Robert Scheer SI Podcast Ukraine

CIA Vets McGovern & Kiriakou: It’s Scoundrel Time Back in the USA

Critics of the West’s role in the Ukraine war, such as CIA veterans Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou, are being ostracized from the American media landscape.
CIA veteran Ray McGovern.
CIA veteran Ray McGovern. [Robert Shetterly/Americans Who Tell The Truth]

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Scoundrel Time,” Lillian Hellman’s book about her experiences during the Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt, is one of the books “Scheer Intelligence” host Robert Scheer thinks best describes the current political climate in the U.S. Scheer has spotlighted various dissenting Western voices on the Ukraine war, none of which support Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the European nation but merely question the West’s role in the conflict. CIA veterans Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou, who join Scheer on this week’s episode, are two such voices who have been maligned for their opinions on the subject. 

Each guest has extensive credentials and experience relating to the topic, and though their opinions vary from one another and from Scheer, the conversation explores crucial topics at a dangerous time in global politics. McGovern worked as CIA analyst for nearly three decades, preparing The President’s Daily Brief for three U.S. presidents. He’s also one of the founders of the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), and has been on “Scheer Intelligence” recently to discuss the roots of the Ukraine war. John Kiriakou, the former CIA analyst who served prison time in relation to blowing the whistle on CIA torture, has come under extensive criticism for his work for the Russian media platform Sputnik News. Kiriakou has repeatedly condemned the Ukraine war on the airwaves, and yet has been called on to resign—this despite the fact that the channel is nearly inaccessible at this point in the West.  

On the most recent installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” the three spar about how the Ukrainian conflict is being covered in the U.S., where this war is heading, and what the conflict means for U.S.-China relations, as well as the potential for nuclear war. Listen to the full discussion between McGovern, Kiriakou and Scheer as they expertly pick apart many myths that are being dangerously propagated about Ukraine, Russia, and the West. 



Robert Scheer


Joshua Scheer

Automated Transcript:

Robert Scheer (00:00):
Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence. It’s funny, I got the name of this show, I said, “It’s sort of the poor man’s Central Intelligence Agency.” I was using Scheer Intelligence to see my own little check. And in fact, I began journalistic life at Ramparts magazine before I went to work in the establishment, LA Times, doing stories, criticizing the CIA, criticizing the intelligence agencies. And today we’re going to have a show with two people who spent the better part of their productive lives at the CIA. One is Ray McGovern. He joined, well, just about when I went to work for Ramparts, you went to work for the CIA. So we were on-

Ray McGovern (00:52):
That’s great.

Robert Scheer (00:52):
… the opposite side. You stayed there until 1990, that’s 27 years with the CIA. You were not a whistleblower. You, in fact, worked under the Bush administration. You were the CIA person preparing the National Intelligence estimates and you prepared the president’s daily brief. You received the Intelligence Commendation Medal when you retired, which you returned in 2006 to protest the CIA’s involvement in torture. Which brings up our other guest, John Kiriakou, who exposed that torture program, refused to participate in, was actually involved in the capture of then the highest ranking alleged Al-Qaeda suspect. The man who is still in Guantanamo and in prison, but has not had a day in court. You refused to be trained in torture. You didn’t believe in it. Of course, as we know, from the US Senate Torture Report, the part that’s been released … the basic report has not been released. But in a heavily redacted version of the introduction we find that torture never produced any actionable intelligence.

Ray McGovern (02:16):
That’s right.

Robert Scheer (02:16):
But nonetheless, here you have Ray McGovern who gave back his Intelligence Commendation Medal in response really to the revelations that came from you. What I want to do, you are two guys who tried to serve your country, did so, were honored for that … you, John, and promoted after the capture of what was supposed to be the highest known captured Al-Qaeda member. What happened was that you have run into a really … I don’t know, I think of Lillian Hellman when she wrote about the McCarthy period. She had a book called Scoundrel Time. And really, you’re in a period now where you guys are in danger of being considered fake news, making up news. You’re going to be made non-person. In fact, just doing this discussion with you, and I’ve interviewed you both before, the whole program could be dismissed as fake news. We haven’t lived in a time like this where suddenly people who really know a great deal and are speaking honestly … in John Kiriakou’s case, he served two years in jail for having revealed aspects of the torture program. But the fact of the matter is, you’re being made into non-persons. In fact, you now can only get a forum if you go on something … well, we don’t have RT anymore.

Robert Scheer (03:54):
We had Sputnik, or you go on some smaller shows, an anti-war or libertarian website, some few left on the left and so forth. So let me just bring that up. How did two highly regarded CIA people get to be so disreputable in the eyes of mass media?

Ray McGovern (04:17):
John, I think you’re more disreputable than I. Why don’t you go first?

John Kiriakou (04:26):
But you’ve been arrested more times than I have.

Robert Scheer (04:31):
It’ll help if you guys identify because your voices, even though I know you don’t … I know Ray comes from the Bronx where I’m from. John, you come more from around I guess Virginia, right?

John Kiriakou (04:43):
No, from Pittsburgh.

Robert Scheer (04:44):
Oh, Pittsburgh. Okay. Well, that’s close enough.

Ray McGovern (04:46):
Yeah, he talks funny.

Robert Scheer (04:48):
When you speak and you’ll both know each other … and I forget the name of the organization, Veteran-

Ray McGovern (04:56):

John Kiriakou (04:57):
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Robert Scheer (04:58):
For Sanity. Anyway, use your first name when you speak, okay?

John Kiriakou (05:04):
Sure. I’m John Kiriakou or I’m John, I’ll use my first name. Yeah. I think Ray would probably agree with me that this war between Russia and Ukraine has put many of us in an awkward position. Not just many of us formerly in the intelligence services, but many of us on the political left. Because if you say anything right now that’s not directly in the mainstream, you are dismissed. You’re dismissed as an apologist for the Russians, as pro-Putin, as someone who hates America or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You really can’t have an alternative view and if you do, if you publish that view, you’re easily banned from Facebook, from Twitter, from any number of different platforms. It’s as though, if you have anything to do now with the media, including the progressive media, you have to toe the line on this war or you’re silenced.

Robert Scheer (06:17):
Well, that’s a pretty ominous situation to be in. As I say, as someone who spoke out and wrote critically about the Vietnam War and continued to do that sort of thing, I personally have never been in a period as intimidating as this one, and the use of this notion of disinformation or fake news to totally disparage anyone who may disagree with you. We don’t even seem to have any visible peace movement cautioning about sending in all these arms into Ukraine, whatever you think about it. I gather from you, John, you condemn the Russian invasion clearly, right?

John Kiriakou (07:01):
In fact, despite the fact that I work for the Russians … I have a daily radio show for two hours on Sputnik Radio, which is a Russian government-funded radio network. I said on the very first day of the invasion, that I unreservedly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, because I believe that all wars are wrong. They’re violations of international law. That’s not to say that I don’t understand the Russian reasoning for crossing the border. I understand that the Russians objected to the US-sponsored coup in 2014, that the Russians believed that ethnic Russians in Ukraine were being discriminated against, et cetera. But I’m still viewed as a Russian apologist, even though I’ve made clear my personal position. It’s funny, somebody said to me the other day, “Well, if you were really against the war, you would resign.” I said, “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say, but are you going to pay my bills? Are you going to put my kids through college?”

Robert Scheer (08:12):
Well, you should mention by the way that this is not a minor matter with you, because you lost your pension speaking honestly about torture. We talk about war crimes in the Ukraine. I mean, clearly the US policy of systematic torture in black sites all over the world is one of the great crimes of modern history. And you suffered, you lost your CIA pension, your inability, you can’t get on these other shows. In fact, your work at Sputnik is kind of a Potemkin radio program. Meaning, it doesn’t really exist since-

John Kiriakou (08:54):
That’s right.

Robert Scheer (08:55):
… no one in this country, I mean, hardly anyone in this country can hear Sputnik.

John Kiriakou (08:59):
Yeah. That’s a good point. That’s a good point, Bob, that I actually wouldn’t have thought to bring up myself. Before the war you could listen to my show pretty much anywhere. We were on YouTube every day. We were on Spreaker, Spotify, iTunes, iHeartRadio, TuneIn. We had 35 to 38,000 downloads a day. So that’s a pretty healthy daily audience, 35 to 38,000. We’ve been stricken from every one of those platforms. And now the only way you can listen to our show is on the Sputnik news website or on a 1,000 watt terrestrial radio station in Washington, DC, that you can barely pick up if you just cross the street. We’re down to about 500 listeners a day. So you’re right, it’s a Potemkin village kind of radio station, in that almost nobody listens to it.

Robert Scheer (10:06):
Yeah, and that’s not totally a matter of choice. They can’t get the signal. I want to bring in Ray McGovern because as opposed to John, at least you kept your pension and you were honored. You actually worked with Henry Kissinger when Nixon was president. John did also work with … you worked with John Kerry, the senator.

John Kiriakou (10:29):
Yeah. Yeah, I did.

Robert Scheer (10:30):
And you worked on the Hill and so forth. But Ray McGovern, you became an advocate for peace. Let’s face it. You now are … I’ve interviewed people for this show who don’t talk to you, who are in the CIA and have written you threatening emails and so forth. And whatever happened to Ray McGovern? So tell us, how did you become such a dangerous figure? You seem like a nice old guy. What happened here? You’re taking a lot of gold from Putin, is that what’s going on? What’s happening?

Ray McGovern (11:13):
I wish. No. A mention was made a little earlier to Scoundrel Time. When I entered the CIA, there were scoundrels around but most of them existed in the operations part where they tried to assassinate Castro and did assassinate some other folks. We were kept hermetically sealed away from those guys. But as time went by and Bill Casey came in under Reagan as CIA director, and as he chose Bobby Gates … who said all the right things about the Russians and how the Russians would never give up power, the Communist Party, they recruited people in managerial positions who were scoundrels, who wanted to get promoted. They were in power at the first experience I had, that I lived through. It wasn’t Afghanistan. It wasn’t Ukraine. It was Iraq. And that turned me because I saw my former colleagues deliberately falsifying, making up, manufacturing evidence to justify a war. Now, it doesn’t get any worse than that, okay? Not only from a professional point of view but from an ethical point of view. So that was the first time. Now, were we given any play in the media? Well, I’ll tell you, when Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity was founded, and that was January 2003, we wrote a memo to the president, President Bush.

Ray McGovern (12:53):
We chose to assume that he didn’t know what’s going on. But we told him the same day as Colin Powell spoke that it was drivel, that it was all made up. And that if he didn’t widen the circle of his advisors beyond those clearly bent on a war, it would be a catastrophe. Now, we take no pleasure in the fact that we were right on that. But that was the monstrous thing of the first, quote, war of choice and it was quote, justified, end quote, by evidence that later the Senate committee said was made up, was uncorroborated and was … what was the last word? What was it? It was made up, that was the word. So that was the first. Now, we weren’t given much play after our initial thing. Our initial thing went out on the AFP wire, and that’s why we got some play. Since then we’ve been pretty much shunned, not only on that but on Afghanistan. We wrote a memo to President Obama saying, welcome to Vietnam, Mr. Obama. You’re letting these generals and these sycophants like Bobby Gates run roughshod over you and you’re making some really bad decisions on Afghanistan.

Ray McGovern (14:14):
We told him that. He didn’t understand. When Hillary Clinton came to George Washington University and I wangled the ticket from my friend Larry Wilkerson, I simply stood up and turned my back to her. Because I couldn’t let everyone there think that she was the darling that was going to be president. She was the cat’s pajamas, as we should say in the Bronx. So it became pretty corrupt. When you talk about scoundrel time in Washington, it began under Bobby Gates and Bill Casey. But progressively these people projected or promoted into positions of influence and power were worse and worse. And that’s why we have now on Ukraine a situation where I don’t know who’s in charge. Biden is certainly not in charge. What kind of information he’s getting from his CIA director or from the National Intelligence director, I don’t know. They seem a little bit more sane than the rest of them, but that’s damning with faint praise.

Robert Scheer (15:15):

Well, I do want to get to a point here, when you guys joined the CIA … and when you were working with Kissinger. You were still in the CIA then, Kissinger and Nixon went to China and they negotiated peace and the end really of negative relations with China, and admission of China back into the UN and diplomatic relations. China is still a communist country, so is Vietnam. But we get along quite well with them, particularly, we like Vietnam even more than China. No one ever said that Kissinger was a Mao Zedong agent. They were getting along with the most ruthless communist leaders. The same thing was true of negotiation of arms control with Brezhnev, with Khrushchev, with the Soviet communist leadership. The irony in this situation is that we have red-baiting now with Russia and Putin without a red. We’ve got an image of Putin … No. Well, I mean, because when we said a red, there were communist parties and they had some ideology and they had some clarity about what they were doing. There was a lot of argument about whether you could ever negotiate with these folks.

Robert Scheer (16:40):
And some of our most ruthless cold warriors, Richard Nixon, of course right there, negotiated peace with them. Now we’re in a position where to say, “We should be negotiating with the Ukrainians, with Putin,” and so forth, that’s heresy now. There is no peace movement. There was a peace movement saying we could have arms control and get along and negotiate with Mao Zedong, even with Joseph Stalin at one point. But now to suggest that maybe just throwing arms in and risking nuclear war, you advocate that, my God, you’re the worst kind of traitor.

Ray McGovern (17:25):
That’s right.

Robert Scheer (17:25):
How did we get to this point? And it really goes to this word intelligence. We did figure out in the worst days of the CIA that you could actually negotiate with these folks, that there might be a common stake in arms control and limiting war and so forth. That’s gone out the window now. The image now of Putin and Russia, this is, they have no validity in any of their demands, of any of their concerns, and they just are evil incarnate. And that is, I would suggest, a very dangerous moment.

Ray McGovern (18:05):
Well, let me comment on that because my proudest moment working in the analysis-

Robert Scheer (18:11):
This is Ray. Yeah, go ahead.

Ray McGovern (18:13):
Yeah. I’m sorry. This is Ray McGovern. I was chief of the Soviet foreign policy branch back in the ’70s. My proudest moment was proving with my analysts, of course, that the Soviets and the Chinese were at each other’s throats. They were likely to come to blows, which they did in 1969. And that, if you were Kissinger and Nixon, if you were smart enough, you could exploit this hostility. That’s what they chose to do. One of my nice memorabilia is a nice note I got back from Kissinger saying, you got it right. We’re going to do this. They went to China, and there were really impediments to movement toward strategic arms negotiations with Moscow. They disappeared. And before you knew it, we had an agreement in Moscow in May 1972 called the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which formed the foundation of strategic stability for the next 30 years, count them, three decades until the junior Bush get out of there. So our input, our analysis said, look, you can take advantage of this, was key. This was one of the things we could do and were able to do back in the day. How about now? Well, I find myself in the same position looking at Russian/Chinese relations.

Ray McGovern (19:44):
I see there’s been another tectonic shift. Tectonic I use advisedly. China and Russia are together now. I don’t think Putin would have risked doing what he did in Ukraine, were he not to have full backing from Xi Jinping, the president of China. That changes the world, folks. Putin is not going to lose in Ukraine and NATO is going to keep stoking the fires until we all wear out, until we’re all dead. So this is really important because when we talk about China and when we talk about Ukraine, all these things are interrelated. And the numskulls that are heading up the State Department and the National Security Council don’t seem to have it in their heads that China and Russia are together. As a matter of fact … and this is the last thing I’ll say on this, on June 16th of last year when Biden met with Putin in Geneva, the only thing we know about how that went is when Biden’s trying to get on the plane. They said, “Come on, Joe. Get on.” “No.” “Joe.” “No, no. I want to say some more to the press.” “Okay. What do you want to say?”

Ray McGovern (20:53):
“Well, I told … this is not appropriate, to say exactly what I told Putin, but he’s got a real problem. China is squeezing Russia. China has a long border. They’re aspiring not only to be the biggest economic power or military … Oh, Putin has a real problem with China.” Now, I don’t know who told Biden to tell Putin that. But I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Putin turned around to his advisors and said, “This guy doesn’t get it. Let’s spend the rest of the year showing how close we are.”

Robert Scheer (21:30):
Yeah. And whatever the tensions between China and Russia … and this is really something the mass media seems to have missed. I don’t quite get it, but NATO is now an alliance in a new Cold War that will and could extend certainly to China, but maybe to India. We don’t know. I mean, the whole idea that there’s a zone of security basically built on Europe, with the US really calling the shots, it represents the development of a unipolar world again. I mean, which we thought we had after the end of the Cold War. What are you basically saying? You’re saying to these other folks, if you want to have security, you better tighten some other alliances.

Ray McGovern (22:20):
What I’m saying, Bob, is not a unipolar. That was what we had after World War II and pretty much after the Soviet Union fell apart. Right now it’s a bipolar world, okay? Bipolar in the psychiatric sense as well as in the political sense. No, really. We have the lily-white West against people of color who happen to represent the majority of people in this world. We have China, we have India. We have South Africa. We’ve got Brazil and we’ve got … well, we’ve blackened the Russians so much that they’re people of color now. And there are more of them than there are of us. It’s a no-win situation for us lily-white people from the West to think that we can predominate, that we think there can be a unipolar world again. It’s bipolar and the cards are stacked against us, as I’ve just tried to explain.

Robert Scheer (23:22):
Yeah. No, it’s interesting. You mentioned about how we think of Russia and obviously, it’s a basically white population. However, the anti-Slavic current … after all, Hitler played on the anti-Slavic as well, along with antisemitism, was a lesser people. And that doesn’t sit well but that keeps coming up. Somehow the Russian troops, whatever you think about … obviously, I personally am very opposed to any military invasion. I don’t believe in war, I believe in peace. But nonetheless, Russian conscripts are now presented as savage whereas Ukrainian troops are enlightened. There is an echo of that. But what I think should be pointed out here, is that we are acting as if all the options are with NATO. And there’s something weird about a military alliance replacing basically the UN as the center of peacekeeping. Is it not the case, John? You haven’t talked much.

John Kiriakou (24:38):
Yeah, I think that-

Robert Scheer (24:41):
Let me just say something before, as I introduce you, John. One of the things that we have is this Orwellian phenomena of the love of having an enemy. You devoted much of your life to what was supposed to be the enemy that replaced communism, which was the terrorist. Muslim terrorism, right? You were out there catching these Muslim terrorists and so forth. Now we’ve gone back to what? We don’t have quite the communist. It’s just all Russia. Russia is not that powerful economically that it’s going to be able … so you have to then latch on to China or something. But take it from there.

John Kiriakou (25:20):
Yeah. I think you’re both raising very important points here. It’s something that I saw beginning … many years ago when I was still at the CIA. I’ve been gone now for, wow, 17 years? A little bit more than 17 years. But even back in the early 2000s, when we had an opportunity to establish really a new kind of relationship with Russia. Where it would have been actually quite easy to cooperate on a very deep level on issues like counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, counter-proliferation. We both had a terrible time in Afghanistan. Afghanistan produces 93% of the world’s heroin and most of that heroin goes to Russia and to Iran. We could have really worked together to make the world a better place. Not even mentioning the fact that Russia is a Christian country. It wanted at the time to open to the West for its own economic development. We were willing, I guess, to discuss these issues on a limited basis, if we could bring the Russians in as a junior partner, as a mentee to be Westernized. They valued their independence. They weren’t interested. We know now, as another example, that both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin talked to American presidents about joining NATO, and they got the cold shoulder. We didn’t want them in NATO.

John Kiriakou (27:07):
Well, in my own view, NATO is irrelevant at this point. There was no reason not to bring the Russians in. At the very least it would have been good for peace and good for economic development. Your other point, Bob, I think is right on, we always seem to need an ism in this country to rally against, whether it was anarchism or socialism or for a very long time communism. It was fascism for a little while during the Second World War. Then it was Islamism. It’s like, we just can’t seem to function unless we have an enemy.

Robert Scheer (27:47):
Well, I think there’s a big issue here and in what remains of our time we should consider. That’s the whole idea of an American Rome, taking this notion of American hegemony. NATO seen in that light becomes a very important instrument of power. The combination of the US and NATO is really saying to the rest of the world, our way or the highway. It’s very clear, the talk now is going after China. And what is really at issue … because we have claimed all along, going back to the founders, that we really believed in trade and your economic output and your ability, and a notion of capitalism, even when it was a very primitive capitalism. The big shock of modern history is that the most effective capitalists turned out to people who also called themselves communists, is one of the most bizarre twists in human history. It turns out, we don’t really welcome the Chinese Communists as capitalists, even though they carried us right through the pandemic and everything else. So you have this weird mixture of a political militaristic operation like NATO, and all this talk about what ideal life of freedom and democracy you’re bringing to the world. But your real goal is to hobble another economic system, but it has the same characteristics of a marketplace, China.

Robert Scheer (29:29):
The odd thing is, you’re backing into forming this alliance between an underpopulated Russia, rich in resources, an overpopulated China, poor in those very same resources. You’re creating a real monster in reality, an economic one. And that really to my mind is what NATO is all about now. It’s a political, economic, militarist alternative to hold some notion of global power.

Ray McGovern (30:03):
Well, Bob … this is Ray McGovern again. There’s a very important stratum of society that’s profiting by all this, profiteering I should say. Cui bono? Well, what Eisenhower warned about 60 years ago, the military industrial complex. I mean, Raytheon, if I were CEO of Raytheon or Lockheed, I’m making money hand over fist. Yet, you have to have an enemy, whether it’s an ism or whether it’s a country. Now, the country of choice happens to be Russia right now. It’s going to be China. Our strategic documents out of the Pentagon say that expressly, that is, China is enemy number one. Russia doesn’t even make it in the top five. We couldn’t believe it. But we have done Russia, Russia, Russia gate for five years. We’ve conditioned the American people to believe that Putin is Hitler incarnate. And that’s what’s enabling our current government to play on this fear of Russia, to make sure that there’s no agreement to stop slaughtering all those Ukrainians that are being used as cannon fodder. We could stop that war, Biden could stop it next week if he wanted to. But no, the military, industrial, congressional, intelligence, media, academia, think tank complex … which is what the MIC, Eisenhower spoke of, has turned into, we’ll prevent that. When I say media right in the middle of all that [Mickey mat 00:31:42], I mean, the media is controlled by the rest of the Mickey mat.

Ray McGovern (31:42):
It is the cornerstone and that’s why they are beating the drums for war. The naive sophomores that are working for Biden don’t seem to realize what nuclear war would amount to, and that’s the real danger here. We can see that in the testimony of the top intelligence leaders who say, “Oh, we don’t want a nuclear war. Putin might resort to nuclear weapons if his back is up against the wall.” Conclusion, Putin’s backed up against the wall. That policy conclusion is crazy and it makes me very worried.

Robert Scheer (32:30):
Well, we’re going to wrap this up. But I want to ask you guys … you’re both former CIA people. In reality, even when you got to prison for having criticized the torture programmers, John did, you’re always going to be CIA people in the eyes of the CIA. Meaning that you can’t write something about anything they’ve done, without getting it cleared at the CIA. You’re always under … Why don’t we just talk about that a little bit? Because one of the things that I remember as a journalist, I would always run into intelligent people from the CIA. They had everything figured out except they would say, “Oh, but the president doesn’t listen to me,” or something. What’s interesting now is that we aren’t having too many people speak up. Most of the people you see on television who are former CIA or former military people, they’re supporting the war. They’re supporting things and you guys are left as these odd balls. Why are there so few of you, and did you have to get cleared for your remarks on this show today? Can you speak your mind? How does it work?

John Kiriakou (33:53):
If you don’t mind if I start, Ray?

Ray McGovern (33:56):
Sure. Go ahead.

John Kiriakou (33:58):
I’m proud to say that I just finished my eighth book and I submitted it to the CIA for clearance. For whatever reason, they sent me an email and said they needed extra time because a sister agency wanted to take a look at it. I knew that was nonsense. So I objected and I said, I didn’t sign a secrecy agreement with any sister agency. I did what I was supposed to do by submitting it to the CIA. Then much to my surprise they called me on the phone, which they never do. Because they like everything to be in writing so they can use it against you later. They called me and I said, “Listen, I don’t care that the FBI thinks they get a chop on my book. The FBI doesn’t get a chop on my book.” The CIA officer told me, “Well, it’s not the FBI, it’s NSA.” I said, “Well, what’s NSA care about what I write about surveillance and surveillance detection?” “Well, I don’t know,” he said. “We just need two weeks.” Well, they took five weeks. And then when I got the book back, of course, I had missed my publisher’s deadline and they had redacted six pages. So I wrote back and I said, you redacted six pages and you say that it’s classified. I want you to know that I got the information off of your website. I’ve got this information 10 years ago.

John Kiriakou (35:33):
Well, you can appeal. You have to print the information from our website and send it back to us and you can appeal it, but we’re going to need another 90 days. So I called the publisher and I said, “Look, they’re doing this on purpose. I don’t know why. I must have angered them somehow. What do you want to do?” He said, “You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to publish it with the pages blacked out. On the cover of the book we’re going to put a starburst and we’re going to say, the book the CIA doesn’t want you to read.” I said, “Okay, let’s play their own game.” Now with that said, I’m pretty good at sending everything that I write for clearance to the CIA. But there are some things that I think the CIA shouldn’t have a vote on whether or not I get to publish. So there are some things that I feel strongly about that I don’t bother to send. Once they sent me a nasty letter and I had my attorney write them a nasty letter back, and they dropped it. Otherwise, for something like this or an interview that I gave earlier today to a Middle Eastern television outlet, I do not get cleared.

John Kiriakou (36:50):
Because my argument is, I don’t know what you’re going to ask me. I don’t know in what direction the conversation is going to flow, so there’s nothing I can submit for clearance.

Robert Scheer (37:02):
Well, let me ask a basic question, because this is the question that is always raised about any totalitarian country. Certainly the question Orwell was dealing with in 1984 is … how many people right now in Russia, we know there have to be people who are afraid of Putin’s power and they hold their silence. They don’t say what they know and so forth. Obviously, we know that. We certainly know that’s true in Communist China. There’s a top-down control, power in the Communist Party and so forth. But I’ve always been mystified by the large number of intelligent people in a relatively free society … we can debate about how free we are. Certainly in war time we’re not very free and you’ve gone to jail for your views, John Kiriakou. But still I always wonder, how many of your colleagues back in the CIA, then and now, know a different story than the American people are told? For example, we spent all those years fighting international communism, and yet anybody with half a brain who’d read anything knew that there weren’t two communist governments in the world that were really getting along well. The Sino-Soviet dispute was a reality and what have you?

Robert Scheer (38:29):
So I would just ask you right now … even though you are the two odd men out now, or very few people are saying what you’re saying. And maybe my career here at NPR will be at an end because I dare to have you on. I don’t know, or I’m wildly exaggerating. But nonetheless, how many folks … and what scares me about the current moment is that there seem to be very few people in the CIA, the Pentagon, certainly in the State Department, who are questioning. That they all seem to be giddy, drunk really on a notion of an American innocence, that we finally are on the right side. This is all about human freedom. There’s no other way to do it. Do you get the feeling that we’ve had some kind of almost religious conversion?

Ray McGovern (39:28):
Well, Bob, this is Ray McGovern, let me speak to that. In all seriousness, I have to confess to being profoundly saddened. I would even say, scandalized. These are my friends. These are my colleagues. Some of them I trained in analytic techniques. What’s happened? They must know better. So I don’t know how to judge them, but I have to come to grips with the reality. People my age should know better. People trained analytically should know better. There’s a lot of self-censorship. There’s a lot of mob psychology where, our agency couldn’t have tortured so many people. Well, they did, for God’s sake and it’s public knowledge. So in answer to your question, it’s really, really hard for me to deal with the fact that I don’t get to talk to too many of my former colleagues because they’re afraid that the conversations will be monitored. This goes way back to when I first retired. I’d like to just say a word about my dealings with classified information and permission, so to speak, from the agency to publish. I served, as you know, as briefer to the president of the United States. I am very, very careful not to reveal anything of any substance having to do with those briefings. That is sacrosanct and I would never violate that trust. Now, I don’t write books. I’m a journalist, okay?

Ray McGovern (41:06):
I learned at the feet of Bob Perry after I retired and I was a current intelligence journalist with access to all kinds of sensitive information when I was working with the CIA. So being a journalist, you don’t really have time to check things out. You just have to be careful not to reveal any secrets that really would risk sources and methods. So that’s how I conduct myself, it’s okay. They only send me maybe two warning letters a year. I just ignore them because they don’t have a leg to stand on. That little contract I signed that said, I won’t reveal any information that is prejudicial to the national security, is just the contract. It’s not the Constitution. I took a solemn oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That is the First Amendment and that trumps things when things hit the fan and things are serious, like what we have now in Ukraine. Again, you don’t need to reveal sensitive information. One last thing here, when Bill Casey came in under Ronald Reagan, he said at his first cabinet meeting, among other things he said, “I can’t believe it. I come in here and I find out my analysts of the Soviet Union are using 80% public sources, newspapers, books to analyze what’s going on. They should be using spies.”

Ray McGovern (42:39):
Well, give me a break. That’s the way it always was. And with the immediate availability of information now, it’s 90%. So can McGovern figure stuff out without having satellite photography or intercepted messages poured into his inbox? Normally I can, and my record speaks for itself.

Robert Scheer (43:02):
John, you want to get the last word in here?

John Kiriakou (43:06):
Ray is absolutely correct here. On our first day at the CIA, we put our right hands up in the air and we swore to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Both Ray and I took that very seriously. I want to protect secrets just like anybody else does, but the Constitution is more important. But let me comment just for one second, Bob, on your earlier point or the beginning of this question. Like Ray, these people were my friends, my colleagues. We went through a lot together. I trusted their intellect. These really are some of the best and brightest in the country. I’m still in touch with many of them. I’m shocked and saddened that they believe all of the CNN and MSNBC propaganda that people from the Democratic National Committee are spouting. I just don’t understand why it’s hard, impossible, to really analyze these situations. There’s a hatred of Russia in government that I just simply don’t understand.

John Kiriakou (44:29):
I mean, going back 10 years, I remember 10 years ago my ex-wife who I was married to at the time, told me that we had not faced an enemy in generations as strong and as evil as Russia. I said, “Are you insane?”

Robert Scheer (44:49):
This is your ex-wife, who was in the CIA.

John Kiriakou (44:51):
Who was in the CIA. I said, “What are you talking, to the DNC?” But they really believe this stuff and I just don’t understand why.

Robert Scheer (45:03):
Go ahead, take it, Ray. Go ahead.

Ray McGovern (45:04):
Yeah. I just want to comment on that. John, you’re absolutely right. I talk about the Trump derangement syndrome. Now, my wife always warns me whenever I’m interviewed, always tell the audience what you think of Trump. I think Trump was the very worst president the United States ever had, and that’s saying something, okay?

John Kiriakou (45:26):

Ray McGovern (45:26):
But that doesn’t mean he is wrong about everything. And what he was right about is that the security services in our government, including our alma mater, did everything they could to prevent him from becoming president. That was the interference in the 2016 election. Then when he was elected president, they demonstrably did everything they could to emasculate him and make it impossible for him to succeed, specifically in working out a decent relationship with Russia. So when you’re subjected, as everyone in this country has been, to five years of Russia, Russia, Russia … and when worst of all you blame Russia for four years of Trump, my god, what worse could you accuse anyone of? So that I think is the cumulative effect where now they’re prepared to believe that the Russians eat babies alive, especially in Ukraine.

Robert Scheer (46:24):
Well, I keep threatening to wrap this up, but I do think it’s a fascinating moment. Because obviously, I’m very clear on this, I’m opposed to any kind of preventive war, any kind of war of choice. And then the people who get killed are almost always innocent people. That was true with the carpet bombing of Vietnam. It was true of extending the Korean War and getting the Chinese involved. I mean, it’s always the case that war takes control of reason. And what is making people giddy now is … I remember talking to Zbigniew Brzezinski about all this. We wanted to give the Russians their Vietnam and Afghanistan. Now we think we’ve actually done it, only it’s different Russians. They’re not the communists anymore, but we have this idea that we finally have the good war. But on the other hand, Vietnam started as the good war. We were saving people who were going to be persecuted by North Vietnamese Communists. They were going to be prevented from praying to their God. It was assumed most of them were Catholic. It was only 10%. Everybody forgets that when we went into Vietnam, we thought we were on the side of the angels, protecting people. What happens is that war has a way of hurting everyone and making monsters of everyone, and innocent people get killed by both sides.

Robert Scheer (48:13):
I keep using this word giddy, and I want to end this by just having a last … I might as well go to the 50-minute mark. I want to end it by just a last word of caution about nuclear war, which Ray McGovern brought up. Back when you were briefing presidents of the United States, Ray McGovern, there was an awareness that nuclear war is different. It’s different. It’s the end of all humanity on this planet. Now you almost don’t hear that. I’m going to let you end this show, both of you, with just a short response. But really, what happened to our fear of nuclear war? I mean, it’s real there now, particularly if your whole policy is to humiliate Putin and have a regime change. Why do we think this enemy that we’re describing as worse than Hitler would not use these weapons?

Ray McGovern (49:10):
Well, let me simply say it this way, nuclear usage is when it stops being giddy. The problem is that giddiness is a function of sophomores. Sophomores are the people, well, they’re rising juniors now. They’re the people advising Biden. They don’t know from nothing, as we used to say in the Bronx. Now you and I, Bob, go back to the time when we hid under desks, right, to escape the radiation and all that kind of stuff? My proudest moment was being in Moscow for the signing of that Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. That gave us a balance of terror, but it was a balance. Now we have people mouthing off about limited use of nuclear weapons. We have a situation in Russia where they do not have a good early warning system. We have submarines with these little nukes now. I’m aghast at the lack of appreciation of the momentousness of this situation. I think you’re absolutely right. When we have the head of National Intelligence testifying, as she did just last week saying, “Look, we don’t want a nuclear war. We think that one of the things that could lead to a nuclear war is if Putin is defeated in Ukraine.” Therefore … She didn’t say this, to her credit, because she’s not a policymaker.

Ray McGovern (50:41):
But the policy is, therefore, let’s put Putin on his back. Let’s defeat him in Ukraine. My God, you do the syllogism. It doesn’t make any sense to a mature human being who knows anything about nuclear war.

Robert Scheer (50:58):
Well, John, probably you don’t need to add to that, or do you want to?

John Kiriakou (51:05):
No, I concur. I’m afraid of nuclear war and I’m sickened that the people whose intellects I trusted are not.

Robert Scheer (51:16):
Okay. On that note, let’s end this. This is it for this edition of Scheer Intelligence. I want to thank the folks at KCRW for posting this show; Christopher Ho; Joshua Scheer, our executive producer; Natasha Hakimi, who writes the introduction; the JWK Foundation, which helps with some of the funding, and the memory of a very independent journalist, Jean Stein. Thank you guys for hanging in there. You may be only a couple of them but I think we got to listen to you a bit. So let’s end it on that, and see you next week with another edition of Scheer Intelligence.


  1. Oh, the CIA, the Nazi Club! Respecting people for their “intellectus”? This is also a problem with CIA Guy John K. But, good stuff here, even saying the Zero Dark Thirty in and of itself is a war crime . . . .

    In the 29th installment of “The Watchdog” podcast, Lowkey speaks to Todd E. Pierce about the global reach of the U.S. empire and its totalitarian ambitions to control the entire planet. Todd is a retired U.S. Army officer and defense attorney whose experiences serving at the front line of empire moved him to become a defender of its victims. Towards the end of his military service, he volunteered to become a defense attorney for three prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.


    Good one here: So How Serious is Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Romance?

    On Feb. 27, 2022, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held a scarf bearing the slogan “Slava Ukraini,” meaning “Glory to Ukraine,” with the “Blood and Soil” colors of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and massacred thousands of Jews and Poles).

    She then proceeded to post this picture onto her Twitter account (replacing it hours later with a picture of her without the “Blood and Soil” scarf) and accused her detractors of “reeking of Russian disinformation”. This controversial picture of Freeland was reported by Canada’s National Post.

    According to Freeland’s press secretary, this was just another case of a “classic KGB disinformation smear… accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis,” which is a confusing statement on multiple levels.

    It is not clear how this is a case of “Russian disinformation,” since the picture is indeed authentic, Freeland does not deny this. And she is indeed holding a “Blood and Soil” emblem, which originated with the Nazis, clear for everyone to see. Lastly, it is confusing as to why the Canadian government seems to be unaware that the KGB no longer exists. Are they also under the impression that the Soviet Union still exists?

    Not irrelevant in all of this is the fact that Freeland’s grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper during WWII in Galicia and that she is indeed aware of this and apparently unapologetic. Whenever she is questioned about this, she does not deny anything, but simply blames such a focus of inquiry on Russian disinformation with the intent to “destabilize Western democracies.” That is, it is not a question of what is one’s historical or ideological background, but a question of “whose side are you on?”

    Interestingly, it was the Canadian newspaper “The Globe and Mail” who reported this story, titled “Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper,” thus, not a Russian publication last time I checked. And upon whom did they base such information? None other than Freeland’s own uncle, John-Paul Himka, who is now professor emeritus at the University of Alberta.

    According to the Globe and Mail, Freeland was aware for more than two decades that her grandfather Michael Chomiak, was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper that vilified Jews and supported the Nazi cause.

    Globe and Mail writes:

    “Krakivski Visti [Krakow News] was set up in 1940 by the German army and supervised by German intelligence officer Emil Gassert. Its printing presses and offices were confiscated by the Germans from a Jewish publisher, who was later murdered at the Belzec concentration camp.

    The article titled ‘Kravivski Visti and the Jews, 1943: A contribution of Ukrainian Jewish Relations during the Second World War’ was written by Ms. Freeland’s uncle, John-Paul Himka, now professor emeritus at the University of Alberta.

    In the foreword to the article, Prof. Himka credits Ms. Freeland for ‘pointing out problems and clarifications.’ Ms. Freeland has never acknowledged that her grandfather was a Nazi collaborator and suggested on Monday that the allegation was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

    In 1996, Prof. Himka wrote about Mr. Chomiak’s work for Kravivski Visti, a Ukrainian-language newspaper based in Krakow that often published anti-Jewish diatribes including ‘certain passages in some of the articles that expressed approval of what the Nazis were doing to the Jews.’”

    1. All those facts were known among historians in Poland and Soviet Ukraine since WWII while completely suppressed in the west in fact informally they were censored.

      The ignorance among young German and Austrian people in 1970-80s even about the very existence of death a camps in WWII or Jewish Holocaust in Germany and elsewhere was appalling. Canadian and America youth were just clueless.

      Attempts to publish in Canada extremely well documented and referenced book of Volhynia Slaughter were partially derailed by Ukrainian diaspora supported by Canadian government already twenty year ago.

      The book includes maps and photographs of crime locations and contains or references interviews with Polish, Jewish , (Belo) Russian (Rusin) and Ukrainian survivors (one of them was future first Polish Cosmonaut Colonel Hermaszewski), eyewitnesses and perpetrators such as Ukrainian civilians, Greek Catholic priests and UPA fighters as well as their defenders like Russian partisans, underground Polish Home Army as well as anti Bandera Ukrainians who wanted to prevent Volhynia, East Galicia, Transcarpathia massacres and ethnic cleansing 1942-1948 conducted by Banderites in a feat to create systematically ethnically pure Ukraine as Nazi State under German protectorate. It also documents and references Waffen-SS complicity and Wehrmacht support in preventing Russian and Polish underground guerrilla armies from rescuing their compatriots from massacres. In fact massacres were used by Germans to set up provocations and ambushes against guerrilla fighters. UPA was never fighting Nazis.

      Important to point out is that Bandera himself fled to Germany to be several years later assassinated by KGB while his son emigrated to Canada and lived there having huge influence on pro Ukrainian Nazis’ Canadian sentiments and policies.

      While denounced by Ukraine government and World Ukrainian diaspora accusing the author (a Polish Ukrainian himself ) of forgery and lies this book was one of many independent studies and various governments (German, Polish and Russian) archives that were used by Government run historical institute (IPN) to provide factual foundation for a NATO member, Poland’s full parliamentary resolution just few years ago officially declaring Massacres called slaughter inVolhynia and Galicia as genocide, a crime against humanity.

      No one today would describe viciously anti-Putin Polish government as being pro-Russian or Anti -Ukrainian. It is all documented truth.

      Even YT did not remove horrific iconographic films showing victims and perpetrators of this horrific crime, some of them based on photographic evidences collected by complicit Germans and by perpetrators themselves.

      1. Kalen
        So Europe banned Critical Race Theory, to their own peril?
        Wouldn’t want to make Young NeoCoNazis feel guilty or uncomfortable, ’cause that could be bad for bidness.

        And talk about Bidness: Most of this session with 3 retirees (3 Amigos) was shop talk not relevant to activities of daily living. Make it more relevant, Bob. It’s like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer comparing endorsement deals.

      2. Red Hornet, Can not disagree with you more.

        Have nothing but the utmost respect for all three, who are willing to share with us their knowledge and expertise.

        But what the hell, nuclear war is not so scary , especially little nuclear bombs !

  2. It is my working theory that all the greed, propaganda, arrogance, hate and fear has driven the west collectively insane. I use the word insane intentionally, specifically, and literally. Most are so close to it, so a part of it, so invested in the culture and their programming that they consider their behavior normal and reasonable, even as it strays ever further into the insane.

    Worse, the absolute absence of any ethical or moral guiding principles, our total lack of empathy for others, our soul deadening consumer culture has created an unconscious self loathing so powerful that the society itself is seeking self annihilation.

    It’s going to get it too.

    1. JustAMaverick- Look around you and see the predominance of Americans living beyond what their apparent incomes could reasonably support. Some of my neighbors are able to do many frivolous things an honest working person doesn’t do. Charles Bowden (1945-2014) was one of my role mentors.
      He wrote mostly about corruption and violence along the USA/Mexican border, especially drug trafficking and other contraband enterprises, public and private. Chuck was a risk-taker in his reporting, associating with dangerous criminals. He speculated that if law enforcement became effective that our economy would collapse. In 2006 he was telling me that 40% of the US economy is illicit and underground. By 2013 he and I agreed that as much as 60% of the ways Americans make a living was off the books.
      True, my evidence is anecdotal, participant observations and unproven conclusions… but if a log goes in one end of the sawmill and plywood comes out the other end you can imagine how that happens. And you know especially if you use tools and cut up plywood. All the talk about needing side-gigs is equivocation. Just like smoking pot and taking key bumps, with little fear of repercussions, many of our fellow citizens have defective brakes on their moral cars. I’d say that most unaffiliated retail stalls in any shopping center are fronts for unadvertised activities. In some cases I know that open secret for a fact. But I don’t snitch because I can see my friends have to cut corners to make ends meet. And why would things be any other way in a society where successful crooks are idolized? If McGovern and Kirakou did not partake of insider information or stash some slush funds offshore That would seem mysterious to me, or to Charles Bowden.

  3. Good stuff here, over at Black Agenda Report . . . hint hint, Sheared Off Post, get some of these journalists on, i.e. Margaret Kimberly.

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of No Fear: A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She is president of the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition and one of the hosts of the WPFW program, What’s At Stake. She recently spoke at a rally held at the Department of Justice, calling for freedom for Julian Assange. She joins us from Bethesda, Maryland.

  4. Frankly, I’m a bit puzzled by what seems to be perhaps a bit of naivete expressed here – given that all agree, that the MICC-MATT, or whatever its called (we seem to be adding letters all over the place, why can’t we just keep it simple and call it the GNB – Greedy Narcissistic Bastards) is in charge, that the GNB needs an enemy that threatens “we the people” in order to get us to keep tossing money at it to “protect us”, that all war is execrable and fundamentally immoral – given all that it seems rather clear that a myth must be constructed to justify our actions to sooth our consciences and make us believe we are fighting the good fight – such myths always, into antiquity, always involve a good v evil scenario – for us to be the “good guys” we need “bad guys” to fight to fill the pockets of the GNB.

    So given all that, do Ray and John really believe that their colleagues really believe all this shit about Russia, China , etc – if so, why do their colleagues so believe? Have they talked themselves into it because the alternative has become unthinkable for them – too much cognitive dissonance to bear? If their colleagues do not – is it a matter of discretionary self preservation within their sphere, or cowardice …

    I think these are legitimate questions and I do wish Bob had done a bit less talking and Ray and John a bit more about stuff like this – because they would know and we need to know so we can figure out how to turn it around …

  5. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say a lot of these horrific Human controlled countries (France) have bombs that can Burn the Sky. Where exactly is the security zone there. I’ll sit here and shit Gold Bricks while you get me the leader that can stop the trashman.

    1. No matter how far out on that limb you go it won’t save you.

  6. Thank you.There are people who listen to your opinions avidly, and to Scott Ritter (who is now being smeared for having admitted he had not factored in the uninterdicted flow of arms to Ukraine).

    You are right in your reference to the Good War and the pervasive feeling of innocence which so refreshes everybody who has become kyphotic with the weight of US imperial sins…

    but this is a really bad, ninth circle-type war, as bad as the rest of them

    Thanks again

  7. It doesn’t end soon or well,

    The same basic principle that the United States applies in the Western Hemisphere is the one that the Russians are applying vis-a-vis Ukraine,” John Mearsheimer, political science professor at the University of Chicago said during an exclusive interview with CGTN’s Tian Wei. He added that “the U.S. does not believe countries around it have a right to have their own foreign policy.”

  8. I think it’s telling that Eisenhower’s MIC has become Ray McGovern’s MICIMATT. The government and neo-liberal ideology have combined over decades to create our current political and economic culture: the US has a long history of persecuting what the govt sees as “un-American”. The core of this culture is that the US govt and economic elites have the resources to engineer this result over time: the US govt can, via the Federal Reserve, create the money to put enormous pressure on dissent via the FBI, CIA and other agencies. The rest of us are just trying to make a living, as John Kiriakou noted when someone asked him to give up his job at Sputnik.


    I would offer that the US is confronting Russia (via Ukraine) and China, because the US govt is losing the race with China, and this a last, or 2nd last, attempt to regain dominance. Will the US still be able to confront China in 5 years, or 10 years? China is growing stronger each year, while neo-liberalism has hollowed out the US.

    1. (I think scheerpost should correct Mickey Mat to MICIMATT, McGovern’s coined term for Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank).
      The best explanation I’ve heard for the constant provocation of Russia by Biden (starting in 2009 as “Viceroy” in Ukraine and presiding over the Maidan Coup that branded Ukraine officially as a US Puppet State) is, of course, money. The US Dollar has been the fiat currency of Empire since WWII ended, switching to the Petro Dollar in the ’70s. The MidEast forever wars, aligned with Saudi Arabia and Israel, were largely to control the Oil. The slaughter of Libya was to stop Ghaddafi’s Pan African gold-backed currency. If Russia and China move the Third World off the US Dollar standard into a multipolar world, it might be great for them, but it would likely be the end of the West, IMF and World Bank which no longer manufactures and lives by theft of natural resources and high interest rates (Perkins’ “Confession of an Economic Hit Man” on steroids).

      1. Eisenhower? Come on:

        The CIA operation to overthrow Jacobo Árbenz, code-named Operation PBSuccess, was authorized by Eisenhower in August 1953. The operation was granted a budget of 2.7 million U.S. dollars for “psychological warfare and political action”!

        In 1956, when Senator Mike Mansfield proposed that the CIA should keep Congress informed of its activities, Eisenhower knew that the CIA would be in big trouble if Congress learned its deepest secrets. So, he decreed that Mansfield’s “bill would be passed over my dead body.” According to journalist and CIA expert Stephen Kinzer, Eisenhower then “pressed Senate leaders to do whatever necessary to ensure that it did not pass.” It didn’t.

  9. And, Texas Russell Bentley: Yes. The U.S., along with their EU and NATO henchmen, have had complete political, economic and military control over Ukraine since 2014. Every dead civilian and soldier, every person crippled for life, every blown-up or burned-down house, every psychologically traumatized child, every hungry, homeless dog and cat, on both sides, are absolutely and primarily the criminal responsibility of the genuine Nazis who own and control the U.S., EU, and Ukrainian regimes, and their militaries. The entire Ukraine war, ongoing since 2014 is in reality a proxy war of Western fascism against Russia, because Russia is the main obstacle to their objective of world domination.

    The U.S. and NATO have had their Special Forces and highly trained mercenaries (including ISIS terrorists) in Ukraine since 2014. I can confirm this personally. The provision of intelligence to Ukraine from satellite, AWACS, drones, ELINT and SIGINT is a major force multiplier, as is the provision of expert advisors and instructors who also have been directly involved in frontline combat operations since 2014, which I can also personally confirm. The provision of multi-billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammo, along with Western orders to “fight Russia to the last Ukrainian”, lays bare the Western Nazis’ intent to leave Ukraine an irrecoverably failed state, just as they have done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen among other countries. Ukraine is currently under genuine foreign Nazi occupation, absolutely no less than it was from 1941 to 1943. The Ukrainian army today does not “defend” Ukraine, it deliberately destroys it, on behalf of a foreign and genuinely fascist regime that controls Ukraine from Kiev, but is actually based in Washington, London and Brussels. And Tel Aviv.

    Without U.S. and NATO’s continuing support, Ukraine’s quisling regime would have already surrendered, the war would have ended, and thousands of lives would have been spared. So the absolute moral, legal and practical responsibility for the start, escalation, and continuation of this war lies with them. Russia doesn’t start wars, we finish them. And we will finish this one as well, victoriously, one way or another. It is up to our enemies in the U.S. and NATO to decide how much destruction and suffering they will cause Ukraine before their inevitable political de-nazification and military defeat.

    1. Paul+Haeder: You have a sharp mind, and make some lengthy posts, but I have been able to learn a lot. Thank-you.

      1. Ahh, sorry about the length posts, and most are from sources I am quoting. You see, a lot of what ends up on Sheared Off Post is vapid, short, not nuanced, and there is a certain controlled opposition feel, but more importantly, long form journalism is a thing of the past, so short, to the point, and that’s it, thank you very much, ma’am.

        Here, amazing work:

        And, here, even this story points to the Nazi’s of Ukraine:

        Katerina Yushenko: First Lady, CIA Asset

        Katerina Chumachenko, which is her real name, is the wife of former Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko (2005-2010), who came to power after a first American coloured revolution, called the Orange Revolution. It took place in the winter of 2004-2005 and was the first attempt by the United States to destabilize Ukraine, but was swept away in 2010 by the victory in the presidential elections of the pro-Russian president Yanukovych, who was elected with the large vote of ethnic Russians from the east of the country. The story of this couple is interesting because it sheds light on the long struggle that has been going on in Ukraine for nearly 20 years, and the slow American undermining of this region that is key to stability in Europe. Let’s follow this lady’s steps… through the corridors of the White House and into the Ukrainian presidency.

        CIA agent and key player in the destabilization of Ukraine.

        Born in Chicago in 1961 into a family of Ukrainian immigrants, she studied at Georgetown University. In the early 1980s, she was recruited by the American intelligence services as the Cold War was coming to an end. She met Yaroslav Stetsko, a close associate of Bandera, who was in exile in the United States and had founded an anti-Soviet organisation, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, ABN (1946), which was headed by the nationalist leader until his death in 1986. Ekaterina worked for this organisation, and from 1985 became an analyst in the US State Department and National Security Council. The following year, she worked in the Human Rights Office and supervised activities towards the countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. She then served as Deputy Director of the International Department, where she wrote analytical papers for Ronald Reagan himself. In 1989 she moved to the US Treasury and until 1991 worked on the Congressional Economic Committee. She has always refused to talk about this period of her life and her intelligence work for the USA. However, the tracks are clear, they lead to the CIA, but also to Ukrainian and German neo-Nazi circles, courted by the Americans during the Cold War and later recycled in the great manœuvres aimed at undermining Russia’s influence in Ukraine. As soon as the country became independent, she moved to Ukraine, where she created the Ukrainian American Foundation. It was then at the centre of many transactions and operations, notably around USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, managing the distribution of ‘financial aid’, a powerful organisation managed by the American presidency and a huge spy and infiltration machine around the world.

        The neo-Nazi affiliations of the future First Lady of Ukraine.

        She had very close relations with former Nazis, notably the German Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Oberlander (1905-1998), a former officer of the Nachtigall Battalion, a proven Nazi and convinced of having participated in the massacres against Jews and Poles in Ukraine. He was also suspected of war crimes against the Red Army on the Eastern Front, and was a member of the staff of the Liberation Army of the famous Vlassov. He was recycled by the Americans and became, ironically, a member of the West German Parliament (1953-1965), a member of the Bavarian Parliament (1950-1953), in charge in the Federal Ministry for Displaced Persons, Refugees and War Victims in several cabinets of Chancellor Conrad Adenauer. His mentor was the Ukrainian collaborator of Nazi Germany, Yaroslav Stetsko (1912-1986). This character had declared the independence of Ukraine in Lvov (June 1941), attracting the wrath of Germany, as Hitler’s plans had never been to favor this option, but to pressurise Ukraine as a simple occupied territory. As an agent of the Abwehr, the Nazi secret service, he gnawed his teeth in prison but wrote his memoirs, in which he unequivocally described the Muscovite as the absolute enemy… along with the Jew, and even wrote that he approved of the total extermination of the latter and the German methods. He was recycled in view of the danger of an imminent Soviet invasion, and put back in the saddle by the SS (1944). It was then that the UAI was formed, out of the UPA, an army of Ukrainian partisans serving alongside Hitler’s groups, whose HQ was in Berlin. Wounded during a bombing (April 1945), he managed to sneak into the Allied-controlled zone and was soon hired by the American secret service. It was in this milieu that the wife of the Ukrainian president was raised… and propelled into the highest US spheres.


        Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 18, 2022 (Extensive)

        The Russian Federation has obtained materials indicating that biological laboratories in Ukraine operating with support from the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its affiliated companies – Black and Veatch and CH2M Hill – engaged in biological warfare research in violation of Articles I and IV of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC).

        The laboratories conducted research into dangerous and highly dangerous pathogens in the interests of the Pentagon’s National Centre for Medical Intelligence, with the BSL-3 Central Reference Laboratory based at Ukraine’s Mechnikov Anti-Plague Research Institute in Odessa playing the key role in these programmes.


        From my friend, Joe the Farmer, who fought UC there in Merced, CA:

        “CH2M Hill, we had to deal with that chickenshit outfit when we were fighting the UC. Doesn’t surprise me at all that they are engaged in biological warfare in the Ukraine.”

      2. Paul+Haeder: All I’m suggesting is give the other readers, like myself, the benefit of the doubt, that we can follow-up on your links (rather than include long quotes). You have important things to say, it’s just that I’m not sure article-length comments (i.e. info dumps) helps convince people, but I may be the minority.

        When you say something like a “a lot of what ends up on Sheared Off Post is vapid, short, not nuanced”, how would you expect someone to react? Don’t dismiss others so quickly, just because you can see further than they can. You’re writing not just for yourself, but to educate and connect with others who may think differently, right?

    2. @P+H

      So more people would be more inclined to believe that ISIS is in Ukraine’s frontlines they should consider that hundreds of most cruel ISIS commanders in Syria were Russian speaking Chechen. One of most horrific crimes Chechen ISIS commanders was video recorded (use to be on YT) execution of over100 young (6-12) Syrian children for refusal to became suicide bombers. Execution order was read in Russian.

      In fact main mission of Kadyrov troops (from Chechnya) in Ukraine on a side of Russia and LDPR is to capture or kill Chechen terrorists wherever they find them.

      1. We all know that what we are actually dealing with is US run puppet regime in Kiev. But where is the proof?

        Here it is written proof of US senate effectively deciding who should be and who should not be a member Ukrainian cabinet and other positions in government. One of many positions senator was talking about is minister of energy.

        But do not take my word for it. Look at copy of Senator Durbin letter to Ukrainian PM Yatsenuk in 2015.

    3. Excellent analysis. Not sure that’s still allowed in the US?

  10. I’ve studied US history at length. I wasn’t aware there was a time in this country when scoundrels weren’t in charge. From what I can tell, wealth selects for ruthlessness the way evolution selects for adaptation. If you have a highly stratified society where the wealthiest people possess hundreds to thousands of times more than the poorest people, then you have scoundrels in charge. Under the New Deal the country had the most socialist agenda in its history, and that still required grinding people of color into the ground on a daily, if not hourly, basis. We were lynching Black people at least on a weekly basis at that time.

    I can only imagine the horrors that must have been commonplace in the country’s eras of legal slavery and bounties for Native American scalps.

    Wealth requires poverty. I don’t see that the US has ever been anything but a greatly economically disparate society with a large impoverished peasant, slave, peon class. Even now, according to antiracism scholar Robin DiAngelo, PhD, Black Americans still possess only one-tenth the wealth of White Americans, on average.

    It’s groundhog day everyday in the USA. Scoundrels have always been in charge. If you have greatly disparate wealth in your society, scoundrels are always in charge.

    As far as I’m concerned, if people don’t talk about getting rid of wealth, which is admittedly most probably unrealistic, then they don’t have answers for anything. I suspect there are no answers, because we will never get rid of wealth and wealth seeking. But until we do, we’re just passing time.

    1. Scoundrels have always been in charge. If you have greatly disparate wealth in your society, scoundrels are always in charge.

      I suggest Sam Pizzigati’s The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-70, Seven Stories (2012). We have succeeded in diminishing wealth disparities. We’d be in a frigging egalitarian utopia by now if we had progressed at the same rate. That’s why The Empire Struck Back, back then. They knew they were doomed if they did nothing, and they successfully gaslit everyone else into impoverishing themselves and enriching them.

      The great achievements, the socialist agenda of FDR & the New Deal at the center of that era didn’t require “grinding people of color into the ground on a daily, if not hourly, basis”. The first was opposed to the second, and required it in no way whatsoever. New Dealers did what they could to reduce all inequality, economic and racial. The racial progress they initiated after the regress of the preceding decades continued until Reagan.

      I would suggest Adolph Reed rather than Robin DiAngelo. He’s a lot less wealthy. 🙂 Why would getting rid of wealth, rather than wealth disparities, be desirable? Equality and much more social control of wealth, rather than wealthy individuals controlling giant corporations controlling society should be the aim, no?

      1. Why Adolph Reed? Does he have different statistics on wealth disparity and race than DiAngelo cites?

        If so, please state as much, but don’t make it about the individual scholar, please, rather than the statistic. I’m just providing my source for my point regarding wealth disparity, but the point is my own, not DiAngelo’s.

        We have succeeded in diminishing wealth disparities? Oh, really? How special. Let’s start with Charlemagne. We could go all the way back in Western civ, but let’s just go back to the year 800, the establishment of feudal society in Europe.

        Tell me all about all this admirable, special European egalitarianism over the centuries, the wonderful societies that we know all those poor European victims were running from when they got here, with their dreams of freedom and money and land. And money and land.

        We hear it all the time, because this country never shuts up about it, the victim stories of how abused those brave pioneers or colonials or pilgrims were in Europe for their religions, for not wanting to be powerless serfs or peasants where some rich guy lives well off their backs but they starve, for being witches or Catholics or protestants or atheists or Jews, or women, or poor, or diseased and crime ridden, or all the other things the Europeans were running from and that made them so glad to be out of that poophole society. We celebrate it and call it the “greatest” thing that ever happened to us every year.

        But you say, no. It was better than that. We had moments, you say, where we did okay. I want to hear all about that awesome egalitarianism that I’ve never found in our history, especially when compared to many other societies that we have destroyed.

        No, those societies weren’t always perfectly kind and gentle, ala our western heavenly perfection ideal. But, they didn’t have to be. Neither are they living on our property, as we are on theirs.

        Give me some examples of us getting rid of extreme wealth disparities for any substantive time for all humans, including people of color and women, in this country. The closest we ever had was the New Deal, which was short lived and was for White people on ly, and Black people still had extreme poverty, Jim Crow laws, and like I said, were being lynched in public on a weekly basis in this country. Before that was the great depression, and before that the gilded age, and before that was slavery! So, when was this great egalitarianism in our history?

      2. In short, I stand by my statement that scoundrels are always in charge in our society, and they have been for a very long time. It’s so normal for us, so common, however, that we think everyone is like us. But we think everyone is exactly like us, anyway. That a religious belief of our culture.

        At least, when it comes to the worst of our behaviors, we’re certain that everyone is like us. We’re no worse than anyone else in the world, and we are quick to cite the horrors of indigenous life, as we understand it – you know, war and torture all the time.

        But, of course, and this is important, when it comes to being “advanced,” well, other people are not and have not been as “advanced” as we are. That’s the real difference between us and them. According to us.

        Nice bunch of nonsense, but necessary given our situation. I mean, we can’t be proud that we preserved these lands for thousands of years out of love for them and the generations to come, like the Natives could.

      3. Again, forgive me for being verbose, but if you’re going to tell me that about four decades of the New Deal is the height of this society’s progress toward treating its people well, out the centuries of misery and violence we have inflicted everywhere around the world, I’m just not impressed.

        Really listen to that idea. We had the New Deal for White men for forty years where we didn’t have the wealthy abusing the poor.

        Whoopdi-expletive-do. Seriously.

      4. The west pretended for several decades that it was “democratic” but all the while undermined the sovereignty of nations, denied the right to self determination of peoples, did all it could to maintain their former colonial possessions under their yoke, and bamboozled their own citizens to maintain control. But now, with the economic decline of the west, due to many factors, including; the loss of cheap energy sources and impoverishment of their peoples through wars and theft, the rise of new nations as economic powers who cannot and will not be reduced to colonies, the bankruptcy of the United States that took place during the Vietnam War which led it to abandon the gold standard so it could just print money to pay its debts, the result of which we see in the inflationary spiral we now face, the financial-industrial elites of the west are again desperate to save themselves and once again, true to their character, are releasing the forces of fascism and militarism openly.

    2. Tupe,

      Your instinct to write in your own terms, “scoundrels have always run the US,” is a commendable observation & response to this article. However marrying your observation to wealth is too easy & mistake, as a deeper review of history shows that broke societies and organizations put scoundrels in charge too.

      It is in fact fundamental human nature that puts scoundrels in charge, even in systems that begin as egalitarian. The classic work of literature here is Goldings’s 1954 “Lord of the Flies” where good children stranded on an island evolve to put scoundrels in charge, then follow their lead collectively. The classic historical example is the French Revolution, where a drive against great wealth for liberty, equality, & brotherhood, devolves into a reign of real public terror.

      Examples of systems of penniless humans self-organizing to put the scoundrels amongst them in charge are endless and interesting. It occurs in the social arrangements in all prisons where money does not exist, and was the case in medieval monasteries. It happens in street gangs in impoverished urban slums and it was a reality between Natives of the Great Plains, where the most violent of the groups, the Comanche, ruled by terrorizing the others including the supposedly indomitable Apache (see S. C. Gwynne’s 2010
      “Empire of the Summer Moon”). Of the ownership rejecting anti-materialist communists who reorganized Russia after overthrowing the most wealthy person on Earth at the time (Czar Nicholas II) it was the scoundrel Bolsheviks who overcame the more humane Mensheviks. The Scoundrel Fagan operated the child pickpockets in Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist.

      The broke and anti-materialist are not more noble or honest than the wealthy, but they do wield that myth as a sort of last resort against power, as do their supporters in academia.

      Yes scoundrels tend to take over in any system. Yes much of the group follows rather than fighting them, thus assuring the scoundrels success as we see in this podcast. Attacking wealth is not a solution to abuse of power (though it is very useful for other points of social justice). But targeting wealth is a self-delusion to the degree it creates a bogeyman that takes our eye off the real scoundrel, which is in fact each of us and our human nature.

      1. “It is in fact fundamental human nature that puts scoundrels in charge, even in systems that begin as egalitarian.”

        The only “human nature” we have that is objective is biological. I don’t know what you think “human nature” means, or how you can possibly prove that it always puts scoundrels in charge in all societies.

        I notice that to prove your point you rely upon a work of fiction by a White person, and the French revolution, a European society with a long history of great wealth disparity and abuse of poor people.

        Here we have it again – the famous violence of the Native Americans. Coming from the culture that exterminated them down to what was probably only about 1.5% of their original populations, depending upon your expert, I don’t think you’re in a position to judge.

        How much more violent must we have been to have exterminated them nonstop for 300 years continually so we could keep taking more and more land.

        Your own prisons are hardly a valid example of moneyless societies.

        You appear to be willing to make wildly nonsensical statements – like prisons as an example of societies without money – to be right.

        That’s sad, and crazy.

      2. “The broke and anti-materialist are not more noble or honest than the wealthy . . .”

        In an anti-materialist society there is no such thing as “broke.” And an anti-materialist in an anti-materialist society is quite different from being broke and anti-materialist in a society with great wealth.

        I don’t believe that anthropology and history support your position. All societies may have scoundrels, but not all societies have scoundrels in charge.

      3. Tupe – You received two thoughtful, lengthy replies, you replied to both in the same style, one that I won’t categorize except to say it’s amusing to see a request to pardon verbosity, when the error is a cluster bomb of insult, parroting of post modern memes as though they are gospel, and wild doctrinaire disconnect. Nowhere do you directly refute a point, or ask a question that would indicate you are a willing learner.
        Keep this in mind, whatever you think you know, you certainly know far less, including how to write a reply that is coherent rather than blowing off steam. See Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement to improve your game.

      4. Rubbish, C. Kent!

        As Chomsky and others have pointed out, great wealth confers great power, particularly political power:
        Senator Dick Durbin once said that the Banks “Frankly Own The Place” Do they ever!

        James Galbraith’s book, “Predator State,” details how the wealthy and the big corps have gotten control of the government and use that control to fleece the middle class and the poor for the benefit of a tiny, wealthy elite.

        In his new book, “Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World,” NY Times financial reporter, Peter S. Goodman, delivers a powerful and resounding answer: Outsize wealth is an outsize threat to democracy.

        The majority want a public option in healthcare, like in every other first world country; that’s never even discussed by our bought-and-paid for, “democratic” politicians.

        The majority want free college education in public universities, as is available in all first world countries; it’s never even seriously discussed.

        Etc., etc.

        As Louis Brandeis put it, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” We “enjoy” the latter.

        In the Reagan era, at least 1,000 banksters were sent to prison for financial crimes vastly less criminal than those that led up to the financial collapse of 2008-09. But in the latter, no one went to prison. As Sen. Durbin said, the (banksters) own the government.

        The acknowledged crimes of the poor don’t come close to those of the “respected” oligarchs who run America.

  11. What an excellent discussion. It is truly sad that this kind of honesty and intelligent conversation is such a rarity to near invisibly on the corporate media. This program is a great example of why I choose to support the Scheer Post and encouraging all of you to do likewise

  12. rather than assassinate McGovern the CIA merely prohibits the MSM to reference him—oops, no distinction between US media and CIA

    1. Hudson has it:

      Question: Looking to a time after the war. What do you think the relationship between the US and Russia, or the EU and Russia look like?

      MH: Permanently hostile for 20 years until Europe collapses and until the United States goes into a long depression. There is no rapprochement. There will be no settlement because the United States industrial economy can only make military arms. The only thing the United States can offer other countries is bombers and military arms and weaponry. Not anything to raise the living standards. The situation in the United States will be one of increasing hostility towards the rest of the world. The great threat is that it will say, “Well, we’re just going to blow up the world.”

      The people who are in charge of US policy think that way, they’ve been thinking that way for 20 years. I’ve worked with these people before and they really are willing to blow up the world if they can’t turn the other world into dependencies. That’s a real danger for the rest of the world and it’s forcing it to withdraw from the US orbit. I think it was Henry Kissinger who said that, “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but. “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” Well, the US friend who’s really in danger is Europe. The enemies are going to do OK because they’re at least friends with each other.


      The situation in the United States will be one of increasing hostility towards the rest of the world. The great threat is that it will say, “Well, we’re just going to blow up the world.

      1. Seven years after the concentration camps were liberated, a Mercedes dealership opened in Manhattan selling the marvelous new gull wing door 300SL. There is no predicting the future, when there is money to be made in that future. Today’s tediously immature Americans are raging at a TV war and will become as bored with it as they were with fighting terrorism. They’ll get over it, in any case the Russians are prepared for if they don’t, and the world continues to turn. The resort to claims that the end is near is drama queen stuff.

  13. No matter how far out on that limb you go it won’t save you.

  14. C. Kent:
    Some really interesting debates in the comments. I would offer that human nature is opportunistic, shaped by our environment, and scoundrels succeed where power can be accumulated (probably any human organization outside of a small, hunter gatherer community). Agricultural societies allow some families to accumulate surplus and pay for a warrior class and religion, hereditary title and ostentation to reinforce their position. So, even if a benevolent leader or govt can occur earlier on, a parasitic system can still develop and reproduce or reinforce itself, like the American MIC.

    Human society is still evolving. It is possible that societies can achieve greater awareness, collective wisdom and decency, and learn from past mistakes. Advancing technology can allow a greater awareness, as well as making war and slavery obsolete: consider how machinery made most (but not all) slavery less efficient. Cornucopia technology and the evolution of AI will make possible new degrees of freedom and understanding in society: war for material gain will no longer make sense, organizations like the CIA will be less effective in a society where citizens have greater collective wisdom and intelligence, and greed or poverty would be obsolete in a culture that does not experience material scarcity. Utopian ideas, for sure, and won’t exist in our time, but the possibilities are there.

    1. There is no human group without a power structure, you have no evidence on hunger gatherers but you can be sure the scoundrel got to eat first. The rest of your reply is just piffle/conjecture.

      1. That’s a bit harsh C. Kent, :)! I try to find support for my arguments, and sometimes provide links, but I definitely subscribe to using reason and dialectic, as opposed to providing data whose integrity can be contested. The post I made above is about as optimistic for me as I can get: the idea that human societies may evolve (with help of technology) to create cornucopia and become wise, loving beings.

        I remember a discussion about traditional societies that still exist (Amazon rain forest) and it centered around selfish behavior, or sociopathic behavior, and people that are selfish get rooted out pretty quickly because survival is at stake. I could not find that discussion, but here is an article that matches it very closely (see:

        There are many people commenting on Scheerpost that do a much better job with providing details or factual sources, such as Paul+Haeder or Kalen, and I am glad for this diversity. However, to be productive, any discussion in the comments has to be based on good faith, a genuine desire on the different participants to find truth, or get close to it. Is this true for you?

      2. Damn, the insight you have about humanity! Whew. You gotta give it to these troll factories. Even the individuals. I can’t wait for the research and the book or blog or even YouCIAtube version of your work. Will it be a comic book?

        I love this guy, his fiction, as an educator, since students then can dive deep into research:

        “There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.”
        ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

      3. You can be sure the scoundrel got to eat first?

        No, actually, that is not how things worked in tribal situations.

        Most tribes in this country before we got here were agricultural as well as hunters, fishers and gatherers. There was agriculture throughout the east coast, north to south, throughout the midwest north to south, the great lakes and north into Canada, and across much of the southwest. Maybe not the Comanches and Apaches, but the Pimas, the Pueblos, and lots of other tribes in the Southwest were agricultural. Most of what is now Mexico had agriculture prior to the arrival of Europeans.

        The women owned the gardens and crops in all those tribes in North America. Did the scoundrel women and children who cultivated the corn and the beans get to eat those first, like the scoundrel hunters did the meat, as you claim?

        Not really.

        The women owned the homes in many tribes, especially in the East, among both all the Iroquoian and Muscogean peoples. How do you think that worked? Was he her slave within the home?

        Because, I promise you, a man had to respect what a woman said in her home, including to leave if she told him to. It did not matter who he was, her husband or her father. In those tribes, she was always the absolute ruler of her own home.

        Most Euro-Americans have a very difficult time even conceiving what that kind of social power in women would look like, and have difficulty believing Native women had such power, but they very much did.

        How did all that work with the scoundrel hunters eating first and being selfish, and women being in charge of children (matrilineal cultures), crops, and all the family homes?

        Did they all keep taking turns being selfish and pushy over goodies, depending on who contributed what to the collective pot, and who was in charge of the twig roof overhead?

        That’s must have been complicated.

  15. What I find annoying in this podcast is not that former CIA now come with their wisdom to inform me of what I already no about how rotten the org is, but that the guests seem to not grasp how it is that their admirable colleagues came to turn on them. This is somewhere between dismaying & outrageous, or a combo thereof.

    The people who come from the establishment & obey it, who never fail their indoctrinators at prep school or college, the people who sign up to kill, who swear oaths, who take the pay for paying the game so well they forget they are an integral part of the game, become cops and soldiers & work for the CIA. They become, as history teaches, the worst human beings on the planet.

    A good recent book on this point is Stephen Kinzer’s 2013, “The Brothers – John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War.” I was interested to learn how the CIA originally found their hires, as I might have guessed that to do their dirty work they pulled guys from the Chicago mob. In fact they developed prospects by making connections with the Headmasters of the best prep schools, Andover, Choate, St Pauls etc. and the Presidents of Ivy college presidents. These are exactly the most arrogant people in the country, it’s no wonder they take it upon themselves to play King.


      Six bloody hours with Ritter. Listen up. Military and CIA mentality. There are no war crimes, just to mention one aspect of his mentality. Again, ivy league scum or lawyers or the rich and military running a country? They speak the language of rationalizing. Proportionality is their buzzword. So shooting a civilian who may rat out you sniper position is okay. And alas, for AmeriKKKa, a trillion for Ukraine and weapons r us and sanctions, again using Ritter logic, is okay if USA feels threatened by Russian SMO in Ukraine. Six hours with him is like hanging out with a First Louie … Lieutenant …. From west point. Man. Goofball stuff sometimes.

      Disrespect for much of Ritter’s tone and his game.

  16. @C. Kent,

    You said, “The resort to claims that the end is near is drama queen stuff.”

    You know the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has the Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to The End right now.

    Just sayin’.

  17. @Cynical Rex,

    “I remember a discussion about traditional societies that still exist (Amazon rain forest) and it centered around selfish behavior, or sociopathic behavior, and people that are selfish get rooted out pretty quickly . . .”

    Thank you for this. Absolutely. Cooperation, sharing, respect and responsibility were the cultural values that were taught. And not just for humans. There was respect and responsibility toward Nature, as well.

  18. @C. Kent,

    I’ll look into your suggested expert the moment someone can fill me in on all that “success” we have had in “diminishing wealth disparities” in this society that Calcagus mentioned, and that you find so reasonable.

    I agreed with Calcagus that the New Deal provided about 40 years of diminishing wealth disparity for White men, especially, but also White women to the degree that some White man took care of them.

    Everyone else, no. Black people, no.

    Considering all the centuries we have had brutal wealth disparity in European societies, and all the centuries we have destroyed other societies to supply that wealth, I think forty years out of it all for wealthy people to not systemically and chronically abuse all the laboring class and the poor are more than pathetic. It’s almost nothing.

    But, I totally get that it’s all we have in this country.

  19. You, and many on the left, keep re-iterating that you oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine–well, I call BS on that. Washington ordered an attack on the Russian people in order to conquer Russia, i.e., the idea was to stage a coup in Russia after Ukraine achieved military success. Russia had to invade or face high losses in the population and the militias. Putin acted in the ONLY way he could have and carry out his office. This mealy-mouthed leftist “non-violence” only works on a personal level at best. I know Ray is a real Christian and has demonstrated his non-violence credibility admirably over time. Non-violence did not work against military conquerors. I’m as committed to non-violence as any Christian but if my family or may neighbors and friends are about to be slaughtered I’d fight with everything I had.

    I support and cheer on the Russian invasion of Ukraine to hopefully strike a blow against the obvious Nazi-style leaders in Kiev. I hope for a cease fire and a modus vivendi between the Empire and Russia which I think will gradually evolve until the evil f*cks who run Washington figure out how to get mini-drones to invade the Kremline or some new disease to further screw up the world.

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