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National Security Politics The Bush Legacy The War on Terrorism

The CIA Hired Blackwater to Help with Covert Killings

Mark Mazzetti gleans another detail in the “executive assassination ring” that Leon Panetta finally found out about earlier this summer and promptly informed Congress of: the always upstanding, peace-loving organization Blackwater was involved, having been hired by the CIA to help in some unclear capacity. As Mazzetti points out, hiring a private organization to participate in a covert killing program adds yet another layer of bureacracy and legal protections that makes accountability all the harder. This is especially true of Blackwater, given its byzantine structure and secretive leader, Erik Prince.

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National Security The War on Terrorism

Bush’s Counterterrorism Strategy: Winning Through Losing

[digg-reddit-me]Who knew the Bush administration actually had a strategy in fighting Al Qaeda?

Robert Grenier, who according to Joby Warrick of the Washington Post is “a former top CIA counterterrorism official who is now managing director of Kroll, a risk consulting firm” explained that we were now winning the fight against Al Qaeda after losing so many battles because:

One of the lessons we can draw from the past two years is that al-Qaeda is its own worst enemy. Where they have succeeded initially, they very quickly discredit themselves.

And you didn’t think Bush had a strategy.1

It’s the old “invade-two-countries-and-use-heavy-handed- tactics-to-rile-up-the-extremists- so-that- they- initially- have- public- support- but-then- pretend -to-have -an-incompetent- strategy- to-combat- the-extremists- so-that-they- succeed- which-will- then-lead- to-the- public- turning -on- them- because- they-are- evil- doers -after-all.” One of Sun Tzu’s classic stratagems.

And apparently one which is having some success – as Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank suggest in their important piece in The New Republic, “The Unraveling.” Bergen and Cruickshank attribute the ideological rifts within the Muslim extremist community to Al Qaeda’s strategic blunders – but they do not give Bush enough credit for his secret plan to let Al Qaeda succeed so that their empty ideology could be exposed for what it is by fellow extremists.

Bush’s secret plan to win the War on Terrorism bears a strong resemblance to Ronald Reagan’s plan to defeat the Communist Soviet Union. By convincing the public and most of his administration that the USSR had taken a significant lead in all sorts of military areas, he increased America’s military spending exponentially. As the Soviet Union tried to keep up, it eventually collapsed exposing it’s system’s hidden flaws. Although the CIA was caught by surprise by this development during George H. W. Bush’s first term, conservatives quickly confirmed that this was all part of Reagan’s secret plan to end the destroy the Soviet Union by spending like a drunken sailor in America.

George W. Bush – whose wisdom, like Reagan’s is often compared to that of the mythical hedgehog of Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay – has been blessed with authentically evil enemies. Even if he allows them to win, within their winning are the seeds of their destruction.

It is a cunning strategy.

Now we just have to make sure we don’t choose a president who screws it all up by going after Al Qaeda in a competent fashion – a competence that might even distinguish between the Muslim extremist groups that are fighting with one another. It might look like Al Qaeda’s recent troubles happened despite, rather than because of, Bush’s ingenious strategy. But that’s only because we didn’t give enough credit to Bush and John McCain for having this secret strategy.

Now that we know, it’s important to support the right American candidate for this American presidency in this American election against all those anti-Americans out there. Vote for the Bush-McCain Super-Secret Counterterrorism Strategy: Winning the War on Terrorism by Losing Every Battle and Letting Al Qaeda Defeat Itself!

  1. To be clear – I do think the recent successes are real, and that Al Qaeda is losing support, etcetera.  But I think Bush’s strategy has been largely counter-productive – and in fact put off this recent intra-extremist fight because he refused to distinguish between these opposing groups – the most egregious example being the invasion of Iraq in response to 9/11. []