Hillary Clinton’s Hypocrisy on Dissent

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton says she’s a great defender of American veterans, but when Army vet (and ex-CIA analyst) Ray McGovern was assaulted for silently protesting one of her speeches, she did nothing  and newly released emails show she rebuffed an adviser’s proposal to apologize, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Five years ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal adviser Sidney Blumenthal urged her to apologize to former Army officer (and ex-CIA analyst) Ray McGovern after he was roughly arrested when he stood silently with his back turned in protest against a Clinton speech, ironically condemning foreign leaders who show intolerance of dissent.

According to an internal email recently released from former Secretary Clinton’s private email server, Blumenthal cited “an unfortunate incident” that occurred at her speech at George Washington University in Washington on Feb. 15, 2011. Blumenthal wrote that “something bad happened” and urged Clinton to have someone reach out and apologize to McGovern.

Army veteran and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, standing in protest of a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Feb. 15, 2011.

Army veteran and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, standing in protest of a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Feb. 15, 2011.

Instead, Clinton, who has declared that “supporting veterans is a sacred responsibility,” denied any responsibility for McGovern’s brutal arrest, which left the 71-year-old who was wearing a “Veterans for Peace” T-shirt, bloodied and bruised. She also offered no explanation for why she failed to stop the police when the arrest was occurring right in front of her; instead she just continued on with her speech about the need for leaders to respect the rights of dissidents.

In the email, Clinton did tell Blumenthal, “I’ll see what else can be done,” but it’s not clear what that may have been. Afterwards, McGovern became a government target because of what the State Department called his “political activism, primarily anti-war.”

Though the criminal charges against McGovern were dropped, he was placed on the State Department’s “Be On the Look-out” or BOLO alert list, instructing police to “USE CAUTION, stop” and question him and also contact the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Command Center.

After learning of the BOLO alert, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), which is representing McGovern in connection with the 2011 incident, interceded to have the warning lifted. But McGovern wondered if the warning played a role in 2014 when he was aggressively arrested by New York City police at the entrance to the 92nd Street Y where he had hoped to pose a question to a speaker there, one of Clinton’s friendly colleagues, former CIA Director and retired General David Petraeus.

After that arrest on Oct. 30, 2014, McGovern wrote, “God only knows (and then only if God has the proper clearances) what other organs of state security had entered the ‘derogatory’ information about the danger of my ‘political activism’ into their data bases. Had my ‘derog’ been shared, perhaps, with the ever-proliferating number of ‘fusion centers’ that were so effective in sharing information to track and thwart the activists of Occupy including subversives like Quakers and Catholic Workers?”

Clinton’s Speech

On Feb. 15, 2011, McGovern attended Clinton GWU speech, deciding on the spur of the moment after feeling revulsion at the “enthusiastic applause” that welcomed the Secretary of State “to dissociate myself from the obsequious adulation of a person responsible for so much death, suffering and destruction.

“The fulsome praise for Clinton from GW’s president and the loud, sustained applause also brought to mind a phrase that as a former Soviet analyst at CIA I often read in Pravda. When reprinting the text of speeches by high Soviet officials, the Communist Party newspaper would regularly insert, in italicized parentheses: ‘Burniye applaudismenti; vce stoyat’ ,  Stormy applause; all rise.

“With the others at Clinton’s talk, I stood. I even clapped politely. But as the applause dragged on, I began to feel like a real phony. So, when the others finally sat down, I remained standing silently, motionless, wearing my ‘Veterans for Peace’ T-shirt, with my eyes fixed narrowly on the rear of the auditorium and my back to the Secretary.

“I did not expect what followed: a violent assault in full view of Madam Secretary by what we Soviet analysts used to call the ‘organs of state security.’ The rest is history, as they say. A short account of the incident can be found here.

“As the video of the event shows, Secretary Clinton did not miss a beat in her speech as she called for authoritarian governments to show respect for dissent and to refrain from violence. She spoke with what seemed to be an especially chilly sang froid, as she ignored my silent protest and the violent assault which took place right in front of her.

“The experience gave me personal confirmation of the impression that I reluctantly had drawn from watching her behavior and its consequences over the past decade. The incident was a kind of metaphor of the much worse violence that Secretary Clinton has coolly countenanced against others.

“Again and again, Hillary Clinton both as a U.S. senator and as Secretary of State has demonstrated a nonchalant readiness to unleash the vast destructiveness of American military power. The charitable explanation, I suppose, is that she knows nothing of war from direct personal experience.” [For more of McGovern’s account of his arrest, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Standing Up to War and Hillary Clinton.”]

Ray McGovern displaying the aftermath of his arrest during a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Feb. 15, 2011.

Ray McGovern displaying the aftermath of his arrest during a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Feb. 15, 2011.

In a civil court filing, the PCJF lawyers described the scene: “As Secretary Clinton was reading from her prepared remarks regarding Egypt’s dictatorship [and] saying, ‘Then the government pulled the plug,’ the then-71-year-old McGovern was forcibly and falsely arrested by GWU police officers, grabbed by the head, assaulted, and as Secretary Clinton continued undisturbed stating, ‘the government … did not want the world to watch,’ Mr. McGovern was removed from public view with excessive and brutal force, taken to jail, and left bleeding with bruises and contusions.”

In a press release about Clinton’s emails on Thursday, McGovern’s attorneys said they had sought State Department emails related to McGovern’s arrest but had not received Clinton’s email exchange with Blumenthal. Those emails surfaced in connection with congressional inquiries about Clinton conducting State Department business using a private server outside U.S. government control.

Based on the new disclosures, it was clear Clinton knew a great deal about the incident from Blumenthal, including receiving photos of McGovern’s injuries.

Blumenthal suggested that Clinton “have someone apologize to Ray McGovern,” but referred to the incident and McGovern in condescending terms, noting that McGovern’s mistreatment has “become a minor cause célèbre on the Internet among lefties.” As for McGovern, Blumenthal said the former CIA analyst who was a presidential briefer to George H.W. Bush has “become a Christian antiwar leftist who goes around bearing witness. Whatever his views, he’s harmless.”

Clinton responded, “I appreciate your sending thgis [sic] to me. Neither State nor my staff had anything to do w this. The man stood up just as I was starting and GW–which claims their quick actions were part of their standard operating procedures to remove anyone who stands up and starts speaking while an invited guest is talking–moved to remove him. GW claims he was not in any way injured.”

However, McGovern was not speaking, simply standing quietly until he was attacked by the police. As for Clinton, no apology was forthcoming, nor any further explanation of why she failed to stop police from roughing up a peaceful protester in her presence.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

22 comments for “Hillary Clinton’s Hypocrisy on Dissent

  1. abner hosmer
    February 20, 2016 at 15:17

    The capture of Blumenthal’s email has provided us with unfiltered insight into the utter contempt with which our deep state insiders hold all the commoners outside the circle of privilege and all of our pathetic little values like free speech, peace, courage and sacrifice.

  2. M
    February 19, 2016 at 21:55

    – and brave. Thank you.

  3. M
    February 19, 2016 at 21:48

    You’re a decent and principled man, Ray McGovern.

  4. Brad Benson
    February 19, 2016 at 09:46

    It’s rather revealing that Clinton’s “personal advisor” would describe McGovern as a “lefty”. Shouldn’t a “progressive” like Hillary also be a “lefty” and hire other “lefties”? Is “lefty” a derogatory term in her regular vernacular? It’s getting curiouser and curioser!

  5. CB
    February 18, 2016 at 23:00

    As evil as Hillary may be, how is this her fault and not George Washinton University’s? It was their cops that did the deed. They may have done it because of their sycophantic need to please those in power but still…

    • Chuck
      February 19, 2016 at 06:24

      Although she could clearly see what was taking place from her vantage point at the podium, she did nothing to intervene and stop the police. It is clear that political speakers at such events, whether billionaires or current/former heads of state, possess the authority to direct security activity against those in the crowd who are deemed “disruptive.” How is it then they lack the authority to intervene to halt security activities? Further, the Blumenthal emails concerning the ignored request for an apology along with the State Dept BOLO and later 2014 arrest illustrate a concerted effort on behalf of Clinton and her State Dept to silence dissent which is what she was speaking against. Seems pretty straight up ironic to me. How did you not comprehend that part of the story?

    • Joe
      February 21, 2016 at 00:16

      Don’t taze me bro

  6. Bruce
    February 18, 2016 at 22:40

    “Cackles All AROUND; ALL Bow” ! Jest practicing for Libyating Gaddafi later that year !! ANOTHER BetrayUS Mata Hari !!!

  7. Bill Bodden
    February 18, 2016 at 21:28

    “As the video of the event shows, Secretary Clinton did not miss a beat in her speech as she called for authoritarian governments to show respect for dissent and to refrain from violence. She spoke with what seemed to be an especially chilly sang froid, as she ignored my silent protest and the violent assault which took place right in front of her.

    Perhaps that wasn’t Hillary. Maybe it was a robot.

  8. John P. Teschke
    February 18, 2016 at 19:47

    This reveals her true character. Calling her a fascist harpy may sound sexist and politically incorrect, but the record amply bears out the ad feminem insult. Her central role in the US overthrow of Khaddafi, and the fact the December 31 email exchanges between her and crony-advisor Sidney Blumenthal revealed her knowledge that jihadi thugs would take over once Khaddafi was removed exposes her status as a war criminal. Meanwhile the continuing corporate bribery represented by her cashing in millions a year for giving speeches to special interest audiences shows a level of corruption unprecedented by a presidential candidate. Her espousal of a no-fly zone on behalf of el qaeda in Syria against the Russians reveals a strong likelihood we would not survive her tenure in office.

  9. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    February 18, 2016 at 17:56

    My former boss – a retired coast guard white man born and raised in America- told me when I came to the US that America is a hypocritical society and I need to get used to that if I wanted to live in it. If the purpose of this article is to let us know that Queen Hillary is also hypocritical, well, then thank you!!

    PLEASE suggest to us how to build an anti-war movement in this country?! YES, there are some antiwar activists BUT THEY ARE NOT A MOVEMENT………..

    • Stygg
      February 18, 2016 at 20:40

      Electing a Republican president is the only way. There was a relatively vibrant movement under Dubya but it evaporated the moment Obama was elected and hasn’t resurfaced since. Sadly, it seems the bulk of rank and file Democrats are perfectly fine with empire and perpetual war as long as their guy is prosecuting it. And these are our “bleeding heart liberals.” But fear not, they’ll suddenly discover their deep-seated moral opposition when the other tribe is in charge…

      • Zachary Smith
        February 18, 2016 at 21:18

        Electing a Republican president is the only way.

        Do you have anyone in mind for the honor? Almost all of them I know anything about are worse than Hillary.

        There was a relatively vibrant movement under Dubya…

        That was a painful period for me. What kind of ‘movement’ are you speaking of? So far as I can recall, the Codpiece Commander was a freaking disaster in every way.

        But fear not, they’ll suddenly discover their deep-seated moral opposition when the other tribe is in charge…

        I wish that wasn’t true, but it plainly is.

        • Stygg
          February 18, 2016 at 23:12

          Sorry, I should have made it clearer that that was a direct reply to Dr. Soudy’s query about how to build an anti-war movement. It’s apparently a total non-starter with a Dem in the White House.

          I have no love at all for any Republican candidate, but the only real difference i can see between their potential administration and Hillary’s is that the Dem half of the country would aggressively and vocally oppose all the bad stuff instead of making mealy-mouthed excuses for it.

        • Brad Benson
          February 19, 2016 at 09:58

          Trump so far has spouted off less about bombing people than any other candidate including Bernie. This has been even been confirmed by Code Pink, among others. He says he’ll talk to Putin and the rest would like to nuke him. Bernie can’t discuss foreign policy for fear that he’ll be asked about Israel.

          In regard to Israel, the other night Trump hinted that one group of people is raising their children to hate another, but backed off without identifying the group. He went on to say that he would try to remain neutral in any future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which is a fresh position for an American Candidate in itself.

      • dahoit
        February 20, 2016 at 10:59

        Sheesh.Dubya was a vibrator?He stimulated Cheney?
        Yes,both parties are filled with hypocrites.

    • David Smith
      February 18, 2016 at 22:26

      Dr. Soudy, your former boss neglected to add that Americans have ” zero tolerance” of the tiniest peep of dissent. I am a native son of America and I learned this early. America is not a free country. We had an anti-war movement over America’s war on the Vietnamese. Firearms were used against protesters: Four dead at Kent State U, one dead at Mississippi U. There were many other incidents where 30 cal. and 12 ga. shot were discharged that never got media coverage, and not just anti-war protesters. And I left out the chronic beatings, CS gas, covert assassinations( Jim Morrison and other cultural workers, they got Jim in Paris). Ray McGovern got light treatment, believe it or not. Right now the Cops, vigilantes, right wing militias, and Chris Kyle wannbes are getting ready for a real orgy of ultraviolence.Please understand I am not overstating, you chose to settle in an evil nation that destroys it’s best children.

      • William
        February 20, 2016 at 18:11

        David, I agree with your comment. I am an American citizen, a patriot, and have a great love for my country, but, sad to say, my country has been taken over by people who do not love this country and who are actively and fervently seeking to destroy our constitution. Obama is a coward and a bought prostitute, and Hillary Clinton is completely amoral, a liar, a toady for Israel, and a traitor to the true values of the U.S. George Bush did lie us into war. He initiated a war of aggression, which, according to the Nuremburg documents and international law is the most evil of all war crimes, and although numerous individuals have laid out all the facts necessary for conviction, no one in power has the slightest desire to hold him and the accessory members of his govt. to account. Certainly, no attorney general has had the courage or integrity to carry out their duty to prosecute. The shocking support of torture by VP Cheney and others without any whole sale rebuttal by any of the large print and electronic media is disgraceful and intolerable. Even worse is the cowardly silence of congress. I think there is no U.S. of America anymore. What exists today is a perverted and perverse satrapy of a small dependent foreign state and that state’s myriad supporters in this country.

    • Bill Bodden
      February 18, 2016 at 22:42

      My former boss – a retired coast guard white man born and raised in America- told me when I came to the US that America is a hypocritical society and I need to get used to that if I wanted to live in it.

      You were fortunate learning that lesson so quickly. Some people live their entire lives in the US without recognizing blatant hypocrisy among their ilk.

  10. Abe
    February 18, 2016 at 17:49

    […] weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.

    Leaked Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network
    By Jeff Gerth and Sam Biddle

    • Abe
      February 18, 2016 at 18:09

      Lest some nincompoop suggest that the above comment is off-topic, it is important to remember, as Garth and Biddle point out, that Blumenthal’s emails “followed a year of Libyan hawkishness on the part of Clinton. In February of 2011, she told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that ‘it is time for Gaddafi to go.’ The next month, after having described Russian reluctance over military intervention as ‘despicable,’ Clinton met with rebel leaders in Paris and drummed up support for a no-fly zone while in Cairo. On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council voted to back Libyan rebels against Gaddafi”.

      Understood in context, Blumenthal’s concern that “something bad happened” likely had more to do with not allowing any “unfortunate incident” to interfere with Clinton’s efforts to gin up war in Libya.

    • February 20, 2016 at 12:42

      I’d like to thank the folks who comment on articles like this one. As often happens, by reading the comments, I not only learn new stuff, but also take a lot of encouragement. I hope all of us can do what we can to bring out the truth, ASAP, re HC. Any of you live in South Carolina?

      Ray McGovern

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