Obama told friends he reneged on progressive promises out of fear of assassination — former CIA analyst by Philip Weiss for Mondoweiss
TDC Note – Originally published in June 3, 2013.
Obama has abandoned progressive principles, such as stopping drone attacks and shutting down Guantanamo, because he is afraid of being assassinated, telling friends, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?” retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern said today.
He’s afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for? Obama turned sharply and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?” That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote.
McGovern spoke on WBAI’s show Law and Disorder this morning. He was talking about his recent article calling Obama “a wuss” and speculated that Obama had also placed John Brennan as head of the CIA out of fear that the CIA might turn on him, as it had on John Kennedy.
I’m pretty convinced the President of the United States is afraid of the CIA. That’s why he got John Brennan in place. He thinks John Brennan owes more personal loyalty to him than all those other thugs out there who did the torture and so forth. That’s a questionable thing. But Obama thinks that. And that’s why he fought so hard so that Brennan would be in place.
During his CIA career, Ray McGovern prepared daily briefings for the president and chaired the National Intelligence Estimates. He is now a leading antiwar activist.
The crucial segment of the interview begins at about 48 minutes. Hosts Michael Smith and Michael Ratner, both lawyers with long careers in civil and human rights, ask McGovern about the Obama drones speech. McGovern marveled that the Senate granted to Obama “the power to release 86 prisoners” from Guantanamo. “Why doesn’t he do that?” He could release them “at the snap of his finger.”
Ratner then said, “I represent Guantanamo people. I thought the biggest lie in the speech was—’I have tried to close Guantanamo.’” There are half a dozen ways in which Obama “has actually sabotaged the closing of Guantanamo. Straight lie.”