‘CIA Eyewashing’ and the Lost Political Wisdom of Hunter S. Thompson

The Washington Post "revealed" today, as their headline read: ‘Eyewash’: How the CIA deceives its own workforce about operations. This would not come as news to anyone who pays attention to CIA pronouncements and reads Antiwar.com or Consortiumnews.com. But it begs the question of why the Post limited their article to the CIA and did not mention the many other so-called "national security" agencies who routinely engage in "eyewashing" with their every pronouncement? "Common sense" should tell us that the CIA isn’t the only national security agency which engages in deception, either of their own workforce, their Congressional "watchdogs," or of the public.

"Eyewashing" agencies include the DOD and its subordinate branches of the military, particularly the NSA and the Special Operations Commands, the FBI, Homeland Security, and the many other agencies, known and perhaps unknown, engaged in "protecting" the U.S. But the greater blame for failing to keep the public informed so they can, hopefully, override disastrous and self-damaging policies cooked up in the hothouses of national security agencies might better be placed upon the journalists, lawyers, etc. who were intended by the framers to form a part of the system of checks and balances as obstacles to policies pursued by incompetent, negligent, derelict, and/or odious officials.

So I would suggest a better model than the obsequious commentators and "experts" of today who fawn over "national security" officials of whatever administration and further disseminate their lies would be the deceased journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson wrote the only insightful analyses of the 1972 Presidential campaign, as published in Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail ’72. McGovern’s campaign manager would later note, the book represented "the least factual, most accurate account" of the election. It is required reading for anyone paying attention to American politics today, with the proviso that anything Thompson wrote then, must be amplified at least 100-fold with political changes since that time.

Thompson would claim that President Richard Nixon represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character." His obituary for Nixon in 1994 captured Nixon’s political character precisely, as can be seen here.

Yet in 2004, Thompson would write: "Nixon was a professional politician, and I despised everything he stood for-but if he were running for president this year against the evil Bush-Cheney gang, I would happily vote for him." With the spirit of the "evil Bush-Cheney gang" totally internalized now within the Republican party as a whole (and Liz Cheney reentering electoral politics), as well as Hillary Clinton representing the same in the Democratic party, Thompson’s mode of political analysis is needed in 2016 more than ever.

That mode of analysis was summarized by Douglas Brinkley, one of Thompson’s editors, in a tribute published in Rolling Stone in 2005 after Thompson’s death. Brinkley explained: "His take on everything was always the exact opposite of conventional wisdom. It was what he called his 180-degree philosophy. Whatever a U.S. politician or media maven publicly pronounced, the truth, he believed, was 100 percent in the other direction. While not a contrarian, Hunter definitely saw the downside of any cherished plan or organized thought. "It’s never as it seems, Bubba," he used to say. Facts were, to his mind, always weirder than fiction."

Therein lies Thompson’s genius and the genius of what our Constitution was intended to protect, especially during this Orwellian "perpetual war" celebrated by our government officials and militarists of both left and right.

Todd E. Pierce, Major, Judge Advocate, US Army (Ret.), served as Defense Counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions, from June 2008 to November 2012. He was on defense teams representing three prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He continues to serve as co-counsel on the appeal of a 2008 Military Commission’s conviction of a Guantanamo prisoner, in which two of three convictions have been vacated for not constituting "war crimes" subject to trial by military commission under the U.S. Constitution. He writes on legal issues related to Guantanamo, military commissions, and the constitutional “legal revolution" taking place in the U.S. under the influence of a militarist ideology and is a co-founder of the Project for the Study of American Militarism. His articles are available at Antiwar.com, Consortiumnews.com, and Mondoweiss.net.

3 thoughts on “‘CIA Eyewashing’ and the Lost Political Wisdom of Hunter S. Thompson”

  1. Hunter S. Thompson is my hero and the primary reason I write today. I can only imagine what his take would be on toxic super-villains like Trump and Madame Killary.

    We need more maniacs like the good Doctor Gonzo today, at least three for every scum-sucking parasite like David Gregory. Maybe we should just legalize acid.

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”

    1. We need someone to make the Swedes, French, and Chinese look like libertarians. Bernie is just the ticket!

  2. You bunch of maroons! Just look back on other very artistic people who the FBI and CIA used in Hollywood and the media and with “Operation Mockingbird”. Those who could not be controlled and who had a strong popular following that could not be swayed otherwise were eliminated.Both Ernest Hemingway and Errol Flynn were used by both the British and American intelligence on Castro in Cuba. Others that worked for the CIA as Barry Seal, David Ferrie, Del Valle and others all met their ends by supposide suicides or rouge drug deals gone bad but all had extensive operational file jackets by the CIA and FBI. Those who said Hemingway was paranoid as the old OSS agent Orson Welles mentioned, did not mention that Ernest had escaped almost three attempts on his life in suspicious air plane crashes and was sure he had been poisoned more than once explaining why he kept a very detailed log of his weight, blood pressure etc. knowing of even then of using radiation poison. His father was a doctor and Ernest went on calls with him and knew of the early signs leading to being poisoned. Flynn was a wild card no one could control but could open doors no one else could. Flynn was murdered by a hot shot knowing his heart was bad using a doctor to do the injection to cover the medical paper work to cover it up. He was about to be joined with others on a exposition of films made in Cuba as “Our Man in Havana”. The young wana-be actress German assassin girl and Castro’s “chippy” the CIA gave poison to give Castro may have be introduced by Flynn while making “Cuban Rebel Girls”. Thompson was murdered. He just joined the long list of those wise to the massive assassinations that have taken place by groups working for the CIA and other agencies working with out contracts for government favors as the Salvation Army did for Bush with Barry Seal. You bunch of Maroons. Mac Don Lumber!

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