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Either Trump is not really in charge or he’s mentally deranged

ATTACKING PEOPLE WITH FLEETS OF MISSILES BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY FACTS by : JOHN CHUCKMAN “US’ Airstrike in Syria: Trump ’Needs a Swift Victory to Resolve’ Domestic Issues” I just do not believe Trump is effectively in charge. The only other explanation for this bozo attack is that Trump is mentally unbalanced, changing his policy […]

“US’ Airstrike in Syria: Trump ’Needs a Swift Victory to Resolve’ Domestic Issues”

I just do not believe Trump is effectively in charge. The only other explanation for this bozo attack is that Trump is mentally unbalanced, changing his policy daily in response to passing whims, but I do not believe that to be the case, despite his tendency to behave clownishly at times.

He’s been reduced to the same figurehead status as Obama, signing off on official papers to order things pretty much decided by others, others not elected to anything but enjoying immense power and privilege. Of course, all the contrived but ceaseless attacks he has endured since being elected and the important staff he has had to let go signaled exactly the same fact.

Even if there were a question of Assad’s forces being responsible – which for many strong reasons cannot be not right – wouldn’t it be necessary to at least check out some details before attacking people with fleets of missiles?

Of course, it would, but that logic seems not to apply to the American empire, just as the logic does not apply of asking by what authority America can attack anyone who has not first attacked it. This is the act of a global bully, not a nation of rules.

And we have an additional technical fact to consider from Russian military sources which say missile strikes of this size and kind require preparation time pre-dating the ostensible excuse for the strike, the gas attack at Idlib.

Figureheads or not, Obama and Trump were and are legal, elected authorities, and I certainly hold them completely responsible for the deaths and destruction their military and CIA have produced.

It does seem, with each passing year, that John Kennedy, despite his overall meager political achievements, stands taller as the last president to resist these dark forces and exert his Constitutional right as elected leader, but, of course, for that he paid a very great price.

It seems to have escaped the attention of any press in the West that this was an unwarranted attack on a sovereign country, in effect, a war crime.

Of course, it had long escaped the attention of the press in the West that Obama’s over 300,000 killed, millions made into refugees, and destruction of a beautiful country were great war crimes. We have only empty sentimentality over his boyish smile and earnest pretense of liberality. Thinking people know you cannot have liberality and mass murder co-habiting.

We’ll, of course, not hear anything from the UN, supposedly founded to oppose such ugliness, because the UN has been reduced over recent years to a hollow shell of itself by American manipulations and threats, even the resort to reneging on its treaty obligations to pay dues until it got what it wanted.

The shabby false-flag business of chemical weapons being used by Assad is just a tiresome repeat of something attempted a number of times, going back to Obama in 2012. What a low place for a great country to be brought down to: supplying thugs with poisons, allowing them to kill innocents, and using it as an excuse for still more killing and destruction.

But that is exactly the logic of today’s American empire, married as it is to creating a Middle East acceptable to the ugly demands of its brutal colony, Israel. The whole effort so far has cost at least two million lives and created enough refugees to destabilize Europe. What a proud achievement it has been.

Oh, yes, Nikki Haley, we’ll remember when you undoubtedly blubber again in the Un to defend this behavior, America is certainly “the moral conscience” for the world.

Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official
by : Shaun Waterman

TRUMP’S FRIGHTENING TURNAROUND ON SYRIA – A STRONG SIGNAL ABOUT WHO REALLY RUNS
by : JOHN CHUCKMAN

via Either Trump is not really in charge or he’s mentally deranged — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

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Over ariannelot

"Hidden manna from the promised "White Stone", Rev 2:17 P1446:5, 131:3.3 . . . It is evil to see sin where there is no sin; TO SEE NO SIN WHERE THERE IS SIN. Evil is the path of FALSE DOCTRINES. Those who avoid evil BY SEEING THINGS AS THEY ARE gain joy by thus embracing the truth. Make an end of your misery BY LOATHING SIN. When you look up to the Noble One, turn away from sin with a whole heart. Make no apology for evil; MAKE NO EXCUSE FOR SIN. By your efforts to make amends for past sins you acquire strength to resist future tendencies thereto. Restraint is born of repentance. Leave no fault unconfessed to the Noble One. 131:3.4 (1447.1) “Cheerfulness and gladness are the rewards of deeds well done and to the glory of the Immortal. No man can rob you of the liberty of your own mind. When the faith of your religion has emancipated your heart, when the mind, like a mountain, is settled and immovable, then shall the peace of the soul flow tranquilly like a river of waters. Those who are sure of salvation are forever free from lust, envy, hatred, and the delusions of wealth. While faith is the energy of the better life, nevertheless, must you work out your own salvation with perseverance. If you would be certain of your final salvation, then make sure that you sincerely seek to fulfill all righteousness. Cultivate the assurance of the heart which springs from within and thus come to enjoy the ecstasy of eternal salvation. ~~ Urantia Book Paper 131 ~~

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3 gedachtes over “Either Trump is not really in charge or he’s mentally deranged

  1. Published on 7 Apr 2017

    The Trump clone works now openly for the deep state. Perfectly programed.
    Welcome to open state terrorism.
    Plus David Icke repeats Rudolfs statement of chemtrail use for mind control.

    Like

    Geplaatst door ariannelot | 8 april 2017, 09:14
    • Talking about the deep state: This creature is behind all this, IMHO:

      https://www.sott.net/article/328317-Dick-Cheneys-deep-state-and-Continuity-in-Government-measures-on-9-11ticle/328317-Dick-Cheneys-deep-state-and-Continuity-in-Government-measures-on-9-11

      Prof Peter Dale Scott
      Journal of 9/11 Studies
      Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:00 UTC

      In 1993 I wrote a book, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, in which I said at the outset I was not going to try to solve the mystery of JFK’s murder but to examine the politics of it.

      I wish to argue here for similar research into the politics of 9/11. For the political consequences of 9/11 have been toxic, regardless of how the towers fell or who was responsible. The unusual process of their implementation deserves close study, a study which I believe will cast more light on 9/11 itself.

      I hope in this paper to show that Dick Cheney responded to 9/11 by using devious means to install a small cabal of lawyers – most notoriously John Yoo – who proceeded conspiratorially in the next weeks to exclude their superiors, while secretly authorizing measures ranging from warrantless surveillance and detention to torture.

      Some of these were measures which Cheney and Rumsfeld had previously been preparing for almost two decades, as central figures in the secret agency planning for so-called Continuity of Government (COG). It was revealed in the 1980s that these plans aimed at granting a president emergency powers, uncurbed by congressional restraints, to intervene abroad, and also to detain large numbers of those who might protest such actions.

      On 9/11, the 9/11 Report confirms, COG was implemented. As we shall see, Cheney promptly ordered the three top figures in the Justice Department out of Washington to a designated COG site buried deep underground.

      This allowed Cheney’s cabal to deal instead, starting that same afternoon, with John Yoo in the Justice Department command center. At that time John Yoo, a 34-year-old distinguished chiefly for his repeated defense of Cheney’s eccentric views on presidential authority, had only been in the government for two months.

      As a consequence, since 9/11 we have seen warrantless surveillance, suspension of habeas corpus, and the militarization of homeland security, on an unprecedented scale that is not just illegal but an erasure of rights specified in the U.S. constitution.[1]

      Furthermore, the secrecy and speed of the manner in which our rights were drastically subverted is itself an affront to the ideals of America as an open society: one in which major changes to our political fabric are only made through authorized channels, and after debate.

      The Background: Continuity of Government Planning

      The origin of many of these measures – both their content and their secret planning outside of channels – was the secret Continuity of Government (COG) planning that Rumsfeld and Cheney had been engaged in since 1982.

      In the 1980s three secret COG provisions were roughly identified by Alfonso Chardy of the Miami News and Ross Gelbspan of the Boston Globe. According to Chardy in 1987,

      the plans envisaged suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law during a national crisis.”[2]

      Gelbspan added that North was also working with FEMA officials on a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an unspecified national emergency.[3]

      The detention planning was clearly aimed at protesters, many of them Hispanic, who objected to Reagan’s policies in Nicaragua and El Salvador. (Col. Oliver North, who coordinated the planning, was also at the center of a “three-year operation aimed at monitoring the activities of U.S.-based opponents of Reagan’s Central America policies.”)[4]

      Between them, the two journalists thus pointed to the content of the surveillance, detention, and militarization measureswhich, after over a decade of further refinement, were finally implemented on 9/11.

      They also indicated how secret, extra-constitutional, and unaccountable was the process of the COG planning. Chardy accurately referred to North’s network as “a virtual parallel government outside the traditional Cabinet departments and agencies almost from the day Reagan took office.”[5]

      Four years later, in 1991, CNN revealed for the first time that North and FEMA were under a secret National Program Office (NPO) in charge of Continuity of Government (COG) planning, known in the Pentagon as “the Doomsday Project.” It called the NPO a “shadow government . . . about which you know nothing.”[6] And in 2004 two authors, James Mann and James Bamford, wrote that in the 1980s two central figures guiding North in the Doomsday planning, which Mann called “extralegal and extraconstitutional,” had been Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.[7]

      The new details from Bamford and Mann about this multi-billion program were invaluable. But unfortunately both men believed, because of a very misleading story in the New York Times, that under Clinton “officials decided to abandon the program as an outdated legacy of the cold war.”[8]

      Both men were wrong: all that had been abandoned was the original and completely honorable purpose of COG planning under Truman and Eisenhower – to deal with the catastrophe of an atomic attack. Under Reagan the planning, from the outset, had shifted to dealing with any emergency.[9] Not only did the planning by Rumsfeld and Cheney continue under Clinton, it was augmented.[10]

      How very true, then, was Mann’s observation that

      Cheney and Rumsfeld were, in a sense, a part of the permanent hidden national-security apparatus of the United States—inhabitants of a world in which Presidents come and go, but America keeps on fighting.[11]

      This situation was particularly disturbing under Clinton, when Rumsfeld (and possibly Cheney) continued to plan for subordination of the constitution, even though at this time neither man was in the government.[12] Both men were now CEOs of large private corporations (as Rumsfeld had been since recruited in 1982 for the task).[13] And one of the planners told Andrew Cockburn that the Clinton administration had “no idea what was going on.”[14] (Such phenomena persuaded me to analyze 9/11 as a deep event, to be analyzed in the context of the American deep state.)[15]

      Private corporation leaders had been brought into COG planning under Eisenhower, because recovery from a nuclear attack would have required a corporate as well as government response.[16] Ike could hardly have foreseen that under Reagan private people would begin to plan for the extralegal surveillance and detention of their fellow citizens, still less that these plans would finally be implemented by two of the central planners — Rumsfeld and Cheney — on September 11, 2001.

      The Implementation of COG Measures on 9/11

      As the 9/11 Report confirms (pp. 38, 226), on 9/11 COG plans were indeed implemented, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. It was under the auspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington on that day, and other government leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were swiftly evacuated to COG’s Site R, inside a hollowed out mountain near Camp David.[17]

      These emergency measures were soon followed by two White House Declarations of Emergency: Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (“Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty”), and Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001 (“with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism”).[18]

      There was much more to come.

      Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Dick Cheney in effect took command of the national security operations of the federal government. Quickly and instinctively, he began to act in response to two longstanding beliefs: that the great dangers facing the United States justified almost any response, whether or not legal; and that the presidency needed vastly to enhance its authority, which had been unjustifiably and dangerously weakened in the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate years.[19]

      James Mann has argued that COG implementation was the “hidden backdrop” to Cheney’s actions on 9/11, when he “urged President Bush to stay out of Washington,” and later removed himself to more than one “‘undisclosed location'”.[20]

      According to Jane Mayer, Cheney’s chief aide that day in revamping government was his long-time legal assistant David Addington (a veteran with Cheney of COG planning). All sources follow theWashington Post in asserting that Addington initially walked away when the order was given to vacate the White House, then was summoned back by Cheney.[21] Yet Mayer writes that “Within minutes of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Addington began to assert himself as the war on terror’s indispensable man.”[22]

      How Cheney’s Lawyers Subordinated US Law

      According to Barton Gellman in the Washington Post,

      Before the day ended, Cheney’s lawyer [Addington] joined forces with Timothy E. Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, linked by secure video from the Situation Room. Flanigan patched in John C. Yoo at the Justice Department’s fourth-floor command center. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales joined later.

      Thus formed the core legal team that Cheney oversaw, directly and indirectly, after the terrorist attacks.[23]

      In addition, Flanigan was in touch by about 10:30 AM with the fifth member of the War Council, William Haynes, Pentagon general counsel.[24] This War Council “explicitly excluded the State Department’s general counsel and other military and Justice Department lawyers who had historically been included in reviewing legal structures for combating terrorism.”[25]

      In the next months this five-man team, who called themselves “the War Council,” issued secret directives, sometimes without notifying their nominal superiors, that continued to implement COG plans and up-end established constitutional restraints on executive power.

      One of the first instances was to authorize the use of military force domestically, something that Congress, when passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) on September 14, had refused to do. Before passage, Republican Senate Minority leader Trent Lott delivered to his Democrat counterpart, Tom Daschle, a special request from White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez. This was that the proposed language defining the area for military action be expanded, by adding the words “in the United States.” Daschle refused to give the president the power to round up US citizens in this country, and the AUMF passed unamended.[26]

      On the lawbooks, that is. However,

      Within a week, the Justice Department delivered a secret answer [submitted on September 21 by John Yoo] that would shock Daschle when he found out about it [three years later]. The memo argued that in times of national emergency, which had been declared since September 11, “If the president decided the threat justified deploying the military inside the country, the federal government could legally “raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed ….” …. In this and related memos, the Justice Department said that the executive branch could ignore both Fourth Amendment protections against illegitimate searches and, without court warrants, specific laws passed by Congress prohibiting wiretaps and other surreptitious surveillance.[27]

      So what Cheney, Gonzalez, and Flanigan had failed to obtain from Congress, they got instead from their own small group.[28]

      The War Council’s secret rulings were often kept hidden from other administration lawyers, as well as Congress. In October, for example, John Yoo, the young deputy at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, drafted a memo, quickly approved by Cheney and Addington, that ruled that the NSA could surveil whomever it wished without an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).[29]

      This memo granted the NSA a power which Michael Hayden had requested and already exercised. Yet many other administration lawyers were not consulted, including the top lawyer for Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Council, John Bellinger III. In fact, Bellinger was not told about the Terrorist Surveillance Program at all. This was strange, because unlike Addington, who had no line authority over national security matters, Bellinger was the ranking lawyer in the White House on intelligence affairs, with statutory purview over the subject…. Richard Shiffrin was also not informed about the domestic spying program, which was remarkable, because Shiffrin was the Pentagon lawyer in charge of supervising the legality of the NSA’s programs…. Ashcroft’s deputy attorney general, Larry Thompson, the second-ranking lawyer in the Department of Justice, was excluded… too…. This was phenomenal, given that he was John Yoo’s boss.[30]

      This cabal-like behavior by Cheney and the War Council – the team that would subsequently produce the notorious torture memos — was repeated on other matters. In the decision to use military commissions to try the Guantanamo detainees, for example, those left out of the loop included Defense Secretary Powell, National Security Adviser Rice, Rice’s lawyer John Bellinger III, and Michael Chertoff, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

      Attorney General Ashcroft had only learned of the military commission plan two days earlier, when he discovered to his outrage that John Yoo, his subordinate, had vouched for a confidential legal memorandum cutting the Justice Department and U.S. Courts out of the picture.[31]

      It would be wrong to think that all of the post-9/11 changes can be attributed to the legal team of the War Council. According to Professor Shirley Anne Warshaw, in this period

      Cheney jumped into action in his bunker beneath the East Wing to ensure continuity in government. He immediately began to create his shadow government by ordering one hundred mid-level executive officials to move to specially designated underground bunkers and stay there twenty-four hours a day. They would not be rotated out, he informed them, for ninety days.[32]

      The Washington Post revealed this “shadow government” under Cheney in March 2002, and described it as still on-going.[33]

      What this parallel government did for three or more months is not known. But I have noted elsewhere a number of other new COG measures, such as permanent detention centers and the militarization of homeland security, that date back to this post-9/11 period.[34]

      How Cheney and Addington Used COG to Empower Yoo

      Given the speed and determination with which the War Council acted to rewrite U.S laws and procedures, one needs to look more closely at circumstances under which they sprang into action on the afternoon of 9/11. According to all mainstream accounts, the five members of the War Council were thrown together that day by accident. Addington spoke to Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, because “Flanigan’s boss, Alberto Gonzalez, was stranded in Norfolk.”[35]

      On 9/11 Findley (to quote the mainstream account by Barton Gellman), “found a young attorney named John C. Yoo.”[36] But this was not by accident. Yoo, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel with two months of government experience, was presiding at the Justice command center. This was because attorney general Ashcroft and those directly under him (his deputy Larry Thompson, and his assistant David Ayres) had been ordered by the PEOC under COG rules to go elsewhere. [37]

      (The Ashcroft team were not Cheney’s only targets on 9/11. On that day Cheney also evacuated to Site R the second and third in line to succeed to the presidency, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate President Pro Tem Robert Byrd.[38] This was consistent with the COG priority of ensuring that the US Government was not decapitated. And in the weeks after 9/11, when Site R became so busy under Cheney that substantial upgrades to its equipment had to be ordered by Andrew Card in the White House, someone from the line of succession was always there. However, never once again was that person either Hastert or Byrd.[39] This suggests that Hastert and Byrd may have also been banished to Site R on 9/11, and excluded from Site R thereafter, for political reasons.)

      Cheney had compelling ideological reasons on 9/11 to decapitate the Justice Department on that day and leave Yoo in command. Both men shared the eccentric legal belief, repudiated by most Bush administration lawyers, that a president in times of emergency had almost unrestricted powers. Back in 1980 Cheney had advised incoming presidential chief of staff James Baker that it was important to get rid of the War Powers Act and restore the president’s independent rights.[40] In his Iran-Contra Minority Report of 1987, Cheney declared his belief, drafted for him by Addington, that “the Chief Executive will on occasion feel duty bound to assert monarchical notions of prerogative that will permit him to exceed the laws.”[41] Yoo was one of the few academics to share that opinion: “For years, [Yoo] had written articles for law reviews… arguing that in a time of war, the executive had a sweeping claim to act independently from the other branches of government.”[42]

      As in the COG planning of previous decades, the implementation of new measures under Cheney proceeded with what Barton Gellman called

      near hermetic secrecy. Not only the conduct of policy but even the law itself, as Yoo and Addington and Flanigan rewrote it, was classified. The new legal framework was meant to be invisible, unreviewable – its very existence unknown by legislative or judicial actors who might fight back.[43]

      Andrew Bacevich, reviewing The Dark Side for the Washington Post, characterized the behavior of the War Council as that of a small, secretive “conspiracy… made up chiefly of lawyers contemptuous of the Constitution and the rule of law.”[44] I agree that the War Council’s plots to evade existing laws constituted conspiratorial behavior; and would argue further that Cheney’s role in creating the War Council on 9/11, by exiling the three top Justice officials who might have thwarted them, was also conspiratorial.[45]

      But the key to the emergence of the ideological War Council cabal may go back to Cheney’s position as chief of the Bush transition team which selected John Yoo to be Office of Legal Counsel deputy assistant attorney general. Cheney was also responsible for locating Findley as a deputy legal counsel in the White House (a considerable demotion from his position a decade earlier as assistant attorney general for the OLC). According to Bernard Weiner,

      Cheney began meddling with the all-important White House Office of Legal Counsel …. Cheney made sure Bush’s lightweight consiglieri Alberto Gonzales didn’t get the OLC post; instead, Cheney eased in a trusted aide, Tim Flanigan. With Flanigan in the White House under the influence of Cheney and David Addington, …. there was no real countervailing power in the Administration’s legal departments to stop the reckless policies on torture, violation of habeas corpus, extraordinary rendition and so on.[46]

      Other authors have raised questions about the absence from Washington, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, of such leaders as Defense Secretary Powell (in Peru), Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton (airborne en route to Europe), Attorney General Ashcroft (en route to Milwaukee), presidential counsel Alberto Gonzalez (in Norfolk, Va.), and others.[47]

      I am not in this article suggesting that all these absences were pre-planned as part of a larger 9/11 conspiracy.[48] In contrast, the order from the PEOC after the attacks to exile Ashcroft, Thompson, and Ayres to a COG website – thus putting Yoo in a command position – falls into a quite different category. If as I believe Cheney made this order with Yoo in mind, it would indicate only that Cheney’s behavior was in response to a planned terrorist attack, not as part of that attack plan itself.[49]

      But I believe we should see all the disparate plotting of 9/11 in the context of an older plot – to modify the U.S. constitution with procedures dating back to COG planning in the 1980s. This “emergency planning” has in fact created a real and on-going emergency, one under which we still live.

      Today the extra-legal practices of warrantless detention and surveillance, inaugurated by Cheney and Yoo, are still used to crush protest, most dramatically in the case of the incipient Occupy movement. But this emergency does more than threaten to extinguish the culture of democratic protest which sixty years ago gained significant victories against racial segregation and the Vietnam War. It has radically impaired such fundamental American rights as habeas corpus and the Fourth Amendment guarding against unreasonable searches and seizures.

      It is time, I suggest, to end the “war on terror”. As a first step, we should launch a campaign to terminate the State of Emergency instituted by Bush three days after 9/11, and since renewed annually – most recently by Obama on August 30, 2016.[50]

      The anti-war movement in the 1970s empowered

      Senator Charles Mathias, [and] Senator Frank Church… to establish a Senate special committee to study the implications of terminating the 1950 proclamation of national emergency [for Korea!] that was being used to prosecute the Vietnam war.[51]

      Their initial success in this limited endeavor led, as some of us can remember, to the whole host of post-Watergate reforms that were explicitly and successfully targeted by Vice-President Dick Cheney – the same reforms that need to be restored and enhanced today.

      3424 words, 5155 with notes.

      Notes

      [1] There was also heightened surveillance of Americans as a consequence of Dallas, but far less obtrusively than what we have today.

      [2]Alfonso Chardy, “Reagan Aides and the Secret Government,” Miami Herald, July 5, 1987,http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=9877, emphasis added.

      [3] Ross Gelbspan, Break-Ins, Death Threats, and the FBI: The Covert War against the Central America Movement(Boston: South End Press, 1991), 184.

      [4] Alfonso Chardy, Philadephia Inquirer, November 16, 1986, http://articles.philly.com/1986-11-16/news/26094395_1_covert-action-covert-programs-covert-operations.

      [5] Chardy, “Reagan Aides and the Secret Government,” Miami Herald, July 5, 1987.

      [6] CNN Special Assignment, November 17, 1991. Cf, AP, “CNN reveals plans for ‘Doomsday Government,'” RacineJournal Times, November 17, 1991, http://journaltimes.com/news/local/cnn-reveals-plans-for-doomsday-government/article_02c0bd0d-bdfd-5429-b1da-49e3ccc4970b.html.

      [7] James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence

      Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 74; cf. James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 138 – 45; James Mann, “The Armageddon Plan,” Atlantic, March 2004,http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/03/the-armageddon-plan/302902/.

      [8] Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 144; citing Tim Weiner, “Pentagon Book for Doomsday to Be Closed,” New York Times, April 18, 1994; cf. Bamford, A Pretext for War, 74. Cf. discussion in Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 32.

      [9] One of Reagan’s last Executive Orders, 12676 of 18 November 1988, decreed that COG planning was not just to deal with “a nuclear war,” but for “any national security emergency” (Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11 [Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007], 186). This merely confirmed six years of NPO practice from the time of its establishment by another Reagan Executive Order in September 1982.

      [10] Scott, The American Deep State, 33. Cf. Peter Dale Scott, “Systemic Destabilization in Recent American History: 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing as a Strategy of Tension,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, September 23, 2012, http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3835.

      [11] Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 145.

      [12] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York:

      Scribner, 2007), 88: “In earlier times the… ‘shadow government’ had [included] the political spectrum, Democrats and Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found himself if politically congenial company, the players’ roster being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks.” I have written in the past that Cheney was also there, but cannot now verify whether or not he was still part of COG planning.

      [13] For five years in the 1990s Cheney was CEO of the Halliburton Company, an oil extraction firm with a direct stake in opening up Iraqi and other central Asian oilfields to American development.

      [14] Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, 88; quoted in Scott, Road to 9/11, 187.

      [15] Scott, The American Deep State; Mike Lofgren’s The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (New York: Viking, 2016)

      [16] Bamford, A Pretext for War, 71; Matthew L. Conaty, “The Atomic Midwife: The Eisenhower Administration’s Continuity-of-Government Plans and the Legacy of ‘Constitutional Dictatorship,'” Rutgers Law Review, 62, no. 3 (Spring 2010), 7.

      [17] Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 139. Cf. Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker (iUniverse, 2010), 57. 67. Bush himself was directed on 9/11 to an underground COG site at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska (Bill Kelly, “Military insiders recall Bush’s 9/11 stop at Stratcom,” KVNO News, September 7, 2011,http://www.kvnonews.com/2011/09/military-insiders-recall-bushs-911-stop-at-stratcom/).

      [18] This gave the president the power to confiscate without trial or warning the property of individuals providing funds to entities, such as charitable foundations, which were judged to be supporting terrorism. The executive order initially blocked property of twenty-seven designated terrorists. But the list has become enormous. By November 18, 2010, the list included eighty-seven pages just for the letter A. By August 2016 the letter A took 192 pages.

      [19] Alan Brinkley, “Black Sites,” New York Times, August 3, 2008,http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/books/review/Brinkley-t.html?_r=0.

      [20] Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans, 145.

      [21] Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, “‘A Different Understanding with the President’,”

      Washington Post, June 24, 2007, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/cheney/chapters/chapter_1/

      [22] Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story on How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals(New York: Anchor, 2009), 49.

      [23] Gellman and Becker, “‘A Different Understanding with the President’,”

      Washington Post, June 24, 2007.

      [24] Kurt Eichenwald, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars [QQ: Touchstone, 2012], 35.

      [25] Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (New York: Nation Books, 2013), 24.

      [26] Mayer, The Dark Side, 44-45.

      [27] Mayer, The Dark Side, 46; cf. Tim Golden, “Threats and Responses: Tough Justice; After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law, New York Times, October 24, 2004, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/us/threats-and-responses-tough-justice-after-terror-a-secret-rewriting-of.html?_r=0 (“September 21, Yoo”). Jeremy Scahill also writes of a War Council opinion leading to a Bush presidential finding of September 17. This finding was used to create Greystone, a highly classified program outside of Congressional oversight that effectively “declared all covert [CIA] actions to be pre-authorized and legal” (Scahill, Dirty Wars, 24). Cf. Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (New York: Little, Brown, 2011), 19-20 (“CIA”).

      [28] Later Yoo would argue that “Congress not only did not forbid but actually invited warrantless domestic surveillance when it passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency [New York: Penguin Press, 2008], 152).

      [29] Mayer, The Dark Side, 69; Gellman, Angler, 141-43. After the warrantless surveillance program was revealed in 2005, Bush justified it, linking it to “terrorist threats to the continuity of our government” (David E. Sanger, “Bush Says He Ordered Domestic Spying,” New York Times, December 18, 2005,http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/18/politics/bush-says-he-ordered-domestic-spying.html.)

      [30] Mayer, The Dark Side, 68-70.

      [31] Mayer, The Dark Side, 82. Cf, Tom Lasseter, “Secret Tactics Dictated Treatment of Detainees,” Seattle Times, June 18, 2008: “When military lawyers protested, the War Council shut them out. ‘We were absolutely marginalized,’ said Donald Guter, a rear admiral who served as the Navy’s judge advocate general from 2000 to 2002. ‘I think it was intentional, because so many military JAGs spoke up about the rule of law.'”

      [32] Shirley Anne Warshaw, The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford, CA: Stanford Politics and Policy, 2009), 164 – 65. Cf. Scott, The American Deep State, 34; Scott, Road to 9/11, 237; Gellman, Angler, 157: “Joseph Hagin, the deputy White House chief of operations, kept a rotating cadre of 70 to 150 senior managers from across the executive branch on twenty-four hour bunker duty in a hollowed-out mountain away from Washington.”

      [33] Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” Washington Post, March 1, 2002, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/09/AR2006060900891.html.

      [34] Scott, The American Deep State, 34-38.

      [35] Gellman, Angler, 133.

      [36] Gellman, Angler, 134.

      [37] Attorney General Ashcroft had been airborne for most of the morning. On his belated return to Washington, he was told by Rice in the PEOC to join his deputy, Larry Thompson, and his assistant, David Ayres, who had already been sent out of Washington to a classified COG site. Because of traffic conditions, Ashcroft was ultimately redirected that afternoon to the FBI Crisis Management Center. See John Ashcroft, Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice (New York: Center Street, 2006). Yoo’s eventual boss at the OLC, Jay Bybee, had not yet been appointed. Bybee’s position, as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, required Congressional approval. His name had been submitted to Congress on September 4, 2011, one week before 9/11. He was confirmed by the Senate on October 23, and began to serve in November.

      [38] Gellman, Angler, 156; Chris Simpson, on Democracy Now, NPR, March 22, 2002,http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/03/8187.shtml (“Site R”).

      [39] Gellman, Angler, 157; citing interview with Norman Ornstein, senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Cf. Barton Gellman and Susan Schmidt, “Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret,” Washington Post, March 1, 2002, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/09/AR2006060900891.html

      (“substantial upgrades”).

      [40] Charlie Savage, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy(2008), 43,

      [41] Mayer, The Dark Side, 60.

      [42] Kurt Eichenwald, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror War, 38. Yoo, unlike Cheney and Addington, used the common law term “prerogative” sparingly in his articles. Yet the effect of the War Council was to create, in Jane Mayer’s words, “a doctrine of presidential prerogative” (Mayer, The Dark Side, 47).

      [43] Gellman, Angler, 138.

      [44] Andrew Bacevich, “Collateral Damage,” Washington Post, July 13, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/07/11/ST2008071101354.html.

      [45] When the warrantless Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) came up for renewal in March 2004, Ashcroft, supported by his new deputy James Comey and his new OLC Chief Jack Goldsmith, refused to approve it. This led to a notorious confrontation in Ashcroft’s hospital bedroom, where Gonzalez and Andrew Card arrived from the White House with a renewal order for Ashcroft to sign. Ashcroft, who was under intensive care after surgery for gallstone pancreatitis, “lifted his head off the pillows and delivered a strong denunciation of the TSP’s legal framework”. His temporary replacement, deputy attorney general Comey, refused to sign. In the room Ashcroft and Comey were supported by Goldsmith and FBI Director Robert Mueller, both of whom Comey had summoned urgently to join him at the hospital after “a frantic call from Ashcroft’s wife” (Mayer, The Dark Side, 289-91; cf. Gellman, Angler, 302-05).

      [46] Bernard Weiner: “Review of Barton Gellman’s Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency,” HistoryNewsNetwork, May 9, 2009, http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/6666.

      [47] E.g. Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11 – and America’s Response (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 364.

      [48] Some have used these absences to suggest that the “state” itself planned 9/11, a simplistic notion I have consistently opposed.

      [49] I believe that Cheney and Addington did indeed have a pre-planned agenda, dating from before 9/11, for response to the next terrorist attack; and that these plans, as I have suggested elsewhere, grew out of their years of secret planning for COG. But to say this does not imply that Cheney and Addington were involved in the attack itself. Some researchers believe that the fourth hijacked plane which crashed in Pennsylvania may have crashed because it had been shot down on Cheney’s orders, a gruesome possibility which would however indicate that Cheney on that day was dealing with a dangerous enemy not under his control. See e.g. Mark H. Gaffney, Black 9/11: Money, Motive and Technology (Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2012), 175-202.

      [50] “Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks,” White House, August 30, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/08/30/notice-continuation-national-emergency-respect-certain-terrorist-attacks.

      [51] Congressional Research Service, “Report for Congress, National Emergency Powers.” updated August 30, 2007,https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/98-505.pdf.

      Like

      Geplaatst door ariannelot | 8 april 2017, 09:37
  2. http://www.voltairenet.org/article169316.html

    This interview is a follow-up to the article “
Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration”, by Peter Dale Scott, Voltaire Network, 13 December 2010.

    VoltaireNet: Professor Scott, as your work is not as widely known as it ought to be in French-speaking countries, could you please start by defining what “Deep politics” is, and explain the distinction between what you call the “Deep state” and the “Public state”?

    Peter Dale Scott: The term “Deep state” comes from Turkey. They invented it after the wreck of a speeding Mercedes in 1996 in which the passengers were a Member of Parliament, a beauty queen, a local senior police captain, and an important drug trafficker in Turkey who was also the head of a criminal paramilitary organization – the Grey Wolves – that went around killing people. And it became very obvious in Turkey that there were a covert relationship between the police who officially were looking for this man – even though a policeman was there with him in the car – and these people who committed crimes on behalf of the state. The state that you commit crimes for is not a state that can show its hand to the people, it’s a hidden state, a covert structure. In Turkey, they called it the Deep state, [1] and I had been talking about deep politics for a long time so I used the term in The Road to 9/11. This is why I have defined deep politics as all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged. So the term “Deep state” – coming from Turkey – is not mine.

    It refers to a parallel secret government, organized by the intelligence and security apparatus, financed by drugs, and engaging in illicit violence, to protect the status and interests of the military against threats from intellectuals, religious groups, and occasionally the constitutional government. In this book, I adapt the term somewhat to refer to the wider interface in America between the public, the constitutionally established state, and the deep forces behind it of wealth, power, and violence outside the government. You might call it the back door of the Public state, giving access to dark forces outside the law. The analogy with Turkey is not perfect, because what we see today in America is less a parallel structure than a wide zone or milieu of interaction between the public state and unseen dark forces, as I expound in my latest book The American War Machine. But this interaction is significant, and we need a name, such as Deep state, to describe it.

    VoltaireNet: Your critically acclaimed book, The Road to 9/11, was published in 2007 under the Bush regime in the United States. In November 2010, you have published your latest body of work, The American War Machine, two years after Obama’s electoral victory; in your opinion, did the influence of the Deep state decrease in favor of the Public state after Mr. Obama’s election, or did it stay the same or even increase?

    Peter Dale Scott: After almost two years of the Obama presidency, I have to conclude, regretfully, that the influence of the deep state, or more accurately what in my new book I call the American war machine, has continued to increase, just as it has under every US president since Kennedy. A key sign is the extent to which Obama, despite his campaign rhetoric, has continued to expand the scope of secrecy in US government, and especially to punish whistle-blowers: his campaign against Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who has not been charged yet with any crime, is without precedent in US history. I suspect that Washington’s fear of publicity is related to its awareness that US war policies are increasingly at odds with reality. In Afghanistan Obama appears to have capitulated to the efforts of General Petraeus and other generals to ensure that US troops do not begin to withdraw from combat in 2011, as originally foreseen when in 2009 Obama authorized a troop increase. Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, reports that during that protracted administration debate over whether to escalate in Afghanistan, CIA Director Leon Panetta advised Obama that “no Democratic president can go against military advice… So just do it. Do what they say.” Obama recently told US troops in Afghanistan that “you’re achieving your objectives, you will succeed in your mission.” This echo of earlier, fatuously optimistic statements from Petraeus explains why there were no realistic appraisal of the war’s progress inside the White House in December 2010, as was originally mandated.

    Like Johnson before him, the president is now trapped in a quagmire war he dare not lose, and which threatens to spread to both Pakistan and Yemen, if not further. I suspect that the deep forces dominating both political parties are now so powerful, so affluent, and above all so invested in the profits from war-making, that a president is farther than ever from challenging this power – even as it becomes more and more clear that America’s era of world dominance, like Britain’s before it, is drawing to a close.

    In addition Obama, without debate or review, has extended the domestic state of emergency proclaimed after 9/11, with its drastic limitations of civil rights (see below). In September 2010 the FBI raided the homes or offices of nonviolent human rights workers in Minneapolis and Chicago, citing a recent Supreme Court ruling that nonviolent first amendment speech and advocacy was a crime if “coordinated with” or “under the direction of” a foreign group designated as “terrorist.” It is worth noting that, in nine years, Congress has not once met to discuss the State of Emergency declared by George W. Bush in response to 9/11, a State of Emergency that remains in effect today. Former Congressman Dan Hamburg and I appealed publicly in 2009, both to President Obama to terminate the emergency, and to Congress to hold the hearings required of them by statute. But Obama, without discussion, extended the 9/11 Emergency again on September 2009, and again a year later. Meanwhile Congress has continued to ignore its statutory obligations.

    One Congressman explained to a constituent that the provisions of the National Emergencies Act have now been rendered inoperative by COG (“Continuity of Government”), a secret program to deal with running the state in the event of national emergency. The COG program was partially implemented on 9/11 by Dick Cheney, one of its main designers on a committee operating outside regular government since 1981. (See below for more details about COG). If it’s true that the National Emergencies Act have been rendered inoperative by COG, this would indicate that the constitutional system of checks and balances no longer applies, and also that secret decrees now override public legislation.

    VoltaireNet: In this context, why doesn’t the U.S. Congress fulfill its legal obligations in overseeing the limitation of the secret powers of the Deep state – a limitation implemented after the Watergate scandal? What were the consequences of Nixon’s impeachment and the subsequent strengthening of Congress oversight on the secret operations of the United States intelligence agencies?

    Peter Dale Scott: Nixon’s Vietnam strategy consisted of attempting to gain the other hand by making strategic deals with both the Soviet Union and China. This produced violent opposition from both hawks and doves in a deeply divided nation; and I believe that hawks from both the CIA and Pentagon were part of the engineered Watergate crisis that led to his resignation. In the aftermath, doves in the 1974 “McGovernite Congress” achieved a number of reforms in the name of more public politics, abolishing a state of emergency that had survived since the Korean War, and establishing Congressional and legal restraints on the CIA and other aspects of secret government. These reforms in turn immediately produced a concerted mobilization to overturn them, and restore the status quo ante. Underlying this political debate was a disagreement in the nation’s leadership between so-called “traders” and “Prussians,” as to whether America, in the wake of the Vietnam fiasco, should strive to return to its former role as a preeminent trading nation, or whether it should respond to the Vietnam defeat by a further buildup of its armed forces.

    This struggle was simultaneously a struggle between moderates and militarists for control of the Republican Party. This culminated in the demise of Nixon and the gradual redirection of United States foreign policy in the Ford presidency from peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union towards plans for the weakening and destruction under Ronald Reagan of what Reagan called “the evil empire.” Thus in October 1975, the highly probable involvement of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in the palace revolution known by historians as “The Halloween Massacre” meant the defeat of Nelson Rockefeller’s moderate Republicanism, and its gradual replacement by the hard-edged anti-communism of Ronald Reagan. Essentially, it meant the reorganization of Ford’s team toward the demise of détente, along with America’s huge defense budgets in the 1980’s and again today.

    Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, then heading the White House staff of President Gerald Ford and controlling the Department of Defense, played a key part in securing the ultimate triumph of the Prussians, by demoting Henry Kissinger and appointing George H.W. Bush as head of the CIA, where he arranged for a new, more alarmist estimate of the Soviet threat (which explains the correlated skyrocketing of defense budgets, and the demise of détente). Since then, we have observed an increasing influence of what Dwight D. Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex (in his farewell address of January 17th, 1961) on the United States’ political economy.

    Today we have a new extended state of emergency, and Congressional oversight has become almost defunct. For example, legally mandated congressional oversight of the CIA’s covert operations has been successfully evaded by the creation in 1981 of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pentagon, which simply incorporates CIA personnel into its operations. JSOC, now known as the Special Operations Command, has become the locus of covert Pentagon operations, of the sort conducted under General Stanley McChrystal, before he was appointed the US commander in Afghanistan.

    VoltaireNet: In the last question, you briefly invoked the important role played by Georges Bush Sr. in the demise of détente – a détente promoted by Henry Kissinger. Mr. Bush was the CIA head for a brief period though. Did the replacement of George H.W. Bush by the more moderate Admiral Stansfield Turner at the CIA increase the control of the secret operations led by different elements of the American Deep state?

    Peter Dale Scott: No, it did not. It has been the contrary, because some of the key men who were squeezed out after Turner’s appointment found themselves a new home working for the so-called Safari Club, an off-the-books secret organization uniting the intelligence chiefs of several countries – including France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran – to supplement CIA actions with other anti-communist operations in Africa and the Third World over which the US Congress had no control. Then in 1978, Zbigniew Brzezinski – who was not part of the Safari Club – engineered an end run around Turner by organizing a special unit in the White House under Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense who was a junior CIA operative at the time. Under Brzezinski’s guidance, CIA officers contrived with the Iranian agency SAVAK to send Islamist agents to Afghanistan, destabilizing the country in a way which led to the 1980 invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.

    The succeeding decade of covert CIA involvement in Afghanistan was crucial in converting that country into a centre for poppy culture, heroin trafficking, and jihadist Islamism. About the narcotics, there are some very good books about the CIA written a few years ago – one by Tim Weiner and one by John Prados. But because they talked to some CIA officers who showed them only a few recently declassified CIA documents – particularly Weiner – they don’t talk about the drugs. The narcotic connection is so deep its not mentioned in released CIA documents. But the collaboration of the CIA under William Casey with the drug-dealing Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) fostered the creation of a huge Afghan narco-economy, whose destabilizing consequences help explain why NATO soldiers, Afghans and Pakistanis are dying there today.

    The BCCI was a huge global drug-laundering bank. It was corrupting – with its budgets, with its resources – leading politicians, presidents, prime ministers all over the world. And some of that money – it’s not much talked about, but it is true – was reaching politicians in the United States – politicians of both parties, which is one of the main reasons why we didn’t get a congressional investigation of BCCI. There was actually a Senate report that came out, under the names of one Republican, Hank Brown, and one Democrat, John Kerry. And Brown congratulated Kerry on having the courage to write that report when so many people in his party were affected by the BCCI. The latter was a big factor in creating the connexions with people like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was probably the leading heroin trafficker in the world during the 1980’s. He also became the leading recipient of CIA largesses supplemented by an equal amount of Saudi Arabian money. There’s something terribly wrong in a situation like this!

    VoltaireNet: At the outcome of the presidential campaign of 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected in part on his pleas for a decrease in military spending and expanding détente with the Soviet Union. This did not happen in the four years of his presidency. Could you explain to us why? Did Zbigniew Brzezinski – whom you mentioned in the previous question – play any role in this then-unexpected hawkish foreign policy?

    JPEG – 16.1 kb
    Born in Montreal in 1929, Peter Dale Scott is a former diplomat, a poet and a writer. He is also Professor emeritus of English literature at the University of California, Berkely. Known for his anti-war stance and his criticism of U.S. foreign policy dating back to the Vietnam War, Peter Dale Scott is an author and political analyst hailed by critics and acknowledged by his peers, including Daniel Ellsberg known as the “man who toppled Nixon”.

    Peter Dale Scott: The media presented Carter as a populist candidate, a peanut farmer from the South. But the deep reality was that Carter had been prepared for the presidency by Wall Street, and particularly by the Trilateral Commission that was funded by David Rockefeller, and directed by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski, a passionately anti-Soviet Pole, then became Carter’s national security adviser; and from the outset overruled Secretary of State Cyrus Vance repeatedly in pursuit of a more vigorous anti-Soviet foreign policy. In this Brzezinski went against the stated goals of the Trilateral Commission, of which President Carter had been a member. The underlying idea of the Trilateral Commission was a rather attractive picture of a multipolar world in which America would mediate between the Second World, which was the Soviet block, and the Third World, which was what we used to call in those days the underdeveloped or lesser developed countries… By the way I hate that term, because I lived in Thailand: in some ways they are very much more developed than we are!

    When he was elected, Carter nominated a genuine trilateralist, Cyrus Vance, the Secretary of State, and he had as his National security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was determined to use the Deep state to inflict as much damage on the Soviet Union as he could. A lot of things which are thought of as the successes of the Reagan regime clearly had their origins under Brzezinski. And it was a total repudiation of what trilateralism stood for. Carter – the poor man – was elected promising cuts in the defence budget, and before he had left, he had committed the Defense Department to huge increases which we associate with the Reagan administration but were initiated before.

    As a consequence, under the surface a massive campaign for increased defense spending, mobilized by wealthy military industrialists through the Committee on the Present Danger, brought public opinion to reinforce Brzezinski’s push for a more militant U.S. presence and policy, particularly in the Indian Ocean.

    VoltaireNet: After being a very influential man under President Gerald Ford, Dick Cheney – allied with his mentor Donald Rumsfeld and Vice-president George Bush senior – has been since the onset of the Reagan presidency one of the key men in the development of the ultra-secret so-called “Continuity of Government” (COG) program. Could you explain to us what that program is? Has it ever been implemented, even partially?

    Peter Dale Scott: From the beginning of the Reagan presidency in 1981, arrangements were made for a secret group outside government to work on so-called “Continuity of Government” or COG plans for running the state in the event of national emergency. Initially this was an extension of existing plans for a response to a nuclear attack which would decapitate the United States’ leadership, but before Reagan retired the terms were modified by his Executive Order 12686 of 1988 to cover any emergency.

    The COG is another thing which we associate with Reagan but actually began under Carter, although Carter may have never been aware of it. The latter did create FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has always been charged with being the infrastructure for this COG planning. What is kind of shocking is that the COG plans were extreme plans, but that Congress didn’t know about them in the 1980’s. Only a small group of people – including Oliver North, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld – were secretly assigned to work on them by a 1981 top secret executive order from Reagan. The COG issue was first publicly brought up in 1987 during the Iran-Contra hearings, when congressman Jack Brooks asked Oliver North: “Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?” Congressman Brooks further added: “I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.” Senator Inouye, the Chairman of this congressional commission, answered: “May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements can be made for an executive session” What Congressman Brooks was asking about was “continuity of government” (COG), and those arrangements for an executive session were never made.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld – two key figure of the COG program – continued to participate in these very expensive plans and exercises for the next two decades, even though by the late 1990’s both men were corporate executives with no official government connection whatsoever. Reportedly the new target replacing the Soviet threat was terrorism, but some journalists have claimed that from the early 1980’s on there were major plans to deal with the kind of anti-war protests which (in the mind of Oliver North and those like him) had been responsible for the American defeat in Vietnam.

    It is not disputed that on 9/11 COG plans were implemented, along with an officially proclaimed state of emergency that is still in effect after nine years, ignoring a post-Watergate law calling for either approval or termination of an emergency by Congress. The COG plans are a closely kept secret, but there were reports in the 1980’s that these involved warrantless surveillance and detention, and a permanent militarization of government. To some extent these changes have clearly been put in place since 9/11.

    There is no way to determine how many of the constitutional changes since 9/11 can be traced to COG planning. However we do know that new COG planning measures were still being introduced in 2007, when President Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51/HSPD-20). This Directive set out what FEMA later called “a new vision to ensure the continuity of our Government,” and was followed in August by a new National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan. NSPD-51 also nullified PDD 67, Richard Clarke’s COG directive of a decade earlier; and it referred to new “classified Continuity Annexes” which shall “be protected from unauthorized disclosure.”

    Under pressure from his 911Truth constituents, Congressman Peter DeFazio of the Homeland Security Committee twice requested to see these Annexes. His request was denied. DeFazio then requested a second time, in a letter signed by the Chair of his committee. The request was denied one more time. Again, as I said in the second question, this would indicate that the constitutional system of checks and balances no longer applies, and also that secret decrees now override public legislation.

    VoltaireNet: In The Road to 9/11 as well as in The American War Machine you assert in a very well-documented fashion that the 9/11 Commission – whose members were nominated by and worked directly under the control of President George W. Bush – covered up what happened on that fateful day, especially when it comes to Cheney’s actions on that particular morning. Could you say more about this?

    Peter Dale Scott: Bush initially resisted any review of 9/11, until Congress imposed a 9/11 Commission in response to an effective political campaign by the victims’ families. (Editor’s note: See documentary 9/11 Press for Truth Kean & Hamilton, the two chairmen of the Commission promised publicly to be guided by the families’ unanswered questions, such as who the alleged hijackers were and how three buildings in the World Trade Center collapsed, one of them without being hit by a plane. These and other questions were in the end not addressed at all. Meanwhile the Commission received a great deal of conflicting testimony and repeatedly revised accounts.

    Under the close supervision of Commission director, Philip Zelikow, a man with a government security background, the The 9/11 Commission Report ignored some conflicts altogether and reconciled others in a way many critics have challenged. The Report attributed the lack of response that day to a systemic chaos and breakdown, ignoring Cheney’s own statements elsewhere that he played a dominant role that day, and ignoring also important conflicts in and authoritative challenges to his own testimony.

    One topic the Commission and Report explicitly did not investigate was the implementation of COG plans on 9/11 (p.555, note 9). Nor did they say anything about Cheney’s terrorism task force of May 2001, which has been cited as a source for a June 1st 2001 JCS order, modifying the conditions for the military interception of hijacked planes. To arrive at their reduced account of Cheney’s responsibility on that day, the Commission also flagrantly overlooked eyewitness accounts at odds with their chronology, notably by Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

    VoltaireNet: One of the most fascinating aspects of The Road to 9/11 – and there are many – analyzes the geo-strategic decisions set up by the Deep state within the U.S. since the Carter presidency, in Central Asia as well as in the Middle East in relations to the oil/gas/drugs/military and weapons industries. In your latest book, The American War Machine, you analyze the roots of this oil/gas/drugs shadowy pattern, tracing them even before the creation of the CIA – which is a very interesting view. Given that the “War on Terror” is still going on, (albeit under new names such as pacification, democratization, etc.) and that it is currently spreading in over 60 countries across the globe (mainly through secret operations), what are the real goals – as well as the origins – of this war?

    Peter Dale Scott: At the outset of the “War on Terror”, it was very clear that strategic advisers to both parties, as well as in think-tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations, were concerned about the U.S. need to preserve its historic dominance over the global petroleum markets. They produced documents pushing for increased U.S. military strength in the Persian Gulf region, and for military plans to deal with Saddam Hussein in particular. Now the “War on Terror” has continued to expand, as we are told that Salafi militants have predictably moved to new areas, notably Yemen and Somalia, to plan their retaliations. So the “War on Terror” has become a test of the current U.S. global strategic posture calling for “Full-spectrum dominance” as defined in the Pentagon’s Joint Vision 2020: “The ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.”

    Driving all of these escalations since World War Two has been a defense lobby funded originally by the military-industrial complex, and now also by a half dozen right-wing foundations with unlimited funds. Over time the personnel have migrated from one group to the next – the American Security Council, the Committee on the Present Danger, the Project for the new American Century, and now the Center for Security Policy (CSP). [2] But the goals have expanded over the years, from maximizing the American military presence to also shrinking individual liberties, to forestall the resurgence of any future U.S. antiwar movement. (I discuss the growth of this defense faction in my most recent book, The American War Machine)

    Increasingly this agenda smacks of McCarthyism if not fascism. A number of groups are feeding an anti-Muslim hysteria reminiscent of the anti-communist hysteria in the 1950s, and calling for an apparently endless war against Islam. For example the CSP recently published a document, Shariah, The Threat to America, [3] proclaiming sharia to be “the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time,” with dire warnings of “stealth jihad” and “demographic jihad.”

    VoltaireNet: This “War on Terror” – whose real goals are far from being openly admitted by NATO member-state governments – was initiated in Afghanistan in late 2001. There, some powerful local warlords formerly allied with the United States during the USSR-led war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s are currently appearing as major players in the “AfPak” war zone. Let’s focus on the example of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; public opinion in the countries which are part of NATO does not seem to be remotely aware of who he is. Could you remind us of who Mr. Hekmatyar is? Can you tell us to what extent he symbolizes the danger generated by U.S. foreign policies which – due to a lack of congressional oversight and public scrutiny – led to a major increase in the global drug trade (in this particular case, heroin)?

    Peter Dale Scott: With few assets of its own in Afghanistan, the U.S. decided to conduct its anti-Soviet Operation Cyclone there through the resources of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). In turn Pakistan, fearful of authentic Afghan nationalists’ claims on its own border territories, directed the bulk of the U.S. and Saudi assistance to two extremists with little power base inside Afghanistan – Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar, a Ghilzai Pashtun from the non-Pashtun north, was first trained in violent resistance under Pakistani guidance; and is said to have been the only Afghan leader who explicitly recognized the Durand Line defining the Afghan-Pakistan border. Both Sayyaf and Hekmatyar compensated for their lack of indigenous support by cultivating and exporting opiates in the 1980s, again with ISI support. For the same reason both men worked with the foreign mujahideen – the antecedents of what is now called Al Qaeda – who flocked to Afghanistan in this period; and Hekmatyar in particular is said to have developed a close relationship with Osama bin Laden. This influx of Wahhabi and Deobandi fundamentalists weakened Afghanistan’s traditional Sufi-dominated version of Islam.

    In the course of the anti-Soviet campaign Hekmatyar’s forces murdered supporters of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the chief threat to Hekmatyar’s ISI-backed plans to dominate post-Soviet Afghanistan. After the Soviet withdrawal the CIA (against State Department advice) also used Hekmatyar as an instrument to block a government of national reconciliation, leading to a civil war in the 1990s which killed thousands of people. Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Hekmatyar has led his own faction fighting for U.S. withdrawal; but allegedly he is more open than the Taliban to joining a Karzai-led coalition government. Senior defense officials in Washington, such as Michael Vickers, still refer to Operation Cyclone as the “most successful covert action” in CIA history. It seems not to concern them that the CIA’s program helped generate and unleash Al Qaeda – the new post-Soviet rationale for defense budgets – and Afghanistan’s current role as the world’s major source for heroin and hashish.

    VoltaireNet: In conclusion, given the disastrous financial, economic, political, social crisis and even the moral situation in the United States as in many parts of the world, are you still confident in the future? Do you see some encouraging signs towards a greater influence of what you call in your book the “Prevailable will of the people” in the political decision-making process – a process which is more oligarchic than ever?

    Peter Dale Scott: It is said that we should view every crisis as an opportunity. Certainly America’s crisis, which is also the world’s, ought to be the occasion for far-reaching reforms of the market capitalist processes that have created such huge gaps between the very rich and the very poor. Unfortunately these processes have also made traditional politics and modes of mobilization even more ineffective than they were before.

    I argue in The Road to 9/11 that major social change is possible when oppression leads to the formation of a united public opinion – or what I called a prevailable will of the people – to oppose it. I pointed to examples such as the civil rights movement in the American south, or the Polish movement Solidarity. Technological developments such as the Internet have made it easier than before for people to unite, both nationally and internationally. But technology has also refined instruments of top-down surveillance and repression, making successful activist mobilization more difficult than before. So the future is very uncertain; one can say only that the present global system is more unstable than it has been, and that some kind of showdown is likely to change it.

    I do believe however that this is a very exciting time in which to live. Young people should continue as they have been to join the movements for social change, and to create new venues for global exchange. And above all, there is no excuse for despair.

    VoltaireNet: Thank you very much, Professor Scott, for these enlightening answers. We rejoice over the release of the first translation in French of The Road to 9/11, one of your most important works, and we congratulate you for its appraisal by a French retired high-ranking general. We wish your critically-acclaimed latest effort, The American War Machine, the attention and respect it deserves from the general public.

    Translation
    Maxime Chaix
    Principal traducteur francophone de Peter Dale Scott
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    Interview conducted by Maxime Chaix and Anthony Spaggiari, the translators of the French version entitled Route vers le Nouveau Désordre Mondial. The book can be ordered online from the Réseau Voltaire bookshop.

    [1] Nato’s Secret Armies, by Daniele Ganser, Frank Cass (www.frankcass.co.uk), 2995.

    [2] “The Center for Security Policy: Washington’s manipulators”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 13 November 2002.

    [3] Download PDF version: Shariah, The Threat to America (An Exercise in Competitive Analysis—Report of Team ‘B’ II), The Center for Security Policy, 2010.

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    Geplaatst door ariannelot | 8 april 2017, 09:47

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