In the following exclusive interview the distinguished author/researcher Peter Dale Scott (“American War Machine“) talks about: the military-industrial complex in the United States; resource wars; open questions related to the attacks of 9/11; Continuity of Government / the suspension of the U.S. Constitution; and a business that constitutes the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade: drug trafficking.
By Lars Schall
Peter Dale Scott, one of the most perceptive and provocative political-historical thinkers of our time, is a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The son of noted Canadian poet and constitutional lawyer F.R. Scott and painter Marian Dale Scott, who was born in Montreal, Canada on January 11th, 1929, has attracted a lot of attention throughout the years for his transparent and heavily-footnoted political writings.
Scott studied at McGill University, Montreal and University College, Oxford. His dissertation was written on “The Social and Political Ideas of T.S. Eliot.“ He first taught at Sedbergh School and McGill University. Afterwards he joined the Canadian Department of External Affairs (1957-1961) and the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland (1959-1961). Returning to academic life Peter Dale Scott taught at the University of California for over thirty years, before he retired from the UC Berkeley faculty in 1994.
His prose books include:
- The War Conspiracy (1972)
- The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (in collaboration, 1976)
- Crime and Cover-Up: The CIA, the Mafia, and the Dallas-Watergate Connection (1977)
- Introduction to Henrik Kruger’s The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, & International Fascism (1980)
- The Iran-Contra Connection (in collaboration, 1987)
- Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (in collaboration, 1991, 1998)
- Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993, 1996)
- Deep Politics Two: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba (1995, 2007)
- Drugs, Oil and War (2003)
- The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America (September 2007)
- The War Conspiracy: JFK, 911, and the Deep Politics of War (2008 reissue and expansion of 1972 edition)
- American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (2010)
His chief poetry books are the three volumes of his trilogy “Seculum“:
- Coming to Jakarta: A Poem About Terror (1989)
- Listening to the Candle: A Poem on Impulse (1992)
- Minding the Darkness: A Poem for the Year 2000 (2000)
In addition he has published:
- Crossing Borders: Selected Shorter Poems (1994)
- Mosaic Orpheus (2009)
In his prose books, Scott is particularly interested in examining “Deep Politics.“ He defines “Deep Politics“ this way: “All those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, that are usually repressed in public discourse rather than acknowleged.“
Scott’s personal website is: www.peterdalescott.net.
Professor Scott, in order to kick off our interview and frame it right away within a financial-economical-warfare context, I would like to quote the beginning of an article by a former colleague of yours, the late Chalmers Johnson, who wrote 2008 in a “Le Monde diplomatique“-analysis entitled “The Economic Disaster that is Military Keynesianism. Why the US has really gone broke“ the following:
“Global confidence in the US economy has reached zero, as was proved by last month’s stock market meltdown. But there is an enormous anomaly in the US economy above and beyond the subprime mortgage crisis, the housing bubble and the prospect of recession: 60 years of misallocation of resources, and borrowings, to the establishment and maintenance of a military-industrial complex as the basis of the nation’s economic life.” [i]
How did it come in retrospective that the military-industrial complex became so important for the American economical system? It seems like war profiteering has mutated over the decades into the career of choice in the Beltway, or am I wrong?
I think two of the most astounding phenomena of the last weird four decades in American history is on the one hand the military-industrial complex, that Eisenhower warned about,[ii] despite the warning and instead of shrinking has gained in power and has led America to more and more naked pre-emptive wars, which is really something quite new for America, and at the same time there seems to be no public awareness of this. We’ve just had this Tea Party revolt that sent a whole lot of new kind of politicians to Washington, and all they can think about is cutting budgets, but only very, very few of them will talk about cutting the most obvious thing to cut of all – which is the defense budget.
Now my explanation for this. Some people take this back to the death of Kennedy in 1963, and I do think that’s relevant, but I think the great moment of choice for America was at the end of the Vietnam war. Because America had geared up, it had militarized its economy to fight in Vietnam –not on the same scale as during World War II, but it was a comparable phenomenon, and the question is what do you do with this quite heavily militarized economy? Carter actually put out a vision in his campaign in 1976 for a post-war America, in which it would rely on the trade with the world and particularly the Third World, and he actually promised to cut the defense budget, but in his brief and rather unhappy Presidency the reverse happened: instead of cutting the defense budget, steps were taken to radically increase the defense budget. These are known popularly as the Reagan budget increases, but they were actually planned under Carter.
How could this have happened? In two of my books, but in particular in The Road to 9/11, I point out that there was a great debate going on in Washington’s elites at the highest level including some very wealthy people how to direct the U.S. economy in the future, and up until then these sorts of things had been discussed in the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, an elite group that was heavily weighted in favor of the North-East, but it had people from all over America, including labor leaders. Their consensus was that America should build up its capacity to trade, because America’s strength traditionally was after World War II in its complete domination of international commerce, and the thinking there in this traditional leadership organ was to go back to playing that kind of role. But there was a minority there, Paul Nitze and a few people, who said: No, the key to America’s strength must be maintaining the military establishment that it has now, and in fact making it even stronger and particularly making it clearly dominate over the Soviet Union. A lot of it was accomplished by what I call “deep politics“ – by maneuvers behind the scenes that we sometimes only learned about later. A crucial event in it was a set of firings under Gerald Ford in 1975, the so called “Halloween Massacre.“[iii]
The part I’d like to focus on here is that we got a new head of the CIA, George H. W. Bush, that was his first really important political position, and in that capacity he essentially brought in a team of outsiders („Team B“) to overrule the CIA estimate of the Soviet military capacity in order to radically increase the estimate of the Soviet military threat. All of this was done not with good evidence, but for political reasons. The result of that was that America then further increased its huge military establishment. That is the continuity that I see going back to the Vietnam war: a military budget which ought to have been scaled back, but wasn’t and now breeds on itself. It virtually now creates its own enemies in groups like al-Qaida and so on, and of course, if we put American bases into Iraq and Afghanistan and send drones into Yemen and Somalia, the absolutely predictable result is any number of people who object and who fight, and so the war machine now creates its own enemies.
And America has been significantly changed. The military-industrial complex was there since World War II, but it was not in a dominant position, I would say, until the second half of the 1970s, and then particularly became triumphant with the election of the Reagan government in 1980. And it inaugurated a new kind of political leadership for America as well, which is geared to this military-industrial complex.[iv]
Why are the wars of the U.S. increasingly connected to oil?
I would say that every war that America has fought since World War II, starting with Korea, has been a war over natural resources abroad. It was Nelson Rockefeller, who authored a report in the early 1950’s, saying that America has an economy which is absolutely dependent on natural resources from abroad – oil being a very key example, but not the only one. In those days America depended on natural rubber from Southeast Asia, there were minerals like tungsten and tin, which were absolutely vital to war industries, but not available in large quantities inside the United States. I think people don’t understand the extent to which the Vietnam War was fought over natural resources and over oil. People use to say: But there isn’t much oil in Vietnam. That wasn’t the point, there was a great deal of oil (and they knew it) off-shore in the South China Sea and all the waters between Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and also Vietnam. Those off-shore resources are now being developed by Mobil. Mobil Oil was the American oil company with the fewest resources – it had a good sales organization, but it was not as richly endowed in oil reserves as the other oil majors, and it was a prime lobbyist for the war in Vietnam. After the war ended, America had to leave Vietnam, but Mobil still has the contracts signed with the new post-war government of Vietnam for off-shore oil development.
It’s about that time, as could have been predicted, that America seized to be a net exporter of oil and became a net importer of oil – and of course, that is now one of the chief sources of our balance of payments problems in this country: that we are so very heavily dependent on oil from abroad. America knows, as long as it is going to maintain the present kind of political economy in this country, that political economy depends on not just access to oil overseas, it is much more than that. It depends on controlling the entire global oil and gas economy as far as possible, because the American dollar is of course in a very exposed position now because of the huge deficits that America is running on its trade accounts, and that is compensated for by an artificial defense of the dollar which is done through OPEC. America wrangled a deal with Saudi Arabia back in late 1970’s to ensure that all OPEC oil purchases should be denominated in dollars. This means that countries all over the world that don’t have oil themselves have to buy U.S. dollars in order to pay for their oil.
Certainly Iraq was very conspicuously a war about oil [v] – Iraq having perhaps the largest unproved oil reserves still open for development. Afghanistan was about many things, but there was an oil/gas aspect to it, not so much for the resources inside of Afghanistan, but because American oil companies were already negotiating deals for pipelines to export oil and gas, particularly gas, out of the Caspian Basin and the countries of the former Soviet Union down into Pakistan and they hoped India. Those pipelines were very important for all the American oil majors, which had invested a great deal of money into Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and they were in a situation where they were developing the oil and gas and controlled them, but the only ways they had to get it out there were through Russia, and Russia was in a position to charge quite exorbitant rates on the pipelines. So the potential Afghan pipelines were important.
Now with all the increasing talk about war in Yemen and Somalia, we mustn’t forget there are huge oil resources in Sudan – which were originally going to be developed by America, but it now looks like China will develop them. America doesn’t mind, I think, so much that China develops them as long as the oil market as a whole continues to be dominated to a large extent by the United States.[vi] That’s why it is so important that America says it is going pull its troops out of Iraq and it is going to start pulling its troops out of Afghanistan, but it has never said that it is going to close down its bases in those countries – it has no intention at present of doing that. It wants to maintain permanent bases in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and this will be a way of influencing by sheer American presence the behaviour of heads of states in countries like Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan where those major resources and investments of the American oil majors are. There is probably no other sector of the American economy that is as important to America’s strategic planning as the oil sector, but we should really say “the petroleum-financial sector,” because banks are all tight up with this, and as I say, it is not just oil, it is petrodollars, it’s a financial as well as an oil situation.
What are your thoughts on the current “kinetic military action” in Libya? Is it a just war in which some parts of NATO are involved in? And can it actually lead into something much bigger?
Well, first of all, I don’t think this is a just war at all, it is certainly a question of America involving itself in bombing another country, but not because that country represents a threat to the continental United States. Libya, however, presented a threat to this petrodollar system that I’ve just been describing, because like Saddam Hussein before him, Gaddafi, who leads an OPEC country, was beginning to defy the OPEC rule that you sell your oil for dollars only. Saddam had announced he would do that only a couple of years before we invaded Iraq. Gaddafi was beginning to sell oil directly to Europe for euros. If you believe in free markets, and America says it believes in free markets, then America should have no objection to that, but of course America doesn’t really believe in free markets.
Then there is this up-and-down relationship between Gaddafi and the United States. Reagan of course bombed Libya in 1986 and killed one of Gaddafis children, and then posed sanctions on Gaddafi. But with the fight on al-Qaida, Gaddafi became more of a friend, because Ghaddafi was also very frightened of al-Qaida. In fact, the first country ever to put Osama bin Laden on the Wanted list of Interpol, the international police organization, was Libya, because they knew that al-Qaida was plotting to overthrow Gaddafi back in the 1990’s. We have a British agent who says that British intelligence was behind that.[vii] But after 9/11, with al-Qaida becoming America’s self-identified enemy, Libya became more of an ally; there was a normalization under George W. Bush and the American oil companies went back in. But it was a short-lived honeymoon, because Gaddafi was taxing the oil companies in ways that were beyond the agreements, and when they objected he announced – which was I think a rash thing to do given American might – that he was going to sign oil exploration agreements with Russia and China. So on both levels, first of all, that he was threatening to expand Russian and in particular Chinese influence into Africa in oil, and then also that he was challenging this OPEC-petrodollar agreement, these are reasons, I am quite convinced why we went into Libya.
When America first went into Iraq, people in the White House said: This has absolutely nothing to do with oil! – They were just flat-out lying. We have now Wikileaks documents, and we don’t need the Wikileaks documents, it is abundantly evident that they were worrying about oil. They had conferences dealing with oil that were talking about the need for military action in Iraq. And then Cheney, one of the first things he did when the Bush-Cheney team took over in Washington, was to convene an Energy Task Force. They actually drew up maps of Iraq showing where the oil fields were and what oil companies had the contracts on them. They were thinking about this and we now know of course that right after 9/11 – which was only months after this task force conference – Cheney was talking about the need to invade Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
There was an immediate decision to go into Afghanistan. But Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted at the same time to go into Iraq and the decision was made to go into high-level planning for Iraq; but because it was politically more difficult they didn’t invade Iraq until 2003 – as a result of 9/11, but of course there was nothing linking Iraq to 9/11, and they tried to pretend there was. There were false intelligence reports circulated at that time that Osama bin Laden’s people had been in Iraq. It was all nonsense, just like the stuff about yellowcake, the weapons of mass destruction, and that Saddam was getting nuclear weapons – all lies, it really was about oil, just as Libya really is about oil and petrodollars.
And when you’re asking if Libya can lead into something much bigger…
…I believe it certainly can. It was surprising that Russia and China abstained on the UN Security Council resolution 1973. I believe they did so as a trade-off: they obtained the language in that resolution saying that they would only conduct military action to prevent civilian loss of life – a requirement that is being more and more flagrantly violated. So Russia and China did not come to the aid of Libya. Gaddafi was easing himself into the Russian-Chinese sphere of influence and his ceasing to sell oil for dollars, that fits into a Russian-Chinese plan. Russia and China meet once a year in something called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which brings in countries from Central Asia, mostly of them formerly in the Soviet Union, like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan.[viii] And they have since 2004 been talking about that it is time for a new world reserve currency to supplement or even replace the dollar. The dollar system, the IMF system is not working very well, it is inevitable that people should start talking about supplementing it with a new currency, and Gaddafi has been one of those people.
We’re at a very crucial stage in the Libyan war right now, because it is obviously not succeeding. Nobody is winning at present, it’s a stand-off. It is true that the Benghazi people have made some inroads into the mountains south of Tripoli, but I don’t think you can expect any huge breakthrough soon. We’re getting more and more stories here in America coming from America that troops are being trained for a possible joint U.S. and NATO ground invasion of Libya, sometime later this year. In fact, there is a Israeli news service that has sometimes been right in the past, Debka, and they said it might be as early as the next two weeks. My fear has been since this whole thing began that the war would not be resolved on the ground inside Libya, that there will be more and more overt outside intervention in support of Benghazi, and that’s really been there from the beginning – to a surprising degree of support from the United Arab Emirates and particularly Qatar, but behind that you have to see American influence, because America collaborates with the UAE and Qatar very much in what’s happening in Afghanistan. There is a base that America use in Pakistan, the Shamsi base, that is talked about as an American base, but it was actually leased by Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates.[ix] And that’s just only one surface example of covert collaboration between the United States and the UAE and particularly Qatar, which is remarkable because Qatar has protected al-Qaida quite heavily, and there are al-Qaida elements in Benghazi. They may be a minority at present, but they are certainly the best organized elements in the Benghazi coalition.
It’s a bit like Lenin in Russia in 1917: the Bolsheviks were a minority despite the name, they were in fact a minority in the radical left, but they were the ones who were focussed on seizing power, and they knew how to do it and they did it. Al-Qaida in Libya, or what we in English call the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the LIFG, are by far the best organized and battle-experienced group in the Benghazi coalition, because they have been fighting against America in Iraq, and now they are being backed by the United States and very prominently by Qatar in Benghazi. If we send in ground troops with them, then I expect that Russia and China, who all along being saying that this war should be resolved by peaceful negotiations, I am frightened that if America escalates its presence and if NATO escalates their presence, the history of international relations suggest that you may get a corresponding response from the great powers who are losing out there – which are Russia and China.
If I can draw an analogy I said right from the beginning, that this I think rather crazy American-NATO venture in Libya, which was really inspired above all by France, but also by Britain, because they have interests in Africa that Gaddafi is challenging by his attempt to become a leader of a united African economic community – it is reminiscent to me of the really crazy thing that Britain and France did in 1956. Their powers were declining in 1956, and then Egypt said it would takeover the Suez Canal, so Britain and France colluded with Israel and staged an event for a British-French intervention in Egypt, which was a fiasco and a folly. It was crazy because they should have foreseen – and they didn’t – that this would not be tolerated by either Russia or America, who were the real powers in the world at that time. It was American threats to stop maintaining its support for the pound, which meant that Britain had to pull back and that led to total fiasco.
Now, if we apply that to the present situation, America and NATO have gone ahead with this operation in Libya and they seem to be remarkably uninterested in what the reactions of Russia and China are going to be. I have been worried from the very beginning and I am even more worried now, that they will not stand idly by and that therefore we see the risk of Libya becoming escalating into a more serious conflict.
It’s very different from Iraq and Afghanistan, because certainly Russia and China are not happy about an American presence in Afghanistan and now even in Kyrgyzstan, which is right on China’s border – but they also share an interest in defeating the forces of al-Qaida and other Islamist forces, because both Russia and China face significant Islamist opposition inside their own borders, so that there is some community of interest in America’s Afghan operation. But the Libyan thing in contrast is a straight-out American and NATO attempt to dominate the one Mediterranean country, which is to say Libya, where both Russia and China had more of a presence than NATO did. From the very beginning this has had the potential to escalate into a conflict between global powers, such as we have not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and I would say that we are closer to that danger, and it is a real danger, we’re closer today than we were when the conflict started back in February.
Let’s talk about the CIA, but keep the focus on finance. In your book “The Road To 9/11” you point out that most of the key figures of this organization have a background in high finance and investment banking.[x] Would it be an exaggeration if one would assume that the CIA was created more or less to shield long-term Wall Street interests in the world – and that it is active in that way until today?
Well, I think that the CIA, which was created in 1947 – in the public debates it was the need for an intelligence agency outside the particular agencies of the Army, of the Navy, and the new independent Air Force – the same act that created the Air Force created the CIA – but behind the scenes Wall Street, financial people wanted to regain the same control over intelligence that they had during World War II through OSS. We could have a whole interview just about that, but the American financial investments in Europe were protected by OSS, key decisions were made not to attack factories, dams etc., and that was OSS. Truman always tried to get a non-Wall Street person to head the CIA and that was true until Allen Dulles from Wall Street took over under Eisenhower, but underneath the Truman appointed directors were people almost all of them from Wall Street. You have to imagine the situation after World War II: a largely wrecked international economy, you had private intelligence companies, something called the World Commerce Corporation, filled with ex-wartime intelligence officers from Britain and America, who were trying with private resources – and now we hear possibly with SS funds seized in Germany or Austria[xi] – to get world trade going in a way that America and Britain would dominate it.
This was a particularly sensitive area with Southeast Asia. It was full of natural resources and it was full of overseas Chinese, and as China went Communist in 1949 it seemed they were worried initially about the Russians moving into Europe, but by 1949 they were much more worried about China coming to dominate Southeast Asia. And here they not just maintained political connections with KMT, Kuomintang, Chiang Kai-shek Chinese groups, but historically these groups had been involved in the opium trade, and there’s no doubt whatsoever that America developed contacts with various people who were drug traffickers. And what I have been arguing is that beyond that the CIA set up what we may call infrastructure arrangements like creating an airline, creating a supply company in Thailand – these were CIA proprietary companies, one became famous as Air America, the other one is well known as SEA, South East Asia Supply Inc., and the two together, the airline and the supply company, were making it possible for drug-trafficking Kuomintang troops to maintain themselves in Burma.
So a pattern was established in the 1950’s that America not just worked with the prominent drug traffickers in the area, but actually helped them with infrastructure arrangements. We saw it in Burma and Thailand in the 1950’s; it expanded to include Laos in the 1960’s; and then of course eventually in the 1970’s America pulled out of Southeast Asia and the CIA presence there shrank too. But as American presence in Southeast Asia shrank in the 1970’s you see the opium production there to begin to go down; and simultaneously over in the Afghan-Pakistani area, the Golden Crescent as opposed to the Golden Triangle, you see opium production increase. There had always been some opium grown there, but far more marihuana and hashish – and until 1979/80 heroin from Afghanistan had not been prominent in the world traffic.
But then we had the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which Brzeziński in the White House had helped to induce by fomenting certain covert activities in Afghanistan. He dragged the Russians in – and he said in 1979 and he boasted about it later: We will give them, Russia, their Vietnam[xii] – well, that was the beginning of an explosion of CIA infrastructure support for drug traffickers in the Golden Crescent and virtually the invention of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who got something like half of the CIA aid in the 1980’s and became some people would say the world’s leading heroin trafficker with his own heroin refineries in areas controlled by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, ISI, the Pakistani CIA. So in other words, in the 1980’s they completely restored in the Golden Crescent the CIA drug alliance in the Golden Triangle that had been responsible for the explosive increase in global opiate consumption in the world after World War II.[xiii]
That continued. It continued after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. It briefly was interrupted by the Taliban. Whatever you say for or against the Taliban, undeniably they were able to virtually shut down the opium growth in Afghanistan, but then, of course, America decided after 9/11 to go after the Taliban and we seen more than doubling of opium production in Afghanistan. Incidently in the last couple of years there has been some reduction of opium production and a lot of people have been pursuaded, particular in the North, to stop growing poppy – but something you don’t hear much in the West: those fields that no longer growing opium poppies are now growing marihuana. Afghanistan has virtually one significant successful economy and that is drugs. It’s chiefly opium and heroin, and all the feeble efforts to fight opium and heroin in Afghanistan are focussed on that part of the trade which supports the Taliban. That’s an explicit policy of the United States, it was explained to Congress, and that is going after about 12 to maybe 15 percent of the total traffic – the rest of it is supporting Karzai. What else is there to support Karzai? This is their economy, and if we shrink it in opium it increases in marihuana and hashish. Afghanistan has now passed Marocco as being the number one supplier in the world of hashish.[xiv]
This is a re-creation of what we had before in Laos. We had in Laos an economy that had essentially opium to support it and nothing else, and so the CIA had to tolerate it. We have the same situation in Afghanistan, and it is a very good argument why America should leave Afghanistan. But something else has to happen, and that is that the American government by its policies, including its so called anti-drug policies, is more than any other government the one most responsible for the explosive increase in drug consumption since World War II. Part of the responsibility is the CIA drug connection which must be broken by statute. Part of it is this policy of prohibition, which didn’t work for alcohol in the 1920’s, it increased alcohol consumption and that’s one reason they ended it. Well, the drug prohibition has driven drug prices up, which it predictably will do, and so no one is happier with the drug prohibition than the drug producers and traffickers. You will not get really a solution for the global drug problem until America begins to legalize the consumption of drugs like marihuana. If America would allow Americans to grow their own marihuana this would be a death blow to the cartels in Mexico, who have killed now 40.000 Mexicans. It’s a war right on America’s borders, and the easiest way to do something about that war would be to legalize marihuana consumption in America.
It’s not going to happen easily, because you don’t just have the drug traffickers, who oppose legalization, you also have the banks. American banks are laundering somewhere between a half trillion and maybe a trillion dollars of illegal money, most of which is dirty drug money – they too are opposed to legalization. They won’t say it, but they are. So there is a very firm lobby in America that is opposed to this. And of course the DEA spends millions of public funds to campaign against legalization, which I think legally they ought not to be doing. To end this non-working policy of prohibition would be of immediate benefit in the health sphere and in local law enforcement, because it is the source of so much crime in American communities, but I am convinced would also a serious blow against international terrorism, which is largely financed by drugs as well.[xv]
Has the CIA become involved in drug trafficking by coincidence?
Well, first of all let me make it clear that I don’t accuse the CIA itself of drug trafficking. I do accuse them of making the drug traffic possible and facilitating it. A good example would be Air America. Everyone talks about this as the CIA’s airline and in a sense that’s true, but it is very interesting when you look at who owned Air America’s planes – and we’re talking now back in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. And it turns out that the CIA had a 40 percent ownership, and the group that had the 60 percent ownership were Kuomintang interests in Taiwan, who were involved in the drug traffic. So that meant that an Air America plane could fly arms and materiel into a drug base in Burma, and then when the plane flew back to Taiwan, which is where they were based, it would fly back with drugs, and the CIA could say: That’s not our flight, that’s the other owners of the airline!
But it is very obvious, as I say in my book, American War Machine, that the CIA knew about the drug traffic; and if it had wanted to stop the drug traffic it would have been very important to establish complete control over the airline and the planes, because those bases were landlocked, there was no other way to get to them, the roads did not yet exist. And the CIA did the exact opposite: they planned to allow what the CIA calls a “plausibly denial“ situation,[xvi] where the KMT could fly the drugs out. And we know they did because eventally one of these planes was shot down by Burma and the ownership of the plane was acknowledged by a group in China that was close to the World Anti-Communist League, by the way a group partly set up by the CIA. So the facts are quite clear.
The willingness of the CIA to see the drugs flow – is this an accident? Of course it’s not an accident. This was the key to securing the allegiance of the nationalist Chinese business people in Southeast Asia, who became rich of the drug traffic and then financed all kinds of legitimate industries not just in Thailand, but also in Malaysia and Indonesia. The great industrial revolution of Southeast Asia in the 1980’s and 1990’s was largely financed by that drug money, there is no doubt about this.[xvii] It was no accident. They were fighting for Capitalism against Communism, and the resource to strengthen Capitalism in that part in Asia and as they hope in Afghanistan, though it won’t work, is the use of the drug traffic.
Global opium production was concentrated into Afghanistan after 9/11 – roughly 90% of the world’s opium came from this region. What was or is behind that? In other words: who runs that business for whoms profits?
I can’t tell you who runs it. I went to Moscow, Russia last year, in 2010, and talked to one of their drug experts. He said: You know, I don’t know who these forces are and I’ve been fighting them for 30 years – and I said: That’s very funny, because I am just publishing a book (that came out a few months later, American War Machine), and on page 5 I say the same thing – I don’t know who these drug forces are. But what I do know is that they haven’t been operating on their own, they have operated with the necessary support of the CIA, starting in the 1950’s, and the first half of my book is, I think, perhaps the most detailled decription that has ever been done so far of just how much support was given. The CIA used opium to finance its own proxy army in Thailand, PARU. The KMT troops were supposed to invade deep into China, and it turned out that was a fiasco, it didn’t happen and wasn’t going to happen. So in the 1950’s the CIA then used drugs that were grown by the Kuomintang to finance a a proxy-mercenary army in Thailand called PARU which they then used to foment trouble in Laos and throw out a neutralist premier. That is the real beginning of the Indochina War that we remember as the Vietnam war, but it began in Laos. And it began because of these CIA games using the drug trade to finance an army which it otherwise wouldn’t have had in that part of the world.
So, whoever these people are, they are people who have co-existed with and have depended on U.S. policy actions, the most latest of which is the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Let me say it again: we ousted a government that had just banished opium production. Now, it is not clear that the Taliban would have banished it permanently – some people think it was just a means of driving up prices, because there was an overabundance of supply. But very clearly we have done in Afghanistan what we did in Laos, which is to create a government which survives on drugs. I mean, Karzai’s brother is identified as one of the leading drug traffickers.[xviii] I think this is not because of personal failings of the Karzai family – it’s because the Kabul government depends on drug alliances, because there is no other viable economy in that country.[xix] The CIA knew this. The CIA has played this game now for 60 years, they are experienced at it, and what depresses me is that there are so few people in this country who want to stop it. There are many people who want legalize drugs as a sensible thing to do, but I don’t think that many of those people see yet the important link between drug production and aggressive offensive policies of the United States in the parts of the world where it doesn’t have its own armies or a way of bringing in its own armies.
The justification for the war in Afghanistan were the attacks of 9/11 (though the war was planned before the attacks occured [xx]). Are all questions in that regard answered from your point of view – or were some important ones never really raised to begin with?
I would say that, predictably, there has not been yet a proper investigation of 9/11 at all. We only got a 9/11 Commission because the families of the victims organized and succesfully were able to persuade Congress to vote for a Commission. This was against the strenuous objections of particularly Vice-President Cheney. Then we had another Warren Commission. After the Kennedy assassination we had the Warren Commission, which reached an absurd conclusion, which they began with by the way: that Oswald had done it. The purpose of the Warren Commission was to beef up this “evidence“ that Oswald acted alone.[xxi] And the purpose of the 9/11 Commission was to beef up the already announced decision that it had been done by 19 Arabs of al-Qaida. It is interesting that although the chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, one Democrat, one Republican, praised the group of the families that had created the Commission and they said: We will answer their questions – but some of the most important questions of all they didn’t mention. There is no sign that they ever looked at them.
One is why the three World Trade Center buildings that went down in New York – one of them, of course, had not even been hit by an aeroplain and was separated from the two Towers, that were hit, by a fourth building which caught on fire and was badly demaged but never collapsed. Building 7 – the fires were minimal. It was never hit by a plane, so the people wanted the 9/11 Commission to find out what made the building go down. The question is not addressed in the Report.
I would like to know one thing that is very like the Kennedy assassination: they announced almost immediately that Lee Harvey Oswald was the suspect, but we don’t know where they got that information. I have argued in a book that the false information broadcast about Oswald seemed to have come from FBI and CIA files, which suggests some kind of high-level conspiracy. Something very similiar happened with 9/11: within an hour they were announcing that they had the names of the hijackers.[xxii] We don’t know how. They’ve since published the passenger lists and those names are not on the passenger lists that they have released.
I’m not saying that I knew who was responsible for 9/11, but here are some things that I do know: first of all, as could have been predicted, there was a cover-up very analogous to the Warren Commission cover-up, where you take the original story which doesn’t seem to have any foundation, and then back it up with enourmous footnoting and so on. And by the way, I am grateful for the Commission’s work: the 9/11 report is worth reading, it is well-documented and well-footnoted, it is the first step towards getting the true story. But many big questions were not asked.
As I said in my book, The Road to 9/11, we know there has been a cover-up, we know also that some very major decisions were made on that day, and one – which we will perhaps come back to – was to initiate Continuity of Government (COG) measures, which is a set of emergency government procedures, which had been planned for twenty years since 1982 – and two of the chief planners had been Cheney and Rumsfeld. So in my book, The Road to 9/11, I said we need to ask Cheney a lot of questions. And maybe this is not the appropriate place for me to reproduce what I say in my book, but Cheney gave two accounts what he did that morning when he was in the bunker underneath the White House; and the two accounts cannot be reconciled, one of them has to be false. I think the first one he gave is the true one, which would mean that it was he who gave the COG, Continuity of Government decision. It would also mean that he probably gave an order to shoot down planes, before Flight 93 went down.
There are many, many, many questions, which have not been answered, and there are some other questions, that were answered by the 9/11 Commission, but I believe and those of us who do research in this field were answered falsely. That would include the very obvious question how come that all these fighter planes never intervened whose job it is to intercept – any airliner that goes off-course is supposed to be intercepted by military planes. Why didn’t it happen on 9/11 when it did happen so many times before and was the normal thing to happen when a plane went off-course? The Commission did try to answer this question. The 9/11 Commission people themselves are saying that the government lied to them about this – and to that I would add that the 9/11 Commission report is also lying or is also inaccurate as to what really happened.
So it isn’t a question that there are one or two questions not answered, it’s more like we haven’t yet begun to have a proper independent investigation. We have a former U.S. senator, Mike Gravel, the same man who helped to release the Pentagon Papers by reading them into the Congressional Records back in 1971 – Mike Gravel is calling for a new and proper investigation. Eventually twenty years later we got a second investigation of the Kennedy assassination, which was a little bit better than the first but not much, and I am hoping maybe we’ll get a second investigation of 9/11 that will be a little bit better. What we can safely say is that there are very powerful forces inside America who don’t want a proper investigation of 9/11 – and that itself should tell us something.
Like you’ve mentioned, you have dealt in your book The Road to 9/11 with the question of what Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld did, especially with respect to the Continuity of Government plans they had prepared. Why is this so important?
Every government anywhere has to plan for what happens in an emergency. In the case of America since World War II they had to worry about a nuclear attack. The Constitution says that if the President dies then the Vice-President shall succeed him and then the Speaker of the House and so on. They had to worry what would happen if a nuclear bomb hit Washington and all these people were killed simultaneously. We’ve had this emergency planning and we’ve had specific agencies to do emergency planning, which all of with necessity were thinking about having to go outside the Constitution. I don’t fault anyone for this, it was necessary planning.
What I do criticize is the change in that planning which occured in the 1980’s under President Reagan – and more importantly, I think, Vice-President Bush, who came from having been earlier the head of the CIA, and they made very elaborate new plans. They convened a group of people, some of them were in government, some of them were not even in government, and gave them the power to plan for how to overwrite the Constitution. Why you want to fault this? Because in the end they were not planning about a nuclear attack, they were planning for anything which the President would call an emergency.[xxiii]
We saw the proof of this in 2001, when somebody – and I think actually it was Vice-President Cheney himself – declared that 9/11 was an emergency and therefore justified the institution of these emergency provisions which we call Continuity of Government, or COG. Among the things that are interesting about this is that these are plans which Cheney knew very well because he had been himself working on them since 1982, even though back then he was just a lowly Congressman from Wyoming – along with someone working with him who had been his mentor, the man who got him started in politics, Donald Rumsfeld, who in the 1980’s wasn’t in the government at all, he was the CEO of a big drug company.[xxiv] This situation became even more absurd in the 1990’s, when they were reported to have stopped planning after the fall of the Berlin Wall – they said: Okay, we don’t need to worry about a nuclear attack anymore. However, they kept on planning and they were doing it under Clinton in a Democratic administration, but the planners were now almost exclusively Republican, and somebody who worked with them told Andrew Cockburn, who put it in his biography of Rumsfeld, [xxv] that these were essentially anti-Clinton sessions – and here you had both Cheney and Rumsfeld, neither of them were in the government at all. Cheney by now is the CEO of Halliburton, which is an oil-supply company which is being very big in these U.S. oil developments in Kazakhstan and elsewhere in Central Asia – and Cheney, among other things, was on the U.S.- Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce, that shows how actively involved he was in looking after oil and gas interests in Central Asia. And here they are planning for the suspension of the Constitution, which apparently occured on 9/11, even though they are not in the government! So that’s to me proof we should know more about what COG means.
And you notice I use words like “apparently“ and so on, because COG, Continuity of Government, is super-secret. But we know a few things about it. One is, we know that right after 9/11 for a hundred days Cheney and a group of senior executives withdrew from Washington, as COG provisions require, and lived inside a hollowed-out mountain near Washington. We don’t know what they did. But I think I know some of what they did, because at that time in September 2001 they activated a massive detention plan where all of the various emergency planning documents back to the 1950’s came together – they always worried about massive roundups of large numbers of citizens.
There was a partial leak about COG planning back in the time of Iran-Contra. We had a Congressman in the Iran-Contra hearings who asked Oliver North about whether it was true that Oliver North was planning for the suspension of the Constitution for Continuity of Government. And North was not allowed to answer. The chairman banged his gavel and said: We can’t go into this here – implying that, yes, there was such planning. And North was the key man in Iran-Contra and he was the key man on COG planning as well.[xxvi] They actually had an exercise, Rex 84, which was rehearsing the possible round-up of thousands of people and putting them in concentration camps.
Well, that was just an exercise. Since 9/11 we have had a ten year programme, Project Endgame, to create concentration camps. The budget for one year was 400 million dollars – this is not small. This is a massive programme. And of course, we haven’t seen massive round-ups of citizens, but we have seen something that goes with it, which is massive surveillance of large numbers of people. There were three things described about COG plans in the 1980’s by a good journalist: one was for massive detention, the second was for massive surveillance – they go together because you have to surveil people and see what they’re doing in order to know who to round up, and do this without seeking judicial authorization -, and finally for the militarization of the country.[xxvii]
Everyone is aware pretty much about how surveillance has increased; and a lot of people, because it has been talked about a lot on the internet since I’ve first exposed it, know about massive detention.[xxviii] But the most important of all is the militarization of this country. In 2002 we created a military command for North America: NORTHCOM. So the military is now involved in overseeing what goes on in this country the same way that they are worried about what is going on in Latin America and Africa, or CENTCOM is in Central Asia. We have had for a century and more in this country laws which prohibit the United States armed forces from being involved in regular law enforcement [xxix]– this goes back to the period after the Civil War, when essentially the U.S. Army occupied the South and eventually the South got laws passed to stop that from happening. Well, those laws are still on the statute books, but they are being broken because American armed forces are now collaborating with local law enforcement and, to my dismay, with private intelligence companies – they out-sourced surveillance to private corporations who are now involved in surveilling of Americans: not just al-Qaida supporters, but anti-war activists, all kinds of people like me for example, a college professor. Anything they want to know I’m happy to tell them, but they prefer to work by secret surveillance.
We’re being conditioned to accept that the military have a role in dealing with emergencies – and I don’t want go too long about this, because I know too much, but we have a state of emergency in this country today, in 2011, that was proclaimed three days after 9/11. There is an act of Congress which says that any state of emergency must be reviewed by Congress within six months, and then it must be either approved or terminated. Well, that has not happened. We’ve had ten years in which the law has been broken by Congress. It’s not that Congress has an option to do this, it is required to do it, it hasn’t done it. A former Congressman and I tried to create a campaign about this, to get them to do something, and one Congressman told a constituent: Oh, well, that law – that law is being overwritten by Continuity of Government. Well, if that’s true it’s a corroboration of the claim that COG has already involved suspension of the American Constitution, because the heart of the American Constitution is checks and balances, and Congress limiting the power of the Executive.
Bush proclaimed some new COG measures in 2007, and we got a Congressman, who was on the Homeland Security Committee, so it was his job really, to see what these provisions were. He was told that he could not see tthe COG measures because he didn’t had a high enough clearance. So then this whole Committee, the House Homeland Security Committee, asked in writing to see these new measures, and was informed that they didn’t had the clearance to see them.
So these are only small indications, but small indications of something that is very big – which is that Congressional control of the Executive has been overwritten by the provisions of COG, of Continuity of Government, and the state of emergency we are in. The reason why I want to talk about this to you is that I want the whole world to try to make America to wake up to the fact that they do not, at this moment, live under the constitutional rule that they think they are under, and what they are living under they don’t know, because it is all so secret that Congress can’t find out. The first step is for Congress to find out and to terminate a state of emergency which at this point is illegal.
Thank you very much for taking your time, Professor Scott!
[ii] Scott refers to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address from the White House given on January 17, 1961, which is famous because of its warning about the Military-Industrial Complex:
“…We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual –is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together…”
[iii] The so called “Halloween Massacre“ took place on November 2, 1975.
[iv] Compare Peter Dale Scott: “The Road to 9/11. Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America”, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2007, page 50 – 79.
[v] See for example Ray McGovern: “News Flash: Iraq War Was About Oil“, published on April 25, 2011 at LarsSchallcom under: http://www.larsschall.com/2011/04/25/news-flash-iraq-war-was-about-oil/
[vi] Note also that Yemen and Somalia are both placed at a highly important strategic oil transit chokepoint: the Strait of Bab el-Mandab, that connects the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
[vii] Scott refers to Annie Machon.
[viii] The SCO currently consist of the member states China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, and states holding observer status, i.e. Mongolia, India, Pakistan, and Iran. Partners in dialogue are also Belarus, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN.
[ix] See „Army takes partial control of Shamsi base,“ Nation (Pakistan), July 17, 2011, under: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/17-Jul-2011/Army-takes-partial-control-of-Shamsi-base.
[x] Compare Peter Dale Scott: “The Road to 9/11”, page 11 – 14.
[xi] See Amy B. Zegart: “Flawed by Design. The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC,“ Stanford University Press, p. 189.
[xii] Compare the interview of Le Nouvel Observateur with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paris, January 15-21, 1998, quoted in Peter Dale Scott: “Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina“, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 2003, p. 35:
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
[xiii] Compare also Alfred McCoy: “The Politics of Heroin. CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade“, Revised Edition, Lawrence Hill Books, 2003.
[xiv] See for example Jeremy R. Hammond: “The Afghan Drug Trade and the Elephant in the Room“, published on April 9, 2011 at Foreign Policy Journal under: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/04/09/the-afghan-drug-trade-and-the-elephant-in-the-room/
[xv] Compare also Lars Schall: “The Great Global Bank Robbery, Part Two“, an interview with the US-economist William K. Black published on April 22, 2010 at NewDeal2.0 under: http://www.newdeal20.org/2010/04/22/bill-black-interview-the-great-global-bank-robbery-part-2-10008/
From that interview:
Can you discuss the importance of liquid cash flow generated through drug trafficking within and without the U.S.A. for banks primarily based in New York City and London via their off-shore connections (sic!)? A.I.G. seems to be also heavily involved in drug money – at least for sure in the past. And the UN-chief on drugs, Antonio Maria Costa, stated that “liquid investment capital” generated from drug trafficking helped to keep the financial system going in 2008. He said:
“In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor … Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities … There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.”
Isn’t that a little bit of an embarrassing problem for the global financial system?
Yes, but I repeat that we do not know (and Mr. Costa does not know) the facts. There are two “first-best” solutions. One, we should legalize drugs. (For the readers who are about to stop reading; please continue a bit. First, I am 58 and I have never tried an illegal drug. I don’t even drink. I do not think drugs are good. I think they do awful things to people. Second, my policy advice is shaped by my experience as a criminologist, regulator, and teacher of economics. I’m with Milton Friedman on this issue.) We should legalize drugs because our policy of criminalizing it has failed – and will fail. That failure is catastrophic. The price of drugs gives us excellent market evidence on the success of our current policies. Drugs are generally cheaper now. I don’t care how many photo ops we stage of drug busts – the drug war has failed.
Our current policies make rich the worst, most dangerous people in the world and caused tragedy in nations like Columbia and Mexico (a tragedy spreading to the U.S.). We do not know how much money really goes to the druggies, terrorists, and corrupt politicians, but the number is large. We could defund many of the people out to harm our nation if we end this failed effort at Prohibition.
The other first-best solution is to get the facts and to seize as many billions as possible of those funds from the cartels, Taliban, and corrupt officials. The way to do that is to (1) end the tax havens (which are also havens for the scum of the earth), (2) to use undercover investigators and electronic surveillance against financial institutions with suspicious cash flows, and (3) to seize the existing proceeds.
The OECD launched an initiative against the tax havens. The Bush administration blocked the initiative because it wanted to create a “race to the bottom” of taxation by encouraging tax evasion through the use of tax havens. After the 9/11 attacks (which were funded through tax havens), the administration allowed a weakened version of the OECD initiative to proceed. The Obama administration should, with the aid of the OECD (Germany would likely be very supportive on this given its intelligence services’ recent initiatives on your neighbouring tax haven), should lead a campaign to end all tax havens. The U.S. has the economic power, even if had to act unilaterally without OECD support, to end the tax havens. The Fed could use its leverage for something constructive!
Antonio Maria Costa said furthermore, that drug money is by “now a part of the official system.” Is this naïve or deceptive to say that from Mr. Costa’s side? It is widely known that the Pakistani bank BCCI for example was involved with drug money during the 1980’s and then-Secretary of Treasury, James Baker III, did nothing against it “because he thought a prosecution of the bank would damage the United States’ reputation as a safe haven for flight capital and overseas investments.” So my question is: Nothing New in the West, is it?
Yes, BCCI (informally, and accurately, known as the “Bank of Crooks and Criminals, International”) was a massive control fraud. Yes, there is nothing fundamentally new about fraud schemes. The U.S. has long been complicit in refusing to crack down on the tax havens. The deal it made with UBS was scandalous. We have to end the “race to the bottom.” We can end it. It would do enormous good for the world in a wide range of spheres – and it would be immensely political popular. It would, however, enrage the richest Americans who evade taxes (but make political contributions).
From a criminological point of view: it’s the criminalized status of drugs that makes this whole business possible, right?
Yes, as I just explained, that is the key. Prohibition “sells” in politics, but it fails in the real world.
[xvi] Important in this context of plausible deniability and covert activities is the directive of the National Security Council from June 18, 1948, the NSC 10/2. It says in full:
Office of Special Projects
Washington, June 18, 1948.
1. The National Security Council, taking cognizance of the vicious covert activities of the USSR, its satellite countries and Communist groups to discredit and defeat the aims and activities of the United States and other Western powers, has determined that, in the interests of world peace and US national security, the overt foreign activities of the US Government must be supplemented by covert operations.
2. The Central Intelligence Agency is charged by the National Security Council with conducting espionage and counter-espionage operations abroad. It therefore seems desirable, for operational reasons, not to create a new agency for covert operations, but in time of peace to place the responsibility for them within the structure of the Central Intelligence Agency and correlate them with espionage and counter-espionage operations under the over-all control of the Director of Central Intelligence.
3. Therefore, under the authority of Section 102(d)(5) of the National Security Act of 1947, the National Security Council hereby directs that in time of peace :
a. A new Office of Special Projects shall be created within the Central Intelligence Agency to plan and conduct covert operations ; and in coordination with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan and prepare for the conduct of such operations in wartime.
b. A highly qualified person, nominated by the Secretary of State, acceptable to the Director of Central Intelligence and approved by the National Security Council, shall be appointed as Chief of the Office of Special Projects.
c. The Chief of the Office of Special Projects shall report directly to the Director of Central Intelligence. For purposes of security and of flexibility of operations, and to the maximum degree consistent with efficiency, the Office of Special Projects shall operate independently of other components of Central Intelligence Agency.
d. The Director of Central Intelligence shall be responsible for :
(1) Ensuring, through designated representatives of the Secretary of State  and of the Secretary of Defense, that covert operations are planned and conducted in a manner consistent with US foreign and military policies and with overt activities. In disagreements arising between the Director of Central Intelligence and the representative of the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense over such plans, the matter shall be referred to the National Security Council for decision.
(2) Ensuring that plans for wartime covert operations are also drawn up with the assistance of a representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and are accepted by the latter as being consistent with and complementary to approved plans for wartime military operations.
(3) Informing, through appropriate channels, agencies of the US Government, both at home and abroad (including diplomatic and military representatives in each area), of such operations as will affect them.
e. Covert operations pertaining to economic warfare will be conducted by the Office of Special Projects under the guidance of the departments and agencies responsible for the planning of economic warfare.
f. Supplemental funds for the conduct of the proposed operations for fiscal year 1949 shall be immediately requested. Thereafter operational funds for these purposes shall be included in normal Central Intelligence Agency Budget requests.
4. In time of war, or when the President directs, all plans for covert operations shall be coordinated with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In active theaters of war where American forces are engaged, covert operations will be conducted under the direct command of the American Theater Commander and orders therefor will be transmitted through the Joint Chiefs of Staff unless otherwise directed by the President.
5. As used in this directive, „covert operations“ are understood to be all activities (except as noted herein) which are conducted or sponsored by this Government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them. Specifically, such operations shall include any covert activities related to : propaganda, economic warfare ; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures ; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world. Such operations shall not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.
6. This Directive supersedes the directive contained in NSC 4-A, which is hereby cancelled.
Interestingly enough, former US-President Harry S. Truman, under whom the CIA was created and the NS 10/2 was authorized, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post from December 22, 1963:
“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA. (…) For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. (…) We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.“
It is also of interest that Truman’s op-ed “Limit CIA Role To Intelligence“ didn’t receive real serious media coverage, but was treated with remarkable silence – or as Ray McGovern wrote: “The op-ed garnered little attention — either at the time or subsequently.“ See Ray Mcgovern: “Break the CIA in Two“, published at Consortiumnews on December 22, 2009 under: http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/122209a.html
The op-ed is cited in Raymond Marcus: “Truman’s Warning“, published in E. Martin Schotz: “History Will not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy“, Kurtz, Ulmer & Delucia, 1996, page 237-38.
[xvii] Peter Dale Scott, American War Machine, p. 81.
[xviii] Scott refers to Ahmed Wali Karzai, who was killed in the meantime. Compare Dexter Filkins/Mark Mazzetti/James Risen: “Brother of Afghan Leader Said to Be Paid by C.I.A.“, published on October 27, 2009 az the New York Times Online under:
[xix] Compare Alfred McCoy: “Can Anyone Pacify the World’s Number One Narco-State? The Opium Wars in Afghanistan“, published on March 30, 2010 at TomDispatch under: http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175225/alfred_mccoy_afghanista_as_a_drug_war,
and Peter Dale Scott: “Can the US Triumph in the Drug-Addicted War in Afghanistan? Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration“, published April 5, 2010 at Japan Focus under: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/3340
[xx] See for example Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed: “The War on Freedom: How and Why America was Attacked, September 11, 2001“, B&T, 2002.
[xxi] Compare for example James W. Douglass: “JFK and the Unspeakable. Why He Died and Why It Matters“, Simon and Schuster, 2008; E. Martin Schotz: “History Will not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy“, Kurtz, Ulmer & Delucia, 1996; Peter Dale Scott: “Deep Politics and the Death of JFK”, University of California Press, 1993.
[xxii] Peter Dale Scott, “The War Conspiracy: JFK, 911, and the Deep Politics of War,” 341-96.
[xxiii] Scott, “Road to 9/11,” 184-87.
[xxiv] G. D. Searle & Company.
[xxv] Andrew Cockburn: “Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy“, Scribner, 2007.
[xxvi] Scott refers to an exchange during the Iran-Contra hearings in July 1987 between Oliver North, Jack Brooks and Daniel Inouye. Compare Peter Dale Scott: “The Road to 9/11“, pages 184, 361.
[xxvii] Scott refers to Alfonso Chardy, at that time – July 1987 – journalist of the Miami Herald.
[xxviii] Compare Peter Dale Scott: „10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North“ published on February 21, 2006 at Pacific News Service under: http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=9c2d6a5e75201d7e3936ddc65cdd56a9
[xxix] Posse Comitatus Act.