26 August, 2008

Deep State Doublethink - Peter Dale Scott

Somewhere between George Bush and Noam Chomsky, who believe the 9/11 Commission Report, and David Ray Griffin, who believes "the Bush-Cheney administration orchestrated 9/11" (Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, 2006, p. vii-viii, ), there is Peter Dale Scott.

Scott doesn't say who did it, but as Ola Tunander puts it,

"Peter Dale Scott exposes a shadow world of oil, terrorism, drug trade and arms deals, of covert financing and parallel security structures . from the Cold War to today. He shows how such parallel forces of the United States have been able to dominate the agenda of the George W. Bush Administration, and that statements and actions made by Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld before, during and after September 11, 2001, present evidence for an American "deep state" and for the so-called "Continuity of Government" in parallel to the regular "public state" ruled by law. Scott"s brilliant work not only reveals the overwhelming importance of these parallel forces but also presents elements of a strategy for restraining their influence to win back the "public state," the American democracy."

This is not very different from the more widely held "rogue network" theory described, for example, by Webster Tarpley, as "an outlaw network of high officials infesting the military and security apparatus of the United States and Great Britain." Tarpley sees this network as "ultimately dominated by Wall Street and City of London financiers," but many other candidates have been proposed (Bilderbergers, Bohemian Grove, Skull and Bones, Illuminati, CFR, CIA, Mossad, Federal Reserve, etc.).

What these two points of view have in common, if indeed they are different at all, is the idea that there is, or still is, a "public state" (or "non-rogue" network) at all. This sounds comforting, to the extent that it encourages us to think that if we can just expose and get rid of the bad guys, we can "win the country back." The latter expression brings us all the way back into mainstream politics, where anyone dissatisfied with the status quo can complain about the country having gone to the dogs and being desperately in need of change.

It is along this continuum that we lose Chomsky and other advocates of a "structuralist" or "institutional" approach, which they oppose to "conspiracy theory" generally. The system cannot be fixed, they say, by superficial reforms, or by getting rid of the bad guys, because it is based on capitalist imperialism and the profit motive. Even if the "deep state" were exposed and removed, things would not improve significantly because the public state is the real killer. Chomsky's entire (political) oeuvre is dedicated to showing how the US government (and its allies) wreak havoc in the world, not by conspiracy but openly and consistently as the logical and predictable consequence of the economic system it serves.

I think both points of view are flawed. Why Chomsky et al. refuse to acknowledge the evidence for high-level government complicity in "deep state" events like the JFK assassination and 9/11 is simply not comprehensible. They fit easily (and politically very effectively) into a "structural" analysis: both events precipitated imperialist wars -- the latter undeniably, the former arguably.

On the other hand, is this notion of a coexisting deep and public state not precisely the state of doublethink Orwell described in "1984" -- "holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them" (Orwell, 1984)? How is it possible, logically, to have both at the same time? The concepts, it seems to me, are mutually exclusive. If the deep state exists, there can be no public state, by definition. The same is true of the rogue network. There can be no rogue network within the government controlling the government, because if that is the case the rogue network is the government.

This is not "semantics." Scott is not talking about the public face, the propaganda mask, that "bad" governments use to disguise their evil nature. There would be nothing new about that. He is talking about two governments ("states"), a good one and a bad one, that are so intertwined they can hardly be told apart, like Jekyll and Hyde. This is what Scott's oeuvre is all about -- showing us how closely intertwined they are. My problem with this is that precisely because they are so intertwined, I see no point in trying to distinguish them.

Worse, Scott's theory in the end exonerates the very institutions (CIA, FBI, Military Intelligence, etc.) he impugns. Like his friend John Newman, who can present a mountain of evidence proving that Oswald was a CIA agent without implicating the CIA as an institution, Scott does not locate the deep state in the CIA or any other government agency, or in the government at all, since the "overworld" extends far beyond the US government into organized crime, international banking and finance, transnational corporations, foreign intelligence agencies, etc. Thus "9/11 was an inside job," for Scott, does not mean the (US) government did it. Ditto for JFK, and all other "deep events."

As long as this doublethink holds, one is paralyzed. One cannot blame the government, or agencies of the government, because they didn't do it. Despite the overwhelming evidence tying them to all sorts of misdeeds, they are innocent as institutions because they are, after all, part of the "public state." This is where Newman leaves us, and it is where Scott leaves us. Maybe there is something about being a former intelligence officer (Newman) or a (Canadian) diplomat (Scott) that prevents them from taking the final, logical step, which I see as inevitable. If everything, or even half, of what they say is true, the government did do it, and only the government can solve the so-called "mysteries" and rectify the situation, whereupon it follows that we must try to remake the government into a true "res publica." Rather than exonerate the CIA as an institution, for example, it must be completely reformed (or abolished) as an institution. Since this can probably not be done without reforming the overarching institution, the government, of which it is a part, we can now rejoin Chomsky et al. in calling for fundamental change. I wonder if Maj. Newman and Prof. Scott would be with us on that one.


Peter Dale Scott is often called the "dean" of JFK assassination research, having engaged in scholarly research and writings on the topic for three decades. His landmark Deep Politics and the Death of JFK goes beyond Dealey Plaza and focuses instead on the "deep politics" of the assassination and the Kennedy era. Dr. Scott excels at putting the assassination into the larger and too-often obscured political context, tracing the hidden political connections between relevant figures in the case, and dissecting motives for coverup. An early critic of the Vietnam war, Dr. Scott was the first to show how subtle changes in Vietnam policy in the early days of the Johnson administration paved the way for the later expansion of the war.

Peter Dale Scott
Deep Politics and the Death of JFK

"Staggeringly well-researched and intelligent overview not only of the JFK assassination but also of the rise of forces undermining American democracy. . . . A kind of Rosetta stone for cracking open the deepest darkness in American politics. Will test the most well-informed.".Kirkus Reviews
"A serious study by a concerned scholar into the underlying motives of our time. A book that will become part of our alternate history.to be read and studied by future generations. Thank you, Mr. Peter Dale Scott.".Oliver Stone

"I have used Peter Dale Scott's work the way I would a CIA archive: to name names, establish relationships, and generate hyphotheses. That we still have no CIA archives, establishes the worth of Scott's work.".Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago

"A masterful synthesis of decades of research into President Kennedy's assassination. Weaving together the malevolent common interests of organized crime, J. Edgar Hoover, the CIA, Military Intelligence, and various upperworld businesses that comprise the "deep politics" most likely responsible for the assassination, Scott's work is a major contribution to assassination research and, indeed, the social history of modern America. This work sets the standard for all future inquiries into the assassination.".Alan A. Block, Pennsylvania State University

"From probing the conspicuous deficiencies of the Warren Commission to exploring the skewed political priorities of the House Assassinations Committee, Peter Dale Scott offers a trenchant analysis of Government's failure to solve the murder of President Kennedy. I've long been an admirer of Scott's prodigious ability to synthesize and clarify the disparate components that have been injected into the investigation of the Kennedy assassination over the years. No one provides a broader and more revealing perspective. From what he calls 'the underlying continuities of deep politics' to the mutual interests of military, right-wing, intelligence agency and organized crime conspirators, Scott's selective revelations move the Kennedy assassination into the historical context all Americans must first grasp before they can truly understand the consequences that terrible event had.and still has.on their lives.".Gaeton Fonzi, Former Investigator, U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations
Peter Dale Scott's meticulously documented investigation uncovers the secrets surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination. Offering a wholly new perspective.that JFK's death was not just an isolated case, but rather a symptom of hidden processes.Scott examines the deep politics of early 1960s American international and domestic policies.

Scott offers a disturbing analysis of the events surrounding Kennedy's death, and of the "structural defects" within the American government that allowed such a crime to occur and to go unpunished. In nuanced readings of both previously examined and newly available materials, he finds ample reason to doubt the prevailing interpretations of the assassination. He questions the lone assassin theory and the investigations undertaken by the House Committee on Assassinations, and unearths new connections between Oswald, Ruby, and corporate and law enforcement forces.

Revisiting the controversy popularized in Oliver Stone's movie JFK, Scott probes the link between Kennedy's assassination and the escalation of the U.S. commitment in Vietnam that followed two days later. He contends that Kennedy's plans to withdraw troops from Vietnam.offensive to a powerful anti-Kennedy military and political coalition.were secretly annulled when Johnson came to power. The split between JFK and his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the collaboration between Army Intelligence and the Dallas Police in 1963, are two of the several missing pieces Scott adds to the puzzle of who killed Kennedy and why.

Scott presses for a new investigation of the Kennedy assassination, not as an external conspiracy but as a power shift within the subterranean world of American politics. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK shatters our notions of one of the central events of the twentieth century.
About The Author
Peter Dale Scott is a Lannan Literary Award-winning poet and Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also coauthor (with Jonathan Marshall) of Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (California, 1991), among other books.

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Blogger mdmorrissey said...

"Deep State Doublethink" is by Michael D. Morrissey: http://www.mdmorrissey.info/deepstate

Wed Aug 27, 10:16:00 am UTC  
Anonymous Peter Dale Scott said...

Michael Morrissey concludes 'we can now rejoin Chomsky et al. in calling for fundamental change. I wonder if Maj. Newman and Prof. Scott would be with us on that one."

It is clear from the relevant last chapter to my book The Road to 9/11 (which he does not mention), that I not only call for fundamental change, but suggest how to get it: not by simple political action, nor by total revolution, but by working for years to build a new and united civil society, with the priority of ousting the present power structure. -- Peter Dale Scott

Wed Aug 27, 06:29:00 pm UTC  

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