Scott Horton Interviews Michael Scheuer

Scott Horton, September 03, 2010

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Michael Scheuer, 22-year veteran of the CIA and former head analyst at the CIA’s bin Laden unit, discusses the mostly-unknown motivation for 9/11: bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa, the U.S. media’s Israel bias that prevents them from explaining the link between terrorism and foreign policy, the 14 missed chances to kill bin Laden from 1998 to 2001 including the Tora Bora escape, why Gen. Petaeus’s political ambition and Obama’s face-saving guarantee that the failed Afghan War will muddle on, Pakistan’s anger about India’s role in rebuilding Afghanistan, the history of failed civilian governments in Pakistan, the centrally connected operations of al Qaeda offshoots, the U.S. folly of pitting Christian Ethiopia against Islamic Somalia to effect regime change, how terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could have been killed before the 2003 Iraq invasion instead of in 2006 and why U.S. energy dependence means paying for gasoline with the blood of soldiers.

MP3 here. (40:02)

Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and former head analyst at the CIA’s bin Laden unit. He is the author of Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq and Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror.

Scheuer has a website and writes for The Diplomat and His upcoming book Osama Bin Laden is available for pre-order.

22 Responses to “Michael Scheuer”

  1. The Marines cannot take Tora Bora today?

    14 missed chances to kill bin Laden? Bin Laden is just one guy. Maybe by Al Qeada standards Bin Laden was a moderate.

    Pakistan was unstable and a bad idea from day one and will probably not exist in a decade. Should it exist?

    Was the America of the 60s smarter?

  2. lover:
    Michael Scheurer interview the best ever. Thanks, after listening, I felt better.

  3. Can't help but feel that bin Laden is nothing more than an agency asset. Scheuer ought to know.
    Scheuer gets it wrong regarding US dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Most of it goes to Europe. The majority of US oil imports are from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. US-generated Alaskan oil goes mostly to Japan.
    It's a world market.
    Clever half-truths and distortions.

  4. Lets disconnect the west and Islam.

  5. Does Scheuer still hope we get nuked? Is everybody amnesiac?

    WTF is Antiwar doing, discrediting itself with this clown? Any other Glenn Beck "expert" guests upcoming on Antiwar?

  6. Scott Horton has a nice persona, but he should curb his ranting. It takes time away from the guests.

  7. The Arrogance of the (more and more freaky and impotent) men and women of Babylon the Great will never cease to amaze me…

    Jah’s Bob Marley.

  8. there is no AlCIAduh.

  9. Western and Middle Eastern civilizations are Siamese twins, not only identical, but unable to separate. Islam is the original form of Protestantism. Their theology is definitely closer to the Protestant mainstream than Mormon theology.

  10. That was an interesting interview but the very last things Scheuer said were really moronic. Offshore drilling and Nuclear Power are the answers to energy independance? Corporate much?

    The only reason we even need so much oil is to power our out of control military adventures. Its the military that uses easily half of all the oil we use.

    And Nuclear Power has only survived this long because of government subsidies. Its not economically viable on its own, so why would anyone want to do more of that toxic and dangerous form of energy generation, when there are so many other options?

  11. See Jack A. smith's article over at I quote: "the Hurt Locker is a movie of war propaganda. Had this powerful film told the truth about America's ongoing imperial adventure in Iraq, even as it continued to focus mainly on the dilemmas confronting the bomb disposal team, it never would have been nominated for, much less became the recipient of, the most prestigious award in world filmmaking.."

  12. U.S. goes only where there's oil, like Yemen & Somalia. Or pipelines, like Balkans. AQ is just an excuse.

    On a slightly different tack, O seems strangely disconnected from being prez. His affect is flat, few public appearances, unfilled appointments, etc. Think the only thing he enjoys about his job is watching the drone snuff films on his computer.

  13. His ranting comes off as forced & phony anyway. It sounds contrived, like he's trying to appeal to the angry right-wing. Scott should be Scott (or Phillip, as he was in the early non-angry days), and let Alex Jones be the Rush Limbaugh wanna-be.

  14. does that include ever greek writer / philosopher, since the west only has record of them from arabic translations?

  15. Amazing interview for what it didn't say, like, Osama was a CIA asset since at least the 1980s. Why kill the man who was destined to be the Goldstein of the 21st century. Even the CIA couldn't prevent his natural death but they kept him "alive" anyway with endless fake videos and audiotapes.
    OBL and the Bush family were business partners and even the Bush crime family does not usually kill its friends although that may have to be qualified.
    At least Scheuer got it right about the stupidity and hubris that is the hallmark of so much US foreign policy.

  16. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AngelaKeaton, Gauhar Kachchhi. Gauhar Kachchhi said: Michael Scheuer Interview « Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton #libertarian #terrorism [...]

  17. Osama bin there done that.

  18. Islam is about the 7th century mindset and the 21st century is way too powerful to deal with the 7th. The fight against radical Islam (and resource control) could have been accomplished for a dime instead of a dollar. It should have been a soft war waged by taking control of the politics and media of Islamic states. Corruption works. Mind control works even better. Just prove to any Muslim (using his own scriptures) that the prophet was a pedophile and right there he is half ready to quite Islam. There was no need to create a media monster of a bin Laden to solve a relatively small problem while losing sight of the bigger problem i.e. China.

  19. Has Michael or anyone in the CIA taken note of what China has been up for the last few decades? "Expansionism". First, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Macau, then comes the Taiwan dispute, Aksai Chin & Arunchal Pradesh (disputed with India) and here comes the South China Sea haggle and Gilgit stealth entry. The sad fact is global strategists still can't see things for what they are! If one can't decipher the pacific problem, all strategies will be pacific (pun intended). China has brilliantly managed their "peaceful rise" diplomacy and made a big fool off of global strategists all over. There is no such thing. China will continue to shamelessly proliferate and do as it pleases, and even more so with its newfound financial clout. The rest of us can thumb our noses and keep deliberating on yet another pacific strategy with a looming checkmate.

  20. Given the history of superbly clever cloaking of China's policies, my personal prediction is that China will not stop at becoming an Asian hegemon or a world hegemon, which it is destined to become anyway. The US maybe a hegemon today but it is not a true superpower, but China will become both in a real sense. Given all projections, not a single regional or world power or even an alliance of world powers will be able to contain China in the future. Once China gets there which it will eventually, one can expect China to play smart games and take over regions in the Asia-Pacific, and further expand its powers so dramatically that none would be able to challenge it in a thousand years. Now that's what I call a strategy! I've already marked everything from Japan to Australia as China in my futuristic looking world map.

  21. Fareed Zakaria has feared that "No one wants to live in a Chinese world order", and hence a multi-polar world order would be a better proposition. Perhaps that's his Kissinger pipe dream and these folks should be prepared for rude shocks from China sooner or later and there's nothing anyone can or would be able to do about it. Given the continued impotence of global think-tanks and ground realities, my forecasts have a high probability of coming true. All those greedy Chinese communists should be congratulated for what they have accomplished so far and what they will in the coming decades. If status quo remains as expected, let's get ready for the Chinese new world order that is to come in the 21st century.

  22. Some people say that Al Qaeda is a phony organization created by the CIA to use as excuse for war. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, Scheuer's job appears to be to maintain Al Qaeda's mythology as a real organization. If anyone challenges the existence of Al Qaeda, Scheuer has a lot of legitimacy as the former "head of the Bin Laden unit" to say otherwise Of course, for thinking people this should mean he has no legitimacy. Anyway, I have no idea what the truth is, but was pleased to hear that some Somalis left the country. Hopefully this trend will continue.

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