News Release

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Arrested While Trying to Attend David Petraeus Event


FireDogLake reports: “Former CIA analyst and activist Ray McGovern was arrested as he attempted to attend an event in New York City featuring former CIA director and retired military general, David Petraeus. He was charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

“At 92nd Street Y, which describes itself as a ‘world-class cultural and community center,’ Petraeus was to appear with John Nagl, who recently wrote a book, Knife Fights about being an army tank commander in the Gulf War of 1991. Neoconservative commentator Max Boot was to join them as well.

The piece, by Kevin Gosztola, continues: “Activists from World Can’t Wait, the Granny Peace Brigade, Brooklyn for Peace and a chapter of Veterans for Peace called on people to protest. Some tickets, which cost $45 each, were bought so people could attend the event and potentially participate in a question and answer portion of the event.

“World Can’t Wait activist Stephanie Rugoff said a guard stopped McGovern. ‘Ray, you’re not going in,’ the guard said.

“McGovern, who is 74 years old, told the guards something to the effect that the Bill of Rights gave him the right to go into the event. McGovern had a ticket too. But the guards would not let him pass and soon New York police officers surrounded him.

“Richard Marini, also an activist with World Can’t Wait, approached the entrance to the 92nd Street Y Center and saw McGovern…being apprehended.

“According to Marini, his arms were twisted tightly behind his back and he was in immense pain while they were dragging him to the police car. He was squeezed into the back of a patrol car and taken to the 67th Street station.

“Rugoff heard him screaming. He was shouting about how they were hurting his shoulder. He asked the officers to stop twisting it so they did not aggravate his shoulder and possibly re-injure it.

“‘I had a ticket as well,’ Marini explained. ‘They recognized me as well and called me by my name, my first name. They seemed to know who people were.'”

RAY McGOVERN, rrmcgovern at, @raymcgovern
McGovern is a former CIA analyst whose responsibilities included chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He was released from custody today.

DEBRA SWEET, debrasweet at, @DSweetWCW
Sweet is director of World Can’t Wait and organized the protest outside the Petraeus event.

DAVID SWANSON, davidcnswanson at, @davidcnswanson
Author of When the World Outlawed War, War Is A Lie and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, Swanson said today: “Like sex for virginity, war for freedom turns out to have a fatal flaw. With each new war for freedom, we see more of our freedoms stripped away in the name of the war — above all our right to assemble and speak nonviolently against war and to petition those in power for a redress of grievances. As the weaponry makes its way to the local police and school boards, the abuses first imposed on foreigners make their way to the population supposedly being defended. When Ray McGovern was assaulted last time, by Hillary Clinton’s guards, he wasn’t even speaking but just silently turning his back.”

See: “Clinton Talks Freedom as Dissident Bloodied and Dragged Off.”