How to avoid nuclear war
is theme of SF
with Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, now a
pro-peace activist, will appear in San Francisco, along
with two nuclear experts, at a free public forum on
"Nuclear war: how can it be prevented?" on Sunday,
The place is the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco
Public Library, 100 Larkin St., at Grove Street, near
the Civic Center BART and Muni station.
event starts at 1 p.m.
Two other participants will be Jacqueline Cabasso and
Marylia Kelley, executive directors respectively of
Western States Legal Foundation and Tri-Valley CAREs
(Citizens Against a Radioactive Environment), two
antinuclear groups. All three will speak in turn, then
form a panel to answer questions. Musical entertainment
is being planned.
The event observes the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty's 50th anniversary and the Nuclear Prohibition
Treaty's first. The latter drew favorable votes from 122
governments at the United Nations last summer.
Cosponsors are the San Francisco Public Library and the
16-group Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament, the same
cosponsors of Dr, Helen Caldicott's talk in August 2016.
(See the account on this site.)
The first half hour observes the 20th anniversary of the
War and Law League (WALL), organizer of the Coalition
and the forum. The event is also WALL's biennial,
general meeting. On Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006 McGovern
spoke at WALL's general meeting in the First Unitarian
Universalist Church in San Francisco.
McGovern served as an analyst for the Central
Intelligence Agency from 1963 to 1990 — from President
Kennedy's administration to tbat of President Bush, Sr.
In the 1980s he was in charge of the National
Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President's
When he retired, he received the Intelligence
Commendation Medal for "especially meritorious service."
But he returned it (to Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-MI,
chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) in protest
against the CIA's participation in torture.
In January 2003, he cofounded Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity, or VIPS, to expose the
falsification of intelligence to rationalize the
impending U.S. attack on Iraq under President Bush, Jr.
McGovern drew national attention on May 4, 2006, when he
confronted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on TV
network news from Atlanta. McGovern asked, "Why did you
lie to get us into a war that was not necessary?" He
repeated Rumsfeld's prewar statement of the places where
the latter knew weapons of mass destruction were hidden
in Iraq. The weapons did not exist.
Repeatedly McGovern has been arrested at or ousted from
meetings in which he tried to challenge such figures as
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, General David
Petraeus, and the new CIA director Gina Haspel at her
confirmation hearing last May 9.
McGovern heads the Speaking Truth to Power section of
Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church
of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He has taught at the
Servant Leadership School there for over 20 years. A
Catholic, he holds a certificate in theological studies
at Georgetown University.
Born in the Bronx borough of New York City, Raymond
McGovern earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Russian
history, language, and literature at Fordham University.
He speaks Russian, German, and Spanish. In the early
1960s he served as an Army intelligence officer. He and
his wife, Rita Kennedy, have five children. He writes at
Jacqueline Cabasso directs Western
States Legal Foundation (WSLF), where she has
worked since 1984, Founded two years earlier, WSLF is a
public interest organization based in Oakland, CA, that
monitors and analyzes U.S. weapons programs and
policies, emphasizing nuclear weapons
Since 1994, Ms. Cabasso has represented her organization
at negotiating and review sessions of the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. In the summer of 2017 she represented WSLF at
the United Nations when the new Nuclear Prohibition
Treaty was drawn up.
In 1995 she co-founded the Abolition 2000 Global Network
to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons. She is coauthor with Susan
Moon of Risking Peace (1985), an account of a
1983 protest at Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory.
She has written articles for Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists and other publications.
Marylia Kelley directs Tri-Valley
CAREs, based in Livermore, CA, where she has lived
since 1976. The group was founded in 1983 by residents
near Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of two
labs where U.S. nuclear weapons are designed. (The
original lab is at Los Alamos, NM.) Monitoring the
weapons and their radiation, Tri-Valley CAREs has worked
since 1983 to prevent further development of such
weapons and seek abolition.
Ms. Kelley has testified before the U.S. House Armed
Services Committee, the California State Legislature,
and other bodies. Since 1989, she has served on the
Community Work Group to advise the Environmental
Protection Agency, state agencies, and the community on
the Superfund cleanup of radioactive and other pollution
at Livermore Lab.
She edits the quarterly Tri-Valley CAREs Citizen's
Watch and has written for various publications
including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
In 2002 she was inducted into the Alameda County Women's
Hall of Fame.
By Paul W. Lovinger .
June 26, 2018