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You See, In Order to Save the Village America, We Have to ...
July 1, 2009 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Michael Scheuer, the former chief of the CIA's "bin Laden Station", and the initially anonymous author of Imperial Hubris, pulls an O'Reilly on yesterday's Glenn Beck broadcast:
"The only chance we have as a country have right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States [...] only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them [...] with as much violence as necessary."

Earlier this month, Scheuer even wrote a speech he proposed bin Laden give.

Disturbingly, bin Laden recommended Hubris in a September 2007 speech; if he's still alive, let's hope he doesn't follow Scheuer's media appearances.

The video has spread off of political blogs onto sites nearer the mainstream, but mounting calls of treason are rendered a bit hyperbolic when compared with Article III and with U.S. v. Gadahn, the country's first treason indictment since 1952 and the only one post-9/11 ... not to mention reminiscent the worst of the right.
posted by WCityMike (96 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
And if only a commie would burn down the Reichstag...!
posted by Olden_Bittermann at 12:31 PM on July 1, 2009 [18 favorites]


Is there supposed to be a link about yesterday's show? Like, a video or a transcript or something? Sorry if I'm being dense.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:33 PM on July 1, 2009


Why do I need this bunker and stockpile of weapons? So I can protect myself when the government comes for my stockpile of weapons. Why do I need to give up my freedoms and spend all of my money on illegal wars? To protect me from the people who want to attack me because they hate our freedoms and popularity in the world. Circular reasoning. Embrace it. It is our destiny... or it is once we embrace it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:34 PM on July 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


In related news: Osama Visited America For 2 Weeks in 1979.
posted by ericb at 12:37 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


roll truck roll: "Is there supposed to be a link about yesterday's show? Like, a video or a transcript or something? Sorry if I'm being dense."

*blink* Well, that's embarrassing. It's within the blog entries linked to in the last paragraph, but here's the video I intended to include.
posted by WCityMike at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2009


ericb is correct to blame carter.
posted by boo_radley at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auQJVhNH99c
posted by Outlawyr at 12:42 PM on July 1, 2009


Yep. Sounds like CIA.

They tried this right after 9/11, right? With the anthrax?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:42 PM on July 1, 2009


Sigh, is it Treason yet?
posted by The Whelk at 12:44 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Micheal Scheuer's lesser known retribution fantasy: "Soap...poisoning"
posted by klarck at 12:46 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Osama deploying a major weapon would get things moving.

Richard Jewel deploying a major weapon might interrupt prime time, at best.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:49 PM on July 1, 2009


Scheuer is incoherent.
posted by empath at 12:49 PM on July 1, 2009


Missing link added to post.
posted by cortex at 12:50 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Scheuer is the missing link? That explains a lot, actually.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:51 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is the tricky part. I don't think this is treasonous by any stretch of the imagination. And I would be arguing in bad faith if I pretended it was. But Glenn Beck and many of his conservative fellow-travelers were quick to claim treason when folks like me so much as questioned whether specific tactics in a war would be effective.

As many others have noted, one of the fundamental convictions of movement/ideology conservatism is that liberals and democrats are fundamentally unamerican and fundamentally illegitimate. Thus, attacking a liberal president is defending America because a liberal is a usurper. "Respect the president! he's the commander-in-chief!" five years ago really meant, "He is a true American, and attacking his ideas is attacking America."

It's all so depressing because it's not even new. This is just how it goes, and the only change is the increasingly complex infrastructure each ideological camp is building to document and pillory their opponents' foibles. This particular incident will be just one more shocking-on-the-surface but easy-to-tangle-up-in-semantics sideshows. It will harden the resolve of partisans on both sides, degenerate into no-true-Scotsman dodges and Opposing-Obama-Is-Loving-America rationalism, and ultimately never affect the "middle ground" people who are tossed two and fro on the waves of current events.
posted by verb at 12:52 PM on July 1, 2009 [19 favorites]


Treason doth never prosper--
Say, what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper
None dare call it treason.


Oh, wait. I dare. This is treason. Bad, very bad form.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:53 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't think this is treasonous by any stretch of the imagination.

I don't know what "treason" means if it doesn't mean "rooting for your countrymen to be killed by the enemy."
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:54 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Tom Tomorrow, author of This Modern World, rhetorically asks for apologies after people said this comic was out of line for suggesting right-wingers want an attack.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:54 PM on July 1, 2009


I think the rooting part is protected speech, but plotting to aid in their demise, directly or indirectly, eg selling state secrets, would constitute. This guy is rooting for carnage on US soil, but he is not, in this case, taking actions to bring it about.
posted by Mister_A at 12:57 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I meant to write, "would constitute treason."
posted by Mister_A at 12:59 PM on July 1, 2009


I don't know what "treason" means if it doesn't mean "rooting for your countrymen to be killed by the enemy."

It typically means to wage war against ones own country or to materially aid the enemies of ones own country in waging war.

Condemning "rooting" as a crime punishable by death seems spookily close to wishing for criminalization of thoughts and opinions.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:00 PM on July 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


Wow. Ok, let me try and help you guys at Fox out here a moment; when you are advocating that Osama Bin Laden, the very boogieman you've used for years as a cudgel against the left, that he should detonate a major weapon in the US in order to bring your side back to power?

Yeah, you've lost it. And you've managed to once again cross that line again into the most vulgar of partisanism. You should be ashamed, and more importantly, you should be held up as an example of what is wrong with this country.
posted by quin at 1:02 PM on July 1, 2009 [28 favorites]


Wow. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times. Whitey is the devil.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:02 PM on July 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Condemning "rooting" as a crime punishable by death seems spookily close to wishing for criminalization of thoughts and opinions.

Sorry, by "treason" I didn't mean the legal crime of treason.

I meant "treason" as a non-legal term, as a description of this mindset. My apologies for not being clear.

Definition 3 here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's all so depressing because it's not even new.

Digby has this nice expose on the rightwing "Medicare == SOCIALISM!" charge.

Second verse, same as the first. Without Medicaid my mom would be ruined financially, yet she tells me how great a President and person St Reagan was. She also voted for Schwarzenegger, and thanks to that has lost her SSP payments of ~$600/yr. Le sigh.
posted by @troy at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Condemning "rooting" as a crime punishable by death seems spookily close to wishing for criminalization of thoughts and opinions.

I don't know about treating it as treason, much less punishable by death, but if what this guy said is considered a potentially criminal act, I don't see why Scheuer's remarks wouldn't at least be seen as borderline.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:09 PM on July 1, 2009


I like how, at the end, Glenn Beck implies that bin Laden won't attack now because to do so would threaten destabilizing the (now more) liberal U.S. government.

In other words, Glenn Beck apparently believes that Osama's big plan was to take down the towers and pentagon in the hopes of scaring Americans into discussing health care reform and greenhouse gas emissions.

Or maybe he doesn't believe that at all, but would like his viewers to believe it, but I just can't believe that a Talk Radio host would be disingenuous about that sort of thing.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:09 PM on July 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


I meant "treason" as a non-legal term, as a description of this mindset. My apologies for not being clear.

I don't think it's treason by any definition, just being clinically fucked in the head by their ideology/worldview.

Many people in this country, 30% or more, believe that behind the scenes a spiritual battle is being fought over the world, with the US being on the side of light and Islamists serving Satan.

This is just the standard End Times canon. FOX and the Republican Party are tapped into this movement good and hard.
posted by @troy at 1:13 PM on July 1, 2009


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by oaf at 1:14 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


0xFCAF: "Tom Tomorrow, author of This Modern World, rhetorically asks for apologies"

Fixed link.
posted by WCityMike at 1:21 PM on July 1, 2009


I don't know what "treason" means if it doesn't mean "rooting for your countrymen to be killed by the enemy."

Previously
posted by JohnFredra at 1:29 PM on July 1, 2009


Navelgazer: No, he's just using very clever double-triple-reverse psychology on Bin Laden.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


"only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them"

I don't know, the Klan's had a pretty good history of making Americans demand their government protect them...

Oh wait, not all of us get to count as Americans...
posted by yeloson at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have begun to worry that invincible ignorance is the quality that really defines success here in America.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:35 PM on July 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


You know we are really entering some potentially dangerous times. We are hearing media and political figures on our nation's Right who are kinda sorta saying that maybe it would be good if there was a terrorist attack against us because that would make them more electable.

I think maybe we are just so used to right-wing idiocy but that is kind of a fucking scary thing to be hearing, if you think about it.
posted by Avenger at 1:36 PM on July 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


After reading more about Scheuer in the above links, I'm very confused by his position and what he thinks the US should actually do in the "war" on terror.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know my client seems guilty. Sure, not the same person, but it's not a crazy transference.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, so, the rapture index described in that Moyers link that @troy posted is currently at 165. That means we're in "fasten your seatbelts" territory. The end times should be starting at any moment now.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2009


Back during the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, I was regularly called a traitor by right-wingers during online debates. Nothing makes me more angry, and nothing exposed the total intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the pro-war right than the McCarthyism they engaged in while selling lies that led to war. We're all Americans ("we" being the folks engaged in those debates") and we all allegedly want what's best for the country, we just disagree on what that is. But when you call someone a traitor or accuse them of treason, that changes the level of the debate and borders on a call for political violence, because that's what you do to traitors: you hang them.

Schuer's stated wish that bin Laden would nuke an American city is not treason, and I fully support his right to say whatever he wants. In fact, I'm glad I know that he wishes for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, because now I know that he's a fucking idiot who shouldn't be trusted to run a goddamned lemonade stand. That's how free speech works. Give the moron and assholes enough rope and they'll hang themselves.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2009 [16 favorites]


Here's the Rapture Index Link.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know it's confusing, kids, but try to follow closely.

Rooting for Obama to fail = fine.
Rooting for Osama to win = treason.
posted by rokusan at 1:43 PM on July 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm so confused. Michael Scheuer hated Bush was completely ostracized by the Bush Administration for being a lefty weenie. What's going on here? Has the world taken crazy pills?
posted by tkchrist at 1:45 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is complicated, and the editorializing in the FPP doesn't help it be less confusing. Scheuer has been, to date, generally pretty clueful. From his book:

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 negiligence among Intelligence Community leaders even though dozens of serving officers provided the commissioners with clear documentary evidence of that failure.

He was very hard on the Bushites, and very critical of the 9/11 Commission.

I'm not saying he's a saint, but he's not your usual Fox-Neocon shill, either.
posted by rokusan at 1:45 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, uh, hold on a second.

I mean, first off, I thought this guy was at least nominally on the side of realism, which was a leftist cause under Bush. Hence Imperial Hubris. Second, in reading that "speech for Bin Laden," it looked like he was advocating that Obama follow through on the promises made in Cairo, and pointing out that this gave an avenue for truce with the broader Muslim world. Then in the Beck piece, it seems not like he's rooting for an attack, but rather is saying that the only way for folks to understand the risk that he perceives as real is for there to be another attack—which seems circular, but whatever.

Am I missing something? Otherwise, this seems like a misleading bunch of third-rate political tubthumping and a pretty lame FPP.
posted by klangklangston at 1:46 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think this is being blown out of proportion. There's several stupid things about what he says but he pretty clearly means that America won't take necessary defensive measures until after an attack, which he believes is inevitable.

To go on and on about how he "wants" an attack is a fairly self-serving interpretation. I'll grant that he almost asks for it because of how poorly he expressed himself but nonetheless.
posted by Wood at 1:48 PM on July 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


klang: I'm confused because the Beck piece seems to be a 180 from his other positions -- that he wants there to be an attack (or thinks its necessary or whatever) so that Obama will go balls out in the Middle East. But that "interventionist" approach is the very thing he criticizes elsewhere. So... what the hell, dude?
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:50 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit confoozled too...

I watched the Fox video, and I read this on antiwar.com. That hypothetical "Osama" speech - I kinda liked it (not the same as agreeing with it) and it seems that if bin Laden ever made such noises, it would indeed signal that he might actually be standing down... so how would that be bad?

Also, the Fox clip doesn't seem to present the full context of Schuer's remark. If he's saying that to imply that the US hasn't done enough by way of defenses to prevent an attack... who could disagree - because any country as big as the US is essentially impossible to completely defend. This is why it's so important to stop making enemies and to engage with the rest of the world.

So... is he a left-wing or a right-wing nut? (or even a nut?)
posted by Artful Codger at 1:51 PM on July 1, 2009


And if only a commie would burn down the Reichstag...!

9/11 was our fiery Reichstag. We still have illegal surveillance, illegal wars and illegal torture. Nothing much changed, except that we failed to have Nuremberg Trials to hold people (including Scheuer) accountable for giving aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden, and then assisting him after 9/11 with his agenda to destroy civil rights and other laws that the United States used to protect.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:58 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seeing as how my comment was linked from the previous thread in which we debated the various levels of treason, I feel compelled to put in two cents here:

Yeah, taking the bullhorn and saying that the mass murder of America citizens is necessary and crucial to our "progress" should be treason.

I get the counter argument. Yeah, though police and all that. I get it. But, deliberate incitement to violence ain't just thought. It's deliberate incitement to violence. Accessory to murder, and in the context of international warfare and terrorism, treason.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:58 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


vibrotronica: "We're all Americans ("we" being the folks engaged in those debates") and we all allegedly want what's best for the country, we just disagree on what that is."

No we don't. People want what they think is best for the country, but it often isn't On the right, they don't want trade protectionism. Well, the result is that America companies cannot compete in the US against better foreign competition. Lowering the trade barriers is worse for America, because we are less efficient and innovation, design, and manufacturing than other places in the world. So people end up working at Walmart, and not machine shops or factories.

On the left, they want environmental regulation and improved labor laws. That's nice, but it ensures that no one builds factories here or hires large labor forces. So America may be less polluted, but it's hard to enjoy it when you can't afford food and rent.

The reality is that the concept of 'nations' is very rapidly approaching the end of its useful life. Why do we need a war on terror to protect the American way of life when the only difference between the American way of life and the British or Swiss way of life are the brands of consumer goods? The way of life in Evansville, Indiana is more different from the way of life in New York than New York's is from London's.

The whole concept is becoming silly, and the fact that political opinions on international issues fall along racial or religious lines reveals that the root of the concept of "nation" lies in those outmoded ideas, and as they increasingly become the province of a culturally conservative minority, the benefits of "what is best for our country" become less and less obvious and turn more on where a particular person makes their money.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:03 PM on July 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


I think this is being blown out of proportion. There's several stupid things about what he says but he pretty clearly means that America won't take necessary defensive measures until after an attack, which he believes is inevitable.

To go on and on about how he "wants" an attack is a fairly self-serving interpretation. I'll grant that he almost asks for it because of how poorly he expressed himself but nonetheless.
posted by Wood at 4:48 PM on July 1 [+] [!]



Okay. I see the disticntion that you are attempting to draw for him. But there is a problem, namely the premise.

If the premise is that an attack on our citizens will make us band together and defend ourselves appropriately, this is a demonstrably false premise.

After 9/11, we banded together in our national grief, and then promptly started an illegal war over oil.

An attack doesn't mean all of a sudden we are a nation united in the hunting down and punishing of the transgressors. An attack means that all of a sudden the politicans have the political capital to pursue personal ( Saddam Hussein tried to kill my Dad) and financial (Oil and reconstruction contracts) goals.

That's it. So either way, this guy fails. And he should be punished not just for his willful disregard for the life and property of the citizens he is hoping are attacked, but his incredible ignorance concerning what the results would most certainly be.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:03 PM on July 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


I know my client seems guilty. Sure, not the same person, but it's not a crazy transference.

Hey, that's FOX. Scheuer is a hero of the people. Panetta is a Communist Democrat and secret Muslim. Don't ask for consistency.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:04 PM on July 1, 2009


Yeah. I agree with klang and Saxon Kane — this has been taken way out of context. It must be.

I heard this guy on NPR the other night giving a talk at a University and it was in complete contradiction to what this post is implying.
posted by tkchrist at 2:06 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


But, deliberate incitement to violence ain't just thought. It's deliberate incitement to violence. Accessory to murder, and in the context of international warfare and terrorism, treason.

If history is any guide, it's going to take a miracle for Obama to survive his first term while being exposed to the sea of right-wing loonies we've got in this country.
posted by @troy at 2:25 PM on July 1, 2009


You can watch the whole interview here. I have to say, it doesn't sound any less damning in context. If anything, it's worse when you know the terrible threat they're talking about is an army of filthy Mexicans sneaking into the country to pick our lettuce and clean our toilets.
posted by EarBucket at 2:30 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, wait, wait. At the end of the clip, Beck says that because Obama is doing such a lousy job, Osama wants him to carry on doing that lousy job keeping America safe and doesn't want Obama taking the measure that would make America safe, so attacking is the last thing he'll do.

Doesn't that mean America is safe?

So, according to Beck, Obama has left America dangerously unprepared. The only thing that could cause/force the White House to take the measures that would make America safe would be an attack by OBL. But OBL likes the USA being open to attack, dangerously unprepared, etc. So he won't attack. He doesn't want to provoke the measures that would make attack impossible.

So ... under what circumstances does America get attacked?

Beck is clearly a special class of mind.
posted by WPW at 2:31 PM on July 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


I mean, seriously, how does someone come up with a logic tangle like that? Just trying to figure it out made me feel like I had taken the crazy juice. Beck's brain must generate enough cognitive dissonance to burn out cellphones at the 50metre radius.
posted by WPW at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2009


Is there a term equivalent to "tinfoil hat" that describes this "only an apocalypse will show us the light" thinking? Like, "time to go dig my backyard bunker?"
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 2:38 PM on July 1, 2009


Derive the Hamiltonian: It's "millennarianism".
posted by WPW at 2:39 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Beck's brain must generate enough cognitive dissonance to burn out cellphones at the 50metre radius.

Someday the Mormons and Scientologists are going to merge. Hubbard was just riffing off of Smith anyway.
posted by @troy at 2:41 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't know if Scheuer's statements are being taken out of context. When you look at the context of the entire interview I think they look just as bad if not worse.

The context of this interview is an Obama administration plan to send National Guard troops to the US - Mexico border, presumably to help prevent illegal immigration and drug smuggling into the US. Scheuer claims that the Obama administration's real goal is to overturn the second amendment, as evidenced by Secretary of State Clinton's pointing to illegal gun trafficking from the US to Mexico as part of the problem of violence in the Mexican drug trade.

Beck then expresses a fear of US civil unrest, to which Scheuer responds that "minorities", defined as ""those folks who go to Harvard and Yale and the prestigious universities who think they know everything and who want the government to control everything" who are dictating to the "majority of Americans who are just interested in security and getting by".

Finally he wraps it up by declaring, pretty much out of nowhere, an attack by Osama Bin Laden as "the only chance we have".

I don't think his context helps him much.
posted by Reverend John at 2:47 PM on July 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't think his context helps him much.

Wow. That just seems crazy. I read Imperial Hubris and this seems absolutely 180 degrees from everything Scheuer was about in that book. I wonder if we gave Scheuer a chance to respond what he would say in clarification.
posted by tkchrist at 2:58 PM on July 1, 2009


I wonder if we gave Scheuer a chance to respond what he would say in clarification.

"Thank you for the check, Mr. Beck."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:00 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's probably the only way Beck can get guests on his show.

"Be on my show and you can promote your new book."

"Mr. beck we both know the type of protozoa that watch your show can't read."

"Sigh. Okay. I'll cut you a che..."

"Cash. If you please."

"Sigh."
posted by tkchrist at 3:15 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


No we don't. People want what they think is best for the country, but it often isn't.

Right. Everybody thinks their ideas are what's best for the country. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. That's what open debate in a democracy is for: to help voters figure out who is right. When you call someone a traitor, you're not saying that they're wrong in their sincerely held beliefs, you're saying they're an enemy who should be destroyed. Do you think the environmentalists and free traders you cited are people who are wrongheaded and should be shown the error of their ways, or do you think they are traitors who should be hung?
posted by vibrotronica at 3:17 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, according to Beck, Obama has left America dangerously unprepared. The only thing that could cause/force the White House to take the measures that would make America safe would be an attack by OBL. But OBL likes the USA being open to attack, dangerously unprepared, etc. So he won't attack. He doesn't want to provoke the measures that would make attack impossible.

So ... under what circumstances does America get attacked?


You're missing the context: this is about illegal immigration in the context of right-wing racist ideology. Beck is saying that OBL isn't going to attack because Obama has left us unsafe from the Mexicans. The Mexicans will do OBL's job for him. Scheuer wants OBL to attack in order to motivate the government to keep the Mexicans out.

I agree that it doesn't make much sense if you don't have that context. But if you're of the mindset that America is in existential danger from a non-Anglo Saxon reconquista, well, then I suppose this is how you think.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:35 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Do you think the environmentalists and free traders you cited are people who are wrongheaded and should be shown the error of their ways, or do you think they are traitors who should be hung?"

Hangin' em would surely show them the error of their ways.
posted by bpm140 at 3:36 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


mr_roboto: Thanky you, I was missing the context. That makes much more sense. Osama wants America catholic.
posted by WPW at 3:47 PM on July 1, 2009


Can we get rid of the millennarians? Please?
posted by kldickson at 3:51 PM on July 1, 2009


Florence Henderson and tkchrist have it exactly right. He's flogging a book. Who cares if it's diametrically opposed to what Beck's audience wants to hear? They wouldn't read it, even if they bought it. Hell, we ought to be applauding the guy; he's selling his book to the very people who would hate his message if they knew what it really was!

In fact, we're all stupid not to get on the gravy train ourselves. Screw all you liberal commie pinkos! War is peace! USA! USA! USA!
posted by atchafalaya at 4:15 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


>
I'm so confused. Michael Scheuer hated Bush was completely ostracized by the Bush Administration for being a lefty weenie. What's going on here? Has the world taken crazy pills?

My sense, possibly ill-informed, is that Scheuer is more of an old-time paleo righty-- anti-imperialist, don't tread on me, small small small government, who are all these foreign-looking people and what do they want?, etc.-- of the kind you find in abundance on lewrockwell.com (and to some extent, antiwar.com) .

Although even labeling him as a paleo might be using the wrong map... because I suspect he's not really looking through a political lens, let alone a traditional left-right lens. His shtick is professional-- Railing Against the Bureaucrats in the intelligence world-- but now he's playing pundit, is commenting on things not really connected to his knowledge, training, and experience, and is therefore out of his depth.

Rather than putting him on a political map, it's probably simpler and more accurate just to remember there are basically three types of Embittered Career Spooks:

Type A: "Hey... the government just screwed me over!"
Type B: "Hey... the government just screwed me over... and we're messing up, because we're not hitting our enemies nearly hard enough!"
Type C: "Hey... the government just screwed me over... and we're messing up, because we're focusing on the wrong enemies and overlooking opportunities for Soft Power!"

Think of Scheuer as an Embittered Career Spook, Type C.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:57 PM on July 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Former CIA bigwig exposed as dangerous lunatic who would sacrifice millions of Americans to have the right party in power.

NOW can we get a Truth Commission?
posted by DU at 5:49 PM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


This clip made... Well, I was going to say made my head want to explode, but it was almost more that it made me want to explode my head!

I am just constantly astounded at the way republicans all over the shop have come out of the woodwork accusing the current government, and democrats of doing all the things they themselves have done for eight fucking years! The GOP spend the better part of eight years setting shit up so they, and their friends can benefit and profit from war and disasters, and then they lose an election so they blame the new guys of the same, as if they have always been whiter than white. And then half the people, like Beck and everyone he has on his filthy little show, behave like it's the end of the world and some great social cleansing needs to take place.

Don't get me wrong, I have almost as many issues with democrats as republicans, as it does seem like politicians these days are getting into it for different reasons than previously. I mean, one of the Adam Curtis documentaries I think it was covered how the motivation for politics has changed, and that fewer and fewer people going into it have the finances already accrued to see them through their lives, so they have to profit from what they're doing, or feel they must at any rate. But it doesn't change the fact that republicans are behaving like weaselly little shitbags 'cause they lost an election. And rather than focus on non-partisan solutions, and sorting shit out for everyone involved, they seem happier to dig holes to wallow in a mire of self pity and recrimination.

Fucking sick it makes me, and angrier and angrier every time. How can they be so fucking blind?

*head explodes*
posted by opsin at 6:00 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay, if the ultimate beneficiaries of a major terrrorist incident in the U.S. are the Right Wing/GOP/FoxNewsers, then they are absolutely and undeniably PRO-TERRORISM and should be considered the primary suspects if one does occur, no matter who "claims" responsibility. But then the "Tea Partiers" ARE promoting the overthrow of our properly elected government. The Communist Party was outlawed for less.
posted by wendell at 6:09 PM on July 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


But then the "Tea Partiers" ...

They're at it again this weekend -- TEA Party, July 4, 2009.

Déjà Vu: Fox News Rallies Viewers To Participate In Radical Anti-Obama Tea Party Protests On July 4.

Beck: Tea Party movement not ‘just stupid people with pitchforks’.
posted by ericb at 6:24 PM on July 1, 2009


Beck: Tea Party movement not ‘just stupid people with pitchforks’.

Ummm ... many beg to differ.
posted by ericb at 6:25 PM on July 1, 2009


Alright, alright, c'mon now, the teabaggers are not stupid people with pitchforks. They're stupid people with signs.
posted by jamstigator at 6:38 PM on July 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rowdy Roddy Piper goes to a Tea Party.
posted by EarBucket at 6:42 PM on July 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


There are those who want what is best for America, and there are those that want what is best for their Party.

We have the same problem in Canada. Our current asshole-in-chief is intent on eliminating public funding of minority political powers. His (right-winger) party has no problem raising lots of corporate funding, so its his best means of removing competing parties. It's all about keeping power, and not at all about serving citizens.

I think it is a traitorous ideology.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:46 PM on July 1, 2009


the teabaggers are not stupid people with pitchforks. They're stupid people with signs.

My father-in-law, a Fox News/Rush Limbaugh conservative, was hinting that he might visit us in DC so that he could attend the Tea Party and march planned for July 4th. He's a good man, a Korean War vet, a small business owner, a faithful husband, and a loving father. I have a lot of respect and love for the guy. And he's not stupid.

The first time he brought up the tea party protest, I assured him that he's always welcome to visit and asked how much his taxes increased since Obama took office. He didn't have much of an answer about that. When we talked later that week he was going to the protest because of his concerns about the deficit, because of Obama's ruinous deficit spending. I asked him why wasn't he out protesting while Bush turned the Clinton surplus into a deficit. He didn't have much of an answer to that. The next time we talked he was all hot and bothered by the growth in the federal government, but I asked why he wasn't protesting while Bush increased the rate of federal spending to its highest levels since Nixon. He hemmed and hawed and recited the usual litany of regurgitated conservative half-truths and Republican non sequiturs.

I gave up and took a new tack, I mocked his motivations and called him a political agitator, a long-haired protester, a self-appointed revolutionary. I called him a dirty hippy. I told him that while I admired his gumption I thought that that the surest path to political reform was to work within the system; to identify and support political candidates who understand and support his beliefs, then provide the volunteer manpower and hard work to get them voted into office. Start on the local level, then replicate your success on a regional level, then state-wide, then national level. I asked him why I should support or even consider his priorities when they are so unpopular and poorly represented in our government. No answer.

Anyway, this is a bit of a derail from the meat of the FPP (and I hope somebody puts together a synthesis FPP concerning the Tea Bag movement before this weekend), the last time we talked he said he wouldn't be coming down for the weekend. I was pretty happy, hoping that he would spend his vacation with his friends and neighbors, cooking and eating and drinking too much, and hopefully enjoying himself.
posted by peeedro at 9:53 PM on July 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Once again, Wonkette says it best: Nobody is born racist and mean. These are the crops from lousy seeds.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:42 AM on July 2, 2009


The only chance we have as a country have right now is for Chuck Norris to deploy and carry out a major attack on Glenn Beck [...] only Norris can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them from Beck [...] with as much violence as necessary.

So essentially Clinton et.al. have an agenda to take away people's firearms (which I happen to agree with) and this immigration stuff tied (loosely) together, with self-defense on top and the question is - do you believe they won't (ultimately do the right thing?

The 'right thing' being somewhat vague, but the insinuation is more protection from immigrants and protection of their right to bear arms, because apparently the national guard won't be armed guarding the border (as though it's reasonable to 'defend' the extremely long border with a static method, armed with everything up to the MOAB or not).

So Scheuer sez, we need grassroots pressure on the 'elites' to protect the American people and for that to happen OBL needs to blowed something up real gooood.

...Even though people should be protecting themselves as well.
....Apparently with firearms, from some sort of battlefield explosive which can cause mass casualties. Which would be bad.
...Except if the government uses 'as much violence as possible' in protecting (?) the American people. Which I don't even know what that means. We need to invade Mexico? Bomb the crap out of them? The implication is initiatory violence, which in some ways is at least slightly more logical than this Maginot line "let's play 'Rock' every time in 'Rock, Paper, Scissors" because 'Rock' is so bad-ass it's unbeatable" B.S. pseudo-strategy.

....y'know, this is too stupid to be treason.

What's keeping OBL from attacking us again, at least the same way, is because that tactic isn't going to work again. Apart from that, he did, in fact, accomplish the goal of the U.S. getting about 7,000 U.S. military personnel out of Saudi Arabia. And mostly terrorism, unlike attrition warfare, has a goal beyond busting stuff and hurting people.
Oh, and the massive drain on our economy from fighting multiple conflicts at once is the whole "never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake" thing.

Which goes back to the premise that we'd again demand massive expenditures in defense spending and 'violence' (I still have no f'ing Idea what he means by that) rather than investigation, diplomacy and other more efficient counterterrorism methods (cooperation, apprehension, extradition, prosecution, international customs controls, port, maritime and civil aviation security, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and blah blah blah, all the things you can't shovel money at a defense contractor to do.)

Which would suck balls.

Can't say I like the idea of SWAT kicking down my door to take my firearms, but it's precisely the demand to spend more money on and to further militarize the police force to - ostensibly - fight illegal immigration that is more likely to lead to that.

Hell, one guy in a suit with a briefcase knocking on the front office of a company that exploits illegal immigrants is going to do 100 X more work than any number of Posse Comitatus violating superheroes charlie foxing on a four (or six) stated, deserted, mountained, double major rivered, twenty railroad xinged, 1,900 mile long border.
We don't have the bullets to stop 250 million people crossing every year. And it'd be a stupid waste of time, energy and material to everyone but the people selling ordinance.

F'ing Glenn Beck. You couldn't make his world up.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:47 AM on July 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


And let's not forget, this man, and Glen Beck, don't just want Americans do die in millions for fun. They want Americans do die in millions because the wetbacks are taking over our country.

By Republican logic, it's anti-American to want us to stop killing Iraqi and Afghan civilians (and, by extension, American soldiers). It's patriotic to call for secession from the democratically-elected Federal government and to openly hope for the deaths of millions of Americans.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:54 AM on July 2, 2009


To somewhat clarify (after what seems like a year without sleep...man I hate the 4th) it's as reasonable to send nat'l guardsmen out there unarmed as it is to send them out with apocalyptic levels of weaponry - given how easy it is to circumvent static defenses.

And yeah, I think Hil Clinton (and many other folks) don't like firearms. But OBL blasting out a hunk of real estate and enhanced police powers for tracking illegal aliens are more likely to lead to a lessoning of any kind of personal freedom including the right to own guns. Hell, maybe especially, given how many guns from the U.S. wind up in Mexico.
Just sounds like a lot of "let's you and him fight" b.s. to me. And rhetorical nonsense to promote Beck's show (wackier stuff you say, the higher the ratings) and yeah, Scheuer's book.
Really I think he just had/has a hard on for Porter Goss, et. al. and political appointments and political expediency over practical effect and likes getting into hyperbole with it. The latter, not a stone I can readily throw myself. *cough*
posted by Smedleyman at 1:07 AM on July 2, 2009


I read Imperial Hubris and this seems absolutely 180 degrees from everything Scheuer was about in that book.

Agreed. Maybe the CIA has a new crazymaking drug in play.
posted by rokusan at 4:18 AM on July 2, 2009


the terrible threat they're talking about is an army of filthy Mexicans sneaking into the country to pick our lettuce and clean our toilets.

They'll clean my toilet when they pry it from my dead, crusty hands!

(What?)
posted by rokusan at 4:19 AM on July 2, 2009


In the West illegal immigrants are the new nineteenth-century working class. They are politically powerless and invisible, poorly protected from exploitation (if at all), widely and irrationally feared because of their numbers, and commonly despised as degenerate, criminal, and lazy.
posted by Ritchie at 5:53 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you think the environmentalists and free traders you cited are people who are wrongheaded and should be shown the error of their ways, or do you think they are traitors who should be hung?
posted by vibrotronica at 6:17 PM on July 1


None of the above. I think they are both right. We should have environmental protection because we (well, at least I) live here, not China, and free trade policies because I don't depend on manufacturing for a job.

Likewise, the factory owner in China agrees with me. He wants the US to have strong environmental and labor protection laws, so we don't do any of our own manufacturing and don't compete with him. He also wants free trade, because he wants me to buy his things.

Am I a traitor because I "side with" a guy in China? Is he a traitor because he sides with me? Both our position result in long-term damage for our respective countries, but they are the favored policies of our respective governments, so they are acceptable, even laudable. But imagine endorsing Chinese-style labor and environmental politics in the US and vice versa, and you are immediately on the extreme fringe of political discourse.

More importantly, notice how completely opposite US politics, environmentalism which is liberal and free trade which is conservative, lead to the exact same result--crap is made in China but gets sold here.

The notion of comparative advantage is being codified into law. China will be a manufacturing center. Whatever helps manufacturing gets into the laws, whatever hinders manufacturing doesn't even get discussed. 50,000 worker labor protest? No one cares. In the US, the laws are consumer centric. Product safety laws, heavy regulation, private causes of action for tort and product liability.

What is laughable about the entire discussion of terrorism and keeping us safe is that we all naturally assume that the terrorism is external or from domestic lunatics. There is no legitimate grievance or frustration with the government. Everything is working just fine, please continue your fruitless search for a job.

The problem is that the government isn't really worried about us. We aren't a threat. We have two political parties and the entire dialogue is orchestrated. In Pennsylvania, you can vote for a Democrat or a Republican for senate as long as the winner is Arlen Specter. Obama brings change to Washington by retaining George W. Bush's Defense Secretary. He appoints a Treasury Secretary who cheats on his taxes. Shhh. That's democracy. It's change, stupid. We changed to a black guy to screw us over, not a white guy.

We're so hypnotized and domesticated it is absurd for the media to even contemplate the notion that after politicians conspired with the media and banks to loot the treasury and destroy the economy, we the people might consider lopping off a few heads for ourselves.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:23 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


9/11 was our fiery Reichstag. We still have illegal surveillance, illegal wars and illegal torture. Nothing much changed, except that we failed to have Nuremberg Trials to hold people (including Scheuer) accountable for giving aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden, and then assisting him after 9/11 with his agenda to destroy civil rights and other laws that the United States used to protect.

Before we trod too far down this revisionist "historical parallel" track, I'd like to point out that besides the big, famous single "Justice at Nuremberg" trial the Nuremberg trials ended up letting most of the worst off and/or executing fairly innocent people and disentigrated in the post-WWII/pre-cold-war divisions, each side holding their own show trials of the Nazis they held that had little to do with the rule of law displayed in the first.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:06 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thus, attacking a liberal president is defending America because a liberal is a usurper.

Obama is not a usurper, he's a false prophet. You forget that this is a Christian nation.
posted by asusu at 10:05 AM on July 2, 2009


(after what seems like a year without sleep...man I hate the 4th)

Er... it's the second today. Are you time-travelling again?

posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel, my point was, we shouldn't call people traitors unless they rise to the definition of treason in the Constitution—which is to say, actively making war on the United States. While I understand that you think the democratic process is hopelessly broken, I don't really see what any of what you just posted has to do with that point. I share your frustration with the current state of the country and government, and, as you also pointed out, I am currently pursuing a fruitless job search myself. I think rich people and corporations have way too much power over me and my family in my day to day life, and I think that many people in the government are not looking out for my best interest. I think a lot of people with power in both the corporate and government sectors need to be in prison. We seem to agree on a lot of that, but none of it has fuck all to do with treason.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:42 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


My father-in-law, a Fox News/Rush Limbaugh conservative... {snip} ...And he's not stupid.

I would rethink that assumption.
posted by tkchrist at 2:10 PM on July 2, 2009


In the West illegal immigrants are the new nineteenth-century working class. They are politically powerless and invisible, poorly protected from exploitation (if at all), widely and irrationally feared because of their numbers, and commonly despised as degenerate, criminal, and lazy.

Well, as much as I agree with your other points, you have to admit there's a bit of validity to that particular complaint.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:41 PM on July 2, 2009


Scheuer on Alan Colmes's radio show: Obama Doesn’t Care ‘About Protecting This Country’
posted by homunculus at 4:04 PM on July 2, 2009


Could this threat of attack not come from North Korea? Osama is raking in "billions" from high oil prices and is probably ready to bide his time to see what other threats, gasoline price fixing, North Korea, etc etc do to our country. Maybe all he has to do is walk in and pick up the pieces.
posted by unclemike at 8:59 PM on July 2, 2009


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