Mr. Mudd is forthright and intense, while also seemingly able to tolerate a great deal of philosophical and empirical ambiguity. There are no easy questions or answers in his previous profession. All of the subject matter is difficult; none the less, Mr. Mudd answered the the questions with both detail and nuance.
His answer to the question about the effectiveness of torture under the previous administration was opaque, yet interesting. He focused on interrogation in general, and how it is part of the many pieces of a mosaic (his words) that it takes to pain-stakingly gather precious information.
He explained, very well, the differences in highly ideologically driven Islamist terrorists, versus those driven to commit horric crimes with much less understanding of that particular ideology. It's almost done under the guise of those beliefs.
War is a tragedy. It's impossible to comment further, without feeling conflicted and hypocritical.
Though Mr. Mudd is right about drones being another type of weapon, I think there should be rules, and I do think, IMHO, that they create even more negative reactions to the USA.
It was interesting that he decided to relinquish the opportunity of the job in homeland security because of the Senate confirmation hearings. It seems that politics would most likely obscure reality, instead of revealing it. Maybe he'll be back to public service in the future.
Wow, what a great analysis! Great guest, he is super knowledgeable. He is the real deal. He is intense :-)
I was in London in 2005, and left the city luckily 8 hours before the attacks. The days before the attacks I took buses and the Underground very frequently so I could have been a potential victim of the attacks. When I was in London I could feel the tense energy in the city, but I did not know what it was about, but after I heard what happened it made sense.
The same happened to me back in in January 2001 in New York City. I went to visit the World Trade Center buildings, but I got a very bad feeling when I stood by The Sphere fountain and I got a vision that a bomb would explode in that location and bring the towers crashing down. I felt very strongly that I should not stay in that area because it was dangerous, so I left very quickly. This was 9 months before 9/11/2001. I think intuitive and sensitive people can pick up on potential future scenarios, good and bad, especially when they are being planned a long time in advance and with a high emotional charge by the planners. I think at the time in NYC I psychically picked up that something would happen to the World Trade Center towers because the planning was already in full swing and I was able to tune into the thoughts of the planners.
But just because psychcis can see the future does not mean the vision has to play out like it is being seen. The future is not written in stone. Actually the true power of psychics is not in seeing and predicting the future, but seeing future potentials and then taking actions and steps to increase the chances of a positive future outcomes. We are the creators of our own reality. We can be pro-active instead of reactionary. This is what true psychic mastery is about. You become the creator of your own reality. We can achieve this not only on an individual basis but also on a societal basis if enough people become aware of this dynamic and reality and take responsibility for their actions and for the future.
This might sound a bit far out there and a little sci-fi, but I feel that the CIA and the FBI would benefit very greatly from working on occasion with authentic psychics, intuitives and empaths to prevent terror plots and the like. Also it would be good if more agents and analysts would engage in meditation practices to increase their work efficiency and perceptive abilities.
It seems like Mr. Mudd (whose honesty is very respectable) is guilty of his own over-simplification by describing the public's concern of drones with a basis of sci-fi wonder.
A main problem with the drone program is that large populations of peaceful people must live under them. They cause a terror of not knowing if they may be close to a strike site at any given time, but also rampant paranoia among the insurgent groups, where they kill innocent people they suspect of giving information to the US to facilitate drone strikes. Drones bring on a level of Orwellian paranoia among civilians & insurgents that turns them against the U.S.
I personally support the drone program, although I think targeted killings (as opposed to nonlethal info-gathering or troop support) should be extremely limited and only carried out in remote areas. Even the much more invasive JSOC night raids don't stoke the level of anger that drone strikes do.
There is no doubt a rule-based system of drone management will be in place... probably around December 2016
Mr. Mudd implies that he believes every person has a soul but appears unconcerned about the final disposition of his own. He speaks of bin Laden and Zawahiri as intelligent men sitting around a campfire convincing themselves that their cause is just when, with a little introspection, he might see that this is just what he and his cohorts in this ridiculous 'war on terror' have done. He asks supposedly rhetorical questions regarding the effects of torture, drones and US foreign policy on the creation of so-called terrorists and is apparently unaware that it is simply groupthink that keeps him from seeing the relationship. In the early days of the Iraq invasion someone released an NIE report in which they concluded that "the transformation of an individual to a terrorist is triggered by oppression, suffering, revenge, or desperation". I wonder if Mr. Mudd has ever considered what is causing this oppression and suffering and how US foreign policy contributes to it. Finally Mr. Mudd falls back on that timeworn cliché...he was just executing the orders of the Congress, the President and the Justice Department. I'm sorry but calling it your job don't make it right, boss.
I agree we're seeing the democratization of "terror," but on the other hand, we also seem to be seeing a similar democratization of popular response to terror. In other words this whole thing wears the aspect of our culture wars in general. You can call them, as the uncle did, and Mr Mudd repeated, losers, but that's just as much sour grapes. I mean, here he is saying, on the one hand, we don't make terrorists by our policies, and, on the other, they are envious and potentially everywhere. It can't be both.
This episode points equally to our growing propensity to call anyone we find "hateful," terrorists, and in my humble opinion that's far more terrifying than a few bombs or shot-up schools. All the politically incorrect are terrorists now. And this points up the reason why the president was Johnny on the spot in Boston and Newtown, as much as why his predecessor was ready to put Saddam in the frame.
We are, unfortunately, at least since the invention of movable type, living in an age of demagogues as much as democracy, the work of Bernays' and Goebbels', where propagandists and provocateurs aim to terrify the public with claims of "weapons of mass destruction" just as the Israelis, British and French, discovering another propitious moment to exploit, did with respect to Syria yesterday in the face of clear evidence those they ostensibly support are no more friendly than those now blowing up embassies in Libya, or that anyone but they are using chemicals. And the reintroduction in the House Friday of the restrictive so-called "Combating Terrorism Act." Or, similarly, gun control advocates like New Yorker editor Remnick, here Monday. Never let a crisis go to waste, the mayor of one of America's most crime-ridden cities once admonished. As far as the Internet goes, I suppose it would be better for them to preside over an Orwellian state.
Such officials say those who object to them are lacking in trust, but what can be said of those who fail to trust the citizens of, by and for whom govt is supposed to exist?
But locking everything down is a concession of defeat no less than the propaganda itself, and, bombs and a paucity of tradecraft notwithstanding (for certainly democracy showed no mercy towards innocent civilians in WWII), these two kids looked a lot more like patriots than the citizens of Boston.
In the spy world, too, there's no right or wrong, just those on one side or another, or frequently both, tho I agree with Mr Mudd about intelligence generally, and Mr Rose may want to view The Bletchley Circle to get a better idea of how they really work (if, I'm afraid, little else, for it's feminist propaganda).