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Hugh Hewitt’s Demonic Visions

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | December 19, 2015

In a GOP debate otherwise marked by constant calls for more bombs, more boots on the ground, more invasions, and even punching Russian President Vladimir Putin in the nose, one exchange stood out as the sad epitaph for an America whose moral compass has gone completely off.

Neoconservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt was trying to gauge the candidates’ willingness to fight endless wars, and he must have sensed that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, as one who has saved the lives of so many, might be weak on the war question. Could Carson kill as ruthlessly as the others, Hewitt demanded to know.

Here is the exchange:

HEWITT: Dr. Carson…… you mentioned in your opening remarks that you’re a pediatric neurologist surgeon…

CARSON: Neurosurgeon.

HEWITT: Neurosurgeon. And people admire and respect and are inspired by your life story, your kindness, your evangelical core support. We’re talking about ruthless things tonight — carpet bombing, toughness, war. And people wonder, could you do that? Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief?

This horrific suggestion passed by as completely normal. As if it is the normal job of an American president to slaughter thousands of innocent children.

Carson started to answer by describing how he saves children by operating on their brains, and then ended by stating that you have to get the entire job done at once, rather than death by 1,000 pricks.

Hewitt, like the rest of us, was left unsure what Carson really meant with such an obscure response, so he asked him more bluntly:

HEWITT: So you are OK with the deaths of thousands of innocent children and civilian? It’s like… That is what war — can you be as ruthless as Churchill was in prosecuting the war against the Nazis?

CARSON: Ruthless is not necessarily the word I would use, but tough, resolute, understanding what the problems are, and understanding that the job of the president of the United States is to protect the people of this country and to do what is necessary in order to get it done.

So Hewitt wondered whether Carson’s medical training would get in the way of his becoming a war criminal if elected, and Carson assured him it would not.

Hewitt, like many neocons, is obsessed with Churchill as the model for a tough, ruthless leader. In a memorable exchange back in 2007 with the late and great General William Odom, Hewitt similarly grilled Gen. Odom about whether, facing the new Hitler (Iran) Odom would be on the side of Churchill or Neville Chamberlain. It’s an age-old tactic of the neocons, but General Odom was not a man to be bullied by a pipsqueak like Hewitt.

Here’s how it went down in 2007:

Hugh Hewitt: You would have been with which party in Great Britain in the 30’s? Let me ask it that way. Was Churchill—

William Odom: I was — it’s not analogous to today at all. . . .

HH: Yes, but did Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain ignore the statements of Hitler, and put it down as just rhetoric?

WO: This is — Ahmadinejad is not — he does not have German industry. He does not preside over a country which was becoming the major industrial power in Europe.

HH: Yeah, but he will have . . .

WO: He’s in a backward country with a group of people who are becoming poorer and poorer as a result of his policies.

HH: But he will have . . .

WO: And if you can’t see the difference between that, then I’m very disappointed in your judgment.

Hewitt went on to question Odom’s dedication to more intervention overseas and the good General dropped him in his tracks:

HH: Did you see Cambodia coming, General?

WO: And following — let me ask you. Are you enthusiastic enough to put on a uniform and go?

HH: No. I’m a civilian.

WO: Okay, but we can recruit you.

HH: I’m 51, General.

WO: And I don’t see all these war hawks that want to — none of them have been in a war, and they don’t want to go.

The rest of the exchange between Odom and Hewitt is a great read — particularly as every one of Odom’s predictions about Iraq has come true.

It is difficult to imagine an American body politic so morally ill as to embrace the idea that the ideal president should be a mass murderer. That a real leader must not make distinctions between civilians and combatants in a war. That civilians by the thousands must be killed without compunction to keep America safe.

Christians (and Hugh Hewitt professes to be one) prepare to rejoice at the birth of their Savior, the Prince of Peace, this coming week. What a way to prepare for the coming of Christ the King, to rejoice not in the promise of salvation but in the spilling of innocent blood.

Something is really wrong.

December 20, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Death-Squad Organizer Is NYT’s Source on Ben Carson’s Lack of Foreign Policy Smarts

By Adam Johnson & Jim Naureckas | FAIR | November 19, 2015

In its effort to vet one of the leading GOP presidential candidates, Dr. Ben Carson, the New York Times didn’t properly vet its primary source in this vetting, former CIA officer Duane Clarridge—an indicted liar and overseer of Contra death squads in Central America.

While the Times’ Trip Gabriel briefly notes the former, he completely omits the latter, instead offering this starry-eyed description:

Mr. Clarridge, described by Mr. Carson’s top adviser, Armstrong Williams, as “a mentor for Dr. Carson,” is a colorful, even legendary figure in intelligence circles, someone who could have stepped out of a Hollywood thriller. He was a longtime CIA officer, serving undercover in India, Turkey, Italy and other countries, and sprinkles his remarks with salty language.

As head of Reagan’s CIA division in Latin America in the 1980s, Clarridge took part in the effort to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista government by illegally supplying funds and arms to the Contras—a right-wing terrorist movement that committed brutal war crimes. This was not an unforeseen consequence, but the point of the operation; asked by CIA Director William Casey to come up with a strategy for dealing with the Sandinista revolution, Clarridge writes in his memoir A Spy for All Seasons :

My plan was simple:

  1. Take the war to Nicaragua.
  2. Start killing Cubans.

Clarridge acknowledges that his plan, “stated so bluntly, undoubtedly sounds harsh.”

He also boasts of having come up with the idea of mining Nicaragua’s harbors to interfere with shipping:

I remember sitting with a glass of gin on the rocks, smoking a cigar (of course), and pondering my dilemma, when it hit me. Sea mines were the solution…. To this day I wonder why I didn’t think of it sooner.

The mines were, as conservative icon Sen. Barry Goldwater pointed out, an “act of war”—and predictably resulted in the deaths of civilians, something that doesn’t trouble Clarridge overly much. Or, apparently, the New York Times.

The Times vaguely alludes to the Iran/Contra scandal but without mentioning what it entailed, namely that Clarridge had an operational involvement with terrorist death squads.

In addition to this bloodsoaked past, Clarridge has more recently been a freelance hit-list generator for the Defense Department in Afghanistan ( New York Times, 3/14/10)–part of what the Times referred to as “an off-the-books spy operation.”

The kid-glove treatment would even extend to ethnic slurs, which the Times glosses over without citing specifically. Gabriel quotes Clarridge dismissing the notion—spread by right-wing media—that there are Chinese troops in Syria, “using an ethnic slur for the Chinese.” If a top adviser to a leading presidential candidate is referring to Chinese people as “Chinks”—or the equivalent—isn’t that a newsworthy fact that the New York Times ought to report?

It’s not a surprise a New York Times Beltway insider like Trip Gabriel would whitewash Clarridge’s brutal resume to the point of unrecognizability, but it doesn’t make using a grotesque violator of human rights and a known liar to kneecap Carson any less sleazy. On the issue of policy knowledge, it is more than fair to point out Carson’s shortcomings. But the bigger story here—that a leading candidate’s primary international adviser is a CIA goon with a bloody (or as the Times would put it “colorful”) past—is buried in a story about a routine DC pissing match.

This is how America’s war crimes are laundered, by absorbing the most complicit and criminal into respectable circles by passing them off as “experts” with “legendary” pasts. The Times would have better served its readers by pointing out, in clear and honest terms, what this “colorful, even legendary” past amounted to. It would help put Clarridge’s testimony—and Carson’s potential nomination—into historical and moral context.

November 20, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment