C-SPAN Video Player - Michael Scheuer, Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief (1996-99)
Following this modest proposal to throw Israel to the wolves, Scheuer received the following grossly anti-Semitic question from a caller called John from Franklin, NY who identified himself as a political independent (viewable at 15:00 of the above-linked video). Question and answer are presented below in their entirety. Scheuer's response is instructive:
John from Franklin: I for one am sick and tired of all these Jews coming on C-SPAN and other stations and pushing us to go to war against our Muslim friends. They're willing to spend the last drop of American blood and treasure to get their way in the world. They have way too much power in this country. People like Wolfowitz and Feith and the other neo-cons -- they jewed us into Iraq -- and now we're going to spend the next 60 years rehabilitating our soldiers -- I'm sick and tired of it.
C-SPAN host: Any comment on that?
Scheuer: Yeah. I think that American foreign policy is ultimately up to the American people. One of the big things we have not been able to discuss for the past 30 years is the Israelis. Whether we want to be involved in fighting Israel's wars in the future is something that Americans should be able to talk about. They may vote yes. They may want to see their kids killed in Iraq or somewhere else to defend Israel. But the question is: we need to talk about it. Ultimately Israel is a country that is of no particular worth the United States.
C-SPAN host: You mean strategically?
Scheuer: Strategically. They have no resources we need. Their manpower is minimal. Their association with us is a negative for the United States. Now that's a fact. What you want to do about that fact is entirely different. But for anyone to stand up in the United States and day that support for Israel doesn't hurt us in the Muslim world is to just defy reality.
After that statement of agreement with a grossly bigoted phone caller, Scheuer went on to state an opinion so bizarre that, under ordinary circumstances, would stand out; in this context, however, its illogic seems minor by comparison. Scheuer said that he opposes trying accused terrorists in U.S. courts, arguing that, because Muslims consider these defendants innocent of any crime, when they're convicted, it makes our courts seem biased against Muslims. For that reason, Scheuer supports holding accused terrorists without trial. By his thinking, the Muslim world would approve of the U.S. holding accused terrorists prisoner indefinitely without trial more than they would support the accused terrorists getting trials. (At 20:00 of the video.)
Who supports Scheuer's peculiar views? One indication is who publishes his work on their websites. Scheuer's next call came from a supporter identified as Tim from Crawford, Virgina. Tim has published Scheuer's writings on his several anti-Semitic websites, at least one of which is largely devoted to promoting disinformation blaming Jews for carrying out 9/11.
Tim from Crawford: Mr. Scheuer, I met you in Los Angeles and you were so brave being on the Bill Maher Show talking about how we're fighting these wars for Israel and I told you about my neoconzionistthreat.com website and america-hijacked.com. You were absolutely spot on, sir. When are we going to shred the Israeli yoke and get on with defending America like George Washington wanted us to?
Scheuer didn't really address those rhetorical questions in his response, so that is something we must look forward to in a later interview. But the question does give some insight into his base of support.
From a psychological perspective, it's instructive to take a look at how Scheuer's paranoid view of Israeli influence has created situations which seem to him to confirm that paranoia. He charges that AIPAC (which he pronounces "eye-pack") and other unnamed Zionists got him fired from his position as a Senior Fellow and columnist for the Jamestown Foundation, an anti-terrorism think-tank, based on a single comment he made. He says (at 39:20 in the video) that he
"said sort of flippantly at one of their conferences that Obama was doing the 'Tel-Aviv Two Step' during the presidential campaign -- getting closer to the Israel Lobby. And that was enough to have the donors to that foundation indicate that I should be terminated...
"You know you always talk about the Israel Lobby and its power, and to see it up close and personal aimed right at me, was very educational. In fact, it was worth the experience of losing a job."
Scheuer believes that his extreme views, no matter how much they diverge from those of the Jamestown Foundation, should be promoted by that group; and if the Jamestown Foundation chooses not to do so, it must be the result of a Zionist conspiracy. I don't have any inside information concerning why the leadership of the Jamestown Foundation fired Scheuer, but the idea that it was the single comment he cites as the reason strains credulity. Scheuer has a record of extreme -- even paranoid -- opinions on this subject of Israel -- a record which is getting longer by the day. His explanation of his firing is perfectly consistent with that paranoid worldview.
That firing might have been motivated by Scheuer's bizarre statement that "the U.S. government was marching to the drummer of al Qaeda" (at 0:50 0f the below-embedded video). He doesn't explain how the U.S. can be controlled by both the Israel Lobby and al Qaeda.
Getting back to his C-SPAN interview, Scheuer wrapped it up by talking himself through the following logical wormhole:
Scheuer: Would I have opposed Truman's decision to recognize Israel? I certainly would have! Because it (was) obvious where it was going to lead.
That being said, let me say that no country has a right to exist. The United States doesn't have a right to exist. Britain doesn't have a right to exist. Bolivia doesn't have a right to exist! Countries exist if they can get along with their neighbors, if they have a thriving economy and a social system which is equitable. If countries have a right to exist, we would be resurrecting the Soviet Union, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and every other country that has gone down the tubes. Every contry has a right to defend itself, including Israel, but no country has a right to exist.
Elsewhere in this interview, Scheuer argues that whether or not a foreign nation is democratic is of no importance to the United States. He argues that the only factor meriting consideration in determining United States foreign policy is a narrowly defined view of what is in the our immediate national interest. To him, a dictatorship is as good as a democracy, so long as we come out ahead. What he doesn't understand is that the world he advocates is not one in which the United States in particular and democracy in general would be welcome. Maybe that is why the Jamestown Foundation fired him.