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Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I interviewed Ray McGovern, one of an elite group of CIA officers who prepared then-president George W. Bush’s daily intelligence brief. At that time, McGovern was at the apex of the “national security” monolith that is American power and had retired with presidential plaudits. On the eve of the invasion, he and 45 other senior officers of the CIA and other intelligence agencies wrote to Bush that the “drumbeat for war” was based not on intelligence, but lies.
“It was 95 percent charade,” McGovern told me.
“How did they get away with it?” I asked.
“The press allowed the crazies to get away with it.”
“Who are the crazies?”
“The people running the [Bush] administration have a set of beliefs a lot like those expressed in ‘Mein Kampf,'” said McGovern. “These are the same people who were referred to, in the circles in which I moved at the top, as ‘the crazies.'”
I said: “Norman Mailer has written that he believes America has entered a pre-fascist state. What’s your view of that?”
“Well … I hope he’s right, because there are others saying we are already in a fascist mode.”
On January 22, 2011, McGovern emailed me to express his disgust at the Obama administration’s barbaric treatment of the alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning and its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.
“Way back when George and Tony decided it might be fun to attack Iraq,” he wrote, “I said something to the effect that fascism had already begun here. I have to admit I did not think it would get this bad this quickly.”