Ukraine – a Company man speaks

26 Feb

In my previous post I spoke of the canary-in-the-coalmine  phenomenon of:

… gamekeepers turned poacher; their proliferation but one marker among many of the West’s moral and hegemonic decline. Sour grapes propagandists? Well our rulers and hired hacks would say that, wouldn’t they? But why so many? Brian Berletic, Peter Ford, Katharine Gunn, Philip Giraldi, Daniel Hale, Karen Kwiatkowsky, Ray McGovern, Doug MacGregor, Chelsea Manning, Craig Murray, Andrew Napolitano, Peter Oborne, Scott Ritter, Jeffrey Sachs, Ed Snowden …

Until now I’ve not featured Mr McGovern, whose wiki entry has him as:

an American political activist and former CIA [“the Company”] analyst from 1963 to 1990, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief. He received the Intelligence Commendation Medal on retirement, returning it in 2006 to protest CIA involvement in torture. McGovern’s post-retirement work includes commenting for RT and Sputnik News, among other outlets, on intelligence and foreign policy issues. In 2003 he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. 1

Here to put right so glaring an omission is a 23:47 talking head video on the background to the West’s impending defeat in Ukraine. Don’t be put off by the lurid headline text, and lurider front cover. Nor by the fact there’s nothing here you won’t find in other of my scores of posts on the subject. Few lay out the case with the quiet good humour of this man, whose laughter lines and creased features radiate the best of old school liberalism.

I bet he reads Mark Twain. Plus he gets brownie points for the large b/w photo of Julian on the shelf behind his left shoulder. But these things aside, for its calmly succinct summary, by a man who eschews bombast and fiery rhetoric – no call for either when plain facts speak with such eloquence – of why it was mendacity of the mass-murderous kind to sell the Ukraine War as unprovoked, this is a gamekeeper turned poacher who merits the widest possible hearing.


Barack Obama gets kid-gloves treatment from Mr McGovern but a WSWS piece today, drawing on a New York Times feature this weekend to mark the second anniversary of the SMO, puts the 44th US President squarely in the frame.

That the NYT should speak with relative candour at this point speaks volumes on acceptance in Washington, by some of its elite, of the looming reality of defeat in Ukraine. It is quite the thing for journalists of ‘liberal’ media like NYT and Guardian to scoop plaudits and Pulitzers for their daring exposes once the passage of time has made a modicum of truth affordable. But that the NYT piece could appear now speaks to me of internecine wranglings within the US ruling class.

A divide between Neoliberals and Neoconservatives, cutting across Red/Blue party lines, has held for most of this century on how best to contain Russia (and China). Now, with US power sliding away in the Middle East, questions of whether to cut Ukraine loose are less predicated on that divide.

Or to put it more simply, the empire is panicking. Over to WSWS:

New York Times report demolishes the narrative of the “unprovoked war” in Ukraine

For the past two years, nearly every reference in the US media to the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been preceded with an obligatory word, unprovoked.”

The public was expected to accept that this was the first war in history without any historical antecedents or economic motives, the first war based entirely on the psychology of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, on the weekend of the second anniversary of the war, the New York Times published a lengthy article revealing that the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was instigated by a systematic and widespread campaign of military-intelligence aggression by the United States.

The article details longstanding Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations in Ukraine, in which the agency sponsored and built up the Ukrainian military intelligence agency HUR, using it as a weapon of spying, assassinations and other provocations directed against Russia for more than a decade.

The Times writes: 

Toward the end of 2021, according to a senior European official, Mr. Putin was weighing whether to launch his full-scale invasion when he met with the head of one of Russia’s main spy services, who told him that the C.I.A., together with Britain’s MI6, were controlling Ukraine and turning it into a beachhead for operations against Moscow.

The Times report demonstrates that this Russian intelligence assessment was absolutely true. For more than a decade, the CIA was building up, training and arming Ukrainian intelligence and paramilitary forces that were engaging in assassinations and other provocations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, against Russian forces in Crimea and across the border into Russia itself.

In a critical passage, the Times writes:

As the partnership deepened after 2016, the Ukrainians became impatient with what they considered Washington’s undue caution, and began staging assassinations and other lethal operations, which violated the terms the White House thought the Ukrainians had agreed to. Infuriated, officials in Washington threatened to cut off support, but they never did.

In other words, the Ukrainian paramilitary forces armed, funded and led by the United States and NATO were systematically assassinating forces supporting closer relations with Russia.

The newspaper’s account begins with the Maidan coup of February 2014, when right-wing and neo-Nazi forces backed by the US and European Union overthrew a pro-Russian president and installed a pro-imperialist regime headed by the billionaire Petro Poroshenko … 

You can read the full piece here but bear in mind that “wizwoz’ has repeatedly opined, wrongly I say, that both sides of this proxy war are reactionary. Nevertheless, as the war has progressed its coverage has muted its impressionistic depictions of Russia as “imperialist”, and grown more exclusively condemnatory of the West.

Wizwoz closes with this:

By reporting the virtual control of the Ukrainian regime by the US military-intelligence apparatus, the Times is seeking to pressure the Republicans to support the war funding. It is arguing that this money is not going to a foreign government, in a foreign war, thousands of miles from US borders, but to a subcontractor of American imperialism, waging an American war in which US personnel are deeply and directly engaged.

In so doing, the Times has revealed its own coverage of the Ukraine war over the past two years to have been nothing more than war propaganda, aimed at using a fraudulent narrative to dragoon the American public to support a predatory imperialist war of aggression aimed at subjugating and dismantling Russia.

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  1. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is worth checking out if only for its lists of gamekeepers turned poacher; some on my list; many not.

2 Replies to “Ukraine – a Company man speaks

  1. Hi Phil, Really pleased you have featured Ray McGovern, I’ve been following his work for a few years now as shown below.

    The Jan. 2017 ‘Assessment’ on Russiagate › 2023/01/07 › a-look-back-at-clappers-jan-2017…
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    7 Jan 2023 … RAY MCGOVERN was a hell of a spy. For 30 years he was a top-level CIA operative who prepared the President’s daily briefings and chaired the …
    RAY McGOVERN: The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe › 2019/11/22 › ray-mcgovern-the-pitfalls-of-a-pi…
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    22 Nov 2019 … RAY McGOVERN: The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe … Like so many other glib “Russia experts” with access to Establishment media, Fiona Hill, …
    RAY McGOVERN: Ukraine For Dummies › ray-mcgovern-ukraine-for-dummies
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    14 Nov 2019 … The openly stated unapologetic policy of any country’s foreign policy has only one absolute rule it must obey. It must serve “the national …
    Ray McGovern: A Matter of Justice › 2023/10/11 › ray-mcgovern-a-matter-of-justice
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    11 Oct 2023 … Ray McGovern: A Matter of Justice … The extremists now heading the Israeli government have made no secret of their plans to move even more …
    WATCH: Mearsheimer and McGovern on Ukraine › watch-mearsheimer-and-mcgovern-on-ukraine
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    6 Mar 2022 … John Mearsheimer and ex-C.I.A. Russia specialist Ray McGovern … Mearsheimer Ray McGovern Ted Postol. Post navigation. ← ROBERT PARRY: When US …
    If the Facts Come Out, it Could Spell the End for Joe Biden › 2023/09/21 › if-the-facts-come-out-it-could-spe…
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    21 Sept 2023 … Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. Ray was a CIA …
    Volume 29, Number 56— Sunday, February 25, 2024 ›
    5 hours ago … Two years ago Saturday Vladimir Putin explained why he went to war. He said he had no intention to control Ukraine and only wanted to “demilitarize” and “de- …
    US Intel Vets Warn Against Torture › 2016/03/23 › us-intel-vets-warn-against-torture
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    23 Mar 2016 … … Ray McGovern. By Ray McGovern. To those living “outside the Beltway” it may seem counterintuitive that those of us whose analysis has been …
    I put a lot of stock in what he has to say as I do so many others you have presented us with.

  2. Thanks for sharing this video Phil. And yes, He is quite witty 😉
    “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter” (Mark Twain).
    Best, James

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