Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995

donate.jpg (7556 bytes)
Make a secure online contribution
Go to to post comments

Get email updates:

RSS Feed
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Google

contactContact Us

Order Now


Age of Obama
Barack Obama's presidency

Bush End Game
George W. Bush's presidency since 2007

Bush - Second Term
George W. Bush's presidency from 2005-06

Bush - First Term
George W. Bush's presidency, 2000-04

Who Is Bob Gates?
The secret world of Defense Secretary Gates

2004 Campaign
Bush Bests Kerry

Behind Colin Powell's Legend
Gauging Powell's reputation.

The 2000 Campaign
Recounting the controversial campaign.

Media Crisis
Is the national media a danger to democracy?

The Clinton Scandals
Behind President Clinton's impeachment.

Nazi Echo
Pinochet & Other Characters.

The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics.

Contra Crack
Contra drug stories uncovered

Lost History
America's tainted historical record

The October Surprise "X-Files"
The 1980 election scandal exposed.

From free trade to the Kosovo crisis.

Other Investigative Stories



Inviting George Bush to Talk Torture

By Ray McGovern
July 8, 2009 (Letter was sent July 2, 2009)

Editor’s Note: Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is giving a lecture on July 9 in Richardson, Texas, that will touch on George W. Bush’s role in authorizing torture. So, in a letter dated July 2, the ever-polite McGovern extended this invitation to the ex-President to attend, but has yet to receive a reply:

Dear President Bush,

With this note I hope to make sure you know that I have been invited by the Dallas Peace Center to lecture next Thursday evening, July 9, at a dinner at FunAsia in Richardson. You and Mrs. Bush are cordially invited.

In my remarks I plan to focus on the subject of torture. I shall draw on my thirty years in Army Intelligence and the CIA, as well as a lifetime of trying to follow Jesus of Nazareth.

I will take issue with your decision of February 7, 2002 that the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (August 12, 1949) does not apply to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees; and I will explore the implications of that decision.

Somehow it seemed not quite proper to come to Dallas without letting you know this in advance. I also wanted to tell you that I would welcome a chance to discuss these issues with you — either privately or, better still, at the dinner itself.

Many have said they found informative the impromptu televised debate I had with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld three years ago in Atlanta.

On May 12 of this year, I had a similar public encounter with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, one of the addressees of your executive memorandum of February 7, 2002. Our dialogue focused on torture, and my colleagues in the Harvard Business School Club of Washington, DC, have told me they found it instructive.

I have been less successful in personally engaging former Secretary of State Colin Powell, even though we had sustained (every-other-morning) professional contact during the early Eighties.

I did him the courtesy of pre-briefing him on information I was about to share during my early morning one-on-ones with his boss, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger — except for the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) itself and other very sensitive materials earmarked exclusively for President Reagan, Weinberger, Secretary of State George Shultz, and, of course, your father, the vice president.

You are familiar with the PDB briefing process.  I was on the small team of PDB writers under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.  From 1981 to 1985 I not only helped produce the PDB, but also conducted one-on-one briefings of the handful of senior officials designated by President Reagan. 

For me it was particularly rewarding to be once again in regular contact with your father, for whom I had worked during his brief stint as Director of Central Intelligence.

Were you to come to the dinner next Thursday, I have little doubt that an informative discussion would ensue — a give-and-take unfiltered by those more interested in getting a story than in getting at the truth.

I would be happy to give you a copy of my talk beforehand, so that you would know chapter and verse of what I intend to cover and have ample time to prepare your side of the give and take.

If you decide to attend and wish to take me up on this, please let me know the best way to get a copy of my talk to you.

With respect,
Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern will address these and other issues on Thursday evening, July 9, for the Dallas Peace Center. He served as an Army officer and CIA analyst for almost thirty years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He now works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.

To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. (To make a blog comment about this or other stories, you can use your normal e-mail address and password. Ignore the prompt for a Google account.) To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.

homeBack to Home Page is a product of The Consortium for Independent Journalism, Inc., a non-profit organization that relies on donations from its readers to produce these stories and keep alive this Web publication.

To contribute, click here. To contact CIJ, click here.