Friday, January 25, 2008
Ray McGovern and the art of limited hangout
I like Ray McGovern. He says all sorts of good things. But he's also ex-CIA. And you can take the boy out of the CIA but you can't take the CIA out of the kindly old grandfather. Recently McGovern has been shocking people with the story of the USS Liberty. It was an act of arch Israeli wickedness, says he. And he's right of course. It is exactly that. If you don't know about it, start googling. The BBC's Dead in the Water on googlevideo is the single unmissable summary. The concentrated significance of the USS Liberty cannot be underemphasised. And don't miss the leading role played by John McCain's father - arch villain of the cover-up! He actually threatened the surviving crew with death.
For those who already know about the Liberty, it is my solemn duty to inform you that McGovern is practising the fine art of limited hangout. Limited hangout is a technique where a secret is revealed but with crucial parts of the story missing - invariably to protect a guilty party. McGovern seeks, in his telling of the Liberty incident, to point attention away from the US administration and solely at Israel. In doing so he ironically lessens the crime and weakens his own case.
The bit McGovern crucially ignores is the launching of Cairo-bound, nuke-laden Skyhawks. LBJ and Robert McNamara launched the mission - wait for it - before they were even meant to have known who the culprit was. But, horror of horrors, the Liberty failed to sink with all hands, and the planes had to be recalled. The people of Cairo were spared mass death by nuclear firestorm. How to explain the nukes? Best not to - mistake, mumble, mumble. And the final murderous truth about the Liberty is that it was sent to the Levant deliberately for this grand charade. It had to be the Liberty because it was perhaps the only ship in the navy that couldn't defend itself and was not a fleet support vessel. Which is to say, it could be on its own, without any witnesses, and in range of Israeli bombers and torpedo boats.
In order to support his limited hangout thesis, McGovern must leave the 'why' question unasked. He shrugs his shoulders and defers to others. Time for the small-concession crowd to misdirect: perhaps the Liberty had evidence of an Israeli atrocity against the Egyptians? A perfect example of limited hangout. It concedes the wickedness of the Israelis but in a useless, go-nowhere fashion. Otherwise as an explanation for the attack it's prima facie crap. If the massacre of US servicemen could be successfully covered up for forty years, do we really think anyone would bat an eyelid about a who-gives-a-shit massacre of Egyptians? And they did massacre Egyptians - in the hundreds. And we know and we don't give a shit. Honestly, like such small-time bullshit would warrant the sinking of a US vessel and the machine-gunning of the crew.
McGovern cannot mention nuke-laden Skyhawks because that would lead to a whole other discussion. The Skyhawks were launched impossibly early. Actually they were on time under the Israeli schedule, but the crew of the Liberty had fucked the schedule up. Spoilsports! The early nuke mission means LBJ was in on the gag. From the get-go. Wow. And then we wonder - LBJ wanted to bomb Cairo? Why? How could this possibly be in the interest of the US? It's not, obviously.
Absurdly, McGovern's limited hangout actually diminishes Israel's wickedness. Says he, Israel launched a small operation, all on their own and who knew? They are tricksy, ungrateful shitheads but happily for all they're small-time, clumsy and unsuccessful. Um, yes and no. The unspeakable truth is that the Israelis had reached into the Whitehouse and gripped LBJ by the balls. And McNamara too. So great was their power, they could force a US president and his secretary of defence to sacrifice a US naval vessel and visit Hiroshima-like death and misery on a people guilty of nothing other than being on Israel's shit-list. Remember, none of this wicked enormity could possibly have been in the US's interests. And the question has to be asked - How the fuck could they force the President of the United States to do this? Guesses are all we've got.
Money? Would LBJ fuck his country over and nuke another for a sum of money? I don't buy it. And did he suddenly get rich? Which is to say, richer? How about blackmail? Run of the mill sex-blackmail is good for extorting tens of thousands of bucks - but this is nukes. It's my opinion that getting sprung for sleeping with another woman, or with a man, or even with some mad gimp-outfit scat-king is insufficient to sell out your country. Any one of these and LBJ could have slunk off and remained untarred, unfeathered, and unlynched.
There's only two things that come up to scratch, for mine. One is some variety of kiddy porn/snuff movie. A photo of an eight year old chomping his choad would have had magical powers. And cost pennies - you gotta love that! The other possibility is proof of LBJ's involvement in the murder of JFK. A recording of him congratulating the assassins would do it. Tricky though - it's a weapon of mass destruction, if you know what I mean. Whatever it was, the blackmail had to be so unspeakable that it was capable of forcing LBJ to commit a nuclear holocaust. Just what did that shitty little country have on him? And what do they have now on the current congress? Whatever it is now, it ain't a rap for JFK.