America's Secret Government and the Road to 9/11

By Everett, Matt | The Journal of Psychohistory, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

America's Secret Government and the Road to 9/11


Everett, Matt, The Journal of Psychohistory


America's Secret Government and the Road to 9/11 Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007, 432 pp.

Although it has "9/11" in its title, Peter Dale Scott's latest book is about far more than the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Road to 9/11 is an account and analysis of little-known, hidden events in U.S. history in the years after World War H, which help to place the events of 9/11 within a larger context.

Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and UC Berkeley English professor, resumes and expands upon subjects covered in his previous books like The War Conspiracy (1972), Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993), and Drugs, Oil, and War (2003) - subjects such as U.S. covert operations and their impact on democracy, and the global drug traffic. He thereby aims to aid our understanding of the war on tenor and the current political crises faced by America and its allies. He begins The Road to 9/11 stating that, while "9/11 is an event without precedent," it must also be seen as "a culmination of trends developing through a half century: toward secret top-down decision-making by small cabals, toward the militarization of law enforcement, toward plans for the sequestering of those who dissent, toward government off-the-books operations, transactions, and assets, and toward governance by those who pay for political parties rather than those who participate in them." The result of Scott's subsequent analysis is a book that is informative, covering a wide spectrum of events and issues, and well researched, being backed up by over 1,400 endnotes. And while it is not a psychohistorical work, it suggests important questions that psychohistorians need to address.

A constant theme throughout the book is summarized when Scott writes that, increasingly, "major redirections of U.S. foreign policy have been initiated and conducted not by those who are publicly charged with the responsibility for them, but by others, often in secret." Scott traces this practice back to the late 1940s by describing the creation and early history of the CIA and its covert action wing, the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). He goes on to look at numerous topics such as the relationship of the CIA to the global drugs trade, an aspect of U.S. foreign policy formation that is "usually repressed rather than acknowledged." From the 1950s to the present, the CIA has had a "habit of turning to drug-supported, offthe-books assets for fighting wars", in particular in Southeast Asia and, more recently, Afghanistan. Scott blames this activity for today's vastly expanded global heroin traffic.

Other topics examined are the 1980 "October Surprise" when Republicans negotiated with fundamentalist Muslims to prevent President Carter gaining the release of American hostages held in Tehran prior to the U.S. presidential election and the role of the notorious Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which was found to be involved in numerous criminal activities, including arms trafficking, drug money laundering, fraud, and the financing of tenorism. We also learn of the initial ascendance of individuals like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle in the mid-1970s during the presidency of Gerald Ford. These same individuals came to prominence and gained massive influence after 9/11, during the George W. Bush presidency.

Only two chapters are devoted specifically to the events of September 11 . Scott focuses his analysis of that day largely on the actions of Vice President Dick Cheney, but examines the actions of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld as well, albeit to a much lesser extent. He also discusses the inadequacies of the 9/1 1 Commission Report, saying that its misrepresentations "are not only evidence of a deception and cover-up, they justify grave suspicion as to what is being covered up."

A significant portion of the book- four chapters- is devoted to the close relationship between U. …

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