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Emergency Press Conference: The Danger of Nuclear War Is Real, and Must Be Stopped

Emergency Press Conference: The Danger of Nuclear War Is Real, and Must Be Stopped



Wednesday, June 12, 2024; 1:00—3:00 p.m. ET
National Press Club, Washington, D.C.; and on-line via Zoom
· Scott Ritter: former U.N. weapons inspector and U.S. Marine intelligence officer
· Col. (ret.) Richard H. Black: former head of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon; former State Senator, Virginia (Speaker’s views are not those of DOD or its agencies)
· Ray McGovern: former CIA analyst and co-founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
· Helga Zepp-LaRouche: founder of the Schiller Institute
Schiller Institute


IN PERSON PARTICIPATION: Seating is limited, if you wish to attend you must RSVP at

ONLINE JOURNALISTS PARTICIPATION: Journalists wishing to participate on-line, please send an email to indicating your name, media you represent, and language preference (English, German, French and Spanish can be accommodated), and you will receive a link by email.

The public in general can view the online English-language live stream here:

On June 3, the U.S. State Department prevented U.S. citizen Scott Ritter from boarding his flight to St. Petersburg, Russia, and seized his passport. Ritter, a former U.S. Marine officer and United Nations weapons inspector who has become a prominent opponent of the current war policy, was traveling to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which is being attended by an estimated 19,000 people and 3,400 media representatives from some 130 countries. Ritter was subsequently able to participate in the SPIEF panel via Zoom.

In addition to the clear First and Fourth Amendment Constitutional issues raised by the Ritter case, the content of what Ritter was going to discuss is key: the need to improve U.S.-Russian relations and stop the escalating danger arising from NATO’s current posture towards Russia, as seen most starkly in Ukraine, which is dragging the world towards a nuclear World War III.

The May 22 attack on a critical Russian early-warning radar system at Armavir, purportedly by “Ukrainian” drones, could have been the event which tipped the balance towards war—because it could have confirmed for Russia their stated belief that NATO and the West are intent on “blinding” Russia’s early-warning system in preparation for a possible “preemptive decapitation” strike by the U.S. and NATO against them. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated exactly this concern, publically, and it is the height of arrogant foolishness of the West to dismiss this as a “bluff,” as so many in Washington, London and other NATO capitals are now doing.

As dangerous as attempting to blind Russia’s early-warning radar, are the efforts to silence opposition voices who function as a kind of “early-warning” system in the domain of policy deliberation—those who are warning of the danger of nuclear war, and are presenting alternatives to a policy of confrontation.

On Wednesday, June 12 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., a distinguished panel of four experts will each make brief presentations on these topics, and will respond to questions from the media, both in person and over an international Zoom link (with simultaneous interpretation into German, French and Spanish for audiences in those countries).

Recent comments by the panelists:

Scott Ritter: “The command centers that Russia uses were conceptualized and constructed during the Soviet Union, when Ukraine was part of the Union, and, from a Russian perspective, they were deep in the Russian rear, protected. But if Ukraine now is carved out and made part of NATO, and you insert American missiles there, all of these places that were thought to be safe in the rear are now reachable. And if America allows Ukraine to use ATACMS missiles to strike these facilities, Russia will nuke NATO! Not Ukraine—NATO!… The Ukrainians are complaining that the United States will only allow them to use the HIMARS, that they won’t be allowed to use the ATACMS to strike Russia yet. But, just so everybody in your audience understands, we are one ATACMS launch away from everybody dying. The Russians aren’t playing games here.” [June 4, 2024, on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s “Judging Freedom” show]

Senator Richard Black: “Now, if you look at where we are right now with the three drone attacks directed at their eyes and ears against nuclear attacks, this clearly would trigger the nuclear doctrine of the Russian state. Now, in addition, if there’s actually a cohesive movement towards preparation for nuclear war—I’m not saying that we have made some sort of a decision, but we certainly are laying all the groundwork in case a decision was to be made. We’re attacking their early warning systems by blinding them. We have significant drone attacks against the nuclear bomber base in Russia, deep within Russia. Keep in mind that, from the Russian perspective, if you put yourself in their shoes, what do they see? They see that Russia is being blinded to where it can’t detect incoming attacks. Also, its nuclear bomber fleet is being attacked, repeatedly attacked. Now we see NATO moving nuclear capable F-16 jets into the country. You put all those together, and it is a very nerve-wracking situation for Russia, where they have such a short period between a nuclear launch against them and a decision being made to counter that launch. What do they do? How do they respond?” [May 30, 2024, interview with Executive Intelligence Review (EIR)]

Ray McGovern: “Russia views the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine as the kind of existential threat that President John Kennedy perceived, when Moscow installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Those missiles were capable of hitting, within minutes—Washington, D.C. and the Strategic Air Command in Omaha. For readers who have missed this, U.S. missile capsules already emplaced in Romania and Poland (ostensibly for ‘ABMs’) can accommodate overnight what Russia calls ‘offensive strike missiles’—with even shorter launch-to-target time—than those Kennedy strong-armed Khrushchev to remove from Cuba, under threat of nuclear war.” [Dec. 12, 2022,]

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “I can only say that the judgment of Scott Ritter is that once they start to use the ATACMS missiles, which have a much longer-range and could actually reach deep into Russian territory; or if German Chancellor Scholz capitulates again, which he is doing, and allows the Taurus cruise missiles to be deployed [to Ukraine], that could lead to the absolute destruction of Moscow, of the Kremlin, and would mean a guaranteed World War III. And we are absolutely sitting on that powder keg. Therefore, one ATACMS away from Armageddon is exactly where we are. And we have to really get the population mobilized… We have to convince the people of Western Europe and the United States that the countries of the Global South are not their enemy. What the BRICS-Plus countries are attempting to do is to straighten out the world order… [It is] eminently possible to establish a new security and development architecture.” [June 5, 2024, Weekly Schiller Institute webcast]

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