Go Team Go
This Robert Parry article traces the rise of the imperial presidency of George W. Bush through its recent roots in Nixon and then Ford.
Where Gerald Ford Went Wrong
The article also provides more information on one of the projects which gave rise to the neo-cons. This is the development of "Team B" initiated under the Ford administration in 1976.
Team B was established to evaluate the Soviet Union as a threat. Up to that point, the key word was "detente" meaning a peaceful end to the cold war through negotiations and diplomacy.
Detente was not favored by the extreme right wing of the Republicans and Democrats like uber hawk Scoop Jackson. Ford needed to get this faction of the Republican party under his control in order to have a decent shot at winning the Presidency in 1976. Note: many present neo-cons maintain their Democratic party affiliation, calling themselves Scoop Jackson Democrats.
Team B went overboard as we now well know. They painted the Soviet Union as being a great, grave, monstrous, and insidious threat replete with asymmetric warfare, terrorist tactics, and imperialism unrestrained, when in fact the Soviet Union was unravelling at the seams.
Many neo-con stars were ignited in Team B including Iraq war co-architect and planner Paul Wolfowitz. Team B was convened by then CIA director George H. W. Bush, our President's dad. The links are so classic as to be mythological in nature.
What is interesting about Team B in terms of the present George W. Bush administration is that the same tactic of over emphasizing and exaggerating the actual threat to the US is now codified. Its a matter of fact game plan.
For the main example of this, witness the "Office of Special Plans" under Douglas Feith. The OSP found a grave threat to the U.S. in Iraq, advancing propaganda with Saddam as Hitler, WMD, Nukes, and a threat to American sovereignty and the homeland itself. All of these things are complete fabrications, however that fact did not affect the course of this war/quagmire.
It is important to know that this same Team B tactic used by the Office of Special Plans was carried out by some of the very same people that were part of Team B back in 1976.
One can see that they got really slick with the program. They influenced the media and the popular public understanding of the need to go into Iraq. I mean if you didn't want to see the Iraq War start because you knew that there were no WMD's etc etc, then you were scum. Let's also not forget the fear and the paranoia, which is something that became tangible in American everyday experience.
If the new Democratically controlled Congress were to investigate one thing, it would be the drive to war in Iraq as promoted by the Office of Special Plans AND the links and lineage of the Office of Special Plans to Team B. This is the story that Americans need to know.
Next up: War in Iran - pay attention to who it is that hypes the Iranian threat. Could it be the .... neo-cons?