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Ray McGovern Refusing To ‘Yield the Deck’ on Torture

Dec. 15, 2014 (EIRNS)—Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has been active following the release of the Senate "Torture Report," appearing Dec. 11 on China’s CCTV, and on Russia’s RT both Dec. 11 and 12. On CCTV’s "The Heat," he got into an "Irish" (heated argument) with guest former Rep. Peter Hoekstra—who headed the House Intelligence (CIA oversight) Committee 2004-2007. Surprisingly, the host just let them run for almost a minute at the end of a segment, Hoekstra defining himself as a continued defender of torture in the process. McGovern insisted on using the word "torture," instead of the Cheney-CIA-approved "enhanced interrogation techniques."

McGovern: "You were lied to and you’re ashamed to admit that you were lied to."

Hoekstra: "I’m not ashamed that I was lied to. I’m admitting that these programs were briefed to us. I’ve talked to my staff going back and said after this ’revelation’ came out... how much of what is in this Dianne Feinstein report, this partisan report, this Democrat report, how much did we know? 90-95%."

McGovern: "Oh, my God! What a terrible admission! Aren’t you ashamed?"

Hoekstra: "No, I’m not ashamed."

McGovern: "My God!"

Hoekstra: "I reached a different conclusion as did many of your colleagues at the CIA...."

McGovern: "These are not my colleagues! These are thugs hired by Dick Cheney!"

Hoekstra: "These are people you walked away from. These are heroes for America..."

McGovern: "These are thugs headed by Dick Cheney!"

Hoekstra: "...who are protecting America."

McGovern was also on RT on Dec. 11, on the roundtable discussion "Crosstalk" on torture with Amy Goodman and (torture defender) Fred Fleitz of Brookings. The folowing evening, he was on "Conversations with Great Minds," with host Thom Hartman. McGovern developed the idea of torture as an "intrinsic evil," which he expanded on in his blog on yesterday. "One can no more ’authorize’ torture than rape or slavery. Torture inhabits that same moral category, which ethicists label intrinsic evil, always wrong—whether it ’works’ or not.

"In other words, torture is not wrong because there are U.S. laws and a UN Convention prohibiting it. It’s the other way around. The legal prohibitions were put in place because it is—or used to be, at least—widely recognized that humans simply must not do such things to other humans. For instance, after World War II, Japanese commanders were tried for war crimes because they used waterboarding on captured U.S. soldiers."