Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Obama's new CIA man: A man of peace who has always opposed torture

Obama with Hagel, Panetta, Brennan Source WSJ
by Richard Mellor

President Obama, the “socialist” president according to some, has nominated John Brennan to be the next head of the CIA, the US equivalent of the old KGB. According to the Wall Street Journal, Brennan is a “..trusted deputy and architect of the administration’s unconventional, covert war against radical adversaries.”. We can assume that would include Republicans can we?

Critics from the left and the right, (of whatever the center is in US bourgeois politics) have argued that Brennan has been responsible for much of the “War on Terror” policies from torture, spying on and assassinating US citizens, bombing civilians and the like. Some liberals claim that he is responsible for what are euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques” during his stint as the deputy director of the CIA under the imbecile Bush. Obama says of Brennan, “You’ve been a great friend. I’m deeply grateful for your extraordinary service.

Brennan’s friendship with Mr. Obama is no doubt built on solid foundations and agreements on policy, particularly foreign policy.  Brennan has been the main force behind the expansion of Obama’s CIA drone program and its “expansion in to Yemen” the WSJ adds.  US drones now operate in Afghanistan, Iran , Pakistan, Somalia and of course, US cities.

It’s necessary for political activists of any stripe to read the serious journals of US capitalism but it can be frustrating indeed.  Brennan, and those who worked with him under Bush claim that he always opposed the torture of terror suspects (enhanced interrogation) and anyway, “the officers running the program wouldn’t have reported to Mr. Brennan…… he had no authority over it.”, his supporters claim. One of Brennan’s co-workers under Bush, Fran Townsend, told the Wall Street Journal that Brennan had “no ability to influence policy decision on the interrogation program when he was at the CIA.”

So, Brennan opposed the torturing of whomever Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney and the folks at the Pentagon determined was a “terrorist” that threatened the American way of life but for some reason we never heard him.  Not only that, as deputy director of the CIA he had absolutely no influence over these decisions.

Well, here’s a bit of advice for heroic dissenters like Brennan. Take a cue from Bradley Manning’s playbook and appeal to the rest of us; tell us what’s going on, be a hero like Manning. You have no influence at the office? Go to the public?  Can’t get any information from the guys that work for you about what they’re doing?  Ask US workers and the middle class for help. 

It seems to me that Brennan’s role as deputy director of the CIA was pretty worthless. But on further research I think Brennan is just giving us the old “rope a dope”. This guy  saw a newspaper ad in 1980 and joined the CIA. He has been there through all the dirty lies, assassinations, destabilizing of regimes that weren’t friendly to Wall Street and came on board after years of drug running, covert operations violating nations’ sovereign rights (CIA agents were the first US forces in Vietnam after the exit of French colonialism) and other exploits.  No, Brennan, like Obama, is a right wing representative US capitalism.

To have opposed what he and his supporters claim would have never gotten him nominated for the present position.  Obama wouldn’t be referring to him as a “great friend” that’s for sure.

Bradley Manning, or the average soldier that dies or serves in their misnamed conflicts for democracy and freedom (the economic draft) put him and people like him to shame, are historical giants by comparison.

There is one last thing we should consider about all these representatives of the corporations, every damn one of them. Brennan was CEO of Analysis Corporation, a defense contractor which was bought out by Global Strategies Group. These firms are incorrectly referred to as defense contractors but they are companies that develop technology and strategies for defending the interests of US corporations abroad and at home; they’re “offense” contractors.  Like Bechtel, these companies are inextricably linked to the government as a source of taxpayer funds and political office that helps facilitate the plunder of the wealth of the American people and the world.

Weinberger and Schultz came from Bechtel.  US military contractors like Bechtel and Halliburton get the chance to make some money rebuilding a country after the US military bombs it in to the stone-age.  Goldman Sachs employees deal with the money and the US government and especially the treasury is a favored place to work for these characters. Public sector workers ands services are being scapegoated for the deficit and the decline in our living standards but these characters keep their snouts firmly in the public trough.

Ok, the next to last thing. Every one of these characters is from the highest echelons of the capitalist class.  They are all movers and shakers in one or the other of the two Wall Street parties that have a monopoly over US political life and get to govern US society every for years.  If you’re a nurse, a teacher, a truck driver, a welder, a fast food worker, a social worker----there’s no one like you up there, no person or party representing your interests. Running over Iraqi children in Humvees, firing missiles at Afghan weddings from unmanned drones, or supporting the numerous despots throughout the world that Brennan, Obama and all those like them do, is not in our interests. Having a pact with bin Laden wasn’t in our interests either as we learned. If Castro supported the market Washington wouldn’t care what he does, Communist and all.

That’s why they deny that the US is a class society until they’re blue in the face. Why they disparagingly accuse us of “class warfare” whenever we fight back. Why they will discuss race, religion sexual orientation, discrimination against tall people, short people the disabled, as forms of oppression (which they all are) but not class. It is undoubtedly a historical moment that the US has a black man as a president given the history of racism and the existence of an apartheid state within a state in the US, but like Thatcher in Britain who never excluded women from her savage attacks on workers, his loyalty is to the capitalist class and the capitalist mode of production, not gender, color or race.

This false view of society gets an echo because there is no social force that challenges them, that mobilizes a working class offensive challenging their plunder of society.  The silence of the heads of organized Labor on these issues is deafening.

No comments: