any Documents or Communications that you have published in public sources, relating to claims that (1) the Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians in 2016 or (2) that the Democratic National Committee data was “leaked” and not “hacked,” including but not limited to claims made in memos by members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (“VIPS”) found on line at


It is gratifying to see the subpoena highlight three of the key Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Memoranda for the President (two to Barack Obama and one to Donald Trump), in which we applied the principles of physics and forensic science to show that the DNC emails were leakedin spring 2016 — not given to WikiLeaks via a hack by Russia or by anyone else. For the past three years, we have been trying to call attention to those findings.

I would call particular attention to the second referenced Memoranda (the one addressed to President Obama on January 17, 2017 entitled “A Key Issue [namely, Russian ‘hacking’ given to WikiLeaks] That Still Needs to be Resolved”).  The following day Obama actually addressed that issue at a press conference, when he conceded that the intelligence community had no idea how the DNC emails reached WikiLeaks.

Although Obama was thoroughly briefed less than two weeks before by the rump intelligence-community trio of James Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper, Obama was not buying their “Russian-hack-to-WikiLeaks” high-confidence assessment. At a public meeting on November 13, 2018, I asked James Clapper why his then-boss saw fit to call the trio’s “conclusions” on that key issue “inconclusive.”  Clapper replied: “I can’t explain what he [Obama] said or why.  But I can tell you we’re, we’re pretty sure we know, or knew at the time, how WikiLeaks got those emails.”

Pretty sure?  Someone should ask Obama why he injected his surprising disclaimer into that press conference two days before he left town.

Also worthy of note is that, in our Memorandum to President Obama of December 12, 2016 entitled “Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless,” we told him that the evidence we already had could save Congress from “partisanship, expense, and unnecessary delay.” That time, the president chose not to listen.

President Trump, on the other hand, apparently was listening to what we told him in the third Memorandum cited in the subpoena — “Was the Russian ‘Hack’ an Inside Job?” (July 24, 2017).  We told him this:

The January 6 [2017] “Intelligence Community Assessment” by “hand-picked” analysts from the FBI, CIA, and NSA seems to fit into the same agenda-driven category. It is largely based on an “assessment,” not supported by any apparent evidence, that a shadowy entity with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

The recent forensic findings mentioned above have put a huge dent in that assessment and cast serious doubt on the underpinnings of the extraordinarily successful campaign to blame the Russian government for hacking. …

You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this. Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.

We were gratified when the President ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to invite Bill Binney to CIA Headquarters to brief him on our findings. Binney did so on October 24, 2017 with his typically no-holds-barred explanation of our findings and of how Pompeo’s subordinates were being less than candid. There is no sign, however, that Pompeo followed up — by pursuing the matter with his own analysts, or by giving President Trump a report on the Binney-Pompeo meeting.

Our findings are a matter of public record, as is the evidence we adduce to support those findings.  My colleagues Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, and Skip Folden tell me they have already provided tons of material in response to subpoenas like the one I received more recently than they did. Since all of my relevant email correspondence included at least one of those three colleagues, you already are in possession of what you ask from me.

It is true that I cannot be sure that my colleagues have included — as required by the subpoena — all their “comments, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, direct messages, all Social Media activity.”  In any case, please be assured that I have never “liked” or “shared” or direct messaged.

That should take care of “Document request No. 1.”

I infer that plaintiff Aaron Rich, having read the three VIPS memos mentioned in the subpoena, has become convinced that the evidence that Russia was responsible for intruding into the DNC and giving the emails to WikiLeaks is spurious; that someone may have thought that Aaron’s brother Seth had something to do with how WikiLeaks got the emails; and that this may account for why Seth was murdered.  I applaud Aaron’s apparent interest in putting the Russian story in the category of not-supported-by-evidence and assume he will redouble his efforts to find out who killed his brother.

Please pass along this one suggestion to Aaron: He might consider trying to pry loose Seth’s computer which reportedly is in the hands of the FBI.  Department of Justice Michael Horowitz’s recent findings show that the FBI has long had a dog in this fight and has made many “mistakes” — all of them in support of that canine.  In recent days, even Attorney General William Barr has made clear his distrust of ex-FBI Director James Comey. In conveying this to Aaron, please also ensure that he receives the following list of links to supplemental reading.  And please consider this responsive to “Document Request No. 2” —“All documents and Communications relating to any member of the Rich family.”

Last, let me express my personal solidarity with Aaron Rich in his search to find out who killed Seth, and wish him success.  Aaron’s effort strikes me not only as exemplary, but in close keeping with the biblical mandate to be “my brother’s keeper.”

While the three VIPS memos cited in the subpoena are well chosen as reference points, I list below, as a courtesy, additional links to relevant articles for further background.  Most of them shed light on the analysis VIPS has been devoting to this issue — for three years now, and counting.

Links to Further Information/Analysis (Listed in Chronological Order): Particular attention is directed toward the last entry, which links to a detailed technical study just completed regarding “Guccifer 2.0.”












From Earlier:




Yours truly,

Raymond L. McGovern
December 21, 2019