Mitt Romney’s Sturmabteilung

Wayne Madsen

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has assembled as the core of his national security and foreign policy advisory team some of the most right-wing and militaristic members of the Bush-Cheney administration. In many ways, the hawkish Romney advisers represent a virtual Sturmabteiling (SS), or Nazi-like “Storm detachment” of the Republican Party, a vanguard that ensures neo-conservative doctrinal discipline throughout Republican ranks.

In a case of regressive amnesia, a number of Romney’s foreign policy advisers are stuck in the past and continue to speak of the danger posed by the “Soviet Union,” which has not existed for over twenty years. A case in point is Romney foreign policy adviser Richard Williamson, a longtime neo-conservative fixture in the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, including being named special envoy to Sudan in 2008.

Williamson is also a member of the board of the International Republican Institute (IRI), an adjunct of the Republican Party that is partly funded by Central Intelligence Agency funds laundered through the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Williamson is also connected to “democracy” projects funded by hedge fund tycoon George Soros, particularly through Williamson’s affiliation as a trustee with the Soros-funded Freedom House. Williamson, in recent criticism of the Obama administration's policy regarding Syria, stated that Syria is "strategically important to the Soviet Union."

Williamson’s stasis in a historical time warp becomes clearer when his participation in the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) examined. The original Committee was a Cold War era contrivance designed to propagandize the Soviet and communist “threat” to the United States. In 2004, the committee was re-launched after a hiatus of over a decade, but, instead of focusing on communism, the new committee targeted international terrorism. However, the new CPD could not leave its anti-communist baggage in the closet. One of the architects of the new CPD, Peter Hannaford, a former Reagan adviser, said

the reason for restoring the CPD was renewed was that he and other leading neo-cons and pro-Israeli policymakers, including former CIA director James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Kenneth Adelman, Rabbi Dov Zakheim, Michael Rubin, Joseph Lieberman, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ Clifford May, John McCain’s 2008 campaign foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann (who also works closely with Soros themed revolution projects), and Newt Gingrich, saw a “parallel between the Soviet threat and the threat from terrorism.”

Hannaford’s own background provides one of many ironic examples of leading Zionists cooperating with neo-Nazis. While a top lobbyist for the Washington, DC-based Carmen Group, a public relations firm, Hannaford represented the late Austrian Freedom Party leader Joerg Haider, who once praised the ”orderly employment policy” of the Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government.

Many CPD restorers were also members of the imperialistic Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which laid the policy groundwork for the disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In the context of the neo-cons and Project for the New American Century (PNAC) crowd it was coincidence that Romney's jingoistic foreign and economic policy screed, which masquerades as a book, is titled "An American Century." And for Romney and his advisers, the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc continue to represent a “clear and present danger.” Romney, himself, referred to the “Soviet Union” -- before he corrected himself to say Russia -- in criticizing Obama's nuclear weapons reduction agreements with Russia.

Romney’s defense policy adviser, former Navy Secretary John Lehman, warned that the Obama administration was not doing enough to stop a "Soviet" push into the Arctic.

But perhaps the most crazed member of the Romney foreign policy team is the former (and unconfirmed) U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Bolton, a virulent Islamophobe, managed to alienate almost every delegation to the United Nations except for that of Israel. Before being appointed ambassador to the UN, Bolton infamously said, “The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories . . . If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” U.S. Senate Democrats managed to block Bolton’s nomination but President Bush installed him as ambassador in a “recess appointment” while the Senate was not in session.

One of Romney’s chief defense and intelligence advisers is former National Security Agency and CIA director General Michael Hayden, who ushered forth in the United States warrantless electronic surveillance and massive domestic spying by the U.S. intelligence agencies. Hayden’s career was made by the Cold War. A U.S. Air Force electronic warfare and signals intelligence officer, Hayden’s varied commands were ultimately responsible for eavesdropping on Soviet and communist nations’ military communications and signals, as well as diplomatic, government, and commercial communications, including those of the then-People’s Republic of Bulgaria when Hayden was assigned to the NSA Special Collections Element at the U.S. embassy in Sofia. While stationed in South Korea and Guam, Hayden was responsible for the interception of signals not only from North Korea and China, but from U.S. allies, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines, as well.

There have been reports that while he was in charge of the U.S. European Command’s intelligence directorate during the Bosnian civil war, Hayden sat on information that could have prevented the massacre by Bosnian Serbs of Muslims in Srebrenica. It would not be the first time that Hayden may have sat on critical intelligence in order to please his masters. Hayden’s NSA intercepted two messages – “The match is about to begin” and “tomorrow is zero hour” -- on the eve of the September 11, 2001 attacks but failed to translate them from Arabic in time to prevent the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history. Hayden’s explanation does not wash when it is well-known that NSA possessed real-time translation capabilities and, therefore, did not have to wait for translations on September 10, 2001.

Considering the makeup of his foreign and defense policy team, Romney would turn back the clock and re-fight the Cold War, with Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua joining a mythical "Soviet bloc" that would justify a massive U.S. military build-up around the world -- even larger than that instituted by the Obama administration. Romney promises to increase U.S. troop strength by 100,000 and build more ships for the U.S. Navy. Romney has all but threatened to launch a war on Iran. Romney’s foreign policy spokesperson is Dan Senor, the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority’s mouthpiece in Baghdad and a noted pro-Israeli hawk. It was from information derived from Senor’s racist anti-Arab screed, “Start-Up Nation,” a book that praises Israel’s economic policies, which Romney infuriated Palestinians by telling an audience in Israel that because Arabs are culturally inferior to Jews, it accounted for the Palestinians’ poverty in comparison with the economic success enjoyed by Israel’s Jews. Romney’s comments came after two Israeli Jews set fire to themselves and died in protest over Israel’s economic policies that favor a wealthy elite over the nation’s working class and pensioners.

Romney’s father, Michigan Governor George P. Romney, a 1968 Republican presidential candidate, said, “When I came back from Viet Nam, I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get.” Romney, announcing his opposition to the failed U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, claimed that after he studied the situation on his own, he realized he had been led astray by Pentagon propagandists during his recent trip to South Vietnam. Today, his son, Mitt, cannot see that he has been brainwashed by a crew of professional propagandists who serve the interests of the Pentagon and Israel.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. Has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. Lives in Washington, D.C. His website is here.

Illustration: War on Error1 (flickr)
Published here: Strategic Culture Foundation


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