Follow the Soapbox
 
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Dr. John M. Newman, Jr., Major, U.S. Army, Retired, was born on 20 December 1950 in Dayton Ohio.

Dr. Newman earned a BA in Chinese studies (George Washington University, 1973), an MA in East Asian studies (George Washington University, 1976), and a PhD in modern Far Eastern history (George Washington University, 1992). He served in US Army Intelligence (1974–1994), became the Assistant to the Director, National Security Agency (1988–1990), and was a U.S. Army Attaché in China (1989–1991).

Dr. Newman taught for the University of Maryland Honors Program from 1992 to 2012.  He currently he teaches courses on counterterrorism, international terrorism, and America in the 60s at James Madison University. He is the author of JFK and Vietnam (1992); Oswald and the CIA (1995; 2009); Quest for the Kingdom—The Secret Teachings of Jesus in the Light of Yogic Mysticism (2011); and Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume I (2015).

Dr. Newman is an expert in textual records interpretation and documents forensics. His skills have been widely sought by US and foreign media organizations, including PBS, the History Channel, CSPAN, NBC, and other news organizations.

Dr. Newman has appeared on several occasions before various subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives to testify and/or make presentations on U.S. Government Agencies’ compliance with classified records release laws and the performance of the 911 Commission
 
 
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Peter Phillips is a professor of political sociology at Sonoma State University and president of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored. He was Director of Project Censored from 1997 to 2010. Phillips holds a Ph.D. from University of California Davis, his dissertation was on the Sociology of the San Francisco Bohemian Club. His recent research is focused on the Transnational capitalist class (TCC), and US/NATO Empire's move to 21st century fascism.
 
 
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Jon Gold has been an advocate for 9/11 Justice for over 13 years.  He was a member of the steering committee for 911truth.org.  He helped to found the site 911blogger.com.  He has worked with different 9/11 Family Members over the years.  He received an "Honorary Director Award" from the FealGood Foundation for his work bringing attention to the environmental disaster that was 9/11, and for raising money for the sick and dying 9/11 First Responders.  He was a contributor to the "Complete 9/11 Timeline" available at www.historycommons.org.  He helped with the film 9/11: Press For Truth.  He has worked alongside Gold Star Mother and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan for several years on several different projects including Camp OUT NOW, the Sizzlin' Summer Protests, and the Tour de Peace.  He has been arrested two times for acts of civil disobedience, dedicating one arrest to 9/11 Victim Robert McIlvaine Jr., and one to the Jersey Girls.  He was the emcee for the Treason In America Conference in 2010.  He has written several articles over the years having to do with 9/11, and authored a book called "9/11 Truther: The Fight For Peace, Justice And Accountability."  He now hosts "We Were Lied To About 9/11."
 
 
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Abby Martin is an American journalist and former host of Breaking the Set on the RT America network, working from the Washington, D.C. bureau. Before hosting her own show, she had worked for two years as a correspondent for RT America. Martin is also an artist and activist, and helped found the citizen journalism website, Media Roots. She serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation which manages Project Censored. Martin appeared in the documentary film Project Censored The Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News (2013), and co-directed 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013).

http://mediaroots.org/
http://abbymartin.org/
 
 
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Dan founded Florida Bulldog in 2009 using the name Broward Bulldog. He is an award-winning former investigative reporter for The Miami Herald and Daily Business Review, and one of South Florida’s most experienced reporters. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science from the University of Miami.

Dan’s stories about Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne’s private business dealings sparked a federal corruption investigation that landed Jenne in prison in 2007. His stories about hidden and falsified court records in Broward, Miami-Dade and elsewhere in Florida for The Miami Herald in 2006 led to a pair of unanimous Florida Supreme Court decisions in 2007 and 2010 outlawing those practices.

Similar stories for the Daily Business Review in 2003-2004 exposed excessive secrecy in the federal courts. The executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press later called Dan “the nation’s leading journalist on an issue of tremendous First Amendment importance: the increasing trend toward secrecy in our nation’s courts.”

In 2000-2001, Dan’s reporting about a deadly gun-planting conspiracy and cover-up by Miami police resulted in the indictment of more than a dozen officers and significant governmental reform, including the establishment of Miami’s long sought civilian review panel.

http://floridabulldog.com/
 
 
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Jonathan Kay is a Canadian journalist. He is the editor-in-chief of The Walrus and former comment pages editor, columnist and blogger for the Toronto-based Canadian daily newspaper National Post. He is also a book author and editor, a public speaker, and a regular contributor to Commentary Magazine and the New York Post. His freelance articles have been published in a variety of US publications including Newsweek, The New Yorker, Salon.com, The New Republic, Harper's Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The Weekly Standard, The Literary Review of Canada, The National Interest and The New York Times.  Books he has written are “The Volunteer: A Canadian's Secret Life in the Mossad” which was co-written by Michael Ross, and Among The Truthers.
 
 
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Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for 15 years.

Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.

In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content. They ended the memo with this:

“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, after a five-year study by his committee, described the intelligence used to “justify” war on Iraq as “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”  In other words, it was not mistaken; it was fraudulent.

As an act of conscience, on March 2, 2006 Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion given him at retirement for “especially meritorious service,” explaining, “I do not want to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture.”  He returned it to Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R, Michigan), then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Hoekstra added to the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY’07 (HR5020) a provision enabling the government to strip intelligence veterans of their government pensions.  HR5020 passed the full House, but Congress opted instead for a continuing resolution.  Thus, Ray was spared from having to go back to driving part-time for Red Top Cab.

On the early afternoon of May 4, 2006, in Atlanta, Ray confronted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on live TV with pointed questions like: "Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties?"

The impromptu, four-minute mini-debate that followed is still receiving hits on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1FTmuhynaw. Accused by TV pundits that evening of "following the Secretary of Defense all the way down to Atlanta," Ray explained that he had gotten to Atlanta first - to receive, that same evening, the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award (won the previous year by Coretta Scott King).

Ray’s opinion pieces have appeared in many leading newspapers here and abroad.  His Web site writings are usually posted first on consortiumnews.com as well as here on raymcgovern.com, and they are usually then cross-posted widely on other Web sites.

Ray still serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; VIPS’ 26 corporate issuances are posted on warisacrime.org/vips.

He has debated twice at the Oxford Forum, most recently in Jan. 2013, when he chose to take a lighter tone in trying to explain why it is still possible to dream the American dream.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w79XPIlwdvY

Ray has appeared on The Newshour, C-Span’s Washington Journal, CNN, Aljazeera, RT, PressTV and numerous other TV & radio programs and documentaries. (His favorite gig was debating former CIA Director James Wollsey on Charlie Rose on Aug. 20, 2004.)  Ray has also addressed a wide variety of audiences in the U.S. and abroad.

He studied theology and philosophy (as well as his major, Russian) at Fordham University, from which he holds two degrees.  He also holds a Certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

A Catholic, Ray has been worshipping for over a decade with the ecumenical Church of the Saviour.  He has been invited to lecture at various interfaith and ecumenical events around the U.S., and has preached at a number of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues.

Ray is particularly fond of the “substitute teaching” he has been invited to do at universities and colleges.  At George Washington University, though, he quickly wore out his welcome when he stood silently with his back turned toward then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  He was seized and badly beaten while Secretary Clinton spoke eloquently about the need for freedom of expression – in Iran.
 
 
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Senator Bob Graham is the former two-term governor of Florida and served for 18 years in the United States Senate. This combined with 12 years in the Florida legislature for a total of 38 years of public service. As Governor and Senator, Bob Graham was a centrist, committed to bringing his colleagues together behind programs that served the broadest public interest. He was recognized by the people of Florida when he received an 83% approval ranking as he concluded eight years as Governor. Bob Graham retired from public service in January, 2005 following his Presidential campaign in 2003. He has written four books, including a non-fiction book, “Intelligence Matters,” a novel, “Keys to the Kingdom,” drawing on his experiences as chair of Senate Intelligence Committee and “America the Owner’s Manual, a guide to effective citizenship,” written while he was a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Since leaving the Senate in 2005, Graham has been chair of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction; a member of the Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and co-chair of the Presidential Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Florida and the Harvard Law School, he established the Center for Public Service at the University of Florida to enhance civic engagement and prepare the next generation of public and civic leaders. Graham and the former Adele Khoury have been married for 55 years. They have four daughters, the oldest of which, Gwen Graham, was elected to the US Congress in 2014. Senator Graham has 11 grandchildren.
 
 
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Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, the director of “We Stand With Shaker,” calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and is available on Amazon) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” He has written for the New York Times and the Guardian, and is currently writing for Al-Jazeera. He has also worked with the United Nations, WikiLeaks and Reprieve.

Related Links:
http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/
http://www.closeguantanamo.org/
http://westandwithshaker.org/
 
 
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Shocked into activism by the ACLU's analysis of the Patriot Act II, Mal Chaddock has been involved in social justice issues since 2002, first with Peace Fresno, a group that was infiltrated by the FBI and made international news.  After relocating to Portland, OR Mal helped co-found Oregonians Against the Wars and Individuals For Justice (www.individualsforjustice.com) and joined the Portland, OR chapter of Veterans For Peace where he currently serves as vice president.  Mal has traveled the nation extensively over the last dozen years supporting endeavors for peace, often accompanying Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan on her journeys in the USA. Most recently he's been active in helping found and support NoNukesNW and RadCast.org as well as Don't Shoot Portland.