Government Whistle Blowers Speak at Peace Conference During RNC

by Justin Martell

Three government whistle blowers addressed a crowd of four hundred at Peace Island’s Hope in a Time of Crisis conference last week in Saint Paul, Minnesota

The two-day conference was held at Concordia University. Throughout the two days speakers covering a broad range of subjects addressed the four hundred attendees. The conference’s proximity to the Republican National Convention was no coincidence, “It was planned specifically that way,” said conference organizer Dick Bernard, “It was our thought that we would have a lot of people gathered here from the protest community, so it would be somewhat easier to get speakers, and we also thought we’d get more publicity out of it.”

When asked about why the media has focused on the loosely affiliated “anarchist” groups that have been a presence in the city for the past week instead of what was being presented at the conference, he laughed and said, “Well maybe that’s because we’re peaceful! It isn’t as interesting as conflict. I’ve noticed in the paper that some guy broke a window and it became a big deal. Well, we’re not into breaking windows. You know the old saying, ‘if it bleeds it leads.’”
While all of the speakers at the conference carried a considerable amount of clout and expertise, the were three that seemed to stand out among them all. They together during a session regarding “Justice and Human Rights.” On the panel sat former FBI Special Agent Colleen Rowley, Ret. Colonel Anne Wright, and former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern.

Colleen Rowley was the first to address the crowd. Rowley made headlines in 2002 and made the cover of Time Magazine as a person of the years after she went public with her knowledge of negligence on the part of the FBI in regard to pre-9/11 intelligence relating to the alleged twentieth hijacker, Zacharias Moussoui. Now she is one of the leading peace and anti-war activists in Minnesota. During Rowley's introduction, the gentleman said, “Collen Rowley was a whistle blower...” She corrected him as soon as she stepped up to the podium, “I was not a whistle blower,” she said, “I am a whistleblower.” The audience applauded.

While the subject of the session was “Justice and Human Rights,” each of the speakers touched upon different areas within the main topic of discussion. Rowley spoke, specifically, about “restoring ethical decision making in government.” “After I wrote the [Phoenix] memo about not connecting the dots, I didn't know the other dots about the hijackers.” She likened the 9/11 investigations to when a member of the clergy is accused of wrong doing and the church assures its attendees that all will be taken care of not in view of the public eye. “People say 'We don't need to air our dirty laundry, we'll fix it behind closed doors.' That's what happened with 9/11.”

Rowley disclosed her thoughts on ethical (or lack thereof) decision making in government. She held up a chart and said “All ethics can be explained in conflicts of loyalties.” The chart had a series of overlapping or “conflicting” circles. Each circle had a different “loyalty” written inside of it and appeared in order of how most people prioritize their loyalties (I.e. One's self, friends and family, work place, country, earth). She then explained that one of the biggest issues we face right now in our government is “security versus liberty and privacy.” Rowley ended her remarks with a quote from Mark Twain, “If you tell the truth then you won't have to remember anything.”

Next, Colonel Anne Wright took the stage. Wright spent close to thirty years in the United States Military and worked for the State Department as a diplomat to Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She also played a key role in the reopening of the American embassy in Kabul, Afganhistan in 2001. Wright resigned from her position in the State Department on the eve of the Iraq invasion on March 19, 2003, citing her problems with the fact that the Bush Administration went forward with the invasion without the approval of the U.N. Security Council, the Administration's “lack of effort” in regard to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict, the Administration's “lack of policy” toward North Korea, and the rolling back of civil liberties in post 9/11 America.

“Right now we have the continuation of a militarized country...this seems to be our national virtue of the moment,” she said. Wright had spent the last fews days in the streets with protesters. She spoke of the several hundred activists who were currently being held by the police and told the audience about a situation that had happened a few days prior where police “dressed like Ninja Turtles” tear gassed her along with members of Veterans for Peace during a march. A surge of shock pulsed through the crowd when she discussed the fact that the local authorities had discussed turning security for St. Paul and Minneapolis over to the Department of Homeland Security during the time of the Republican National Convention. “The insidious thing that's happening domestically,” she said, “is that we're allowing our federal government to militarize our law enforcement...This is Baghdad on the Mississippi! American civilians are being treated the same way we have treated Iraqi civilians!” Wright concluded by giving the audience the telephone numbers of all the major law enforcement officials in St. Paul and Minneapolis. She encouraged them to call and demand the release of all those currently being detained.

After a quick break, Ray McGovern addressed the crowd. McGovern spent twenty-seven years in the CIA under seven U.S. Presidents, eventually becoming one of several CIA analysts in charge of assembling the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) during the George H. W. Bush Administration. He drew the attention of the media when, he along with other former employees of the CIA, founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) in 2003.

McGovern spoke of the Bush Administration's “deliberate falsification of intelligence” in regard to Iraq and Iran. He also expressed his disappointment with the media to hold the the current administration accountable, “We no longer have, in any sense, a free media in this country,” he said, “There's no check on the President's power...the President uses the CIA as his own personal Gestapo.”

In regard to a pending war with Iran, McGovern commented on the Bush Administration's continued disregard for reality, “It was confirmed that Iran ended the nuclear weapons aspect of it's nuclear weapons program in 2003. What does Bush say? He says 'I don't agree,'” he said in disbelief. McGovern closed by citing several examples from Nazi Germany when those who finally spoke out against the policies of the Third Reich spoke out too late and he finished his comments with a quote from Bishop Tutu, “If you are neutral between the oppressor and the oppressed, then you are on the side of the oppressor.”

Rowley, Wright, and McGovern stayed to answer questions from the audience. Afterwards, Rowley and McGovern were off to prepare for a peace demonstration to be held the next day and Wright departed to join others protesting outside of the local police precinct.


Write-up Justin. It's good to hear about Ray again.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? Do we deserve to know how and why 9/11 happened?

as quoted on SLC

“I think the 9/11 Truth Movement as we knew it in 2006 and 2007 is dead,” said Justin Martell, a Franklin Pierce college student who’d spent much of 2007 showing up at New Hampshire candidate rallies asking about a new investigation. "We need to focus on the bigger picture, on issues like Iraq."

Is it being dishonest...

When you tell a half truth?

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? Do we deserve to know how and why 9/11 happened?

The movement as

The movement as we have seen it IS dead. Want to know how I know that, Victoria? Because I have been one of the people out actually doing the foot work for a real investigation instead of starting flame wars on internet forums and harping on about the melting point of anti-matter, like you.

I believe that the movement needs new tactics. Again, as one of the people who has been out there demanding that our elected officials support a new investigation, I can say that. 9/11 is part of a very large puzzle. The point I made about Iraq, that was misconstrued by that journalist, is that the movement needs to incorporate 9/11 into a much larger puzzle.

But why am I even defending myself to you? I've done more work for this movement than you ever have. You've done nothing but cause trouble. I think it is YOU who should be examined by the self appointed disinfo police with which you believe you are a part of.

Justin A. Martell

In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach! Fearing not that I'd become my enemy in the instant that I preach! My pathway led by confusion boats...mutiny from stern to bow!