By Evalee Mickey
Ray McGovern, a former CIA agent, and Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent launched their week-long barn-storming speaking tour on September 24 in Dubuque, IA. The tour, dubbed “The Truth Shall Make You Free,” was sponsored by the three Iowa chapters of Veterans for Peace and thirty-one other organizations. The itinerary included nine cities and seven institutions of higher learning.
Coleen and Ray spoke out for justice and peace by providing the electorate who came to their talks with information to use in choosing our government leaders in the coming election.
They spoke before over thirty groups, some as small as 17 people, such as an invitation only luncheon with a mostly Mennonite group in Cedar Falls, home of University of Northern Iowa, who wanted to hear how McGovern’s spirituality affected his work as a CIA agent and in his retirement in working for peace and justice.
One of the most pleasant talks was given at a rural Mennonite Church, which brought about seventy people out to hear another good description of Ray’s spirituality, which they especially seemed to appreciate.
Of course, they always covered the important points of their main message that citizens be informed and engaged. Sadly, their talk at St Ambrose U., our diocese’s only Catholic college, was attended by only some forty people. I had sent an article about the talk to the Catholic Messenger, our diocesan paper, which is in Davenport, as is St Ambrose, but the editor said she had turned over the article to a staffer, who had other priorities, so it was dropped. Another missed opportunity to promote Catholic people who earnestly work for social justice, not just talk about it.
The talk at Iowa City garnered an overflowing crowd at the Englert Theater where Edward Snowdon was Skyped in to talk and be questioned by Ray and Coleen. It was sponsored by VFP and the University Lecture Committee. About 800 people were in attendance. They also had a full house at the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council luncheon the next day.
The tour turned out to be well done….whether it is successful, that is to be seen. Their final day is in Des Moines, after speaking twice in Ames, the home of Iowa State University.
See various news article related to this tour below: