Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President's Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 3:15pm
Crime and CIA Embarrassments
I confess to being naïve. From what I had read about “Operation Merlin,” a harebrained scheme to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, I was convinced that the CIA would be determined to avoid calling more attention to it. Or, by extension, to author James Risen’s continuing revelations – in his new...
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Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 8:45am
Will France Repeat US Mistakes after 9/11?
First, a hat tip to Elias Groll, assistant editor at Foreign Policy , whose report just a few hours after the killings on Wednesday at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo , included this key piece of background on the younger of the two brother suspects: “Carif Kouachi was previously known...
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Monday, January 5, 2015 - 6:30am
Rebuilding the Obama-Putin Trust
The year 2015 will surely mark a watershed in relations between the United States and Russia, one way or the other. However, whether tensions increase – to war-by-proxy in Ukraine or an even wider war – or whether they subside depends mostly on President Barack Obama. Key to answering this question...
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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 12:15pm
Torture’s Time for Accountability
I trust I was not alone in seeing irony in President Barack Obama’s public chiding of Sony on Friday for caving in to hacker demands to cancel distribution of its comedy “The Interview” – about a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korea’s real-life leader Kim Jong-Un – after a retaliatory...
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Monday, December 15, 2014 - 12:45pm
Clashing Face-to-Face on Torture
When you get an opportunity like this, don’t fall back – I heard my Irish grandmother telling me last Thursday as I took my place at the table to discuss torture with a former congressional committee chairman whose job it was to prevent such abuse. Almost rubbing shoulders with me on my right was...
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Friday, December 12, 2014 - 6:30am
What’s the Next Step to Stop Torture?
“I want you to listen to me,” said George Tenet lunging forward from his chair, his index finger outstretched and pointed menacingly at CBS’ Scott Pelley, “We don’t torture people; we don’t torture people; we don’t torture people; we don’t torture people; we don’t torture people!” Appearing on “60...
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Friday, November 21, 2014 - 2:30pm
CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture
“CIA may revamp how it is organized” announced a front-page Washington Post headline leading into an article based on remarks by unnamed “U.S intelligence officials” to the Post’s Greg Miller. The anonymous officials were authorized to share some of the contents of a Sept. 24 letter from CIA...
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Monday, November 17, 2014 - 2:00pm
ISIS and the Viet Cong: Just How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?
Why was I reminded of Vietnam on Saturday when Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Iraq to “get a firsthand look at the situation in Iraq, receive briefings, and get better sense of how the campaign is progressing” against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or...
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Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 7:45am
The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest
Why, I asked myself, would the New York City police arrest me and put me in The Tombs overnight, simply because a security officer at the 92 nd Street Y told them I was “not welcome” and should be denied entry to a talk by retired General David Petraeus? In my hand was a ticket for which I had...
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Friday, October 24, 2014 - 6:45am
Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia
In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled “Citizenfour,” named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms. When we...
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