Posted 10 months ago on Nov. 7, 2013, 5:50 p.m. EST by LeoYo
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Hegemony Abroad Requires a Security State at Home
Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:52 By Paul Jay, The Real News Network | Video Interview
Also see Part 1: Ex-CIA Analyst on Snowden and Calling Journalists Terrorists
In this segment of Reality Asserts Itself, Paul Jay and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern discuss the relationship between seeking to be the world's single superpower and the resulting blowback and need to suppress dissent at home.
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to Reality Asserts Itself.
We are continuing our interview with Ray McGovern, who now joins us in the studio.
Thanks for joining us again, Ray.
RAY MCGOVERN, RETIRED CIA ANALYST: Welcome.
JAY: So Ray, in case you don't know, is a former CIA analyst. He's now a political activist. He's--was instrumental in founding the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. He's a cofounder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Thank you. And I know you actually have found some veterans and professionals with some sanity. It's somewhat of a--.
MCGOVERN: And with some conscience.
JAY: You have. I've actually been quite impressed. You know, I got politicized during Vietnam days, and then we had no idea there actually were anyone like you in the CIA.
MCGOVERN: Thanks a lot.
JAY: You were all the bad guys. I'm going to pick up--part one of the interview I suggest you watch, 'cause I'm going to kind of pick up on something we talked about in part one. You said that the Constitution defends people's rights at home and that should be respected in an ironclad way--my words, but that's what you meant. But you understand the need for adult intelligence abroad, meaning don't do something stupid like spy on Merkel, but you might do something else that's required.
MCGOVERN: That's correct. Yeah.
JAY: I want to push back a little bit on that, which is, with U.S. foreign policy as it is, with the basic mindset of the American elite, whether it's represented by Republicans or Democrats in terms of their leadership, that you will necessarily violate the Constitution at home if you have this mindset abroad.
And let me just quickly--from right after World War II, with the development of Truman and the national security state and the fighting of the Cold War and the beginnings of the fight against national liberation movements and anything that smelled anything like socialism anywhere in the world, you have at home the House Un-American Activities Committee. You have McCarthyism, which, if they had had the NSA kind of spying in those days--and I'm sure they did as much as they could in terms of listening to phones, but they were going after everybody. I mean, they were going--ordinary teachers and union members and actors. And let me emphasize how much it was directed against trade unions to get rid of militants. Jump ahead. The Vietnam War creates the conditions at home for the criminalizing of dissent, and even to the point of shooting students on university campuses. You know.
Jump ahead. And, of course, I'm missing all kinds of stuff in between. The ambition, objective, which actually gets enunciated most clearly by Zbigniew Brzezinski--if you want to, you know, run the world, you'd better dominate Eurasia, and Brzezinski works for Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. And I'm not saying that Brzezinski was saying anything that a Kissinger wouldn't, a Republican, but the desire to dominate the world, dominate Eurasia, leads to the arming of jihadists in Afghanistan and gives rise to bin Laden, gives rise to 9/11, you know, in terms of not just that thread but the whole issue of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and attitude towards Israel and so on and so on, you wind up getting 9/11, which becomes a whole new rationale for spying on Americans at home.
What I'm saying is you cannot disconnect the two, that if you seek hegemony abroad, you will violate people's rights at home. And if you really want to deal with this issue of the development of a security state that violates people's constitutional rights at home, then people have to also take a stand against this kind of superpower activities abroad.
MCGOVERN: Paul, you don't understand. America is the sole exceptional country in the world, the soul indispensable country in the world. Now, if you know the antonym for indispensable, it's dispensable. Okay? So the rest of you Canadians, everybody else, are dispensible by definition. Okay? The president said that. He said that as recently as just a couple of months ago. And Putin of all places--of all persons says, you know, you ought to be careful giving the impression that your country is so exceptional that it can do what it wants around the world.
Now, the answer to this is that after World War II, that's when we became the sole remaining superpower in the world. Russia was decimated, 30 million people killed. You know, Europe was in ashes. We had to devise a policy. And what did we do? George Kennan, who used to be my hero, George Kennan, head of the policy planning staff at State Department, policy planning paper number one, we comprise--we dominate 50 percent of the world's national resources but comprise only 6.3 percent of its population. Therefore our policy has to be devised in such a way as to maintain this equilibrium. We can't be diverted by thoughts about soft power or democracy or civil rights. The time will come when we have to exert hard straight power.
JAY: Yeah, if you want to consume 50 percent of the world's resources, then you do what it takes.
MCGOVERN: That's right. So that's the policy, okay? And that's 1948. First policy.
Now, what happened? He's instrumental in setting up an intelligence agency that is far from what President Truman wanted, an analysis shop to tell him what was going on in the world, with a clandestine collection part, which would give us some spies to tell us that kind of information. And Kennan says, no, let's put these OSS guys, these people that overturn governments, these people that, you know, can really operate abroad, let's put them in with these analysts. What happens? Well, these operators get all the money and all the attention, and when this upstart, Mosaddegh, in Iran gets this weird notion that the oil underneath the sands of Iran should be--you know, should go to the benefit of the Iranian people at least, and he doesn't realize it all belongs to British Petroleum, well, the British take this by the--you know, MI6 says, okay, you fledgling CIA, you're only six years old; this is what you do. So we--.
Now, was that a smart thing?
JAY: Overthrew Mosaddegh.
MCGOVERN: Overthrow Mosaddegh, yeah. And, you know, BP emerge.
Now, what were the results of that? Well, we know what--the results of that. We can see them today.
So what we have is a sort of myopic view of what the world is like. It goes in four-year cycles, or two-year cycles if you talk about Congress, four-year cycles about what would be good for politicians. And it hinders the achievement of a broad policy that could be based, despite George Tenet's disavowal of this, on a certain degree of altruism. You know? On a certain degree of recognition that we're all in this together. And, God, if we don't come to that now with, what, 7 billion people in the world and resources going down the drain, we'll never do that. But the political cycle makes that very different. Now, with respect to the intelligence services, you know, this goes in waves as well. After Vietnam, after all those abuses, after Bill Colby, the head of the CIA, to his credit, decided he would be a lawyer and obey the law and testify to Congress about the incredible abuses that took place in the '50s and '60s by the CIA, after the FISA law was put it in in '78, this Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which prohibited precisely the kinds of things that NSA is doing now--.
JAY: And it has become a kind of rubberstamp for the NSA.
MCGOVERN: Yeah, now it's become a complete--. So these things do go in circle--in cycles. And I'm hopeful that out of all this, with the help of some of our allies that know what it's like to live under a different kind of regime, you know, know what it's like to live under fascism--let's say the word--that we can come to our senses, and maybe some leadership will come to the top and say, well, you know, President Obama, you know, you think you can't deal with these security types, you don't have the backbone or you don't want to risk the political costs it would take, but you really can, because the American people are fed up with this kind of stuff.