In what could potentially be a very interesting event, Rep Peter Hoekstra (R-2nd Congressional District - Holland, MI) will face-off with Ray McGovern this week.
The event this Wednesday, May 10th at 7:00PM at the Wealthy Street Theater in Grand Rapids is part of the Community Media Center's Media and Democracy Series with the title "Iraq, Government Intelligence and the State of US Foreign Policy - A dialogue with former CIA officer Ray McGovern and 2nd Congressional Rep. Pete Hoekstra". The "dialog" is co-sponsored by the Fountain Street Church great lectures group and is and an event being promoted by the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID).
Continues with some more background...
As some of you might remember on March 2, 2006, Ray McGovern, who works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in Washington, DC and is on the Steering Group of an organization called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), and a number of other members of the intelligence community personally delivered a letter to Congressman Hoekstra.
In a UPI story that was buried:
"Pete Hoekstra was one of the few people in our government who would be able to stop this," said McGovern. But neither has he seen any action from Hoekstra in attempt to stop torture of prisoners at American hands, nor has he received any response from the return of his medal yet, he said.
"If you're going to have an intelligence apparatus that tells the president what he wants to hear, you might as well just abolish the whole thing," and let the State Department run intelligence operations, said McGovern. The point of the CIA was to be accountable, he said. "We're supposed to tell the truth."
McGovern's letter was accompanied his "Intelligence Commendation Award medallion" started:
Dear Congressman Hoekstra:
As a matter of conscience, I am returning the Intelligence Commendation Award medallion given me for "especially commendable service" during my 27-year career in CIA. The issue is torture, which inhabits the same category as rape and slavery - intrinsically evil. I do not wish to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture.
And he closed the letter with:
If German officials who were ordered to do such things in the 1930s had spoken out early and loudly enough, the German people might have been alerted to the atrocities being perpetrated in their name and tried harder to stop them. When my grandchildren ask, "What did you do, Grandpa, to stop the torture," I want to be able to tell them that I tried to honor my oath, taken both as an Army officer and an intelligence officer, to defend the Constitution of the United States - and that I not only spoke out strongly against the torture, but also sought a symbolic way to dissociate myself from it.
We Americans have become accustomed to letting our institutions do our sinning for us. I abhor the corruption of the CIA in the past several years, believe it to be beyond repair, and do not want my name on any medallion associated with it. Please destroy this one.
Members of Congressional committees and other independent oversight bodies have been seriously criticized for not doing their job in protecting the Constitution and our American citizenry from a series of troubling developments such as the NSA circumventing of US law, the purging of intelligence institutions, Rumsfled's expansion, control and misuse of Pentagon directed intelligence assets such as the use of the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, the DIA's take over and conduct of "no oversight" covert operations, just to name a few. These actions combined with corrupting influence of corporatism is creating an environment that some say are taking our nation from a Republic to tyranny.
Both Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), as chairman of the US House Select Committee on Intelligence or House Intelligence Committee, and Pat Roberts (R-KS), as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have been accused of assisting the White House by being complacent in the "fixing" of intelligence, the shifting of blame to the "world's intelligence community" and tabling the "Phase II" investigation into intelligence-to-policy failures as it related to the "cherry picking" of information by Douglas Feith in the Office of Special Plans (OSP) and the Near East and South Asia (NESA), John Bolton at the Department of State, and Andrew Card and Carl Rove's White House Iraq Group (WHIG) in the development of policy and a justification for the war in Iraq and the eventual deception of the American public and the world.
McGovern and a growing group of intelligence insiders are trickling out, and they are hot on the trail of truth concerning these matters, and they continue to raise concerns about plans to attack Iran, but the question is "Will Hoekstra once again peter out and chicken out?" We shall see. He's reneged before.
For more information on Ray McGovern see some of his essays here.