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Vote all you want - the secret government won't change
#1
From the Boston Globe no less.

Quote:Vote all you want. The secret government won't change.

The people we elect aren't the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University's Michael Glennon


By Jordan Michael Smith

| OCTOBER 19, 2014

78 COMMENTS[Image: CapitolWEB.jpg]
ISTOCK/PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LESLEY BECKER/GLOBE STAFF


THE VOTERS WHO put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA's warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.
But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America's nuclear weapons.
Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn't have changed policies much even if he tried.
Though it's a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, "National Security and Double Government," he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term "double government": There's the one we elect, and then there's the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.
RELATED: National Security and Double Government' by Michael J. Glennon
Glennon cites the example of Obama and his team being shocked and angry to discover upon taking office that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan: The United States could add more troops, or the United States could add a lot more troops. Hemmed in, Obama added 30,000 more troops.
Glennon's critique sounds like an outsider's take, even a radical one. In fact, he is the quintessential insider: He was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to various congressional committees, as well as to the State Department. "National Security and Double Government" comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. And he's not a conspiracy theorist: Rather, he sees the problem as one of "smart, hard-working, public-spirited people acting in good faith who are responding to systemic incentives"without any meaningful oversight to rein them in.
How exactly has double government taken hold? And what can be done about it? Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office at Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. This interview has been condensed and edited.
[B]IDEAS: Where does the term "double government" come from?[/B]
[B][B]GLENNON:It comes from Walter Bagehot's famous theory, unveiled in the 1860s. Bagehot was the scholar who presided over the birth of the Economist magazinethey still have a column named after him. Bagehot tried to explain in his book "The English Constitution" how the British government worked. He suggested that there are two sets of institutions. There are the "dignified institutions," the monarchy and the House of Lords, which people erroneously believed ran the government. But he suggested that there was in reality a second set of institutions, which he referred to as the "efficient institutions," that actually set governmental policy. And those were the House of Commons, the prime minister, and the British cabinet.[/B][/B]
[B][B][B]IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government?[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]GLENNON:I was curious why a president such as Barack Obama would embrace the very same national security and counterterrorism policies that he campaigned eloquently against. Why would that president continue those same policies in case after case after case? I initially wrote it based on my own experience and personal knowledge and conversations with dozens of individuals in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies of our government, as well as, of course, officeholders on Capitol Hill and in the courts. And the documented evidence in the book is substantialthere are 800 footnotes in the book.[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]IDEAS: Why would policy makers hand over the national-security keys to unelected officials?[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]GLENNON: It hasn't been a conscious decision....Members of Congress are generalists and need to defer to experts within the national security realm, as elsewhere. They are particularly concerned about being caught out on a limb having made a wrong judgment about national security and tend, therefore, to defer to experts, who tend to exaggerate threats. The courts similarly tend to defer to the expertise of the network that defines national security policy.[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B]The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua's harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are "on autopilot."[/B][/B]
[B][B][B]RELATED: Answers sought on CIA role in 78 JFK probe[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]IDEAS: Isn't this just another way of saying that big bureaucracies are difficult to change?[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]GLENNON: It's much more serious than that. These particular bureaucracies don't set truck widths or determine railroad freight rates. They make nerve-center security decisions that in a democracy can be irreversible, that can close down the marketplace of ideas, and can result in some very dire consequences.[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]IDEAS: Couldn't Obama's national-security decisions just result from the difference in vantage point between being a campaigner and being the commander-in-chief, responsible for 320 million lives?[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]GLENNON: There is an element of what you described. There is not only one explanation or one cause for the amazing continuity of American national security policy. But obviously there is something else going on when policy after policy after policy all continue virtually the same way that they were in the George W. Bush administration.[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]IDEAS: This isn't how we're taught to think of the American political system.[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]GLENNON: I think the American people are deluded, as Bagehot explained about the British population, that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy, as Bagehot predicted there would be. But the larger picture is still truepolicy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]IDEAS: Do we have any hope of fixing the problem?[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B][B]GLENNON: The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people. Not from government. Government is very much the problem here. The people have to take the bull by the horns. And that's a very difficult thing to do, because the ignorance is in many ways rational. There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can't affect, policies that you can't change.[/B][/B][/B]

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#2
I saw this too on Dawn's FB page, which I hadn't seen before.

Quote:

Obama told friends he reneged on progressive promises out of fear of assassination former CIA analyst

Israel/PalestinePhilip Weiss on June 3, 2013 77 Comments

[email=?subject=Obama%20told%20friends%20he%20reneged%20on%20progressive%20promises%20out%20of%20fear%20of%20assassination%20%E2%80%94%20former%20CIA%20analyst&body=Check%20out%20this%20site%20I%20came%20across%20http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/reneged-progressive-promises][/email]




Obama has abandoned progressive principles, such as stopping drone attacks and shutting down Guantanamo, because he is afraid of being assassinated, telling friends, "Don't you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?" retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern said today.
He's afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, Why don't you do the things we thought you stood for? Obama turned sharply and said, "Don't you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?" That's a quote, and that's a very revealing quote.
McGovern spoke on WBAI's show Law and Disorder this morning. He was talking about his recent article calling Obama "a wuss" and speculated that Obama had also placed John Brennan as head of the CIA out of fear that the CIA might turn on him, as it had on John Kennedy.
I'm pretty convinced the President of the United States is afraid of the CIA. That's why he got John Brennan in place. He thinks John Brennan owes more personal loyalty to him than all those other thugs out there who did the torture and so forth. That's a questionable thing. But Obama thinks that. And that's why he fought so hard so that Brennan would be in place.
During his CIA career, Ray McGovern prepared daily briefings for the president and chaired the National Intelligence Estimates. He is now a leading antiwar activist.
The crucial segment of the interview begins at about 48 minutes. Hosts Michael Smith and Michael Ratner, both lawyers with long careers in civil and human rights, ask McGovern about the Obama drones speech. McGovern marveled that the Senate granted to Obama "the power to release 86 prisoners" from Guantanamo. "Why doesn't he do that?" He could release them "at the snap of his finger."
Ratner then said, "I represent Guantanamo people. I thought the biggest lie in the speech was'I have tried to close Guantanamo.'" There are half a dozen ways in which Obama "has actually sabotaged the closing of Guantanamo. Straight lie."
McGovern responded:
Which leads to the question, why would he do all these things? Why would he be afraid for example, to take the drones away from the CIA? Well, I've come to the conclusion that he's afraid. Number one, he's afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, "Why don't you do the things we thought you stood for?" Obama turned sharply and said, "Don't you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?" That's a quote, and that's a very revealing quote.
The other thing is, I've always been kind of shocked that when he came into office, not only did he not prosecute the torturers, the kidnapers, the people with the black [unintelligible], even the people who violated our Fourth Amendment rights, but he left them all in place. I suspected at the time, now I'm pretty convinced the president of the United States is afraid of the CIA. That's why he got John Brennan in place. He thinks John Brennan owes more personal loyalty to him than all those other thugs out there who did the torture and so forth. That's a questionable thing. But Obama thinks that. And that's why he fought so hard so that Brennan would be in place.
Now does he have any reason to fear the CIA? Well he sure as heck does. For those of your listeners who have not read James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable, you need to read that, because it's coming up on 50 years. The mystery has not been solved in the mainstream press. After reading James Douglass, who took advantage of all the previous studies, plus all the more recent information released by Congress, I'm convinced that John Kennedy was assassinated largely by Allan Dulles whom he cashiered as the head of the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, and a coterie of joint chiefs of staff, FBI, even some Secret Service folks who thought that JFK was being soft on Communism by back channel communications with Krushchev, that he was playing games with Fidel Castro…to repair the relationship, and worst of all he was giving Southeast Asia to the Communists. Now is there evidence for this? There sure as heck is. John Kennedy signed two executive orders just a month or so before he was killed. One of them said we're pulling out 1000 troops out of South Vietnam by the end of the year, the year being 1963. The other said we're going to pull out the bulk of the troops by 1965, we're finished in Vietnam. That's a matter of record. Was that a unanimous decision? Well if you say the president makes a one person decision, you know it's unanimous. Everybody else thought he was crazy, especially the joint chiefs of staff.
So you need to read this book, and then you need to reflect on Obama. If he is sort of a wuss or a wimp or a person who just has no real principles but is rather a politician through and through and he's got two small kids and he doesn't want to get killed. I have to say I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but it is the only logical explanation for why he is so afraid, unless you say the man is a through and through charlatan, that he actually is acting on behalf of these forces of darkness. I don't believe the latter. I think he's just afraid and he shouldn't have run for president if he was going to be this much of a wuss.
Host Michael Smith, who's read the Douglass book and found it convincing, agreed with McGovern. Ratner demurred somewhat. "I just think Obama is an accommodator. He's shown that from the very beginning. The guy is just an incredible accommodator." Smith said he doesn't see McGovern's idea and Ratner's as contradictory.
Smith and Ratner interviewed James Douglass here.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/reneged-pr...yhJM7.dpuf

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The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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