Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
In a Huffington Post interview on February 23rd, the Clinton-Bush former head of the NSA and CIA, and defender of their use of waterboarding, and of their violating the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (both of which types of legal violations he says are necessary in order to keep Americans safe), accused Congress of being gutless: “Congress didn’t step up and authorize the use of military force” to invade Syria.
Michael Hayden said this in a video clip at Huffington Post Live, where the context of what he was saying was left ambiguous, but it concerned only the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, so his comment there was gratuitous: he asserted (at 23:00 in the complete interview) that the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are prisoners of war and thus can legally be kept imprisoned for the rest of their lives without there being any need at all for them (and there were 775 of them) to be heard in any court — he said they’re prisoners of war and not prisoners of any legal system at all; and, so, even if they were actually captured in error (as many of them were found to have been), they’ve got no legal rights at all. Innocence or guilt is legally irrelevant to their continued imprisonment, says this former chief of America’s CIA and of the NSA.
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush hired people like that to run U.S. intelligence. Are America’s CIA and NSA merely the U.S. version of the Soviet Union’s KGB? What, in principle, differentiates the two dictatorships?
The only scientific study of whether the U.S. has been a dictatorship, or instead a democracy, in the period from 1980 onward, found that it’s a dictatorship — an “oligarchy” controlled by only the very wealthiest Americans, not a national government that reflects the policy-preferences and priorities of the citizens who economically are in the lower 99% of the population, but instead the preferences of the people who are in some stratum within the top 1%, if not within the top 0.1% or even higher. The study finds that this government is actually a dictatorship — that the desires of the lower 99% don’t affect its policies unless those desires are consistent with the desires of the billionaires.
Michael Hayden reflects this oligarch-directed culture. However, within the U.S. national-security Establishment, especially the CIA and NSA, this aristocratic or “oligarchic” control has been operating at least ever since the CIA overthrew the democratically elected and progressive President of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, in 1953. Furthermore, even Britain’s own BBC documented in a classic TV documentary, the creation of the oligarchic CIA, from the moment that Dwight Eisenhower became President in 1953. The CIA was clearly pro-fascist ever since Eisenhower appointed Allen Dulles to lead it.
What Michael Hayden is, is a recent example of the Republican Party’s tradition in this matter, but something that’s even worse — its becoming trans-partisan, a reflection now of both of America’s political Parties. This is now a bi-partisan oligarchy, in which the billionaires are so remote from the voting-public whose minds they control, that — at least within our national-security circles — the oligarchs are free to ignore the public’s desires and values, ignore them altogether. This government is theirs. The U.S. Constitution now holds sway only to the extent that they want it to.
But even worse than that: as the BBC documentary shows, this is an international oligarchy. Though the CIA has been the chief global center of its enforcement-operation, it entails aristocrats from all of the NATO countries.
Hayden’s testimony displays the dropping-away of the ‘democratic’ restraints upon the oligarchy’s operations. It’s less and less necessary to keep up the pretense that we live in a ‘democracy’: now, we live in a society that ‘does what it must to keep the people safe.’
Here is how ‘safe’ they have been keeping us.
It didn’t start with 9/11. It merely has intensified since then.
This is basically a 1984 world.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.