Podcast Show #90: The Erosion of US Constitution

The Boiling Frogs Presents Ray McGovern

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Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern returns to our show to discuss the erosion of the US Constitution and the absence of public outrage, the illegality of and the expected backlash from US drone strikes, the clear contradiction between the US/Israeli intelligence estimates about Iran’s nuclear program, the lack of real debate on and the hypocrisy of the use of Cyberwarfare, and more!

RMRay McGovern’s 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties at CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’ Daily Brief (PDB). 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. Ray received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Fordham College, designated a Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned upon graduation and served as an infantry/intelligence officer in the US Army from 1962-64. Ray holds an M.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham University and a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.


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  1. I enjoyed the interview and the points raised throughout the discussion. At the beginning of the talk, Ray mentioned being in a strange place, realizing he had sworn an oath to protect the constitution and now living in a time when that constitution has been eviscerated. The point I take away is, IT’S ALREADY HAPPENED, and any sort of obligatory defense is either long overdue and/or has been largely inadequate. The social backlash, police crackdown, media distortion, and sheer weight of an enslaved and moribund society has thus far been an effective counter force to the bubbling movements like Occupy. Because the State apparently cannot respond in a sane manner to the reasonable and peaceful demands of those who actually do see the writing on the wall, I’m afraid what Mr. McGovern refers to as the inevitable rise of the citizenry will be met with the unfettered brutality of the wealthiest, most militarily powerful, and most propagandistically successful regime in the world.
    It’s being reported that the Dept of Defense will be integrated into security at the upcoming DNC and RNC. What percentage of the populace even knows what the DNC or RNC are? Things like North Com participation in these events, Conplan 3502, the NDAA, and the no trespass bill which makes it a felony to disrupt events of “national significance,” on the surface do not effect those who are not aware of them (a truly sad social defense mechanism). Instead, these developments serve as a warning to those already marginalized, who do have their finger on the pulse. The suggestion should be clear: that the psychopathic and therefore un-reformable power structure is literally willing to wage all out war against the citizenry. In the words of Lindsey Graham, the world is the battlefield, including the Homeland. And why shouldn’t it be? The violence monopolizing government been infiltrated by supranational power centers that collude regularly to kill and destroy nations. “It couldn’t happen here,” is the desperate reassurance of a mentally defunct nation raised on television and public education.

    Sibel, I share your frustration with the lack of awareness and outrage in the majority population. To make matters worse, the crises we face are not simply constitutional, social, and political, but also economic and environmental. For example, Nature recently reported that 40% of the world’s phytoplankton has disappeared since the 1950s, and phytoplankton are not only a key part of ocean ecology, but also produce 50% of the earth’s oxygen. Meanwhile, whatever your take on climate change, the military is actively preparing for an unstable world of constrained resources, drought, crop failures, famine, etc which it sees as the likely future, effecting supply chains and store shelves world wide.

    The power structure is preparing for a total meltdown that it is precipitating and we are participating in. Hope was the watchword of the first Obama campaign, because hope keeps us tethered to inaction. Radical transformation has already occurred and will continue accelerating, whether we act or not.

  2. The ability to take back the nation and her founding principles seems to have faded. There are precious to use the phrase… whose hair is on fire, but no one is doing a thing about it. We are fast approaching the time when Boiling Frogs and Firedoglake and Mat Taibbi and Glen Greenwald and DemocracyNow! will be silenced. Ray McGovern, et al have sounded the warning… these are credible people who came FROM right inside the establishment and are ignored and ridiculed and Sibel was gagged. The courage of occupy will be met with increasing force and repression. The people apparently will not take to the pitchforks… and realize the ballot box is a farce.

    The end game will be the complete collapse and then we get to see what emerges… and it’s likely to be a very repressive neo feudal fascist state… we’re moving slowly to that and the name *boiling frogs* is spot on. I don’t see any good outcomes… despite all the incredible minds and creativity out there… the jerks have all the chips… all the aces… Thank dog I am old enough so I won’t have to suffer too much… but the children… we’ve given them a hell on earth to deal with.

    Does anyone see any solutions to this trajectory to hell?

  3. SanderO-

    The crises we face are enormous, and I believe the kind of solutions required to prevent a collapse would require the sort of vast social transformation which has been rendered nearly impossible by public school indoctrination and television/ video game programming. Still, figures like Chris Hedges managed to sue Obama over the NDAA, upon which an injunction was put in place against indefinite detention of US citizens. Although it may be nearly impossible to avoid catastrophe, I believe we need to try. There are probably many approaches one could take, however I believe a combination of informing oneself and others about what is going on while learning and implementing skills in self sufficiency (permaculture, rain harvesting, etc) will be vital in any sort of solution that could be implemented. Others will suggest forms of direct action, like amassing large groups and shutting down corporate or government centers. I would not argue against such a path, but simply add that producing your own food on your own or with others can also be a form of direct action. Such an action can become a model for removing support from industrial agriculture and it’s fossil fuel components, and can potentially foster independent, well informed, self supporting communities. It does not , however, address military adventurism and the violent clamp down on people across the world. Addressing that will require other strategies.

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