Former CIA analyst to speak in Charlottesville

Ray McGovern will speak on the topic “The United States, Israel, and Iran” on Thursday, June 7, at 6 p.m. at Random Row Books, 315 W. Main St., Charlottesville.

McGovern worked as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. His 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.

In January 2003, McGovern helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity to expose the way 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 an urgent memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content.

On March 2, 2006, McGovern 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.”

On May 4, 2006, in Atlanta, McGovern made national news by confronting 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?”

McGovern’s opinion pieces have appeared in many leading newspapers in the United States and abroad.  He has debated at the Oxford Forum and appeared on Charlie Rose, The Newshour, CNN, and numerous other TV & radio programs and documentaries. Ray has lectured to a wide variety of audiences.

McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He also teaches at its Servant Leadership School.

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