Ray Close

Ray Close is from a long line of Middle East experts. From the outset of the Iraq campaign, he fearlessly organized fellow colleagues from the CIA to speak out against the misuse of intelligence. He has been a relentless campaigner to return professionalism to our intelligence community and to rebuild the firewall separating it from politics. Here is a short bio:

Ray Close comes from a family with deep roots in the Middle East. He and many of his immediate relatives have been teachers, diplomats or businessmen in the Arab Middle East for four generations, since his maternal great-grandfather arrived in 1853 and began establishing schools in southern Lebanon. His father, Harold Close, was a professor and later Dean of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut from 1910 until 1955. His mother’s brother, Colonel William Eddy, served as the interpreter between President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud at their historic meeting aboard a US Navy cruiser in the Suez Canal immediately following the Yalta Conference in February 1945.

After graduating from Princeton University in 1951, Ray served for 26 years as a Middle East specialist with the Operations Directorate of the CIA. During his career, he served under cover as a political officer at American Embassies in Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. For seven years before his retirement in 1977, he was the CIA’s senior representative in Saudi Arabia.

Source: http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/syriablog/2004/05/more-dubious-def-dept-allegations.htm

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  1. An embarrassing display of subservience — 1 comment
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Author's posts

Oct 07 2010

Bravo, Brandon Davis

This was sent to me today by Ilene Cohen, Executive Editor of World Politics, journal of Princeton’s Institute for International and Regional Studies.  

October 7, 2010  

Here I am sitting in an office at Princeton University and I missed this incredible opinion column (following). Thanks to my friend Asli, sitting in her office at UCLA, for sending me this piece from The Daily Princetonian. Davis has put his finger on the core of the problem, that so much of Jewish … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2010/10/07/bravo-brandon-davis/

Sep 21 2010

War talk

MEC Analytical Group
21 September 2010
War talk

We are grateful to Richard Dalton for bringing to our attention the account below of an exchange of views on 17 September on the prospect of another war between Israel and Lebanon. Jeffrey White of the generally pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy (where the exchange took place) sets the scene for a war which would be even more destructive than previous wars. In language which uncomfortably recalls American positions from … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2010/09/21/war-talk/

Sep 05 2010

Rape of Dulcinea


Note:  The following piece by Israel Shamir, a contemporary Israeli intellectual, was resurrected April 18, 2010 after Wiesel’s open letter appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, and New York Times…

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Elie Wiesel wrote a letter to President Obama demanding hands off Jewish hold on Jerusalem.  He recycled his own letter of January 2001, so here is what I answered him then.¹   

– Israel Shamir

I

The touching words of Elie Wiesel painted a … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2010/09/05/rape-of-dulcinea/

Sep 01 2010

Brilliant

Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 1:57 PM
Subject: Chas Freeman’s Brilliant Speech in Oslo

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Miraculously, almost instantly after I circulated the interview with Chas Freeman earlier today, one of my distinguished recipients sent me the text of his speech in Oslo this morning, to which I had referred in my lead-in to his interview. It is transmitted below.

This speech is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.

I fervently urge taking the time to read it and … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2010/09/01/brilliant/

Aug 20 2010

A Dangerous New Threat

 

This young Jewish PhD candidate at the University of Chicago has written what I believe is an extremely insightful and timely essay — one that merits the urgent attention and concern of leaders in the fields of politics, religion and academia, not just in America and Europe, but in Israel, as well. 

Monsieur d’Nalgar: To clarify, Ray Close is introducing the essay of student/scholar Daniel Luban below.  Not to be confused with the photo I added of Dutch MP Geert [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2010/08/20/a-dangerous-new-threat/

Jul 11 2010

We did it right

 Friends:

Over the past few days, there has been some interesting debate going on about the relative merits of the ‘spy swap’ concluded with the Russians.  I have my own views of the case, and thought I’d share them with you.  I’ve already sent these views to a number of former CIA colleagues and to a former US ambassador to Moscow, all of whom (so far) have agreed fully with my analysis.  (That, in itself, I have found to be … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2010/07/11/we-did-it-right/

Jun 11 2007

Small minds, big snowballs

 “Did the U.S. Incite Iran’s Crackdown?”

Let me start by making it clear that I have absolutely no specific evidence to support the following assertions.  My views are based purely on intuition, developed I suppose over several decades of experience in observing and participating in covert actions of every imaginable variety.

There is an obnoxious but deeply-imbedded subculture in the US intelligence community that began to appear most noticeably during the period when “Cowboy Bill” Casey was director of the … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2007/06/11/small-minds-big-snowballs/