FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Architect of Terror

by NORMAN POLLACK

In the supposed controversy over Brennan’s confirmation as CIA Director, the elephant in the room that everyone has stepped around is the CIA itself.  Massive evidence of torture (under the impersonal designation, E.I.T.) should, were democracy truly applicable to the US, require the complete eradication of the CIA from the American structure and practice of government.

The reason for covert operations is that they cannot stand the light of day.  Intelligence, cryptography, fine—but everything from politicizing neuroscience (the excellent recent article in CP) to armed drones for targeted assassination, with rendition, black holes, subsidies to domestic fascistic groups for breaking up rallies (my experience with Breakthrough at antiwar rallies in Detroit during Vietnam) in between, raises the cloak-and-dagger genre to a merciless level of trained, intensified sadism oblivious to the restraints of civilized behavior.

We honor political murder as the insurance policy for securing the Homeland, and its practioners, noble warriors on the front lines of justice.  Brennan is a fitting Director.  He will “correct” previous mistakes, i.e., make them less easy to detect.  Secrecy is his and Obama’s plate of armor, impenetrable as befitting worship of the National Security State and its outsized hegemonic ambitions.  In one sense, targeted assassination is at least out in the open, whereas destabilizing societies and governments held to be the enemies of America, Venezuela being a not-too-distant case in point, is more the CIA’s stock-in-trade.  In Obama, the Agency, along with JSOC, has its impressario, cheerleader, and now tactical adviser, rolled in one.

The argument that it takes one to know one, here, that Brennan’s hardness and quarter-century service in CIA, will prove invaluable to bringing it to task, is akin to gallows humor infinitely compounded, given his own track record (not least his careful valuing of deniability when it comes to waterboarding and the whole gamut of inhuman viciousness).  Whispering in the president’s ear on how best to turn up the violence toward America’s (mostly self-created) “enemies,” destines this Dynamic Duo, as it goes about institutionalizing the drone program, to the perpetuation of Fortress America, creating more eneemies, more interventions, more surveillance at home, more paramilitary operations, all part of what I termed in an earlier article, liberal fascism, because dressed up in soothing phrases of peace, justice, and the virtues of the market.

As I see the situation, it appears that one cannot exist without the other, Obama, a novice in the commission of war crimes, dependent on Brennan for the ins-and-outs of their execution and expanding their scope, and Brennan, utterly without power, except now, as legitimated by POTUS, for translation into action.

Thus, Obama, a quick learner at the seats of power (plural, because one can no longer ignore factoring in the military to the political-economic ruling stratum), reaches well beyond his intelligence, training, and understanding to come up quite suddenly with the “pivot”-doctrine, a massive movement to the Far East, a Neo-Con,think-tank, Pentagon, rightwing sentiment in the air waiting to be articulated, and fully supported by supercarriers, defense alliances, joint maneuvers, troop movements, new weaponry in the pipeline, all for the purpose of challenging China in the reincarnation of the Cold War, in this case, a Pacific-first geopolitical vision and strategy directed to containing and isolating China, weakening its investment and trade in Africa and Latin America, and eliminating its obstruction to America’s unilateral quest for global dominance.]:

[My NYT Comment, Mar. 7. Serial arsonist to quell 5-alarm fire.]:

If, as I believe, the CIA is a cancer embedded in American government, would “reform” accomplish anything, or must it be torn out root and branch to conserve democracy?  Brennan, as the new Director (confirmation is clear, given both parties agree on precisely the need for E.I.T. and armed drones for targeted assassinatiion), is like sending a serial arsonist to quell a five-alarm fire.  Obama’s decision to nominate him speaks volumes about his own similarly fascistic leanings and willingness to violate international law—Brennan and his vast expansion of Bush’s campaign of assassination, and further expansion of secrecy, for that program, and presumably all matters under the head of national security.

Why such extreme secrecy?  To hide war crimes.  Period.  Placing Brennan at CIA serves one purpose only, to magnify and attach greater significance to Obama’s military doctrine:  in addition to drones (and assassination) the greater emphasis on paramilitary operations, Obama + Brennan = the doctrine and practice of permanent war.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University.

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 18, 2017
Gary Leupp
The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)
Charles Pierson
Drone Proliferation Ramps Up
Ajamu Baraka
Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama
David Underhill
Trumpology With a Twist
Chris Floyd
Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All the Way to Hell
Stansfield Smith
Obama’s Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Ron Leighton
Trump is Not Hitler: How the Misuse of History Distorts the Present as Well as the Past
Ralph Nader
An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
NATO and Obsolescence: Donald Trump and the History of an Alliance
Zarefah Baroud
‘The Power to Create a New World’: Trump and the Environmental Challenge Ahead
Julian Vigo
Obama Must Pardon the Black Panthers in Prison or in Exile
Alfredo Lopez
The Whattsapp Scandal
Clancy Sigal
Russian Hacking and the Smell Test
Terry Simons
The Truth About Ethics and Condoms
January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail