Saturday, December 31, 2005


Shifting Scheuer

The latest kerfuffle is CIA agent Michael Scheuer's recent contention that Bill Clinton ordered people disappeared. However, as Sysiphus Shrugged shows, this contradicts what he stated earlier, namely as reported by the indispensible Robert Parry, recounting Richard Fricker's interview of Scheuer in SonntagsBlick: “I don’t think anybody has been released. … People we picked up are being held someplace else. I don’t think we held anyone until after 9/11. But the rendition program initially delivered people to countries where they were wanted. [These people are either still incarcerated] or they’re dead. We never picked up anyone who wasn’t wanted by the authorities. This would seem to be um, just slightly different than, say, grabbing a Canadian citizen wanted for nothing at all out of an American airport and shipping him off to Egypt for contract torture on the suspicion that he was an Arab. For example. Readers of this blog will, I think, find no posts by me on Scheuer-- and not because I have deleted them when reality has become inconvenient, like a certain law professor in Tennessee. If I am wrong, they are there to be found. (PhoenixWoman posted a refutation of a Scheuer claim in August) While I am always interested in what CIA agents have to say, Scheuer has always struck me as a bit off, even when he was saying things that supported my point of view. He has long been a proponent of the idea that Clinton didn't do enough against Al Qaida. But prior to the connection of Al Qaida to the embassy bombings or the Cole bombing, there was no reason to think that Al Qaida represented a danger greater than any of a zillion nationalist/terrorist groups, including a number of right-wing groups inside the United States. Now, suddenly, he says Clinton declared war on Al Qaida in 1995, to the point he was authorizing extrajudicial killings! This certainly looks like the weathervane blowing in the direction of the wind of convenience. Sisyphus Shrugged predicts the right-wing blogs will forget all of the hard things they said about Scheuer when he was slamming Bush. I'd call that a good guess. And I'll further guess that most of what Scheuer has claimed will end up in history's dustbin. Sad that such a person could have ended up in such a responsible position. But that's what you get when people with a narrow (and paranoid) worldview end up in charge of an intelligence agency. Think Hansen and Aldrich Ames.
They'll do anything, anything, to try and justify (if only to themselves) their blind faith in Benito Bush.
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