The Higgins Memo should have been front page news across America, yet it was quietly swept under the rug and ignored by the majority of major media outlets. After speaking with the author, Rich Higgins, regarding the Iran situation in an exclusive interview, Liberty Nation decided to delve deeper into the contents and implications of the document. In part one, Higgins introduced himself, his memo, and the president’s reaction to it.
You can read the Higgins Memo in full on LN.
Liberty Nation: Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the word in the Swamp was that you were asking for the declassification of, is it called the Presidential Study Directive 11? Could you tell us exactly what that is and why it would be wise to declassify it?
Rich Higgins: The Presidential Study Directive 11 was the subject of rumors for a number of years around Washington for individuals who had been interested in the wider Islamic movement, particularly as it related to the Muslim Brotherhood and their designation as a terrorist entity or organization. So much of the counter-terror effort, going back to 9/11, almost 20 years ago, has been focused on the guys with the bombs and the guns. We never looked at their ideological infrastructure, their clandestine infrastructure, their financial infrastructure, to a level that I thought that it needed to be done.
As we in the counter-terrorism community watched in 2010 as the Arab Spring took root across the Middle East, most of the folks who really knew knew the terrorist issue were deeply concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in fomenting the entire operation from beginning to end. There was this idea that it was some sort of peace and love and freedom breaking out in the Middle East, which was to us who dealt with the subject matter complete and total nonsense. One only need to read Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones. In the book he talks about freedom and justice, and the Muslim Brotherhood slogan is freedom and justice. Here’s Al-Qaeda’s main ideological author, Sayyid Qutb, speaking about freedom and justice, and then you have the Muslim Brotherhood on the ground in the Arab Spring talking about freedom for justice.
Well, there was always a rumor about the fact that the Obama administration had somehow played a role in the Arab Spring. What was that role? People knew that there was an inter-agency task force dealing with the Middle East and all that sort of stuff. Well, the Presidential Study Directive 11 provides insights. To this day, it’s still classified, but it provides insights as to the structure and the deliberate decision-making process related to what came to be known as the Arab Spring. And it provides a timeline for the decisions leading up to the Arab Spring, which is why I was pushing it to get the document declassified and pushed out.
LN: It’s a wildly fascinating topic for all the horror and the terror of the destabilization of the region. In retrospect, it almost seems as though that was the purpose in the first place; the destabilization of these formerly not-so-great countries to be fair, but at least reasonably stable ones. Would you say that’s a fairly accurate assessment?
RH: I think it’s accurate. The devil’s in the details. The Egyptian destabilization was one thing. Libya had a different cause, there was a different causal basis behind it. But I think if you look at the wider picture … I think the documents speaks to the view with which the Obama administration thought of the Middle East.
I think that’s the important thing that would come out of the doc, and I’ve seen it, I don’t want to elaborate on it because it’s still classified, but I think it’s important for that reason.
LN: As you mentioned earlier, you don’t like the term, the “deep state.” Why is that? Of course, it has a lot of political baggage with it, where people would say, “A deep state, well, it’s a conspiracy theory, or it’s a non-existent thing.” But there are people working – and this is what your memo addressed – to destabilize the presidency. Is that about right?
RH: Absolutely. The memo highlights that, and I think that the permanent bureaucracy is a classic status dilemma; it’s organization protectionism, it’s institutional protectionism, it’s risk aversion. A lot of it is just fed by general intellectual complacency. I think back to how the people who were co-opted to participate in this operation to take down a president or to take down a presidential candidate, how these bureaucrats were co-opted into participating in something like that. Some of them were unwitting to what they embarked upon, and then there were others that just thought they were doing the right thing. They were convinced of that.
It’s when you lose sight of the strategic nature of your oath, where you recognize that the people in this country are the sovereign and that this field, your organization, is really irrelevant. It simply a means at the end of the day. I think that’s the thing that worries me the most about this “deep state” concept, is that we have a lot of people now that occupy positions, positions of extreme power in some cases, inside the federal bureaucracy that no longer recognize that the people are their sovereign. They’re far more concerned about, for example, what happens to the FBI than they are about the rule of law and the constitutional republic.
LN: What’s the best way for the president and the administration to combat the the career bureaucrat complacency operating throughout the country?
RH: I think there are a couple of different things. First off, I think – and I say this as a former bureaucrat – there’s a lack of “institutional watering.” It’s nourishment. It’s explaining to these people their role in the bigger system, but it has to be done in a direct way at the onset of their employment, and then periodically throughout their career. I think what’s happened is, for example, I can pick on the Defense Department because I’m very familiar with that.
In the Defense Department, we created a program called Capstone. It’s the course that all general officers in the US military take in order to put on their stars. But when you look at the Capstone course curriculum, it is internationalist, it is statist, it is globalist, it’s PC max. It’s how you have general officers like General Casey, that when Nidal Hasan shoots 30 people at Fort Hood, and within a couple of hours – literally the bodies are still warm – and General Casey is on television talking about the real tragedy would be if the Army loses its diversity. Okay, well Capstone did that.
We need the opposite of that. Now to get there, the second part of that would be a wholesale removal of the top level of these bureaucracies. If you look at American history, you see that Marshall saw World War II coming. He’s over there, he’s in the War Department. Beginning in 1938, they started removing general officers. They weren’t removing them because they didn’t go along with FDR’s program or the New Deal or something like that. They removed them because these officers had been brought up in a different era, had been brought up in an Army that fought with horses. And now they were going to be fighting the German Blitzkrieg, so they needed general officers who were familiar with the tactics, the techniques, the procedures, the strategy, these massive lines of communication, these massive logistics trains that were going to be necessary for full mechanized warfare, which the Germans had largely perfected at that point. We still use Blitzkrieg today.
How do we go about getting that sort of a sea state change? I think that’s one of the areas where President Trump was short-sighted. I think his assumption was that, “I can just come in and all these generals and these senior executives, they’re going to snap to my program because I’m a patriot and I love America.” Well, I think he underestimated how far inside the cultural Marxist principles have really penetrated into the system, and even into groups like the Department of Defense, where it’s been the concerted target for 30 years now … If you even look at the Army that I was in during the 1990s, you can’t even recognize it today in terms of, you have the gays in the military, all the other lefty policy stuff that they’ve been pushing. It’s a massive effort that’s going to be required to fix this. I think the president is doing his best, but it’s got to be a decades-long effort.
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