Tuesday, May 1, 2007
A Very Good Interview With Ray McGovern
With Amy Goodman
".......Now, six former CIA officials, including former top terrorism experts, are accusing Tenet of hypocrisy for not speaking out earlier. In a letter issued over the weekend, they call on Tenet to "dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from [his] book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq."
One of those former intelligence officials joins me now from Washington DC: Ray McGovern, a 27-year career analyst with the CIA......
RAY McGOVERN: Well, it is true, of course, that the war was started on false pretenses. The intelligence was manipulated. But what George Tenet doesn’t fess up to is that he was the manipulator-in-chief. We have documentary evidence that George Tenet, for example, told his British opposite number on the 20th of July, 2002, so eight months before the war, that the intelligence was being fixed around the policy. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Those were minutes taken by a participant in a meeting at 10 Downing Street the same day, and the British government has vouched for its authenticity. So George Tenet is being a little disingenuous in suggesting that he is the fall guy here.....
RAY McGOVERN: Amy, this is the most bizarre thing I have witnessed in many years of watching Intelligence leaders. What he says is, yeah, when he said “slam dunk,” he didn’t mean that the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a slam dunk. What he meant was that, “Mr. President, we can make a slam dunk case for popular consumption with the public and with the Congress out of this evidence.” Now, he thinks that’s exculpatory? I mean, that’s worse. Where is it in the director of Central Intelligence or the director of CIA’s job description that he is to participate and help the President manipulate evidence in order to start a war that has no reason and that was completely unnecessary, you know? He’s admitting to a more heinous offense than simply being wrong about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He doesn’t get it......
RAY McGOVERN: .......What really troubles me, Amy, is that people like Carl Levin have played into that, have said we will never refuse funding of the troops.
And trying to piece together why Carl Levin would undercut the Senate Majority Leader, I found out an interesting thing, Amy, and that is that Carl Levin gets more money from the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC than any other senator. Now, do I suggest that he’s doing this for the money? I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt, because he’s one of the good guys, but certainly he appears to be one of those folks like the neocons who can’t see any daylight between what they perceive to be the strategic interest of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States, on the other. And when Olmert and Livni, the foreign minister, come here to the AIPAC meeting four weeks ago and say, “Don’t show weakness on Iraq now. If you leave Iraq, that would make this area more dangerous for Israel -- well, and for the whole world and for yourselves, too,” -- my goodness, Amy, it’s very transparent. If Levin is one of those people that can’t see any daylight between our interests and those of Israel, well, he hasn’t read George Washington's farewell speech, which warned against precisely this: passionate attachments, entangling alliances. That’s what we’ve got, and that lies at the bottom of a lot of our troubles in the Middle East. "