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An Admission of Imperial Hubris

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CIA Red Cell Leak:
An Admission of Imperial Hubris
by Anthony Fenton
Readers of the latest leaked (& confirmed to be authentic) CIA Red Cell Memo (.pdf) 'What If Foreigners See the United States as an “Exporter of Terrorism”?' may be surprised to see that none of the references (among over 40 uses of "terror") appear to demonstrate a concern for the foreign perception of state terror exercised by the US. 

The reason for this may found in the assumption of American Exceptionalism [1], which reveals itself through the statement, "if the US were seen as an 'exporter of terrorism,' foreign governments could request a reciprocal arrangement that would impact US sovereignty." 

Ergo, your sovereignty may be violated, but ours is sacred.

The Memo further infers the "transcendent purpose" of the US with its reference to certain "difficult legal issues" that could arise if foreign countries perceive the US as a terror exporter:

"To date, the US is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and instead, has pursued Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIAs) with other countries to ensure immunity for US nationals from ICC prosecution.  The US has threatened to terminate economic aid and withdraw military assistance with countries that do not accede to BIAs."
 
[1] See Noam Chomsky's latest book Hopes and Prospects for a good discussion of American Exceptionalism. Although the theme stretches back through Chomsky's corpus, his latest book incorporates how the double standard is being projected globally with the so-called "emerging norm," The Responsibility to Protect' (R2P). Chomsky shows how R2P grew out of the earlier 'humanitarian intervention' 'norm' as the "intellectual classes...[set about] devising a new doctrine...R2P, now  the topic of a substantial literature, many conferences, new organizations and journals, and much praise."
 
While Chomsky agrees that R2P "would be a good idea, if the concept were taken seriously," he delineates "two quite distinct versions of R2P." The first is the version adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2005, and the latter is the Gareth Evans-led (and Canadian-conceived & seed-funded) International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), which is "hardly more than an authorization for NATO to use force at will." Conversely, the "highly selective manner" of intervention means, "Victims who are the direct responsibility of the Security Council have...been unable to appeal to R2P." Chomsky lists the sanctions against Iraq, victims of US-Israeli aggression and others as examples that show how practitioners of state terror and their allies don't need to worry about their sovereignty being violated via a R2P-like invasion/invocation.
 

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