- The film Seven Days In May is one of my all-time favourites.
The gripping 1964 drama, starring Burt Lancaster, depicts an attempted
coup by far rightists in Washington using a top-secret Pentagon anti-terrorist
unit called something like "Contelinpro."
- Life imitates art. This week, former military intelligence
analyst William Arkin revealed a hitherto unknown directive, with the Orwellian
name "JCS Conplan 0300-97," authorizing the Pentagon to employ
special, ultra-secret "anti-terrorist" military units on American
soil for what the author claims are "extra-legal missions."
- In other words, using U.S. soldiers to kill or arrest
Americans, acts that have been illegal since the U.S. Civil War.
- This frightening news comes as Washington is gripped
by reborn, Cold-War-style paranoia, ominous threats of war against Iran
from the real president, Dick Cheney, and a titanic bureaucratic battle
just won by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
- Instead of being fired for the grotesque military-political
fiasco in Iraq and the shameful torture scandals, Rumsfeld has just managed
to create a new, Pentagon spy/special ops organization, blandly named "Strategic
Support Branch," that will replace or duplicate many of the CIA's
- The CIA has been sent to the doghouse. Too many CIA veterans
criticized or contradicted Bush's and Cheney's phony claims over Iraq and
terrorism. So Bush has imposed a new, yes-man director on the agency, slashed
its budgets, purged its senior officers, and downgraded CIA to third-class
- Rumsfeld's new, massively funded SSB will become the
Pentagon's CIA, complete with commando units, spies, mercenary forces,
intelligence gathering and analysis, and a direct line to the White House.
The Pentagon has just effectively taken over the spy business.
- Used terrorism hysteria
- Mind you, the Pentagon and its Defence Intelligence Agency
have been deeply involved in intelligence around the globe for 50 years.
U.S. Army intelligence and its covert sub-branches have long conducted
"black ops," including missions in the U.S. as well as assassinations
and sabotage abroad. The Pentagon consumes three-quarters of the total
U.S. intelligence budget.
- Rumsfeld has skillfully used terrorism hysteria to wrest
control of intelligence and make the Pentagon supreme in Washington's bureaucratic
- The Pentagon's new spy arm will be largely excluded from
Congressional oversight or media examination. Its special operations teams
will roam the globe, all under cover of "deep black" missions
of which no records will be kept, and no questions asked.
- Equally worrying, the Pentagon's new special-ops units
are headed up by notorious religious fanatic, Lt. Gen. William Boykin,
who calls the U.S. Army "the house of God" and Islamic insurgents
"agents of Satan." He warned Muslims, "my God is bigger
than your god, which is an idol."
- Boykin's command will now dispatch post-modern Christian
crusaders to cleanse the world of Satanic Muslims and other miscreants.
The Pentagon's new special forces will be able to run operations of which
the CIA knows nothing.
- The 9/11 Commission called for improved intra-agency
co-operation and data sharing -- instead, the U.S. will get far less co-operation,
as the Pentagon goes its own, secret way.
- Now, George W. Bush, who clearly believes he holds the
mandate of heaven after being re-elected by the less mentally active half
of American voters, has decided to "unleash" special forces and
all sorts of irregular units, including mercenaries, uniformed bounty hunters,
and mutants sporting t-shirts proclaiming "kill 'em all, let God sort
'em out." These militarized thugs and video arcade Rambos are sure
to run amok, dragging America's once good name ever deeper into the mud.
- We have evidently learned nothing from the wars in Indochina
and Central America.
- Have we reached Seven Days in May?
- Not yet, but the second Bush administration has been
taking dangerous steps that continue to curtail personal rights, further
emasculate the supine, cowardly U.S. Congress, and empower ideological
or religious extremists and shadowy agencies with unrestrained powers that
endanger Americans at home, and all abroad suspected of troubling the Pax
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