Ray McGovern

By Nathan Diebenow
Friday, December 10th, 2010
Raw Story

‘The Empire’ is ‘being threatened by a slingshot in the form of a computer’

Traditional lines of communication between the people and the press have fallen into such disrepair in America that a whole new approach is necessary to challenge the military-industrial-governmental complex, according to a former CIA analyst sympathetic to WikiLeaks.

“The Fourth Estate is dead,” Ray McGovern, of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview. “The Fourth Estate in his country has been captured by government and corporations, the military-industrial complex, the intelligence apparatus. Captive! So, there is no Fourth Estate.”

McGovern explained that the term the “Fourth Estate,” known today as the news media in the US, was first coined by 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke. Burke is said to have pointed to the balcony in Parliament and lauded the print media of his day for being the safeguards of democracy.

“That was very powerful back then,” McGovern said. “And just a century later you get Tom Paine, James Madison. You know what Thomas Jefferson said? He said if we have to make a choice between having a government and having a press, I’ll go for the press every time. He understood that any government without a free press will resort to despotism.”

McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing and briefing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates, said that he preferred to focus on the First Amendment battle of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange than on the current “cyber war” in which WikiLeaks is embroiled.

McGovern said that modern people can now become informed through what he termed “The Fifth Estate.”

“Luckily, there is a Fifth Estate,” he said. “The Fifth Estate exists in the ether. It’s not susceptible of government, of corporations, or advertisers or military control. It’s free. That is very dangerous to people who like to make secrets and to make secret operational things. It’s a huge threat. And the Empire – the Goliath here – is being threatened by a slingshot in the form of a computer and a stone through these emissions thrown into the ether to our own computers.”

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