The Deep State, A Powerless President, The CIA, Afghanistan, And Heroin

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. His most recent books are Drugs, Oil, and War (2005), The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (2007), The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War (2008) and Mosaic Orpheus (poetry, 2009).

This is part one of an interview in which Scott talks with Paul Jay of The Real News Network about the corrupted mindset in Washington that chooses who becomes president, and about the war machine that co-opted Obama into his escalation of a drug-corrupted war and is not just a bureaucratic cabal inside Washington, but rather is solidly grounded in and supported by a wide coalition of forces in society, and about the need for a new kind of American foreign policy.

SCOTT: I think I have talked about the deep state. I prefer now just to talk about deep politics, that there are things which we just don’t face in our society, things we’re not willing to talk about. With respect to Afghanistan, one of the things that we don’t want to face and talk about is the presence of drug trafficking in the plans of the CIA for controlling remote areas of this world. And when you have a number of facts which are not being talked about, our politics becomes more and more like an iceberg, in which the visible part, the public politics, or, if you like, what goes on in the public state, is only a small percentage of the totality of what’s going on, a lot of this is not subject to the restraints of the Constitution at all. And that’s the part that I call deep politics. The phrase “deep state” is a bit dangerous, ’cause it might make people think that there’s a secret Pentagon and a secret White House, it’s nothing like that. It’s more this matter of the mindset that I’m talking about.

JAY: When you described the war machine, you use the words “drug-corrupted war machine,” and everyone knows that Afghanistan is now the manufacturer of the majority of the world’s heroin, but it doesn’t ever get talked about as a policy issue or as an underlying driving force in this struggle for all sides. So talk about this.

SCOTT: Well, I would say, actually, it has become talked about in the last year, with the beginning of Obama’s campaign. You know, when Bush first went in in 2001, they had a list of the main refineries, and they were never touched, because America’s coalition for developing local support in Afghanistan was made up very largely of warlords who were involved in the drug traffic. Our principal ally was going to be [Ahmad Shah] Massoud, and there was a big debate in Washington, before we went into Afghanistan, whether to make him an ally or not, because they knew he was involved in the drug traffic. Well, he was in fact assassinated, just a day or two before 9/11. But the Northern Alliance, which was the only faction in Afghanistan in that year that was growing poppy, they were our allies. And if you look at almost any newspaper story about drugs in Afghanistan, it’s going to be talking about the Taliban. But the Taliban are getting at most about a tenth of the revenues that are being raised by opium and heroin in Afghanistan, and the vast majority of it is going to the big warlords who essentially make up, to this day, the coalition that are supporting [Hamid] Karzai in Kabul.



Real News Network – January 31, 2010

Full Transcript here


New mindset for US foreign policy?

Peter Dale Scott: The President does not choose the mindset, it chooses the people who become President

Part 2 of this interview is here.

18 comments

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    • Edger on January 31, 2010 at 3:45 pm
      Author

    Have a little snort of freedom and democracy. The first one’s free.

    • Joy B. on January 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    “Big Events” must always happen by accident, Edger! MB told me so, because there can be no conspiracies…

    • banger on January 31, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks for bringing him up here. Without concepts like deep politics and the deep state we are lost. Actually even the term “deep politics” is kind of funny. In fact, politics is always deep — it always operates the way Scott describes, always has and always will. What is laughable is how Americans think politics works — how we believe in Santa Claus, how we don’t understand even the fundamental nature of politics which is the use of force. Americans seem to think it is all like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. It’s not like that at all. If you can help your friends and hurt your enemies then you have power otherwise forget it, no one will listen to you. Leftists in America just don’t get that which is why they are ignored and laughed at.

    • banger on January 31, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for bringing him up here. Without concepts like deep politics and the deep state we are lost. Actually even the term “deep politics” is kind of funny. In fact, politics is always deep — it always operates the way Scott describes, always has and always will. What is laughable is how Americans think politics works — how we believe in Santa Claus, how we don’t understand even the fundamental nature of politics which is the use of force. Americans seem to think it is all like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. It’s not like that at all. If you can help your friends and hurt your enemies then you have power otherwise forget it, no one will listen to you. Leftists in America just don’t get that which is why they are ignored and laughed at.

    • Edger on February 1, 2010 at 12:35 am
      Author

    C-Span Video Library

    CIA Drug Trafficking Town Hall Meeting

    November 19, 1996

    U.S. House of Representatives | Millender-McDonald, J. (D-CA)  

    The original video of the town hall meeting is 1 hours, 29 minutes

    This video is an excerpt:

    Director Deutch spoke to central Los Angeles residents at a town hall meeting about allegations that the CIA sold drugs in Los Angeles in order to finance covert operations in Central America. Rep. Millender-McDonald, who represents California’s 37th congressional district, sponsored the meeting. The director stated that he has seen no proof of such allegations but that he will continue to pursue the matter if more people bring new evidence to the investigation. Many of the questioners were very confrontational. The allegations were originally raised in the San Jose Mercury-News.

  1. providing for the common defense and a hell of a lot more.

    I think historians will look back (if there is a future history) and identify Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the turning point in U.S. policy. It took awhile to manifest itself, but it is here now. Sixty years is a very short time.

    For a short time, the U.S. had absolute power over the world. Realistically, it probably lasted about ten years. With our new atomic adversary, things changed forever.

    Man finally outdid himself. The arrowhead reached its final stage of perfection: Just releasing it was all that was needed for the kill.  

    I use the term madness quite often in my commentaries.

    I don’t see any other way to describe our world today.

    Almost every advanced nation state wants to be in the exclusive suicide club. It’s a sign of prestige. That is called madness, but it certainly isn’t really advanced.

    So, we have the giant unbrella of Mutually Assured Destruction and below it, we still get to play old fashioned, conventional war. Most of the world is broke.

    And to keep this nighmare going, everyone in the entire world has to work their ass off, and to go into debt to boot. So the world will be divided between generals and soldiers (obviously metaphorically speaking kind of).

    So who gets to survive and prosper in this black hole?

    That’s what we’re seeing now. Every man for himself.

    The common man must tighten his belt while you know who gets a pass. What does this mean? It means that our economic wealth will be used to sustain what we call the MIC. All else has to be secondary.

    Why can’t we change this dynamic? We can. The world can be rich overnight. Throw all our weapons into the sea or send them to the sun, and the great monkey will finally be off

    the back of the hominid. That is if we change our thinking too.  

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