Michael Scheuer On Hagel, Syria, Mali And More

todayFebruary 4, 2013 2

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Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – First things first, you run  You have had a hand and participated in the foreign policy affairs both as an agent for the federal government and now as a citizen on the outside trying to make sense of what they’re doing and trying to get them to stop some of the things.  Your review, if you would quickly, on the round of hearings that we had last week between Mrs. Clinton and the United States Senate over the issue of Benghazi. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…


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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and our dear friend Mr. Michael Scheuer of and the former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit as we are moments away from the start of the confirmation hearings of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.  Mr. Scheuer, it’s always a pleasure.  How are you today, sir?

Michael Scheuer:  I’m very well, how are you, sir?

Mike:  I’m wonderful, thank you.  First thing first, you run  You have had a hand and participated in the foreign policy affairs both as an agent for the federal government and now as a citizen on the outside trying to make sense of what they’re doing and trying to get them to stop some of the things.  Your review, if you would quickly, on the round of hearings that we had last week between Mrs. Clinton and the United States Senate over the issue of Benghazi.

Scheuer:  It strikes again to the core of political correctness, I think.  Those people were obsequious in praising her for accomplishing and opening to Burma over four years.  She’s done nothing but involve us in places where we didn’t need to be involved, is aching to get us into a war in Syria, and the senators, except for one or two of them, let her off scot-free.  A very good friend of mine said, once she said, “What does it matter how those four people died?” they should have went after her like a swarm of bees yet they didn’t.  She’s clearly not telling the truth, and clearly there’s no one with the gumption who’s going to try to make her tell the truth.

Mike:  Was it disappointing to you that little was said, if anything, about the faulty reasoning for the U.S. Embassy to be there under those conditions to start with?

Scheuer:  The whole preparation of that Senate committee was ridiculous.  The government, in 2009, had published a report for the public saying that in all the places in the Middle East, Benghazi is one of the most dangerous for Americas.  It sent more suicide bombers to Iraq than anywhere but Saudi Arabia.  From the start, it was putting people into a shooting gallery.  Not one of the senators really went after her appropriately, I don’t think.

Mike:  Moving onto the Hagel hearing, Chuck Hagel nominated to be the secretary of defense.  Of course, he has run into the cabal run by Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard, National Review and other decepticon, neocon publications.  He is a Republican after all.  Are you surprised at the pushback?  Let’s start with that.

Scheuer:  No, I don’t think I’m surprised at the pushback.  Kristol and the pro-Israeli lobby are just maximalists on the position.  There can be no position than theirs.  They’re more hawkish and rightwing-ish as the Israelis are themselves.  One would think what could be better for an American senator to say that I’m an American senator, not the senator for Israel, yet they’re treating that as if it’s some kind of a treason.  I don’t know how good a Secretary of State Hagel is going to be.  He seems to have the idea that we don’t have much money left for more wars.  On the question of Israel, that’s why I would support him more than anything.

Mike:  What we’re talking about here on the question of Israel — this is just alleged.  Of course, he has gone to great lengths to try to say: No, no, that’s not what I said.  I fully support Israel, I just am not a proponent of some of the interventions that some senators are advocating.  As far as being secretary of defense, Senator Hagel is one of the few brave, martyred souls, Mr. Scheuer, that actually is being martyred today because he had the temerity to speak up when war fever overtook the Republican congress in 2002 and 2003 and led to that god-awful invasion of Iraq.  He’s still paying for the sin of that, isn’t he?

Scheuer:  Absolutely.  I think that’s absolutely the case.  You were either with them or against them on that one.  Hagel was at least forthright in saying he thought it was a terrible idea.  He couldn’t stop it.  No one could stop it, but very few people bothered to even stand up and say: No, let’s not do this.  What’s really interesting to me is that they’re treating Hagel, the neocons are, as if he’s going to be the secretary of state rather than the secretary of defense, which probably is opening up a new area of investigation.  I never occurred to me that the pro-Israeli reaction would be so negative to a secretary of defense, who ultimately is not going to conduct our policy toward the Israelis.

Mike:  Of course, they were pretty much silent on the nomination of John Kerry, who was just confirmed yesterday.

Scheuer:  Of course.  Ninety-nine percent of the Congress is owned in terms of campaign contributions and fear of media attacks by the pro-Israeli lobby.  They’ve got their marching orders.  They know how to behave.  Clearly Kerry is one of the boys.

Mike:  There’s a pop culture event, if you will, that I want to interject into this.  Michael Scheuer from is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit.  When I say pop culture, I was noticing two days ago, as I was watching the Clinton News Network, which is my purgatory on Earth, I was watching the very lovely, graceful, beautiful first lady of Syria.  The rumors are she’s pregnant.  Then, of course, they show her alongside Bashar al-Assad.  For a brief moment, it almost looks as though Syria, if I didn’t know better, was actually a civilized country and not this miniature Iraq that has all these weapons of mass destruction that they’re aiming at Turkey, or whatever it is that they’re claimed to be aiming, and that they are the fountain from which springs all the evil that is al-Qaeda.  Of course, Senator Graham and Senator McCain and Mrs. Clinton think we’ve got to get in there and stop this immediately.

What if one of the bombs that we’re so anxious to drop takes out Mrs. Lovely?  Has anyone given any consideration to the fact that there are actual people that live in these countries?  I thought I’d use that as a bridge to get into the Syria question.  If you would, your view of our current position and what may be prudent for us in the future?

Scheuer:  Well, prudence dictates staying out.  We should congratulate ourselves that the Russians, for the past two years, have made sure no Americans have died or we haven’t spent mountains of money in Syria.  It’s a ridiculous thing to have to rely on the Russian government to keep us out of war.  Otherwise, they would have been in there hammer and tongs already.  The American people can congratulate themselves.  They’ve been able to stay in North America while this has been going on.  It has not affected the price of milk, the number of jobs, the price of gas, nothing.  It is entirely irrelevant to the United States.  But only because of the Russian on the Chinese on the Security Council have we been prevented from going to war; although I have to say that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama and McCain and Lindsey Graham created an environment which permitted the Saudis and the Kuwaitis and the Omanis and the Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula to pour weapons into Syria to what would be called in Afghanistan the Taliban.  Although we haven’t got in there directly, our kneejerk response to any kind of danger to an authoritarian regime these days, that it’s really secular democracy aborning has allowed the Saudis to arm people to the teeth who are really just Taliban or al-Qaeda types.  If Assad goes, we’re going to have a government like the Egyptian government, perhaps a little bit worse.

Mike:  How is that going?  What is your current view of what is happening in Egypt?  It looks like the Muslim Brotherhood — of course, I’m relying on contemporary news media reports — may be losing their control of the Egyptian people.

Scheuer:  My guess on that is that since Morsi and the Brotherhood were elected in fair and open elections, the United States and its allies have been working with the opposition to get them out on the streets.  Anything with the term “Islamic” in it scares these people to death.  I suspect that Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, the British Foreign Office, have been helping the opposition forces with computers and money and organizational skills and that kind of thing.  It just goes against the grain to me somehow when we keep having fairly-elected governments and then we have a government that we don’t like and we try to overthrow it.  It’s a ridiculous situation.  It’s kind of a quiet intervention, but in the long run perhaps a more damaging kind of intervention.  What we’re saying to the Egyptian people is that you’re so stupid you believe in religion and you wanted these people in power.  We’re going to fix you with these secularists.  We’ll push them into power.  Really all that will result is a civil war like we’re watching in Syria.

Mike:  That is almost precisely what Patrick J. Buchanan said two days ago in one of his columns.  Who are we to sit here, valueless Americans, to second guess the values of people in other countries because they want to impose them from the top down and actually want to live amongst people that they agree with?

Scheuer:  It’s not really from the top down.  That’s the way the media has portrayed it.  From everything I saw, the elections were entirely fair.  The constitution that puts religious principles into place was approved by almost two-thirds of the people.  How do we figure that that’s not a legitimate government?  It’s only not legitimate because we prefer pagan governments and we don’t like it, so we’re going to try to overthrow it.

Mike:  [laughing] “We prefer pagan governments,” that’s a great way to put it.

Scheuer:  That’s what we’re offering these people.  We’re not offering them democratic values.  We’re offering the neo-paganism that is America today.  You mentioned it yourself.  That thing in Newtown was terrible, but we’ve killed 55 million babies.  No one has a word to say about that.  Sacrificing human beings to a so-called right of a woman, if that’s not an unbelievably pagan kind of affair, I don’t know what it is.

Mike:  I don’t know.  We may be doing a grave injustice to pagans by saying that.  I doubt the pagans would have murdered their unborn the way we do.

Scheuer:  You may well be right, sir.  We may be somehow not neopagans, but intensified pagans.  So many of our leaders thought the Civil War was God’s response to our condoning of slavery.  I just can’t imagine what the Lord has in mind for this one.

Mike:  Good heavens, let’s not go there.  We’re with Michael Scheuer from, former CIA Bin Laden Unit agent.  Let’s move onto something that you and I have spoken about the last three times we’ve talked.  There actually are problems because of our reliance, and this was a choice that we made back in the 1960s and 1970s, to import much of our petroleum from that caustic region known as the Middle East.  There actually is a problem there that does require, because of the need for the oil, the United States’ Defense Department’s attention, and it is Africa, the northern part of Africa and I believe the eastern part of Africa.  Apprise the listeners, if you will, of what your view is of what is happening in Mali today and what possibly would a prudent foreign policy dictate that we do?

Scheuer:  I think what we’ve seen in Mali is that al-Qaeda and its allies there are very sophisticated people and very talented.  They didn’t stand and fight.  They did exactly what they were supposed to do in terms of their strategy.  They ran with their weapons and they’re in the mountains now.  The French are in Timbuktu and they’re saying: Now what?  Are we going to garrison this country?  I think for the United States, the important thing is we can’t have a prudent policy in Africa because we have life-and-death interests there, not just worrying about democracy or women’s rights or labor unions, but we get 20 percent of our foreign crude out of the Niger Delta.  There’s no way to replace that if something goes wrong there.  We also get an enormous amount of our strategic minerals, minerals that are used in electronics and computers and all kinds of things, and uranium.  The next place we deploy troops to fight will be in Africa.  There won’t be any question of whether we should or shouldn’t because we are dependent.  Our economy is dependent on those minerals and resources.  I think this establishment of a drone base in Niamey in Niger is just the first step.  I think they’re getting ready to fight there because they have to.

Mike:  So then we would move operations from Afghanistan over into the northern part of Africa.  If I’m understanding this, this is an existential thing that has to happen because of our foolishness and what has happened before.

Scheuer:  That’s correct.  By our refusal to address the energy question except for moving up daylight savings time three weeks in the last 40 years, if anything goes wrong with the production of oil, especially in the Niger Delta, the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa, it’s going to be something we have to fight for.  There’s no other way around it, unless they put rationing into the country or heaven forbid we begin developing our own resources here.  It is a place that even a noninterventionist would have to say: Yes, we need to do this because it’s a national interest and a legitimate one, but only because we’ve been stupid for so long.

Mike:  So it’s not an intervention then.  It’s something you do out of some sort of defense.  You’re defending your mechanized and energy-dependent way of life.

Scheuer:  That’s correct, sir.  It’s almost like we could not put up with anybody threatening the freedom of the seas.  We cannot permit anybody to deny us those resources out of western Africa, at least at this point in time.  Maybe in 20 years we’ll have finally got our senses and have replaced those resources.  Right now, this is not a war of choice.  This is a war of necessity if things go badly in that area.

Mike:  I just want to be clear here before we let you go.  This has been precipitated by — you mentioned al-Qaeda is there.  You mentioned there is a drone base being put there.  Now some attention has been focused there.  This has been as a result of a bellicose, arrogant and hyperbolic — under the mantra of American exceptionalism — foreign policy that we have pursued ever since, I guess really in earnest since Bush 4, then doubling down if not tripling down during Bush 43.  Now Mr. Obama has done little if anything to abate that other than give lip service to getting troops out of the Arabia Peninsula.  We have basically created the conditions under which al-Qaeda, their chess move was let’s go to northern Africa, right?

Scheuer:  Right.  The way the media works, at least the print media in this country, they’ve been building their network there since 1991.  They’re pretty well entrenched across the width of Africa.  It’s going to be a big problem in the future.  It’s one of those things our Ivy Leaguers in the government seem to be only able to focus on one thing at a time.  While they’ve been looking at Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is back with its allies in Iraq, in Syria, operating publicly in Egypt, in North Africa.  It’s an enormous problem and we won’t even use the word Islamist.  This new fellow who’s going to be nominated for the head of the CIA says the Obama administration refuses to use the word “jihad” because jihad is like a big rotary club.  It’s about individual and community improvement.  We have a much bigger problem than we had in 2001, yet no one really talks about it.

Mike:  Do we have a larger problem than we had in 1990?

Scheuer:  Oh, I think enormously bigger problem.  In 1990 we had not decided not to remake the world actively in our image because the Soviets were still more or less intact as a potential enemy.  Since they’ve gone away and Mr. Bush and his New World Order — that’s carried on.  In many ways, the offensiveness of the United States is worse under Barack Obama.  The Democrats are waging a war of cultures.  They’re trying to impose secular democracy and women’s rights and parliaments on people who don’t want any part of them.  We’re out as the big schoolmarm of the world teaching our little brown brothers how to be good pagans.

Mike:  With that, we will conclude this session with Mr. Scheuer.  I’m going to remember that one, we’re the schoolmarm.  But we lost our schoolmarm.  Mrs. Clinton went into hiding.  She went into retirement.

Scheuer:  Oh, I’m afraid she’ll be back.  She’s like the proverbial bad penny.

Mike:  She keeps coming back.  Mr. Scheuer, sir, as always thank you.  Your candor and scholarship on the matter are surely valued here, as is your word.  God bless you, my friend.  We’ll talk soon.

Scheuer:  I’ll look forward to it, sir.  Thank you for having me.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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