Petraeus Spared Ray McGovern’s Question

Exclusive: New York City police arrested ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern to prevent him from attending a public event where he planned to pose a pointed question to retired Gen. David Petraeus, another sign of how much U.S. neocons love democracy, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was arrested by New York City police on Thursday night to prevent him from attending a speech by retired Gen. and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus, told me the day before that he was planning to ask a question during the Q-and-A.

McGovern, who writes regularly for Consortiumnews.com, compared his goal in New York to his famous questioning of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Atlanta in 2006 when McGovern pressed Rumsfeld on false statements he had made about Iraq’s WMD and ties to al-Qaeda.

Screenshot of New York City police arresting ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern on Oct. 30, 2014, outside a speech by retired Gen. and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus. (Via RT.com)

Screenshot of New York City police arresting ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern on Oct. 30, 2014, outside a speech by retired Gen. and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus. (Via RT.com)

But the 75-year-old McGovern was blocked from entering the event at the 92nd Street Y, was roughly put under arrest, and was held overnight in jail. He described his ordeal in an interview with RT, saying “I was warned as soon as I got to the ticket-taker, ‘Ray, you’re not welcome here.’”

McGovern, who was suffering from a shoulder injury, said he was caused sharp pain by being forcefully handcuffed. “If you’ve seen the footage, you can see me screaming in pain as they try to pin my left wrist around behind my back,” McGovern told RT.

He was hauled off to a local precinct and charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. He said he spent the night on a stainless steel cot.

In our conversation a day earlier, on Wednesday, McGovern said he was calling from the bus traveling between Washington and New York en route to speak at his alma mater, Fordham University. But he said he also planned to attend the Thursday speech by Petraeus, who was one of President George W. Bush’s favorite generals during the Iraq War. McGovern noted that prominent neocon theorist Max Boot was moderating the Petraeus talk.

During the Iraq War under President Bush and the Afghan War under President Barack Obama, Petraeus collaborated closely with leading neoconservatives as they pushed for escalations of the two conflicts. In 2009, Petraeus was part of a successful behind-the-scenes effort by Bush holdovers to trap Obama into a “surge” of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan.

“Before Obama’s decision to dispatch 30,000 troops, the Bush holdovers sought to hem in the President’s choices by working with allies in the Washington news media and in think tanks,” I wrote in 2010. “For instance, early in 2009, Petraeus personally arranged for Max Boot [a neocon on the Council on Foreign Relations], Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan [two other leading neocons] to get extraordinary access during a trip to Afghanistan.

“Their access paid dividends for Petraeus when they penned a glowing report in the Weekly Standard about the prospects for success in Afghanistan if only President Obama sent more troops and committed the United States to stay in the war for the long haul.”

Upon their return, the three wrote: “Fears of impending disaster are hard to sustain, if you actually spend some time in Afghanistan, as we did recently at the invitation of General David Petraeus, chief of U.S. Central Command.

“Using helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and bone-jarring armored vehicles, we spent eight days traveling from the snow-capped peaks of Kunar province near the border with Pakistan in the east to the wind-blown deserts of Farah province in the west near the border with Iran. Along the way we talked with countless coalition soldiers, ranging from privates to a four-star general,” the trio said.

A Manipulated Obama

How Obama was manipulated into the Afghan “surge” by Bush’s holdovers with the help of the neocons was chronicled, too, in Bob Woodward’s 2010 book, Obama’s Wars, which revealed that Bush’s old team made sure Obama was given no option other than to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan. The Bush holdovers also lobbied inside neocon-friendly media for the troop increase behind Obama’s back.

Woodward’s book notes that “in September 2009, Petraeus called a Washington Post columnist to say that the war would be unsuccessful if the president held back on troops. Later that month, [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Adm. Mike] Mullen repeated much the same sentiment in Senate testimony, and in October, [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal asserted in a speech in London that a scaled-back effort against Afghan terrorists would not work.”

This back-door campaign infuriated Obama’s aides, including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Woodward reported. “Filling his rant with expletives, Emanuel said, ‘Between the chairman [Mullen] and Petraeus, everyone’s come out and publicly endorsed the notion of more troops. The president hasn’t even had a chance!’” Woodward reported.

Mouse-trapped by this clever maneuvering, Obama acquiesced to the 30,000-troop “surge” although he reportedly regretted his decision almost immediately. In the end the “surge” and Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy that went with it had little impact on the Afghan War beyond extending the carnage and adding another 1,000 or so U.S. troops to the rolls of “the fallen.”

Petraeus’s cozy relationship with Boot was also underscored in 2010 when the four-star general accidentally found himself in a public-relations kerfuffle because some of his prepared testimony to Congress had contained a mild criticism of Israel.

Concerned that his standing in Official Washington might be jeopardized if he were deemed “anti-Israel,” Petraeus begged Boot to help him head off the controversy. The e-mails from Petraeus to Boot revealed Petraeus renouncing his own testimony in March 2010 because it included the observation that “the enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests” in the Mideast.

Petraeus’s testimony had continued, “Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”

Running Scared

Though the testimony was obviously true, many neocons regard any suggestion that Israeli intransigence on Palestinian peace talks contributed to the dangers faced by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan or by the U.S. public from acts of terrorism at home as a “blood libel” against Israel.

So, when Petraeus’s testimony began getting traction on the Internet, the general turned to Boot at the high-powered Council on Foreign Relations, and began backtracking on the testimony. “As you know, I didn’t say that,” Petraeus said, according to one e-mail to Boot timed off at 2:27 p.m., March 18, 2010. “It’s in a written submission for the record.”

In other words, Petraeus was saying the comments were only in his formal testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee and were not repeated by him in his brief oral opening statement. However, written testimony is treated as part of the official record at congressional hearings with no meaningful distinction from oral testimony.

In another e-mail, as Petraeus solicited Boot’s help in tamping down any controversy over the Israeli remarks, the general ended the message with a military “Roger” and a sideways happy face, made from a colon, a dash and a closed parenthesis, “:-)”.

The e-mails were made public by James Morris, who runs a Web site called “Neocon Zionist Threat to America.” He said he apparently got them by accident when he sent a March 19 e-mail congratulating Petraeus for his testimony and Petraeus responded by forwarding one of Boot’s blog posts that knocked down the story of the general’s implicit criticism of Israel.

Petraeus forwarded Boot’s blog item, entitled “A Lie: David Petraeus, Anti-Israel,” which had been posted at the Commentary magazine site at 3:11 p.m. on March 18. However, Petraeus apparently forgot to delete some of the other exchanges between him and Boot at the bottom of the e-mail.

McGovern was aware of this history and told me that he thought an opportunity to question Petraeus in such a setting with Boot might prove illuminating. After his arrest and release, McGovern told RT that he had planned to ask Petraeus, who was responsible for training the Iraqi army, about his failure to train those forces sufficiently to stand up to a recent offensive by the Islamic State.

“Will you come out of retirement and try to do it better this time to train the Iraqi forces?” McGovern said, describing his intended question.

Petraeus retired from the U.S. Army in 2011 to become the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which he left in disgrace in November 2012 after revelations that he had an extramarital affair with an admiring female biographer.

“This is no saint. This is actually no great strategist,” McGovern said of Petraeus. “He’s an embarrassment to the U.S. Army in which I used to be proud to have served.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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27 comments for “Petraeus Spared Ray McGovern’s Question

  1. Lee Kronick
    October 31, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    A courageous fighter for justice and truth, Ray McGovern is indefatigable and a bunch of New York’s “finest” thugs in blue will never stop him.

  2. Zachary Smith
    October 31, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    In an effort to learn more about this event I went to Google News. First thing I noticed was that I could see no newspapers with the story. NONE. A specific search for the NYT and Washington Post turned up empty. Being even more curious, I found a list of Top 50 conservative web sites. Fox, and the others — no mention whatever in the top five.

    Now really curious, I tried again with keywords “petraeus” “hillary”.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/02/did-petraeus-just-endorse-hillary-clinton/

    If that neocon ***** become president, expect the biographer shagger Petraeus to become Secretary of State or National Security Adviser.

    I wish Mr. McGovern luck if he decides to take legal action, for I expect he’ll need it. The US legal system has become so corrupt that the ‘wrong’ litigants may have lost before the proceedings even begin.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 1, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Zachary, I’m right behind you on the searches …I thinkth Robert Parry Scooped this one. I hope at least Huffington picks this story up. I’d like to know more of what legal grounds the NYPD is basing their arrest of Mr McGovern with. On its face this whole thing is very scary! Boo, have a snack it’s Halloween!

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 1, 2014 at 1:50 am

      Update… My question about the arrest was answered when I went back and hit the RT interview link, in the article. Not a good day for America!

  3. Abe
    November 1, 2014 at 1:27 am

    The bloody legacy of David Petraeus includes the surge of terrorism in Syria since 2011.

    On 30 June, 2011, Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as Director of the CIA by the U.S. Senate 94–0. He relinquished command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on 18 July, 2011, and retired from the U.S. Army on 31 August, 2011.

    F. William Engdahl observed that Petraeus was most likely “not talking about the quality of Turkish tea” during the CIA director’s frequent visits to Turkey in the spring of 2012.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9U3Tf1ejLY#t=310

    From 2011 up to the present, the situation in Syria manifests “an armed intervention and the illegal violation of the UN Charter by the US and various other countries including most likely Turkey.”

    Petraeus resigned from his position as Director of the CIA on 9 November 2012, citing his extramarital affair which was reportedly discovered in the course of an FBI investigation.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 1, 2014 at 1:53 am

      I think that Bengazi thing had everyone running for the exits! What do you think?

    • Abe
      November 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Petraeus allegedly was running the CIA ratline, transferring Libyan arms (and possibly Al-Qaeda forces) to southern Turkey so the terrorists could launch attacks into Syria. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/real-benghazi-story.html

      Al-Qaeda is viewed by many as a long-term CIA asset.

      When the Rattenkönig resigned, purportedly due to the FBI’s discovery of the Broadwell affair, Petraeus was scheduled to testify under oath the following week before power House and Senate committees regarding the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

      Imagine the majestic rat king squeaking about how the US as “all in” with Al-Qaeda in Libya, Syria and Iraq. Now that would be a truly “riveting insider’s account.”

    • Abe
      November 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al-Qaeda re-boot, rapidly expanded during Petraeus’ tenure as CIA Director (September 6, 2011 – November 9, 2012).

      ISIS allegedly started as a counterguerilla project in Iraq.

      Shifting from CENTCOM to the International Security Assistance Force to Central Intelligence, Petraeus was well-positioned to coordinate a “new way forward” in the Syrian conflict.

      In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), formerly known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq, began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI guerillas across the border into Syria. Led by Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country.

      On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra, more commonly known as al-Nusra Front. Al-Nusra grew rapidly into a capable fighting force with popular support among Syrians opposed to the Assad regime.

      In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to the former strongholds from which US troops and their Sunni allies had driven them prior to the withdrawal of US troops. He also declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, which was aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons. Violence in Iraq began to escalate that month.

      Jihadists who had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were recruited to overthrow Gadhafi in Libya. Weapons had been shipped to these forces through Qatar with American approval.

      According to multiple anonymous sources, the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was used by CIA as a cover to smuggle weapons from Libya to anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

      Seymour Hersh cited a source among intelligence officials, saying that the consulate had no real political role and that its sole mission was to provide cover for the transfer of arms. The attack allegedly brought end to active US involvement, but did not stop the smuggling.

      The September 11-12, 2012 attack on this hub of CIA activity demonstrated the volatility of U.S. intelligence operations throughout the Middle East.

  4. Hans Nielsen
    November 1, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Mr. McGovern spoke at the Schiller Institute international 30 years anniversary conference in Frankfurt Saturday September 18 (http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/media/ray-mcgovern-how-long-will-the-sovereign-republics-of-europe-keep-dancing-to-washingtons-tune/), where he encouraged everybody to go out and risk their life and health for the truth and for the future of our children. He has now shown himself a role model for everybody who does not agree with Aldous Huxley, that we need a “dictatorship without tears, so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will actually rather enjoy it” and “enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist, to get people to love their servitude” [1]. You are already living in such a concentration camp (BRICS excluded). When will you, as McGovern did, free yourself from it, for the sake of the yet unborn?

    [1] From Aldous Huxley’s classes on; “The Final Revolution”, 1959 and “The Ultimate Revolution”, 1962.

  5. Susan
    November 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I have to say that this article is brilliant on so many levels it is hard to begin. If anyone has not read the books that Robert Parry has written over the years, you are truly missing out. They are REAL history books that I refer to often and will either instruct or remind you of past events that chronicle the progression of official corruption in America. This article presented stories that I had completely forgotten about – thank you Robert Parry and sons for your decency and extraordinary level of integrity!!
    This AM I attempted again to find out about Ray’s status and arrest, although Google brought nothing from the MSM. If you use the search engine http://www.duckduckgo.com there are better results, but still nothing from the CIA’s presstitutes – I frequently use alternative search engines when looking for something that Google and the MSM have intentionally whited out.

  6. schmenz
    November 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Very interesting, but I’m not completely convinced that Mr Obama was “trapped” by the neocon warmongers into continuing to do their dirty deeds. Obama has no trouble whatsoever shoving other atrocities down the throats of we serfs so it might be a stretch to say he was an innocent victim of all this.

    Then, of course, there are those charming weekly “kill list” meetings which our emperor doesn’t seem to have much trouble with.

  7. Bill Bodden
    November 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    We at least have the consolation that Ray McGovern wasn’t assassinated in that barrel of rotten apples, home to the NYPD..

  8. Coleen Rowley
    November 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    As an aside, it seems whenever questioning is opened to the audience at the events I’ve been speaking at, someone almost always asks that same question: WHY? Why has the U.S. gotten itself (so stupidly) locked into perpetual war that entails massive violations of the Constitution, war crimes and bombing of several countries as well as covert destabilization campaigns to achieve “regime change” all over the world when, by now, it’s so clearly untenable and senseless? So WHY IS the U.S. waging these “unwinnable” wars when the costs and blowback are several-fold any conceivable benefit (for instance, even pragmatically obtaining cheap oil and control over other resources), and even more certainly making impossible any achievement of its stated loftier goals of reducing terrorism, increasing security for Americans and bringing democracy and human rights to uncivilized places and peace to the world?

    I think the answer is largely revealed in this nefarious backstory of how Obama was conned into escalating the war on Afghanistan. The simple banality of evil, is that once Pandora’s Box was opened, it tends to infect everyone. More catchy than Ebola. There could be no “looking back” (which even became Administration policy as to torture) and no thoughtful assessment of even worse future consequences. Neocon and other psychopathic warhawks like Petraeus-Boot-Kagans who not only dragged Obama into their way of “thinking” but who remain firmly in control of our country’s foreign policy and war machine (also Hillary Clinton), inherently rely on (concocted) “ends justify the means” utilitarian logic. This means they (and we the American sheople who are dragged along) can never look back or look forward but must remain singularly (and psychopathically) focused on “living in the moment.” In this “Alice in Wonderland” insane world, facts don’t matter and questions are not welcome.

    • Bill Bodden
      November 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      There could be no “looking back” (which even became Administration policy as to torture) …

      Of course, it depends on who can be seen in the rear-view mirror. Obama didn’t have any problem “looking back” at the whistleblowers. To the contrary, he was in hot pursuit of them. On the other hand, it was all “looking forward” when it came to the Bush administration and the bankers who donated to Obama’s campaigns.

    • JRGJRG
      November 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

      The reason we are in a state of perpetual war is that war is needed to justify imposing limits on Constitutional rights in the general population. This is not an accident. It is a plan to overpower our democracy and turn it into an overt oligarchy, with public submission. It is meant to do exactly what it is doing.

  9. Abe
    November 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Ray McGovern describes brutal arrest at Petraeus event (VIDEO)
    http://rt.com/usa/201323-ray-mcgovern-arrest-debrief/

  10. Bill J.
    November 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Forgive me Mr. Parry but I’m unwilling to buy the notion that Obama was dragooned into the Surge. Keeping all of those Bush holdovers was completely optional on Obama’s part. He arrived with both houses of congress in the Democratic Party camp and a massive mandate from the public to implement the “change” it niavely thought it had voted for. Instead, Obama immediately began tamping down the expectations of his supporters and, from the illegal wars through the Wall Street bailout, began executing policies that would have been in perfect accord with the priorities of a third Bush administration. It’s far time that we let Obama own the Surge.

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Bodden is exactly right – I’d like to know who thinks who’s kidding whom. We hear that there is a battle between Congress and the CIA, and the CIA is repressing the “torture report”. WRONG WRONG WRONG! The CIA is Executive Branch, and The Director serves, “At The Pleasure of The President of The United States”. Pretending otherwise at this level of journalistic savor faire is at best a pretense. But to admit that, one must presume that The President is 1) a mere figurehead or 2) he is the de facto author of these policies. The former is anathema to the National Security State, and the latter is anathema to liberal gatekeepers – who also represent the National Security State. Our country is a two party dupe-opoly. In this new paradigm of Schmittian jurisprudence, the state defines the friend/enemy distinction in order to preserve political homogeneity. Political authority is no longer constrained by legal statute. The Patriot Act codifies the authority of the state to eradicate enemies, especially internal enemies of the state. Those who do not confine themselves to the sanctioned political activities of the two party monopoly defy the primacy of political over legal authority. McGovern is being persecuted under the guise of civil statute for what is essentially a political crime: exposing the hypocrisy of waging perpetual war against a manufactured enemy. Note that there has been no change in policy since 2004. There is only one real party: the War Party. That party is in charge, and everything else is window dressing.

  11. Abe
    November 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Ray McGovern said that he planned to ask Petraeus, “Will you come out of retirement and try to do it better this time to train the Iraqi forces?”

    With all due respect to Mr. McGovern, the forces that “nobody does it better” Petraeus trained and equipped have all performed exactly as directed.

    Over the past decade, Petraeus was been involved at key stages of the destruction of the Iraqi, Syrian and Libyan civil societies.

    In June 2004, Petraeus was promoted to lieutenant general and became the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq in June 2004.

    This newly created command had responsibility for training, equipping, and mentoring Iraq’s growing army, police, and other security forces as well as developing Iraq’s security institutions and building associated infrastructure.

    Acclaimed as a counter insurgency expert, Petraeus “built relationships and got cooperation” by training and equipping the Iraqi ministries of Defense and Interior. These units became notorious for their secret prisons, torture centers and mass killings.

    Training and weapons distribution was haphazard, rushed, and did not follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005 when security training was led by Petraeus. When Iraq’s security forces began to see combat, the results were predictable.

    Petraeus continued to fail upwards. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced that Petraeus would succeed Gen. George Casey as commanding general of Multi-National Force-Iraq.

    Based on the Petraeus Doctrine that “more terror is better,” the good General implemented a massive security crackdown in Baghdad combined with the infamous “surge” in coalition troop strength.

    Petraeus’ “surge” was credited for a reduction in the death rate for coalition troops. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior reported similar reductions for civilian deaths.

    However, a September 2007 report by an independent military commission headed by General James Jones found that the decrease in violence may have been due to areas being overrun by either Shias or Sunnis. In addition, in August 2007, the International Organization for Migration and the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization indicated that more Iraqis had fled since the troop increase.

    In short, Petraeus’ vaunted counter insurgency strategy to “secure the population” had succeeded by further depopulating and ethnically polarizing Iraq.

    Thus Petraeus was instrumental in advancing the US plan to effectively divide Iraq into three states: a Sunni state across wide swaths of central Iraq and Syria, a Shi’ite state in the south, and a Kurdish state in the north.

    Where monumental failure was the goal, Petraeus kept succeeding brilliantly.

    After serving as CENTCOM commander (2008-2010), commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan in Afghanistan (2010-2011), Petraeus was nominated by Obama to become the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2011-2012).

    As CIA Director, Petraeus helped train and equip Al-Qaeda terrorist forces:

    The CIA, Qatar and the Creation of Jahbat Al Nusra
    By Phil Greaves
    http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/did-the-cia-and-qatar-enable-the-creation-of-jabhat-al-nusra-in-syria/

    The resignation was necessary because Petraeus’ official actions as CIA Director, not his personal indiscretions, were a political liability to Obama during the 2012 election.

    Petraeus and Obama were spared many questions in November 2012.

    Those questions still need to be asked and answered.

  12. Amanda Matthews
    November 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Our entire military is full of senior officers. like Petraeus, who are still looking for that one war that they can win. And to pad their bank accounts while they’re at it. Face it, if we get out of the war business, we won’t need them.

  13. Abe
    November 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Petraeus’ BFF, Max Boot has sterling neocon bona fides.

    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s controversial 2007 book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy named Boot as a neo-conservative ‘pundit’ that represented the Israeli lobby’s positions, notably within the Council of Foreign Relations. The authors argued that Boot and other figures dishonestly warp American foreign policy away from its national interest.

    Boot served as a foreign policy adviser to John McCain in 2008, having stated in an editorial in World Affairs Journal that he saw strong parallels between Theodore Roosevelt and McCain.

    Boot praised President Obama’s decision to appoint General David Petraeus as the ground commander of the Afghanistan campaign, and he said that the conflict is winnable. He also mentioned that he has served as a civilian adviser to both Petraeus and his predecessor Stanley McChrystal.

    Boot wrote for the Council through 2010 and 2011 for various publications such as Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Weekly Standard among others. He particularly argued that President Obama’s health care plans made maintaining the U.S.’ superpower status harder, that withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq occurred prematurely while making another war there more likely, and that the initial U.S. victory in Afghanistan had been undone by government complacency though forces could still pull off a victory. He also wrote op-eds criticizing planned budget austerity measures in both the U.S. and the U.K. as hurting their national security interests.

    In September 2012, Boot co-wrote with Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael Doran a New York Times op-ed titled “5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now”, advocating U.S military force to create a countrywide no-fly zone reminiscent of NATO’s role in the Kosovo War. He stated first and second that “American intervention would diminish Iran’s influence in the Arab world” and that “a more muscular American policy could keep the conflict from spreading” with “sectarian strife in Lebanon and Iraq”. Third, Boot argued that “training and equipping reliable partners within Syria’s internal opposition” could help “create a bulwark against extremist groups like Al Qaeda”. He concluded that “American leadership on Syria could improve relations with key allies like Turkey and Qatar” as well as “end a terrible human-rights disaster”.

    While celebrating the catastrophes that Petraeus’ CIA had orchestrating in Libya and Syria, Boot was serving as defense policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign.

  14. Rehmat
    November 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Ever wondered why professor James Petras called Gen. David Petraeus “Military Poodle of Zionism” in 2008?

    In September 2014, the disgraced former Iraqi war Zionist hero, Gen. David Petraeus claimed that US-led fight against ISIS will take years and need ground forces in both Iraq and Syria to succeed.

    “We’re talking about years, many years in the case of Syria,” Petraeus said today in a presentation to business executives at a Tokyo hotel. “What we’re doing right now is disrupting. We are gradually chipping away at the strength” of ISIS, he said, adding that gains could not be sustained without ground forces. “I do believe the Iraqis can be the ground forces that can deal with this over time, but again it will be months and years, not days

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/09/27/gen-petraeus-wants-american-boots-in-iraq-and-syria/

  15. bdirnbac@gmail.com
    November 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I’d love someone to confront Petraeus about his overseeing 13 torture centers while he was in command in Iraq. Here’s my letter to City University about why they shouldn’t hire this BS artist to teach a course for $200K.
    To [CUNY] Dean Kirshner:
    The problem with Petraeus teaching at CUNY is NOT Paula Broadwell nor the outrageously exorbitant (privately funded?) $200,000/yr salary, it’s that CUNY is adding respectability to a man who has never answered for the torture camps run in Iraq while he was in command. When Petraeus fully clears up these disturbing questions about how 13 torture centers were run by a top assistant, Col. James Steele without his knowing about them, then it might be appropriate to bring him to CUNY (actually not really, not ever).

    BBC Filmmaker Maggie O’Kane has thoroughly explored this issue of torture while Petraeus was in command (http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9866):
    […] O’KANE: I mean, retired Colonel [James] Steele’s job was to oversee some of the torture and detention centers. We believe that there were 13 that existed, which were secret torture centers, in which detainees were round up. Many of them had nothing to do with the insurgency. And there was basically a torture processing going on as a way to achieve human intelligence that then could be used by the Americans and by the special police commandos to take on the insurgency. So in a way it was quite organized.
    So the knowledge–we believe, and we believe we’ve established in our documentary, that Colonel Coffman, who reported directly to General Petraeus, and retired Colonel Steele were both fully aware of the torture that was going on, and on occasion handed over lists of people that they wanted picked up and tortured for information.
    Paul JAY of the Real New Network: Torture is a war crime. Colonel Steele, I can see from your film, has actually been given awards, not arrested. I mean, doesn’t your film lead to the conclusion that there needs to be accountability not just for Colonel Steele but people in the chain of command that were involved in this kind of torture?
    [… O’Kane] What we’ve sought to do is to use a piece of investigative journalism to establish the relationships, to hear from people who were inside these torture and detention centers about what their relationship was with the American military, what specifically was the role of retired Colonel Steele and of Colonel Coffman. And then, as I see it, as journalists our job was to lay out the facts. You know. […]

    See also: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/22/new_expos_links_torture_centers_in
    […] NEIL SMITH: What was pretty widely known in our battalion, definitely in our platoon, was that they were pretty violent with their interrogations, that they would beat people, shock them with, you know, electrical shock, stab them. I don’t know what all else—you know, sounds like pretty awful things. If you sent a guy there, he was going to get tortured and perhaps raped, or whatever, humiliated and brutalized by the special commandos in order whatever information they wanted.
    GEN. MUNTADHER AL-SAMARI: [translated] I remember a 14-year-old who was tied to one of the library’s columns. And he was tied up with his legs above his head, tied up. His whole body was blue because of the impact of the cables with which he had been beaten.
    NARRATOR: Petraeus defended his record with the police commandos to PBS
    Frontline’s Martin Smith. He says he was aware of individual militia members in the commandos, but not militia groups.
    GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: I did not see militia groups in the special police during the time that I was there.
    MARTIN SMITH: Did you think about what you could have done differently, might have done differently, to have prevented the development of these militias that were effectively developing under your watch?
    GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: Well, I, again, don’t
    — I have not seen—you know, we kept hearing this all the time, Martin, that this or that. To find the absolute evidence of this has actually been quite difficult.
    NARRATOR: But Jerry Burke, who was a senior adviser in police affairs to the Iraqi Interior Ministry says that Petraeus must have known that organized Shia militia were dominant in the police commandos.
    JERRY BURKE: He had to have known. These things were discussed openly, whether it was at staff meetings or, you know, before or after various staff meetings in general conversation. Pretty much the whole world in Iraq knew that the police commandos were Badr Brigade. And he must have known about the death squad activities, and, again, it was common knowledge across Baghdad.
    NARRATOR: Even Petraeus’s own special adviser in the military chain of command, Colonel James Coffman, was, according to many witnesses, working side by side with James Steele in the detention centers where torture was taking place. Colonel Coffman declined to be interviewed by us.

    Do you and CUNY stand for glorifying the fruits of torture? If he’s ever officially charged with war crimes, how will you answer the chorus of criticism that will be personally directed at you?

    There is someone else who can bring lustre to CUNY without tarnishing its reputation and yours! Please rescind the Petraeus offer and bring Maggie O’Kane to CUNY instead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_O'Kane

    Sincerely,
    etc.

  16. jaycee
    November 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Please follow up on this when the charges are reviewed in December. Criminal trespass charges for trying to redeem a ticket at a public event? The NYPD appears to be using their power of arrest and assignation of criminal charges to intimidate activists and citizens from their civil rights. This also happened to the Occupy woman who was hit with assault charges. And rather than cluck tongues at institutions such as the NYPD, individual officials need to be held accountable personally. There is someone responsible for following through on these charges and shaping the environment whereby this type of intimidation is sanctioned. I believe in NYC it is a man (city prosecutor?) associated with the Democratic Party. He needs to be held responsible .

    Also, McGovern believes that the event organizers were already expecting him and his fellow activists (who were also denied entry). That needs to be clarified and, if true, explained.

  17. OH
    November 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    ISIS = Petraeus

  18. Joe Tedesky
    November 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    While Ray McGovern’s story gets no press, here is what the media does report;

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/02/ghoncheh-ghavami-jail-volleyball_n_6089612.html

    Maybe Mr McGovern should have been arrested in Iran. If he had been arrested in Iran, well then, our wondeful media would have reported it. Nothing to see here, now move along!

  19. Mary
    November 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Bob, Peter Dale Scott thought you might be interested in the following:

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/11/02/the-deep-state-plots-the-1980-defeat-of-jimmy-carter/
    Another excerpt from my forthcoming book, The American Deep State. If any of you are in touch with Bob Parry at ConsortiumNews, you might consider forwarding this to him.

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