Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern critical of Obama war strategy listen12/17/10 Samar Jarrah, Ahmed Bedier, and Seán Kinane
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Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern was among over 130 people arrested at a White House peace protest and WikiLeaks rally Thursday. It was organized by Veterans For Peace.
McGovern was a guest today on WMNF’s True Talk program.
"You wouldn't know it from the mainstream press, particularly the Washington Post which really didn't cover it, but 135 of us Veterans for Peace were arrested, briefly imprisoned, and let out because they didn't want to keep us overnight. Only to come back for trial in a couple of months on charges of failure to obey a lawful order. The lawful order was to not stand in front of the White House, can you imagine? We have a First Amendment that says we have a freedom of assembly, but apparently that's in the conceptual realm, and not in the real one.
"In any case, Daniel Ellsberg, the well-respected Viet Nam protester, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, and various others including Chris Hedges, who happens to be our poet laureate in terms of the beauty of his prose, former Pulitzer Prize winner with the New York Times, and Margaret Flowers, a doctor who was trying to get justice for people who are uninsured and knows what it means when the economists talk about 'opportunity costs'. In a word, if you spend billions of dollars on a feckless exercise in Afghanistan, there is no money to cover people here in this country who desperately need medical attention.
"I participated as well. It was really a very invigorating demonstration, estimates run from 700 to 800 people all told, in the midst of what we, in Washington, would call a blizzard. In Tampa it would be a real blizzard, but there were only about 2 or 3 inches of snow, but they all fell exactly when we started at 10 o'clock in the morning. It was as though Karl Rove had that direct line to God and said, 'make it real cold and make it snow if you can'. Of course, God could so we all froze and frankly I was happy to get into the paddy wagon that took me to the prison to get booked and so forth. Not my first time and that may hurt me when we go to trial. But to be with Daniel Ellsberg who commented that this is his 80th time to be arrested trying to witness for peace. I'm a piker when it comes to that, so it was very, very invigorating, it shows what a small..., well, it turned out to be a rather large, it exceeded our expectations, a large witness by people who know something about war, okay? There were WWII veterans there. Veterans from Korea, lots of veterans from Viet Nam, and lots from Iraq and Afghanistan. These people have been there and done that, and I'm a veteran as well.
"Obama, and the people advising him, have not been there. They don't know what it's like. They have no idea what it's like. The incredible cruelty that is inflicted on both sides in a war. All you need to do is listen to that WikiLeaks video that was released on the 5th of April to see that not only are our soldiers being instructed and ordered to brutalize Iraqi's in this instance, but they are being brutalized themselves. Witness the conversation that happens between those soldiers in the Apache gunship helicopter.
"So, the evidence is out there and we had banners supporting WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning because it is they who are making it possible for the American people to know enough about what's going on over there so that they can, if they can handle the truth, they can change things."
Was there any mainstream media covering because I am reading now, on the internet in front of me, let me just quote if I may '135 rebels arrested'. They call you rebels."
"Rebels? Much better than terrorists."
At least you're, yeah, a rebellion.
Or militant, that's very, very commendable that you're just a rebel, unarmed I would assume. But wasn't there any mainstream media, or even international media?
"There was lots."
But no real coverage on the 5 o'clock news or 7 o'clock news?
"I don't really ... well, I think I do know what happens between this photo and there was lots of speech making, very eloquent speech making, particularly by Chris Hedges and by Dan Ellsberg. And all of that was wrapped up by 1 o'clock and there was plenty of time to get that to their, I was going to say typewriters but I guess we say word processors now, and get a story out but something happens between people videoing this or photographing it, and writing about it and the morning after when the New York, I don't know what the Times did but the Post limited, there was no story. They had a picture of Dan Ellsberg on page 3, I suppose that's better than nothing, but no mention of the fact that 134 others, veterans. Veterans, okay? There was some supporters as well but mostly Veterans for Peace. Veterans who know what war is like, chose to be arrested and put in prison briefly and who knows when we come back for trial, maybe not so briefly."