But that’s absurd!

[ by Charles Cameron — truth or consequences? ]

.

Okay, you can’t always trust intelligence agencies: some of what they do is necessarily clandestine.

And you can’t always trust the media: some of what they do is allegedly fair and balanced.

Then there are folks like Michael Ruppert, who holds VP Dick Cheney at least partially responsible for 9/11…

And now Robert Spencer thinks Al-Qaida maybe runs CIA counterterrorism?

Unh?

So who can you trust?

15 comments on this post.
  1. Deichmans:

    Specious logic at best, akin to saying “al Qa’eda is run by Muslims, therefore all Muslims are al Qa’eda …”

  2. Charles Cameron:

    Hi Shane:
    .
    That seems to be the direction Spencer is heading in, though I don’t think he ever quite gets there.

  3. zen:

    I suspect our irascible, chain smoking,  CIA CT chief is an area specialist who spent a lot of time in the region, met his bride among the wealthy, westernized elite o a Muslim country and married into the faith, which he probably understood in a scholarly sense better than most born into it. A guess which I can never prove but one that explains some of the seeming contradiction

  4. Charles Cameron:

    Nicely put, Zen.
    .
    I think Spencer may have a hard time not suspecting anyone who’s “known to clutch a strand of prayer beads” — unless of course they’re Catholic.
    .
    And even then — remember Robert Hanssen?

  5. zen:

    Yes, I do. Robert Hanssen was a convert to Catholicism and he also was the rare spy to be passed from the GRU to the KGB – this itself is highly unusual. Intelligence agencies do not readily hand over productive ( Hanssen was highly productive. a once in a generation spy) sources to rival intel agencies.
    .
    Double-agents have a peculiar psychological profile that sets them apart from the rest of the population 

  6. Charles Cameron:

    See — another one with the prayer beads — kinda proves the point, eh?
    .
    [ this comment dated April First, 2012 ] 

  7. Madhu:

    I seem to have a different response to the original Washington Post piece than others….
    .
    I saw it as another in the line of human interest, well, there is no other way to put this, “puff” pieces about the Beltway class written by a Beltway-centric journalist. Unfair? Maybe, but that is how I saw it.
    .
    Some bigwig in the CIA is really a muslim. Petraeus has a PhD. McChrystal eats one meal a day. What books does the President read? Oooh, does the First Lady really plant organic vegetables in her garden?
    .
    Look, all of that is humanizing and perfectly fine, but I have much more serious questions about what has gone on the past decade or so in AfPak, particularly regarding our liason relationships and where certain people were found. How much are our institutions willing to take in order to maintain Beltway funding, liason relationships, mil-mil relationships, and alliances? It seems the security of the American people and the Constitution come in second compared to the little wishes, hopes, and dreams of a class of people, both Right and Left, who write papers that start with, “Niger must, India must, China must, Japan must, Australia must….”
    .
    You see where I am going with this? What a waste of my time. Everyone has gone into their careful pantomime.
    .
    “Oh no, a Muslim at the CIA!”
    .
    “Can you believe the commentary? Look at how enlightened I am, I have no serious questions about what happened, but I sure do know how to wag my finger at others. Tsk, tsk.”.
    .
    I am not referring to anyone here,  just describing a feeling I get when I read other sites.

  8. Madhu:

    I didn’t put the last part very well, because I am in a hurry. Let me try again.
    .
    Some on the right have their thing, some on the left have their thing, and off they go, happily, into the little back-and-forth that they are comfortable in, while the real questions of import remain unanswered. Oh, I do it, too. I’m terrible sometimes and this is one of those times. Must be grumpy or something. No one cares what really happened unless it fits a domestic narrative.
    .
    PS: I can point to articles in, like, the Nation, written about Hindus that parallel what is written by the National Review on Muslims. And now I am doing it, too. I hate this stuff and I hate the pantomime. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.  I haven’t gone truther on you all, you know what I mean.

  9. Charles Cameron:

    Hi Madhu:.
    .
    I don’t know what the motives of writer or editor were in posting the original WaPo piece on “Roger” the CIA Muslim CT chief — but the paradoxical way the headline plays against the fairly widespread assumption that Muslims are, or are liable to be, the enemy is what presumably gave rise to the headline.  I’d have found that tidbit of fact interesting, perhaps even noteworthy, on its own.  But it was Robert Spencer’s inability to take the story at face value and say, “Yes, thank God, there are some right-minded Muslims, and one of them’s in a significant position in the CIA — this shows us all that it’s not Islam but a vicious subset thereof that we’re fighting” that brought me to the point of posting.
    .
    AQ is not the Taliban, AQ and Taliban are not Salafism, Salafism is not Islam…
    .
    My own “real questions of import” have to do with our quite human predilection for taking some poorly delimited group and slapping the labels “the other” and “the enemy” on them, which then facilitates dehumanizing and killing them.
    .
    Perhaps what I’m saying — translated into “just war” theological terms — is that the just war concept is inherently fractal.  There are, I’d suggest, pockets of justice in wars that are in broad strokes blatantly unbalanced and evil, and pockets of injustice in wars whose overall scope is just…
    .
    But I’m a student of humanity, not an expert — and what I write here is in large part my way of wrestling with my own warrior and peace-maker angels or demons…
    .
    Add to that, I’m an “equal-opportunity” student of religions, and find the parallelisms and oppositions between the Ayodhya / Oudh and Jerusalem / Al-Quds issues of considerable interest — so I’d certainly appreciate any pointers to articles that favor or oppose Hindutva in general, here or by email.

  10. Madhu:

    Charles: You (and zenpundit altogether) are an oasis of decency, intelligence, kindness, and good sense in a sea of crazy that represents the internet et al.
    .
    I like your double quote format. It was perfect in this instance, IMO. That Spencer quote is nutty. Seriously? That’s the suspicion you’ve got about the CIA? With its varied liason relationships pre-and-post 9-11 and Iraq/Afghanistan? How about the basic set up of our institutions and how it affects performance regardless of the ability and bravery of its employees?
    .
    So, here is how my crazy brain works. Blog commenting is a creative excercize for me and often I use the original post as a prompt to “think my own thoughts.” My comments likely have little to do with the intent of the post, but represent a “flight of fancy” on my part. This gets me in trouble. I am still horrified by the following interaction because I am an admirer of the journalist (journalists) and never intended harm:
    .
    http://www.lineofdeparture.com/2012/03/15/islamabad-%E2%99%A5-usa/
    .
    Yet, my big mouth always gets me in trouble. You’d think after years and years of blog commenting, I’d learn.
    .
    As to the other stuff, I’m rushed for time but hopefully will return to it. I have a crazy theory–likely wrong, really–that Americans have inadvertently internalized certain British colonial and immediately post-colonial attititudes toward the Cold War periphery countries and that even the anti-imperialist Left in the States has done this but doesn’t “see it.” Once again, could be another one of my fruitless and crazy theories that isn’t correct but how else does a person learn but by experimenting intellectually?
    .
    🙂

  11. Madhu:

    PS: I’m working on some Tanka and other writing. I’ve got to take some time out and do some other kind of reading and writing. I love this corner of the internet and milblogs in general but I’ve only got so much time and have to make some choices because of time constraints. 🙁 I wish there were 48 hours in the day….

  12. Madhu:

    Hey Charles, J. Scott, and Zen, just who reads this site anyway?
    .
    http://tinyurl.com/bsz7xj7
    .
    Is the Washington “State Dept” Post getting impatient?
    .
    Actually, what I want to know is who in the Beltway put the kibosh on investigating links to Saudi, etc. The 9-11 Report is strangely empty reading, in some ways….Non-state versus State is the biggest bunch of intellectual hooey. It’s the connections between state and non-state that matter, those that support and those that oppose, those that are inadvertent (is that the word I am looking for?) and those that are, er, “vertent.”
    .
    What’s the point of words if you can’t play around with them?

  13. Madhu:

    It’s like without globalization there is no black globalization and without black globalization what would globalization look like?
    .
    Forget containment, the operative word in the 21st centry should be FLOW….
    .
    If only I would get off my lazy butt and write a paper for SWJ or something like that.
    .
    But I won’t. I know me. By this point, I oughta know me. How many Beltwayer’s you think spend time getting to “know thyself?” Am I being unfair? Because I have a tendency to be unfair. I know that about me, too.

  14. J. Scott Shipman:

    Hi Madhu,
    .
    If you are right, the FLOW is pretty haphazard.
    .
    Oil continues to drive us to the Saudis; were it not for oil, there would be no relationship.
    .
    Much has been made about a “clash of civilizations” as if it is something new, but alas, hasn’t it always been so?
    .
    Washington’s Farewell Address makes more sense by the day.

  15. zen:

    Hi Doc Madhu
    .
    You’d be surprised.
    .
    Ignatius could have taken his questions one level deeper but he didn’t want to make that kind of wave. I might post on it if I can ever get free time and quiet to blog more regularly 😉