FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Last Decade

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

Michael Ledeen, who was forced from the Reagan Administration after the Iran arms fiasco became public, described George Bush in the 20 August 1987 Boston Globe as “the most powerful man” in America.” And after his election, Bush tried his hardest to prove he was the most powerful man in the world as well. His devastating invasion of Panama left thousands dead, and tens of thousand homeless, but did nothing to curb international drug smuggling. Likewise, his massive terror bombing of Kuwait and Iraq killed tens of thousands, and his economic sanctions, endorsed by Clinton, have killed hundreds of thousands, for no reason at all, save vengeance. Saddam Hussein is still in power.

For all the violence and terror he inflicted on the world, Bush did nothing to make America a safer place. And while America’s anti-terrorism policy remained unchanged under his son and ideological heir, our sacred homeland, according to Michael Ledeen, is a much unsafer place.

In his 1 October article for NRO, Ledeen said: “The last great chief of the CIA, Bill Casey, saw the necessity of creating a counter-terrorism center where all the information came into a central location and was analyzed in toto. He entrusted the task to Dewey Clarridge,” who “cracked his very active whipgreatly improving the quality of our intelligence.”

Then came the “infamous” although unspecified “restrictions” put in place by Clinton.

What it required now, Ledeen contends, is “a top guy with real power and total support from the president, and it requires men and women at the working level who not only have the resolve and the courage to do it – laying waste to dead wood as they go – but who know the system cold, know how the bureaucratic games are played, and know which walls have to be broken down.”

What Ledeen is prescribing, of course, is a recipe for the type of domestic political repression outlined in detail in this essay, that American’s have endured under previous right wing regimes.

Will we never learn?

Our constitutionally protected right to political activity has been under constant attack for decades now, and it will only get worse. As a result of the recent anti-terror legislation, even your email can be subjected to permanent monitoring by the FBI, CIA or the new OHS. As of this week, the FBI can “seek a peak” inside your home or office without a warrant, and seize your files, property or computers without any notice, and they don’t have to tell you about until afterwards. Committing any petty misdemeanor, which can in anyway be interpreted as frightening some National Guardsman at some Office of Homeland Security checkpoint of airport, is now grounds for surveillance of your home and person, and monitoring of your internet activity.

God forbid you should stoop to political dissent, or opposition to Bush’s eternal war.

Internationally the story isn’t any prettier. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, has stated that America must attack more and more countries. Like other terrorists in the Bush Administration, Negroponte is well suited to this task. As U.S. ambassador to Honduras under Reagan, he funded that particular right wing regime’s most notorious death squads, Battalion 316.

In the name of anti-terrorism, the illegitimate Bush Administration can be expected to revitalize this practice worldwide, training torturers and tyrants to wage “global counter-terrorism” against any nation that harbors suspected terrorists, or critics of U.S. foreign policy. And any connection you have to these foreign enemies, even if it is merely sympathy for the Palestinians, subjects you to imprisonment, loss of livelihood, and worst of all, forfeiture of your sense of humor.

That’s right. You can’t even make fun of the situation anymore. Which is, when you think of it, perfectly in keeping with out time honored Judaic-Christian ethic.

Here at home, through the Office of Homeland Security, we will endure more political and psychological warfare, more black and gray propaganda, and more deceit and disinformation than any society on earth before. We’re told we must become new people in a brave new world, where indefinite detention, torture and summary execution of our suspected enemies will make us free.

Award winning reporter and likely Mossad propagandist Seymour Hersh tells us that we must resort to the tactics the Jordanian security service used to catch the notorious Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. “The Jordanians did not move directly against suspected Abu Nidal followers but seized close family members instead, mothers and brothers,” Hersh notes. Then he quotes an anonymous CIA officer as saying, “Jordan is the one nation that totally succeeded in penetrating a group,” because it was able “to get their families under control.”

So much for family values.

Hersh disingenuously adds that these tactics defy CIA procedures, but suggests it’s a better alternative than “sitting around making diversity quilts.”

Well, this is exactly the type of psychological warfare you can expect to be subjected to on a daily basis from here on out. As noted in the Marine Corps Gazette, “Psychological operations may become the dominant operational and strategic weapon in the form of media/information intervention. Logic bombs and computer viruses, including latent viruses, may be used to disrupt civilian as well as military operations. Fourth generation adversaries will be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion to the point where skillful use of psychological operations will sometimes preclude the commitment of combat forces.”

“Television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.”

Let me say it one last time: in the name of anti-terrorism, all of the nation’s pent-up anger and frustration over Vietnam, and a host of other, mostly Clinton-related issues, is poised to be unleashed on an enemy that lurks inside our borders.

And that enemy is you.

But in order to survive, and enjoy, and laugh, you need only know one thing: when Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and Powell tell you that America needs to wage unrelenting war for the next fifty years, in order to achieve peace, they are lying.

War, dear Citizen, is not Peace.

Hail The Republic!

Homeland Insecurity Continued: Footnotes

Douglas Valentine writes frequently for CounterPunch. He is the author of The Phoenix Program, the only comprehensive account of the CIA’s torture and assassination operation in Vietnam, as well as TDY a chilling novel about the CIA and the drug trade.

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail