No longer anonymous but still goofy

Thomas Joscelyn for the Weekly Standard has an excellent piece about something that caught my eye a day or two ago. Michael Scheuer, the former CIA analyst who anonymously wrote Imperial Hubris, has publicly stated that Israel controls American foreign policy through “the most successful covert action program in the history of man.” The keys to the success of this covert action program are control of Congress and (more ingeniously) the existence of the Holocaust Museum, which keeps Americans feeling sorry for Jews. Joscelyn responds that

His first accusation is a serious one, but it is also a matter of evidence. As a 22-year veteran of the CIA, Scheuer is in a unique position to offer insight into the espionage tradecraft. If he has evidence that Israel has covertly targeted the U.S. Congress, then he should present it. His second claim, however, mimics the type of anti-Semitic propaganda that emanates from state-controlled media monopolies in the Middle East every day. Arab propagandists often accuse “the Jews” of winning “world sympathy by playing on the Holocaust and Nazi atrocities.” This is a recurring motif, for example, in Saudi state-owned newspapers.

That Scheuer mimics the Saudi line should not be surprising. The main theme of Imperial Hubris — that Muslim hatred of America is the product of American policies that are perceived as anti-Islamic, not the result of Muslim hatred of western ideology or culture — also seems lifted from Saudi propaganda As Joscelyn explains,

U.S. foreign policy has been, on balance, ostensibly pro-Muslim and pro-Arab. History is replete with examples, but several will suffice: the U.S. saved Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from Israeli forces in Beirut in 1982; assisted Muslims against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s; freed the Muslim nation of Kuwait and prevented the invasion of Saudi Arabia by a supposedly secular tyrant in 1991; and intervened on behalf of Muslims in Somalia and Bosnia.

When Scheuer left the CIA and began appearing on television, I was astonished at how goofy he seemed to be. However, I didn’t realize he was this goofy, and such a simple-minded hater of Israel (which he calls a theocracy) to boot. You can get more sophisticated analysis from a drunk at your neighborhood bar (Scheuer served his up in the more august setting of the Council on Foreign Relations). How could a guy like this have held a responsible position at the CIA? And how many like him are still there?


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