AFP PODCAST & ARTICLE: Ray McGovern on CIA Head John Brennan

AFP PODCAST & ARTICLE: Ray McGovern on CIA Head John Brennan

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On March 8, 2013, John Owen Brennan Assumed the office of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA), after a contested United States Senate confirmation hearing, where Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began a talking filibuster and 34 senators voted against him.

In order to get a fuller understanding of why Brennan’s confirmation process was so hotly contested, AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with Raymond L. McGovern, former U.S. Army infantry/intelligence officer and 27-year CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Mr. McGovern’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 most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.”

McGovern has written extensively on the danger of a Brennan appointment and he explained why and provided first-hand insight into our new D/CIA in this informative interview (37:44).

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Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.

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Neocons Back in Control of CIA

John Brennan’s past troubling for those who want peace

On March 8, 2013, John Owen Brennan Assumed the office of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA), after a contested United States Senate confirmation hearing, where Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began a talking filibuster and 34 senators voted against him.

In order to get a fuller understanding of why Brennan’s confirmation process was so hotly contested, AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with Raymond L. McGovern, former U.S. Army infantry/intelligence officer and 27-year CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Mr. McGovern’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 most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.”

McGovern has written extensively on the danger of a Brennan appointment and he explained why and provided first-hand insight into our new DCI.

 “I’ve written an awful lot about Brennan because I know the guy,” he said. “He was a young analyst, an inexperienced journeyman analyst, on the Middle East, when I was still working at the CIA. I’ve talked to a supervisor since, and they described him as a failed analyst who really couldn’t write very well [and his] analyzing was mediocre.”

“But what he did was what so many others do,” explained McGovern, “what Bobby Gates (who worked for Ray as a young analyst of Soviet affairs) did. He insinuated himself into the White House, briefing third tier folks. Among them was George Tenet, who later became the head of the CIA. He impressed Tenet and he had begun to rely on John Brennan for whatever he needed done, and he ended up appointing him Chief of Station Saudi Arabia on the strength of zero experience in operations and a claim to be able to speak Arabic. He came back and he became Tenet’s Chief of Staff, and then he became Deputy Executive Director, so that he could be promoted even higher.”

McGovern explained that when the CIA used fraudulent means to wage war against Iraq in 2003, “John Brennan sat right in the midst of that.”

Now, McGovern fears, Brennan and his neocon allies may be planning the same for Iran.

“When he was testifying (February 7, 2013) before the Senate Intelligence Committee…he said…Iran was bent on obtaining nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile delivery systems, to deliver them,” said McGovern. “You might see that in The New York Times, you might see that in The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal. You will never see that in any intelligence document, because after the debacle in Iraq, after the fraudulent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, we got some honest blood into the intelligence community in the form of a fellow named Tom Fingar from the State Department. He was head of their State Department intelligence, and they asked him to do an honest job, not a fraudulent job but an honest job, on Iran, that we all knew was in the crosshairs of the Bush/Cheney administration. In November of 2007…the 16 intelligence agencies of the U.S. government unanimously expressed, with ‘high confidence,’ concluded that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003. And every year since it’s been revalidated, reiterated by the…Director of National Intelligence. So Brennan has to know that, or else he’s guilty of misfeasance. That estimate stopped the war.”

 “If Brennan comes in and fools around with the considered judgment of 16 intelligence agencies, and says to the president what he said to Dianne Feinstein’s committee, mainly, Iran is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and ICBMs, if he does that, it’s just a very short step, because Congress would just love to give Iran a bloody nose,” said McGovern. “It won’t be a bloody nose. A war with Iran would make a war with Iraq look like a volleyball game. It would be a disaster. And so if Brennan comes in, and starts to curry favor with the neocons, and how else do you explain what he said before the Feinstein committee, there’s real trouble here.”

McGovern explained Brennan’s fondness for drones and targeted assassinations.

“It was revealed that The New York Times knew many months ago that Brennan had been instrumental in setting up a base for these drones in…Saudi Arabia. And actually, the hit on the American citizen Awlaki was made from that base. Brennan is starting the whole process again with U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia,” said McGovern. “Why would he be intent on following this policy of drone warfare, targeted killings, [and] assassinations? Either he’s really dumb or he recognizes the ultimate effectiveness, which is to create still more terrorists, and have fallen in with…the guys who make the drones, the guys who make the Hellfire missiles, the guys who build the other weapons that get destroyed and they have to replenish them, the military-industrial complex aided and abetted by Congress, who’s in their employ, and by the mainstream media.”

 “When [Brennan] was asked on Lehrer (now called PBS NewsHour) if he thought extraordinary rendition, (what the rest of us call kidnapping), is a vital tool to combat terrorism, he relied that it was “an absolutely vital tool. All I can say is that it’s produced intelligence that has saved lives.” He later recounted this testimony.

 “So this guy’s poison,” said McGovern. “Both from an operational point of view [and] from a substantive point of view.”

AFP asked why Obama appointed him.

“Brennan knows where the bodies are buried. Obama believes that Brennan owes him the kind of loyalty that he has come to depend on from other advisors, and that no matter what happens in the CIA, he’ll tell the president about it, and if there’s a plot in the CIA to do him in, his loyalty will be to the White House, not like what happened before John Kennedy was assassinated. Not like what happened before Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. No, this time, he’s got Brennan in place. Anything like that, Brennan will tell him about before it happens.”

McGovern explained why he believes this scenario.

Three years ago at a dinner with maybe 12 progressives, “they were pressing [Obama]” to do more on the progressive side, “and finally he threw up his hands and he said, ‘Because I remember what happened to Dr. King, that’s why.’”

“If the president of the United States is afraid of the CIA, then, you can maybe understand a little better, why he would pick a person with this kind of background, this kind of reputation. Thinking that his thug would prevent other thugs from doing him in.”

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