Peter Dale Scott’s The Road to 9/11
Scott sees the Germans in the 1930s and the Americans post-9/11 as succumbing to “the phenomenon of subordination to paranoia,” leading to “deep state paranoia.” The result is an “ideological top-down domination” based on “consolidating the security bureaucracies in Washington.” In brief, the Deep State is imposed by means of paranoia created by “the [deliberate] follies of the Deep State.” [243-245]
But the War on Terror, following 9/11, was seen as based on and displaying America’s moral virtues. We would, President Bush said, find and punish the evil doers. So, insofar as the WOT underlay and fortified the Deep State, then that state was not imposed, but was accepted, even embraced as a manifestation of U.S. “exceptionalism.” Just like “the horror” Kurtz embraced in The Heart of Darkness in the name of civilization, so too the horrors of the WOT were embraced by Americans in the name of Western civilization, underwritten by American exceptionalism. As the exceptional nation, U.S. horrors such as torture and assassinations could be – and were – taken as proof of America’s virtues.
Moral virtue, not paranoia, lays at the roots of the Deep State and its horrors. The morally virtuous are capable of and even proudly display inhuman cruelty, as history has revealed time and again and is revealing even now in Gaza, Israel, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. So it goes.