Monthly Archives: June 2008
Somewhat lost in the hand-wringing over two Supreme Court decisions on the rights of gun ownership and death to pederasts (has there ever been a country more obsessed with the death penalty? It’s getting pretty creepy these days.) was the massive reduction in damages due as a result of the Exxon Valdez environmental by the fascist bloc of pocket justices who are worth every penny that corporatists have paid to advance their careers. While the trademark wedge issues have set the corporate media and far too many of the blogs atwitter, the shaving off of $2 billion and change from the damages owed to the state of Alaska by those greedy fuckers at Exxon shows exactly what this country is all about. Two systems of justice, one for the rich and the corporatists and one for all of us lesser beings, just another day in the ongoing travesty of societal decay among the feed cattle of the vampire elite here in Der Heimat.
That the courts no longer work for the majority of Americans and that ‘justice’ has become just another abstract term that is synonomous for commodity (as the Orwellian changes in the meanings of words proceeds unabated) is apparent to all but the most incorrigible of idiots and deniers, all the better to herd them into the vast networks of for profit corporate prisons that are the festering boils on the slimy reptilian skin of a demonic police state. The courts have been far too long polluted with the fascist lackeys of the anti-American Federalist Society with a smattering of graduates of hokum law schools founded by a score of high rolling false prophet millionaire preachers mixed in to give the appearance of a social and religious crusade to seize America for God. Nothing shows this corruption of the courts like the boon to Exxon courtesy of apple cheeked Johnny Roberts and his fellow appointee that the Dems didn’t bother filibustering Sammy Alito who along with entrenched extremists fat Tony Scalia and Clarence ‘Uncle’ Thomas delivered the bacon for their paymasters. The public as usual just swims along in their blissful ignorance, carefree frogs blessing their luck for the warmer water in that great big cauldron while the invisible hand slowly ratchets up the thermostat.
Just like the recently deceased social critic George Carlin said:
That’s what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will remain wilfully ignorant about the big red, white and blue dick that is being shoved up their ass every day. Because the owners know the truth. It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.
The increasingly irrelevant, packed by special interests and politicized mockery of a judicial system though has nothing on the roiling spring of filth that is the United States Congress. The House and Senate are largely a pack of perverts, crooks, cronies, moles and jackals who are every bit as complicit in wrecking his country as their more overtly fascist collaborators actually in the Bush-Cheney administration itself. This unholy temple of whores and swine have never failed to fail when it comes to protecting the Constitution (or as Lord Bush likes to refer to it that “goddamned piece of paper”) with the latest outrage being the bestowment of retroactive immunity against both the Bushreich and thieving big telecommunications corporations for their illegal spying on Americans under the big lie of the grand Orwellian War on Terror. So over the top outrageous was this latest disembowelment of the Constitution that essentially has wiped out the Fourth Amendment and taken us all a bit closer to a mixture of a post-industrial version of Nazi Germany, Oceania and an Eastern bloc authoritarian police state that finally enough Americans have realized that there is no longer a point in trying to work with those entrenched within the existing rotting system.
So in a time of total systemic failure we finally have an alliance coming together that is going to attempt to transcend the bogus left-right paradigm that has pitted us all against each other for far too long while our pockets have been picked and our rights stolen by the oligarchy. I speak of that wonderful new coalition that calls itself Strange Bedfellows and features some of the best of the ‘left’ an the best of the ‘right’ unifying to raise enough money to afford one gigantic enema bag which one day with a bit of luck and a lot of tenacity and hard work can be stuck right into that giant reeking asshole that is Washington D.C. and the bulb be given one hell of a squeeze. The alliance, originally started as an effort to stop the monstrously unjust and just signed off on by both houses of Congress FISA bill is being led by the great blogger Glenn Greenwald, elements of the Ron Paul Revolution including Money Bomb organizer Trevor Lyman, the great blog Breakthematrix.com, the ACLU, Jane Hamsher of Firedog Lake and others to finally do the only logical thing and come together despite the obvious ideological differences (that are always brought up as obstacles by the doubters and those with much to lose if the existing status quo is challenged) to take a serious and principled stand against the fascism that has metastasized through this county like some form of malignant cancer.
Greenwald, a growing voice with crossover appeal as well as a man of principle has rocked the boat by coming out in his Thursday Salon column entitled Keith Olbermann: Then and now and questioning MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann for his failure to hold Barack Obama accountable in any sort of consistently meaningful way for his callous and politically expedient cave in on the FISA bill rather than to apply the same standards set by his special comment back in January on Bush’s bullying to include immunity for the telecoms made appropriate references to fascism and Nazi Germany including the scathing:
“This is no longer just a farce in which protecting telecoms is dressed up as protecting us from terrorists conference cells. Now it begins to look like the bureaucrats of the Third Reich, trying to protect the Krupp family, the industrial giants, re-writing the laws of Nazi Germany for their benefit.”
Now in saying that I believe that Olbermann has consistently been the most vocal critic of Bushist and Fox fascism to be found anywhere on cable or regular television (Jon Stewart doesn’t count as he is just an outright buffoon) I have noticed that he often comes across more often as just another shill for the Democratic wing of the corrupt two party joke of a system but such is the price of success. What likely really put the burr up the ass of Olbermann and his General Electric owned MSNBC is that Greenwald does have a point and in using his platform in the blogosphere to advocate for unity against a rancid ruling class and their media toadies he represents a threat to the oligarchy in a manner that blowhard ass clowns like Bill O’Reilly could never hope to. Olbermann, outraged at the audacity of Greenwald for daring to question the high priest of Democratic restoration for his failure to apply the same standards when it comes to desecrating the Constitution to Mr. Obama as he does to King George, the sharp dressed man turned to none other than that teeming nest of venomous orange striped cocksuckers and their charismatic cult leader: Daily Kos.
The intention would to one as jaded as myself (who has had his own share of run ins with those minions of that monkey faced little pigfucker Markos Moulitsas-Zuniga) seem to be to unleash the full fury of those savage little laptop thumping pricks for a counter attack against the growing coalition of Strange Bedfellows. This is going to be pretty interesting to see as Cyber Stalin unleashes his legions of yuppie, orange hued winged monkeys with orders to put the phasers on kill. One of the one aspects of blogging that has increasingly brought much revulsion to me is the co-opting of the so called “A List” blogs (a bunch of sniveling, self centered shithacks if you ask me) by the Democratic party political machine. The Olbermann-Kos thing is going to be absolutely fascinating to watch in the coming days and weeks as they swarm like mindless programmed antibodies to attack any threats to the system that they are tasked with guarding. That Olbermann would eventually become a ‘left’ gatekeeper should certainly come as no shock to anybody who is truly aware of the way that things operate, the shameless Bill Maher’s attacks on those who question 9/11 and Israeli human rights violation show that these guys place priority over principle and let’s face it, neither of them are exactly hurting as the rest of the country is beggared and the economic diaspora grows by the day. Bill Maher knows where his bread is buttered and balling porn stars, partying and enjoying the celebrity status of a top gatekeeper on HBO is a gig that anybody would kill for. As for what ultimately drives Keith Olbermann who really knows but you cannot be a renegade while being part of the same system that you claim to want to change.
Greenwald and Strange Bedfellows are the proverbial live grenade rolling around in the bunker so explosive is the possibility of an alliance that no longer buys the preposterous folderol that has been routinely sold to the chumps that exist here on our God kissed land mass on planet shit and are just well enough educated and pissed off enough to call bullshit on the entire fucking game. A thing like this, which could begin to spread given the growing rate of dissatisfaction and waves of anger that threaten to crash through the once invincible dam of managed reality for the masses – the comments about Olbermann are a shot across the bow and the owners of this country damned well know it. That treacherous foreign pig Rupert Murdoch ‘s newly acquired crown jewel in the American propaganda machine The Wall Street Journal (or as I like to refer to it The Gospel for the Moneychangers already has chimed in on Strange Bedfellows as well so the alarm bells are going off in ivory towers throughout the land. I am personally going to join this alliance and would strongly recommend the rest of you to do likewise if you really want to make a difference and get in on the ground floor for as I have preached in the past this is the future and long after the Daily Kos and the rest of the former internet insurgents who chose the seductive lure of going native over integrity are once again irrelevant the new alliance will reign supreme.
Anyway, it is a damned good idea and the end result has the potential to be far more rewarding than just raising coin to target corporate quisling Democrats like that glad handing, crab cake quaffing AIPAC stooge Steny Hoyer and his ilk for their complicity in once again selling the American people down the river for thirty pieces of silver. A sustained and growing coalition has the possibility to overturn the tables in the rigged casinos, the dens of iniquity and the wood paneled parlors that serve as breeding grounds for the rats who ensure that the game stays rigged and the sham democracy and its pocket media kingmakers can continue to feed on the rest of us like the fucking vultures that they are.
By Ed Encho
Politicians have traditionally hidden behind three things: The Flag, The Bible, and Children. “No Child Left Behind. No Child Left Behind.” Oh, really? Well, it wasn’t long ago you were talking about giving kids a Head Start. Head Start…. Left Behind….someone’s losing fucking ground here.
There’s a reason for this. There’s a reason for this. There’s a reason education sucks and there’s a reason it will never, ever, ever, be fixed. It’s never going to get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. BECAUSE THE OWNERS OF THIS COUNTRY DON’T WANT THAT. I’m talking about the real owners. The big, wealthy business interests that control everything and make all the important decisions.
Forget the politicians. They’re irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. They own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls!
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest. That’s right.
You know something? They don’t want people who are smart enough sitting around the kitchen table to figure out they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard thirty fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paper work, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.
And now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club… and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.
By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy.
The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good, honest, hard working people. Blue collar, white collar, doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard working people continue… these are people of modest means… continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you. At all. At all. At all. And nobody seems to notice. And nobody seems to care.
That’s what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will remain wilfully ignorant about the big red, white and blue dick that is being shoved up their ass every day. Because the owners know the truth. It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.
And the enemy jacks up the odds just a bit more…..he will be sorely missed.
Clandestine America: Three Sources
What is actually possible on the stage of American politics? Can presidents be assassinated by conspirators who go free and win out in the end? Are events which the media soberly report on often little more than play shows contrived by Machiavellian power elites for the manipulation of mass consciousness?
Even after Watergate, the idea that there may be a clandestine American state vastly predating Nixon’s arrival in the White House, transcending Nixon and lingering beyond him, will seem too wild, will seem “to go too far,” unless we come upon it as the wind and the rain fashioned the thing itself, bit by bit. The following three stories about how that happened could be followed by thirty more rather like them; I am not trying to be definitive or exhaustive, only to exemplify the steps taken, now well behind us, that pointed us down the path toward Dallas and Watergate, toward COINTELPRO, Chaos, Garden Plot, and the secret state:
1. The long-term penetration of the American foreign ¬policy bureaucracy by a secret group of Anglophiles operating worldwide as the “Round Table.”
2. The so-called “Operation: Underworld” of the World War II years, a secret but evidently formal and binding compact linking the federal police apparatus and the crime syndicate of Meyer Lansky.
3. The secret submission of the U.S. World War II command to the astonishing demands of Nazi Germany’s top spymaster, General Reinhard Gehlen, who leapt from Hitler’s sinking general staff to become unrivalled chief of American, West German and NATO intelligence systems in the Cold War years.
But as these narratives will be appreciated better in view of their distance from standard ideas, we will first take up two other responses to this question, one by a conservative CIA sophisticate, Miles Copeland, a retired CIA official, and the other by his liberal counterpart, Andrew St. George, a journalist specializing in CIA themes. The Copeland piece appeared in the October 1973 issue of William Buckley’s I National Review. St. George’s piece came out a month later in Harper’s. Both articles were cited in the report of Senator Howard Baker’s special Watergate subcommittee looking into the CIA’s role at Watergate.’ Both writers were questioned in secret by Congressional investigators. And as we shall see, despite their conservative-liberal opposition, the men are ideological bookends. Both assure us-I almost said reassure-that in terms of Big Brotherism and the police state, things will be getting worse.
Copeland opens his explanation of clandestinism in U.S. politics by setting out a picture of concatenating world-scale disasters mounting over the coming years and battering with cumulative force against the foundations of human society everywhere. He sees this process of breakdown as leading inevitably to the world-wide escalation of left-wing terrorism. In response to this forthcoming contagion, the governments of the world one after the other will be forced to the use of totalitarian methods of social control. Watergate gives us, he says, a slice-of-life look at the way these forces were developing (i.e., shows us that Nixon was provoked to the police state by those who opposed him). The inevitability of terror in a collapsing situation culminates in the inevitability of a Gestapo response. “The only answer to the problem [of terror],” Copeland writes, “seems to be to keep whole communities under surveillance. ‘This means we are subscribing to police-state methods,’ says Mother, `but what else can we do?”‘
Copeland does not stop to consider that for some of us this might not be a self-answering question, or whether, person for person, it might not be braver and better for a people and a society to endure terror, if that is indeed the only alternative, than to countenance tyranny. The point he is in a rush to make is that, for the ruling classes with whom he identifies, it is better to impose a police state than to suffer a revolution. He is also saying that even in the United States, the people will tolerate or welcome this police state as the only, _alternative to revolution. “With intelligence on the `people’s war’ pouring in as it presently is,” he writes, “even the most liberal-minded CIA officers feel that they have no choice but to do whatever is necessary to deal with it.”
They believe that, sooner rather than later, the public will swing over to sharing the alarm, and will become suddenly unsqueamish about police-state methods or whatever it takes to give them a good night’s sleep: The CIA, the FBI, and other security agencies had better be prepared. They had better have in readiness methods of “community surveillance” which have in them only such invasions of privacy as are absolutely necessary, and which ensure that the invasions are handled with such discretion and delicacy that even the most ardent liberal can’t object to them.
These still-to-be-demonstrated “methods,” as Copeland airily calls them, are at the same time, so he assures, essentially benign, in some respects benevolent, and efficient in implementation. “The FBI has a comparatively simple problem,” he writes. “Provided it can be assured of freedom from political influences, it can easily administer a system of community surveillance which will be pervasive enough to check terrorist influences in the United States yet not constitute more than a minor departure from our traditional ways of doing things.”
Thanks to the Seymour Hersh/New York Times disclosures of Christmas 1974, showing a vast CIA-run domestic-intelligence activity, we now understand of course that the presumptively futuristic scenes promoted by Copeland, wherein the CIA enters massively into domestic intelligence operations to stop some future crescendo of terrorism, were already old hat when he was writing. “Intelligence leans toward keeping discreet track of terrorist groups and neutralizing them quietly while policemen think in terms of evidence that will stand up in court,” he writes. “In the future, these distinctions will become less and less important-and extra-legal (i.e., intelligence) actions against terrorism will be closely coordinated with legal (police) actions against them.”
Nothing futuristic about all this at all, as it turned out. All ancient history. Witness the Hoover memos of May 1968 inaugurating a massive program of FBI aggression against the antiwar and civil-rights movement – not against “terrorism,” by the way, but against “dissent,” against a rival political standpoint. Witness the Huston Plan and Operation Gemstone and Octopus and all the rest that came with the succession of Nixon to the Johnson throne. We have a concrete sequence of repression, of the use of police-state methods, exactly along Copeland’s lines, undertaken exactly with his kind of self-flattering and historically ignorant posturings about keeping order and giving people “a good night’s sleep,” as though that were a fit image of a self-governing people, a nation asleep.
A current failure of Buckleyite conservatism as a serious political philosophy is that it refuses to dissociate itself from this anticonstitutional mania for the state-financed subversion of political dissent and radical-popular movements of reform. It has no values to propose other than the one single flattened-out value of the total security of the state. The more traditional and substantial conservative values of republicanism, limits, and constitutionality are all reduced in the National Review to the one imperious demand for
order, silence, sleep.
Tyranny was never a remedy for terror. Tyranny is terror. Tyranny and terror promote and multiply each other so well because each is the other’s only possible “legitimation.” But if they are actually the same, as any Socrates could show, then they cannot “legitimate” each other. The choice between terror and totalitarianism is a choice that can only be made-can-only be identified as a choice-by terrorists ‘ and tyrants. The democrat, the republican, and the independent among us will not be so quick to see terror and tyranny as opposite alternatives, but only as two sides of one coin, a single composite choice against liberty and humanity. The authentic rejection of terror mandates the rejection of tyranny. The authentic rejection of tyranny mandates the rejection of terror. There is no way to defend the democracy by the use of anti-democratic means. There is no anti-republican method corresponding to a republican purpose. There is no furtherance of national and personal, political and social independence through submission to national police controls. The state cannot at the same time uphold the law and trample it underfoot.
The liberal survey of the same forces, however, is disquietingly similar. As Copeland finds totalitarianism necessary, Andrew St. George finds it irresistible. Too enlightened to fall back on Copeland’s all-vindicating menace of Red terror as the legitimating raison d’etre of the clandestine American police state, St. George rather sees a monster he calls technofascism as emerging from the material conditions of ultramodern production, from the computerization of everyday fife. His position is sociologically sophisticated. He borrows knowledgeably from the Weberian literature and incorporates the pessimism of current observers like Jacques Ellul and Hannah Arendt without a trace of unconfidence.
St. George calls Watergate “the poisonous afterbirth of Vietnam…. An end to external conflict, the inward-turning of the nation’s aggressions, the unmistakable first step toward genuine convergence with our erstwhile totalitarian opponents.” He quotes Patrick McGarvey’s 1972 work, The CIA: The Myth and the Madness, “United States intelligence is now turning inward on the citizens of this country…. The next logical step would be for an administration to do exactly what its people suspect it of doing start mounting intelligence operations against citizen groups and assemblies.”
“Richard Nixon and John Mitchell,” continues St. George, “may have been instinctively, if not consciously, motivated toward Watergate by an intuitive sense that the era of foreign intervention was drawing to a close. [He is writing before the CIA-Chile exposures.] From now on America would have to generate the climate of defactualization and policeness [St. George finds the Hannah Arendt coinage useful] right at home if it wanted continued progress toward fully achieved, seamlessly engineered, cybernetically controlled techno-totalitarianism.”
Taking as his given the rapid growth in funds and prestige technology available to the national security complex, St. George asks how this complex arose, where it came from, and “what history is trying to tell us” about it. He writes, “Technological society is a matter of internal controls. The very concept of national security has changed; its focus is no longer on spies and seditionists, but on the bureaucracy’s internal power arrangements and hierarchical structures.” How has this transformation come about?
“Within a year of the Bay of Pigs,” he writes, “the CIA curiously and inexplicably began to grow, to branch out, to gather more and more responsibility for ‘the Cuban problem’ etc…. By the time of the 1965 U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic both the good guys and the bad guys – i.e., the ‘radical’ civilian politicos and the ‘conservative’ generals-turned out to have been financed by La Compania…. Owing largely to the Bay of Pigs, the CIA ceased-being an invisible government: it became an empire.”
Now he approaches a mysterious question. “The Agency had become a tireless data digger and interviewer and fact collector about the smallest details of life in Cuba under Castro-until the landing preparations began in earnest in early 1961. Then intelligence collection began to drop off: the `operators’ took over. It seemed that when the operational side of the Agency cut in, the intelligence side cut out. It was baffling…. The real question was: Why?”
Why did CIA-Intelligence “cut out” of the Bay of Pigs invasion at roughly the moment Kennedy was inaugurated, and why did CIA-Operations then “cut in”? To go to the heart of it, what seems strange on the assumption that the CIA is an integrated bureaucratic entity ceases to seem strange on the assumption-our assumption-that it is a house divided against itself. St. George might have been about to lay this important distinction bare. But he goes wrong. He chooses the path of “psychohistorical analysis” over the path of political criticism.
Arming himself pretentiously with Arendt’s “magisterial” concept of “defactualization” (information deteriorates upwards through bureaucracies), he sets out to treat the problem of clandestinism as a syndrome belonging to the domain of psychological aberration. St. George knows or surmises that a conflict shoots through the CIA, through the presidency, through the entire executive system, and that effective presidential command and control are the more deeply in doubt the deeper one goes into the heart of the national defense and security establishments. Then why try to explain breakdowns, when they occur, as though they were the result of “turning away from reality, from empirical data, provable facts, rational truth, toward image-making and self-deception.”? Why ignore the overwhelming differ¬entials of policy and faction at play in these breakdowns?
It is not Nixon himself, the Joint Chiefs, or the CIA whom Nixon, the Chiefs, and the CIA are deceiving, it is only ordinary people. Nixon knew he was secretly bombing Cambodia. The Joint Chiefs knew they were secretly bombing exempted targets in North Vietnam. The defense and security establishment knew that “peace with honor” was a slogan with a hatch in the bottom, and that the “peace” mandate Nixon would secure with it was prestructured for easy transmutation into a war mandate. Watergate cannot be reduced to a question of Nixon’s personal psychology. He was not deceiving himself, only others. He was not deceiving his class.
St. George lets the fashion for psychohistory guide him to the belief that the hero of the story will turn out to have been J. Edgar Hoover. St. George says Hoover distrusted and hated the CIA.
He thought of it as a viperine lair of liars and high-domed intellectuals, of insolent Yalies who sneered at Fordham’s finest, of rich young ne’er-do-wells who dabbled in spy work because they could not be trusted to run the family business, of wily “Princeton Ought-Ought” himself, “Dickie” Helms, who spun his tweedy web from an ultramodern, electronically secured enclave up the river in Virginia…. Hoover realized that inevitably, disastrously, the CIA’s tainted ways were seeping back home to America; there is a vengeful law of historic osmosis about these things.
“Hoover was proven fatally right,” St. George continues, blithely putting his own ideas into the dead director’s mind and altogether overlooking the fact that it was the director himself who already launched in May 1968 a concerted, all out FBI “counterintelligence” campaign “to expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize the activities of the various New Left organizations, their leadership and adherents” Certainly Hoover struggled with the CIA about domestic intelligence, just as he opposed the Huston Plan, but that was because he saw the CIA and the White House as rivals to the FBI, as rival power bases, not because he had suddenly grown sentimental about the Constitution and democracy.
Yet St. George’s larger point about the growth of the national-security complex stands up. Estimating the CIA staff at 150,000 and the total national security budget at $10 billion a year, he confronts the meanings of this with honest emotions: “One should pause to absorb this in its full… innovative enormity,” he writes, “a United States Senator tapped and trailed on his legislative rounds by American Army agents but there are facts and figures to back up the claim: Senator Ervin’s other investigating committee, the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, ‘revealed last year, in a report that went largely unnoticed, that by 1969 the Army-not the Defense Department [and not the CIA], just the Army-had built up a massive system’ for keeping watch on U.S. politics…. The simple fact is that as the Sixties turned into the Seventies, America became a nation under surveillance.” Say it with trumpets. Blow the alarm. This did not stop with Watergate.
No doubt, as Copeland’s example teaches, the persistence of left-wing terror in the world scene will make an easy excuse for totalitarian-minded persons. No doubt, as St. George’s example teaches, the computerization of everyday life will seem to embody an irresistibly transcendent force. But let us remember that we are actually looking back on the certain knowledge of a clandestine America which these writers can still pretend to see as a future threat. We are trying to understand the onset of an achieved, not merely a prognosticated, predicament. So we may not be so abstract. We must find the concrete mechanisms. The way into the blind snarls of clandestinism was not led by pious elders seeking to quiet the public sleep or by robots programmed with a contempt for democracy. The way was taken step by step by ordinary human beings acting under the burden of ordinary human motives. The following three examples will bear out the importance of this innocuous reminder.
The Round Table
The John Birch Society maintains that linked up with, if not actually behind, the International Communist Conspiracy is a higher-level super cabal of internationalists of the United States and Western Europe, led here by the Rockefeller-Morgan group and there by the Rothschilds, whose purpose is to create a unified world political order. “This myth,” writes its most temperate and only first-hand historian, Carroll Quigley (Tragedy and Hope, Macmillan, 1966), “like all fables, does in fact have a modicum of truth. There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, the way the radical right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups [e.g., as we see below, the Nazis] and frequently does so.”
Quigley studied the operations of the Round Table first hand for twenty years and for two years during the early 1960s was permitted access to its papers and secret records. He objects to a few of its policies (e.g., its conception of England as an Atlantic rather than a European power), but says his chief complaint about the Round Table is its secrecy a secrecy which he comes forward to break. “The American branch of this organization, sometimes called `The Eastern Establishment,’ has played a very significant role in the history of the United States in the last generation,” he writes “and I believe its role in history is significant enough to bi known.”
The Round Table Groups, by Quigley’s detailed report, are semi-covert policy and action groups formed at the turn of the first decade of this century on the initiatives of the Rhodes Trust and its dominant Trustee of the 1905-1925 period, Lord Milner. Their original political aim was federation of the English-speaking world along lines laid down by Cecil Rhodes.
By 1915, Round Table Groups were functioning in England and in six outposts of the Empire-South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and the United States. The U.S. group included George Louis Beer, Walter Lippmann, Frank Aydelotte, Whitney Shepardson, Thomas W. Lamont, Jerome D. Greene, and Erwin D. Canham of the Christian Science Monitor, a Yankee bouquet.
The organization was originally financed by the associates and followers of Cecil Rhodes, chiefly from the Rhodes Trust itself, but since 1925, according to Quigley, substantial contributions have come from wealthy individuals, foundations, and firms associated with the international banking fraternity, especially the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and other organizations associated with J. P. Morgan, the Rockefeller and Whitney families, and the associates of Lazard Brothers and of Morgan, Grenfell, and Company. The chief link-up in this organization was once that of the Morgan Bank in New York to a group of international financiers in London led by Lazard Brothers, but at the end of the war of 1914, the organization was greatly extended. In England and in each dominion a group was set up to function as a cover for the existing local Round Table Group.
In London, this front was the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which had as its secret nucleus the existing Round Table Group. The New York group was the Council on Foreign Relations. The Morgan men who dominated the CFR went to the Paris Peace Conference and there became close to a similar group of English experts recruited by Milner. There thus grew up “a power structure” linking London and New York banks and deeply penetrating “university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy.”
The founding aims of this elaborate, semisecret organization were “to coordinate the international activities and outlooks of all the English-speaking world into one … to work to maintain peace; to help backward, colonial, and underdeveloped areas to advance toward stability, law, and order and prosperity, along lines somehow similar to those taught at Oxford and the University of London….” These aims were pursued by “gracious and cultured gentlemen of somewhat limited social experience…. If their failures now loom larger than their successes, this should not be allowed to conceal the high motives in which they attempted both.”
Quigley calls this relationship between London and New York financial circles “one of the most powerful influences in twentieth-century American and world history. The two ends of this English-speaking axis have sometimes been called, perhaps facetiously, the English and American Establishments. There is, however, a considerable degree of truth behind the joke, a truth which reflects a very real power structure. It is this power structure which the Radical Right in the United States has been attacking for years in the belief that they are attacking the Communists.”
Am I borrowing on Quigley then to say with the far right that this one conspiracy rules the world? The arguments for a conspiracy theory are indeed often dismissed on the grounds that no one conspiracy could possibly control everything. But that is not what this theory sets out to show. Quigley is not saying that modern history is the invention of an esoteric cabal designing events omnipotently to suit its ends. The implicit claim, on the contrary, is that a multitude of conspiracies contend in the night. Clandestinism is not the usage of a handful of rogues, it is a formalized practice of an entire class in which a thousand hands spontaneously join. Conspiracy is the normal continuation of normal politics by normal means.
What we behold in the Round Table, functioning in the United States through its cover organization, the Council on’ Foreign Relations, is one focal point among many of one among many conspiracies. The whole thrust of the Yankee/ Cowboy interpretation in fact is set dead against the omnipotent-cabal interpretation favored by Gary Allen and others of the John Birch Society, basically in the respect that it posits and divided social-historical American order,’ conflict-wracked and dialectical rather than serene and hierarchical, in which results constantly elude every faction’s intentions because all conspire against each and each against all.
This point arose in a seminar I was once in with a handful of businessmen and a former ambassador or two in 1970 at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. The question of – conspiracy in government came up. I advanced the theory that government is intrinsically conspiratorial. Blank incredulous stares around the table. “Surely you don’t propose there is conspiracy at the top levels?” But only turn the tables and ask how much conspiring these men of the world do in the conduct of their own affairs, and the atmosphere changes altogether. Now they are all unbuttoned and full of stories, this one telling how he got his competitor’s price list, that one how he found out whom to bribe, the other one how he gathered secret intelligence on his own top staff. Routinely, these businessmen all operated in some respects covertly, they all made sure to acquire and hold the power to do so, they saw nothing irregular in it, they saw it as part of the duty, a submerged part of the job description. Only with respect to the higher levels of power, around the national presidency, even though they saw their own corporate brothers skulking about there, were they unwilling to concede the prevalence of clandestine practice. Conspiratorial play is a universal of power politics, and where there is no limit to power, there is no limit to conspiracy.
The Round Table is not the only source of American clandestinism. As we are to see, there are other main roads to the self-same city. I call attention to it because it is precisely the kind of semi-hidden organization that standard consciousness does not recognize as a force in the flow of events, and yet whose influence is vast. When I read in Quigley’s account of the Round Table that it was “concerned only to bring the English-speaking world into a single power unit, chiefly by getting the United States and Great Britain to support common policies,” I suffer a painful shock of recognition: How much of what we most take for granted about the political world, how much of standard thought, is the artifact of Yankee bankers?
The Derivation of Kennedy
John Kennedy was not by personal heritage a Round Tabler any more than his family was by type or beginnings an Establishment Yankee family. On the contrary. He was the great-grandson of an emigrant Irish cooper and the grandson of a ward-heeling East Boston saloonkeeper. His father Joseph, the founder of the dynasty (if indeed the family is to prove dynastic), was an operator, speculator, wheeler-dealer and Prohibition-era smuggler whose drive for wealth, power and social status was easily worthy of any new-rich Cowboy, and who was in fact often snubbed by the Boston brahminate.
According to Quigley, JFK’s “introduction to the Establishment arose from his support of Britain in opposition to his father [FDR’s ambassador to the Court of St. James and an ardent anti-interventionist] in the critical days at the American Embassy in London in 1938-40. His acceptance into the English Establishment opened its American branch as well” (p. 1245). But maybe this rounds off .the corners too much. At that time, JFK was a mere Harvard stripling, and according to his father’s biographer, Richard J. Whalen (The Founding Father, New American Library-World, 1964), he was wholly influenced by his father’s political views. According to Whalen (p. 294), JFK’s senior thesis, published in 1940 as Why England Slept, “was almost a carbon copy of his father’s position.” JFK followed his father in excusing Munich, defending Chamberlain, and blaming Britain’s military unpreparedness for World War II on “the slowness of the British democracy to change from a` disarmament policy.”
How could the Founder have so misread the situation of ‘ European spirit? Whalen says (p. 348) that Joseph “might have muddled through-except for one failing. He identified himself with the `top people’ in England and moved to embrace their views. But these men and women of lofty rank and distinguished lineage belonged to a dying England. Dazzled, charmed, delighting in his acceptance, Kennedy spent little time at other levels of society, in the company of men holding radically different (though not necessarily `radical’) opinion, who would lead England’s struggle and revive her spirit in the days of supreme trial. The intimate of those who first lost their function, then their faith in ‘ themselves and in their country, Kennedy rode high and handsome at their side, and shared their fall.”
Thus, a rather more likely explanation of the British Establishment’s initial interest in seeing the Kennedys elevated socially and thus politically in the United States is that the aristocrats in whom the arriviste ambassador took such delight were themselves mesmerized by Hitler’s military power and spiritually incapable of challenging it.
German U-boats had already been sinking defenseless U.S. merchants within sight of East Coast beaches when a string of sabotage incidents on the East Coast docks climaxed in 1942 in the burning of the French liner Normandie, just on the eve of its rechristening as an Allied freighter. The event showed Roosevelt how easily Mussolini’s saboteurs could strike at the base of U.S. shipping.
Meyer Lansky, meanwhile, chief minister of organized crime, was troubled because certain Mafia families were proving reluctant to join the larger Syndicate which he had been building since Prohibition under the yellow and black colors of Lucky Luciano. Luciano had been jailed in 1937 by New York D.A. Thomas Dewey, and Lansky had been operating since as his top man in the world of the other capos, where his main problem was how to persuade the Sicilian holdouts to accept the executive leadership of a Jew.
Different students of organized crime in America interpret Lansky’s role in different ways. The perceptive and original Alfred McCoy, for example; in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972), treats Luciano himself, not Lansky, as the first wholly modern executive of crime and attributes to him, not Lansky, the insights that led to the current federation of previously autonomous criminal groups around particular rackets and particular cities.
But Hank Messick, who develops the point in a string of unique books of crime reportage, notably Lansky (1971) and John Edgar Hoover (1972), thinks Luciano’s greatest genius lay in his grasp of Lansky’s greater genius, and that Lansky was always the main strategist in bringing big crime to accept the standpoint of the Harvard Business School and the necessity of monopoly-style business rationalization. McCoy would agree that Lansky at least became the top boss after Luciano’s sudden death by heart attack in a Naples airport in 1962. I follow Messick on the point if only because Lansky was Luciano’s front man in the real world during the nearly ten years Luciano was imprisoned and carried out the concrete tasks that actually brought the new super-corporate organization, “the Syndicate,” into existence.
But this difference matters little for the current point. Whether it was Lansky’s or Luciano’s doing or the doing of “social forces” pushing towards “multicorporatism” in every sphere of exchange, in business and politics as well as in crime, in Hughes’s and Rockefeller’s and Nixon’s worlds as well as Lansky’s, the fact of expansion and integration, of the centralizing of business authority in an unimpeachable bureaucracy, is the main fact of organized crime’s inner life from Prohibition on, and it seems appropriate to associate this general movement with the long period of Lansky’s preeminence.
Roosevelt’s problem then was how to guarantee the security of the docks against Fascist sabotage. Lansky’s problem was how to complete the organization of the Syndicate. What artist of the possible saw the convergence of these two problems in a common solution?
The precise origins of “Operation Underworld” are not public knowledge. Both McCoy and Messick fasten upon a Brooklyn shipyards office of U.S. Naval Intelligence. That would not mean the initiative was necessarily federal or the Navy’s. The idea could have been dropped there by any messenger. In any case, it came down to a straightforward proposition. Lansky first turns to the reluctant capo and says: What if I can free thy leader, Luciano? Then he turns to the anxious Roosevelt and says: What if I can secure thy docks against sabotage?
The offer Lansky made in particular was simply for Roosevelt to intervene in the Luciano matter, although from the prosperity enjoyed by organized crime during World War II, it may appear to imply that the deal went much further and actually entailed federal protection for certain areas of Syndicate wartime acfivity, e.g., smuggling.
Luciano was moved right away from the remote Dannemora Prison to the more comfortable and spacious Great Meadow Prison north of Albany. His accessibilities thus improved, he lived out the war years in a style befitting the prisoner who is also the jailer’s benefactor and a party to a larger arrangement with the throne. Promptly on V-E Day, his lawyer filed the papers that opened the doors for his release and deportation to Sicily. He would shortly return to his Godfatherly duties in the exile capital Lansky had been preparing all the while in Havana. Lansky delivered Luciano and won federal protection. The Syndicate was made. But that only began it. Syndicate collaboration with the American war effort went much further.
The Sicilian Mafia, for example, had been all but wiped out by Mussolini in fascism’s long violent rise to power. The Mafia was a power rival and Mussolini crushed it bloodily. But when General George Patton landed on Sicily with the Seventh Army’s Third Division in 1943, he came with instructions to fly Luciano’s black and yellow scarf along with the Stars and Stripes and to seek out the tactical support of local Mafiosi, who would offer themselves as guides and informants. This support may or may not have been of measurable military value. The Kefauver Committee theorized later that it was too slight to have justified the release of Luciano on patriotic grounds. But what Patton’s tanks meant to the Mafia was purely and simply its restoration to power in Sicily.
Then in 1944 Roosevelt wanted Batista to step aside in Cuba. The most persuasive confidential ambassador he could think of, the best man for delivering such a message to Batista, Messick reports, was Lansky himself. Whom else would Batista listen to?
Lansky and Batista had first met ten years before in the year of Repeal, 1934. Lansky had seen that the coming legalization of liquor might give an enormous business opportunity to those who had run it when it was illegal. So as Repeal drew nearer, he started shopping for raw material sources, for all the world like a run-of-the-mill corporate-imperial businessman.
He got to Havana in 1934 shortly after Batista first won power. The two men found themselves in deep harmony. Lansky stayed three weeks and worked out with Batista the arrangements that would bring molasses from Cuban cane to Syndicate-controlled distilleries and set up Havana as a major gaming capital of the Western hemisphere.
From these beginnings, the Lansky-Batista association prospered greatly over the next decade. No one better than Lansky could have carried Roosevelt’s message, nor could Batista have wiled away his exile period in a more appropriate or comfortable setting than the Palm Springs mansion which Lansky made available. When the wind changed yet another time in the early 1950s and it was time for Batista to go back to Cuba and resume command, it was again Lansky who gave Batista the word to move.
In France, too, the forces of crime were integrated into U.S. efforts to establish anti-Communist postwar governments, notably at Marseilles, where the World War II CIA (OSS) employed Corsican Syndicate goon-squads to break the French Communist Party’s control of the docks. It was another twisted situation. The main serious wartime resistance to European fascism was that of European Communists. Their resistance was militarily and therefore politically significant. Beyond Communist Party activity, resistance to Nazi Germany had been fragmentary or weak willed and ineffectual. The non-Communist left (e.g., the groups around Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus) had prestige but little combat or political-organizational capability. The rest of the country collaborated.
With no interference from outside, the natural result of this disposition of factors in postwar Europe might easily have been the immediate rise of the Communist Party to great power if not dominance in French affairs.
The same thing was threatening to happen all across Europe. Given that American policy was committed to the achievement of a non-Communist postwar Western Europe, there was possibly no way for the pacification effort to have avoided collusion with crime. Besides the Corsican Syndicate, there was no other group sufficiently organized and ‘disciplined to challenge the French CP for control of the Marseilles docks. A result is that Marseilles became within a few years the heroin-manufacturing capital of the Western world and the production base of the Lansky-Luciano-Trafficanto heroin traffic into the American ghetto.
The integration of the forces of law with the forces of organized crime extends from the municipal to the federal level. It takes in vast reaches of the law-enforcement and security establishment: police, military, paramilitary, and private alike. It constitutes a burden of corruption possibly already too heavy to be thrown off.
When we look back from Watergate to find the causes of it all, the Yankee wartime leadership’s amazing opportunism looms large. With Operation Underworld, Roosevelt made the Mafiosi all but official masters of the U.S. East Coast docks and gave implicit protection to their activities everywhere. With his instructions to Patton in 1943, he restored the Mafia to power in Sicily. When he sent Lansky to Batista in 1944, he paved the way for the spread of Syndicate influence throughout the Caribbean and Central America. When he directed the CIA to use Syndicate thugs at Marseilles in 1945, he licensed the heroin factories that would be feeding the American habit into a contagion virtually unchecked over the years of the Cold War.
One can easily enough sympathize with Roosevelt’s desire to strike at the Axis powers with whatever weapons came to hand, and especially to do something to protect the docks. But we must also judge his acts by their longer-term consequences. Certainly we cannot say it is all Nixon’s fault if during his novice and formative years in political administration, when he and Rebozo may have found themselves in a relationship around black market tires in wartime Miami (see below), he should have come upon the idea, FDR-sponsored, that some crooks were patriotic, and the patriotic ones were okay to do business with, just as though a few purchased gestures of patriotism could make crime itself legitimate. Fine word, legitimate. Operation Underworld is one of the roots of Operation Gemstone. Roosevelt is one of the authors of Watergate.
The Derivation of Nixon
Tricky is perhaps the most despicable President this nation has ever had. He was a cheat, a liar and a crook, and he brought my country, which I love, into disrepute. Even worse than abusing his office, he abused the American people. -Earl Warren
Nixon is commonly supposed to have been introduced to Bebe Rebozo by Richard Danner, the courier and connecter who left the FBI to become city manager of Miami Beach at. a time when it was under the all-but-open control of the Mob. Danner first met Nixon at a party thrown in Washington in 1947 by another newly elected congressman, George Smathers. Smathers was by that time already an intimate friend and business partner of Rebozo and a friend of Batista. When Nixon vacationed in Havana after his 1952 election to the vice-presidency, Syndicate-wise Danner used his clout with Lansky’s man Norman “Roughhouse” Rothman to get gambling credit at the Sans Souci for Nixon’s traveling companion, Dana Smith. We recall Dana , Smith as the manager of the secret slush fund set up to finance Pat Nixon’s cloth coats, the exposure of which led to the famous Checkers TV speech during the 1952 campaign. Smith dropped a bundle at the Sans Souci and left Cuba: without paying it back. Safe in the States, he repudiated the debt. That infuriated Rothman. Nixon was forced to ask the State Department to intervene in Smith’s behalf.
It is poetically satisfying to imagine Nixon and Rebozo meeting through Danner. When Danner reenters in the next to last act of Watergate with the $100,000 from Hughes which only he seems to have been able to deliver, we may sense a wheel coming full circle. But there is the possibility also that Rebozo and Nixon actually connected in Miami in 1942, and it is almost certain that they knew of each other then, as will emerge.
Here are the fragments with which we reconstruct Rebozo: (1) he is associated with the anti-Castro Cuban exile community in Florida; (2) an all-Cuban shopping center in Miami is constructed for him by Polizzi Construction Co., headed by Cleveland Mafioso Al “The Owl” Polizzi, listed by the McClellan crime committee as one of “the most influential members of the underworld in. the United States”; (3) his Key Biscayne Bank was involved in the E. F. Hutton stock theft, in which the Mafia fenced stolen securities through his bank.
Rebozo’s will to power appears to have developed during the war, when he made it big in the “used-tire” and “retread” business. Used-tire distributors all over the country; of course, were willingly and unwillingly turned into fences of Mafia black market tires during the war. Rebozo could have been used and still not know it.
He was born in 1912 in Florida to a family of poor Cuban immigrants, was ambitious, and by 1935 had his first gas station. By the time the war was over, his lucrative retread business had turned him into a capitalist and he was buying up Florida land. Before long he was buying vast amounts of it in partnership with Smathers and spreading thence into the small-loans business, sometimes called loan-sharking. From lending he went to insuring. He and Smathers insured each other’s business operations. His successes soon carried him to the sphere of principalities and powers the likes of W. Clement Stone of Chicago and the aerosol king Robert Abplanalp, both of whom met Nixon through him. Also during the war, Rebozo was navigator in a part-time Military Air Transport Command crew that flew military transports to Europe full and back empty, which some find a Minderbinderesque detail.
During the first year of the war, before going into the Navy, Nixon worked in the interpretations unit of the legal section of the tire-rationing branch of the Office of Price Administration. Investigator Jeff Gerth has discovered that three weeks after Nixon began this job, his close friend-to-be, George Smathers, came to federal court for the defendant in this case, United States vs. Standard Oil of Kansas. U.S. Customs had confiscated a load of American-made tires reentering the country through Cuba in an “attempt to circumvent national tire rationing,” i.e., bootleg tires. Smathers wanted to speed up the case for his client, and so wrote to the OPA for a ruling. His letter must have come to Nixon, who, OPA records show, was responsible for all correspondence on tire rationing questions. It was therefore Nixon’s business to answer Smathers. Especially since this was the first knock on the door, it would be nice to know what Nixon said and how the matter was disposed of. “Unfortunately,” reports Gerth, “most OPA records were destroyed after the war. The court file for this case is supposed to be in the Atlanta Records Center, but a written request submitted to the clerk of the civil court on July 6, 1972, has not been honored, despite the usual one week response time. Written questions submitted to President Nixon and Bebe Robozo have also gone unanswered. Among the relevant questions is whether Miami was one of the regional offices Nixon set up.
Was this the bending of the twig? And if Rebozo and Nixon actually did meet then, even if only through bureaucratic transactions around the flow of tires, then they met within the sphere of intense Syndicate activity at a time when Roosevelt’s Operation Underworld had conferred immense prestige and freedom of movement on Syndicate activities. Could the Nixon-Rebozo relationship escape being affected by FDR’s truce between law arid crime?
Let us spell out this theory of Nixon’s beginnings in A-B-C simplicity.
Prohibition: Organized crime takes over the distilleries industry.
Repeal: Bootlegging goes legit, the Syndicate thereby expanding into the sphere of “legal” operations. This is the first big foothold of organized crime in the operations of the state.
Cuba/Batista: Lansky goes to Cuba in 1934 in search of a molasses source, meets and courts the newly ascendant strongman Batista, stays three weeks and lays plans for developing Havana into the major off-shore freezone of State-side organized crime, Cuba playing the role in the Caribbean of Sicily and Corsica in the Mediterranean.
World War II: In despair of otherwise securing the physical security of the docks against sabotage which may or may not have been Fascist-inspired, Roosevelt accepts a secret arrangement with organized crime. He comforts Luciano in prison and agrees to release him to exile at the end of the war. He generates an atmosphere of coalition with crime for the duration. In that atmosphere, Syndicate projects prosper. But one of the smugglers, Kansas Standard, gets too brazen and is caught, perhaps, by naive customs officials. Smathers takes the case for the defendant and thus comes into contact with Nixon.
Noting Gerth’s discovery that the records of this case have inexplicably disappeared from the files, noting Rebozo’s involvement in the tire business and his rapid enrichment during World War II, and noting Smathers’s well-known affection for Cuban associations, we generalize to the straight-forward hypothesis that Nixon may have been fused to the Syndicate already in 1942. Was his 1944 stint in the Navy a sheep-dipping? Look at this rise: 1946: Nixon for Congress; 1948: Nixon for Congress (II); 1950: Nixon for Senate; 1952: a heartbeat away.
So it is another Dr. Frankenstein story. The Yankees beget in sheer expediency and offhandedness the forces that will later grow strong enough to challenge them for leadership. Operation Underworld was the supreme pioneering joint effort of crime and the state, the first major direct step taken toward their ultimate covert integration in the Dallas-Watergate decade.
The Gehlen Organization
Recall two generals of World War II. First, General Andrei Vlassov, a Red Army officer secretly working with an extensive anti-Bolshevist spy ring. He joined up his forces with the advancing Germans during the invasion of the Ukraine, where the Bolsheviks had collected. Vlassov commanded the co-called Army of Liberation, a full division of more or less well equipped troops fighting under the flag of Great White Russian reaction for the restoration of the Czar.
And second, General Reinhard Gehlen, the famous “superspy” of the same war, master of Hitler’s powerful Soviet intelligence apparatus. The practical basis of the great success of Gehlen’s Soviet intelligence system was his relationship to Vlassov. Through Vlassov, Gehlen had access to the Russian anti-Bolshevist underground network that had long since penetrated if not captured key departments of the Soviet regime. At a moment in their invasion when the Nazis still though themselves on the brink of triumph, Gehlen proposed to Hitler that Vlassov be made the head of the forthcoming provisional government. Hitler declined, presumably out of respect for Vlassov’s power, but the relationship between Gehlen and Vlassov and their spy systems remained intact, even after the defeat of the Wehrmacht in the Battle of Stalingrad, winter of 1942-43.
By Christmas 1944 Gehlen had reached the belief that Germany’s cause was hopeless. Against the certainty of national defeat, he decided that his only personal choice lay between surrender to the Russians and surrender to the Americans.
In April 1945, with the Russian army closing on Berlin, Gehlen gathered together with his top aides in a hotel room in Bad Elster, Sazony, to begin the decisive and most dangerous step of their decision. They stripped their archives of the intelligence information that would be most useful to them in subsequent negotiations. Burning tons of other documents, they stored their basic intelligence cache in fifty-two crates and with elaborate security measures moved these crates south into the Bavarian Redoubt and buried them in a high mountain field called Misery Meador, overlooked by the chalet which Gehlen’s foresight had long before provisioned. Safe there with his forty top aides and his buried spy treasures, Gehlen settled down to await the Americans.
By May Day 1945 the Red Army was in Berlin and Hitler was dead. Three weeks later, columns of the 101st Airborne moved up the valley below Gehlen’s mountain fortress. Gehlen’s aides descended from the upper slopes to present themselves for capture and arrange an appointment for the capture of their commander, the highest-ranking German officer and Hitler’s only staff general yet to make his way to safety in American hands.
No ceremonies were slighted. One interview followed another. Captured in May, Gehlen arrived in Washington three months later, August 22, 1945, in the uniform of a general of the United States Army, flown there in the command transport of Gen. Walter Bedell Smith. In a series of secret meetings with Allen Dulles and Wild Bill Donovan of the OSS, he laid out in detail the proposal – the surrender conditions, essentially – which he was offering the Americans.
Postwar Europe, he pointed out, as everyone knew, was certain to become the arena of confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union ultimately even greater than the confrontation just ending between the victorious Allies and the vanquished Axis powers. The Soviets, he said, were well prepared for this new confrontation from an intelligence standpoint, as who better than he could say, and the Americans were not. The Russians had a crack spy network in West Europe and America, but the Americans did not have a spy network of any kind or quality in East Europe and Russia. Did that not put the Americans at an important disadvantage in the forthcoming stuggles?
Then where and how could the Americans procure the needed capability? Recruiting and training a corps of Russian and Central European intelligence agents and building a network of reliable sources and experts nearly from scratch could take years, generations. The Americans agreed with Gehlen that they did not have that much time.
Very well, Gehlen had a practical solution to this very problem. His own intelligence apparatus was still intact within the collapsing Hitler government. It was as capable as ever of delivering large masses of high-quality intelligence data on all aspects of Soviet life. Hitler had never taken advantage of this capability, Gehlen explained. Hitler had ignored Gehlen’s organization and had gone on to ruin. Still it was there. It might have been put to better use. It still could be, should the Americans accept his offer.
Gehlen’s offer was for the Americans to pick up his organization bodily and bolt it into the empty space of their own intelligence system, as though it were one of the spoils of the war. Gehlen could plausibly guarantee his network’s unmatched and unbending loyalty to the cause of anti-Bolshevism and the fifty-two crates he had buried in Misery Meadow were tangible proofs of his power and a foretaste of secret knowledge to come.
All the Americans had to do was to meet Gehlen’s four conditions. First, Gehlen was to have complete autonomy within his organization and total control over its activities. The Americans would tell him what they wanted and they would get it, satisfaction guaranteed, but they would have to know nothing about the process by which Gehlen got it to give them; that knowledge was Gehlen’s own. He even reserved the right to approve U.S. liason officers assigned to him. Second, the Americans would agree to use Gehlen only against the USSR and the East European satellites. Third, when a new German government was set up, the Americans would constitutionally install the Gehlen organization in it as its official central intelligence agency and cancel automatically all outstanding Gehlen commitments to the United States. Fourth, the Americans would never require Gehlen to do anything he considered against German national interests.
In the long and the short, our guys fell for it. Even as the United States was publicly proclaiming a policy of unconditional German surrender, Gehlen’s incredible conditions were met and his organization was being established at the very core and seat of the American system of foreign intelligence under the responsibility of Allen Dulles’s Secret Intelligence Branch of the OSS. By the time of the transformation of the OSS into the CIA in 1948, Gehlen had grown tight with Dulles and his organization had become in effect the CIA’s department of Russian and East European affairs. Soon after the formation of NATO, it became the official NATO intelligence organization. And as per Gehlen’s third condition, his organization was installed as the core and he as the director of the West German CIA, the Bundesnachtendienst (BND).
We need to go no further into the exploits of this last long improbable phase of Gehlen’s career, save to note that it spans the Cold War, that it was current as of Watergate, and that Gehlen had to be pried out of a spy’s “retirement” in 1974 to testify in the sensational West German spy scandal that brought down Willy Brandt. Look what power the victors conceded the vanquished. Exclusive purveyor of intelligence on the Soviet Union and East Europe to the United States, West Germany, and NATO, Gehlen and the spirit kept alive in him and his staff had more power over the official American perceptions in the postwar than even a German victory could have given them. The Gehlen-Vlassov intelligence system had become a main source and fountain of official American consciousness.
Behold the span of this concatenation. First in the time of Trotsky there is General Vlassov and his anti-Bolshevist army and spy ring. The Vlassove apparatus is then at a certain later point assimilated to the Gehlen apparatus. Then just as the White Russian spies jumped to the Nazis when their own army went down, so now the German Nazi and Russian Czarist spies together jumped to the American army as the Wehrmacht was falling. Vlassov first became a department of Gehlen, then Gehlen became a department of Allen Dulles.
This is how it came to pass that a Czarist spy ring inside a Nazi spy ring took up the inner seats in the American foreign intelligence apparatus at the precise moment that this apparatus was starting to come forward as a major player in the great policy wars of Washington and the world. This is how it came to pass that everything official Washington would know about the Soviet Union and East Europe on the most believable report, everything about the enemy our policymakers would most confidently believe, would come by way of Czarists and Nazis installed at the center of our national intelligence system. That was a buzzard that would come home to roost again and again.
Clandestinism is a disease of republican twilight. Its coming bespeaks the degeneration of the constitutional republic into the military empire. It worsens when the empire shakes, as in the Vietnam war America was shaken. In the American case, it does not arise from the mere accident of the Round Table’s domination of the foreign service or of FDR’s ready capitulation to Syndicate extortion or the ideological gullibility of America’s wartime espionage elite before the rational blandishments of a Nazi superspy. Rather, such accidents themselves were given significance by the larger transformation taking place around them: the dissolution of the wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union and the crystallizing in its place of the Cold War conflict between them. But one must always return to the specific events in which these larger forces unveiled themselves. Otherwise we repeat the conservative’s error of assuming that the state clandestinism results from the struggle against subversive terror instead of the struggle to maintain illegitimate state power, and the liberal’s error of thinking that fascism is a result of the high-technology era instead of the domination of this era by the activities of self-serving power elites.
“A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder.”
On Memorial Day, a day that is intended to be one of somber remembrance and the recognition of our nation’s war dead although it is perversely come to be more associated with boozing barbecues, silly NASCAR races and the inevitable retail extravaganzas at the shopping emporiums throughout the land it is no longer necessary to most Americans to pay tribute. They are the type who just wear those stupid assed American flag pins as though they were some sort of star spangled merkin, festoon their gas guzzlers with yellow ribbon stickers that in and of themselves are gauche take offs on a lousy country western song and wrongly believe that they are being truly patriotic. Such garbage only serves to dishonor those who have sacrificed and perished in past conflicts and will continue to do so in the new American century due to the illegal wars of aggression and conquest that have been thrust upon us due to the criminal Bush regime and it’s neocon policy makers who conspire in secret to launch their schemes of global conquest all justified by that one great and fortuitous ‘terrorist’ attack that tore open a hole to a parallel universe where up is down, black is white, freedom is slavery, war is peace and most importantly: ignorance is strength.
September 11th 2001. The day that will forever live in infamy as the day when the reset button was hit on over two centuries of American history and allowed for the new doctrines of preemptive war, the domestic police state and the codifying of torture into the law of the land. The real meaning as well as the cause of 9/11 continues to resonate and be debated throughout the alternative media and the blogosphere despite the sanctimonious reverence given to it by the corporate, state controlled mainstream media where those who dare to even suggest that it was blowback are shouted down by angry demagogues standing atop their electronic soapboxes. That one single day more than anything else has been used as the justification the rise of the new American fascist state and the illegal wars of aggression that feed the colossus that is the military industrial complex.
Since that horror filled, pristine Tuesday morning that was abruptly shattered as no other day in the history of our republic had ever been prior to it (I omit Pearl Harbor for the obvious reasons that it was a military target and Hawaii in 1941 was not yet an official state) we as a society have been changed forever and changed for the worse. We now torture as a matter of official policy. We allow ourselves to be spied upon by a rogue government that increasingly views dissent as sedition and treason. We have seen Habeas Corpus which had been a bedrock principle of law since the days of the Magna Carta rendered null and void. There has been an unprecedented consolidation of power in the Executive Branch and the neutered Congress has been reduced to a chattering club of irrelevant partisans with no real power or the intestinal fortitude to reassert itself as per the intentions of the founders as put forth in The Constitution.
There has sprung up a permanent and highly lucrative industry of institutionalized surveillance that has rendered privacy a quaint thing of the past. Our national airports have become Soviet style checkpoints where citizens are treated as criminals by ill tempered and poorly trained goons and thugs. Our domestic police are becoming increasingly more aggressive and militarized with instances of brutality and bullying becoming commonplace, the saying “if you’re not cops you’re little people” has gone from a line in a dystopian science fiction movie to reality. Deaths by Taser have been steadily increasing with no oversight, our fascist packed courts are now ruling in favor of the manufacturer of this dangerous weapon. The United States has in the most perverse Orwellian way been transformed into something as antithetical to what America was supposed to have always stood for that is strangely called “The Homeland which conjures up memories of a certain mid 20th century European land gone insane.
I am not going to go into a further litany of all that has gone terribly wrong in the land of Jack Bauer and extremist right-wing apple pie authoritarianism but suffice it to say that NONE of what has been visited upon us would have been possible were in not for the events of that terrible Tuesday in September 2001. Hitler had his enabling act and the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 gave us the USAPATRIOT Act and both were made possible by a false flag attack, in 1933 in was the Reichstag Fire and in 2001 it was the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks. While some may cringe at the comparison to history’s most infamous totalitarian regime’s actions to those of the neocon junta and the Bush-Cheney administration the comparison has merit in that both events forever changed societies for the worse in their aftermath. There has never been a legitimate, objective and conflict of interest free investigation of 9/11 despite the growing suspicion among the American and international communities that the official government story is riddled throughout with lies, propaganda, omissions and obfuscations.
With any crime it is imperative to look at who benefited or Cui Bono for those familiar with Latin and there have been many beneficiaries of 9/11, first and foremost there is the by now infamous Project For The New American Century, a policy organization for global/full spectrum U.S. military dominance whose members and contributors are a who’s who of fifth columnist fascist filth including none other than Richard B. Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. The PNAC’s reference to the need for a “New Pearl Harbor” to allow for their plans to be implemented should have been ample circumstantial evidence for major players to be subpoenaed and put under oath in front of the Kean-Hamilton Commission but any questioning of this most blatantly arrogant statement was as absent from the report as the collapse of WTC 7 or what Sibel Edmonds may have stumbled upon while translating communications while she was employed by the FBI.
While the official pocket press and what passes for government in this sham democracy has continued to ignore any serious investigation into 9/11 it has been investigated by thousands of citizen journalists and investigators who have used the internet as a resource and an organizing tool. The most success at working to get at the truth of the day when the fascist switch was tripped has been the so-called ‘9/11 Truth Movement’, a loosely affiliated and diverse group of activists which despite their progress is often impeded by factions or segments whose focus on differing highly controversial theories (missiles not planes, explosive pods, ghost flights etc) are often easily mocked or are intentional pieces of disinformation. In this essay for the purpose of clarity I do not seek to at this time address any of these theories on how the event was actually pulled off but rather the serendipitous happenstance that allowed for rogue elements of the intelligence community, the military industrial complex and the government itself to implement their plans for world domination starting in the Middle East.
Given that I have immersed myself in reading and research over the past five years since the day when an ugly little idea turned into a blow that hit me like a sucker punch to the solar plexus that something was terribly amiss with the official story I have slowly been working at doing an end around on the obviously corrupt corporate media that lies through omission to protect the oligarchy by assembling the pieces to the puzzle myself as I am certain that many readers of this particular essay of mine have also done. Suffice it to say that the official story as put forth by the Bush administration and their government is hogwash and the Kean-Hamilton Commission that was eventually seated despite protestations by the Bush-Cheney junta was a classic whitewash along the lines of the Warren Commission which also was used to cover up involvement by a government within a government or as President John F. Kennedy called it “a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”.
A while back I found a piece of information that really gave credence to my strongest suspicions that the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11/01 were used as cover for an actual coup d’etat by a rogue network of fifth columnists and their multi-national foreign allies who then utilized the (C.O.G) Continuity Of Government infrastructure to effectively seize control of the United States which would effectively render the actual attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as not even the greatest crimes of that particular day. I discovered this piece on Edward Luttwak while plowing through the massive tome Neo-Conned! Again: Hypocrisy, Lawlessness, and the Rape of Iraq which is the second volume of a great collection of essays on the neoconservative pox on America that run the ideological gamut from Pat Buchanan to Noam Chomsky but all are consistently antiwar. The particular piece that I refer to is one that was written by Italian journalist Maurizio Blondet on neocon Edward Luttwak that references his seminal 1968 book Coup d’Etat: A Practical Handbook. In the essay (a postscript to Chapter 3) Blondet draws comparisons to the Luttwak blueprint and the ascension of the neocons by using 9/11 as a basis for their rise to power.
The necessary pieces were already in place within the bureaucracy, having slowly been installed ever since the heady days of the Iran-Contra affair where a shadow government was set up under the nose of the doddering and out of touch ‘product as president’ Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s administration was an incubator for dangerous right-wing extremists and the neocons who had been steadily asserting their influence within the government since the Cold War Team B days (a great resource on this along with other lies of the mythical ‘war on terror’ is Adam Curtis’ excellent documentary for the BBC: The Power Of Nightmares) on through the exploits of cowboys like Colonel Oliver North and his cohorts with their plan to subvert congress, trade arms with Iran and secretly supply the Contras in Latin America (by many accounts also trafficking in illegal narcotics which is a story for another time) to brutally crush resistance to the right-wing governments that used torture and death squads to protect American business interests.
Iran-Contra was exposed and while sending tremors throughout the system and resulting in many indictments and convictions which were then eventually largely covered up with some of the worst felons like Elliot Abrams (who figures prominently in Dick Cheney’s rogue shop of horrors to this day) were pardoned by George H.W. Bush, a man with a very sordid history of participation in covert and black ops himself as well as a long affiliation with the CIA which has long been a veritable secret police/paramilitary organization that exists largely for the benefit and protection of the interests of the oligarchy and American corporations. Many of the same players reemerged during this second Bush administration and this time they were going to ensure that their delusions of grandeur as exemplified through the neocon manifestos and white papers A Clean Break and the Project For A New American Century be implemented even if it they had to infiltrate and wait for their opportunity to overthrow the existing government in order to make it happen.
The essay by Mr. Blondet to which I refer may be interpreted to go some places that I choose not to go and before I get into this I want to make it perfectly clear up front that I by no means intend to imply that Luttwak was in any way tied to the actual plotters of the coup or of those who used the events of September, 11 2001 as a cover for their nefarious deeds. I do however assert that Luttwak’s playbook for a successful coup d’Etat was a major inspiration to the neocons who were obviously impressed enough to follow it with the same vigorous attention to detail that Karl Rove quite obviously devoted to the teachings of Joseph Goebbels who himself was inspired by American father of Public Relations (propaganda) Edward Bernays. Luttwak was no more personally responsible for the actions on 9/11 than Judas Priest was after some drug addled teen commits suicide after listening to their music or David Berkowitz’ dog was responsible for his Son of Sam killing spree. I just wanted to get that out front because some of the more imaginative bloggers/writers on the internet have made such a connection and it serves no use in addressing the very real problems of a regime run by madmen and are merely an unwelcome distraction. Now some excerpts first from a piece that ran in Time magazine back in 1969 entitled How To Seize A Country:
Unlike a revolutionary assault from the outside, Luttwak notes, a coup is an inside job, done by a government’s own members. It involves minimal manpower and bloodshed. As in judo, the secret is to use leverage and make a state overthrow itself. Bureaucracy facilitates this by severing the loyalties that once personally bound rulers and their servants. A modern bureaucrat follows impersonal orders; if his immediate boss is subverted, the bureaucrat tends to obey orders blindly, even orders designed to topple his own government. According to Luttwak, a coup requires three preconditions: 1) a highly centralized government with a seizable seat of power, 2) a passive people not likely to react to a takeover and 3) the assurance that no foreign power will intervene.
Now from Blondet’s piece:
The target State must have a political centre. If there are several centres these must be identifiable and they must be politically, rather than ethnically, structured. If the State is controlled by a non-politically organized unit [like the CFR, the representative of business] the coup can only be carried out with its consent or neutrality.
Already in the Preface, Luttwak underlined as essential the fact that the perpetrators of a coup must be able to count upon “the absence of a politicised community,” upon the apathy of the public. “The dialogue between the rulers and the ruled [upon which democratic legitimacy is founded] can only take place if there is a large enough section of society which is sufficiently literate, well fed and secure to ‘talk back.'” But “without a politicised population, the State is nothing other than a machine.
Then the coup d’état becomes feasible because, like every machine, one can take control of everything by grasping the essential levers.” [Now Luttwak identifies this “machine” in the Bureaucracy.]
The growth of modern bureaucracy has two implications which are crucial to the feasibility of the coup: the development of a clear distinction between the permanent machinery of State and the political leadership [which changes], and the fact is, like most large organizations, the bureaucracy has a structured hierarchy with definite chains of command….
The importance of this development lies in the fact that if the bureaucrats are linked to the political leadership, an illegal seizure of power must take the form of a ‘Palace Revolution,’ and it essentially concerns the manipulation of the person of the ruler. He can be forced to accept policies or advisers, he can be killed or held captive, but whatever happens the Palace Revolution can only be conducted from the ‘inside’ and by ‘insiders’ [in these pages, we have seen nothing but the work of insiders surrounding a weak President].
The State bureaucracy has to divide its work into clear-cut areas of competence, which are assigned to different departments. Within each department there must be an accepted chain of command, and standard procedures have to be followed. Thus a given piece of information, or a given order, is followed up in a stereotyped manner, and if the order comes from the appropriate source, at the appropriate level, it is carried out…. The apparatus of the State is therefore to some extent a ‘machine’ which will normally behave in a fairly predictable and automatic manner.
A coup operates by taking advantage of this machine-like behaviour; during the coup, because it uses parts of the State apparatus to seize the controlling levers; afterwards because the value of the ‘levers’ depends on the fact that the State is a machine.
With detailed planning, there will be no need for any sort of headquarters structure in the active stage of the coup: for if there is no scope for decision-making there is no need for decision-makers and their apparatus. In fact, having a headquarters would be a serious disadvantage: it would constitute a concrete target for the opposition and one which would be both vulnerable and easily identified…. We should avoid taking any action that will clarify the nature of the threat and thus reduce the confusion that is left in the defensive apparatus of the regime….
The leaders of the coup will be scattered among the various teams. [As we can see Luttwak is theoretically discussing an invisible coup d’état: the infiltrated coup participants speak with the voice of the legitimate government, of that which they have seized. On September 11, let’s remember, the immediate entourage of President Bush were not thinking of an Arab attack, but of a military coup d’état. It is for this reason that the President was taken to a secure location for 10 hours].
The masses have neither the weapons of the military nor the administrative facilities of the bureaucracy, but their attitude to the new government established after the coup will ultimately be decisive. Our immediate aim will be to enforce public order, but our long-term objective is to gain the acceptance of the masses so that physical coercion will not longer be needed…. Our far more flexible instrument will be our control over the means of mass communication…. In broadcasting over the radio and television services our purpose is not to provide information about the situation, but rather to affect its development by exploiting our monopoly of these media. [This is exactly what the American mass media has done since September 11.]
[The action of the media] will be achieved by conveying the reality and strength of the coup instead of trying to justify it [the emotional blow of the collapse of the World Trade Centre was presented with plenty of “reality” and “force” by CNN]. We will have fragmented the opposition so that each individual opponent would have to operate in isolation. In these circumstances, the news of any further resistance against us would act as a powerful stimulant to further resistance by breaking down this feeling of isolation. We must, therefore, make every effort to withhold such news. If there is in fact some resistance…we should strongly emphasize that it is isolated, the product of the obstinacy of a few misguided or dishonest individuals who are not affiliated to any party or group of significant membership. The constant working of the motif of isolation, and the emphasis on the fact that law and order have been re-established, should have the effect of making resistance appear as dangerous and useless.
There will arise, Luttwak says, “the inevitable suspicions that the coup is a product of the machinations of the Company [American slang for the CIA]. This can only be dispelled by making violent attacks on it…and the attacks should be all the more violent if these suspicions are in fact justified…. We shall make use of a suitable selection of unlovely phrases [for example, anti-Americanism? Anti-Semitism?]. Even if their meanings have been totally obscured by constant and deliberate misuse, they will be useful indicators of our impeccable nationalism.”
So who really runs America? The elected government or a parallel/shadow government that has existed in some shape or form essentially since the end of WW II? The evidence is beginning to strongly support the latter. Most importantly and absolutely essential to the successful execution of a hostile takeover is the secret/shadow government apparatus itself. Author Peter Dale Scott recently alluded to the execution of the C.O.G. plans that subvert the Constitution (originally implemented during the Cold War in the event of a Soviet decapitation strike) in both this easy to read Counterpunch article and in much more depth in his outstanding new book on the “Deep State” entitled: The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America. It is naive and childlike for thinking Americans to ignore the deep politics that represent the true power base in this and other countries for it not only exists but thrives in darkness and through it’s existence makes the ability to subvert the traditional processes possible.
Then there is that matter of inconsistent reports of what exactly was Dick Cheney up to while he was in the PEOC tunnel on the morning of the attacks. The history of Rumsfeld and Cheney’s involvement in Continuity of Government has been documented in articles in The Atlantic entitled The Armageddon Plan, Andrew Cockburn’s recent book on former SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld (Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy) and in James Mann’s The Rise of the Vulcans. Alpfonso Chardy of The Miami Herald did a hard to find piece back in 1987 entitled Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret Government’ which talked of Colonel North’s REX 84 program that has been updated recently with the Bush administration’s revisions of C.O.G. plans in National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51) and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 to facilitate the declaration of martial law if and when it becomes necessary. This all unfortunately gets little to no play in the corporatist media but it is far out of the realm of the ‘tin foil hatters’ that critics of such secretive actions are so easily dismissed as by professional debunkers and others who are simply in denial that such things just can’t happen here. I would like to recommend this piece by Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg of The San Francisco Chronicle that I find to be worth reading entitled Rule By Fear or Rule By Law.
The evidence strongly suggests that a rogue faction has seized control since 9/11 and may have even in some way been complicit in allowing the attacks to occur. There are just too many little inconsistencies, procedural changes (NORAD intercepts), multiple war games on 9/11 including simulated hijacks, a war game called Global Guardian that happened to utilize the same B4B Doomsday Planes that were used for C.O.G., the knowledge of the alleged hijackers by the government in Able Danger, the immediate information available to the news media on the ‘hijackers’ (could be that they were being tracked and monitored but for what exact purpose?) those mysterious Israeli art students who were thrown out of the country (why were they here? To prevent the attacks or ensure that the plan was going accordingly), the immediate availability of the USA PATRIOT Act to implement the police state, the unsolved military grade Anthrax attacks that only were targeted against influential Democrats and news anchors and the list goes on much longer than I can list here although I do want to mention the possibility that 9/11 may have been aided and abetted by the same nuclear blackmail ring that Sibel Edmonds spoke of in those three stories in the London Times earlier in 2008 (For Sale, West’s Deadly Nuclear Secrets , FBI Denies File Exposing Neclear Secrets Theft and Tip Off Thwarted Nuclear Spy Ring Probe) and while this is purely speculative may be connected to security of breaches in association to 9/11 as well as raises questions as to exactly who the recently suicided D.C. Madame Deborah Jeane Palfrey may have had on her client list and what they were being used for . It all adds up though to JFK’s “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” and the neocons are as guilty as hell in all of it and especially those with ties to a traitor named Richard B. Cheney who did after all select himself as Vice President and then proceed to consolidate power in his office.
Especially telling was the award winning Washington Post series on Dick Cheney entitled Angler. Cheney has in the past unequivocally stated that his office is NOT a part of the executive branch and presumably functions as some sort of unaccountable fourth branch of the government. This is entirely consistent with the concept of the coup per Luttwak: “A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the State apparatus”. Power has been consolidated in Cheney’s shop since the beginning, Seymour Hersh in his great piece for the New Yorker entitled The Redirection wrote the following:
Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal “lessons learned” discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: “One, you can’t trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office”—a reference to Cheney’s role, the former senior intelligence official said.
And of course the Iran-Contra network survived to rise through the bureaucracy, the key players either pardoned by ‘Poppy’ Bush or let off the hook by the Clinton administration they were only hiding in the background like cockroaches couched in fetid dankness and awaiting their opportunity to feed. A key player who keeps turning up is none other than the son in law of ideologue Norman Podhoretz (the godfather of neoconservatism) Elliot Abrams a dangerous man who is connected with virtually every influential neocon and virtually every dirty deed undertaken during the Reagan years and thereafter. A veteran of secret government operations it would be highly unlikely if he were not a key component of the neocon coup and is another who stands to lose much if the Cheneyites were to be exposed and held accountable. With so much at stake they will throw everything but the kitchen sink into the works to ensure that 1: the plot is never exposed 2: that legitimate investigations into 9/11 and the decidedly anti-American assault on civil liberties are never undertaken 3: that come hell or high water that Iran will be the next stop on the neocon world destruction tour.
I mean when you really think about it there is not much of a reach in looking at 9/11 as an actual coup d’etat, I am not going to get into how the attacks actually were pulled off and who was involved but the neocon cabal and Cheney’s C.O.G. experience were sure as hell ready and waiting to put their own plans into action using the attacks as an opportunity. Rather than focus on such things as controlled demolition, missiles hitting buildings, ghost flights or any of that other happy horseshit, it is essential to look at exactly who benefited and why. Perhaps we should all be asking the other real question that is why do so many Americans doubt the official story on 9/11 to the extent that they would blame a government that holds the laws of the land in the utmost of contempt and cloaks every decision in a shroud of secrecy.
The real problem is that this neocon government is so pathologically psychotic, anti-American and criminally negligent in EVERY act that they engage in gives reason to believe that they would be capable of murdering 3,000 + American citizens in order to further their nefarious plans for global hegemony, the conquest of the Middle East through a war of civilizations in which the religious right shock troops could get behind and ultimately culminate in the encirclement of China. These guys think ahead, according to an insider named Stanley Hilton who just happened to go to school with neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith such radical plots were discussed frequently. I think that any of us who went to school during the 60’s and 70’s know the type of little world leader pretends who gathered over their Avalon Hill board games and conjured up doomsday scenarios. The neocons are just those kids grown up and in highly influential foreign policy positions.
Stealing the 2000 election was essential, the neocons needed a useful idiot in George W. Bush to piggyback into the White House where Cheney and Rumsfeld could set up their shops in order to allow for the coup to be executed. Once Bush’s installation was ensured by the requisite political chicanery, black ops, a massive psyops media campaign and the assistance of the Federalist Society stooges on the Supreme Court all the pieces were in place. A weak and easily manipulated president who appealed to a certain segment of the population, a self-selected V.P., the necessary bureaucratic appointments and the stage was set for the catalyzing event that would set the plan into motion and the ensuing quashing of dissent when the power grab came. I wonder why any serious investigation of those nasty little anthrax letters has never taken place, and why the only recipients were influential media figures and key Democrats who could have potentially stopped the USA PATRIOT Act.
The neocons have too much to lose if they are removed from the White House, the implications of real investigations would be devastating, shocking and could very likely result in convictions on charges of treason and not that silly dittohead talking point style ‘treason’ which has become a common euphemism for dissent and criticism in the reich wing media but REAL treason.
Our immediate aim will be to enforce public order, but our long-term objective is to gain the acceptance of the masses so that physical coercion will not longer be needed…. Our far more flexible instrument will be our control over the means of mass communication…. In broadcasting over the radio and television services our purpose is not to provide information about the situation, but rather to affect its development by exploiting our monopoly of these media.
The shameful abrogation of the media is even more responsible for America’s tragic present and ugly future than even the neocons themselves and they spit on the graves of every American serviceman or woman who is killed in Iraq and Afghanistan every time that they cue up the saturation coverage of Paris Hilton, the missing white teenager of the week, the pervert of the day or the latest brushfire that is deemed worthy of national coverage. The media is despicable and the charlatans along with every big-haired, addle-brained bimbo with nice tits who can read a teleprompter like Paula Zahn or Katie Couric is a disgrace to truly dedicated journalists who once viewed their profession as that of integrity rather than of opportunity for career ladder climbing shills and corporate whores who are nothing more than charlatans masquerading as journalists.
About a week ago I was away for a trip with no access to the internet, satellite radio or any foreign news sources. All that I had was the network ‘news’ and CNN and it was quite a shocking experience. I really do not watch that crap when I am at home and the unbelievable spin, fixation on one story ad nauseum (for example Ted Kennedy) at the expense of anything at all meaningful and the complete disappearance of any thing at all on Iraq is stunning. It was travelling into some sort of bizarre parallel universe and yet the majority of Americans are trapped in that world with no way of knowing what is really going on. While understanding the problem with a population kept enshrouded in a cloaking device of enforced ignorance I am just in a state of disbelief of what life is like for those who aren’t online and informed on the real issues while the country goes fascist and the economy goes bankrupt.
As Orwell said:
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”
It’s no wonder that Dick Cheney, Joseph Lieberman and the rest of America hating neocons are trying to crack down on the internet by levelling scurillous ‘terrorist’ accusations to lock in their gains before the matrix of fear and ignorance is penetrated. The dumbing down of America has worked to perfection at least until now but the peasants are growing restive and the movements behind Barack Obama and Ron Paul are if nothing else encouraging first signs of a real resistance that is growing in this country against the neocon executors of the coup d’etat that stole away our legitimate government under the cover of the black smoke of burning jet fuel and the stench of scorched human flesh. Let us all begin the call for a REAL investigation of the events of 9/11, the day when our history was stolen from us by a pack of ruthless thugs who rightfully belong swinging at the end of a rope.
It’s far past time for that something very loud (In the words of William Rivers Pitt) to take place and a damned good start would be in pulling the chain and flushing the neocon toilet and then turning the hoses on Cheney’s office. Then how about a coup d’état using the existing bureaucracy to take over the government through the democratic processes that have been stolen from his country over the past seven and a half years by a power crazed anti-American junta that belongs in the dock at The Hague instead of in the White House, The Congress and The Pentagon.
Carl Oglesby’s The Yankee And Cowboy War is a one of those rare books that is unfortunately out of print but gives us insight into the machinations of the true power structures in this country. I have been able to find only bits and pieces of this work on the internet and would greatly appreciate it if anybody who reads this is able to find additional chapters. I am going to post the introduction here and will follow whenever possible with newly available portions. There is also a good article on Oglesby and the potential for the necessary ‘best of the left and best of the right’ paradigm smashing alliance in a recent issue of The American Conservative (available online) by Bill Kauffman entitled When The Left Was Right. It will be necessary to build this alliance today in order to fight the fascist globalists and their police state/war machine.
The Yankee and Cowboy War
by Carl Oglesby
1: Yankees and Cowboys: A Perspective on the Dallas-Watergate Decade
The assassination of John Kennedy and the downfall of Richard-Nixon have both been viewed as isolated moral disasters for American democracy: Kennedy’s murder as a demonstration of our continuing national inability or unwillingness to cope with violence; Nixon’s downfall as a demonstration of the failure of our democratic institutions to overcome the abuses of secret intelligence and electronic surveillance at the seat of national power.
But these two events represent neither isolated disasters nor a generalized failure of American institutions but something almost beyond the ability of ordinary people even to see, much less control. The two events – Dallas and Watergate – are actually concrete links in a chain of related and ominous events passing through the entire decade in which they occurred and beyond. And this chain of events itself represents only the violent eruptions of a deeper struggle of rival power elites identified here as Yankees and Cowboys.
This book proposes to show that Dallas and Watergate are intrinsically linked conspiracies in a hidden drama of coup and countercoup which represents the life of an inner oligarchic power sphere, and “invisible government,” capable of any act in the pursuit of its objectives, that sets itself above the law and beyond the moral rule: a clandestine American state, perhaps an embryonic police state.
We see the expressions and symptoms of clandestine America in a dozen places now-the FBI’s COINTELPRO scheme, the CIA’s Operation Chaos, the Pentagon’s Operation Garden Plot, the large-scale and generally successful attempts to destroy legitimate and essential dissent in which all the intelligence agencies participated, a, campaign whose full scope and fury are still not revealed. We see it in the ruthlessness and indifference to world, as well as national, opinion with which the CIA contracted its skills out to ITT to destroy democracy’s last little chance in Chile. We see it as well, as this book argues, in the crime and coverup of Dealey Plaza, the crime and cover-up of Watergate.
How could the clandestine state have stricken us so profoundly? How could we – as we might have fancied, “of all people” – have given way with so little resistance, in fact with so little evident understanding of what was happening? What accounts for the way the various organs of state force-defense and security alike-became so divided – against each other? CIA-Intelligence against CIA-Operations, the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI, and the presidency at one time or another against each other-what is this internal conflict all about? Why should the country’s premier political coalition, formed after Reconstruction and reformed by Franklin Roosevelt, have begun to destabilize so badly in the 1960s and 1970s?
The intensification of clandestine, illicit methods against racial and antiwar dissent as a “threat” to the (secret) state precisely coincided with the intensified use of such methods in conflicts for power and hegemony taking place within the secret state, against a background of declining consensus.
This book proposes to show that Dallas and Watergate are intrinsically linked conspiracies in a hidden drama of coup and countercoup which represents the life of an inner oligarchic power sphere, and “invisible government,” capable of any act in the pursuit of its objectives, that sets itself above the law and beyond the moral rule: a clandestine American state, perhaps an embryonic police state.
We see the expressions and symptoms of clandestine America in a dozen places now-the FBI’s COINTELPRO scheme, the CIA’s Operation Chaos, the Pentagon’s Operation Garden Plot, the large-scale and generally successful attempts to destroy legitimate and essential dissent in which all the intelligence agencies participated, aa campaign whose full scope and fury are still not revealed. We see it in the ruthlessness and indifference to world, as well as national, opinion with which the CIA contracted its skills out to ITT to destroy democracy’s last little chance in Chile. We see it as well, as this book argues, in the crime and coverup of Dealey Plaza, the crime and cover-up of Watergate.
The Dallas-to-Watergate outburst is fundamentally attributable to the breakdown taking place within the incumbent national coalition, the coalition of the Greater Northeastern powers with the Greater Southwestern powers, the post-Civil War, post-Reconstruction coalition, the coalition of the New Deal, of Yankees and Cowboys.
This is the theme, at bottom, of the entire narration to follow. The agony of the Yankees and the Cowboys, the “cause” of their divergence in the later Cold War period, is that there was finally too much tension between the militarist strategy of the Yankees in the Atlantic and the militarist strategy of the Cowboys in the Pacific. To maintain the two lines was, in effect, to maintain two separate and opposed realities at once, two separate and contradictory domains of world-historical truth. In Europe and the industrial world, the evident truth was that we could live with communism. In Asia and the Third World, the evident truth was that we could not, that we had to fight and win wars against it or else face terrible consequences at home.
As long as the spheres of detente and violence could be kept apart in American policy and consciousness, as long as the Atlantic and Pacific could remain two separate planes of reality wheeling within each other on opposite assumptions and never colliding, then American foreign policy could wear a look of reasonable integration. But when it became clear that the United States could not win its way militarily in the Third World without risking a nuclear challenge in the North Atlantic, the makings of a dissolving consensus were at hand.
I argue in Part Two of this book that the power-elite collision one sensed at Dallas on November 22, 1963, was real. It was no chance collision of a lone political maniac with a lone political star. It was a collision anchored in the larger social dialectic that propels the life of the national ruling elites. The conspiracy to kill JFK and the much larger conspiracy to keep official silence embodied this collision and had their being in this, the opposition of Yankee and Cowboy.
The lines of division became clear early in 1968 with the rapid crystallizing of a whole new front of opposition to the war, that of the “corporate liberals.” Formerly, the established liberalism of the sort we associate with Xerox and Harvard had been inclined to defend the U.S. position in Vietnam as a part of its long-standing general commitment to anticommunism. The Yankee lights had made the usual arrangements to provide world banking services to a Free South Vietnam and take the oil from its waters, and it was always clear that there would be no serious objection from the Yankees as a whole if the Vietnam War turned out to be winnable.’ But now in 1967-68 a new line of criticism of Johnson and his war policy opened up.
The war’s costs had exploded out of all proportion to the original objective, one now heard. No vital American interests were being attacked or defended in Vietnam, after all. Europe was appalled at us. Our European alliances were suffering. Our young people were strenuously alienated. Our economy was hurting. Other problems were lying neglected. We needed to wrap up the bleeding stump and move to a better position. General James Gavin, for example, one of President Kennedy’s chief military advisers, developed these and related ideas about the war in various public forums during that period.
But the strategy that was continued by Nixon in 1969 in the aftermath of the Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinations and Nixon’s resultant reelection, was, of course, escalation – the secret air war, the invasion of the “sanctuaries” in Cambodia and Laos, the Christmas bombings, etc. But for a moment in 1968, Johnson had suddenly and strangely abdicated, stopped the bombing, and opened the Paris peace talks, and Robert Kennedy had assembled an electoral coalition reaching from Mayor Daley to the liberal peaceniks, if not Tom Hayden, a New-Politics style coalition that appeared easily capable of beating , the opposition of Yankee and Cowboy.
The lines of division became clear early in 1968 with the rapid crystallizing of a whole new front of opposition to the war, that of the “corporate liberals.” Formerly, the established liberalism of the sort we associate with Xerox and Harvard had been inclined to defend the U.S. position in Vietnam as a part of its long-standing general commitment to anticommunism. The Yankee lights had made the usual arrangements to provide world banking services to a Free South Vietnam and take the oil from its waters, and it was always clear that there would be no serious objection from the Yankees as a whole if the Vietnam War turned out to be winnable.’ But now in 1967-68 a new line of criticism of Johnson and his war policy opened up.
So whereas there had formerly appeared to be essential agreement at the top of the American power structure on the Vietnam question, now we had two “ruling-class” voices to account for, one demanding more military effort and insisting upon the necessity of the original objective, the other tiring of the frustrations and costs of the attempt, unwilling to sacrifice resources at a yet higher magnitude, and wanting to be free to worry about other things-oil, gold, the Middle East, Europe, the economy, and so on.
It was directly clear that there was a regional component to this difference. Of course there are major points that do not fit the Yankee/Cowboy curve. The West Coast Bank of America, for example, spoke throughout the period of maximum unrest over the war with an essentially liberal voice. And Fulbright is from Arkansas. But on balance, the souls most fervently desirous of decisive military measures to prevent a Communist takeover tended to argue from a Frontierist, China-Lobby kind of position, and the souls most calmly able to accept losses and pull back tended to argue from an Atlanticist, Council on Foreign Relations, NATO-haunted kind of position.
The Yankee/Cowboy split thus suggested itself as a not too simplistic way to indicate in swift, available terms the existence of a rich and complex rivalry, the general cultural disposition of its chief contending principals, and the jointly historical and mythic character of their struggle, commingling John Wayne fantasies with real bloodshed, real genocide.
The profile of these types is best suggested in the persons and relationship of corporate-banker/monopolist David Rockefeller and tycoon entrepreneur Howard-Hughes. An inquiry into their long rivalry is the first step in our exposition of Watergate in Part Three. But the spirit of Yankeeness is given off by many things besides the Chase Manhattan and of Cowboyness by many things besides the Hughes empire. Yankeeness is the Ivy League and Cowboyness is the NFL. Yankee is the exclusive clubs of Manhattan, Boston, and Georgetown. Cowboy is the exclusive clubs of Dallas and New Orleans, Orange County East and West. Yankee is the Council on Foreign Relations, the secret Round Table, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bundles for Britain, and at a certain point, the Dulles brothers and the doctrine of massive retaliation. Cowboy is Johnson, Connally, Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs team. Yankee is Kennedy, Cowboy is Nixon.
But I stress my purpose is not to name a concrete group of conspirators and assassins, though I do not doubt that the conspiracies I speak of are actual. My aim rather is to call attention to the persistence of Civil War splits in the current situation and to the historical ideological substance of the positions at play.
It must be often the case, as it was with me and the Yankee/Cowboy idea, that one’s fresh insight turns out to be already well mapped and settled. I first proposed the Yankee/Cowboy references in early 1968 but wrote nothing of any account on the theme until a series of articles about Watergate for the Boston Phoenix in 1973 and 1974. A reader of one of those pieces informed me of the similarity of my views with those of Professor Carroll Quigley, a historian at Georgetown.
Quigley is the author of a huge book about the contemporary world, Tragedy and Hope, to which I will return in chapter two. I begin my debt to Quigley here by borrowing the following observation from his summary. Noting that since 1950 a “revolutionary change” has been occurring in American politics, Quigley says this transformation involves “a disintegration of the middle class and a corresponding increase in significance by the petty bourgeoisie at the same time that the economic influence of the older Wall Street financial groups has been weakening and been challenged by new wealth springing up outside the eastern cities, notably in the Southwest and Far West.” He continues:
“These new sources of wealth have been based very largely on government action and government spending but have, none the less, adopted a petty-bourgeois outlook rather than the semi aristocratic outlook that pervades the Eastern Establishment. This new wealth, based on petroleum, natural gas, ruthless exploitation of national resources, the aviation industry, military bases in the South and West, and finally on space with all its attendant activities, has centered in Texas and southern California. Its existence, for the first. time, made it possible for the petty-bourgeois outlook to – make itself felt in the political nomination process instead of in the unrewarding effort to influence politics by voting for a Republican candidate nominated under Eastern Establishment influence…. By the 1964 elec¬tion, the major political issue in the country was the financial struggle behind the scenes between the old wealth, civilized and cultured in its foundations, and the new wealth, virile and uninformed, arising from the flowing profits of government-dependent corporations in the Southwest and West.” (Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, 1966)
The whole point of introducing the Cowboy/Yankee language, of course, is to bring precisely that old money/ new money, Atlanticist-Frontierist tension into focus in the plane of current events. The main idea of looking at things this way is to see that a sectional rivalry, derived from the patterns of the Civil War, still operates in American politics, indeed that at the altitude of national power elites, it may be the most sensitive and inflamed division of all, more concentrated than race and class and more basic than two-party system attachments and ideologies. The argument of this book is that the emerging clash of Yankee and Cowboy wills beneath the visible stream of events is the dominant fact of real U.S. political life since 1960. The dissolution of the Yankee/ Cowboy consensus of World War II and the Cold War until 1960 is behind the Dallas of Kennedy and the Watergate of Nixon.
Let us go a step further with these types, Cowboy and Yankee, and sketch a first outline of the differing worlds they see.
The Yankee mind, of global scope, is at home in the great world, used to regarding it as a whole thing integrated in the far-flung activities of Western exploration, conquest, and commerce. The Yankee believes that the basis of a good world order is the health of America’s alliances across the North Atlantic, the relations with the Western Democracies from which our tradition mainly flows. He believes the United States continues the culture of Europe and relates to the Atlantic as to a lake whose other shore must be secured as a matter of domestic priority. Europe is the key world theater, and it is self-evident to the Yankee mind that the fate of the United States is inevitably linked up with Europe’s in a career of white cultural destiny transcending national boundaries: that a community of a unified world civilization exists, that there is such a thing as “the West,” “One World.”
The Cowboy mind has no room for the assumption that American and European culture are continuous. The Cowboy is moved instead by the discontinuity of the New World from the Old and substitutes for the Yankee’s Atlantic-oriented culture a new system of culture (Big Sky, Giant) oriented to an expanding wilderness Frontier and based on an advanced Pacific strategy.
The Yankee monopolists who first broke faith with the goal of military victory in Vietnam did so in view of what they saw as the high probability of failure and the certain ambiguity of success. The Cowboy entrepreneurs who fought hardest to keep that faith alive did so out of conviction of the necessity of success. Said the multicorporate-liberal Yankee (about 1968): “The United States cannot wage a whining nonnuclear land campaign in Asia. It will destroy its much more essential relations in Europe if in spite of all wisdom its leadership continues to siphon off precious national blood and treasure to win this war. It is necessary to stand down.” Said the Cowboy: “Only the strong are free.”
The distinction between the East Coast monopolist and the Western tycoon entrepreneur is the main class-economic distinction set out by the Yankee/ Cowboy perspective. It arises because one naturally looks for a class-economic basis for this apparent conflict at the summit of American power. That is because one must assume that parties without a class economic base could not endure struggle at that height. It is then only necessary to recall that antiwar feeling struck the Eastern Establishment next after it struck the students, the teachers, and the clergy-struck the large bank-connected firms tied into the trans-Atlantic business grid. During the same period, industrial segments around the construction industry, the military-industrial complex, agribusiness, the Southern Boom of the sixties and seventies, and independent Texas/ Southwest oil interests-i.e., the forces Quigley calls “new wealth”-never suffered a moment of war-weariness. They supported the Texan Johnson and the Southern Californian Nixon as far as they would go toward a final military solution. (See Steve Weissman and Steve Johnson, Ramparts, August 1974)
Why should this difference have arisen? After a century of Northeastern leadership, and one-quarter century of Cold War unity, why should the national ruling coalition of the old and new owning classes, Yankee and Cowboy, have begun pulling apart? But then we have to go back: What was the basis of their unity to begin with?
William Appleman Williams deals with a variation of this question when he argues that the basis for the long-term general (or “pluralist”) coalition of the forces of capitalism (or “plutocracy”) with the forces of democracy in American politics is the constant companionship of the expanding wilderness frontier. Williams thus stands the Turner Frontier on its head, correcting it. (William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, 1959)
I add that another and cognate effect of the frontier in American economic development was to preserve the entrepreneurial option long after the arrival of the vast monopoly structures which tend to consume entrepreneurs. In the states whose political-economic histories Marx studied, for example, the frontier was never the factor that it was in America, except as America itself was Europe’s Wild West. The rugged individualist self-made rich man, the autonomous man of power, the wildcatter, began to drop out of sight, to lose presence as individual, type, and class, with the rise of the current-day computer-centered monopoly-corporate formations. The tycoon-entrepreneur is of course disappearing as a type in America too, at least as a political force in national life. The Hughes empire, at last, has been corporatized. Old man Hunt is dead. His sons are bringing Harvard Business School rational bureaucracy to the operation. But that only makes it all the more curious that political power continued to emanate from the type and the person, the image and the reality, the ghost perhaps, of a creature like Hughes as late as the second victorious presidential campaign of Nixon. Why should the Cowboy tycoon have persisted so long as a political force, competent to struggle against the biggest banking cartels for control of the levers of national power?
As others have argued, the Frontier was a reprieve for democracy. We may note here that it was also a reprieve for capitalism as well, whose internal conflicts were constantly being financed off an endless-seeming input of vast stretches of natural riches, having no origin in capitalist production. All that was needed was for the settlers to accept the genocidal elimination of the native population and a great deal became possible-the purple mountains, the fruited plains. And generation after generation of American whites were able to accept that program. The Indian wars won the West. The railroads and highways were laid. The country was resettled by a new race, a new nation.
Energies of expansion consumed the continent in about two centuries, pushing on to Hawaii and Alaska. There is no way to calculate the impact of that constant territorial expansion on the development of American institutions.
There is no way to imagine those institutions apart from the environment created by that expansion. It is a matter our standard national hagiography paints out of the picture, though we make much of the populist-saga aspect of the pioneering (never “conquering”) of the West. How can we congratulate our national performance for its general democracy and constitutionalism without taking into account the background of that constant expansion? We do not teach our children that we are democrats in order to expand forever and republicans on condition of an unfrozen western boundary with unclaimed wilderness. To the extent that the American miracle of pluralism exists at all, we still do not know how miraculous it would be in the absence of an expanding frontier, its constant companion till the time of the Chinese revolution.
The war in Asia has its internal American origin in the native reflex to maintain the Western Frontier on the old terms and to do so at all cost, since our whole way of life hinges on the Frontier. What the late-blooming Yankee liberal critics of the Vietnam war refused to hear and recognize between the lines of the prowar arguments of the more philosophical Cowboy hawks was this essential point about the importance of Frontier expansion in American life from the beginning.
In the nature of things, the American Frontier continued to expand with the prosperity it financed. Now, in our generation, it has brought us to this particular moment of world confrontation across the Pacific, fully global in scale for both sides, fully modern in its technological expression far both sides – the old Westward-surging battle for space projected onto the stage of superpowers.
The success and then the successful defense from 1950 to 1975 of the Asian revolutionary nationalist campaigns against further Western dominance in Asia-China, Korea, Vietnam-means that all that is changed. What was once true about the space to the west of America is no longer true and will never be true again. There will never be a time again when the white adventurer may peer over his western horizon at an Asia helplessly plunged in social disorganization. In terms of their social power to operate as a unified people and in the assimilation of technology, the Chinese people are, since 1950, a self-modernizing people, not colonials any more. And instead of a Wild West, Americans now have a mature common boundary with other moderns like ourselves, not savages, not Redskins, not Reds, only modern people like ourselves in a single modern world. This is new for us, a new experience for Americans altogether.
Our national transformation from an unbounded to a bounded state will of course continue to stir the internal furies. No one interpretation of the event will be able to establish itself. No one will agree what the end of the Frontier means, what it will lead to, what one ought to do about it. But all will agree that it is upon us and past, whether it is called one thing or another. And now after Vietnam, as though it were not clear enough before, it is apparent beyond any possibility of doubt that whatever this force of Asian self-modernization is, whether it is evil br good or beyond good and evil, it is assuredly not a force that United States policy-makers can manhandle and manipulate and hold back through diplomatic chicanery and military force. Even if it were still advisable for the United States to stop “the march of Asian communism,” if that is what we are really talking about, it is not possible for the United States to do that. Look and see: China, Korea, Vietnam.
I have not written this book to say at the end, choose sides between Cowboy and Yankee for Civil War II. My less bloody belief is that ordinary people all over the map, Northeast by Southwest, have a deep, simple, and common need to oppose all these intrigues and intriguers, whatever terms one calls them by and however one understands their development. But this need of course must be recognized, and that is why I write: to offer an analysis of the situation of domestic politics from the standpoint of power-elite collisions taking place at the top, and then, at the end, to suggest that democracy’s first response must be to demand a realistic reconstruction of the assassination of President Kennedy. To comprehend his murder (as with the murder of Lincoln) is to comprehend a very basic event in the history of American government, as well as the crimes that came after it. The comprehension of these covert political actions is the absolute precondition of self-government, the first step toward the restoration of the legitimate state.
More broadly I write to say that we are the American generations for whom the frontier is the fact that there is no more frontier and who must somehow begin to decide how to deal with this.
What shall America do about the loss of its wilderness frontier? Can we form our nation anew, on new, non-expansionist terms without first having to see everything old swept violently away? The unarticulated tension around, that question undermined the long-standing Yankee/Cowboy coalition and introduced, with President Kennedy’s assassination, the current period of violent and irregular movement at the top of the power hierarchy. It is the precipitous and at the same time unfocused character of this question of the closed, lost frontier that has created such a challenge, such a threat, to traditional American values and institutions, the threat of a cancerously spreading clandestine state within.
All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.
Confused? You say he died years before web blogs were invented?
Well, yeah, but when I think of today’s blunt, fact-based online hell-raisers, my mind quickly flashes on Izzy Stone. You may think of Josh Marshall or Glenn Greenwald or Arianna Huffington. I think of Izzy.
Before there was an Internet, Izzy Stone was doing the work we associate with today’s best bloggers. Like them, he was obsessed with citing original documents and texts. But before search engines, Izzy had to consume ten newspapers per day — and physically visit government archives and press offices, and personally pore over thousands of words in the Congressional Record. That’s how he repeatedly scooped the gullible, faux-objective MSM of his day in exposing government deceit, like that propelling the Vietnam War.
Izzy was the ultimate un-embedded reporter. His journalism was motivated by a simple maxim that resonates loudly in our era of Cheneys and Rumsfelds and WMD hoaxes: “All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.”
Month after month from 1953 to 1969 I.F. Stone’s Weekly (biweekly through 1971) exposed deceptions as fast as governments could spin them. His timely and timeless dispatches are gathered in an exceptional paperback, The Best of I.F. Stone.
In real time in August 1964, Izzy was virtually alone in challenging the Gulf of Tonkin hoax, an imaginary “unprovoked attack” on U.S. warships used by the Johnson administration to send several hundred thousand American troops into Vietnam. How did Izzy do it? By citing international law texts and finding nuggets of truth in the Congressional Record of the Senate debate (no C-SPAN then) and in contradictory reporting in mainstream publications.
Izzy’s expose began boldly: “The American government and the American press have kept the full truth about the Tonkin Bay incidents from the American public.” He fumed at the credulous MSM: “The process of brain-washing the public starts with off-the-record briefings for newspapermen.” Only two senators, Oregon’s Wayne Morse and Alaska’s Ernest Gruening, had voted against the Tonkin Resolution; Izzy noted that the press had “dropped an Iron Curtain weeks ago on the antiwar speeches of Morse and Gruening.”
Like today’s online journalistic entrepreneurs, being his own editor and boss allowed Izzy the freedom and space to parse out the distortions of government in detail. A year before the Tonkin hoax, he wrote: “In this age of corporation men, I am an independent capitalist, the owner of my own enterprise.” While most journalists “find their niche in some huge newspaper of magazine combine, I am a wholly independent newspaperman, standing alone.”
Bloggers battle today’s McCarthyites who smear Iraq War opponents as un-American abettors of our country’s enemies. Izzy battled the original Joe McCarthy, in issue after issue of his weekly. Indeed, he launched his publication the same month — January 1953 — McCarthy became chair of the Senate Operations Committee, enhancing his powers of intimidation. Izzy warned prophetically: “McCarthy is in a position to smear any government official who fails to do his bidding. With such daring and few scruples, McCarthy can make himself the most powerful single figure in Congress.”
Three months later, he wrote: “The most subversive force in America today is Joe McCarthy. No one is so effectively importing alien conceptions into American government. No one is doing so much to damage the country’s prestige abroad. . . .If ‘subversion’ is to be met by deportation, then it is time to deport McCarthy back to Wisconsin.”
Not until 11 months later did Edward R. Murrow air his first report on McCarthy.
Today, online media critics and bloggers expose the bigotry and fallacy gushing forth from Fox News and talk radio and the Rev. Moon-owned Washington Times, long-edited by Wes Pruden Jr. They blog about MSM being stenographers to rightwing extremists. When racists in Little Rock were obstructing court-ordered school desegregation in 1958, Izzy was on the scene reporting: “A staff correspondent in Little Rock quoted the Reverend Wesley Pruden the segregationist leader, as saying, ‘The South will not accept this outrage, which a Communist-dominated government is trying to lay on us.’ This was my introduction to a regional journalism which prints such statements matter-of-factly.”
The Communist-dominated regime referred to by Pruden Sr. was headed by Eisenhower.
Izzy loved to tell the story of how he found — hiding in plain view in different editions of the New York Times — one-paragraph “shirrtail” wire stories indicating that our country’s first underground nuclear test in Nevada in 1957 was detected in Toronto, Rome and Tokyo. Months later, just as hawks in Washington were preparing to attack a test ban treaty with the Soviets on the basis that nuclear tests could not be detected more than 200 miles away, Izzy found a seismologist in the Commerce Department who told him the test had also been detected as far away as Alaska and Arkansas. Izzy’s reporting obstructed the government’s lie before it could get its shoes on.
Starting out in his teens, Izzy was a daily reporter, editor and columnist. After moving to D.C. in 1940 to become Washington editor of The Nation, he exposed U.S. corporations still doing business with Hitler’s Germany. He was one of the first to sound the alarm about the Nazi holocaust, referring in 1942 to “a murder of a people.” An anti-racist, he battled the all-white National Press Club over exclusion of black journalists.
Izzy’s cantankerousness and “hound-dog tenacity” — in the words of his biographer — would make even the most stubborn blogger blush. Although he was a lifelong progressive, his journalistic hallmark was independence: “I felt that party affiliation was incompatible with independent journalism.” His writings show deep admiration for Franklin Roosevelt, yet his article on FDR’s death criticized his “deplorable disrespect for the constitutional amenities” in resisting a reactionary Supreme Court that knocked down one New Deal bill after another.
He wrote books passionately supporting the birth of Israel, but strongly criticized it for mistreatment of Palestinians. He advocated peace and negotiations with the Soviet Union, while increasingly vocal in denouncing its rulers: “The worker [in Russia] is more exploited than in Western welfare states.”
He despised racists, but fought for their free speech rights, and everyone’s: “Once you put ifs and buts in the Bill of Rights, nobody’s civil liberties will be secure.” That he marched to his own drummer can be seen in his dispatch from the 1963 March on Washington for civil rights, in which he criticized “respectables” for muting “Negro militancy” into support of JFK’s inadequate program, and referred to Martin Luther King as “a little too saccharine for my taste.”
Born of immigrant parents, Izzy was an American patriot who worshipped the Bill of Rights: “You may think I am a red Jew son-of-a-bitch, but I’m keeping Thomas Jefferson alive.”
And he worshipped our country’s tradition of press freedom: “There are few countries in which you can spit in the eye of the government and get away with it. It’s not possible in Moscow.” But Izzy was never naïve about American traditions that threatened freedom, and he had a 5,000-page FBI spy file to prove it.
Today’s muckraking bloggers are often belittled for working from their homes, far removed from the corridors of power. Izzy worked out of his home. If he were alive, he’d be applauding the Josh Marshalls and other independents, urging: Keep your distance from power.
I made no claim to inside stuff. . . I tried to dig the truth out of hearings, official transcripts and government documents, and to be as accurate as possible. . . I felt like a guerilla warrior, swooping down in surprise attack on a stuffy bureaucracy where it least expected independent inquiry. The reporter assigned to specific beats like the State Department or the Pentagon for a wire service or a big daily newspaper soon finds himself a captive. State and Pentagon have large press relations forces whose job it is to herd the press and shape the news. There are many ways to punish a reporter who gets out of line. . . But a reporter covering the whole capitol on his own – particularly if he is his own employer — is immune from these pressures.
Imagine the obstacles Izzy faced — did I mention his impaired eyesight and hearing? — launching a weekly and finding an audience at the height of McCarthy’s witch hunts (even at $5 for an annual subscription).
Far fewer obstacles face today’s bloggers who seek to follow in Izzy’s footsteps — blessed as they are with relative freedom and this awesome research and outreach tool known as the Internet.
As these upstarts speak truth to power, I see Izzy Stone watching over them, from the heavens.
I have blogged a bit lately on the Continuity Of Government (C.O.G.) programs that in my personal belief were intrumental in executing the coup d’etat by a secret/shadow government using the 9/11 ‘terrorist’ attacks as justification. These programs have been existence since the Cold War era and were ostensibly for protection of the U.S. government in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack/decapitation strike. They are highly secretive and very real despite the sort of paranoid, X Files connotations that will be made by those who dare not research them on their own lest they find their core beliefs of government and American society shaken to the very roots. I would like to take this opportunity to share with readers an article that I only ran across this morning on these extremely dangerous programs and the threat to the Constitution and life as we have known it that are only a signature from the pen of George W. Bush/Dick Cheney (who are becoming increasingly desperate) from being put into motion.
The article that I refer to is in Radar Magazine by Christopher Ketcham and is very apropriately entitled The Last Roundup. There is also an interview with Mr. Ketcham by Antiwar Radio’s Scott Horton that I provide the link to here for download. It is imperative for Americans to begin to understand the Continuity Of Government programs for it is the mechanisms that will be used if and when the time comes for the cornered rats of the Bush administration to avoid prosecution and accountability for their myriad of crimes against the republic by implementing martial law using NSPD-51 which is a descendent of Colonel Oliver North’s REX 84.
What should be most disconcerting in an America renamed HOMELAND where Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus have been rendered null and void through legal trickery enamating from the office of the Vice President (a hotbed for neocon traitors) and elements of the Pentagon which have also been infiltrated by neocons with questionable loyalty is that none other than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were involved with C.O.G. during the Reagan era (see James Mann’s The Armageddon Plan as well as Miami Herald journalist Alfonso Chardy’s Reagan Aides and the ‘Secret Government’ and author Peter Dale Scott’s recent Counterpunch article). I personally speculated on how the C.O.G. infrastructure was used to execute an Edward Luttwak style textbook coup d’etat on 9/11 in my recent posting: 9/11: Cover for a Coup d’Etat? which while nowhere in the league of Christopher Ketcham (or anybody else for that matter) may be a useful guide for those seeking to do some of their own research.
What is a very important detail in Ketcham’s piece is the mention of PROMIS software as a tool to track and surveil potential dissidents and ‘terrorists’ (Homeland newspeak for dissidents) and has been likely been highly adapted from its already advanced 1980’s form:
Wired magazine turned up additional damaging information, revealing in 1993 that North, operating from a secure White House site, allegedly employed a software database program called PROMIS (ostensibly as part of the REX 84 plan). PROMIS, which has a strange and controversial history, was designed to track individuals—prisoners, for example—by pulling together information from disparate databases into a single record. According to Wired, “Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Senator Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude.” Sources have suggested to Radar that government databases tracking Americans today, including Main Core, could still have PROMIS-based legacy code from the days when North was running his programs.
PROMIS software is the stuff of mystery and legend and apparently close scrutiny has resulted in mysterious suicides and deaths such as that of investigative journalist Danny Casolaro who was onto a global criminal syndicate that had merged with rogue elements of the government and is an important piece of the puzzle in any examination of today’s rising fascist police state. Casolaro called it The Octopus and his death should be reexamined in light of recent developments as well as the rise of the internet as a research tool.
All of the pieces begin to fit together once C.O.G. and those who have been involved are placed alongside other developments that have dramatically and tragically altered the course of America over the past several decades. It is time to shed some light on this rogue operation and to expose it to the scrutiny and oversight that is necessary in order to preserve a Constitution that has been under relentless siege from America hating fifth columnists.
Denver, CO – At the main entrance to Denver International Airport there is a towering statue of a blue fiberglass bronco with blazing eyes. Mustang is the closest thing to a horse from Hell that I have personally ever seen and the fucker is eerily disturbing on a very basic level. It pops up visibly from miles away as you drive into that massive airport that is closer to the fucking Kansas state line than the Mile High City like some primitive warning to ward off warring tribes, very primal. The story behind the damned thing apparently is more than somewhat macabre as it fell upon the sculptor one Luis Jiminez, killing him prior to being finished which to the more superstitious amongst us is in and of itself enough to send chills up the spine and make the roots of hair follicles tingle. The brutal irony of this monstrosity guarding DIA with the coming war for the future of the Democratic party at the Denver convention this August is absolutely delicious. That Denver International Airport is an ill-planned abortion that somehow despite its marketing as essential for the future the planners never even considered the concept of $4 a gallon gasoline (which is one day going to evoke nostalgia about the good old days) and the effects on a local population that is spread out from Colorado Springs to damned near Fort Collins but the geniuses responsible for societal planning and engineering normally can’t be troubled with such silly pessimistic projections when there is money to be made. Former Denver Mayor and Bill Clinton cabinet member Federico Peña was sure to take care of his buddies on that one. But in giving credit where it is due it’s a damned good place if you are facing a layover, a fuck of a lot better than a lot of other airports.
The ironic thing about Mustang the metallic blue steed from Hades is that it tragically was responsible for the death of it’s creator (albeit accidentally) and the blazing shitstorm of an avenging army of Hillary Rodham-Clinton’s crusaders threaten to similarly topple the giant blue iconic jackass of the Democratic party. Crushing it to death like some deranged and blinded by rage feminist Frankenstein that has after being instrumental in transforming the party from a labor based bastion of middle class fairness into some sort of a hijacked craft turned into a missile of death along which they and the myriad of other bitchy, self-centered special interest groups that have been used to make political hay by a merciless Republican juggernaut. The GOP has largely run every election of the past three decades against Hanoi Jane, the party millstone of Roe v. Wade (the unconditional support of which in my opinion and this is going to get me fucking eviscerated here – needs to be rethought as it is a strategic disaster), socially deviant ‘America hating’ liberals who want to murder babies and sacrifice God on the altar of sexual perversion as exemplified by the great monolithic conspiracy of the damned evil homosexual agenda. The city of Denver is going to be the place where Gog throws down with Magog in a few months and the forces of the drooling Succubus Clinton are hellbent on waging a scorched Earth campaign that will likely leave “Mustang” in the rear view mirrors of their rental cars after the convention as a flaming pillar of salt.
That the entitled pasty white uber bitch Clinton won’t do the honorable thing and just step aside for the good of the country only means that the brutal cyber thuggery by the bastard alliance of the Hillemming-Dittohead factions of the establishment’s Praetorian Guard will continue to wreak havoc. They will allow lazy public relations shills and party hacks with vested interests in protecting the status quo to hog airtime in an thoroughly corrupt pocket media that is all to eager to continue to shovel shit to the electorate rather than focus on the REAL issues of true importance and further alienate anyone with any sort of intellectual ability from this garish and insulting process designed to perpetuate the biggest lie of all – that we live in an actual functional democracy instead of a rotting, blood soaked poverty ridden police state courtesy of arch criminals like the Clintons and the Bushes and the corporatists, the militarists and the energy and financial cartels which they serve. The sham democracy is just a pig that no amount of perfume is going to cover the stench of and each additional day of dicking around so that the Queen can ascend to her rightful place – and FUCK all you haters who would deny the post menopausal Tracy Flick what she is owed. This thing is an ongoing fucking horror and is only going to result in handing the keys to Bush’s throne room and the launch codes of the nuclear football to the maniacal John McCain and his filthy little Zionist dead ender butt buddy Joe Lieberman the Senator of Tel Aviv who will all too gladly reap the rewards of an October surprise massive bombing of Tehran.
The latest travesty in the ongoing Democratic carnival of perversion is the preposterous front group Countthevotescast.org now bringing pressure down on the DNC rules committee to allow Clinton to sashay into the Sunshine State ala the Bush 2000 shock troops and mug democracy in the heat and humidity of the bug and speculator infested diseased penis of America. They are continuing to foment divisiveness and bleat that poor little rich bitch Hillary has unfairly been discriminated against by the woman hating bully boys in America, this comes as the ultimate in black comedy (no pun intended) with the Clinton forces and their pick up drivin’ Rush Limbaugh lovin’ temps are doing everything but screaming ‘Dirty Militant Niggers’ at Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. It’s all the 60’s dynamic again, that is all that politics in time warp America has become. Get ready for another round of battles in the Vietnam war because baby burning war criminal McCain is already getting ready to roll out Operation Arc Light II once the Clinton piranhas have feasted on Obama for a few more months.
It’s the exact real life example of Rick Perlstein’s new book Nixonland where he examines how the dark master, Tricky Dick himself set into motion a perpetual hatred and resentment machine that has defined politics in America for the past 40 years. This same apparatus is being seized on by Clinton herself who should really be above such things given her tendency to wail and play the victim card. Nixon also perfected the demonizing of the so-called ‘elites’ which to the white niggers and other assorted morons in peckerwood nation are simply those who have some of that fancy book lernin’ and the real elitists, the high falutin’ frauds who are married to beer distributor heiresses, former U.S. presidents and rub elbows with the Superclass of Davos, the Bilderberg Group and the Council on Foreign Relations just keep riling up the rubes. The latest ridiculous sideshow about Obama quitting his church is another log on the fires of the racial and religious bonfires that are being stoked by the Dixiecrat Clintons.
I digress here but all of this religious horseshit is really getting to the point of no return. I do applaud Obama for quitting his church but only in the way that ALL of the bitches and bastards should also quit THEIR churches which are dens of iniquity for idiots and apostates. The more that modern man invokes God the more that we will de-evolve as a society to the point where we are nothing more than more corpulent, easily entertained and more easily controlled simple beasts as our cave dwelling ancestors. Let’s hear it for a constitutional amendment making it illegal for anyone other than an ATHEIST to run for public office so that we can start basing our discourse on rationality and Enlightenment ideas rather than the same simplistic swill that had our predecessors bashing in each other’s skulls, cutting off each others heads and burning people at the stake for. Religion is low minded drivel, superstitious nonsense and has been used as a tool of control for as long as man has walked on two feet, my two cents as an agnostic and a big…
A – fucking – Men!
Anyway, all of this elitist, misogynist caterwauling by the Clintons is nothing but the most cynical of all pandering to the most offended and victimized, I dare anyone to tell me how this is any different than Bush and Karl Rove’s standard demagoguery. I truly find it to be sardonically hilarious as well as bitingly ironic that the highest pitched keening emanating from the Clinton campaign has been that happy horseshit about misogyny and the terrible chauvinist pigs who are pillorying the champion of women’s rights, the same Hillary Rodham-Clinton who green lighted those reactionary fascist swine John Roberts and Sammy Alito to the SCOTUS. I also can’t stop laughing (or is it crying, sometimes I just don’t fucking know anymore) about their acceptance of support from the minions of Mr. Feminazi himself Rush Limbaugh to wage war against the hated brown skinned devil Obama. How in good conscious could ANYBODY or any GROUP who has been so consistently vilified for fun and profit by the fetid pied piper of faux white male populist propaganda fucking seriously even think about accepting assistance from he or his jagoff angry army? Come November when Operation Chaos has been successfully completed and the Republicans are able to do what was once thought of as not only inconceivable but impossible in staving off a landslide loss I would seriously like to hear some of the ladies who are buying into this bullshit explain with a straight face exactly what the FUCK they were thinking about.
Ladies, just ask yourselves a question: how many more American and Iraqi civilian lives have to be put on the tab in order to continue to play this game? Why not jut punt, do the right thing for the country and wait until a more suitable female candidate who isn’t a scheming, corrupt, warmongering corporate whore can make a legitimate run for the presidency minus the baggage of Mrs. Clinton? Things really CAN change if the politics of the 60’s are rejected and by default the only candidate with a legitimate chance of pulling it off and building that bridge to the future is Barack Obama, no matter how flawed that he is. Look, it’s not as if there isn’t misogyny in this society, there should be no illusions about that but Hillary is hustling American women and feminists with an amoral intent and fully understanding that she is taking advantage of a legitimate desire to see a woman president in this sordid shithole of lies and revisionist history written to obscure all the discrimination, fear, murder and ugliness of the past. It’s tantamount to mental rape and it should be recognized for the pandering that it is and unequivocally rejected while there is still time to avoid the oncoming train wreck. She has been playing women like a maestro with a Stradavarius, every tactic that she is using is straight out of the exploiting victim hood playbook used by Nixon, Rove, Atwater and every other dirty political thug who cares not jack shit about anything other than power.
Misogyny is pervasive in American culture and it extends far beyond flippant invocations of the pejoratives “cunt” and “bitch” and the accompanying knee jerk reactions to them. Let’s face it, it is as ingrained in our national DNA (“To The Moon Alice!”)as are the same primitive characteristics as homophobia, racism and jingoism and there are ways to address these things without rubbing raw the open sores of discontent of other groups who have suffered similar indignities. If there is a true way to attack misogyny it lies in taking on a culture that trades in the objectification of women to sell products, to reduce females to nothing more than a pair of tits and a vagina to be used by the beer sodden creeps who are target marketed by corporations during sporting events and whose often lackluster and pathetic lives only embitter them against women because of this false image that they have been indoctrinated with. It only breeds animosity, sexism and more of the type of scapegoating for monetary and political gain that Rush Limbaugh, Hillary Rodham-Clinton and their ilk parlay into money, influence and power.
Late breaking news, Mrs. Rodham-Clinton has just won the Puerto Rico primary so the spanking of the donkey continues, the spinners and professional bull shitters like James Carville, Terry McAuliffe and the rest of the Clintonite scum only pile more incendiary material onto the war wagon that is rolling every more quickly towards the Mile High City and gaining momentum.