3 Oct 2014

A Tale From Post-Constitutional America - This Is What Happens if You Turn Your Back On Hilary Clinton

By Michael Krieger: Ray McGovern, the former C.I.A. analyst has been a vocal critic of the oligarch cesspool of fraud and deception that these United States has decayed into. I highlighted some of his criticisms a year ago in the post, Ray McGovern:Obama is Afraid of the C.I.A.”, in which he memorably stated:
I think he’s just afraid and he shouldn’t have run for president if he was going to be this much of a wuss
Well, Mr. McGovern is back in the news. This time it’s for daring to turn his back on your royal highness, Hilary Rodham Clinton, in an act of non-violent public protest. We learn from Bill Moyers that:

McGovern is a changed man. He started out in the Army, then he worked for the CIA from the Kennedy administration up through the first Bush presidency, preparing the president’s daily intel brief. He was a hell of a spy. McGovern began to see the evil of much of the government’s work, and has since become an outspoken critic of the intelligence world and an advocate for free speech. He speaks on behalf of people like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

Ray McGovern was put on the State Department’s diplomatic security BOLO listBe On the Look Outone of a series of proliferating government watch lists. What McGovern did to end up on diplomatic security’s dangerous persons list and how he got off the list are a tale of our era, post-constitutional America.

Offending the Queen
Ray’s offense was to turn his back on Hillary Clinton, literally.
In 2011, at George Washington University during a public event where Clinton was speaking, McGovern stood up and turned his back to the stage. He did not say a word, or otherwise disrupt anything. University cops grabbed McGovern in a headlock and by his arms, and dragged him out of the auditorium by force, their actions directed from the side by a man whose name is redacted from public records. Photos (above) of the then 71-year-old McGovern taken at the time of his arrest show the multiple bruises and contusions he suffered while being arrested. He was secured to a metal chair with two sets of handcuffs. McGovern was at first refused medical care for the bleeding caused by the handcuffs. It is easy to invoke the words thug, bully, goon.
The charges of disorderly conduct were dropped, McGovern was released and it was determined that he committed no crime.
But because he had spoken back to power, State’s diplomatic security printed up an actual wanted poster citing McGovern’s “considerable amount of political activism” and “significant notoriety in the national media.” Diplomatic security warned agents should USE CAUTION (their emphasis) when stopping McGovern and conducting the required “field interview.” The poster itself was classified as Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU), one of the multitude of pseudo-secret categories created following 9/11.
Violations of the First and Fourth Amendments by State
Subjects of BOLO alerts are considered potential threats to the secretary of state. Their whereabouts are typically tracked to see if they will be in proximity of the secretary. If Diplomatic security sees one of the subjects nearby, they detain and question them. Other government agencies and local police are always notified. The alert is a standing directive that the subject be stopped and seized in the absence of reasonable suspicion or probable cause that he is committing an offense. Stop him for being him. These directives slash across the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions against unwarranted search and seizure, as well as the First Amendment’s right to free speech, as the stops typically occur around protests.
You Don’t Mess with Ray
Ray McGovern is not the kind of guy to be stopped and frisked based on State Department’s retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights in post-constitutional America. He sued, and won.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund took up the case as pro bono on Ray’s behalf, suing the State Department. They first had to file a Freedom of Information Act demand to even get ahold of the internal State Department justifications for the BOLO, learning that despite all charges having been dropped against McGovern and despite having determined that he engaged in no criminal activity, the Department of State went on to open an investigation into McGovern, including his political beliefs, activities, statements and associations.
The investigative report noted “McGovern does seem to have the capacity to capture a national audience – it is possible his former career with the CIA has the potential to make him ‘attractive’ to the media.” It also cited McGovern’s “political activism, primarily anti-war.” The investigation ran nearly seven months, and resulted in the BOLO.
I guess Ray didn’t get the memo. As the Emperor Commodus explains in the movie Gladiator:

How dare you show your back to me slave!

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger


X art by WB7

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