Schiff protects intel 'status quo' power by sinking wide-reaching FISA reform: Source
Agent of Change
Jack Ryan's Odyssey From the FBI to the Peace Movement
By Paul Engleman
Joe Biden: Never Too Late to Admit You Blew the Big One
March 15, 2020
By Ray McGovern, March 15, 2020
From 12 years ago, but highly relevant still, with the Biden-Sanders debate this evening. Will Sanders have the guts to confront his old pal Joe on the major role he played to bring disaster in the Middle East? If Bernie flinches again, he will be complicit in allowing the Democratic Establishment tip the scales against him for second time in a row.
THERE'S NO CONSCIENCE LEFT: FBI agent whistleblower Colleen Rowley
They Killed Him at 10:18, the plane is disabled, seven miles from the airport. The King Air A-100 turbo prop flies treetop level over shocked witnesses, five miles out: no lights, crabbed cockeyed, engines spooling down, so low witnesses are amazed it stays airborn. Three more miles and the plane stalls, dropping into the woods, killing all eight on board: Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Mn), his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia, aides Mary McEvoy, Tom Lapic, Will McLaughlin, pilot Richard Conry and co-pilot Michael Guess. How to account for the experienced pilots behavior, unless they had been disabled? But why would anyone go to such trouble to so publicly kill the senior senator from Minnesota? Cui bono? Who benefits? That’s the question VFW veterans in Willmar, Minnesota have. They heard the Senator tell of the threat Vice President Cheney made to Wellstone shortly after the Senator's No vote on the Iraq W
Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for more than 20 years. His current course is: “On the Morality of Whistleblowing.”
Ray came to Washington from his native Bronx in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s five most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.
In January 2003, Ray co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose how intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C-minus. VIPS ended the memo with this:
“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed his was]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”
On July 20, 2002, CIA Director George Tenet had told his British counterpart that the “intelligence and facts were being ‘fixed’ around the policy of ‘regime change’ in Iraq.” On June 5, 2008, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, announced the main conclusion of a five-year study by his committee, saying, “In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent.” In sum, the “intelligence” was not mistaken; it was out-and-out fraud.
It got worse. As an act of conscience, on March 2, 2006 Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion given him at retirement for “especially meritorious service,” explaining, “I do not want to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture.” He returned the medallion to Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R, Michigan), then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Hoekstra then secretly added to the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY’07 (HR5020) a provision enabling the government to strip intelligence veterans of their government pensions. HR5020 passed the full House, but Congress opted instead for a continuing resolution.
On December 11, 2014, Ray had an opportunity to tell Hoekstra exactly what he thought of Hoekstra’s underhanded, Lone-Ranger attempt (he did not inform his House Intelligence Committee colleagues) to make it possible to revoke the government pensions of people like Ray. He confronted the former Congressman off-air, after the two were interviewed live on CCTV’s “The Heat” about the Senate Intelligence Committee findings released on December 9, 2014 regarding CIA torture. The interview itself offered Ray a unique chance to hold Hoekstra publicly accountable for condoning torture, and the Michigan congressman rose to the occasion. (See minutes 8:15 to 10:41 of:
On the early afternoon of May 4, 2006, in Atlanta, Ray confronted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on live TV with pointed questions like: “Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties?”
The impromptu, four-minute mini-debate that followed is still receiving hits on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1FTmuhynaw. Accused by TV pundits that evening of “following the Secretary of Defense all the way down to Atlanta,” Ray explained that he had gotten to Atlanta first – to receive, that same evening, the ACLU’s National Civil Liberties Award (won the previous year by Coretta Scott King).
Ray’s opinion pieces have appeared in many leading newspapers and other publications in the U.S. and abroad – except for the NY Times and Washington Post. His website writings are usually posted first on consortiumnews.com as well as here on raymcgovern.com. Many are then cross-posted elsewhere.
Ray still serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. Links to VIPS’ 46 corporate issuances are posted on https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/
He has debated three times at the Oxford Forum. The second time, in early 2013, he chose a lighter tone in explaining why it is still possible to dream the American dream. (It’s a little hammy; see what you think.)
There was little to be merry about on Nov. 3, 2016, however, when Ray was asked to take the affirmative side in an Oxford Union debate on the issue: “The U.S. Presidential race reveals a broken two-party system.” He was glad to have a chance to debate opposite former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson and could not pass up the chance to expose the genuinely sad story about what has happened to what once was a great newspaper. The Oxford students (who do the voting), though, showed themselves impervious to Ray’s criticism of the often noxious role played in two-party elections by the “mainstream media” – and specifically the NY Times – in supporting one candidate over the other in its reportorial coverage, as well as its editorials.
Most Oxford folks – like the NY Times, the Washington Post, and other “mainstream media” – strongly supported Hillary Clinton; fully expected her to win just five days later; and were thankful that the U.S. two-party system – broken or not – had served up a “winner” (Clinton) to be president. Ray’s attempt to expose the crucial influence of the media (whose masters are convinced they know what’s best for the country) – not only in rooting for candidates, but also suppressing violations of the Constitution, in order to guarantee criminals like George W. Bush a second term – fell on mainstream (deaf) ears). Ray’s side of the debate lost; it wasn’t even close.
November 3, 2016, (14 minutes)
Ray has appeared on The Newshour, C-Span’s Washington Journal, CNN, BBC, a number of domestic Russian TV channels, Aljazeera, RT, PressTV, CCTV and many other TV & radio programs and documentaries. Ray’s favorite gig was debating Iraq with yellow-cake-aluminum connoisseur and ex-CIA Director James Woolsey on Charlie Rose on Aug. 20, 2004. (See minute 17:48 when Woolsey plays the “anti-Semitic” card against Ray.)
Ray was in NYC with filmmaker Robert Greenwald for the debut of his full-length documentary, Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War. Ray is often on the road, giving talks and interviews to a wide variety of audiences in the U.S. and abroad.
A founder of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence ( samadamsaward.ch , Ray was happy to be able, with former awardees Thomas Drake, Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, to present the annual award in 2013 to Edward Snowden.
Ray’s B.A. and M.A. degrees – both from Fordham University – are in Russian history, language, and literature, with minors in theology, philosophy, and classics. He has taught Russian as an adjunct at the University of Virginia. Ray also holds a Certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
A Catholic, Ray has been worshipping for many years with the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. He has been invited to lecture at various interfaith and ecumenical events around the U.S., and has preached during services at a number of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues.
Ray enjoys being asked to “substitute teach” at universities and colleges. At George Washington University, though, he quickly wore out his welcome when he stood silently with his back turned toward then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was seized and badly beaten directly in front of Clinton, while she spoke eloquently about the need for freedom of expression – in Iran.
Ray is fluent in Russian, German, and Spanish. He and his wife have been married 55 years; they have five children and nine grandchildren.
Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence 2019 Goes to Jeffrey Sterling!
Jeffrey Sterling receives the Sam Adams Award Jan
The above video is of our 2019 Sam Adams award presentation on January 15, 2020 to former CIA agent and hero whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling. The evening began with a song dedicated to Jeffrey and the integrity he (and his wife Holly) displayed throughout Jeffrey’s truth telling ordeal. (While viewers must “bear with us” as the singing was unrehearsed so a bit offkey), the (partial) lyrics below by songwriter Ann Reed DO “tell the story.”
What can I learn from you
In your lifetime, in what you’ve been through
How’d you keep your head up and hold your pride
In an insane world how’d you keep on tryin’
One life can tell the tale
That if you make the effort, you can not fail
By your life you tell me it can be done
By your life’s the courage to carry on
Appear like a friend
To clear a path or light the flame
As time goes by you find you depend
On your heroes to show you the way
What can I learn from you
That I must do the thing I think I can not do
That you do what’s right by your heart and soul
It’s the imperfections that make us whole
One life can tell the tale
And if you make the effort you can not fail
By your life you tell me it can be done
By your life’s the courage to carry on…
The presentation to Sterling was preceded by a showing of the poignant docudrama “Official Secrets,” the true story of the second (2003) Sam Adams award recipient Katherine Gun. SAAII members Ray McGovern, Tom Drake, Jesselyn Radack, John Kiriakou, Larry Wilkerson, Ann Wright, and Coleen Rowley spoke at the event while Todd Pierce and Elizabeth Murray made the actual presentation. Among the other members in attendance were William Binney, Clement “Lu” Laniewsky, Robert Wing, Karen Kwiatkowsky and Gareth Porter. Stellar defense attorneys Edward MacMahon and Barry Pollack were also on hand to publicly congratulate Jeffrey as well as a standing-room-only full of admirers of the integrity Jeffrey displayed in telling the truth during these troubled times when, as CIA analyst Sam Adams learned the hard way during Vietnam, truth tends to be the first casualty during a time of war.
Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, Who Went Through Kafkaesque Trial, Wins 2020 Sam Adams Award
by Raymond McGovern in Consortium News, Jan 12, 2020, excerpt:
Former CIA operations officer Jeffrey Sterling will receive the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence this Wednesday, joining 17 earlier winners who, like Sterling, demonstrated extraordinary devotion to the truth and the rule of law by having the courage to blow the whistle on government wrongdoing.
Tuesday will mark the fifth anniversary of the eerie beginning of Sterling’s trial for espionage — the kind of trial that might have left even Franz Kafka, author of the classic novel The Trial, stunned in disbelief.
There can be a heavy price exacted for exposing abuse by secretive governments — especially ones that have neutered the press to the point where they are immune to exposure when they take serious liberties with the law. Making this reality plainly obvious, of course, is one of the U.S. government’s primary aims in putting whistleblowers like Sterling in prison — lest others get the idea they can blow the whistle and get away with it.
With his Sam Adams award, Sterling brings to five the number of award recipients imprisoned for exposing government abuse (not counting 2013 Sam Adams laureate, Ed Snowden, who was made stateless and has been marooned in Russia for over six years). Worst still, Julian Assange (2010) and Chelsea Manning (2014) remain in prison, where UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer says they are being tortured… (Read remainder of article at Consortiumnews.)
FBI INVOLVEMENT IN CIA BLACK SITE INTERROGATIONS CONFIRMED BY THIRD WITNESS
By John Ryan
November 2, 2019
Guantanamo Bay, News & Features
COVID-19 and prisons
States’ departments of correction are taking steps to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 in their facilities. But social distancing in these already overcrowded environments is a particular challenge.
One strategy will be to limit incarcerated people’s access to those who have been outside the facility. In Georgia, the state decided to prohibit in-person visitation through April 10, and in New Hampshire, new transfers and visitors are being questioned about their potential exposure.
MuckRock has reached out to the DOCs about their preparedness plans, but some have already reached into their security exemption baskets to deny our requests, including Iowa and South Carolina. Most have not acknowledged our requests from earlier this week at all.
We’ll continue following coronavirus responses in correctional centers. We want to know how these departments are already prepared to track and prevent illness in their facilities and, relatedly, how inmates will be able to continue to communicate with their families across the country.
We’ve filed a request with the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week will be working to produce more hand sanitizer for free distribution to public institutions.
Do you have a story to share about contacting a loved one in a prison facility? Please share it with us.
ices for medical supplies, including hand sanitizer, are spiking on Amazon. Days after Coronavirus became a pandemic, a four-pack of hand sanitizer was selling for $159.00. Lysol wipes were going for $70.00. People are now demanding that Amazon stop this kind of price gouging. U.S. PIRG started a petition for Amazon to address price gouging for emergency supplies. If you believe there should be no place for price gouging on Amazon for medical supplies during the Coronavirus pandemic, sign their petition.
Tell Amazon: Prevent price gouging during emergencies
After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global health emergency, prices for medical supplies, including hand sanitizer, skyrocketed on Amazon.
A four-pack of Purell hand sanitizer was selling for $159. Two containers of Lysol wipes cost $70.
That’s not “good business;” that’s taking advantage of consumers during an emergency. And although Amazon has retroactively deleted some products for price gouging, these spikes should never have happened in the first place.
Price gouging during emergencies needs to end. Tell Amazon to implement safeguards that prevent prices from significantly inflating during states of emergency.
Price gouging is when sellers use emergencies as opportunities to inflate their prices exorbitantly due to increased demand. It’s a tactic that takes advantage of people in tough, or even dangerous, positions -- and it’s against the law in many states.
But as coronavirus has become an increasingly global threat, prices for critical supplies sold by third-party vendors and by Amazon itself, have shot up.
This isn’t the first time price gouging has run rampant on Amazon. As the Category 5 Hurricane Irma approached Florida in 2017, prices for basic emergency supplies went through the roof, with cases of bottled water seeing price increases of up to 500 percent at times.
There’s no reason price gouging should be allowed to continue on one of the largest online marketplaces in the country. Amazon’s algorithm should protect consumers in emergency situations, not allow skyrocketing prices.
Amazon agrees: There’s no place for price gouging on its platform.6 But while the company is taking action after prices spike, it clearly lacks the necessary controls to prevent significant increases during emergencies.
Amazon needs to do more to protect consumers from unfair price gouging during emergencies.
The fact that Amazon vendors are able to inflate prices on medical supplies that people believe they need to protect themselves and their families -- and on effective supplies like hand sanitizer -- shows a deep flaw in the company’s ability to protect consumers from unfair pricing during emergencies.
Instead of catching price gouging after the fact -- and after consumers in tough positions have potentially already paid exorbitant prices -- Amazon should have a system in place that prevents price gouging before it starts.
By implementing a system that prevents anyone -- Amazon, computer algorithm or seller -- from raising prices for products significantly above their 90-day averages during emergencies, Amazon would help to protect consumers who may be relying on its marketplace for supplies.
Add your name: Tell Amazon to implement safeguards to stop price gouging before it happens.
1. Sui-Lee Wee, Donald G. McNeil Jr. and Javier C. Hernández, “W.H.O. Declares Global Emergency as Wuhan Coronavirus Spreads,” New York Times, January 30, 2020.
2. Jessica Guynn and Kelly Tyko, “Gouge much? Purell for $149, face masks for $20: Coronavirus price hikes are making everyone mad,” USA Today, March 3, 2020.
3. Jordan Valinsky, “Amazon deleted 1 million items for price gouging or false advertising about coronavirus,” CNN, March 2, 2020.
4. Andrew Ross Sorkin “Hurricane Price Gouging Is Despicable, Right? Not to Some Economists,” New York Times, September 11, 2017.
5. Tom Popomaronis, “Amid Preparations For Hurricane Irma, Amazon Draws Scrutiny For Price Increases,” September 6, 2017.
6. Marielle Segarra, “Amazon cracks down on COVID-19 price gouging,” Marketplace, March 3, 2020.
U.S. PIRG started this petition to Amazon and it now has 42,791 signatures
Sign now with a click
Home › Nation
Arizona Cop With History Of Racism Fired After Stopping A Black Man Over An Air Freshener
Cop, Driver Arrested For Allegedly Raping Woman In Gujarat
The constable raped the woman after he sent her boyfriend with the van's driver to get bribe money, said a Lakshmipura police station official.
Cop Exposes ZRP Underhand Dealings Including Cover-Ups For Murder
March 13, 2020
Five North Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Graduate the FBI National Academy
Your action is urgently needed to stop a three year reauthorization of PATRIOT Act surveillance authorities!
Mitch McConnell is trying to ram a deeply flawed bill through the Senate TODAY, without debate and no chance for amendments. Please take two minutes to call your Senators and tell them to block McConnell’s attempt to choke off debate.
Contact your Senator today and urge them to vote against cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020.
Then help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your contacts and sharing it on social media.
Here’s the full story:
Today at 5:30 ET, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will attempt to invoke cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020 - that means shutting down debate on the bill and moving forward for a full vote.The USA Freedom Reauthorization Act would renew PATRIOT Act Authorities without necessary reforms. Sen. McConnell will attempt to secure the 60 votes needed to silence our allies including Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and others fighting for the chance to amend the bill, which has been widely decried as inadequate (at best) by many civil liberties groups. This is particularly notable because as a result of a campaign by Congressional leadership in both chambers (by both parties) to prevent members of Congress from having any legitimate chance to cast any real votes on any serious FISA reform, no committee has marked up or passed this legislation.
But, we have the chance to stop Mitch McConnell from ramming this deeply flawed reauthorization bill through the Senate without debate and amendment. We need you to call your Senator today and tell them to vote against cloture for the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020.
If we are successful in preventing cloture, the outcome is likely a 45-day reauthorization CONTINGENT upon an opportunity for our Congressional allies to offer meaningful, privacy-protective amendments to the bill. Even if the bill ultimately lacks enough reform to earn our support, we MUST fight for the chance to attempt to improve it as much as possible. We must defeat Mitch McConnell’s cloture attempt today. Call your Senator today and urge them to vote against cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020.
House Passes Bill Preserving F.B.I. Surveillance Powers An unusual collection of lawmakers backed the legislation, which would give Americans some new privacy protections and extend legal authority for some F.B.I. investigative tools.