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Transcript: Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Feb 16 2006
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney had just read Thom's article "Rumsfeld and Cheney Revive Their 70's Terror Playbook" on the floor of the House and was called out of order; she was told she couldn't say that the Vice President lied. Thom told her about a related article called "Hyping Terror For Fun and Profit" and the BBC documentary called "The Power of Nightmares". They discussed Operation Able Danger and the trillions that the Pentagon has lost.
Cynthia McKinney on the Thom Hartmann show February 16 2006
[Thom Hartmann] Cynthia McKinney is with us. She was a Georgia State legislator from 1988 to 1992, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives decisively in 1992, where she represents the fourth congressional district of Georgia, and she is currently a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the International Relations Committee, serves as Ranking Member on its International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee. Congresswoman McKinney, welcome to the program.
[Cynthia McKinney] Hi, Thom.
[Thom Hartmann] I have to say...
[Cynthia McKinney] Thank you so much for asking me to join you.
[Thom Hartmann] Well, I have to say, thank you so much for being you. My wife and I and our three children lived in Atlanta from 1983 until 19, let's see, 1996, I think and, about 13 years, and you were often in the news, and you were constantly writing op ed pieces,
[Cynthia McKinney] Right.
[Thom Hartmann] Writing op ed pieces there for the Atlanta Constitution Journal and I have read many of your words and I'm a great fan of yours. And so, although we have never met, I just wanted you to know I think of you as one of the heroes that we have in the United States House of Representatives.
[Cynthia McKinney] Well, thank you very much. And now let me just say something to you. I just had an encounter on the floor of the house. And I read your, well, actually, they took it, so...
[Thom Hartmann] The article.
[Cynthia McKinney] The column that you read, that you wrote, about Cheney and Rumsfeld having done this in the 1970s.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Cynthia McKinney] Hyping fear to the American people.
[Thom Hartmann] Yep.
[Cynthia McKinney] Well, I read portions of it on the floor of the House and the parliamentarian called me out of order!
[Thom Hartmann] Why is that?
[Cynthia McKinney] Well, he said that I couldn't say that the Vice President lied.
[Thom Hartmann] Oh, my.
[Thom Hartmann] That's amazing.
[Cynthia McKinney] That's right.
[Thom Hartmann] That's amazing. I'm just, I'm astounded. What I wanted to let you know about is that I got a lot of the information that's in that piece from a three hour documentary that the BBC put together two years ago.
[Cynthia McKinney] Oh!
[Thom Hartmann] And it's called "The Power of Nightmares" and Adam Curtis is the producer of it. There's another article I wrote about this called "Hyping Terror For Fun and Profit" that has a lot more detail about that particular documentary and the history of the modern al-Qaeda movement which actually started with a guy who was part of the Islamic Brotherhood living in St. Louis and of the history of the modern Neocon movement which started with Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago about the same time, in the early sixties in the United States. They both were looking at what was going on and going, 'this is the end of civilization', you know. 'What, civil rights are happening? And women have birth control pills?' and, you know, 'people are smoking pot? And Elvis Presley is dancing like this? We can't have this!' And it created both the right wing Neocons in the United States, and it created what became al-Qaeda. It's an amazing story, so I wanted to turn you on to that. What...
[Cynthia McKinney] Well now let me ask you before go to your question...
[Thom Hartmann] Sure.
[Cynthia McKinney] Can I find that article on your web site?
[Thom Hartmann] Yes, if you go to thomhartmann.com, and any way you spell it will get you there, cause I, we have all the misspellings, and in the upper right hand corner it says, "Articles on Democracy" and there's an archive of all the articles that I've written. And if you just scroll down to an article titled, "Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit - And Power" which I published in December 2004.
[Cynthia McKinney] Oh, I see your picture!
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah, there you go! Oh, you must be [?] web browser. That's me. And if you click that upper right hand corner which says, "Articles on Democracy", and the top one you'll see, of course, is the one you were just reading on the Floor of the House, "Rumsfeld and Cheney Revive Their 70's Terror Playbook", but if you scroll down a ways...
[Cynthia McKinney] OK, now I'm on... OK, I know you can't take me through it, I'll figure it out. But...
[Thom Hartmann] Well, it's there, and if...
[Cynthia McKinney] I'm on the radio.
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah.
[Cynthia McKinney] How do I get to the articles?
[Thom Hartmann] Um, if you're on my main home page...
[Cynthia McKinney] Yes.
[Thom Hartmann] Across the very top there's five little kind of words...
[Cynthia McKinney] Oh, OK, very good, I've got it.
[Thom Hartmann] Far right hand it says, "Articles on Democracy". Just click those words and that'll take you right to the articles.
[Cynthia McKinney] I'm right there now.
[Thom Hartmann] OK, cool. So, and you want to scroll down to an article called "Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit - And Power". It's probably a foot or so down, and just, you know, you can just search on the word 'hyping'.
[Cynthia McKinney] OK.
[Thom Hartmann] And that article will give you so much ammunition. So what...
[Cynthia McKinney] Well that means I'm going to get called out of order again!
[Thom Hartmann] There you go!. But then you'll be quoting the BBC rather that just me. In fact, there's even some talk about the BBC documentary coming to the United States.
[Cynthia McKinney] Oh, that would be wonderful.
[Thom Hartmann] It is one of the things that is bringing down Tony Blair, frankly, is the fact that this three hour documentary ran back last November, because it's called "The Power of Nightmares" and the British people were able to see how this thing was put together and, you know, basically the curtain got pulled back and they could see the wizard was not what they thought.
[Cynthia McKinney] Yeah. But now you know, I remember reading an article that suggested that the Carlisle Group was trying to buy the BBC. Did you read anything like that?
[Thom Hartmann] You know, I have heard comments to that effect. I've not seen anything solid about it.
[Cynthia McKinney] OK.
[Thom Hartmann] But I know that there are efforts going on inside the United Kingdom to privatize the BBC, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Carlisle Group's standing in line saying, "Hey! Don't forget about us."
[Cynthia McKinney] Yeah, we've got a ready supply of dollars.
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah, there you go, and they sure do, they sure do.
[Cynthia McKinney] What a loss that would be.
[Thom Hartmann] Oh, I know. It's just like, it's just like the Republicans trying to take over public broadcasting in the United States and turning it into Republican Public Broadcasting, you know.
[Cynthia McKinney] Right, right. Exactly. And what happened in Italy with Berlusconi?
[Thom Hartmann] Berlusconi. Oh, we do Berlusconi alerts on this program. Any time that Berlusconi does something outrageous, I play "O sole mio" and I tell the story about how this guy, you know, he owns 95% of the media in that country. You know, the radio stations, the television stations, all the radio networks, all the TV networks, most of the newspapers and gee, and then he runs for office and he gets elected, what a surprise!
[Cynthia McKinney] I know!
[Thom Hartmann] It's incredible.
[Cynthia McKinney] I know.
[Thom Hartmann] So what, we only have about three and a half minutes here, before we have to take a break.
[Cynthia McKinney] OK.
[Thom Hartmann] And I'm just wondering what provoked you to take this issue to the floor of the house? What are you working on? What's going on right now with you? Cynthia. We're talking with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia.
[Cynthia McKinney] Actually, I was, you know, I'm on the Armed Services Committee and so we had riveting testimony yesterday which I hope the listeners will tune in to if C-SPAN will replay it, because the C-SPAN cameras were there. And Congressman Curt Weldon has been on this Able Danger thing.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Cynthia McKinney] And so we had three witnesses there yesterday who said that if they had been allowed to do their work, that their work could quite possibly have prevented 9/11. And they all said it. And then they all said that, well this was at a different part of the hearing, that the 9/11 Commission Report was incomplete because it didn't mention the work that they had done. And so this was in the context of Donald Rumsfeld announcing the Long War and you know I scoured the internet for articles and I found your article and I just thought it was so perfect, and perfectly timed for what we are having to deliberate on in Congress right now. So I wanted to read it and read it into the record.
[Thom Hartmann] Well, Rumsfeld was essentially suggesting that we have a brand new cold war. Another fifty years of fear.
[Cynthia McKinney] Exactly, exactly.
[Thom Hartmann] Another fifty years of defense spending beyond the horizon.
[Cynthia McKinney] But you know what? The thing that makes it so bad is, and this is what I didn't get the chance to talk about today on the floor since I was ruled out of order, and got sidetracked, but in one of the hearings that we had, you know, the Pentagon admits that it lost 2.1 trillion in '99 and then another 1.1 trillion that they couldn't track in 2000, so we're talking trillions of dollars in transactions that the Department of Defense can't track. The GAO Government Accountability Office just came out, every year they make a statement, that the reason the Federal Budget can't balance its books is because the Department of Defense is not auditable. And so I asked ChrisTina Jonas, who is the Comptroller of the Pentagon how, what steps they were taking. And they said that, you know, they were trying to get their computers to talk to each other. And I asked her how much money had they spent on getting the computers to talk to each other. Guess how much money the Pentagon has spent. Twenty billion, with a 'b', dollars. Just to get the computers to talk to each other. Now I don't know about you, but I can think of several smaller computer organizations, experts who would get together for a fraction of that...
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Cynthia McKinney]... to make the computers talk to each other. But twenty billion dollars, it sounds like a black hole to me, where they're just dumping tax payer's dollars.
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah, it really does. We're talking with Cynthia McKinney, the Congresswoman from Georgia, who is on the House Armed Services Committee, member of the International Relations Committee as well, Ranking Member of its International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee.
[Cynthia McKinney] I've got to make a slight change. I'm on the Budget Committee, not the...
[Thom Hartmann] Oh OK
[Cynthia McKinney] [?] even though it's on my web site.
[Thom Hartmann] OK, that's on your bio. And Congresswoman McKinney we have to take a break right now, in about a half a minute. I'm wondering if you can stick around over the break and we could just wrap this conversation up?
[Cynthia McKinney] Sure!
[Thom Hartmann] If you're available. I'm so grateful to you for coming on the programme on such short notice, and...
[Cynthia McKinney] It's my pleasure, especially since I just called your name on the floor of the House.
[Thom Hartmann] Thank you. I just, also, one of the folks in our chat room just shared with me this BBC news story, "UK to float defence firm Qinetiq" Are you familiar with Qinetiq?
[Cynthia McKinney] Yes, Qinetiq [pronounced kinetic] is the name of the company.
[Thom Hartmann] Qinetiq, OK.
Music leading in to break begins.
[Cynthia McKinney] And it's a, well, we'll talk after the break.
[Thom Hartmann] We'll have to talk after the break, yeah. When the machine starts the music, I've got to stop too.
[Cynthia McKinney] OK.
[Thom Hartmann] So, we're talking with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. Our telephone number 866 440 8466 if you'd like to say hi to her. We'll have a few minutes when we came back. It's 45 minutes past the hour. It's the Thom Hartmann radio programme.
[Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was no longer on the line after the break, and the show ended soon afterwards]