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Glossary of Open Politics
from The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America
by Peter Dale Scott,
University of California Press in Berkeley, 2007, pp. 267-271


archival history  A chronological record of events, as reconstructed by archival historians from public records; as opposed to deep history, which is a chronology of events concerning which the public records are often either falsified or nonexistent.

cabal  A network, often of cliques, operating within or across a broad social and bureaucratic base with an agenda not widely known or shared. According to many dictionary definitions, a cabal is a group of persons secretly united to bring about a change or overthrow of government. But in the deep state cabals can also operate within the status quo to sustain top-down rule, including interventions from the overworld.

clique  A small group of like-minded people, operating independently within a larger social organization. Before the Iraq war the neocons in the Bush administration represented a clique; the faction preparing secretly for war (which included both neocons and veterans of the international petroleum industry, like Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice) represented a larger and more widespread cabal.

closed power, or top-down power  Power derived from the overworld, as opposed to democratically responsive open power. See power.

continuity of government (COG)  A term of art for secret arrangements for command and control in the event of an emergency.

deep history  See archival history.

deep politics  All those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, that are usually repressed in public discourse rather than acknowledged.

deep state  A term from Turkey,[A] where it is used to refer to a closed network said to be more powerful than the public state. The deep state engages in false-flag violence, is organized by the military and intelligence apparatus, and involves their links to organized crime.
        See also dual state and state.

dual power  See power.

dual state  A state in which one can distinguish between a public state and a top-down deep state. Most developed states exhibit this duality but to varying degrees. In America the duality of the state has become more and more acute since World War II.

globalization  The trend toward a more unified world at two levels: (1) top-down globalization, a system imposed from above on peoples and cultures; and (2) bottom-up globalization, a geographic expansion of people-to-people contacts producing a more international civil society and community. Top-down globalization, if not balanced by bottom-up globalization, will result in increasing polarization.

Islamism  A political Muslim movement with origins in the late nineteenth century, dedicated to jihad, or struggle for the political unification and purification of Islam, and restoration of its lost territories such as Spain. Often called Islamic fundamentalism but its relation to the fundamentals of Islam is problematic. Its main sources are Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Deobandism in the Indian subcontinent.

meta-group  A private group collaborating with and capable of modifying governmental policy, particularly (but not exclusively) with respect to the international drug traffic. Over time meta-groups have tended to become more powerful, more highly organized, and more independent of their government connections.

milieu  A location (not necessarily geographical) where private deals can be made. Relatively unimportant to proceedings and institutions of the public state, restricted milieus are of greater relevance to operations of the deep state.

open, public, cooperative, or participatory power.   See power, soft power.

order  There are two clusters of dictionary definitions of order, both relevant: (1) top-down or coercive order, meaning “a command or direction” (or their results); and (2) public or participatory order, meaning “a condition of arrangement among component parts, such that proper functioning or appearance is achieved.”

overworld  That realm of wealthy or privileged society that, although not formally authorized or institutionalized, is the scene of successful influence of government by private power. It includes both (1) those whose influence is through their wealth, administered personally or more typically through tax-free foundations and their sponsored projects, and (2) the first group's representatives. The term should be distinguished from Frederick Lundberg's “superrich,” the sixty wealthiest families that he wrongly predicted in his 1967 book Sixty Families would continue to dominate America both as a class and as a “government of money.” The recent Forbes annual lists of the four hundred richest Americans shows that Lundberg's prediction was wrong on both counts: his richest inheritors of 1967 are mostly not the richest today, and today's richest are not necessarily those projecting their wealth into political power. The overworld is not a class but a category.
        As a rule it is wrong to think of overworld influence institutionally, as exercised through the Bilderberg Society, the Trilateral Commission, or the Council on Foreign Relations. However, there are less known, usually secret, cabals (such as the Pinay Circle[B] and the Safari Club[C]) that flourish in these overworld milieus.

parallel government (or shadow government)  A second government established in times of crisis to override or even replace the official government of the public state.

paranoia  The irrational drive toward dominance that is motivated not by rational self-interest but by fear of being surpassed by a competitor. A paradox of civilization is that, as relative power increases (along with expansion and exposure), so does paranoia. The dominance over the public state by the deep state is based on (and also generates) paranoia. The paradox that power increases paranoia is seen within states as well as between them. It is not restricted to so-called totalitarian states.

paranoia, bureaucratic  The dominance of bureaucratic policy planning by worst-case scenarios, calling for maximized bureaucratic responses and budgets. This leads to the paranoid style in bureaucratic politics.

parapolitics  This term has two definitions: (1) “a system or practice of politics in which accountability is consciously diminished,”[1] and (2) the intellectual study of parapolitical interactions between public states and other forms of organized nonviolence (or parastates): covert agencies, mafias, and so on.[2]

parastates  Structurally organized violence (in the form of covert agencies, mafias, revolutionary movements, and so on) with some but not all the recognizable features of a state.

power  There are two definitions of power, both relevant: (1) top-down, coercive, or closed power, meaning “the ability or official capacity to exercise control; authority”; and (2) public, cooperative, or open power, meaning “the might of a nation, political organization, or similar group.” This notion of dual power is reflected in Gandhi’s distinction between duragraha (“obtained by the fear of punishment”) and satyagraha (obtained “by acts of love”).[3] Jonathan Schell paraphrases this as the distinction between coercive and cooperative power: “Power is cooperative when it springs from action in concert of people who willingly agree with one another and is coercive when it springs from the threat or use of force. Both kinds of power are real. . . . Yet the two are antithetical.”[4] This antithesis is embodied in the tension in the dual state between the deep state and the public state. The tension between top-down and public power exists to some degree in all developed states. It becomes more acute with increased income disparity: polarization of wealth or economic power is inevitably accompanied by polarization of political power.[D]

prevailable will of the people  That potential for solidarity that, instead of being checked by top-down repression, can actually be awakened and reinforced by it. It thus becomes the emerging sanction for a generally accepted social or political change. The more common term “will of the people,” a refurbishing of Rousseau's “general will,” is often invoked as the ultimate sanction of a generally accepted decision. However, even if not a total abstraction, the term has little or no meaning at the time of a major controversy; the “public will” must be established by events, not passively defined in advance of them. The “will of the majority” is an even more dangerous phrase; the opinions of majorities are often superficial and fickle, and destined not to prevail. (The Vietnam and Iraq wars are examples where the momentary will of the majority proved not to be the prevailable will.) The prevailable will can be said to be latent in a political crisis but not established or proven until its outcome. In the case of abolishing slavery in America, for example, the resolution took many decades, but it is hard to imagine any other prevailable outcome.

realism  There are two prevailing and conflicting notions of political realism: (1) realpolitik, defined as “a usually expansionist national policy, having as its sole principle the advancement of the national interest”; and (2) what I call visionary realism, a vision of a public order conforming to the prevailable will of the people. I consider the latter more realistic than the former, because it can see more clearly the dialectical consequences of expansion and overstretch.

second-level strategy  A strategy of first strengthening civil society as a condition for social change.

security state  See state.

soft power versus open power  Soft power, as defined by Joseph Nye, works (in distinction to military and economic superiority) by persuasion; it is an “ability . . . that shapes the preferences of others” that “tends to be associated with intangible power resources such as an attractive culture, ideology, and institutions.”[5] Soft power or soft politics puts more emphasis on the persuasive technique; open power or open politics, on a participatory process or result.

state  There are two definitions, both relevant, both deriving ultimately from Machiavelli. What is being discussed here are dictionary definitions, which I culled and combined from a number of dictionaries: (1) a system of organized power controlling a society; and (2) a politically organized body of people under a single government. These correspond to two overlapping systems of statal institutions: the deep state (or security state) and the public state. The second interacts with and is responsive to civil society, especially in a democracy; the first is immune to shifts in public opinion.
        Thus the deep state is expanded by covert operations; the public state is reduced by them. Following the same distinction as Hans Morgenthau in his discussion of the dual state, Ola Tunander talks of a “democratic state” and a “security state.” His definitions focus more on the respective institutions of the dual state; mine, on their social grounding and relationship to the power of the overworld.
        Deep state and security state are not quite identical. By the deep state I mean agencies like CIA, with little or no significant public constituency outside of government. By the security state, I mean above all the military, an organization large enough to have a limited constituency and even in certain regions to constitute an element of local civil society. The two respond to different segments of the overworld and thus sometimes compete with each other.


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  1. Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy; The Secret Road To The Second Indochina War, 1972, 171; cf. Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 1993, 6-8; and Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: the United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina, 2003, xx. [Publisher's description for Drugs, Oil, and War: Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World countries through alliances with drug-trafficking proxies. This strategy was originally developed in the late 1940s to contain communist China; it has since been used to secure control over foreign petroleum resources. The result has been a staggering increase in the global drug traffic and the mafias associated with it-a problem that will worsen until there is a change in policy. Scott argues that covert operations almost always outlast the specific purpose for which they were designed. Instead, they grow and become part of a hostile constellation of forces. The author terms this phenomenon parapolitics-the exercise of power by covert means-which tends to metastasize into deep politics-the interplay of unacknowledged forces that spin out of the control of the original policy initiators. We must recognize that U.S. influence is grounded not just in military and economic superiority, Scott contends, but also in so-called soft power. We need a "soft politics" of persuasion and nonviolence, especially as America is embroiled in yet another disastrous intervention, this time in Iraq.]

  2. §
  3. See Robert Cribb and Peter Dale Scott, “Introduction,” in Government of the Shadows: Parapolitics and Criminal Sovereignty, edited by Eric Wilson and Tim Lindsey (London: Pluto Press, 2007).

  4. §
  5. Chandi is quoted in Schell, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, 2003, 226.

  6. §
  7. Schell, Unconquerable World, 227.

  8. §
  9. Joseph S. Nye Jr., The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 9. [See also: transcript of 2002 talk given by Joseph Nye on this book at the Carnegie Council, 6 March 2002]

Additional Notes

  1. See “Deep State” In Turkey, Ersjdamoo's Blog, Defending against the barrage of lies, March 11, 2012, and “Letter from Turkey: The Deep State,” by Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, March 12, 2012.

  2. §
  3. See Pinay Circle entry in Powerbase, a guide to networks of power, lobbying, public relations and the communications activities of governments and other interests, and “The Pinay Circle Complex, 1969-1981, Part 1,” (PDF) Lobster, Journal of Parapolitics, No. 26, 1993, pp. 9-16.

  4. §
  5. For details of the Safari club see The Road To 9/11, Offshored CIA Assets: The Safari Club and a Rogue CIA, pp. 62-64.
    The Halloween Massacre reversed another apparent victory for the public state over the deep state. Outgoing CIA director Colby had been cooperating with investigation of CIA launched by the so-called McGovernite 94th Congress that had been elected in 1974.[58] However, the new CIA director, George H. W. Bush, found a way to avoid the newly imposed rules of congressional oversight. He accelerated the delegation of covert operations to foreign intelligence services and also to assets not only off-the-books but sometimes offshore. These offshore assets—notably the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)—were of great use to CIA director Casey and Bush himself as vice president in escaping congressional review.[59] Above all, “Bush cemented strong relations with the intelligence services of both Saudi Arabia and the shah of Iran. He worked closely with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi intelligence, brother-in-law of King Faisal and an early BCCI insider.” [60]
            In 1972, as I mentioned in chapter 2, Adham had acted as a channel between Kissinger and Anwar Sadat in negotiations for the sudden expulsion of Soviet advisers from Egypt.[61] Now, in 1976, faced with the congressional crackdown on unsupervised CIA operations, Adham, Sadat, and the shah of Iran formed their own anti-Communist coalition—the so-called Safari Club—to conduct through their own intelligence agencies operations that were now difficult for CIA.[62] A key figure in securing a formal agreement to this effect was Alexandre de Marenches, head of the French intelligence service SDECE (the Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage).[63] De Marenches surfaces again in connection with the 1980 Republican-CIA plots against President Carter.
            In February 2002, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal, nephew of and successor to Adham, gave Georgetown University alumni a frank account of the Safari Club’s formation in response to post-Watergate restrictions: “In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran.”[64]
            The Safari Club met at an exclusive resort of the same name in Kenya, which in the same year, 1976, was visited and eventually bought by Adham’s friend Adhan Khashoggi.[65] According to investigative journalist Joseph Trento, “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George H. W. Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commercial International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history.”[66]
            Trento further charges that Adham, his successor Prince Turki, and their Saudi agency the GID, or Mukhabarat, funded off-the-books worldwide covert operations for CIA. These included support for an alleged “private CIA” close to Bush and dominated by former CIA men like Ed Wilson, Theodore Shackley (who had served as Bush’s associate deputy director for operations), and Tom Clines.[67] Unquestionably, the brief period in which Bush served as the director of central intelligence was one of off-the-books operations by allegedly “rogue” agents like Wilson, working with Shackley.[68] “Contracting-out” or “offshoring,” became a device to escape the new oversight procedures established by the McGovernite Congress to investigate government intelligence activities.
            These offshore events in 1976 were mirrored by a similar arrangement for off-loading former CIA agents and operations in Latin America. This was the Confederación Anticomunista Latinoamericana (CAL) and its death-squad collaboration Operation Condor. Operation Condor was a coalition of intelligence agencies of CAL countries, chiefly Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay. The CAL was funded through the World Anti-Communist League by the governments of South Korea and Taiwan and—once again—the petrodollars of Saudi Arabia.[69]
            After Carter’s election, Bush was replaced as CIA director by Admiral Stansfield Turner, who began to marginalize or fire the “Bush team” associated with Shackley. These men, notably Clines, were accused of forming a “private CIA” or “rogue CIA” from 1977 to 1980 that was loyal to Bush (and possibly involved him) and was supported by connections to BCCI and the Safari Club.[70] After the Camp David Accords were signed in 1979, Clines became a partner in a lucrative shipping company, Tersam, back by Ali Mohammed Shorafa of the United Arab Emirates, a nominee of the elite BCCI group permitted to buy out the First American Bank in Washington.[71]
            These offshore relationships gave Shackely, de Marenches, and others an offshore base for assisting active and retired CIA officers, most notably Shackley’s friend Bush, to defeat Carter in his bid for reelection.[72] The overall result of this off-loading and offshoring was not just loss of accountability, but also loss of control over major policies. A key example would soon be the 1980s CIA support of the resistance in Afghanistan, where CIA’s diastrous favoring of drug traffickers had grown directly out of the Safari Club arrangement and was partly handled through BCCI. This loss of control will emerge as a major factor in our nation’s slouching toward the tragedy of 9/11.

  6. §
  7. See Peter Dale Scott, “Saving American Politics from the Present Two-Party System,” text of a talk presented to the San Francisco Republican Round Table on January 27, 2009

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