Michael Scheuer, the former senior CIA official once in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has spent the last few months calling for President Trump’s enemies to be punished with violence.
For 22 years, Scheuer worked as an operations officer within the CIA’s ranks. In addition to leading the first agency task force to hunt bin Laden, he authored the agency’s Extraordinary Rendition program, which saw suspected terrorists kidnapped and tortured.
While his former colleagues tell the Daily Beast he has always been an ‘extremist’ by nature, since retiring from the agency in 2004, Scheuer has undergone a sort-of self-radicalization.
In 2014, on his blog Non-intervention, Scheuer appeared to advocate for the assassination of then-President Barack Obama. Then last year he announced that he is a believer and follower of QAnon, a conspiracy theory that claims Trump is waging a secret war against a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles.
But over the last few months, and amid national unrest spurred by the death of George Floyd, Scheuer has increasingly voiced belief that the war on terror is now a domestic fight and has called for violence against the left-wing insurgents he believes to be stoking the flames.
Michael Scheuer, the former senior CIA official once in charge for the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has spent the summer calling for the execution of President Trump’s enemies
In 2014, on his blog Non-intervention, Scheuer appeared to advocate for the assassination of then-President Barack Obama. Then last year he announced that he is a believer and follower of the QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory that claims Trump is waging a secret war against a shadowy cabal of Democratic paedophiles
According to Scheuer, Black Lives Matter is a ‘terrorist organization’ and ‘semi-human mob’. On his blog and podcast he characterized nationwide demonstrations as ‘rioting in the honor of felonious scum’.
He also accused activists of destroying ‘more property’ than al Qaeda, making them ‘absolutely’ terrorists.
The 66-year-old said those responsible deserve a type of ‘punishment… we’ve not seen before in this country.’
All the while, Scheuer calls Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged for the murder of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Washington, a ‘young hero’.
In a blog post last week, Scheuer wrote that if the US is lucky, ‘Rittenhouse’s necessary, patriotic, and constitutional actions will power the formation of militias across the United States.’
Similarly, in July, weeks before the fatal shootings, he wrote: ‘loyal Americans know their domestic enemies, as well as their locations, in detail, and will be able to act swiftly to eliminate them and the threat they pose.’
Scheuer made his name in 2004, following the release of his best-selling book, Imperial Hubris. The book argued that America would need to wage a far bloodier war and destroy more civilian infrastructure than it was already if it hoped to get a firm grip on the Middle East.
But a decade-and-half on, Scheuer’s perceived enemies are now domestic. On his podcast in July, theorizing over the possibility of another US civil war, Scheuer said ‘the only thing I would be upset about … is that not enough Democrats would get killed.’
Scheuer has also said he’s anticipating widespread Democratic voter fraud in the election, despite it being the president who has seemed to advocate Republican voters illegally voting twice – both by mail in ballot, and then later in person.
‘I just think it’s unreasonable for the Democrats to think that no one will respond to that kind of an attempt to take over the government,’ he said of the purported planned fraud.
According to Scheuer, Black Lives Matter is a ‘terrorist organization’ and ‘semi-human mob’. On his blog and podcast he characterized nationwide demonstrations as ‘rioting in the honor of felonious scum’
All the while, Scheuer calls Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged for the murder of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Washington, a ‘young hero’
In a new report by the Daily Beast, the outlet said that a number of CIA alumni who worked closely with Scheuer at the agency has since sought to distance themselves from him.
Others have expressed their concern for him, but say they’re unsurprised by his fanatical turn.
Most of the sources interviewed as part of the report said they didn’t remember him being as conspiratorial at the CIA as he is now, and they don’t believe the agency would’ve had the grounds to spot any warning signs for his later radical beliefs.
But retired CIA operations officer, Glenn Carle, was apparently an exception, telling the outlet: ‘He’s always been an extremist. That’s a psychological characteristic, not a political attribute of his.
‘Clearly and without exception he’s derogatory, to the point of being grotesque, in his unfairness toward any political figure who shows any temperance.’
Scheuer himself agreed with Carle. He said: ‘My job at the CIA or my job in the little role I have now writing is to make sure the republic survives, in a republican small-r form of government, that the Constitution prevails, that there’s equality before the law and I see all these things disappearing before my eyes.
‘I think it’s a direct line. I never gave a good goddamn about killing an enemy of the United States.’
Many of Scheuer’s former colleagues recalled what they described as his ‘rage’ during his two decades at the CIA, which manifested in two ways.
The first of those ways was seen in clashes with other counterterrorism officials that would often turn into a litmus test for who was and wasn’t willing to protect Americans against al Qaeda, at whatever cost.
Secondly, colleagues recalled him expressing disinterest at civilian deaths resulting from strikes on al Qaeda targets. One told the Daily Beast he simply ‘didn’t care about collateral damage’.
The anonymous colleagues’ claim is substantiated in a number of his post-CIA writings and statements.
In Imperial Hubris, Scheuer wrote: ‘[W]e will have to use military force in the way Americans used it on the fields of Virginia and Georgia, in France and on Pacific islands, and from the skies over Tokyo and Dresden.
Such measures would include a ‘Sherman-like razing of infrastructure,’ leveled against the enemy’s ‘support base’ of civilians, in an effort to destroy ‘roads and irrigation systems; bridges, power plants and crops in the field; fertilizer plants and grain mills.’
A number of CIA alumni who worked closely with Scheuer at the agency has since sought to distance themselves from him
Just prior to leaving the CIA, his colleagues said he developed an increasing and unsettling tendency voice support for so-called ‘revolutionaries’ – such as bin Laden – who were willing to use violence in pursuit of their beliefs.
‘Americans would do well to recall that bin Laden, in Muslim eyes and hearts, is not unlike another man—also, ironically, pious, quiet and dedicated—who strove for four extremely bloody years to destroy the United States, and, in doing so, evoked unprecedented loyalty and love from millions that endures even today,’ he wrote in one excerpt of Imperial Hubris, comparing bin Laden to Robert E. Lee.
In a later interview when asked about bin Laden, Scheuer said he was ‘very willing to admire anyone who speaks his mind and speaks it with consistency and pointedness. Before the Jesuits became new-era fairies, that’s what the Jesuits taught you to do: speak your mind, and if you believe it, speak it loudly and never back up. That’s why I admired Ron Paul. That’s why I admired Osama bin Laden.’
In later years, Scheuer would voice disdain for elites who were unprepared to us the necessary violence that, in his opinion, would placate what he referred to in his book as ‘much of Islam’.
One such subject of his ire was President Barack Obama, who Scheuer believes surrendered in the war on terror, particularly after he brought an end to the CIA’s torture program.
He also believed the ‘Kenyan-born’ Obama was a tyrant, and wrote on his blog in 2014 that he was a viable target for assassination.
The following year, he wrote that ‘enough is coming very close to being enough’ from a tyrannical government that ‘allow[s] its citizens to be killed at home because of its refusal to wage war mercilessly.’
But in Trump, Scheuer believes he’s found a president that finally gets it. He believes the president’s clashes with intelligence leaders prove to him that Trump has the right enemies, and that he’s fighting back against those who Scheuer says is responsible for denying the US a victory in the war on terror.
Just prior to leaving the CIA, his colleagues said he developed an increasing and unsettling tendency voice support for ‘revolutionaries’ – such as bin Laden – who were willing to use violence in pursuit of their beliefs
But in Trump, Scheuer believes he’s found a president that finally gets it. He believes the president’s clashes with intelligence leaders prove to him that Trump has the right enemies
In December, Scheuer became the most senior former intelligence official to embrace the QAnon conspiracy theory, that first emerged on forum 4Chan and paints Trump’s political enemies as a part of a Satan-worshiping pedophile ring.
‘Those who do not believe QAnon will be mighty surprised,’ he wrote on his blog. ‘There is so much accuracy, and well-proven accuracy,’ he continued, referencing a theory that John F Kennedy is still alive and secret indictments will soon imprison Obama in Guantanamo Bay.
‘QAnon is a very interesting person to me. I listen to it whenever I can. In intelligence operations, if you get one thing out of 10 to work, that’s usually a pretty good deal, and I think that his information has been, to my mind and what I’ve seen in terms of corroboration, about 60 percent, which is extraordinary in this day and age,’ Scheuer wrote.
The conspiracy targets the likes of Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and a number of leading congressional Democrats and left-leaning celebrities.
Scheuer wrote that he would like to deal with those as the center of theory with ‘immediate and lethal, post-trial punishment —by loyal-citizen firing squads chosen by lottery.
‘There is no Constitutional protection for U.S. citizens who wage war against their country, especially those who enlist foreign governments to assist them,’ he said of the president’s opponents.
n December, Scheuer became the most senior former intelligence official to embrace the QAnon conspiracy theory, that first emerged on forum 4Chan and paints Trump’s political enemies as a part of a Satan-worshiping pedophile ring
In recent months, Scheuer has begun to more openly endorse the kind of violence on Americans that he previously reserved for jihadists and their ‘support base’, the Daily Beast remarked.
Scheuer believes there’s no such thing as a protester, only a ‘sub-human insurgent threat’ that he believes are being funded and armed by the Democratic party and wealthy donors, such as George Soros.
He characterized nationwide demonstrations as ‘rioting in the honor of felonious scum’, accusing activists of destroying ‘more property’ than al Qaeda, making them ‘absolutely’ terrorists.
‘If you have enough loyal general officers to destroy the domestic enemy, arrest the disloyal generals and do so as soon as you can, and use as much violence as is necessary to terminate this threat forever,’ Scheuer urged Trump on June 5, in response to violent clashes outside the White House.
The following month on his podcast he said if Joe Biden wins the election, Democrats would be ‘silly to imagine it’s going to preserve their lives.’
After more than two decades in the CIA, Scheuer says he no longer holds hope in institutions to save the republic, rather with people inspired by individuals like Kyle Rittenhouse who shot ‘Democrat terrorist[s]’ in Kenosha.
Scheuer characterized Rittenhouse’s actions as a ‘gift’, saying he showed ‘his fellow citizens… that no U.S. citizen is obligated to stand by and watch his home, car, or business being burned by Democratic swine, or to fail to inflict fatal consequences on the same scum when they seek to harm or kill him, his family or his neighbors.’
He then urged Americans to form ‘local and nationwide’ armed militias to stop any potential fraud in the upcoming 2020 election.
‘People seem to think that I say things I don’t mean,’ Scheuer told the Daily Beast. ‘I truly am offended by that. If I say something, it doesn’t mean I’m testing the waters. This is what I think, take it or leave it.’