Archive for the ‘Michael Scheuer’ Category

Will Latest Foreign Policy Executive Orders Drive the Country to More War? – Tenth Amendment Center

In the wee hours of the morning on Nov 9, 2016, as the returns from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania indicated a Trump victory, a wave of shock crashed over American politics. Then there was a second wave of astonishment in the wake that election night victory: the realization all the power the political left and right spent years ceding to the presidency to shape the American economy, culture, and politics might now turn on them.

One such vested power is the authority to send Americans into war zones.

It has been rumored that President Trump will establish safe zones in Syria; he intimated as much during his campaign. A draft of an executive order establishing safe zones was released a few weeks ago:

Establishment of Safe Zones to Protect Vulnerable Syrian Populations. Pursuant to the cessation of refugee processing for Syrian nationals, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, is directed within 90 days of the date of this order to produce a plan to provide safe areas in Syria and in the surrounding region in which Syrian nationals displaced from their homeland can await firm settlement, such as repatriation or potential third-country resettlement.

Although that provision was removed from the final EO Trump signed relating to refugees, it seems unlikely the idea is dead and it certainly wasnt excluded because the president and his advisors decided it was outside of executive authority.

The fact that such an executive order was even entertained raises two immediate concerns.

First, it creates opportunities for mistakes that only increase the likelihood of war with Syria, the various factions in the region, and other countries that have a stake in Syrias future. Second, that any president can send Americans into a war zone with very little oversight is a terrible indication of how much extra-constitutional power has been ceded to the president.

Safe zones increase the opportunities for mistakes that can lead to larger wars.

Yet, the American officials advocating for safe zones fundamentally misunderstand the nature of Americas problems with Middle Eastern countries. According to Dr. Michael Scheuer an expert on the Middle and the former CIA analyst once responsible for following Osama Bin Laden there are six answers to the question Why do they hate us?

Summarily, the problem is one of regional conflict and American intervention. Safe zones will not deal with the sources of the problem because a lack of safe zones isnt the problem. Setting up safe zones will only perpetuate the violence. What if an American plane or ground troop kills a Syrian civilian or a foreign soldier? It becomes more likely that locals, the Syrian government, or the foreign government will respond by escalating attacks on Americans. This will increase an American willingness to do something, like increasing an American military presence and activities.

An American safe zone in Syria cannot account for the multitude of factors that are leading to violence in Syria.

Stated differently, when all decisions are left up to one person, the likelihood of misdiagnosing the problem and implementing the wrong remedy are increased.

Let us put this scenario into economic terms. If a government raises the minimum wage above the market clearing price, it will, by the laws of economics, lead to unemployment. In response to calls to do something about the unemployment, the government can only raise taxes, borrow money, or print money. Any of these three responses will be ruinous to an economy; people will then call for more government intervention. The government intervention perpetuates more intervention.

The two scenarios above both show the dangers of government intervention. In both cases, the central planners suffer from the Hayekian Knowledge Problem. Very simply, the knowledge problem means that one person or a group of people cannot possibly know all the factors that shape all the interactions in society. Its best to leave the decisions to the individuals or groups who are most familiar with the situation.

Applying this to our question of executive orders and safe zones, the people and government of Syria should be the ones to discover the solution to their problems rather than outsiders imposing artificial boundaries. (NB: the United States government has actually played a role in destabilizing the Syrian government. So, an immediate military extrication from Syria is an important first step).

The second concern is that a president thinks he is empowered to sign such a sweeping executive order because Congress has allowed so much power to be amassed by one office.

Fifteen years after Congress voted to give President Bush an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against those responsible for 9/11, that authority has never been revisited. Presidents Bush, Obama, and now Trump will be using that wide-ranging authority. While a handful of members of Congress made efforts to reexamine the AUMF, there is very little interest in taking a stand. This is rightly a congressional prerogative, but while the Congress dithers the presidential powers and the use of executive orders will grow.

If Congress will not act to defend the constitution then the states must step in. The state legislatures must do so even contrary of the federal governments wishes how else is the Tenth Amendment to be enforced?

P.A. Deacon is a freelance blogger from Washington D.C.

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Will Latest Foreign Policy Executive Orders Drive the Country to More War? – Tenth Amendment Center

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February 13, 2017   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Michael Scheuer – Wikispooks

Michael F. Scheuer is a former CIA employee. In his 22-year career, he served as the Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (aka “Alec Station”), from 1996 to 1999, the Osama bin Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorist Center. He then worked again as Special Advisor to the Chief of the bin Laden unit from September 2001 to November 2004.

Scheuer resigned in 2004. He is currently a news analyst for CBS News and a terrorism analyst for the Jamestown Foundation’s online publication Global Terrorism Analysis.[1] He also makes radio and television appearances and teaches a graduate-level course on Al-Qaeda at Georgetown University. He also participates in conferences on terrorism and national security issues, such as the New America Foundation’s December 2004 conference, “Al Qaeda 2.0: Transnational Terrorism After 9/11.” [2]

Scheuer is now known to be the anonymous author of both Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror and the earlier anonymous work, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America.[3]

Osama bin Laden stated in his September 7, 2007 message:

His next book, planned for publication in 2008, is Marching Towards Hell: America and Islam After Iraq.

Not much is known about his personal history, though Scheuer was an analyst at the CIA and not a covert field operations officer. During a recent C-SPAN interview, he mentioned that he is a graduate of Canisius College. He also received a Ph.D. in British Empire-U.S.-Canada-U.K. relations from the University of Manitoba.[4]

In the 9/11 Commission Report, Scheuer is featured in Chapter 4, where his name is given only as “Mike”. He is portrayed as being occasionally frustrated with his superiors’ failure to aggressively target bin Laden.

One of the theses of his most recent book, Imperial Hubris, a New York Times bestseller, was that from bin Laden’s perspective, the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 and will continue to be attacked because of a number of grievances against the U.S. and other western countries. These grievances include: U.S. support of Israel and its indifference to the Palestinians, presence of U.S. and western troops on the Arabian Peninsula, occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and its allies, the U.S. support of countries that oppress Muslims (such as Russia, India and China), U.S. political pressure on Arab states to keep oil prices low and U.S. support for tyrannical governments.

Scheuer describes his thesis this way: “Imperial Hubris is overwhelmingly focused on how the last several American presidents have been very ill-served by the senior leaders of the Intelligence Community. Indeed, I resigned from an Agency I love in order to publicly damn the feckless 9/11 Commission, which failed to find any personal failure or negligence among Intelligence Community leaders even though dozens of serving officers provided the commissioners with clear documentary evidence of that failure.” [6]

In a videotape released around September 7, 2007 apparently by Osama bin Laden, he personally recommended that anyone who wants to understand why the United States is losing the war against him should read Imperial Hubris.

His first book, published under the pseudonym “Anonymous”, is an analysis of the public discourse available on al Qaeda’s ideology and strategy. In it, Scheuer explores the bin Laden phenomenon and its implications for U.S. security. He began the book in 1999 as an unclassified manual for counterterrorism officers. Due to the secrecy agreement he signed as an employee of the CIA, the book is based solely on unclassified intelligence or material available from open sources such as media reports. His main thesis in the work is that the view of bin Laden as a lunatic is a form of “myopia” that limits Western military thinkers’ ability to respond to the bin Laden phenomenon. He writes that “the West’s road to hell lies in approaching the bin Laden problem with the presumption that only the lunatic fringe could oppose what the United States is trying to accomplish through its foreign policy toward the Muslim world. Bin Laden’s philosophy is slowly harnessing the two most powerful motivating forces in contemporary international affairs: religion and nationalism.” (p. 27).

Scheuer describes his thesis: “[T]he crux of my argument is simply that America is in a war with militant Islamists that it cannot avoid; one that it cannot talk or appease its way out of; one in which our irreconcilable Islamist foes will have to be killed, an act which unavoidably will lead to innocent deaths; and one that is motivated in large measure by the impact of U.S. foreign policies in the Islamic world, one of which is unqualified U.S. support for Israel.” [7] The book also documents a number of areas in which Scheuer believed Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein cooperated. [8]

Scheuer participated in the following exchange on the FOX News program The O’Reilly Factor:

From The O’Reilly Factor, 19 January 2006[10]

Michael Scheuer entered into the controversy surrounding the Mearsheimer and Walt paper on the “Israel Lobby”. He said to NPR that Mearsheimer and Walt are basically right. Israel, according to Scheuer, has engaged in one of the most successful campaigns to influence public opinion in the United States ever conducted by a foreign government. Scheuer said to NPR that “They [Mearsheimer and Walt] should be credited for the courage they have had to actually present a paper on the subject. I hope they move on and do the Saudi lobby, which is probably more dangerous to the United States than the Israeli lobby.”[5]

In February, 2005, Scheuer gave an interview in which he discussed, among other things, Israeli lobbying in the United States.[6] In the interview, the following exchange took place:

In the Republican Presidential Debate on May 15, 2007, presidential candidate Ron Paul stated that American foreign policy was a “contributing factor” in anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Rudy Giuliani denounced this as “absurd” and that he’d never heard such a thing before. In an interview on May 18, Michael Scheuer defended Paul, stating: “I thought Mr. Paul captured it the other night exactly correctly. This war is dangerous to America because it’s based, not on gender equality, as Mr. Giuliani suggested, or any other kind of freedom, but simply because of what we do in the Islamic World because “we’re over there,” basically, as Mr. Paul said in the debate.”[9]

On May 24, 2007, Ron Paul and Scheuer held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. about the causes that led up to 9/11, American foreign policy and its implications on terrorism, security and Iraq.[10] Paul and Scheuer argued that Rudy Giuliani is wrong on security and foreign policy and provided documentation about the unintended consequences of interventionism – known to many in the intelligence world as blowback – and assigned Giuliani a reading list of foreign policy books, including Dying to Win, Blowback, Imperial Hubris and the 9/11 Commission Report.[11]

On Larry King Live, September 7, 2007, Scheuer alluded to the Fox News Republican Debate of Sept 5, 2007, where a Fox News moderator accused Ron Paul of taking “marching orders” from Al Qaeda. Scheuer said, “The truth of the matter is that it is all of the Democrats and the Republicans, except perhaps for Mr. Paul and Mr. Kucinich, who are marching to Osama Bin Laden’s drum.” Larry King Live

Thomas Joscelyn of Weekly Standard wrote a highly critical piece on Scheuer and an interview Scheuer did on Chris Matthews Hardball. [11] Joscelyn wrote:

Scheuer wrote about the relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in his 2002 book (see above, 2002). Yet when interviewed in 2004 he stated that he had found no evidence of a Saddam/al-Qaeda connection. Tim Russert asked Scheuer to explain the seeming contradiction on Meet the Press (30 November 2004):

Scheuer explains more fully in the revised edition of his 2002 book the exhaustive study of the evidence of Iraq-al-Qaeda cooperation that eventually led him to the conclusion that there was no relationship between the two forces:

In a Washington Post editorial on Sunday, April 29, 2007 (Page B01) entitled “NOW HE TELLS US – Tenet Tries to Shift the Blame. Don’t Buy It.”, Scheuer strongly criticized George Tenet’s behavior before and after both 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Scheuer also points out untruths in the way Tenet recounted his role in those situations.

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Michael Scheuer – Wikispooks

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February 9, 2017   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Interviews – Michael Scheuer | The Torture Question …

Scheuer was a CIA agent who worked on national security issues related to Islamic extremism from 1985 until his retirement in 2004. He formed the CIA unit responsible for trying to capture Osama bin Laden and headed it from December 1995 to June 1999. Scheuer was also involved in setting up the CIA’s rendition program in which terrorist suspects are taken to a third country for interrogation. Critics argue that rendition is “outsourcing torture,” but Scheuer defends the program. He says the primary point was to get terrorist suspects who were planning an imminent attack on U.S. interests off the streets and to incarcerate them in a country willing to accept them. Those countries had to provide the U.S. with a guarantee that the suspects would be treated lawfully. “I worked in covert action for 20 years, and there was no covert action program I was involved in that was ever more scrutinized by lawyers,” he says. Here, Scheuer also describes the CIA’s perspective in its turf battles with the FBI over what to do with captured terrorist suspect Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi. “I think you have to decide what’s in the best interest of America,” he says. ” Why bother putting him through the court system in the United States when you might be able to save American lives by using him in another manner?” This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on July 21, 2005.

Did we know a lot about [Osama bin Laden] and [Al Qaeda] in the summer of 2001?

There was never a terrorist group which we knew more about in terms of goals, organization, method of operation, personnel than Al Qaeda. And that was not only true in 2001, but by the summer of 1998, we had accumulated an extraordinary array of information about this group and about its intentions.

And how much of what we gathered came from interrogation?

None, basically. Let me speak firsthand, what I know. Until June of 1999, the information we had gathered was either from assets that were run, penetrations that were run by the Central Intelligence Agency, signals intelligence and intelligence, which is always very important, from people who walk into you at various places around the world and deliver something. They always want something. They want protection; they want money; they want relocation.

And they say in the intelligence business the worst thing is a walk-in and the best thing is a walk-in. And fortunately we had several walk-ins who were stellar and helped to fill in many gaps. So those were the three things that we got the best information from.

So somebody like [Jamal] al-Fadl?

Yes.

I guess the FBI was basically living with him and extracting information from him.

Well, initially Jamal al-Fadl was agency operation, and he gave us information that was startling, not only because of its detail, but because it began to flesh out the information we had already gathered on Osama bin Laden. And so he was as tremendous. We were very lucky. Sometimes you have to work hard, and you get lucky, and Jamal al-Fadl was a stroke of luck for us.

And then shortly thereafter, within four or five months, a friendly intelligence service elsewhere in the Middle East had a similar person who they said was driving them crazy because he was giving them a lot of information that they couldn’t understand, and they asked us to take a look at it. And it corroborated basically what Jamal al-Fadl said. And both packages corroborated most of what we had collected before those two people appeared.

Again, by 1998 there was no question that Al Qaeda was a group unlike any other we had ever seen.

So when we get down into this territory of actionable intelligence, strategic versus tactical, help me understand the agency’s perspective and the FBI’s perspective.

Well, the FBI was in a tough position, because the FBI, when it goes overseas, has to obey the laws of the countries they’re in, whether they’re in France or Ghana or Malaysia. The agency is obligated only to obey the laws of the United States. We’re statutorily empowered to break any other law in the world in the defense of American interests and citizens.

So our view of how things are done is necessarily different and statutorily different than the FBI does. The FBI always likes to build a case and arrest somebody and put them in jail in the United States. Well, it doesn’t work that way overseas. And so the FBI was always in a position where they would like to arrest someone, but another police force, especially in the Third World, doesn’t allow the FBI to come into the country and run the show. And you know from the way American law works, when someone is arrested, the FBI officer involved has to be able to testify in court that he was there when it happened, and the man was not abused; the man was not roughed up; the man was not deprived or tortured or anything like that. So it very seldom happens that that can be done in a Third World country.

In addition, some of the most important information we get from people who are captured comes in either hardcopy documents or documents on a laptop or a Palm Pilot or a floppy disk or a CD-ROM. Again, for American courts, the FBI officer has to swear that he was there when that information was picked up, and he had, if you will, rode herd on it over the whole process. It was never tampered with; it was never changed; it was never added to or subtracted from.

Both of those almost always are a non-starter in the Third World. The Kuwaiti police or the Kuwaiti intelligence service are not going to let the FBI knock the door in and go in and make sure the chain of custody is correct. So because that’s so impossible overseas, the FBI M.O. is seldom, I would say, applicable. And that devolves the issue to the Intelligence Service: How do you take care of these people? How do you get these people off the street?

And then we move into an area where the CIA is the lead agency. And you have to, a lot of times, improvise ways of trying to find people you can put away.

Describe for me, if you will, the political environment and the way that it felt different, if it did to you, post-9/11.

There was a tremendous amount of rhetoric about — I remember the [CIA’s] chief of [counterterrorism], Cofer Black, saying he wanted bin Laden’s head brought to him on ice, or we want flies on their eyes. There’s a lot of that kind of warrior rhetoric that came out. But at the end of the day, the U.S. intelligence community is palsied by lawyers, and everything still depends on whether the lawyers approve it or not.

So there was some broadening of the target set in terms of people who could be captured. But generally speaking, the rendition program, which I presume is what you’re talking about, remained the same as it was since it was devised in 1995.

It isn’t only what I’m talking about. I’ve read and talked to the lawyers of the Department of Justice, the lawyers at the White House, the lawyers at the Defense Department, the JAGs [judge advocates general] — everybody — about this notion of a new legal paradigm, a much broader war powers [resolution] for the president of the United States; a broader definition of torture, for example; a much more aggressive view of what to do, whether to follow Geneva or not, all of those kinds of broader issues. Did you feel that shift in any way?

There was a small broadening in what you could do in terms of trying to get someone to talk, but none of them ever approached what anyone would describe as torture. Sleep deprivation and that sort of thing was broadened, but in terms of what you see in Hollywood, of thumbscrews and the Chinese water torture and that kind of thing, it just didn’t happen.

And I think a big part of the reason it didn’t happen is the agency has long held that torture gets you virtually nothing. People tell you what you want to hear, or they tell you information that’s accurate but very dated, and ultimately ties you in knots and doesn’t move the process ahead anywhere.

Is that the view inside the agency [about] interrogation?

I think so. Yes, we were eager to talk to these people, clearly. But yesterday and today, there’s kind of three tiers of importance. The most important thing in ’95 and as we talk in July of 2005 is to get these people off the street. That’s the single most important thing, the idea, of course, being to protect America and Americans.

The second most important is to grab, when they’re arrested, whatever paper, hardcopy documents or electronic media they have with them, because in that media is going to be information they never expected the Central Intelligence Agency to be reading.

The third thing is to talk to them. But anything we get in the third level is gravy, for several reasons. First of all, Al Qaeda has trained their fighters that they have only two end points. One is to be a martyr on the battlefield and die, and he’ll go to heaven. The other one is to be a martyr in the prison of the United States or one of its allies, and God will be just as happy with that. So they’re ready to die. The jihad doesn’t stop because they’re in jail.

The second thing is we’re very confident, through captured documents and manuals, that these people are trained to dissemble under interrogation or, as we mentioned earlier, to tell you a lot of very true and accurate information, but stuff that’s dated and won’t advance the cause.

And the third thing is [people] too often forget that most of these people grew up in police states. They’re used to being roughed up by the police with no concern at all for human rights or physical security, and so they’re very tough individuals. And there’s nothing that we’re going to do that’s going to approach what the Saudis would do, for example, to a prisoner.

So on that basis, the talking to them is probably the least important of the goals.

So now let’s take the moment where we’ve decided to go to Afghanistan. I’ve heard stories of CIA guys walking around cherry-picking high-value terrorists I guess, HVTs, and saying: “These are our guys. We need to talk to them. We recognize them. We’ve heard about them.” Give me the CIA’s rules of the road at that moment, in just the fog of the early war in Afghanistan.

As I saw it, the goal remained the same: We wanted to pay attention to the most senior people we could find, because the goal was to find people within circles that might have knowledge of forthcoming attacks on the United States and/or information leading to the location of [Ayman] al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, take your pick. And so we were, I think, focused on that, finding those levels of people.

For the rest of the people, they turned the game over to the amateurs. The people who went to Gitmo, as far as I understand, were the people who were captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan. The military and the FBI took people to various places and tried to debrief them as if everybody on the battlefield in Afghanistan would have knowledge of the next 9/11 attack, whereas most of the people that were picked up in Afghanistan were insurgent fighters, guys who might be able to tell you about the organization of Al Qaeda’s insurgent arm, what kind of weapons they were trained on. But none of them, virtually none of them, had any knowledge whatsoever useful to either a) preventing an attack on America, or b) locating al-Zawahiri and bin Laden.

And you knew that going in.

Well, we did know it going in, but it’s been a very hard sell in the United States government to say: “Listen, Al Qaeda is not a traditional terrorist group. Seventy-five percent of Al Qaeda does insurgency. The people you’re going to pick up on the ground in Afghanistan fighting American forces in the Northern Alliance are not the guys that have anything to do with the East Africa bombings, the [USS] Cole or 9/11. And so don’t waste your time. Put them in a prison camp, but they’re not going to help you stop the next 9/11.” But that’s a really hard sell in Washington, because bureaucratically Al Qaeda has to fit in the terrorist category because that’s the category that’s available. There’s no other one.

So it’s a very difficult thing for an intelligence officer to convince his masters that they really need to think in new ways bureaucratically.

Now, there’s a story that gets told about Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, [who] apparently ran a training camp for Al Qaeda. [He] gets swept up in the war. The FBI has him, and a couple of other guys are debriefing him and getting what they can and making a case about it. And the way the story goes, there’s some Washington wrangling, and he is [taken by the CIA to another country for interrogation]. Tell me what you know [about] that story.

Yeah, well, that could be true, but I don’t know for sure one way or another. But the real point to make is that once we have him, who cares about a case? What you want from that individual is to try to get information that will lead you to another success either on the battlefield or in some other way. And debriefing someone in order to build a case is a very constricting exercise, because you want to know information, but you only want to know information that makes your case work. And once you have that, in my experience, the FBI won’t let you talk to anyone.

So I think you have to decide what’s in the best interest of America. Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi was in the senior echelon of Al Qaeda’s leaders. He was under arrest; he was not going anywhere. Why bother putting him through the court system in the United States when you might be able to save American lives by using him in another manner? If there is a contest between the FBI and the CIA, it’s primarily over that kind of issue, that what are you after here, just another scalp, just another guy in the maximum-security prison in Denver or Colorado or wherever it is, or are you trying to unravel this enemy? And so there’s always a conflict there.

So did they take Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi? I have to tell you, I don’t know. I hope they did, because I think he’d be much more valuable in CIA hands than in FBI hands.

So now let’s talk a little bit about rendition, understanding that it starts in ’95, continues on through 2001. Is it any different after Sept. 11 as a program, as an idea, as an anything, than it was in 1995?

I think it is, and I think we spoke earlier about it. The ability to interrogate people using U.S. officers, using intelligence officers is new, because primarily in the past, we had been the broker between the entity that arrested an individual and the entity that was going to take him and try him. Physical contact, even conversational — it almost never occurred. And I think what that reflects is the lack of importance we attached to interrogation at that point. We wanted him off the street, and we wanted his documents.

If something came from the interrogation by another country, we’re happy to have it, but we didn’t expect much from it.

Does interrogation become more important after 9/11?

Well, sure. I don’t know if it becomes more important, but it becomes more of the responsibility of the agency. The politicians want the interrogation to be done by U.S. intelligence officers instead of by a Middle Eastern service or a European service, or whoever is going to incarcerate the person. And so it changes in that manner. I’m not sure if it’s a change for the better or not, but it was a change mandated from above.

And the political pressure to get more actionable information — we need it, we need it, we’ve got to have it.

Yeah. There’s certainly that push after 9/11 — understandably so. And there’s certainly within the agency a desire to do all we could to further the defense of America.

We haven’t done this yet, but define what rendition meant post-9/11.

I think it means the same thing as it did before 9/11. [Rendition] is to identify individuals whom we knew were either ready to participate in an attack on the United States or was involved in planning an attack. The emphasis again, from ’95 to ’05, is to get that person off the street.

The second emphasis, again, [that] is extraordinarily important is hardcopy documents and electronic documents. The importance of interrogation, of interviewing, interrogation, questioning, rises after 9/11 because policy-makers at the NSC [National Security Council], at the White House, around the community begin to insist that U.S. intelligence officers do the interrogation rather than letting third countries do it.

Why?

There’s a natural tendency to want your own people to do things. You sometimes think they do them better; they’re smarter. There’s an element of condescension in it, the assumption that an American can do anything better than an Egyptian or a Pakistani. And also a great thirst to have information that we could smack Al Qaeda and the Taliban with. So there are a combination of things resulting in more U.S. intelligence officers being directly involved in the interrogation.

So the common understanding — that is, the kind of general sense of rendition — is guys are somehow grabbed, cherry-picked off the Bagram Air Force Base warehouse and ghosted, put on an airplane, a Gulfstream V, and sent into never-never land forever, never to be heard from again. How close is that to reality?

I don’t think it’s all that close to reality. I think the numbers are small. The question, of course, of whether they’re held forever and ever after 9/11 is not an issue that has anything to do with the Central Intelligence Agency; it has to do with the people we work for. CIA, after all, is a service organization. The direction was find, apprehend and hold senior members of Al Qaeda and try to find out what they know about coming attacks against the United States.

Salute, do your job, but at the end of the day, the problem remains: What does the United States government want to do with these people? And if there’s a problem — and there is, if you read the media — the problem is not with the agency; the problem is with the politicians who have decided that that’s the program they want to execute.

So I think there’s many people in the agency that are concerned with just this question. When we set up the program, we said: “Listen, we’re not jailers. We don’t have arrest authority. Where do you want these people taken?” The NSC at that time said, “Well, over to you.” And we said: “No, you don’t get it. We don’t do these things.” And they said, “Over to you.” And so we had to design a program that would accommodate the inability to bring these people to the United States.

Why couldn’t they come to the United States?

Primarily because the way they were taken was not consonant with legal processes in the United States. And the National Security Council apparently decided that they didn’t want to go through the trouble of working with the Congress to find ways to bring them to the United States as prisoners of war, as enemy combatants, whatever.

And so the agency was left with a situation where we had direction to take these people off the street and break up Al Qaeda cells, but we also had to find places where they could be arrested and then places where they could be taken for incarceration. So it was a very difficult process, but we did it admirably. The American people today, though it’s hard to believe, are very much safer because the agency has been involved in this practice for the past 10 years.

So help me practically understand what it means to take people off the streets, put them somewhere.

Once we had the assignment from Mr. [Samuel] Berger and Mr. [Richard] Clarke and the president in ’95, we had to address ourselves to what is the universe of Al Qaeda people? Senior operators that we know through intelligence are either engaged in preparing an attack against the United States or will participate in an attack when it comes.

So the first thing you do is identify that set, that universe. Then, because we could not bring those people to the United States, we had to meet several requirements. First, we had to identify a person who was worth incarcerating. Second, that person had to be in a country that was willing to help us arrest him. Third, that person had to be wanted in a third country in a legal process. Either a warrant had to be issued for him, or he had been tried in absentia.

… For example, if we found an Al Qaeda member of X nationality in country Y, we would first have to persuade country Y to arrest him and then persuade country X to accept him from country Y. And really, the agency’s role was a brokering role, trying to mediate between those two. And that’s what renditions were about. And that’s how they were done. It wasn’t just reaching out and grabbing someone. Lord knows there are hundreds of Al Qaeda people we would have liked to take off the street, but we couldn’t do it because we couldn’t make them fit into the mold of acceptable operations.

And post-9/11, is there anything different about that program?

There is, because now the U.S. government is willing to hold these people at its various incarceration sites around the world. You can pick them up. If you identify them, you still have to build a case that satisfies the lawyers. The lawyers are involved in every step of this process. I worked in covert action for 20 years, and there was no covert action program I was involved in that was ever more scrutinized by lawyers, not only at the agency, but at DOJ — Department of Justice — and NSC. You still have to build a legal case against them. Prove that they’re bad guys, and then you can pick them up.

But still we’re in this position where kind of the horse is out of the barn. These guys now are very much aware that every aspect of the American government is chasing them, so they’re much harder to find, identify and pick up than they were before 9/11. So although we have rules of engagement that are a little bit broader, the target is tougher because it’s more cognizant of the need to hide.

And I think the perception is that once you get one of these high-value terrorists — and because you’re the CIA you know they are high-value terrorists in a lot of cases — they will be treated to much harsher, more draconian, more whatever methods.

I think that certainly is the perception, and I think the manner in which they are treated probably is different from the way someone is treated if he’s arrested for stealing in a store here in the United States. But again, I don’t really have a quarrel with people being upset with that process. What I have a quarrel with is that the agency really has nothing to do with that. That’s been decided, approved and blessed by numerous lawyers in the United States government. And at the end of the day, I think agency officers would prefer to see these people treated as prisoners of war, because the results of interrogation are not monumentally important. We come back to the primary things, getting them off the street and getting their documents.

The one thing that is worthwhile, strangely enough, is to engage these people in discussions with no physical attributes at all. Al Qaeda is generally a middle-class and an upper-middle-class organization, men from good families, men who have had education, at least high school, many BAs and many with graduate degrees. And they are extraordinarily proud of the work they’re doing. And they’re also very cognizant of being a part of Islamic history and resisting the infidel.

And probably some of the best intelligence we have gotten from these men is by having officers who know a lot about what they’re up to and how it fits into the course of Islamic history. In just discussing with them the context in which they have lived and worked, you gain a very significant amount of information and insight into their motivation, into their mind-set, into their dedication, into their patience and perseverance. And I think maybe that’s probably the most important part of talking to these people.

… It probably is really hard, even in the post-9/11 period, to find places to put them.

I think that’s fair enough. And also you’re faced with shooting yourself in the foot, because the information you get from them is probably worth having, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the pain you get from the rest of the world. If they were treated as we treated Japanese prisoners of war, German prisoners of war, let the Red Cross come in and see them in their little stockades, I think we’d be better off. I think the American people would then realize what a tremendous boon to their interests the rendition program has been.

One of the great problems, of course, in detaining people like this is how long you detain them.

That’s exactly right. The agency kind of has made that point repeatedly along the course of events, because incarceration basically makes them harder. Guantanamo from the very beginning has been training the toughest, most dedicated and probably the most healthy battalion of mujahideen that there ever existed, because those people are going to go back to their societies, and they’re going to be heroes. They got captured by the Americans, they withstood the interrogation and the imprisonment, and now they’re back, and they’re going to go back to fighting.

We’ve seen, I think, about a dozen cases of Afghans and Pakistanis who were released from Guantanamo who have turned up fighting the Americans on the battlefield again.

You mean because they’ve been radicalized —

No. Simply because they have no perception that they’re doing anything wrong. One of the great mistakes Americans make is that somehow these people are going to be contrite when we capture them. And the FBI is constantly surprised by — they offer an Islamic militant deal if he’ll rat out someone, and the guy says to him: “What? I’m proud of this. I want my parents to know that I helped to blow up the East African embassies or helped to almost destroy the Cole.” So it’s a whole different mind-set. …

[It’s been reported that al-Libi] and others have been taken to Egypt, taken to Morocco, taken to Jordan. Do we know that that’s actually happened, that the agency has taken people into those places?

I’ve explained to you, no one can be moved to a third country unless that country has an outstanding legal process for them. In the media it’s often portrayed that if an Al Qaeda person is captured, the agency wants to take him to the place where he’ll be tortured the most. And that’s a crock. Because of what the lawyers and the U.S. government have decided, people can be picked up if they’re wanted somewhere in the world.

And it happens that Al Qaeda, being a Muslim organization, is made up mostly of people from Muslim countries. And so if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to deal with Saudis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians, Algerians, Moroccans, Egyptians. There’s not many people in the government of Ireland that are going to want a lot of Egyptian terrorists coming to Dublin for incarceration. It doesn’t work that way.

Are you saying definitively as you know that the agency is not taking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other guys to countries we know do bad stuff because we statutorily or culturally can’t do it, and we’re letting other countries do it, and we’re turning a blind eye toward that?

No, I’m not saying that at all. And I can only speak for the period that I was in charge. We took people to the countries of their origin in the Middle East if those countries had a legal process outstanding for them and were willing to take them. Now, in every case, the lawyers at the CIA, the NSC and the DOJ insisted that we get a guarantee from the government who was accepting the person that that person would be treated according to the laws of that country, not to the laws of the United States, but to the laws of take your pick — Morocco, Egypt, Jordan.

So yes, people were taken to those countries. But again, that’s the way the system was set up. That’s the way the legal system in our government wanted it run. …

I talked to somebody [who] said a lot of times, high-ranking guys know that the Egyptians are very sophisticated about a certain kind of torture, that there is torture in Morocco or Jordan. So an environment can be created almost anywhere, in Pakistan, that feels like Egypt — the picture on the wall, the music out the window. Can you imagine such a thing?

Yeah, I can imagine all kinds of things. But I have to tell you that in my experience working with Middle Eastern services, whether they’re Egyptians or Moroccans, and in for a long time, for almost 20 years, torture is never the first option. The first option is relentless questioning, re-questioning, questioning again and checking what was said.

I’m not going to be a fool and tell you that there’s no physical part involved in this, but the Egyptians and the Jordanians are not thugs; they’re professional intelligence officers with a different set of rules of engagement than we have. But the idea that they get any useful information from torturing people is probably greatly exaggerated.

I worked with a particular Middle Eastern country for the better part of 15 years, and the people who were working the issue at the start were working it at the end. The people who were working it on the U.S. side who were working with the end are sitting across from you at the moment.

The value that other services put on expertise is astounding. America has no use for expertise. We are all supposed to be generalists. It’s generally a career killer if you choose to be an expert.

So it’s very easy to assume that it’s bamboo under the fingertips and electronic juice applied to various parts of your body. But it’s much more sophisticated than that. The people who do the questioning are knowledgeable to the point that they are the peer of the person that they have in custody.

[How effective is the military at gathering intelligence?]

I think to make the point, the military was given a job that was not really their job. And part of the emphasis on this need for actionable intelligence comes from a bipartisan imperative among American leaders not to use their military to its full power, not to kill a lot of people or suffer any casualties. So instead, we’ve reduced the intelligence process to try to find the silver bullet, the one piece of intelligence from one of these captives that will allow us to kill bin Laden and make all of this bad stuff go away. It’s an endeavor not only to gather information, but [to] prevent us from looking bad if you believe that using our military ruthlessly is a bad thing.

And so we talk to the gomers that come out of Afghanistan who are insurgent fighters as if they were Khalid Sheikh Mohammed potentially. And to turn that over to the military, which you said was a blunt instrument, results in things like Abu Ghraib or some of the things that happened in Guantanamo.

I personally don’t think that any of those things are irredeemable evil. They’re stupid. They’re not going to result in any intelligence. And they certainly degraded the prisoners. But it all goes back to a mind-set that there is a piece of information out there that’s going to make this nightmare stop, and we can wake up and go ahead with morning in America. And it’s not going to happen. But politicians are not convinced of that yet.

You’re a man who lived and breathed information, sifting it, understanding it, trying to get it. Do you think Gitmo is the environment to get any information?

Well, if you’re looking for the right information, Gitmo in a sense was an opportunity that’s been lost. We put together in Gitmo for the first time … people who knew about Al Qaeda’s insurgent organization. What those people should have been was a laboratory for us to find out about how insurgents are trained, what weapons they’re trained to use. Are they trained in celestial navigation? What kind of combat medicine? To assemble almost an order of battle, information packet, so the military will know when they go on the field to fight insurgents how the enemy is organized.

Instead we spent the entire time to today looking for the guy who is the cousin of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who knows what’s going after 9/11. So I think it’s a mistake. It’s a mistake because of the questions we didn’t ask. We had a good audience for information, a good mass of people to gather information we needed, but not about the next 9/11, about the men we’re fighting now on the ground in Afghanistan and in Iraq, for example, the insurgents.

So when Secretary of Defense [Donald] Rumsfeld called them “the worst of the worst,” what does that mean to you?

It means what it always means: He doesn’t have a clue about what he’s fighting or why he’s fighting it. They continue to believe that they think that we’re being fought because we love freedom and liberty, instead of what we do in the Islamic world. And they’re going to go to their graves, and maybe taking the nation with them, believing that nonsense.

Are they an enemy that needs to be defeated? Absolutely. But, like any other enemy, you’d better understand them, or they’re going to whip you. And we’re getting whipped.

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Interviews – Michael Scheuer | The Torture Question …

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Michael Scheuer | ePluribus Media

Michael Scheuer Calls For Osama to Attack: Glenn Beck and Fox News Air It

Three days before the Fourth of July — a holiday celebrating our nation’s Independence Day — and the reich-wing has stepped up the drumbeat toward insurrection, treason and sedition. Hat-tip to MinistryOfTruth of DailyKos

Every Republican member of Congress should be immediately called upon to voice their opinion on this outrage, on the record and in public.

Every right-wing pundit and “strategist” — particularly those like Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh — should have to weigh in, publicly and on the record.

This is the ultimate incitement of domestic and foreign actions by active enemies during a time of war: it is treasonous, it is seditious, it is wrong on so many levels. In light of all the troops who have fought in our name and to protect our nation “over there” so that we could never again be attacked over here, this unrejected statement made by Schaeur on Fox News is the ultimate slap in their faces.

It is the ultimate in dishonor.

It is the ultimate un-American sentiment.

It is beyond fathomable.

Check out the diary by Ministry of Truth for action items, and get involved now — before another Timothy McVeigh, James W. Von Brunn, Eric Robert Rudolph, Dan White, James Earl Ray, Lee Harvey Oswald or Scott Roeder.

Let’s put the words of Mike Malloy to the test: do Republicans really want our nation to fail? Do Republicans really want us to bear the brunt of another 9-11 or Oklahoma City bombing?

They’re worse than useless. These are terrorists. These are domestic terrorists. They want the country to fail, for Gods sake. They want exactly what anyone who attacked this country on September 11, 2001 wanted. The real internal terrorists are the Republicans, I mean, isn’t that clear?

Those are the words attributed to Mr. Malloy; they ring too true, now. Let’s put the Republicans in Congress to the real test, and see if they live up to their hype, or to their actions. And in the meantime, let’s ask the FCC and Secret Service to pay Fox and friends a little visit.

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Michael Scheuer – amazon.com

“[Scheuer]’s examination of al Qaeda is a bracing corrective to much that has passed as analysis about the group.” – CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the Washington Post “A masterful job at… interpreting what bin Laden is trying to tell America but that has fallen on deaf ears.” – Studies in Conflict and Terrorism “Among the ‘war on terrorism cognoscenti’ in and around Washington, D.C., mere word-of-mouth established [Through Our Enemies Eyes] as required reading for anyone seeking to understand bin Laden, the movement that he cofounded and led, and the profound threat that it posed (and continues to pose) to the United States and to international peace. Accordingly, the book’s reputation spread as a thoroughly reliable, trenchant, and commendably clear exegesis of al Qaeda’s ideology, goals, and alarming ambitions…. The key to success in warfare, the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu wrote, is to ‘know your enemy and you will know yourself.’ In Through Our Enemies Eyes, Scheuer answers the first part of that irrefutable formulation.” – From the foreword by Bruce Hoffman, senior fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, and author of Inside Terrorism “[Scheuer’s] examination of al Qaeda is a bracing corrective to much that has passed as analysis about the group.” – CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the Washington Post “A highly informative analysis.” – The Washington Times “A masterful job at… interpreting what bin Laden is trying to tell America but that has fallen on deaf ears.” – Studies in Conflict and Terrorism “A sobering portrait of Osama bin Laden.” – The Christian Science Monitor “This is a book that all professional soldiers should read since it represents, in significant detail, the views and motivation of one of our primary adversaries, while clearly defining the severity of the ongoing threat.” – Armor”

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Michael Scheuer – amazon.com

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"Bin Laden should have been dead long ago": Mehdi Hasan on …

In September 2007, in the run-up to the sixth anniversary of the 11 September attacks, Osama Bin Laden released a video message. Addressing the “people of America”, the al-Qaeda leader denounced US foreign policy, from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the invasion of Iraq. He also had a piece of advice for ordinary Americans. “If you want to understand what’s going on, and if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing the war against us,” he said, “then read the book of Michael Scheuer.”

It may have seemed an odd choice, given Scheuer’s past role as head of and chief adviser to the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station, a unit dedicated to tracking the al-Qaeda leader between 1996 and 2005. Scheuer wrote two books on al-Qaeda while working for the CIA – Through Our Enemies’ Eyes (2002) and Imperial Hubris (2004) – both of which he was made to publish anonymously. He quit the agency in November 2004 so that he could speak more openly about Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and what he regards as the US government’s failure to understand the threat from Islamist terrorism, and has since published Marching Towards Hell (2008) and Osama Bin Laden (2011).

I meet Scheuer in London and ask him about being named by the terrorist leader in the 2007 video. “I got a call from the agency early in the morning,” he remembers. “Mike, we have a copy of a speech by Bin Laden that the NSA [National Security Agency] just translated,” the CIA official told him. “You’re mentioned in it – but it’s not a threat.”

As Scheuer discovered when he watched the video, it was an unexpected endorsement of his writing from his former prey. Paperback sales of Imperial Hubris skyrocketed – as did sales of books by Noam Chomsky, who was also cited as an authority in the al-Qaeda leader’s taped message. Four years on, Scheuer jokes about the connection. “It was bad enough that Bin Laden mentioned me, but to mention me in the same breath as Noam Chomsky . . .” He rolls his eyes.

Scheuer, 59, is a lifelong Republican voter. Scruffy, chubby and bearded, he is an avuncular figure, but one with elaborate good manners – he tends to address his interviewers as “sir”. Looking at him, you would find it difficult to believe he once led the CIA’s hunt for Bin Laden.

The terrorist leader was little known when the Bin Laden Issue Station was set up in 1996 with the aim of gathering intelligence on him and disrupting his growing finances and activities. Scheuer, who had worked as an analyst on the CIA’s Afghanistan project between 1985 and 1992, was selected as the first head of the unit, and it was soon code-named “Alec Station” after Scheuer’s son. It was also, however, nicknamed “the Manson Family”, such was the relentlessness with which Scheuer and his team of 12 talked up the al-Qaeda threat.

So, what does Scheuer think motivated Bin Laden to namecheck him in that video? “He understood that I was trying to kill him, maybe, but he also understood that I took him seriously, I guess.” He pauses. “And he probably liked that.”

In his writings and his interviews, Scheuer reliably makes provocative statements about the late al-Qaeda leader. “If there’s such a thing as a Muslim educated by Jesuits, it would’ve been Bin Laden,” he tells me. “Because I was educated by Jesuits . . . [Like them] he matched words and deeds very well. And that’s what worried me more than anything. It wasn’t the rhetoric itself – but he said he was going to do X and he did X. He said he was going to incrementally increase the pain and he did incrementally increase the pain.”

Does he see something of himself in Bin Laden – his own “Jesuit” temperament? Surprisingly, Scheuer nods. “Yeah, I do . . . as someone who’s educated [to think] . . . that it’s not enough to talk your religious or moral beliefs, you have to act on them. And that’s exactly what I saw in him as a danger.”

What did Scheuer make of the video that showed Bin Laden watching himself on television, which emerged from his compound in Pakistan after he was killed by US navy Seals in May? “It was perfectly in character,” Scheuer says. “We knew he was obsessed with the idea that Arab leaders have to be very well-spoken, and that he spent an enormous amount of time having his texts checked for grammar. And so when I saw him I thought, well, he’s checking how he looks, he’s checking how he portrays himself, in order to improve [his image]. That was my impression based on what I knew about him – but maybe he was just an egomaniac.” Then he shakes his head. “I don’t think so.”

Given the way he talks about Bin Laden, I can’t help but ask Scheuer if he admired him. He shrugs. “How can you not have an admiration for a man who kept the greatest power the world has ever seen on tenterhooks for 15 years?” He adds a caveat. “Admiration doesn’t connote empathy or sympathy or support. What it means is what the British used to call a ‘worthy enemy’. Whether it’s a guy like [Field Marshal Erwin] Rommel or, in the United States, a guy like General Robert E Lee, who came closest to destroying the Union. He was a traitor, but someone you had to respect and understand before you could defeat him. Just because a guy is your enemy doesn’t mean he’s a dummy; it doesn’t mean he’s pathological. And who does it hurt if you have an enemy and you say, ‘Well he’s a madman, I don’t have to listen to him’? You hurt yourself.”

For Scheuer, Bin Laden was not crazy; he was a rational, ruthless and talented leader, a “modern Saladin”. As he writes in his new biography: “[M]y view of Bin Laden is far out of the mainstream. I have long seen him as America’s greatest mortal enemy; I have never thought it enough . . . to curse him and condemn him simply because his views and faith are antithetical to our values.”

His critics have accused him of being obsessed with the al-Qaeda leader. The neoconservative academic Fouad Ajami, reviewing the biography in the New York Times in February, compared the author to Moby-Dick’s Captain Ahab. Does he miss OBL? “How can you miss somebody who wants to blow up your country? You don’t,” he says. Then he qualifies his response: “But I really did enjoy the challenge of understanding what he was up to.”

Was the news of Bin Laden’s death a big moment for him? “It was a big moment for America.” But what about him personally? Scheuer doesn’t take the bait. “Well, I’m an American. I think he was a danger to our country. He was never anything more to me than a threat that needed to be taken care of.”

What motivated him to write his first two books anonymously while still serving as a CIA analyst? “I wrote [them] because I didn’t think we were getting it. The message [of Bin Laden] was there – it was clear, it was available in English – and yet we still had presidents talking about, you know, ‘Here come the bombers because they don’t like primary elections in Iowa every four years.'”

Scheuer was frustrated by his government’s unwillingness not just to understand Bin Laden, but to kill him, too. In The 9/11 Commission Report, where he is named only as “Mike”, he is portrayed as being annoyed by the Clinton administration’s failure to target Bin Laden aggressively in the late 1990s. The fact is, he says now, “we had a chance to kill Bin Laden for five consecutive nights in the third week of May 1999; we knew each night where he was staying in Kandahar. They didn’t shoot at all.” Why not? Were his superiors worried about collateral damage? “Yeah, collateral damage,” he says sarcastically. “The shrapnel might hit a mosque.”

He couldn’t contain his rage at the lack of action. “So what I did was write a memorandum to the top 12 or 14 people in the agency. I said: ‘Listen: a) the intelligence is not going to get any better, and b) this is a guy we need to take seriously and if you don’t do anything not only are a lot of Americans going to die, but you’re going to have an ‘intelligence failure’ on your hands.” It was the end of his career in charge of Alec Station. “The agency’s a very small ‘d’ democratic place. You can argue, you can bitch, you can debate, but you cross the line if you put it on paper. And if you put it on paper and put it in an electronic system where it can’t be purged, they really get mad.”

On the morning of 11 September 2001, Scheuer was sitting in his office at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, having been reassigned as to the agency’s counter-narcotics programme. A friend called and told him to turn on the television. Scheuer switched it on to watch United Airlines Flight 175 fly into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Did he know instantly that Bin Laden was behind the attacks? “Instantly.” Scheuer says the mood among the rank and file at the CIA’s HQ on the day was one of anger. First, because “Bin Laden should have been dead long ago”; second, because it was clear from that moment that politicians and the media would blame the attacks on an “intelligence failure”.

Scheuer believes that weak, short-sighted and incompetent politicians should take their share of the blame – chief among them the former president Bill Clinton, his national security adviser Sandy Berger and his counterterrorism tsar Richard “Dick” Clarke. “Bill, Dick and Sandy helped to push Americans out of the windows of the World Trade Center on that September morning,” he wrote in 2006.

Does he regret making such an inflammatory statement? Can he really believe that? “They did,” he says in a low voice. Does he think Clinton was worse than George W Bush when it came to handling the threat from Bin Laden? “I think they were both terrible presidents.” Yet, in Bush’s defence, Scheuer says that between the end of the Clinton administration and 9/11, “we didn’t know where Osama was”. This, he suggests, makes Clinton more culpable.

But didn’t Bush exacerbate the terrorist threat by invading Iraq? “Oh, absolutely,” he says. “Iraq moved Osama and al-Qaeda from man and group to philosophy and movement.” And he hints, ominously: “I don’t think we’ve begun to see the disaster Iraq is going to cause in the years to come.”

Scheuer also blames the Bush administration for the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment. “The Islamophobia in the United States is directly attributable to the [Bush] White House, because of the endless lies about ‘Muslims hate us because we’re free, because there’s women in the workplace, because we drink beer’. And the American people say, ‘Well, if that’s true, we’ve got to be afraid of them.'”

In Marching Towards Hell, he excoriates the Democratic and Republican “bipartisan governing elite”, who are equally to blame, he believes, for the west’s failure to defeat al-Qaeda. He has little patience for the successors to Bush and Blair, Barack Obama and David Cameron: their advocacy of regime change in Syria and implementation of regime change in Libya, he says, make them “recruiting sergeants” for the next generation of terrorists.

Nonetheless, he is full of praise for Obama’s handling of Bin Laden’s killing. “There is no taking away from him for doing the right thing. We’ve become so used to the American president not doing the right things in terms of protecting his country that it’s a great change.”

Does he not think Bin Laden should have been tried in a court of law for his crimes? “It would have been hard to try him. If you tried him, he was going to be speaking to the Muslim world from a courtroom for two or three years.”

I ask him the $64,000 question – is US foreign policy to blame for the rise of al-Qaeda and its affiliates? His answer is cryptic: “I believe it is the chief means by which the United States can extricate itself.” Later he explains: “We have given birth to a movement – through the invasion of Iraq and through our inability to cope with the fact that so many people in the Muslim world, whether or not they’re willing to pick up a gun, regard us as malignant because of our policies.”

His critics say it is too simplistic to blame foreign policy for suicide terrorism against the US. Even if the US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and disengaged from the wider Middle East, wouldn’t there still be groups of Islamist terrorists bent on causing harm to the west? Scheuer concedes the point, but contends that it would then be “a manageable problem”. “I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to blow themselves up because my daughters go to university . . . People are going to come and bomb us because they don’t like what we’ve done.” Scheuer often singles out Israel for criticism, arguing that the US’s “unquestioning support” for the Jewish state’s dispossession of the Palestinians has helped radicalise young men across the Muslim world, boost al-Qaeda’s status and endanger US national security. He has received hate mail and death threats in response, and says: “The anger within the Jewish community in the US towards me is quite extraordinary.” He argues that he was sacked from a post at the Jamestown Foundation in 2009 for his anti-Israeli remarks.

Some have claimed – the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat included – that Bin Laden had little interest in the fate of the Palestinians, and that he cynically exploited the conflict after 9/11 to garner support from ordinary Muslims in his war against the west. “That’s a complete lie, sir,” Scheuer counters. “If you read the first thing [Bin Laden] wrote, there are probably nine or ten different references to Israel/Palestine . . . The idea that he was a Johnny-come-lately is completely made up.”

Scheuer has admirers on the left and the right. The former quote his views on the link between US foreign policy and the al-Qaeda threat; the latter point to his support for near-indiscriminate military action against terrorist groups, the use of “extraordinary rendition” and CIA special prisons, and his relaxed attitude towards “collateral damage”. “Killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes,” Scheuer insists in Imperial Hubris. “With killing must come a [General] Sherman-like razing of infrastructure.”

His argument seems to be that Washington has two options: either it changes its “failed policies” in the Muslim world or it embarks on a mass killing spree against suspected terrorists. He remains unapologetic about this. “America today is one big Israel,” he says. “All it has to defend itself is the intelligence services and the military, because our politicians will not address the issues that are at play.”

By the time Scheuer left the CIA in 2004, he had served in the agency for 22 years. How did his wife cope with being married to the CIA’s Bin Laden hunter? “She was always very supportive of what I did. But the toll it took from late 1995 until 2004 was that I missed nine years of my children growing up, from the ages of two and three.”

Was it worth it? “It was,” he says. “And it’s certainly not as bad as fathers who went to fight the Japanese or the Germans for four or five years. I wasn’t getting shot at.”

He never served as a field operative, instead devoting his intellect and energy to rigorous analysis of his enemies’ words and deeds – a task that he has continued in his “retired” life as an author and academic (he is now an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University, Washington).

Scheuer disagrees with former colleagues in intelligence circles who believe that al-Qaeda is in decline, marginalised by the Arab spring and Bin Laden’s death. “I think, potentially, they’re stronger than they were on 9/11,” he says. “On 9/11 they had [only] one main platform, which was Afghanistan.”

Whether or not you agree with everything he says, it is hard not to be impressed by his self-confidence and clarity of thinking. I ask him what he would do if he were in charge of his nation’s security. How would a President Scheuer reduce the terrorist threat?

You square with the American people. You say, ‘I’m sorry, we’ve been lying to you for 30 years – your daughters can go to school without burqas, you can have beer after work, they’re not going to blow us up for that. But they are going to blow us up because we’re supporting Israel, because we protect the Saudis . . .’ And none of that stuff is necessarily a condemnation of a policy; it’s just an adult view.”

But he remains deeply pessimistic. “I think the only thing that changes anything in America any more is calamity. And unless there’s a calamity of some sort, this foreign policy of ours will stay the same,” he says morosely.

In an interview broadcast in July 2009, Scheuer caused outrage by suggesting that “the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama Bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States”.

Ten years on from 9/11, does he still worry that there will be another al-Qaeda attack on US soil? “I think there will be.”

Mehdi Hasan is the NS’s senior editor (politics)

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Ex-CIA Bin Laden chief Michael Scheuer speaks out …

By Kevin Barrett on February 17, 2014

My latest Press TV article Americans speaking out about Israelification of the USA could have cited Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIAs Bin Laden unit in the 1990s. Scheuer has been increasingly vocal about the damage done to US interests by Israeli and Saudi clout in Washington.

Below is a transcript of roughly the first third of my two-hour interview with Michael Scheuer.

Barrett: (Youve been warning America for more than a decade, but it still isnt listening.)

Scheuer: No, they wont listen, sir. The first book I wrote was finished in 1999, and the Agency locked it up for two years because they were afraid it would offend Arabs. It was only after 9/11 that their concern lessened a little bit.

Its like yelling into a closet. The American people, God bless em, are just sobadly educated and unaware of how duplicitous their leaders are.

Were much worse off today than we were when we started to fight al-Qaeda and its allies in 1995, and certainly infinitely worse off than we were in 2001. And yet our president, Mr. McCainthey all say that the killing of Bin Laden has been the turning point in this war.

Americans just dont seem to get the difference between what they are told and what the reality is. If this wasnt a problem, or not the problem it used to be, everyone wouldnt be so upset about the Russians not letting us help out with security in Sochi for the Olympics.

Barrett Well, I dont blame them. After Bandar Bush, as hes sometimes called, went to visit Putin, and threatened him with terrorism directed at the Olympics if he didnt support Bandar and the so-called Syrian rebels, who are supposedly on our sideyou know, I wouldnt really want American security help either.

Scheuer Well, in many ways I have to agree that to a great extent, our success or our defense depends on being surrounded by two oceans. And its rather hard to get in here on airplanes at the moment. But whats slowly happening is that I think we will see young American Muslims, who we have assumed the so-called melting pot would take care of, will be attracted to the same sort of propaganda, the same sort of rhetoric, that has been so appealing to Muslims in Europe and Africa and of course across the Middle East. And well be fighting this war at home increasingly over the next decade, fifteen years.

Barrett Well, Im Muslim, by the way. And my sonI guess you could call him a certain kind of radical American Muslim. Hes a radical libertarian Ron Paul supporter kind of guy. (laughter)

Scheuer As am I! Though Im a Roman Catholic. But the point I was trying to make is that its a sort of an arrogance to assume (a) that everyone is the same and will be affected by the same assimilative pressures or interests, and (b) that religion has nothing to do with whats going on. There would be no problem if this was not a religiously motivated jihad or war or whatever you want to call it. The fact that our leaders wont even take than on board as a possibility is really going to be fatal to America in so many ways

Barrett Lets back up for the listeners who havent done their homework on this even some of my listeners may miss some of these things and talk about the gist of your analysis of whats really at stake here. Youre saying that this whole propaganda wave weve been washed in since 9/11, about how theyre coming after us because THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM, and they dont like the way our women dress and this sort of thing, is all nonsense. And there are some very straightforward and simple reasons why there is a worldwide insurgency in the Islamic world.

Scheuer Yeah, Kevin, I have to say that if the Muslim world was upset with us for women with short skirts, or Budweiser beer, or early primaries in Iowa, the threat wouldnt even rise to a lethal nuisance, probably. They certainly wouldnt have those things in their countries many wouldnt, anyway. What theyre mad about is what were doing, what our government is doing in the Muslim world what I call intervention. Becoming involved in countries where we really have no interest, where we really dont have anything to do with teaching people anything. Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama have taken this war of civilization to a higher level. And weve moved away from simply using military power. Now were involved in trying to teach these people how to be good, secular Westerners.

Barrett And at the same time were supporting al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria. Whats that about?

Scheuer Its aboutal-Qaeda has known for a long time, sir, that all they have to do, all al-Qaeda and their allies have to do, is find someone who shaves, wears a suit, speaks a little English, and can be pushed out in front of them, and keep saying the word democracy.

The American leadership will fall in line, and do al-Qaedas work for them. Weve provided the air support for their takeover, or partial takeover, of Libya. If Putin hadnt saved our bacon, we would have done the same thing in Syria.We would have helped get rid of Assad, allowed the murder of a million Alawites, and put the jihadis in power.

So itsthis is certainly a lost generation of leaders. Ive often thought that if America survived my generation (I was born in 1952) I would be very grateful.

Barrett You and I have pretty similar reactions to these seemingly utterly senseless post-9/11 policies, and even pre-9/11 for that matter. But it seems like youre totally devoted to the incompetence theory: That the reason our politicians have done exactly the wrong thing at every step along the way has been pure stupidity. You did have a line though, I think its in Marching Toward Hell: Only madmen and perhaps a few neoconservatives and Israel-firsters would have sought these consequences. Only madmen and neocons! Those may not be mutually exclusive categories. (laughter) But when I look back and see that you were prevented ten times from taking out Bin Laden before 9/11and then 9/11 happens and BOOM, the policies are Lets try to drive the Islamic world even crazier, lets murder even more millions of Muslims, lets do everything we can to ENCOURAGE this worldwide insurgency And who does it benefit?

Scheuer It doesnt benefit anyone. Except our politicians in both parties think it will keep them in power. And theyre so politically-correct. That has gotten to be such a trite and overused phrase, but, my God!

I dont think these people are stupid. I would prefer it if they were. What I contend is that theyre liars.

They all have better educations than I had. I didnt get to go to Harvard or Princeton or any of the Ivy League schools, or to Stanford. All of these people were educated there. The abundance of information thats available about the motivation of our Islamist rivals, or our Islamist enemies if you prefer, is extraordinary. We havent had enemies since Ho Chi Minh and General Giap, and before that Adolph Hitler, who were so willing and eager and desperate almost to tell us what they were mad at, why they were mad about it, and what they were going to do. Unfortunately for America, we could tolerate fools and stupid people, but the choice is only between being a liar, and being a worse liar, sir. These people know exactly what the problem is. The Muslim world doesnt hate Americans as people. Ive traveled extensively, during the course of my career, in the Muslim world, in both the Middle East and South Asia. And invariably, the courtesy that was extended to us, to me, was extraordinary. And the appreciation for Americans and their generosity in times of natural disasters and other kinds of problems is very great. But inevitably, the question comes over dinner, or over tea: Why are you supplying the Israelis with F-16s to kill Palestinian young people? Why are you supporting the police states that run, take your pick Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and the rest of the Gulf countries?

Muslims are not stupid people. Thats one of the assumptions we make at the official level in Washington, in America, is that they cant differentiate between Americans and their government. And the focus of Muslim hatred is not on Americans. It is definitely on the United States government. And we are the essential ally of the most violent, most militaristic part of the Muslim community around the world: the jihadis.

Barrett Thats a good point. One metaphor Ive sometimes tried to use, which would frame it very differently from the way you frame it you frame it by focusing on the jihadi element but the thing is, Mike, that in the Muslim world, the vast majority of people feel very, very strongly about some of these issues, with what I would call the genocidal Zionist occupation of Palestine being number one. And we all pretty much feel that way. Or the vast majority do. And I think were objectively right on this. Before I even came to Islam, I knew enough about Israel-Palestine to know that the Palestinians are right: This is a completely absurd crime that has been committed against them.

So my metaphor would be that this is like the civil rights movement in the 60s, where obviously this group of people is being oppressed, theyre obviously totally right about the issues theyre angry about. And then you have this very tiny, tiny segment of this vast number of people who want to change things and get their fair share, their rightsa tiny number are willing to commit violence. So by focusing obsessively on that tiny number who are willing to commit violence, and reacting badly or over-reacting that might make the problem worse. If (in the 1960s) someone had said, well, were going to have to kill huge numbers of black people because of this and youve said things a little bit like this in some of your books if they had, wouldnt there have been even more black people who got mad enough to go out and cause trouble?

Scheuer Well, I certainly think thats true. But we have to realize that this is a war. This is a war of global dimensions. At least from my perspective, the idea that you dont kill people because theyll get madder at you is sort of nonsense. Its absolutely true, but its absolutely irrelevant. And its irrelevant because the leadership of this country the academic leadership, the media leadership, the political leadership of this country, and to a great extent much of the religious leadership of this country has created a situation in which we deny the existence of the problem. And for that reason, the only tools were bringing to bear to defend ourselves are the intelligence services and the military. And America has never won a struggle, a war, with just those two entities. What are they good for? Theyre good for killing. And if thats all youre going to do, youre going to have to kill an enormous number of people. Many more today than in 2001. And thats the box America is in. Until we can be adults and say, listen, they dont care if we vote early in Iowa, they dont care if my daughter goes to university.

What they care about is our intervention in their world: Our support of the Israelis, our fifty years of support for tyrannies in the Middle East.

Whatever it is, thats what motivates them. And until we address the motivation, in our own minds at least, and at least accept that thats what their motivation is, we have no choice but to kill people. No matter what the impact is on the rest of the world. Because ultimately you have to defend yourself.

Barrett Right, butlets step back and ask, what are the real US interests in the Middle East? Do we need to support Israel? Do we need to prop up these dictators?

Scheuer Well, certainly, I have argued consistently over the course of four books that neither Palestine nor Israel is of the slightest bit of concern to the United States. And one of the reasons that struggle goes on is because of our constant intervention in favor of the Israelis. If we hadnt been backing the Israelis ever step along the way, there would have been some kind of settlement by now, or some kind of solution to the problem. But ultimately, from an American perspective, if every Palestinian died, or every Israeli died, or both of them, there would be a lot of empathy, a lot of sympathy, a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth, but at the end of the day, to American national interests, it wouldnt matter a bit. It wouldnt make any impact on us at all.

To me, the support for the Israelis is a twofold disaster. It involves us in a war with a civilization that really doesnt have a desire to fight us, except for the fact of our intervention on behalf of the Israelis and others. Secondly, it corrupts our domestic political system to a point where several years ago, five hundred members of our Congress gave 29 standing ovations to Netanyahu after our President laid out a position that was in direct contradiction to Netanyahu.

Barrett Yeah, I couldnt believe that.

Scheuer Im afraid Ive been inside of this beast for so long that I was hardly surprised. Although the numbers that were attending that meeting were somewhat stark. But these peoplethe problem for America is not Israel. The problem for America is the American Jewish community, or that portion of it that are dead enders, that are maximalists, that sit here in America with their children, their homes, their jobs, their happy fat bank accounts, and bankroll the extremists who run the Israeli government. Thats the danger to Israel. Thats the danger to the United States political system.

Barrett And youre getting more and more forthright about saying that. And the usual suspects, the neocons and the hard-line Zionists, have really gotten upset with you lately.

Scheuer Well, not lately. Almost since the day I resigned and began to speak out.

Barrett But they get more hysterical all the time.

Scheuer They do. Theyre a little bitI dont know if theyre unstable, or just frenetic. But they are extraordinarily vicious people, in terms of what they write to me, in terms of what they write to my employers, in terms of what they put in public print.

But at the end of the day, theyre defending an indefensible position. Theyre defending, in many respects, a position thats absolutely treasonous to the United States, and incompatible with being an American citizen.

Barrett Thats a great point. I dont quite understand how they get away with it. Including the dual citizen issue. We just heard Stanley Fischer, whos going to be number two at the Fed apparently, is a proud dual citizen who has announced it in public. And this is, I guess, a new precedent. Weve been told that a lot of the other high-level people, people like Perle and Wolfowitz and so on, may have been dual citizens as well, but theyre not telling us. Is there some kind of policy about allowing people with a declared loyalty to a foreign country to be in high-level foreign policy positions?

Scheuer Of course there is! There are rules, there are laws against that. You can take your choice. If you want to be an Israeli passport holder, thats fine, but youre no longer an American citizen. But just like so many other laws, whether its under Bush or Obama or Clinton or the first George Bush you can go back four presidents they only enforce the laws they want to. I think its unconscionable. You cannot get a passport from another country, you cannot get a passport from America, without swearing allegiance to the United States or to the other country. Any American citizen who holds a foreign passport, whether its an Israeli passport, an Irish passport, a Lebanese passport, an Armenian passportwhatever it is, should immediately be cashiered out of any kind of position of trust with the US government. And forced to make a choice. They are either going to be an American citizen or theyre going to be an Israeli, Lebanese, whatever-youd-like citizen. They cant be both. Im not a strong religious person, but I think its very clear you give to Caesar whats Caesars. You cant serve two masters.

Barrett I think its become more and more clear, especially since Walt and Mearsheimer put out their book, that this really is the issue: US support for Israel is not, as people have been saying for many years, because Israel has been helping us as our cop in the Middle East; they come up with all kinds of stories about why this is supposed to be helping the US. But obviously all its doing is making us huge numbers of enemies.

Scheuer Its interesting to watch, I think, the US Jewish community from a distance of just me observing them. They may be the first part of the melting pot thats un-assimilating. Its very clear: They send their children to join the Israeli military instead of the US military.

They are opting out, really, of any part of American society that doesnt agree with them that Israel is somehow as important, or more important than the interests of the United States.

Barrett I had Gwyneth Todd on my show awhile back. And she, Im told, served on the National Security Council at the time that Richard Clarke was also on the Council. And she had some rather uncomplimentary things to say about Richard Clarke. She said and I had this confirmed by someone else that he was caught spying for Israel by the FBI, and that made him ineligible for some positionI forget what the position wasand then he got booted upstairs to the National Security Council, AFTER hed got caught spying for Israel. Have you heard anything about this?

Scheuer I havent heard anything about that sir, no. But I have to say that Israel probably has the best espionage system of any foreign country in our country, because so many people turn a blind eye to it. If you question anything that an American Jew does, or that Israel does, youre immediately an anti-Semite. Look at what this baseball player from Milwaukee did, when he failed the drug test for steroids Braun, Ryan Braun. He immediately accused the person who took the test of being an anti-Semite. What happened? He got off the hook the first time, until they proved it definitively. It is an all-purpose marginalizer of people who question the relationship between the Israelis and the United States. And it is the ultimate, next to the word terrorism, debate stopper.

Barrett Right. I learned that the hard way myself in the academy. Its really the ultimate taboo. And its strange how it works. Because the Zionist Jewish people are not exactly a poor powerless oppressed group. And yet thats kind of the way its played that its terrible to say bad things about the poor powerless oppressed minority types. And heres a group thats got double the average income of non-Jewish Americans, thats totally dominating foreign policy, and yet theyre benefiting from the same kind of protection we think were affording to poor oppressed powerless minorities.

Scheuer Theyre really the only ones who can publicly flaunt their disloyalty to America and be applauded for it. But Ill tell you one experience I had. Israel is not the only one. When I worked for the CIA, if we were gathering information, or some kind of a collection effort that was benefiting the United States but really didnt have any pertinence to another foreign country, if the Israelis found out about it, or if the Saudis found out about it, and you refused to share the information with them because it really had nothing to do with them, or their national security, they were the two countries on earth who could call the White House, bypass the intelligence community, and get the White House to order the release of that information to them. As bad as the Israelis are, at least theyre public about it; you can see their disloyalty. But the Saudis are very quiet. Theyre very rich. They use their own money instead of our money to bribe us. And theyre very good at collecting former senior intelligence officers, diplomats, generals, businesspeople, and putting them on the payroll of Saudi Arabia after theyve retired to lobby our government. Its a dirty, ugly business. And I wish there were some way to end it. But I dont know how to do it.

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Ex-CIA Bin Laden chief Michael Scheuer speaks out …

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August 22, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Mike Sarne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Sarne (born 6 August 1940) is a British actor, writer, producer and director, who also had a brief career as pop singer Mike Sarne. He is of Czechoslovakian descent.[1]

Sarne was born Michael Scheuer at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. Active in the 1960s as singer, he is best known for his 1962 UK novelty chart topper, “Come Outside” (produced by Joe Meek), which featured vocal interjections by Wendy Richard.[2] He had three more releases which made the UK Singles chart: “Will I What?”, in 1962, which featured Billie Davis; “Just for Kicks”, in 1963; and “Code of Love”, also in 1963.[3]

In the mid-1960s Sarne introduced the ITV children’s quiz series Junior Criss Cross Quiz.

As an actor he has appeared on television, in British series including The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase, Jonathan Creek and The Bill. Sarne also appeared in an episode of Minder as Billy Beesley, an amateur safe blower. His film credits include a starring role in the 1963 film A Place to Go with Rita Tushingham, directed by Basil Dearden, and he also appeared in Invasion Quartet (1961), Every Day’s a Holiday (1965), Two Weeks in September (1967), Moonlighting (1982) and Success Is the Best Revenge (1984) for Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, and the Hercule Poirot film Appointment with Death (1988). He also played an SS captain in the TV miniseries War and Remembrance (1988). He later appeared in The Fourth Angel (2001), as Valery in the crime thriller Eastern Promises (2007), and in 2011 he was the voice of Karla in the spy film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In 2012 he played Father Mabeuf in the film of Les Misrables.[4]

Films he has directed include Joanna (1968) and Myra Breckinridge (1970), an adaptation of Gore Vidal’s book of the same name, starring Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Mae West and Farrah Fawcett in her first big screen role. Joanna broke even at the box office, but Myra Breckinridge was a major box-office flop and drew such critical hostility, his career never recovered. A more recent film is The Punk and the Princess (1994), an adaptation of Gideon Sams’ young adult novel The Punk, about the romance between a teenage punk rocker and a Sloane Ranger girl. He also directed a documentary about the Glastonbury Music Festival in 1995.

He attended the School of Slavonic and East European Studies earning a BA.[5] Sarne had a relationship with Brigitte Bardot only a few days after her honeymoon with Gunter Sachs.[6] He has 5 children: Claudia and William from his 19691978 marriage to Tanya Sarne, founder of the designer label Ghost; and Emma, Abigail and Sarah with second wife Anne Musso, whom he married in 2004 in Chelsea, London.[7]

His brother, David Scheuer, had a brief acting career in the 1960s and 70s.[citation needed]

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Mike Sarne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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June 26, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

About Michael Scheuer and Non-Interventionism | Non …

Why non-intervention.com?

For a long time, it struck me as quite egotistical and probably arrogant to think that I had anything to say about contemporary U.S. foreign policy and the perils of its relentless interventionism that would merit a website of my own. And to tell the truth, I still have doubts that (a) I have much to say that is insightful on the issue and (b) that anyone will much care what I have to say.

Still, I have had a good number of responses positive and negative to what I have written on foreign-policy issues since I resigned from the CIA in November, 2004. Since that date, I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to write for Antiwar.com and LewRockwell.com. I want to offer my thanks and sincere appreciation for the space they gave me, and to say very clearly that by starting my own site, I am in no way criticizing those sites. Indeed, I should be most pleased not to say shocked if this site has anywhere near the substantive success or level of interest Antiwar.com and LewRockwell.com have achieved.

That said, I finally decided to try a site of my own because I am not fully committed to an unyielding anti-war position. I certainly do believe that we are engaged in far too many wars; that most of them are unnecessary; and that almost all of them are the consequence of Washingtons rabid post-1945 interventionism. To the extent that Washington under both Democrats and Republicans stops intervening in overseas affairs that are of neither genuine concern to the United States nor threats to U.S. interests, we will find ourselves in far fewer wars. And I might add, in passing, that if Americans begin to aggressively insist that all wars in which their country becomes engaged must per the Constitution be formally declared by the vote of Congress, we would likewise have far fewer wars.

But I do believe some wars are both necessary and unavoidable; indeed, I believe that human beings are hard-wired for war; that they are not perfectible; and that the only mercy in war is an enormous application of military power that wins victory for the United States in the shortest possible time. At present, the only war that falls into the necessary and unavoidable category, in my view, is our war against al-Qaeda and the growing Islamist forces it leads and inspires.

Motivated by Washingtons interventionist policies in the Muslim world, that foe declared war on America in August 1996. Sadly, we have yet to find a U.S. political leader in either party who will forthrightly accept the fact that we are at war with the Islamists; nor have we found one who will tell the American people that we are at war because of what the U.S. government does in the Muslim world unqualified support for Israel, support for Arab tyrannies, invading Iraq, etc. and not for who we are and how we live here in North America.

Today, Americans are rightly suspicious of calling our struggle with the Islamists a war because they again rightly cannot believe that people would wage a nearly 14-year war and gladly die in the conflict because American women go to university, there are early primaries in Iowa every four years, and many of us have a beer or two after work. The consistent lies of our last four presidents, leading generals, much of the media, and nearly all of the academy They hate our freedoms, not what we do have misled and blinded Americans to the very real threat the Islamists pose to domestic security in the United States and some of our interests overseas.

My primary interest, then, in starting this website, is to discuss the almost totally negative impact of Washingtons bipartisan lust to intervene abroad, as well as to talk about how interventionism undermines U.S. security, the nations economy, and our countrys social cohesion. I also think it is appropriate to discuss here how far we have strayed from the Founding Fathers vision of what America and Americans should be at home and how the republic should conduct itself in the wider world. This site will argue that the Founders recipe for safeguarding America in 1789 remains pertinent today: all Americans must be vigilant of their liberty; politically active in its defense; broadly educated to help assess politicians, policies, and foreign entities that threaten that liberty; and armed to defeat enemies, foreign or domestic, who threaten that liberty.

It will quickly become clear that I am not an original thinker on these issues, but rather a person who was educated with, and is loyal to, the ideas of those brilliant and far-seeing men who founded our republic. I look forward to presenting my ideas and commentary on this site, and, even more, I look forward to considering, discussing, and learning from the responses of my fellow citizens.

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About Michael Scheuer and Non-Interventionism | Non …

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June 18, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Will Latest Foreign Policy Executive Orders Drive the Country to More War? – Tenth Amendment Center

In the wee hours of the morning on Nov 9, 2016, as the returns from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania indicated a Trump victory, a wave of shock crashed over American politics. Then there was a second wave of astonishment in the wake that election night victory: the realization all the power the political left and right spent years ceding to the presidency to shape the American economy, culture, and politics might now turn on them. One such vested power is the authority to send Americans into war zones. It has been rumored that President Trump will establish safe zones in Syria; he intimated as much during his campaign. A draft of an executive order establishing safe zones was released a few weeks ago: Establishment of Safe Zones to Protect Vulnerable Syrian Populations. Pursuant to the cessation of refugee processing for Syrian nationals, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, is directed within 90 days of the date of this order to produce a plan to provide safe areas in Syria and in the surrounding region in which Syrian nationals displaced from their homeland can await firm settlement, such as repatriation or potential third-country resettlement. Although that provision was removed from the final EO Trump signed relating to refugees, it seems unlikely the idea is dead and it certainly wasnt excluded because the president and his advisors decided it was outside of executive authority. The fact that such an executive order was even entertained raises two immediate concerns. First, it creates opportunities for mistakes that only increase the likelihood of war with Syria, the various factions in the region, and other countries that have a stake in Syrias future. Second, that any president can send Americans into a war zone with very little oversight is a terrible indication of how much extra-constitutional power has been ceded to the president. Safe zones increase the opportunities for mistakes that can lead to larger wars. Yet, the American officials advocating for safe zones fundamentally misunderstand the nature of Americas problems with Middle Eastern countries. According to Dr. Michael Scheuer an expert on the Middle and the former CIA analyst once responsible for following Osama Bin Laden there are six answers to the question Why do they hate us? Summarily, the problem is one of regional conflict and American intervention. Safe zones will not deal with the sources of the problem because a lack of safe zones isnt the problem. Setting up safe zones will only perpetuate the violence. What if an American plane or ground troop kills a Syrian civilian or a foreign soldier? It becomes more likely that locals, the Syrian government, or the foreign government will respond by escalating attacks on Americans. This will increase an American willingness to do something, like increasing an American military presence and activities. An American safe zone in Syria cannot account for the multitude of factors that are leading to violence in Syria. Stated differently, when all decisions are left up to one person, the likelihood of misdiagnosing the problem and implementing the wrong remedy are increased. Let us put this scenario into economic terms. If a government raises the minimum wage above the market clearing price, it will, by the laws of economics, lead to unemployment. In response to calls to do something about the unemployment, the government can only raise taxes, borrow money, or print money. Any of these three responses will be ruinous to an economy; people will then call for more government intervention. The government intervention perpetuates more intervention. The two scenarios above both show the dangers of government intervention. In both cases, the central planners suffer from the Hayekian Knowledge Problem. Very simply, the knowledge problem means that one person or a group of people cannot possibly know all the factors that shape all the interactions in society. Its best to leave the decisions to the individuals or groups who are most familiar with the situation. Applying this to our question of executive orders and safe zones, the people and government of Syria should be the ones to discover the solution to their problems rather than outsiders imposing artificial boundaries. (NB: the United States government has actually played a role in destabilizing the Syrian government. So, an immediate military extrication from Syria is an important first step). The second concern is that a president thinks he is empowered to sign such a sweeping executive order because Congress has allowed so much power to be amassed by one office. Fifteen years after Congress voted to give President Bush an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against those responsible for 9/11, that authority has never been revisited. Presidents Bush, Obama, and now Trump will be using that wide-ranging authority. While a handful of members of Congress made efforts to reexamine the AUMF, there is very little interest in taking a stand. This is rightly a congressional prerogative, but while the Congress dithers the presidential powers and the use of executive orders will grow. If Congress will not act to defend the constitution then the states must step in. The state legislatures must do so even contrary of the federal governments wishes how else is the Tenth Amendment to be enforced? P.A. Deacon is a freelance blogger from Washington D.C.

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February 13, 2017   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Michael Scheuer – Wikispooks

Michael F. Scheuer is a former CIA employee. In his 22-year career, he served as the Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (aka “Alec Station”), from 1996 to 1999, the Osama bin Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorist Center. He then worked again as Special Advisor to the Chief of the bin Laden unit from September 2001 to November 2004. Scheuer resigned in 2004. He is currently a news analyst for CBS News and a terrorism analyst for the Jamestown Foundation’s online publication Global Terrorism Analysis.[1] He also makes radio and television appearances and teaches a graduate-level course on Al-Qaeda at Georgetown University. He also participates in conferences on terrorism and national security issues, such as the New America Foundation’s December 2004 conference, “Al Qaeda 2.0: Transnational Terrorism After 9/11.” [2] Scheuer is now known to be the anonymous author of both Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror and the earlier anonymous work, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America.[3] Osama bin Laden stated in his September 7, 2007 message: His next book, planned for publication in 2008, is Marching Towards Hell: America and Islam After Iraq. Not much is known about his personal history, though Scheuer was an analyst at the CIA and not a covert field operations officer. During a recent C-SPAN interview, he mentioned that he is a graduate of Canisius College. He also received a Ph.D. in British Empire-U.S.-Canada-U.K. relations from the University of Manitoba.[4] In the 9/11 Commission Report, Scheuer is featured in Chapter 4, where his name is given only as “Mike”. He is portrayed as being occasionally frustrated with his superiors’ failure to aggressively target bin Laden. One of the theses of his most recent book, Imperial Hubris, a New York Times bestseller, was that from bin Laden’s perspective, the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 and will continue to be attacked because of a number of grievances against the U.S. and other western countries. These grievances include: U.S. support of Israel and its indifference to the Palestinians, presence of U.S. and western troops on the Arabian Peninsula, occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and its allies, the U.S. support of countries that oppress Muslims (such as Russia, India and China), U.S. political pressure on Arab states to keep oil prices low and U.S. support for tyrannical governments. Scheuer describes his thesis this way: “Imperial Hubris is overwhelmingly focused on how the last several American presidents have been very ill-served by the senior leaders of the Intelligence Community. Indeed, I resigned from an Agency I love in order to publicly damn the feckless 9/11 Commission, which failed to find any personal failure or negligence among Intelligence Community leaders even though dozens of serving officers provided the commissioners with clear documentary evidence of that failure.” [6] In a videotape released around September 7, 2007 apparently by Osama bin Laden, he personally recommended that anyone who wants to understand why the United States is losing the war against him should read Imperial Hubris. His first book, published under the pseudonym “Anonymous”, is an analysis of the public discourse available on al Qaeda’s ideology and strategy. In it, Scheuer explores the bin Laden phenomenon and its implications for U.S. security. He began the book in 1999 as an unclassified manual for counterterrorism officers. Due to the secrecy agreement he signed as an employee of the CIA, the book is based solely on unclassified intelligence or material available from open sources such as media reports. His main thesis in the work is that the view of bin Laden as a lunatic is a form of “myopia” that limits Western military thinkers’ ability to respond to the bin Laden phenomenon. He writes that “the West’s road to hell lies in approaching the bin Laden problem with the presumption that only the lunatic fringe could oppose what the United States is trying to accomplish through its foreign policy toward the Muslim world. Bin Laden’s philosophy is slowly harnessing the two most powerful motivating forces in contemporary international affairs: religion and nationalism.” (p. 27). Scheuer describes his thesis: “[T]he crux of my argument is simply that America is in a war with militant Islamists that it cannot avoid; one that it cannot talk or appease its way out of; one in which our irreconcilable Islamist foes will have to be killed, an act which unavoidably will lead to innocent deaths; and one that is motivated in large measure by the impact of U.S. foreign policies in the Islamic world, one of which is unqualified U.S. support for Israel.” [7] The book also documents a number of areas in which Scheuer believed Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein cooperated. [8] Scheuer participated in the following exchange on the FOX News program The O’Reilly Factor: From The O’Reilly Factor, 19 January 2006[10] Michael Scheuer entered into the controversy surrounding the Mearsheimer and Walt paper on the “Israel Lobby”. He said to NPR that Mearsheimer and Walt are basically right. Israel, according to Scheuer, has engaged in one of the most successful campaigns to influence public opinion in the United States ever conducted by a foreign government. Scheuer said to NPR that “They [Mearsheimer and Walt] should be credited for the courage they have had to actually present a paper on the subject. I hope they move on and do the Saudi lobby, which is probably more dangerous to the United States than the Israeli lobby.”[5] In February, 2005, Scheuer gave an interview in which he discussed, among other things, Israeli lobbying in the United States.[6] In the interview, the following exchange took place: In the Republican Presidential Debate on May 15, 2007, presidential candidate Ron Paul stated that American foreign policy was a “contributing factor” in anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Rudy Giuliani denounced this as “absurd” and that he’d never heard such a thing before. In an interview on May 18, Michael Scheuer defended Paul, stating: “I thought Mr. Paul captured it the other night exactly correctly. This war is dangerous to America because it’s based, not on gender equality, as Mr. Giuliani suggested, or any other kind of freedom, but simply because of what we do in the Islamic World because “we’re over there,” basically, as Mr. Paul said in the debate.”[9] On May 24, 2007, Ron Paul and Scheuer held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. about the causes that led up to 9/11, American foreign policy and its implications on terrorism, security and Iraq.[10] Paul and Scheuer argued that Rudy Giuliani is wrong on security and foreign policy and provided documentation about the unintended consequences of interventionism – known to many in the intelligence world as blowback – and assigned Giuliani a reading list of foreign policy books, including Dying to Win, Blowback, Imperial Hubris and the 9/11 Commission Report.[11] On Larry King Live, September 7, 2007, Scheuer alluded to the Fox News Republican Debate of Sept 5, 2007, where a Fox News moderator accused Ron Paul of taking “marching orders” from Al Qaeda. Scheuer said, “The truth of the matter is that it is all of the Democrats and the Republicans, except perhaps for Mr. Paul and Mr. Kucinich, who are marching to Osama Bin Laden’s drum.” Larry King Live Thomas Joscelyn of Weekly Standard wrote a highly critical piece on Scheuer and an interview Scheuer did on Chris Matthews Hardball. [11] Joscelyn wrote: Scheuer wrote about the relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in his 2002 book (see above, 2002). Yet when interviewed in 2004 he stated that he had found no evidence of a Saddam/al-Qaeda connection. Tim Russert asked Scheuer to explain the seeming contradiction on Meet the Press (30 November 2004): Scheuer explains more fully in the revised edition of his 2002 book the exhaustive study of the evidence of Iraq-al-Qaeda cooperation that eventually led him to the conclusion that there was no relationship between the two forces: In a Washington Post editorial on Sunday, April 29, 2007 (Page B01) entitled “NOW HE TELLS US – Tenet Tries to Shift the Blame. Don’t Buy It.”, Scheuer strongly criticized George Tenet’s behavior before and after both 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Scheuer also points out untruths in the way Tenet recounted his role in those situations.

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February 9, 2017   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Interviews – Michael Scheuer | The Torture Question …

Scheuer was a CIA agent who worked on national security issues related to Islamic extremism from 1985 until his retirement in 2004. He formed the CIA unit responsible for trying to capture Osama bin Laden and headed it from December 1995 to June 1999. Scheuer was also involved in setting up the CIA’s rendition program in which terrorist suspects are taken to a third country for interrogation. Critics argue that rendition is “outsourcing torture,” but Scheuer defends the program. He says the primary point was to get terrorist suspects who were planning an imminent attack on U.S. interests off the streets and to incarcerate them in a country willing to accept them. Those countries had to provide the U.S. with a guarantee that the suspects would be treated lawfully. “I worked in covert action for 20 years, and there was no covert action program I was involved in that was ever more scrutinized by lawyers,” he says. Here, Scheuer also describes the CIA’s perspective in its turf battles with the FBI over what to do with captured terrorist suspect Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi. “I think you have to decide what’s in the best interest of America,” he says. ” Why bother putting him through the court system in the United States when you might be able to save American lives by using him in another manner?” This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on July 21, 2005. Did we know a lot about [Osama bin Laden] and [Al Qaeda] in the summer of 2001? There was never a terrorist group which we knew more about in terms of goals, organization, method of operation, personnel than Al Qaeda. And that was not only true in 2001, but by the summer of 1998, we had accumulated an extraordinary array of information about this group and about its intentions. And how much of what we gathered came from interrogation? None, basically. Let me speak firsthand, what I know. Until June of 1999, the information we had gathered was either from assets that were run, penetrations that were run by the Central Intelligence Agency, signals intelligence and intelligence, which is always very important, from people who walk into you at various places around the world and deliver something. They always want something. They want protection; they want money; they want relocation. And they say in the intelligence business the worst thing is a walk-in and the best thing is a walk-in. And fortunately we had several walk-ins who were stellar and helped to fill in many gaps. So those were the three things that we got the best information from. So somebody like [Jamal] al-Fadl? Yes. I guess the FBI was basically living with him and extracting information from him. Well, initially Jamal al-Fadl was agency operation, and he gave us information that was startling, not only because of its detail, but because it began to flesh out the information we had already gathered on Osama bin Laden. And so he was as tremendous. We were very lucky. Sometimes you have to work hard, and you get lucky, and Jamal al-Fadl was a stroke of luck for us. And then shortly thereafter, within four or five months, a friendly intelligence service elsewhere in the Middle East had a similar person who they said was driving them crazy because he was giving them a lot of information that they couldn’t understand, and they asked us to take a look at it. And it corroborated basically what Jamal al-Fadl said. And both packages corroborated most of what we had collected before those two people appeared. Again, by 1998 there was no question that Al Qaeda was a group unlike any other we had ever seen. So when we get down into this territory of actionable intelligence, strategic versus tactical, help me understand the agency’s perspective and the FBI’s perspective. Well, the FBI was in a tough position, because the FBI, when it goes overseas, has to obey the laws of the countries they’re in, whether they’re in France or Ghana or Malaysia. The agency is obligated only to obey the laws of the United States. We’re statutorily empowered to break any other law in the world in the defense of American interests and citizens. So our view of how things are done is necessarily different and statutorily different than the FBI does. The FBI always likes to build a case and arrest somebody and put them in jail in the United States. Well, it doesn’t work that way overseas. And so the FBI was always in a position where they would like to arrest someone, but another police force, especially in the Third World, doesn’t allow the FBI to come into the country and run the show. And you know from the way American law works, when someone is arrested, the FBI officer involved has to be able to testify in court that he was there when it happened, and the man was not abused; the man was not roughed up; the man was not deprived or tortured or anything like that. So it very seldom happens that that can be done in a Third World country. In addition, some of the most important information we get from people who are captured comes in either hardcopy documents or documents on a laptop or a Palm Pilot or a floppy disk or a CD-ROM. Again, for American courts, the FBI officer has to swear that he was there when that information was picked up, and he had, if you will, rode herd on it over the whole process. It was never tampered with; it was never changed; it was never added to or subtracted from. Both of those almost always are a non-starter in the Third World. The Kuwaiti police or the Kuwaiti intelligence service are not going to let the FBI knock the door in and go in and make sure the chain of custody is correct. So because that’s so impossible overseas, the FBI M.O. is seldom, I would say, applicable. And that devolves the issue to the Intelligence Service: How do you take care of these people? How do you get these people off the street? And then we move into an area where the CIA is the lead agency. And you have to, a lot of times, improvise ways of trying to find people you can put away. Describe for me, if you will, the political environment and the way that it felt different, if it did to you, post-9/11. There was a tremendous amount of rhetoric about — I remember the [CIA’s] chief of [counterterrorism], Cofer Black, saying he wanted bin Laden’s head brought to him on ice, or we want flies on their eyes. There’s a lot of that kind of warrior rhetoric that came out. But at the end of the day, the U.S. intelligence community is palsied by lawyers, and everything still depends on whether the lawyers approve it or not. So there was some broadening of the target set in terms of people who could be captured. But generally speaking, the rendition program, which I presume is what you’re talking about, remained the same as it was since it was devised in 1995. It isn’t only what I’m talking about. I’ve read and talked to the lawyers of the Department of Justice, the lawyers at the White House, the lawyers at the Defense Department, the JAGs [judge advocates general] — everybody — about this notion of a new legal paradigm, a much broader war powers [resolution] for the president of the United States; a broader definition of torture, for example; a much more aggressive view of what to do, whether to follow Geneva or not, all of those kinds of broader issues. Did you feel that shift in any way? There was a small broadening in what you could do in terms of trying to get someone to talk, but none of them ever approached what anyone would describe as torture. Sleep deprivation and that sort of thing was broadened, but in terms of what you see in Hollywood, of thumbscrews and the Chinese water torture and that kind of thing, it just didn’t happen. And I think a big part of the reason it didn’t happen is the agency has long held that torture gets you virtually nothing. People tell you what you want to hear, or they tell you information that’s accurate but very dated, and ultimately ties you in knots and doesn’t move the process ahead anywhere. Is that the view inside the agency [about] interrogation? I think so. Yes, we were eager to talk to these people, clearly. But yesterday and today, there’s kind of three tiers of importance. The most important thing in ’95 and as we talk in July of 2005 is to get these people off the street. That’s the single most important thing, the idea, of course, being to protect America and Americans. The second most important is to grab, when they’re arrested, whatever paper, hardcopy documents or electronic media they have with them, because in that media is going to be information they never expected the Central Intelligence Agency to be reading. The third thing is to talk to them. But anything we get in the third level is gravy, for several reasons. First of all, Al Qaeda has trained their fighters that they have only two end points. One is to be a martyr on the battlefield and die, and he’ll go to heaven. The other one is to be a martyr in the prison of the United States or one of its allies, and God will be just as happy with that. So they’re ready to die. The jihad doesn’t stop because they’re in jail. The second thing is we’re very confident, through captured documents and manuals, that these people are trained to dissemble under interrogation or, as we mentioned earlier, to tell you a lot of very true and accurate information, but stuff that’s dated and won’t advance the cause. And the third thing is [people] too often forget that most of these people grew up in police states. They’re used to being roughed up by the police with no concern at all for human rights or physical security, and so they’re very tough individuals. And there’s nothing that we’re going to do that’s going to approach what the Saudis would do, for example, to a prisoner. So on that basis, the talking to them is probably the least important of the goals. So now let’s take the moment where we’ve decided to go to Afghanistan. I’ve heard stories of CIA guys walking around cherry-picking high-value terrorists I guess, HVTs, and saying: “These are our guys. We need to talk to them. We recognize them. We’ve heard about them.” Give me the CIA’s rules of the road at that moment, in just the fog of the early war in Afghanistan. As I saw it, the goal remained the same: We wanted to pay attention to the most senior people we could find, because the goal was to find people within circles that might have knowledge of forthcoming attacks on the United States and/or information leading to the location of [Ayman] al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, take your pick. And so we were, I think, focused on that, finding those levels of people. For the rest of the people, they turned the game over to the amateurs. The people who went to Gitmo, as far as I understand, were the people who were captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan. The military and the FBI took people to various places and tried to debrief them as if everybody on the battlefield in Afghanistan would have knowledge of the next 9/11 attack, whereas most of the people that were picked up in Afghanistan were insurgent fighters, guys who might be able to tell you about the organization of Al Qaeda’s insurgent arm, what kind of weapons they were trained on. But none of them, virtually none of them, had any knowledge whatsoever useful to either a) preventing an attack on America, or b) locating al-Zawahiri and bin Laden. And you knew that going in. Well, we did know it going in, but it’s been a very hard sell in the United States government to say: “Listen, Al Qaeda is not a traditional terrorist group. Seventy-five percent of Al Qaeda does insurgency. The people you’re going to pick up on the ground in Afghanistan fighting American forces in the Northern Alliance are not the guys that have anything to do with the East Africa bombings, the [USS] Cole or 9/11. And so don’t waste your time. Put them in a prison camp, but they’re not going to help you stop the next 9/11.” But that’s a really hard sell in Washington, because bureaucratically Al Qaeda has to fit in the terrorist category because that’s the category that’s available. There’s no other one. So it’s a very difficult thing for an intelligence officer to convince his masters that they really need to think in new ways bureaucratically. Now, there’s a story that gets told about Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, [who] apparently ran a training camp for Al Qaeda. [He] gets swept up in the war. The FBI has him, and a couple of other guys are debriefing him and getting what they can and making a case about it. And the way the story goes, there’s some Washington wrangling, and he is [taken by the CIA to another country for interrogation]. Tell me what you know [about] that story. Yeah, well, that could be true, but I don’t know for sure one way or another. But the real point to make is that once we have him, who cares about a case? What you want from that individual is to try to get information that will lead you to another success either on the battlefield or in some other way. And debriefing someone in order to build a case is a very constricting exercise, because you want to know information, but you only want to know information that makes your case work. And once you have that, in my experience, the FBI won’t let you talk to anyone. So I think you have to decide what’s in the best interest of America. Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi was in the senior echelon of Al Qaeda’s leaders. He was under arrest; he was not going anywhere. Why bother putting him through the court system in the United States when you might be able to save American lives by using him in another manner? If there is a contest between the FBI and the CIA, it’s primarily over that kind of issue, that what are you after here, just another scalp, just another guy in the maximum-security prison in Denver or Colorado or wherever it is, or are you trying to unravel this enemy? And so there’s always a conflict there. So did they take Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi? I have to tell you, I don’t know. I hope they did, because I think he’d be much more valuable in CIA hands than in FBI hands. So now let’s talk a little bit about rendition, understanding that it starts in ’95, continues on through 2001. Is it any different after Sept. 11 as a program, as an idea, as an anything, than it was in 1995? I think it is, and I think we spoke earlier about it. The ability to interrogate people using U.S. officers, using intelligence officers is new, because primarily in the past, we had been the broker between the entity that arrested an individual and the entity that was going to take him and try him. Physical contact, even conversational — it almost never occurred. And I think what that reflects is the lack of importance we attached to interrogation at that point. We wanted him off the street, and we wanted his documents. If something came from the interrogation by another country, we’re happy to have it, but we didn’t expect much from it. Does interrogation become more important after 9/11? Well, sure. I don’t know if it becomes more important, but it becomes more of the responsibility of the agency. The politicians want the interrogation to be done by U.S. intelligence officers instead of by a Middle Eastern service or a European service, or whoever is going to incarcerate the person. And so it changes in that manner. I’m not sure if it’s a change for the better or not, but it was a change mandated from above. And the political pressure to get more actionable information — we need it, we need it, we’ve got to have it. Yeah. There’s certainly that push after 9/11 — understandably so. And there’s certainly within the agency a desire to do all we could to further the defense of America. We haven’t done this yet, but define what rendition meant post-9/11. I think it means the same thing as it did before 9/11. [Rendition] is to identify individuals whom we knew were either ready to participate in an attack on the United States or was involved in planning an attack. The emphasis again, from ’95 to ’05, is to get that person off the street. The second emphasis, again, [that] is extraordinarily important is hardcopy documents and electronic documents. The importance of interrogation, of interviewing, interrogation, questioning, rises after 9/11 because policy-makers at the NSC [National Security Council], at the White House, around the community begin to insist that U.S. intelligence officers do the interrogation rather than letting third countries do it. Why? There’s a natural tendency to want your own people to do things. You sometimes think they do them better; they’re smarter. There’s an element of condescension in it, the assumption that an American can do anything better than an Egyptian or a Pakistani. And also a great thirst to have information that we could smack Al Qaeda and the Taliban with. So there are a combination of things resulting in more U.S. intelligence officers being directly involved in the interrogation. So the common understanding — that is, the kind of general sense of rendition — is guys are somehow grabbed, cherry-picked off the Bagram Air Force Base warehouse and ghosted, put on an airplane, a Gulfstream V, and sent into never-never land forever, never to be heard from again. How close is that to reality? I don’t think it’s all that close to reality. I think the numbers are small. The question, of course, of whether they’re held forever and ever after 9/11 is not an issue that has anything to do with the Central Intelligence Agency; it has to do with the people we work for. CIA, after all, is a service organization. The direction was find, apprehend and hold senior members of Al Qaeda and try to find out what they know about coming attacks against the United States. Salute, do your job, but at the end of the day, the problem remains: What does the United States government want to do with these people? And if there’s a problem — and there is, if you read the media — the problem is not with the agency; the problem is with the politicians who have decided that that’s the program they want to execute. So I think there’s many people in the agency that are concerned with just this question. When we set up the program, we said: “Listen, we’re not jailers. We don’t have arrest authority. Where do you want these people taken?” The NSC at that time said, “Well, over to you.” And we said: “No, you don’t get it. We don’t do these things.” And they said, “Over to you.” And so we had to design a program that would accommodate the inability to bring these people to the United States. Why couldn’t they come to the United States? Primarily because the way they were taken was not consonant with legal processes in the United States. And the National Security Council apparently decided that they didn’t want to go through the trouble of working with the Congress to find ways to bring them to the United States as prisoners of war, as enemy combatants, whatever. And so the agency was left with a situation where we had direction to take these people off the street and break up Al Qaeda cells, but we also had to find places where they could be arrested and then places where they could be taken for incarceration. So it was a very difficult process, but we did it admirably. The American people today, though it’s hard to believe, are very much safer because the agency has been involved in this practice for the past 10 years. So help me practically understand what it means to take people off the streets, put them somewhere. Once we had the assignment from Mr. [Samuel] Berger and Mr. [Richard] Clarke and the president in ’95, we had to address ourselves to what is the universe of Al Qaeda people? Senior operators that we know through intelligence are either engaged in preparing an attack against the United States or will participate in an attack when it comes. So the first thing you do is identify that set, that universe. Then, because we could not bring those people to the United States, we had to meet several requirements. First, we had to identify a person who was worth incarcerating. Second, that person had to be in a country that was willing to help us arrest him. Third, that person had to be wanted in a third country in a legal process. Either a warrant had to be issued for him, or he had been tried in absentia. … For example, if we found an Al Qaeda member of X nationality in country Y, we would first have to persuade country Y to arrest him and then persuade country X to accept him from country Y. And really, the agency’s role was a brokering role, trying to mediate between those two. And that’s what renditions were about. And that’s how they were done. It wasn’t just reaching out and grabbing someone. Lord knows there are hundreds of Al Qaeda people we would have liked to take off the street, but we couldn’t do it because we couldn’t make them fit into the mold of acceptable operations. And post-9/11, is there anything different about that program? There is, because now the U.S. government is willing to hold these people at its various incarceration sites around the world. You can pick them up. If you identify them, you still have to build a case that satisfies the lawyers. The lawyers are involved in every step of this process. I worked in covert action for 20 years, and there was no covert action program I was involved in that was ever more scrutinized by lawyers, not only at the agency, but at DOJ — Department of Justice — and NSC. You still have to build a legal case against them. Prove that they’re bad guys, and then you can pick them up. But still we’re in this position where kind of the horse is out of the barn. These guys now are very much aware that every aspect of the American government is chasing them, so they’re much harder to find, identify and pick up than they were before 9/11. So although we have rules of engagement that are a little bit broader, the target is tougher because it’s more cognizant of the need to hide. And I think the perception is that once you get one of these high-value terrorists — and because you’re the CIA you know they are high-value terrorists in a lot of cases — they will be treated to much harsher, more draconian, more whatever methods. I think that certainly is the perception, and I think the manner in which they are treated probably is different from the way someone is treated if he’s arrested for stealing in a store here in the United States. But again, I don’t really have a quarrel with people being upset with that process. What I have a quarrel with is that the agency really has nothing to do with that. That’s been decided, approved and blessed by numerous lawyers in the United States government. And at the end of the day, I think agency officers would prefer to see these people treated as prisoners of war, because the results of interrogation are not monumentally important. We come back to the primary things, getting them off the street and getting their documents. The one thing that is worthwhile, strangely enough, is to engage these people in discussions with no physical attributes at all. Al Qaeda is generally a middle-class and an upper-middle-class organization, men from good families, men who have had education, at least high school, many BAs and many with graduate degrees. And they are extraordinarily proud of the work they’re doing. And they’re also very cognizant of being a part of Islamic history and resisting the infidel. And probably some of the best intelligence we have gotten from these men is by having officers who know a lot about what they’re up to and how it fits into the course of Islamic history. In just discussing with them the context in which they have lived and worked, you gain a very significant amount of information and insight into their motivation, into their mind-set, into their dedication, into their patience and perseverance. And I think maybe that’s probably the most important part of talking to these people. … It probably is really hard, even in the post-9/11 period, to find places to put them. I think that’s fair enough. And also you’re faced with shooting yourself in the foot, because the information you get from them is probably worth having, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the pain you get from the rest of the world. If they were treated as we treated Japanese prisoners of war, German prisoners of war, let the Red Cross come in and see them in their little stockades, I think we’d be better off. I think the American people would then realize what a tremendous boon to their interests the rendition program has been. One of the great problems, of course, in detaining people like this is how long you detain them. That’s exactly right. The agency kind of has made that point repeatedly along the course of events, because incarceration basically makes them harder. Guantanamo from the very beginning has been training the toughest, most dedicated and probably the most healthy battalion of mujahideen that there ever existed, because those people are going to go back to their societies, and they’re going to be heroes. They got captured by the Americans, they withstood the interrogation and the imprisonment, and now they’re back, and they’re going to go back to fighting. We’ve seen, I think, about a dozen cases of Afghans and Pakistanis who were released from Guantanamo who have turned up fighting the Americans on the battlefield again. You mean because they’ve been radicalized — No. Simply because they have no perception that they’re doing anything wrong. One of the great mistakes Americans make is that somehow these people are going to be contrite when we capture them. And the FBI is constantly surprised by — they offer an Islamic militant deal if he’ll rat out someone, and the guy says to him: “What? I’m proud of this. I want my parents to know that I helped to blow up the East African embassies or helped to almost destroy the Cole.” So it’s a whole different mind-set. … [It’s been reported that al-Libi] and others have been taken to Egypt, taken to Morocco, taken to Jordan. Do we know that that’s actually happened, that the agency has taken people into those places? I’ve explained to you, no one can be moved to a third country unless that country has an outstanding legal process for them. In the media it’s often portrayed that if an Al Qaeda person is captured, the agency wants to take him to the place where he’ll be tortured the most. And that’s a crock. Because of what the lawyers and the U.S. government have decided, people can be picked up if they’re wanted somewhere in the world. And it happens that Al Qaeda, being a Muslim organization, is made up mostly of people from Muslim countries. And so if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to deal with Saudis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians, Algerians, Moroccans, Egyptians. There’s not many people in the government of Ireland that are going to want a lot of Egyptian terrorists coming to Dublin for incarceration. It doesn’t work that way. Are you saying definitively as you know that the agency is not taking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other guys to countries we know do bad stuff because we statutorily or culturally can’t do it, and we’re letting other countries do it, and we’re turning a blind eye toward that? No, I’m not saying that at all. And I can only speak for the period that I was in charge. We took people to the countries of their origin in the Middle East if those countries had a legal process outstanding for them and were willing to take them. Now, in every case, the lawyers at the CIA, the NSC and the DOJ insisted that we get a guarantee from the government who was accepting the person that that person would be treated according to the laws of that country, not to the laws of the United States, but to the laws of take your pick — Morocco, Egypt, Jordan. So yes, people were taken to those countries. But again, that’s the way the system was set up. That’s the way the legal system in our government wanted it run. … I talked to somebody [who] said a lot of times, high-ranking guys know that the Egyptians are very sophisticated about a certain kind of torture, that there is torture in Morocco or Jordan. So an environment can be created almost anywhere, in Pakistan, that feels like Egypt — the picture on the wall, the music out the window. Can you imagine such a thing? Yeah, I can imagine all kinds of things. But I have to tell you that in my experience working with Middle Eastern services, whether they’re Egyptians or Moroccans, and in for a long time, for almost 20 years, torture is never the first option. The first option is relentless questioning, re-questioning, questioning again and checking what was said. I’m not going to be a fool and tell you that there’s no physical part involved in this, but the Egyptians and the Jordanians are not thugs; they’re professional intelligence officers with a different set of rules of engagement than we have. But the idea that they get any useful information from torturing people is probably greatly exaggerated. I worked with a particular Middle Eastern country for the better part of 15 years, and the people who were working the issue at the start were working it at the end. The people who were working it on the U.S. side who were working with the end are sitting across from you at the moment. The value that other services put on expertise is astounding. America has no use for expertise. We are all supposed to be generalists. It’s generally a career killer if you choose to be an expert. So it’s very easy to assume that it’s bamboo under the fingertips and electronic juice applied to various parts of your body. But it’s much more sophisticated than that. The people who do the questioning are knowledgeable to the point that they are the peer of the person that they have in custody. [How effective is the military at gathering intelligence?] I think to make the point, the military was given a job that was not really their job. And part of the emphasis on this need for actionable intelligence comes from a bipartisan imperative among American leaders not to use their military to its full power, not to kill a lot of people or suffer any casualties. So instead, we’ve reduced the intelligence process to try to find the silver bullet, the one piece of intelligence from one of these captives that will allow us to kill bin Laden and make all of this bad stuff go away. It’s an endeavor not only to gather information, but [to] prevent us from looking bad if you believe that using our military ruthlessly is a bad thing. And so we talk to the gomers that come out of Afghanistan who are insurgent fighters as if they were Khalid Sheikh Mohammed potentially. And to turn that over to the military, which you said was a blunt instrument, results in things like Abu Ghraib or some of the things that happened in Guantanamo. I personally don’t think that any of those things are irredeemable evil. They’re stupid. They’re not going to result in any intelligence. And they certainly degraded the prisoners. But it all goes back to a mind-set that there is a piece of information out there that’s going to make this nightmare stop, and we can wake up and go ahead with morning in America. And it’s not going to happen. But politicians are not convinced of that yet. You’re a man who lived and breathed information, sifting it, understanding it, trying to get it. Do you think Gitmo is the environment to get any information? Well, if you’re looking for the right information, Gitmo in a sense was an opportunity that’s been lost. We put together in Gitmo for the first time … people who knew about Al Qaeda’s insurgent organization. What those people should have been was a laboratory for us to find out about how insurgents are trained, what weapons they’re trained to use. Are they trained in celestial navigation? What kind of combat medicine? To assemble almost an order of battle, information packet, so the military will know when they go on the field to fight insurgents how the enemy is organized. Instead we spent the entire time to today looking for the guy who is the cousin of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who knows what’s going after 9/11. So I think it’s a mistake. It’s a mistake because of the questions we didn’t ask. We had a good audience for information, a good mass of people to gather information we needed, but not about the next 9/11, about the men we’re fighting now on the ground in Afghanistan and in Iraq, for example, the insurgents. So when Secretary of Defense [Donald] Rumsfeld called them “the worst of the worst,” what does that mean to you? It means what it always means: He doesn’t have a clue about what he’s fighting or why he’s fighting it. They continue to believe that they think that we’re being fought because we love freedom and liberty, instead of what we do in the Islamic world. And they’re going to go to their graves, and maybe taking the nation with them, believing that nonsense. Are they an enemy that needs to be defeated? Absolutely. But, like any other enemy, you’d better understand them, or they’re going to whip you. And we’re getting whipped.

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January 30, 2017   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Michael Scheuer | ePluribus Media

Michael Scheuer Calls For Osama to Attack: Glenn Beck and Fox News Air It Three days before the Fourth of July — a holiday celebrating our nation’s Independence Day — and the reich-wing has stepped up the drumbeat toward insurrection, treason and sedition. Hat-tip to MinistryOfTruth of DailyKos Every Republican member of Congress should be immediately called upon to voice their opinion on this outrage, on the record and in public. Every right-wing pundit and “strategist” — particularly those like Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh — should have to weigh in, publicly and on the record. This is the ultimate incitement of domestic and foreign actions by active enemies during a time of war: it is treasonous, it is seditious, it is wrong on so many levels. In light of all the troops who have fought in our name and to protect our nation “over there” so that we could never again be attacked over here, this unrejected statement made by Schaeur on Fox News is the ultimate slap in their faces. It is the ultimate in dishonor. It is the ultimate un-American sentiment. It is beyond fathomable. Check out the diary by Ministry of Truth for action items, and get involved now — before another Timothy McVeigh, James W. Von Brunn, Eric Robert Rudolph, Dan White, James Earl Ray, Lee Harvey Oswald or Scott Roeder. Let’s put the words of Mike Malloy to the test: do Republicans really want our nation to fail? Do Republicans really want us to bear the brunt of another 9-11 or Oklahoma City bombing? They’re worse than useless. These are terrorists. These are domestic terrorists. They want the country to fail, for Gods sake. They want exactly what anyone who attacked this country on September 11, 2001 wanted. The real internal terrorists are the Republicans, I mean, isn’t that clear? Those are the words attributed to Mr. Malloy; they ring too true, now. Let’s put the Republicans in Congress to the real test, and see if they live up to their hype, or to their actions. And in the meantime, let’s ask the FCC and Secret Service to pay Fox and friends a little visit.

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January 3, 2017   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Michael Scheuer – amazon.com

“[Scheuer]’s examination of al Qaeda is a bracing corrective to much that has passed as analysis about the group.” – CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the Washington Post “A masterful job at… interpreting what bin Laden is trying to tell America but that has fallen on deaf ears.” – Studies in Conflict and Terrorism “Among the ‘war on terrorism cognoscenti’ in and around Washington, D.C., mere word-of-mouth established [Through Our Enemies Eyes] as required reading for anyone seeking to understand bin Laden, the movement that he cofounded and led, and the profound threat that it posed (and continues to pose) to the United States and to international peace. Accordingly, the book’s reputation spread as a thoroughly reliable, trenchant, and commendably clear exegesis of al Qaeda’s ideology, goals, and alarming ambitions…. The key to success in warfare, the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu wrote, is to ‘know your enemy and you will know yourself.’ In Through Our Enemies Eyes, Scheuer answers the first part of that irrefutable formulation.” – From the foreword by Bruce Hoffman, senior fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, and author of Inside Terrorism “[Scheuer’s] examination of al Qaeda is a bracing corrective to much that has passed as analysis about the group.” – CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the Washington Post “A highly informative analysis.” – The Washington Times “A masterful job at… interpreting what bin Laden is trying to tell America but that has fallen on deaf ears.” – Studies in Conflict and Terrorism “A sobering portrait of Osama bin Laden.” – The Christian Science Monitor “This is a book that all professional soldiers should read since it represents, in significant detail, the views and motivation of one of our primary adversaries, while clearly defining the severity of the ongoing threat.” – Armor”

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November 15, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

"Bin Laden should have been dead long ago": Mehdi Hasan on …

In September 2007, in the run-up to the sixth anniversary of the 11 September attacks, Osama Bin Laden released a video message. Addressing the “people of America”, the al-Qaeda leader denounced US foreign policy, from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the invasion of Iraq. He also had a piece of advice for ordinary Americans. “If you want to understand what’s going on, and if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing the war against us,” he said, “then read the book of Michael Scheuer.” It may have seemed an odd choice, given Scheuer’s past role as head of and chief adviser to the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station, a unit dedicated to tracking the al-Qaeda leader between 1996 and 2005. Scheuer wrote two books on al-Qaeda while working for the CIA – Through Our Enemies’ Eyes (2002) and Imperial Hubris (2004) – both of which he was made to publish anonymously. He quit the agency in November 2004 so that he could speak more openly about Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and what he regards as the US government’s failure to understand the threat from Islamist terrorism, and has since published Marching Towards Hell (2008) and Osama Bin Laden (2011). I meet Scheuer in London and ask him about being named by the terrorist leader in the 2007 video. “I got a call from the agency early in the morning,” he remembers. “Mike, we have a copy of a speech by Bin Laden that the NSA [National Security Agency] just translated,” the CIA official told him. “You’re mentioned in it – but it’s not a threat.” As Scheuer discovered when he watched the video, it was an unexpected endorsement of his writing from his former prey. Paperback sales of Imperial Hubris skyrocketed – as did sales of books by Noam Chomsky, who was also cited as an authority in the al-Qaeda leader’s taped message. Four years on, Scheuer jokes about the connection. “It was bad enough that Bin Laden mentioned me, but to mention me in the same breath as Noam Chomsky . . .” He rolls his eyes. Scheuer, 59, is a lifelong Republican voter. Scruffy, chubby and bearded, he is an avuncular figure, but one with elaborate good manners – he tends to address his interviewers as “sir”. Looking at him, you would find it difficult to believe he once led the CIA’s hunt for Bin Laden. The terrorist leader was little known when the Bin Laden Issue Station was set up in 1996 with the aim of gathering intelligence on him and disrupting his growing finances and activities. Scheuer, who had worked as an analyst on the CIA’s Afghanistan project between 1985 and 1992, was selected as the first head of the unit, and it was soon code-named “Alec Station” after Scheuer’s son. It was also, however, nicknamed “the Manson Family”, such was the relentlessness with which Scheuer and his team of 12 talked up the al-Qaeda threat. So, what does Scheuer think motivated Bin Laden to namecheck him in that video? “He understood that I was trying to kill him, maybe, but he also understood that I took him seriously, I guess.” He pauses. “And he probably liked that.” In his writings and his interviews, Scheuer reliably makes provocative statements about the late al-Qaeda leader. “If there’s such a thing as a Muslim educated by Jesuits, it would’ve been Bin Laden,” he tells me. “Because I was educated by Jesuits . . . [Like them] he matched words and deeds very well. And that’s what worried me more than anything. It wasn’t the rhetoric itself – but he said he was going to do X and he did X. He said he was going to incrementally increase the pain and he did incrementally increase the pain.” Does he see something of himself in Bin Laden – his own “Jesuit” temperament? Surprisingly, Scheuer nods. “Yeah, I do . . . as someone who’s educated [to think] . . . that it’s not enough to talk your religious or moral beliefs, you have to act on them. And that’s exactly what I saw in him as a danger.” What did Scheuer make of the video that showed Bin Laden watching himself on television, which emerged from his compound in Pakistan after he was killed by US navy Seals in May? “It was perfectly in character,” Scheuer says. “We knew he was obsessed with the idea that Arab leaders have to be very well-spoken, and that he spent an enormous amount of time having his texts checked for grammar. And so when I saw him I thought, well, he’s checking how he looks, he’s checking how he portrays himself, in order to improve [his image]. That was my impression based on what I knew about him – but maybe he was just an egomaniac.” Then he shakes his head. “I don’t think so.” Given the way he talks about Bin Laden, I can’t help but ask Scheuer if he admired him. He shrugs. “How can you not have an admiration for a man who kept the greatest power the world has ever seen on tenterhooks for 15 years?” He adds a caveat. “Admiration doesn’t connote empathy or sympathy or support. What it means is what the British used to call a ‘worthy enemy’. Whether it’s a guy like [Field Marshal Erwin] Rommel or, in the United States, a guy like General Robert E Lee, who came closest to destroying the Union. He was a traitor, but someone you had to respect and understand before you could defeat him. Just because a guy is your enemy doesn’t mean he’s a dummy; it doesn’t mean he’s pathological. And who does it hurt if you have an enemy and you say, ‘Well he’s a madman, I don’t have to listen to him’? You hurt yourself.” For Scheuer, Bin Laden was not crazy; he was a rational, ruthless and talented leader, a “modern Saladin”. As he writes in his new biography: “[M]y view of Bin Laden is far out of the mainstream. I have long seen him as America’s greatest mortal enemy; I have never thought it enough . . . to curse him and condemn him simply because his views and faith are antithetical to our values.” His critics have accused him of being obsessed with the al-Qaeda leader. The neoconservative academic Fouad Ajami, reviewing the biography in the New York Times in February, compared the author to Moby-Dick’s Captain Ahab. Does he miss OBL? “How can you miss somebody who wants to blow up your country? You don’t,” he says. Then he qualifies his response: “But I really did enjoy the challenge of understanding what he was up to.” Was the news of Bin Laden’s death a big moment for him? “It was a big moment for America.” But what about him personally? Scheuer doesn’t take the bait. “Well, I’m an American. I think he was a danger to our country. He was never anything more to me than a threat that needed to be taken care of.” What motivated him to write his first two books anonymously while still serving as a CIA analyst? “I wrote [them] because I didn’t think we were getting it. The message [of Bin Laden] was there – it was clear, it was available in English – and yet we still had presidents talking about, you know, ‘Here come the bombers because they don’t like primary elections in Iowa every four years.'” Scheuer was frustrated by his government’s unwillingness not just to understand Bin Laden, but to kill him, too. In The 9/11 Commission Report, where he is named only as “Mike”, he is portrayed as being annoyed by the Clinton administration’s failure to target Bin Laden aggressively in the late 1990s. The fact is, he says now, “we had a chance to kill Bin Laden for five consecutive nights in the third week of May 1999; we knew each night where he was staying in Kandahar. They didn’t shoot at all.” Why not? Were his superiors worried about collateral damage? “Yeah, collateral damage,” he says sarcastically. “The shrapnel might hit a mosque.” He couldn’t contain his rage at the lack of action. “So what I did was write a memorandum to the top 12 or 14 people in the agency. I said: ‘Listen: a) the intelligence is not going to get any better, and b) this is a guy we need to take seriously and if you don’t do anything not only are a lot of Americans going to die, but you’re going to have an ‘intelligence failure’ on your hands.” It was the end of his career in charge of Alec Station. “The agency’s a very small ‘d’ democratic place. You can argue, you can bitch, you can debate, but you cross the line if you put it on paper. And if you put it on paper and put it in an electronic system where it can’t be purged, they really get mad.” On the morning of 11 September 2001, Scheuer was sitting in his office at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, having been reassigned as to the agency’s counter-narcotics programme. A friend called and told him to turn on the television. Scheuer switched it on to watch United Airlines Flight 175 fly into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Did he know instantly that Bin Laden was behind the attacks? “Instantly.” Scheuer says the mood among the rank and file at the CIA’s HQ on the day was one of anger. First, because “Bin Laden should have been dead long ago”; second, because it was clear from that moment that politicians and the media would blame the attacks on an “intelligence failure”. Scheuer believes that weak, short-sighted and incompetent politicians should take their share of the blame – chief among them the former president Bill Clinton, his national security adviser Sandy Berger and his counterterrorism tsar Richard “Dick” Clarke. “Bill, Dick and Sandy helped to push Americans out of the windows of the World Trade Center on that September morning,” he wrote in 2006. Does he regret making such an inflammatory statement? Can he really believe that? “They did,” he says in a low voice. Does he think Clinton was worse than George W Bush when it came to handling the threat from Bin Laden? “I think they were both terrible presidents.” Yet, in Bush’s defence, Scheuer says that between the end of the Clinton administration and 9/11, “we didn’t know where Osama was”. This, he suggests, makes Clinton more culpable. But didn’t Bush exacerbate the terrorist threat by invading Iraq? “Oh, absolutely,” he says. “Iraq moved Osama and al-Qaeda from man and group to philosophy and movement.” And he hints, ominously: “I don’t think we’ve begun to see the disaster Iraq is going to cause in the years to come.” Scheuer also blames the Bush administration for the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment. “The Islamophobia in the United States is directly attributable to the [Bush] White House, because of the endless lies about ‘Muslims hate us because we’re free, because there’s women in the workplace, because we drink beer’. And the American people say, ‘Well, if that’s true, we’ve got to be afraid of them.'” In Marching Towards Hell, he excoriates the Democratic and Republican “bipartisan governing elite”, who are equally to blame, he believes, for the west’s failure to defeat al-Qaeda. He has little patience for the successors to Bush and Blair, Barack Obama and David Cameron: their advocacy of regime change in Syria and implementation of regime change in Libya, he says, make them “recruiting sergeants” for the next generation of terrorists. Nonetheless, he is full of praise for Obama’s handling of Bin Laden’s killing. “There is no taking away from him for doing the right thing. We’ve become so used to the American president not doing the right things in terms of protecting his country that it’s a great change.” Does he not think Bin Laden should have been tried in a court of law for his crimes? “It would have been hard to try him. If you tried him, he was going to be speaking to the Muslim world from a courtroom for two or three years.” I ask him the $64,000 question – is US foreign policy to blame for the rise of al-Qaeda and its affiliates? His answer is cryptic: “I believe it is the chief means by which the United States can extricate itself.” Later he explains: “We have given birth to a movement – through the invasion of Iraq and through our inability to cope with the fact that so many people in the Muslim world, whether or not they’re willing to pick up a gun, regard us as malignant because of our policies.” His critics say it is too simplistic to blame foreign policy for suicide terrorism against the US. Even if the US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and disengaged from the wider Middle East, wouldn’t there still be groups of Islamist terrorists bent on causing harm to the west? Scheuer concedes the point, but contends that it would then be “a manageable problem”. “I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to blow themselves up because my daughters go to university . . . People are going to come and bomb us because they don’t like what we’ve done.” Scheuer often singles out Israel for criticism, arguing that the US’s “unquestioning support” for the Jewish state’s dispossession of the Palestinians has helped radicalise young men across the Muslim world, boost al-Qaeda’s status and endanger US national security. He has received hate mail and death threats in response, and says: “The anger within the Jewish community in the US towards me is quite extraordinary.” He argues that he was sacked from a post at the Jamestown Foundation in 2009 for his anti-Israeli remarks. Some have claimed – the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat included – that Bin Laden had little interest in the fate of the Palestinians, and that he cynically exploited the conflict after 9/11 to garner support from ordinary Muslims in his war against the west. “That’s a complete lie, sir,” Scheuer counters. “If you read the first thing [Bin Laden] wrote, there are probably nine or ten different references to Israel/Palestine . . . The idea that he was a Johnny-come-lately is completely made up.” Scheuer has admirers on the left and the right. The former quote his views on the link between US foreign policy and the al-Qaeda threat; the latter point to his support for near-indiscriminate military action against terrorist groups, the use of “extraordinary rendition” and CIA special prisons, and his relaxed attitude towards “collateral damage”. “Killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes,” Scheuer insists in Imperial Hubris. “With killing must come a [General] Sherman-like razing of infrastructure.” His argument seems to be that Washington has two options: either it changes its “failed policies” in the Muslim world or it embarks on a mass killing spree against suspected terrorists. He remains unapologetic about this. “America today is one big Israel,” he says. “All it has to defend itself is the intelligence services and the military, because our politicians will not address the issues that are at play.” By the time Scheuer left the CIA in 2004, he had served in the agency for 22 years. How did his wife cope with being married to the CIA’s Bin Laden hunter? “She was always very supportive of what I did. But the toll it took from late 1995 until 2004 was that I missed nine years of my children growing up, from the ages of two and three.” Was it worth it? “It was,” he says. “And it’s certainly not as bad as fathers who went to fight the Japanese or the Germans for four or five years. I wasn’t getting shot at.” He never served as a field operative, instead devoting his intellect and energy to rigorous analysis of his enemies’ words and deeds – a task that he has continued in his “retired” life as an author and academic (he is now an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University, Washington). Scheuer disagrees with former colleagues in intelligence circles who believe that al-Qaeda is in decline, marginalised by the Arab spring and Bin Laden’s death. “I think, potentially, they’re stronger than they were on 9/11,” he says. “On 9/11 they had [only] one main platform, which was Afghanistan.” Whether or not you agree with everything he says, it is hard not to be impressed by his self-confidence and clarity of thinking. I ask him what he would do if he were in charge of his nation’s security. How would a President Scheuer reduce the terrorist threat? You square with the American people. You say, ‘I’m sorry, we’ve been lying to you for 30 years – your daughters can go to school without burqas, you can have beer after work, they’re not going to blow us up for that. But they are going to blow us up because we’re supporting Israel, because we protect the Saudis . . .’ And none of that stuff is necessarily a condemnation of a policy; it’s just an adult view.” But he remains deeply pessimistic. “I think the only thing that changes anything in America any more is calamity. And unless there’s a calamity of some sort, this foreign policy of ours will stay the same,” he says morosely. In an interview broadcast in July 2009, Scheuer caused outrage by suggesting that “the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama Bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States”. Ten years on from 9/11, does he still worry that there will be another al-Qaeda attack on US soil? “I think there will be.” Mehdi Hasan is the NS’s senior editor (politics)

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October 1, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Ex-CIA Bin Laden chief Michael Scheuer speaks out …

By Kevin Barrett on February 17, 2014 My latest Press TV article Americans speaking out about Israelification of the USA could have cited Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIAs Bin Laden unit in the 1990s. Scheuer has been increasingly vocal about the damage done to US interests by Israeli and Saudi clout in Washington. Below is a transcript of roughly the first third of my two-hour interview with Michael Scheuer. Barrett: (Youve been warning America for more than a decade, but it still isnt listening.) Scheuer: No, they wont listen, sir. The first book I wrote was finished in 1999, and the Agency locked it up for two years because they were afraid it would offend Arabs. It was only after 9/11 that their concern lessened a little bit. Its like yelling into a closet. The American people, God bless em, are just sobadly educated and unaware of how duplicitous their leaders are. Were much worse off today than we were when we started to fight al-Qaeda and its allies in 1995, and certainly infinitely worse off than we were in 2001. And yet our president, Mr. McCainthey all say that the killing of Bin Laden has been the turning point in this war. Americans just dont seem to get the difference between what they are told and what the reality is. If this wasnt a problem, or not the problem it used to be, everyone wouldnt be so upset about the Russians not letting us help out with security in Sochi for the Olympics. Barrett Well, I dont blame them. After Bandar Bush, as hes sometimes called, went to visit Putin, and threatened him with terrorism directed at the Olympics if he didnt support Bandar and the so-called Syrian rebels, who are supposedly on our sideyou know, I wouldnt really want American security help either. Scheuer Well, in many ways I have to agree that to a great extent, our success or our defense depends on being surrounded by two oceans. And its rather hard to get in here on airplanes at the moment. But whats slowly happening is that I think we will see young American Muslims, who we have assumed the so-called melting pot would take care of, will be attracted to the same sort of propaganda, the same sort of rhetoric, that has been so appealing to Muslims in Europe and Africa and of course across the Middle East. And well be fighting this war at home increasingly over the next decade, fifteen years. Barrett Well, Im Muslim, by the way. And my sonI guess you could call him a certain kind of radical American Muslim. Hes a radical libertarian Ron Paul supporter kind of guy. (laughter) Scheuer As am I! Though Im a Roman Catholic. But the point I was trying to make is that its a sort of an arrogance to assume (a) that everyone is the same and will be affected by the same assimilative pressures or interests, and (b) that religion has nothing to do with whats going on. There would be no problem if this was not a religiously motivated jihad or war or whatever you want to call it. The fact that our leaders wont even take than on board as a possibility is really going to be fatal to America in so many ways Barrett Lets back up for the listeners who havent done their homework on this even some of my listeners may miss some of these things and talk about the gist of your analysis of whats really at stake here. Youre saying that this whole propaganda wave weve been washed in since 9/11, about how theyre coming after us because THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM, and they dont like the way our women dress and this sort of thing, is all nonsense. And there are some very straightforward and simple reasons why there is a worldwide insurgency in the Islamic world. Scheuer Yeah, Kevin, I have to say that if the Muslim world was upset with us for women with short skirts, or Budweiser beer, or early primaries in Iowa, the threat wouldnt even rise to a lethal nuisance, probably. They certainly wouldnt have those things in their countries many wouldnt, anyway. What theyre mad about is what were doing, what our government is doing in the Muslim world what I call intervention. Becoming involved in countries where we really have no interest, where we really dont have anything to do with teaching people anything. Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama have taken this war of civilization to a higher level. And weve moved away from simply using military power. Now were involved in trying to teach these people how to be good, secular Westerners. Barrett And at the same time were supporting al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria. Whats that about? Scheuer Its aboutal-Qaeda has known for a long time, sir, that all they have to do, all al-Qaeda and their allies have to do, is find someone who shaves, wears a suit, speaks a little English, and can be pushed out in front of them, and keep saying the word democracy. The American leadership will fall in line, and do al-Qaedas work for them. Weve provided the air support for their takeover, or partial takeover, of Libya. If Putin hadnt saved our bacon, we would have done the same thing in Syria.We would have helped get rid of Assad, allowed the murder of a million Alawites, and put the jihadis in power. So itsthis is certainly a lost generation of leaders. Ive often thought that if America survived my generation (I was born in 1952) I would be very grateful. Barrett You and I have pretty similar reactions to these seemingly utterly senseless post-9/11 policies, and even pre-9/11 for that matter. But it seems like youre totally devoted to the incompetence theory: That the reason our politicians have done exactly the wrong thing at every step along the way has been pure stupidity. You did have a line though, I think its in Marching Toward Hell: Only madmen and perhaps a few neoconservatives and Israel-firsters would have sought these consequences. Only madmen and neocons! Those may not be mutually exclusive categories. (laughter) But when I look back and see that you were prevented ten times from taking out Bin Laden before 9/11and then 9/11 happens and BOOM, the policies are Lets try to drive the Islamic world even crazier, lets murder even more millions of Muslims, lets do everything we can to ENCOURAGE this worldwide insurgency And who does it benefit? Scheuer It doesnt benefit anyone. Except our politicians in both parties think it will keep them in power. And theyre so politically-correct. That has gotten to be such a trite and overused phrase, but, my God! I dont think these people are stupid. I would prefer it if they were. What I contend is that theyre liars. They all have better educations than I had. I didnt get to go to Harvard or Princeton or any of the Ivy League schools, or to Stanford. All of these people were educated there. The abundance of information thats available about the motivation of our Islamist rivals, or our Islamist enemies if you prefer, is extraordinary. We havent had enemies since Ho Chi Minh and General Giap, and before that Adolph Hitler, who were so willing and eager and desperate almost to tell us what they were mad at, why they were mad about it, and what they were going to do. Unfortunately for America, we could tolerate fools and stupid people, but the choice is only between being a liar, and being a worse liar, sir. These people know exactly what the problem is. The Muslim world doesnt hate Americans as people. Ive traveled extensively, during the course of my career, in the Muslim world, in both the Middle East and South Asia. And invariably, the courtesy that was extended to us, to me, was extraordinary. And the appreciation for Americans and their generosity in times of natural disasters and other kinds of problems is very great. But inevitably, the question comes over dinner, or over tea: Why are you supplying the Israelis with F-16s to kill Palestinian young people? Why are you supporting the police states that run, take your pick Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and the rest of the Gulf countries? Muslims are not stupid people. Thats one of the assumptions we make at the official level in Washington, in America, is that they cant differentiate between Americans and their government. And the focus of Muslim hatred is not on Americans. It is definitely on the United States government. And we are the essential ally of the most violent, most militaristic part of the Muslim community around the world: the jihadis. Barrett Thats a good point. One metaphor Ive sometimes tried to use, which would frame it very differently from the way you frame it you frame it by focusing on the jihadi element but the thing is, Mike, that in the Muslim world, the vast majority of people feel very, very strongly about some of these issues, with what I would call the genocidal Zionist occupation of Palestine being number one. And we all pretty much feel that way. Or the vast majority do. And I think were objectively right on this. Before I even came to Islam, I knew enough about Israel-Palestine to know that the Palestinians are right: This is a completely absurd crime that has been committed against them. So my metaphor would be that this is like the civil rights movement in the 60s, where obviously this group of people is being oppressed, theyre obviously totally right about the issues theyre angry about. And then you have this very tiny, tiny segment of this vast number of people who want to change things and get their fair share, their rightsa tiny number are willing to commit violence. So by focusing obsessively on that tiny number who are willing to commit violence, and reacting badly or over-reacting that might make the problem worse. If (in the 1960s) someone had said, well, were going to have to kill huge numbers of black people because of this and youve said things a little bit like this in some of your books if they had, wouldnt there have been even more black people who got mad enough to go out and cause trouble? Scheuer Well, I certainly think thats true. But we have to realize that this is a war. This is a war of global dimensions. At least from my perspective, the idea that you dont kill people because theyll get madder at you is sort of nonsense. Its absolutely true, but its absolutely irrelevant. And its irrelevant because the leadership of this country the academic leadership, the media leadership, the political leadership of this country, and to a great extent much of the religious leadership of this country has created a situation in which we deny the existence of the problem. And for that reason, the only tools were bringing to bear to defend ourselves are the intelligence services and the military. And America has never won a struggle, a war, with just those two entities. What are they good for? Theyre good for killing. And if thats all youre going to do, youre going to have to kill an enormous number of people. Many more today than in 2001. And thats the box America is in. Until we can be adults and say, listen, they dont care if we vote early in Iowa, they dont care if my daughter goes to university. What they care about is our intervention in their world: Our support of the Israelis, our fifty years of support for tyrannies in the Middle East. Whatever it is, thats what motivates them. And until we address the motivation, in our own minds at least, and at least accept that thats what their motivation is, we have no choice but to kill people. No matter what the impact is on the rest of the world. Because ultimately you have to defend yourself. Barrett Right, butlets step back and ask, what are the real US interests in the Middle East? Do we need to support Israel? Do we need to prop up these dictators? Scheuer Well, certainly, I have argued consistently over the course of four books that neither Palestine nor Israel is of the slightest bit of concern to the United States. And one of the reasons that struggle goes on is because of our constant intervention in favor of the Israelis. If we hadnt been backing the Israelis ever step along the way, there would have been some kind of settlement by now, or some kind of solution to the problem. But ultimately, from an American perspective, if every Palestinian died, or every Israeli died, or both of them, there would be a lot of empathy, a lot of sympathy, a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth, but at the end of the day, to American national interests, it wouldnt matter a bit. It wouldnt make any impact on us at all. To me, the support for the Israelis is a twofold disaster. It involves us in a war with a civilization that really doesnt have a desire to fight us, except for the fact of our intervention on behalf of the Israelis and others. Secondly, it corrupts our domestic political system to a point where several years ago, five hundred members of our Congress gave 29 standing ovations to Netanyahu after our President laid out a position that was in direct contradiction to Netanyahu. Barrett Yeah, I couldnt believe that. Scheuer Im afraid Ive been inside of this beast for so long that I was hardly surprised. Although the numbers that were attending that meeting were somewhat stark. But these peoplethe problem for America is not Israel. The problem for America is the American Jewish community, or that portion of it that are dead enders, that are maximalists, that sit here in America with their children, their homes, their jobs, their happy fat bank accounts, and bankroll the extremists who run the Israeli government. Thats the danger to Israel. Thats the danger to the United States political system. Barrett And youre getting more and more forthright about saying that. And the usual suspects, the neocons and the hard-line Zionists, have really gotten upset with you lately. Scheuer Well, not lately. Almost since the day I resigned and began to speak out. Barrett But they get more hysterical all the time. Scheuer They do. Theyre a little bitI dont know if theyre unstable, or just frenetic. But they are extraordinarily vicious people, in terms of what they write to me, in terms of what they write to my employers, in terms of what they put in public print. But at the end of the day, theyre defending an indefensible position. Theyre defending, in many respects, a position thats absolutely treasonous to the United States, and incompatible with being an American citizen. Barrett Thats a great point. I dont quite understand how they get away with it. Including the dual citizen issue. We just heard Stanley Fischer, whos going to be number two at the Fed apparently, is a proud dual citizen who has announced it in public. And this is, I guess, a new precedent. Weve been told that a lot of the other high-level people, people like Perle and Wolfowitz and so on, may have been dual citizens as well, but theyre not telling us. Is there some kind of policy about allowing people with a declared loyalty to a foreign country to be in high-level foreign policy positions? Scheuer Of course there is! There are rules, there are laws against that. You can take your choice. If you want to be an Israeli passport holder, thats fine, but youre no longer an American citizen. But just like so many other laws, whether its under Bush or Obama or Clinton or the first George Bush you can go back four presidents they only enforce the laws they want to. I think its unconscionable. You cannot get a passport from another country, you cannot get a passport from America, without swearing allegiance to the United States or to the other country. Any American citizen who holds a foreign passport, whether its an Israeli passport, an Irish passport, a Lebanese passport, an Armenian passportwhatever it is, should immediately be cashiered out of any kind of position of trust with the US government. And forced to make a choice. They are either going to be an American citizen or theyre going to be an Israeli, Lebanese, whatever-youd-like citizen. They cant be both. Im not a strong religious person, but I think its very clear you give to Caesar whats Caesars. You cant serve two masters. Barrett I think its become more and more clear, especially since Walt and Mearsheimer put out their book, that this really is the issue: US support for Israel is not, as people have been saying for many years, because Israel has been helping us as our cop in the Middle East; they come up with all kinds of stories about why this is supposed to be helping the US. But obviously all its doing is making us huge numbers of enemies. Scheuer Its interesting to watch, I think, the US Jewish community from a distance of just me observing them. They may be the first part of the melting pot thats un-assimilating. Its very clear: They send their children to join the Israeli military instead of the US military. They are opting out, really, of any part of American society that doesnt agree with them that Israel is somehow as important, or more important than the interests of the United States. Barrett I had Gwyneth Todd on my show awhile back. And she, Im told, served on the National Security Council at the time that Richard Clarke was also on the Council. And she had some rather uncomplimentary things to say about Richard Clarke. She said and I had this confirmed by someone else that he was caught spying for Israel by the FBI, and that made him ineligible for some positionI forget what the position wasand then he got booted upstairs to the National Security Council, AFTER hed got caught spying for Israel. Have you heard anything about this? Scheuer I havent heard anything about that sir, no. But I have to say that Israel probably has the best espionage system of any foreign country in our country, because so many people turn a blind eye to it. If you question anything that an American Jew does, or that Israel does, youre immediately an anti-Semite. Look at what this baseball player from Milwaukee did, when he failed the drug test for steroids Braun, Ryan Braun. He immediately accused the person who took the test of being an anti-Semite. What happened? He got off the hook the first time, until they proved it definitively. It is an all-purpose marginalizer of people who question the relationship between the Israelis and the United States. And it is the ultimate, next to the word terrorism, debate stopper. Barrett Right. I learned that the hard way myself in the academy. Its really the ultimate taboo. And its strange how it works. Because the Zionist Jewish people are not exactly a poor powerless oppressed group. And yet thats kind of the way its played that its terrible to say bad things about the poor powerless oppressed minority types. And heres a group thats got double the average income of non-Jewish Americans, thats totally dominating foreign policy, and yet theyre benefiting from the same kind of protection we think were affording to poor oppressed powerless minorities. Scheuer Theyre really the only ones who can publicly flaunt their disloyalty to America and be applauded for it. But Ill tell you one experience I had. Israel is not the only one. When I worked for the CIA, if we were gathering information, or some kind of a collection effort that was benefiting the United States but really didnt have any pertinence to another foreign country, if the Israelis found out about it, or if the Saudis found out about it, and you refused to share the information with them because it really had nothing to do with them, or their national security, they were the two countries on earth who could call the White House, bypass the intelligence community, and get the White House to order the release of that information to them. As bad as the Israelis are, at least theyre public about it; you can see their disloyalty. But the Saudis are very quiet. Theyre very rich. They use their own money instead of our money to bribe us. And theyre very good at collecting former senior intelligence officers, diplomats, generals, businesspeople, and putting them on the payroll of Saudi Arabia after theyve retired to lobby our government. Its a dirty, ugly business. And I wish there were some way to end it. But I dont know how to do it.

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August 22, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Mike Sarne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Sarne (born 6 August 1940) is a British actor, writer, producer and director, who also had a brief career as pop singer Mike Sarne. He is of Czechoslovakian descent.[1] Sarne was born Michael Scheuer at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. Active in the 1960s as singer, he is best known for his 1962 UK novelty chart topper, “Come Outside” (produced by Joe Meek), which featured vocal interjections by Wendy Richard.[2] He had three more releases which made the UK Singles chart: “Will I What?”, in 1962, which featured Billie Davis; “Just for Kicks”, in 1963; and “Code of Love”, also in 1963.[3] In the mid-1960s Sarne introduced the ITV children’s quiz series Junior Criss Cross Quiz. As an actor he has appeared on television, in British series including The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase, Jonathan Creek and The Bill. Sarne also appeared in an episode of Minder as Billy Beesley, an amateur safe blower. His film credits include a starring role in the 1963 film A Place to Go with Rita Tushingham, directed by Basil Dearden, and he also appeared in Invasion Quartet (1961), Every Day’s a Holiday (1965), Two Weeks in September (1967), Moonlighting (1982) and Success Is the Best Revenge (1984) for Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, and the Hercule Poirot film Appointment with Death (1988). He also played an SS captain in the TV miniseries War and Remembrance (1988). He later appeared in The Fourth Angel (2001), as Valery in the crime thriller Eastern Promises (2007), and in 2011 he was the voice of Karla in the spy film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In 2012 he played Father Mabeuf in the film of Les Misrables.[4] Films he has directed include Joanna (1968) and Myra Breckinridge (1970), an adaptation of Gore Vidal’s book of the same name, starring Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Mae West and Farrah Fawcett in her first big screen role. Joanna broke even at the box office, but Myra Breckinridge was a major box-office flop and drew such critical hostility, his career never recovered. A more recent film is The Punk and the Princess (1994), an adaptation of Gideon Sams’ young adult novel The Punk, about the romance between a teenage punk rocker and a Sloane Ranger girl. He also directed a documentary about the Glastonbury Music Festival in 1995. He attended the School of Slavonic and East European Studies earning a BA.[5] Sarne had a relationship with Brigitte Bardot only a few days after her honeymoon with Gunter Sachs.[6] He has 5 children: Claudia and William from his 19691978 marriage to Tanya Sarne, founder of the designer label Ghost; and Emma, Abigail and Sarah with second wife Anne Musso, whom he married in 2004 in Chelsea, London.[7] His brother, David Scheuer, had a brief acting career in the 1960s and 70s.[citation needed]

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June 26, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

About Michael Scheuer and Non-Interventionism | Non …

Why non-intervention.com? For a long time, it struck me as quite egotistical and probably arrogant to think that I had anything to say about contemporary U.S. foreign policy and the perils of its relentless interventionism that would merit a website of my own. And to tell the truth, I still have doubts that (a) I have much to say that is insightful on the issue and (b) that anyone will much care what I have to say. Still, I have had a good number of responses positive and negative to what I have written on foreign-policy issues since I resigned from the CIA in November, 2004. Since that date, I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to write for Antiwar.com and LewRockwell.com. I want to offer my thanks and sincere appreciation for the space they gave me, and to say very clearly that by starting my own site, I am in no way criticizing those sites. Indeed, I should be most pleased not to say shocked if this site has anywhere near the substantive success or level of interest Antiwar.com and LewRockwell.com have achieved. That said, I finally decided to try a site of my own because I am not fully committed to an unyielding anti-war position. I certainly do believe that we are engaged in far too many wars; that most of them are unnecessary; and that almost all of them are the consequence of Washingtons rabid post-1945 interventionism. To the extent that Washington under both Democrats and Republicans stops intervening in overseas affairs that are of neither genuine concern to the United States nor threats to U.S. interests, we will find ourselves in far fewer wars. And I might add, in passing, that if Americans begin to aggressively insist that all wars in which their country becomes engaged must per the Constitution be formally declared by the vote of Congress, we would likewise have far fewer wars. But I do believe some wars are both necessary and unavoidable; indeed, I believe that human beings are hard-wired for war; that they are not perfectible; and that the only mercy in war is an enormous application of military power that wins victory for the United States in the shortest possible time. At present, the only war that falls into the necessary and unavoidable category, in my view, is our war against al-Qaeda and the growing Islamist forces it leads and inspires. Motivated by Washingtons interventionist policies in the Muslim world, that foe declared war on America in August 1996. Sadly, we have yet to find a U.S. political leader in either party who will forthrightly accept the fact that we are at war with the Islamists; nor have we found one who will tell the American people that we are at war because of what the U.S. government does in the Muslim world unqualified support for Israel, support for Arab tyrannies, invading Iraq, etc. and not for who we are and how we live here in North America. Today, Americans are rightly suspicious of calling our struggle with the Islamists a war because they again rightly cannot believe that people would wage a nearly 14-year war and gladly die in the conflict because American women go to university, there are early primaries in Iowa every four years, and many of us have a beer or two after work. The consistent lies of our last four presidents, leading generals, much of the media, and nearly all of the academy They hate our freedoms, not what we do have misled and blinded Americans to the very real threat the Islamists pose to domestic security in the United States and some of our interests overseas. My primary interest, then, in starting this website, is to discuss the almost totally negative impact of Washingtons bipartisan lust to intervene abroad, as well as to talk about how interventionism undermines U.S. security, the nations economy, and our countrys social cohesion. I also think it is appropriate to discuss here how far we have strayed from the Founding Fathers vision of what America and Americans should be at home and how the republic should conduct itself in the wider world. This site will argue that the Founders recipe for safeguarding America in 1789 remains pertinent today: all Americans must be vigilant of their liberty; politically active in its defense; broadly educated to help assess politicians, policies, and foreign entities that threaten that liberty; and armed to defeat enemies, foreign or domestic, who threaten that liberty. It will quickly become clear that I am not an original thinker on these issues, but rather a person who was educated with, and is loyal to, the ideas of those brilliant and far-seeing men who founded our republic. I look forward to presenting my ideas and commentary on this site, and, even more, I look forward to considering, discussing, and learning from the responses of my fellow citizens.

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June 18, 2016   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed


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