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Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Coming to Shasta 9/16/14

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Coming to Shasta 9/16/14


FORMER CIA ANALYST, RAY MCGOVERN IS COMING TO SHASTA COLLEGE this September to share his general knowledge and advice with Shasta College students. Early on an August, Saturday morning, McGovern set aside some time to grant us an interview over the phone, preceding his trip to Redding. At 6 a.m. Redding time and 9 a.m. D.C time we conducted the interview, through which McGovern provided excellent responses and a general attitude exuding a jovial enthusiasm about what he was saying.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Q1: Could you first explain, in your own words, what you’re role in the government was and what your job entailed?

A: I was an analyst in the CIA and that means I was responsible for receiving and reading and analyzing all the information available to the American government on a specific issue… and my role now is to try to make sure that the people…what people are doing now in the government is an honest job, and not let them be influenced into things like falsifying intelligence. We set ourselves up as sort of watch dogs to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Q2: We’ve looked around your website ( and have seen a fairly infamous video on YouTube where you single handedly call out a government official, trapping him by his own words. What can you tell us about that?

A: I was in Atlanta on the 4th of May, 2006 to get an award from the American Civil Liberties Union and I heard that the Secretary of Defense was also going to be in Atlanta in the early afternoon to give a speech…It was a very wealthy male, white, southern defense-friendly audience. I didn’t know much about that but when I saw that Rumsfeld was going to be there…I got myself a ticket. He’s not a very… well—how shall I put this—he takes liberties with the truth…he says disingenuous things…In reality he lies a lot. And he did so during his speech and I was taking notes. I got a little bit angry that everyone was applauding his lies and so I got up and asked him questions that I knew he would either have to lie about or tell the truth and in doing so contradict what he had said in the past.

Q3: Also on your website there are several links provided. What are some of the articles and, in your words, why are they beneficial reading material?

A: The links that I put on the website relate mostly to the things I have written…and things I have said. The nice thing about that is that my son in Los Angeles created the website…so when interviewers call I can refer them to the website, and then if they want to interview me further, all I need to do is show them the link. The audience is rather large thanks to [my son’s] knowledge.

Q4: You’re touring to speak to several colleges, including Shasta. What is it that you’re sharing with us?

A: Well I have talked to the organizers and some of the teachers and uh I’m duck tailing the issues according to what the various people making the arrangements would like to hear. The most interesting issues are… one is what’s happening in Ukraine. And then there’s the whole questions about surveillance. The 4th amendment says that the right we have to privacy shall not be violated and warrants shall issue expect upon probable cause… Now the intrusive monitoring of all conversations, including this one, and our email and just about everything we do electronically, that’s a direct violation of the 4th amendment. Now was I in the business of using interceptive conversations in my work as a CIA analyst? Of course! So I know how informative they can be. But our job was to look at conversations abroad. We were expressly prohibited, especially the CIA, from monitoring…at home. So when we saw that being violated…those of us who took a solemn oath to support and defend the constitution both foreign and domestic… And we feel very strongly about that and a lot of us are speaking out now…

Q5: What advice can you give us, the students, regarding the, at times, frightening world of politics?

A: Didn’t used to be so frightening. Well let me say this, that when I speak before college audiences always at the end I see people sort of lurking behind the rest of the people who come up and want to talk to me. And those inevitably are the ones who say, “oh Mr. McGovern, I was thinking of maybe applying to work for the CIA as an analyst but what I hear you saying… do you think I still should?” and I asked them “do you have integrity and do you have courage?” and they say “oh yes we’ve got that” and then I say “of course! What we need is people who have integrity. And if things don’t work in the way you hoped then you’ll have the courage to just quit. So yeah we need honest people we need people who are competent… So by all means apply! Just remember that you may be called upon to summon courage to do the right thing

Q6: What are your thoughts on the events plastering world news today?

A: The world is falling apart. Chicken Little was right. The sky is falling! I’ve been around in this world for 52 years of this town of Washington. And I have seldom seen the disarray, the threating situations that exist today in so many parts of the world. There’s a premium on making sure that people know the basic facts about things. I say that because I’ve seen a lot of change in 51 years. But the greatest change of all is the fact that we no longer have, in any real sense, a free media. That is big. In other words if people think they can get a good idea as to what’s going on in the world from watching the news on TV, they are sadly mistaken.

Q7: Lastly, is there anything else you would like to add into this article that we have not discussed already?

A: That’s a good question… When I speak to the audience, I really like various views. If I had to choose between what some people call “conservatives” and “liberals”, I’d much rather have conservatives who would tend to argue with some of the things I say, rather than liberals who might know and understand what I’m saying already. In other words I don’t want to preach to the choir. [If there is any way to get students] who through no fault of their own, have been fed steady diet of our media… [If those folks could find their way] to my informal discussions, then I would be very pleased!

We strongly encourage students to attend Ray McGovern’s discussion on September 16th 2014, at 7 p.m. to learn a little more about the reality of the world of politics and world events in general. We could all always do better with knowing a little more about the world around us. Tell your friends, your family, your goldfish if that’s all you’ve got. Come with an open mind and an inquisitive attitude.
We give a big thanks to McGovern for this interview and look forward to hearing him speak. We hope to see you there as well!

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