Friday, November 07, 2008

President-elect's Queries for Briefers

By Ray McGovern
November 7, 2008

After a week lecturing at Kansas State University and then in Kansas City, Missouri, I could not shake the feeling that what Kansas and Missouri need most is the equivalent of Radio Free Europe, which was so effective in spreading truth around inside Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

Read on.


knowbuddhau said...

What a great read! Those last two questions are real mind-blowers. They're so far removed from the typical pablum I see in the MSM. Imagine, actually learning from recent history in real-time; what a novel approach in Bush's Bizarro America.

Mr. McGovern, you mention something of very great concern to me, a Zen poet and (non-matriculating) grad student of research psychology (U. of Washington, 1989; Western Washington University, '89-95; Skagit Valley College, 2003 Phi Kappa Theta): "the particular brand of "shock and awe" that can be induced by ostensibly sexy intelligence to color reactions of briefees, including presidents. I have seen it happen."

Could you elaborate? Is this an "up close and personal" application of the Bush-APA Torture Doctrine of isolation and psycho-spiritual attacks?

Liddy Dole's infamous "godless" ad is a contemporary case in point. Namoi Klein revealed an earlier, prototypical example:

"And so, the Chicago Boys were born. And it was considered a success, and the Ford Foundation got in on the funding. And hundreds and hundreds of Latin American students, on full scholarships, came to the University of Chicago in the 1950s and '60s to study here to try to engage in what Juan Gabriel Valdes, Chile's foreign minister after the dictatorship finally ended, described as a project of deliberate ideological transfer, taking these extreme-right ideas, that were seen as marginal even in the United States, and transplanting them to Latin America. That was his phrase--that is his phrase."

Was this also McCarthy's method? Wasn't this the McCain/Palin campaign's strategy? It was a series of attacks on Obama's patriotism and faith, all of them lies.

I call it myth-jacking, and I say it's our new and improved Goering method of manufacturing consent to jack to hell whole nations at a time--or just one voting bloc--and then stick them with the bill.

Psychology and advertising aka "Public Relations," aka the manufacture of consent, are a terrible twosome. We invented ways of jacking whole nations to hell--or just one voting bloc at a time--and then sticking them with the bill.

The most successful--and therefore, infamous--practitioners of this method were Paul Joseph Goebbels and his minions. "Goebbels was known for his zealous, energetic oratory, and venomous anti-Semitism; he is held responsible for Kristallnacht by many historians ( Hermann Goering announced it in 1934:

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

German rocket science wasn't the only thing we imported after WWII. As I said, this was obviously Liddy Dole's and McCarthy's method. And, it's clear to me, it's Rove's method, too.

Am I seeing things, or is someone using black psy ops on us?

"We imported fascism," Gore Vidal says in a The Real News clip I found right here on this site (

So why doesn't anybody else point out this obvious fact? Why say things like Mr. Parry did, in his recent article ( "Since mid-summer, the McCain campaign has devolved into silly arguments mixed with guilt-by-association smears:...."?

Why not call it as it is: our new and improved method for manufacturing consent? And why not KEEP CALLING IT THAT?

Hasn't this been the MO of the far-right GOP since McCarthy? Were Democrats making use of the power of myth, too, with "Camelot on the Potomac"?

Joseph Campbell began lecturing at the State Department's Foreign Services Institute in 1957. He brags of it in a lecture (which I'm still trying to pin down) saying, "The State Department is an association of very learn-ed gentlemen. They Know What To Do."

Campbell later supported the Vietnam war. He had nothing but disdain for the anti-war movement. He uses many examples of the heroism of our servicemen (one of whom, on the USS Kitty Hawk, was my father; thankfully he came home alive, but not the same). I've never heard or read him saying the same of his opponents. He even made disdainful remarks about Rev. King, saying that his self-identification as a particular type of man, instead of a universal one, showed his immaturity.

(Lest anyone think this is a hit piece on him, I hasten to point out that, as a poet, I revere Campbell's works. I met his widow, Jean Erdman Campbell, 4 years ago, at the centennial celebration of his birth, held at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA, during the 3rd week in March, my natal week. at which time it had been his tradition to lecture there for almost 40 years. I consider myself a Campbellian when it comes to comparative mythology.)

Why don't more journalists call this method what it so obviously is? My hunch is, as Americans, we conflate Christianity with all religions, Strangely, American journalists avoid religion like the plague when discussing domestic politics, yet they rarely fail to point out the sectarian affiliations of others.

But religion is only a subordinate function of mythology. A religion, as I'm sure you know, functions like a country club. Some are run as dominions of white male supremacy; others, far more charitably.

This leaves us wide open to getting jacked by one myth after another. Back in the day, it was the myth of the Domino Theory (Nicaraguans are set to invade us, claimed Reagan). In this campaign, we've seen the attempt to jack the election with one myth after another. Is it all of a piece? The inhuman methods of our torturers in the Philippines, most notably water-boarding, made their way home; have the methods we used in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib?

I'm not implying that every such attack by every politician is necessarily a genuine black psy op.

But the Pentagon did indeed deploy its Message Force Multiplier Program. So I don't think I'm being conspiratorial or paranoid, just critical.

I also asked this of your colleague, Mr. Parry. I'd greatly appreciate it if either of you could relieve me of this deeply troubling perplexity.

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire said...

Here is what President Elect Obama needs to hear.

According to most independent scientific studies, global oil production will now decline from 74 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time demand will increase 9%.

No one can reverse this trend, nor can we conserve our way out of this catastrophe. Because the demand for oil is so high, it will always exceed production levels; thus oil depletion will continue steadily until all recoverable oil is extracted.

Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment.

We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel trucks for maintenance of bridges, cleaning culverts to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, roadbed and surface repair. When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables, all from far away. With the highways out, there will be no food coming in from "outside," and without the power grid virtually nothing works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated systems.

This is documented in a free 48 page report that can be downloaded, website posted, distributed, and emailed:

I used to live in NH-USA, but moved to a sustainable place. Anyone interested in relocating to a nice, pretty, sustainable area with a good climate and good soil? Email: clifford dot wirth at yahoo dot com or give me a phone call which operates here as my old USA-NH number 603-668-4207.

Coonana said...

So, Ray, how do we get this info to Obama? This is always the question. Presumably, he will be more amenable to hearing this type of stuff, no? How do we get you into Obama's loop?

Anonymous said...

words seem feeble, so futile that I just can say, I higly admire Mr. McGovern and his honesty for the betterment of this world. Thank you Sir.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Absolutely great. I can't praise what you have written enough. After these last 8 years.... PLEASE polish up your resume and send it to Obama. Or just show up and claim an office. You are needed there. Immediately.

Coonana said...

No polishing of the resume necessary, chump.

Anonymous said...

Obama's first press conference (Hilton hotel, Chicago, November 7 2008):

> "Iran's development of a nuclear weapon I believe is unacceptable."

Barack Obama beating his wife I believe is unacceptable.

> "Iran's support of terrorist organizations, I think, is something that has to cease."

Barack Obama's support of terrorist organizations, I think, is something that has to cease.

Inventing facts, asserted as an implied premise, this is the fingerprint of a large cabal of liars, some, Obama has drawn into his circle.

I offer two more hard questions, for Ray McGovern's excellent list, for the president-elect to ask his intelligence briefer ("President-elect's Queries to Briefers"):

1. The IAEA later investigated and dismissed every factual assertion, promoted by the U.S., which prompted the IAEA board of governors (2006) to refer Iran's uranium enrichment program to the U.N. Security Council. And, Mohammad ElBaradei recently said, the IAEA has seen no credible evidence that Iran has ever worked on a nuclear weapon.

Yet, the U.S. NIE on Iran (2007) asserts high confidence that Iran did just that, prior to 2003.

What evidence have we concealed from the IAEA which accounts for this NIE assertion.

Task: Full NIE on Iran, plus transcript, audio, list of participants, of each meeting leading to the drafting and adoption of this NIE assertion. Deadline: Nov. 30.

Task: A written summary of this evidence, with the names of all those approving, and dissenting from, the summary. Deadline: Dec. 31.

Task: A presentation of all raw intelligence, supporting the NIE assertion, each analysis of each item of such intelligence, with the name of its analyst(s), including dissenter(s). Deadline: Jan. 21.

2. The U.S. designation that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism (January 19 1984) is mainly grounded on its support for Hezbullah (Lebanon) and Hamas (Palestine), each U.S. designated (1997) a "terrorist organization." Iran first offered financial support for Hamas in 2006, after Hamas won the Palestine election (Jan. 25), Israel confiscated Palestine's tax revenues, and the U.S. threatened any bank which transferred foreign donations to Hamas.

Task: A report on who and when decided that the law of belligerent reprisals was to be disregarded when making these designations (this law legalizes violence normally termed "terrorism"). Deadline: March 15.

Task: A copy of all documents on the law of belligerent reprisals, every legal opinion (every unissued draft opinion), transcript, audio, written memo, or record of any description -- in every part of the government and every contractor and consultant whenever in the pay of the government -- pertaining to this question, including a complete list of every participant including every dissenter. Deadline: May 15.