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Drinking the Kool-Aid by W. Patrick Lang former CIA officer

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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 11:21 AM
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Drinking the Kool-Aid by W. Patrick Lang former CIA officer
Edited on Fri Jul-22-05 11:27 AM by MelissaB

Drinking the Kool-Aid

W. Patrick Lang

Col. Lang is president of Global Resources, Inc. and former defense intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). For a printable pdf version of this article, click here.

Throughout my long service life in the Department of Defense, first as an army officer and then as a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, there was a phrase in common usage: "I will fall on my sword over that." It meant that the speaker had reached a point of internal commitment with regard to something that his superiors wanted him to do and that he intended to refuse even though this would be career suicide. The speaker preferred career death to the loss of personal honor.

This phrase is no longer widely in use. What has taken its place is far more sinister in its meaning and implications. "I drank the Kool-Aid" is what is now said. Those old enough to remember the Jonestown tragedy know this phrase all too well. Jim Jones, a self-styled "messiah" from the United States, lured hundreds of innocent and believing followers to Guyana, where he built a village, isolated from the world, in which his Utopian view of the universe would be played out. He controlled all news, regulated all discourse and expression of opinion, and shaped behavior to his taste. After a time, his paranoia grew unmanageable and he "foresaw" that "evil" forces were coming to threaten his "paradise." He decided that these forces were unstoppable and that death would be preferable to living under their control. He called together his followers in the town square and explained the situation to them. There were a few survivors, who all said afterward that within the context of the "group-think" prevailing in the village, it sounded quite reasonable. Jim Jones then invited all present to drink from vats of Kool-Aid containing lethal doses of poison. Nearly all did so, without physical coercion. Parents gave their children the poison and then drank it themselves. Finally Jones drank. Many hundreds died with him.

What does drinking the Kool-Aid mean today? It signifies that the person in question has given up personal integrity and has succumbed to the prevailing group-think that typifies policymaking today. This person has become "part of the problem, not part of the solution."

What was the "problem"? The sincerely held beliefs of a small group of people who think they are the "bearers" of a uniquely correct view of the world, sought to dominate the foreign policy of the United States in the Bush 43 administration, and succeeded in doing so through a practice of excluding all who disagreed with them. Those they could not drive from government they bullied and undermined until they, too, had drunk from the vat.

What was the result? The war in Iraq.
It is not anything like over yet, and the body count is still mounting. As of March 2004, there were 554 American soldiers dead, several thousand wounded, and more than 15,000 Iraqis dead (the Pentagon is not publicizing the number). The recent PBS special on Frontline concerning Iraq mentioned that senior military officers had said of General Franks, "He had drunk the Kool-Aid." Many intelligence officers have told the author that they too drank the Kool-Aid and as a result consider themselves to be among the "walking dead," waiting only for retirement and praying for an early release that will allow them to go away and try to forget their dishonor and the damage they have done to the intelligence services and therefore to the republic.


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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 11:27 AM
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1. Thanks for posting this. Saves me from having to look for it. N/T
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Burried News Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 11:30 AM
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2. I don't have too many heroes (left alive).
This guy is one of them. Thanks Colonel.
"Pat Lang -- with whom I had frequently exchanged views on Iraq policy -- served his country first as an army officer, rising to the rank of colonel, then as an intelligence officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency in charge of the Middle East before retiring. He once told me about when he was recruited for possible membership in the group.

He described to me a visit, during the administration of the first George Bush, from an elderly couple who dropped in on him unannounced one afternoon at his Pentagon office. They had come, they said, at the suggestion of Paul Wolfowitz, then the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, who had told them that Colonel Lang was a bright fellow. They introduced themselves as Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter, professors from the University of Chicago, and they made themselves at home for a brief chat.

Albert Wohlstetter, one of the most influential strategists of nuclear weapons policy in the second half of the twentieth century until his death in 1997, was a mentor to Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. In the 1970s he had been an architect of the first effort to bring outside analysts into traditional institutions like the CIA to "reassess" the Soviet threat. This "Team B" effort resulted in the Reagan administration's use of wildly exaggerated claims about Soviet rearmament to justify huge American defense spending increases. By the end of the decade, Wohlstetter had expanded his definition of America's strategic role to include the Middle East. He advocated that the U.S. extend its security umbrella to the Persian Gulf on the grounds that even if no Soviet hand could be seen behind the Islamic revolution in Iran of 1979, the situation there still represented a threat to American interests in the Middle East and Pakistan."
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NewWaveChick1981 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 11:33 AM
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Seriously, that was an amazing article. Thank you for posting it. The similarities between the Jim Jones saga and today's neocons is amazing. "Drinking the Kool-Aid" is incredibly accurate.

"Without objective facts, decisions are based on subjective drivel. Wars result from such drivel. We are in the midst of one at present." Great quote from the article---and unfortunately, it's all too true.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 11:39 AM
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4. More from Lang


By: Justin Raimondo


What the outing of CIA agent Plame has to do with all this is simple: whoever was out to get Wilson as a Mama's boy with a partisan agenda was also pushing the Niger uranium story. They knew its falsity, and what's more, they knew its provenance and yet they ushered it, unexamined, through the intelligence-vetting process. The outing of Plame, which was part of the cover-up, wasn't the only blow aimed at U.S. intelligence capabilities by this group: whoever outed Plame also injected corrupted intelligence into the information stream that eventually washed up on the president's desk. Somebody burned the White House, and badly: that's why the Fitzgerald investigation has been allowed to proceed, and why it involves a lot more than violation of an obscure statute that has only been successfully prosecuted once.

Who burned the White House, and how did they pull it off? W. Patrick Lang, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Middle East bureau, is one of the few to see the rising importance of this question, and his answer is disturbing:

"The newsmedia have worked on this story for years now and several have well documented the result. A major TV news magazine hired me last year to help them look for those who knew the truth in this matter. They succeeded. A national wire service did the same thing without my help and has the result. The same is true of two other national news publications.

"It is very clear now that this document was forged by a couple of the shadowy ex-government characters who dwell in the environs of Washington and was planted in Italy on the basis of the personal contacts of one of them with the intention of influencing the debate over Iraq in this country. How do I know that?

"Well, I just do in the way that intelligence officers learn things. Good sources, multiple sources, first person accounts, probabilities, that is how one learns things. Could I swear to it in court? No. Intelligence conclusions are not things that can be sworn to in court.

"Nevertheless, one must ask why the newsmedia are sitting on this story. The answer seems simple. 'Carrots and sticks, carrots and sticks.' Work it out."


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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 12:48 PM
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5. Ledeen and Ghorbanifar
Someone should bring up their names.
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