Three guests tonight: the British terror plot; federal judge rebukes NSA spying
After the headlines, Mark Bebawi talks to Craig Murray:
Craig Murray was ambassador to Uzbekistan, and was recalled as ambassador in 2004
after voicing concerns about torture by the Uzbek authorities. He published
secret documents on his website relating to torture policies of Britain.
Mark Bebawi will be talking with him about the news that a terror plot involving airplanes and liquids was broken up by British authorities. Murray has been skeptical of elements of the story.
Murder in Samarkand – A British Ambassador’s Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror (released in Britain in June 2006)
Ray McGovern is a frequent Intelligence Analyst guest on The Monitor. He arrived in Texas today to take part in Discussion of Findings of International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration.
Ray McGovern’s 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush. Ray is now co-director of the Servant Leadership School, which provides training and other support for those seeking ways to be in relationship with the marginalized poor. The School is one of ten Jubilee Ministries, not-for-profit organizations inspired by the ecumenical Church of the Saviour and established in an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, DC.
The department Ray heads at the School deals with the biblical injunction to “speak truth to power,” and this, together with his experience in intelligence analysis, accounts for his various writings and media appearances over the past year. His focus dovetails nicely with the passage carved into the marble entrance to CIA Headquarters: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”—the ethic mandating that CIA analysts were to “tell it like it is” without fear or favor.
In January 2003, when it became clear that that ethic was in serious jeopardy, a handful of intelligence community alumni/ae, including Ray, created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. VIPS now includes over 35 former professionals from CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Army Intelligence, the FBI, and the National Security Agency. VIPS’ first effort (of ten thus far) was a same-day critique of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s address to the UN on February 5.
In addition to co-authoring some of VIPS’ issuances, Ray has published some 20 op-eds over the past year on intelligence-related issues. These have appeared in newspapers and journals around the country like The Birmingham News, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Miami Herald, Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung, The International Herald Tribune, and Der Berliner Tagespiegel, for example.
Over the past several months, he and his VIPS colleagues have made numerous TV, radio and lecture appearances in the US and Europe. They also have appeared in several recent video documentaries—notably, “Uncovered: the Whole Truth About the Iraq War” (Robert Greenwald) and “Break the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror” (John Pilger).
Ray’s duties at CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’ Daily Brief (PDB). These, the most authoritative genres of intelligence reporting, have been the focus of press reporting on “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and on what the president was told before 9/11. During the mid-eighties, Ray was one of the senior analysts conducting early morning briefings of the PDB one-on-one with the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
At his retirement ceremony, Ray received the Intelligence Commendation Medal and a letter from then-president George H. W. Bush wishing him well in his transition to non-profit work in inner-city Washington. Ray served on the board of Bread for the City from 1989-94, the latter two years as president, before becoming co-director of the Servant Leadership School.
Law professor Marjorie Cohn is a frequent legal analyst on The Monitor.
She was on the Monitor last month to discuss the major Supreme Court decision relating to rights of those detained at Guantánamo. “Congress has not issued the executive a ‘blank check,'” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote. The court ruled 5 to 3, rejecting the administration’s claims that in wartime Bush could basically hold whomever he wanted for as long as he wanted, without having to deal with complications such as due process and legal representation.
This week, Monitor Mark Bebawi will discuss with her the clear rebuke of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the US District Court in Detroit against the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping. Judge Taylor ruled that Bush’s eavesdropping program is in violation of the Fourth Amendment as well as the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Bush administration immediately appealed the ruling.
Majorie Cohn is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. She lectures throughout the world on international human rights and US foreign policy. Professor Cohn writes columns for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal, is a news consultant for CBS News, and a legal analyst for Court TV. She provides legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and Pacifica Radio.
Co-author of the book Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice, Professor Cohn is the President-elect of the National Lawyers Guild. She was a legal observer in Iran on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and she has participated in delegations to Cuba, China and Yugoslavia. She lived in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.
The Constitution: Checking a Would-Be King By Ray McGovern