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writing for godot

Fascist Takeover of American intelligence and Secret Police Agencies May Already Be In Its Early Stages

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Written by Carl Peterson   
Thursday, 01 August 2019 11:13

 

Reader Supported News is now carrying an article, "Mike Pompeo Is Donald Trump's De Facto Intelligence Czar," from The Intercept, by James Risen, a journalist well-known for his reporting on national security issues and especially for his reporting on the CIA.  The thesis of Risen's article is that although Mike Pompeo is no longer head of the CIA, and now heads the state department, he has taken advantage of the institutional dysfunction created by the merry-go-round talent exodus from the posts of defense secretary; national security adviser; attorney general; FBI director; secretary of state; White House chief of staff; homeland security secretary, and Secret Service director.  The "power vacuum," created by the president's hostility to the American intelligence agencies has allowed Pompeo to step in and usurp leadership of America's intelligence community.

Risen notes that Pompeo has proved to be the "right man" to rein in American intelligence agencies on behalf of the president, but Risen does no deeper analysis into what dangers this poses for our frail American democracy, presently besieged by quisling professional Republicans and politically well-organized plutocrats, the two groups working both independently of each other and together with the common goal of radically changing the American form of government.  Pompeo is officially the most powerful American diplomat, and now, according to Risen he is unofficially also the most powerful  American spook-- thus the "Intelligence Czar."

Although Risen does not point out the parallels with William Barr's behavior as attorney general, he cites Pompeo lying to the American public about the American intelligence community's conclusions regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election:  In his capacity as CIA director Pompeo publicly stated in 2017 that American intelligence had concluded that Russian interference had not affected the outcome of the election, even though American intelligence had reached no conclusion about whether the election's outcome had been affected by Russian interference.  In other words, in his capacity as public servant of the American people, Pompeo, like William Barr, chose to serve the president's partisan and personal interests against the interests of the American people by publicly lying about a matter of national importance.  William Barr, the president's personal lawyer.  Mike Pompeo, the president's personal chief spook/chief diplomat.

As an example of Pompeo's president-assisted arrogation of authority that rightfully belongs to an official leader of the American intelligence community, Risen cites CIA director Gina Haspel's absence from a November 2018 briefing of the Senate on issues related to Saudi Arabia.  This was after the mainstream media had reported that the CIA had determined that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) had personally ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  In the CIA director's stead Pompeo led that briefing, and later avoided answering reporters when they asked why the CIA director had not appeared.  It soon came out that the White House had ordered Haspel not to appear.  Following the briefing, Pompeo said that there had been "no direct reporting" of MBS's culpability in Khashoggi's murder, dismemberment and disappearance.  While the reference to "no direct reporting," may have enabled Pompeo to be technically correct if he denied the charge that he had lied to the American public, he clearly intended to mislead, which served as a sneaky yet brazen lie to the American people, no matter the technicalities.

By expropriation and with presidential support Pompeo has combined in himself powers that ought to be separate and that could make it unusually easy, even by American standards, for Pompeo to draw the US into a senseless new war should he pursue that goal.  Also, it is notable and worrying that the president's and Pompeo's behavior is reminiscent of rising fascists and other aspiring authoritarians who historically have reached early for control of the police power, especially the secret police power--to intimidate, terrorize, and eliminate opposition within the domestic population.

If you can discern in Pompeo, or Barr, or any of a number of other professional Republicans any sign that there is some point at which a belief in what the Founders created will cause them to resist further adventures into fascist territory, then you are more perspicacious than I.  I see big bright neon signs flashing Fascism!  Fascism!  Fascism!  I have wondered over the past two and a half years if I was unduly alarming myself about these apparent trends toward American Fascism.  Now, I don't worry about that.  If I am wrong (I'm not) and this has all just been me scaring myself, then beautiful!  But if we're in for the fight of our lives, I don't want to be asleep when it starts (It has started.)

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Comments  

 
+1 # Robert S. Becker 2019-08-02 11:28
Problem here is you don't define or explain what you mean by "fascism." I don't disagree with the gist here but the sweeping repetitions at the end of the piece don't advance the thesis argument claimed in the headline. Yes, these demagogues distort what the Founders created, but where is your explanation?
 
 
0 # Paul Bunion 2019-08-08 14:45
Robert, Thank you for your comment. I duly note your critique. I responded once before but for some reason it was not published
 

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