Political activist coming to Santa Rosa

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern is scheduled to speak in Santa Rosa on Wednesday Sept. 24 on the subjects of human rights and the national security state. McGovern chaired National Intelligence Estimates and was responsible for preparing the President’s Daily Brief. In the mid-1980s, 

McGovern worked as a senior analyst who conducted one-on-one early morning briefings with the vice presidents of the time. He also worked with the secretaries of state and defense and joint chiefs and acted as an assistant to the president when it came to the subject of national security.

Additionally, McGovern was a CIA officer and was responsible for the analysis of Soviet policy in Vietnam.

Upon his retirement in 1990, McGovern was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal, an award he would later return in 2006 in protest of the CIA’s involvement in methods of torture.

McGovern is currently viewed as a political activist, reportedly outspoken on intelligence-related issues such as the government’s handling of the Wen Ho Lee case that took place in the early 2000s: a case involving a Taiwanese American scientist and his simulations of nuclear explosions. Wen Ho Lee was indicted of stealing U.S. nuclear arsenal secrets for China in 1999.

McGovern was openly critical of President George W. Bush’s use of government intelligence when it came to the war in Iraq, which led to his founding of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, an organization critical and analytical of government intelligence specifically in relation to the ongoing war in Iraq.

In 2004, McGovern implied that Bush could have prevented the terrorist attack of 9/11. He stated that the intent to involve the country in war with Iraq was for reasons other than the commonly accepted reason of “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” McGovern believes that Congress continues to exploit the 9/11 attacks to pass “draconian laws,” which he believes are a threat to civil liberties.

In October 2013, McGovern and three former winners of the Sam Adams Award presented the award to Edward Snowden in Moscow for integrity in intelligence.  Snowden is an American computer professional, known for leaking classified information from the National Security Agency in June 2013.

McGovern is scheduled to speak at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa on Wednesday Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Project Censored, Media Freedom Foundation, Northern CA ACLU, SSU Sociology Social Justice and Activism Club, Vets for Peace, KBBF, KWTF, Guns and Butter, Move to Amend Sonoma County, Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, Petaluma Progressives, Sonoma ACLU, and Occupy Petaluma.