Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Transcript - Michael Scheuer joins Mike on the show today and discusses all of the goings on in the Middle East and Africa, and how Senators McCain, Graham, Lieberman, etc figure into all of it. Check out today's interview for the entire interview...
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Michael Scheuer, nonintervention.org.
Michael Scheuer: Dot com, sir.
Mike: Dot com. I had it right the first time. Last I checked, you were going to CBS, right?
Scheuer: Well, no. I was with CBS, but I was a little critical of President Clinton, and they decided that I was probably not the person for them.
Mike: You better watch it then, right?
Scheuer: Well, it happens. I think I kind of angered Fox because I may have made a couple speeches for Dr. Paul. I haven’t been on there for a while. You have to be careful what you say. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’m not very careful.
Mike: Yes, you and I, my fair friend, share a common trait in that. As my buddy Lew Rockwell says, being right is overrated. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to be.
Scheuer: I think that’s right. Mr. Rockwell certainly provides an outlet for an enormous number of good opinions. Whether mine are good or not, they’re mine. I think my responsibility as a citizen is just to open my mouth when I think something is wrong, or when it’s right.
Mike: And I, as a fellow citizen, thank you very much because you’re one of the most informed. Speaking of you being one of the most informed, you said you had some difficulties with a broadcasting network because you said some things about President Clinton. You made some speeches on behalf of Dr. Paul. If you had to grade the early view of candidate Romney and his statements, maybe the things that he said he is interested in doing or pursuing as Commander in Chief of the United States when it comes to foreign policy, what problems do you see, and what good things, if any, do you see?
Scheuer: Well, from what I’ve read about the advisors around Governor Romney and his own opinions, I’m afraid he’s just a continuation of Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton and the first Mr. Bush. We’re going to continue to be involved in things that are really none of our business and really just soak up our resources and the lives of our kids. I think he will be better than Mr. Obama and across the board better. It would be hard to be worse, but I still am very worried that he’s one of those people that think we have to be involved in everything on Earth, everywhere it occurs. I think that’s a road to disaster.
Mike: Give the listeners of the Red, White, Dude and [r]epublican nation listening today, Mr. Scheuer, if you would, your thoughts on the recently-held election in Egypt and who it was that actually won it, what kind of a political party or man we’re dealing with here, and what are the possible ramifications? Bear in mind we kind of started this, I guess 40 years ago, by inserting Mubarak in there and screwing up the Egyptian process. I’m not up on the entire history here. Then I guess finished the job by helping to get rid of Mubarak.
Scheuer: I think one of the problems we have, sir, is our whole policy in the Middle East was built on the maintenance of tyranny. We supported tyranny across the board from Morocco to Pakistan. Now it’s coming apart at the seams. I think we have no place to go. We got off of one horse and there’s not another horse waiting for us. What’s terribly interesting to me is that a year ago, virtually every commentator on every network, whether it was Fox or NPR or MSNBC, was predicting the advent of secular democracy across the region. Now what we’ve seen in Egypt is half the people chose the Muslim Brotherhood; the other half chose the Mubarak leftovers. No one chose democracy. What we have now in the Muslim Brotherhood is a very well organized, very devout organization that will contest with the military for ultimate power. Right now, the military holds all the cards. The type of government we’re going to see in Egypt is one that’s probably not going to be very friendly to us over the longer term.
Mike: That, again, would depend on when you say friendly, you mean friendly as in, [mocking] “Hey, you guys did some pretty cool rugs. I love that Egyptian cotton. Can we buy some?” Or when you say friendly, [mocking] “Here’s $80 billion. Please make sure the Israelis don’t get bombed by your next door neighbor”?
Scheuer: Well, I think that’s a very serious problem, sir. What I meant, they will certainly trade with us, whether it’s cotton or rugs or whatever. The Suez Canal will stay open because they have to have the revenues from it. But their attitude toward assisting us in problems that we identify as ours in the Middle East, they will be much less eager to do that. We may try to bribe them to protect the Israelis, but I don’t know if that’s going to work. The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal is to remove Israel from where it sits. At some point, they’re going to have to satisfy their clientele or their members that they have not abandoned all their pre-election beliefs.
Mike: Michael Scheuer from nonintervention.com is on the program with us today. Last time you were here, you said, “Mike’s listeners, keep an eye on the western part of Africa where the oil is.” This is where you envisioned seeing U.S. Marines landing. I believe you said Somali, it may have been Zambia, but where the oil is on that coast, that Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula had now moved to Al-Qaeda on the African Continent. Has anything changed to temper your concerns in that matter?
Scheuer: Well, no, I don’t think so. In fact, part of Al-Qaeda -- the group there is called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. They’re moving from North Africa, which is the Maghreb, down into Western Africa and Southern Africa. They’re part of the group that broke up the country of Mali recently, declaring an independent state in the northern part of Mali. No, the Al-Qaeda influenced people, but also the local Islamics are very much in the area where we depend on for Nigerian oil, for uranium, for other strategic minerals. West Africa is rich in minerals. Also there’s an enormous piracy problem off the West Coast of Africa, just as there is off of Somalia. If I was a betting man, and I’m not really, I would guess that the Army and Marines are probably figuring out how they’re going to operate in that part of the world. Those are genuine U.S. interests. Those are U.S. interests, unfortunately, we have to fight for.
Mike: Michael Scheuer from nonintervention.com. Michael, you are a former CIA agent, sir. I must ask you a question about the recent spate, it seems, of I guess you call them leaks. I’m not sure they’re leaks so much as they’re not unofficial press releases from inside the administration. From your experience and from the quality of gentlemen, or lack of quality of gentlemen you worked with in the CIA, does this seem like something that CIA agents would undergo of their own freewill and volition?
Scheuer: No, this is coming out of the White House.
Mike: Okay. That’s what I wanted to know.
Scheuer: This is just another example of the lawlessness which pervades our country amongst our elites. We don’t declare war anymore. The president has unbelievable authority, really the authority of a tyrant to decide to take a whole country to war. The leaks are of such a high caliber and the information is so important and the sources and methods they reveal are so clear that only the president could authorize the leak of this stuff. That’s exactly what’s happening. He and his terrorism person, John Brennan, that’s where the leaks are coming from. It’s solely for political purposes. It just shows you the lawlessness of our elite, of our aristocracy, if you will.
Mike: That is, coming from you and from someone who was actually an agent and had to swear to do all those things. I assume there were some vows of secrecy that you had to undertake. That’s quite a statement. Others have made it, but without your expertise. I think you have the credibility -- your credibility, or at least your experience and credibility adds something to it. I don’t doubt you. So that’s where we’re at?
Scheuer: We’ve had probably three consecutive presidents who could not have cleared the security process to work at the CIA. I don’t think it should be surprising. Certainly Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton could not have cleared the process.
Mike: One more question on foreign affairs. We have been propagandized. You were just mentioning a moment ago that every news outlet and every news media, it seemed, a year ago, was prophesizing about the wonders of this Arab spring. I must tell you that that was not happening here. That did not happen here.
Scheuer: I know that, sir.
Mike: There was an awful lot of prophecy about this Arab spring and what have you. Now, of course, Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham and Mr. Lieberman and Ms. Feinstein and Mr. Wyden and many others are now rattling their sabers, along with, unfortunately, “conservative” media and “liberal” media, to make this case that Syria is the next Libya. Syria is the next Egypt. We all have this vested interest in Syria. We’ve got to do this for humanitarian reasons and what have you. Number one, I know you don’t accept that, or maybe you do and have changed your mind.
Scheuer: No, I don’t, sir.
Mike: Explain why. Number two, can you explain to my listeners in as simple a manner as you can, what kind of a time bomb this is with the fact, and maybe I misunderstand it, too, but the fact that the Russians are our allies of the Syrians and the Iranians, as I understand it. How does Russia play into all this?
Scheuer: Well, Russia has always been a very strong supporter of the Assad regime, both this one and the father Hafez Assad, who Bashar is his son. They’ve been always strong weapons supplier and strong diplomatic advocates of the Syrians. Our embargo or ban of imports on the Syrians is hurting the Russians’ industry. Of course, Syria is a very close ally of Iran. We really have a hornets nest here. What our interests are in Syria, I genuinely don’t know. There’s no oil. There’s no resources. There’s no anything really.
For 30 years, or 40 years, since I was a little boy, I’ve been told by the media, by the politicians, that Syria is a threat to the United States. When you roll out a map and look for Syria, you wonder if it’s a country or a smudge. It’s not a threat to us. Humanitarian concerns, of course, that’s for private people. If somebody wants to get a box of granola and an AK and go fight Assad, let him do it. For the United States of America, it is ultimately an unimportant area. People die every day. If we have to have federal money, tax money, spent on humanitarian concerns, then I think the 25 percent of American kids who are malnourished or go to bed hungry at night, that’s where the money should go. There’s no reason at all for us to give a darn who is in power in Syria.
Mike: Other than that there are other considerations there and lots of money invested or on the line in those considerations. You’re always told to follow the money, right?
Scheuer: One thing we’re seeing in the collapse of the tyrannies that we have supported for so long is ultimately probably a death warrant for the Israelis. As strong as the Israelis were, they were strong because they could intimidate governments that were secular, whether it was Mubarak or whether it was Assad. Those countries helped to keep Israel’s borders defended. The Israelis are tough and good at their own border control, but having Syrians to help on one side and Egyptians on the other was important to keeping a high level of security. That’s changing very much now. The fighters from South Asia, from Pakistan are moving through Iraq into Syria, into Jordan, into Lebanon. We’ve already had a great number of problems on the Sinai border with the Israelis in Egypt. It is a very big, developing problem. I’m not sure what we can do about it.
Mike: Would Saddam Hussein have allowed or facilitated the movement of those troops through Iraq?
Scheuer: No, Mike. Saddam was our greatest ally in terms of the war on terrorism. He was the cork in the neck of the bottle. As long as he was there, he was going to kill every Islamic fighter he could as soon as they entered Iraq. He was diddling around with the Palestinians, paying off the families of suicide bombers and helping them with some expertise, but it was a minor nuisance for the Israelis. He was a very strong ally. He was a great ally. We didn’t have to pay him. We didn’t have to cajole him. He did it because it meant his survival. With him gone, America, I hope unwittingly, built kind of an east-west highway from Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf to The Levant. What we’re seeing going on now in Syria, for example, is a great influence of Al-Qaeda and other non-Syrian Islamic groups that have come there to fight Assad. Our support, our economic sanctions on the Syrians are really helping people who, if they were in Afghanistan, we would be calling them the Taliban.
Mike: Wow. As always, my friend, Michael Scheuer from nonintervention.com, and frequent contributor to this radio show and many other radio shows and television shows, an all-around good guy, one of the staunchest pro-life men you’ll find on the face of the Earth as well. A lot of people don’t know that about you; I do because that’s one of those instances that you were talking about when you came on, “Well, sir, I can’t keep my mouth closed.” That’s a good one. That’s one you should be talking about.
Scheuer: Well, if you can’t speak on behalf of human beings, then how the heck can you be a person?
Mike: Indeed. Mr. Scheuer, as always, it is such a pleasure. You knowledge is immense. It just helps to cut through some of this fog and this propaganda that comes from both political parties and all the television and news media outlets, [mocking] “We have to do this. There’s an interest here.” So much of it is we created so much of this. Do we have interests there? Yeah, there’s a few, very few. This façade and this mythology that we have created of the great American, I guess imperial or colonial force, which we never got around to the colonization, in the Middle East has -- yeah, we changed it all right. It looks, from all indications, that we have changed it for the worse. My friend, I have to run. Thank you very much. I look forward to talking to you again real soon.
Scheuer: It’s always my pleasure, sir. Thank you.
Mike: You’re very welcome. That’s Michael Scheuer from nonintervention.com.
End Mike Church Show Transcript