Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 9 (11 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   15 comments

    Get Permissions OpEdNews Op Eds

Ask the Candidates Real Questions -- Like These

By       Message Ray McGovern     Permalink
      (Page 3 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article as one long page.
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 6   Well Said 5   Valuable 4  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H1 11/25/11

Author 2452
Become a Fan
  (160 fans)

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

- Advertisement -
Lead-in to question: A portion of intelligence funding goes to support intelligence analysis. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates worked in the analysis part of the CIA. [Actually, as an apprentice analyst 40 years ago, he worked in the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch that I led. His portfolio was Soviet policy toward the Middle East.]

Fast-forward 35 years to Dec. 5, 2006, when the Senate held a one-day hearing on Gates' nomination to become Secretary of Defense. When Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Gates whether he thought the Iranians would consider a nuclear attack on Israel, Gates answered [as already mentioned above]:

"I think that they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent. They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf."

This is tell-it-like-it-is intelligence analysis [which exceeded my hopes as his erstwhile mentor]. It even included matter-of-fact mention of Israel's nuclear capability, which President Barack Obama himself has refused to acknowledge. When Helen Thomas pressed the issue at Obama's inaugural press conference (Feb. 9, 2009), the President awkwardly ducked the question, explaining he did not want to "speculate."

The Question: Do you agree with Mr. Gates that Iran would see a nuclear capability "in the first instance as a deterrent?" And how many nuclear weapons do Western experts believe Israel has? President Carter has said 150, but that was some time ago.

A Follow-up: Let's assume Iran does get a nuclear weapon: Do you think it would commit suicide by firing it off in the direction of Israel?


- Advertisement -

Question 3

Background and Lead-In: This question deals with torture, an issue that has been given new life recently, with more and more Republican presidential candidates speaking in favor of it. We have surely come a long way since Virginia patriot Patrick Henry insisted passionately that "the rack and the screw," as he put it, were barbaric practices that had to be left behind in the Old World, or we are "lost and undone."

The Question: On Sept. 6, 2006, Gen. John Kimmons, then head of Army intelligence told reporters at the Pentagon, in unmistakable language:

"No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tells us that."

Gen. Kimmons knew that President George W. Bush had decided to claim publicly, just two hours later on the same day, that the "alternative set of procedures" for interrogation -- methods that Bush had approved, like water-boarding -- were effective. Whom do you think we should believe: President Bush? Or Gen. Kimmons?

This article first appeared in Consortium News

- Advertisement -

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

Must Read 6   Well Said 5   Valuable 4  
View Ratings | Rate It

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What's Hayden Hidin'?

Asylum for Julian Assange -- Former Awardee for Integrity

Petraeus Cons Obama on Afghan War

Obama Stands Up to Israel, Tamps Down Iran War Threats

Mullen Wary of Israeli Attack on Iran

Note to Nancy Pelosi: Colin Powell Got Snookered at CIA, too