Monthly Archives: November 2014

Tamir Rice and dynamic decision-making

The experience and dialogue around confrontations (think Ferguson, think Tamir Rice in Cleveland) reverberate around dynamic decision-making. 

Think the safety and well-being of you and yours in a society that is increasingly on edge and ready to engage in violence.  

On one hand, there is the understanding and practice from within the discipline of aikido, which teaches movement and reaction, and taking control of the situation and the attack; on the other hand are the safety and training practices within law enforcement. 

On the third hand, much is made about guns and gun safety, with the movement to take them away, and yet the people who have them as a public duty appear to be untrained in their safe and judicious use. 

Much is made of how police officers are trained and under great stress when attacked, if in fact some of these events constituted an attack.  Perception and differentiation, and thinking on your feet, is key. 

One of the headlines I saw recently was about how the police officer had only seconds to react and respond to what he perceived was a deadly threat.  Without arguing the circumstances of Michael Brown’s death, or that of the 12-year old boy playing alone with what looked like and was reported to have been a toy or fake gun, I recalled — because I have written about it in the past and used some of its principles in my own instruction of those who respond to mass casualty situations— OODA loop training for public safety personnel

Well, they are there for our mutual safety and well-being, aren’t they?

There’s a lot of information available to your search engine; here are the top three that popped out of mine when I asked.

There’s a lot more about the OODA loop, to say nothing of the research done under the aegis of the US military on tactical decision-making under stress (TADMUS) after the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner by mistake. (Though there’s debate about that too, I guess….)


Boyd’s O.O.D.A Loop and How We Use It

By: Tracy A. Hightower

The O.O.D.A. Loop is a process we go through hundreds if not thousands of times in a single day. It is a process that defines how we humans react to stimulus. Colonel John Boyd coined the term O.O.D.A. Loop, in the 1950’s. Colonel Boyd, known as the “Fighter Pilot who changed the Art of War”, was an F-86 pilot and commander of a fighter group during the latter part of the Korean War. He believed that when at a disadvantage a competent pilot could still overcome that disadvantage by “Attacking the Mind” of his opponent. His observations led him to a greater understanding of Human reaction time and the coining of the term O.O.D.A. Loop. Colonel Boyd trained his pilots based upon his observations of Human reaction time and as a result his pilots had a 10 to 1 kill ratio over the superior Mig-15’s.

Human reaction time is defined as the time elapsing between the onset of a stimulus and the onset of a response to that stimulus. The O.O.D.A. Loop, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act, is Boyd’s way of explaining how we go through the process of reacting to stimulus. First we Observe, and keep in mind that although we process approximately 80% of the information we receive with our sense of sight, we can and do make observations with our other senses. For instance you might hear a gunshot and not see the person who fired it. Once you look and see the source of the gunfire you are now in the Orient stage of the process. In the Orient stage you are now focusing your attention on what you have just observed. The next step is the Decide step in which you have to make a decision on what to do about what you have just observed and focused your attention on. Finally you have made your decision and the last step is to Act upon that decision. Keep in mind that the O.O.D.A loop is what happens between the onset of a stimulus and the onset of a reaction to that stimulus.

How fast is your O.O.D.A. Loop? Well, that depends on several factors that can affect your reaction time. Simple Reaction Time is generally accepted to be around 220 milliseconds (Laming 1968). In simple reaction time experiments, there is only one stimulus and one response. Simple reaction time can be gauged in a variety of ways but basically a person is asked to place their finger on a button or a switch and told to manipulate that button or switch in response to a light or a sound. In this case the person is reacting to a “Known Stimulus” during the observe step and using a pre-determined response during the decide step. It should be noted here that many researchers have found that reaction to Auditory Stimulus is faster than reaction to Visual Stimulus. Perhaps this is because an Auditory Stimulus only takes 8-10 Milliseconds to reach the brain (Kemp et al., 1973), but a visual stimulus takes 20-40 milliseconds to reach the brain (Marshall et al., 1943).

A more familiar example of simple reaction time is the “Brake Light Theory” You are driving down the road and you “Observe” the brake lights of the car in front of you come on. This is a “Known Stimulus” because you expect while driving to have this happen and because you expect this, you already have a predetermined response, which is to remove your foot from the accelerator and apply the brake. From the time we Observe the brake light (Onset of Stimulus) to the time we begin to remove our foot from the accelerator, (Onset of a reaction to Stimulus) less time has elapsed than if we were responding to an Unknown Stimulus, which brings us to the Flash Bang Theory. Our reaction time is slower when we are responding to “Unknown Stimulus” such as when Joe Drug Dealer is sitting in his living room watching the Simpson’s on TV after a long day of cooking Meth. Suddenly he hears and sees an object fly through the window. Just before it (A Flashbang) goes off is the point at which Joe is saying “What the &%@#”! His reaction time is slowed by the fact that he has to respond to unknown stimulus and this does not include what the effects of the Flashbang going off will further do to disorient him. Had he been watching the Discovery channel he might have known that Police sometimes use this tactic when raiding drug dealer’s homes and it might have been known stimulus had he been expecting it.

There are other factors that can affect your O.O.D.A. Loop, some of which can be overcome with training. In 1952 a researcher named Hick confirmed that by going from one response choice (Decision Step) to two, response time increased by 58%. This is widely known as “Hick’s Law” and has been repeatedly confirmed by subsequent research. It is because of this that we teach some of the things we teach such as various malfunction drills. If the weapon does not go bang when it should, the more choices our students have to choose from, the slower they will react. As an example if a student through training has learned that at any given time his/her firearm may experience a type one malfunction and he/she has trained to have a single response (move, tap, rack bang) then as in the “Brake Light” example, through training and experience the malfunction has become a “Known Stimulus” and the solution has become a predetermined response and reaction time is faster.

Two factors that affect your O.O.D.A. loop during the Orient step are Denial and Emotional Filter. Denial is when you refuse to accept or Deny that this is happening to you. Emotional Filter is a lot like Denial except that you wish that this were not happening. “Oh man, please don’t let this be happening”. Both of these things can and will affect your reaction time but fortunately they can be overcome with training as this commonly happens with people who have little or no training.

In 1960 Researchers Franklin Henry and Donald Rogers found that not only does increasing the number of responses affect your reaction time, but also by increasing the complexity of the tasks, induces stress that can adversely affect your reaction time. While doing simple reaction time test, they told each subject to place their finger next to a switch and when they hear a certain sound, they are to flip the switch. After each subject’s time was registered and recorded they used the same group and did the same test but added another task to do after flipping the switch. The subjects were told to flip a second switch after completing the second task. In both tests, the only time recorded was the time it took to push the first button and Henry and Rogers found that the added stress of having a more complex task to perform caused each subject’s reaction time to increase by an average of 31%.

Colonel Boyd also knew that other factors could affect your O.O.D.A. Loop. During his research he found that Fatigue was also a factor. He and his pilots were flying F-86’s and although they were slower and less maneuverable than the Mig 15’s they were flying against, The F-86 was fully hydraulically controlled and the Mig 15 was only hydraulically assisted. This meant that Boyd’s pilots could operate their aircraft with easy and gentle manipulation of the controls, while the Mig pilots had to work harder to maneuver their aircraft. Boyd found that the more his pilots maneuvered and the longer a dogfight persisted the more fatigued the Mig pilots became and the slower their reaction time became until the F-86 pilots were able to maneuver their aircraft into a position of dominance.

As Instructors we are always striving to find ways to give our students the advantage in a fight while diminishing their opponents will and ability to fight back effectively. Making sure our students understand the O.O.D.A. Loop and how we react as humans can go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. The really great thing about understanding the O.O.D.A. Loop is the realization that everybody has one and their O.O.D.A. Loop is affected by the same factors that yours is. This is one of the reasons why in nearly every drill we teach it incorporates moving. This has the effect of resetting your opponent’s O.O.D.A. Loop and giving you still another advantage. Learning how your opponent’s mind works and using tactics that allow you to take advantage of that knowledge is what we should strive to do. Colonel Boyd had it right, know your opponent’s mind and then attack it. 


Training to Think

with Sgt. Steve “Pappy” Papenfuhs

The OODA loop, reaction time, and decision making

February 23, 2012

“… While I agree with this model as a conceptual strategy for combat, and while we need to be prepared to use reasonable force up to and including deadly force at a moment’s notice, we would all prefer to “talk” suspects into compliance whenever possible.  According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2 approximately 99.96 percent of the time we are successful in doing so.  Perhaps a more global view therefore, would be to view our job as “managing” the opponent’s OODA loop when practicable.  In fact, this is exactly what SWAT teams do during critical incidents; and the vast majority of such events are resolved peacefully using the Time – Talk – Tear Gas strategies that ensure the safety of both suspects and officers.

In order for a suspect to voluntarily comply with our commands and surrender to an arrest he needs the requisite time to perceive, decide, and respond.  Acknowledging this, I would like to review a video that is in the public domain and analyze it from this perspective.  This exercise is not meant as an analysis of the reasonableness of the involved officer’s actions as that would be inappropriate without knowing the totality of the circumstances, but rather as an exercise in understanding the human factors involved; and to consider a point or two about tactical deployment and training considerations…..” 


Best Practices…

Why the OODA Loop is Still Relevant

Understanding the mind’s decision-making process can help you calm down subjects and improve your own reactions.


Verbal Confrontations

There isn’t a day that goes by where officers don’t have to deal with upset people who lash out at the very ones trying to help them. Getting them on track and on a manageable level is paramount to your handing of their problem.

By the time you get out of your car, a subject has already made most of his decisions. Talking to you is usually the last part of his OODA loop. This is why it is so difficult to talk to a person when he is fired up. Simply ordering him to calm down does absolutely no good. He won’t respond the way you want because he is locked in his own loop. You have to break the subject’s concentration by changing his focus. This starts him on a new loop or, at the very least, breaks the one he is on even if only for a brief moment.

I was on a call years ago dealing with an out-of-control “he said, she said” domestic disturbance. While dealing with my half, I quickly changed the conversation and asked a question about the interior decoration of the living room, focusing on a beautiful painting. It totally caught the person off guard. It was like seeing someone slamming on the brakes. The woman literally said, “What, huh, what did you just say?” My off-the-wall question was just enough to break her OODA loop and start me down the path to calming her down.

In such situations, “yes or no” questions won’t work. You have to ask a question that the person has to think about before answering. My first attempt usually consists of asking a question totally unrelated to the situation. If that doesn’t work, my next question is about something I think means a lot to the subject, like asking about his or her children. You’re not looking to become best friends; you just need to interrupt the person’s OODA loop long enough to get a word in edgewise. Though not 100% successful, it works more times than not.

Physical Confrontations

Your job is ultimately about obtaining control of the situation even if it requires going hands on. The OODA loop works the same way here. Once a person decides he is going to hit you, he gets locked into his own loop and commits to the action. Any change on your part will make him have to start the decision-making process over again. For example, if a person is stepping into you before throwing a punch, you cannot let him set down that lead foot before striking. If he gets to plant his foot you’re going to get hit. You need to make a move that forces the subject to reposition and start his OODA loop over again.

Since action beats reaction every time, the guy who keeps forcing the other to change his plans usually keeps the upper hand. This is also where speed comes in. The guy who moves the fastest usually wins the fight.

Another example of where this tactic applies is an active shooter scenario. If you are standing across from the shooter and you each draw and then shoot, both of you will probably get hit. But if you move off his centerline, you will cause him to miss (or at least hit you in a less critical spot) because you have made him change his plans, requiring a new round of decision-making. The shooter is now going to have to lift and shift in order to shoot you. That’s why the military lives by the mantra move, shoot, and communicate.

Improving Your OODA Loop

The only way to improve your OODA loop is through training. It’s not something you think about; it’s something you do. Ever wonder why you do the same small number of defensive tactics moves over and over again the entire length of your career? They work in part because of the OODA loop.

Because how you train is how you fight, you have a handful of techniques you default to under stress. You have worked on them so much you don’t think about it, you just do it. This shortens your OODA loop and increases your reaction time. It’s thinking less and acting more that gives you an advantage.

That’s why those who don’t train don’t react well. By the time they finish processing their OODA loop, it’s already too late. Or worse, they make the one and only decision they know and stick to it even if it’s not working. Officers who skip training help increase the bad guy’s ability to steal their response time. The saying “He who hesitates is lost” certainly rings true.

Malfunction drills are a great example. When you practice them regularly your movements are as smooth as silk; when you don’t practice, you look like you’ve never done them before. But have you ever watched someone on the range dealing with a malfunction that isn’t a typical stoppage? You usually see the guy keep doing the same thing over and over again until he just stares at his gun wondering what to do.

This happens when you don’t have a way to break your own loop. This is why it’s getting more and more common to see people training at police ranges looking left and then right after they shoot. This action is part security check and part breaking their loop.

The only way to improve reaction time is to train, train, and then train some more. If skill sets don’t become second nature they act as boat anchors. The more time it takes for you to get into action, the more time you give to the bad guy.

Beat the Battle for Time

The OODA loop is a form of dynamic decision-making that is as easy to understand as it is to apply. It will help you beat the battle for time. If you still don’t see the usefulness of the OODA loop, perform this simple drill taught to me by a fellow combatives instructor.

Have a coworker place a small towel on her right shoulder. Tell her you are going to snatch the towel and she has to stop you. Most of the time, she will. After a few tries, tell her to recite her social security number or something else that makes her think. Then have her try to stop you again. You’ll grab hold of the towel each and every time. You win not only because action is faster than reaction, but more importantly, because you are able to divide the person’s attention and therefore successfully change her OODA loop.

Amaury Murgado is a special operations lieutenant with the Osceola County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office. He is a retired master sergeant from the Army Reserve, has over 25 years of law enforcement experience, and has been a lifelong student of martial arts. 


Music video:


the deep need to mobilize for sanity

For this final installment about the book by Peter Dale Scott entitled American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy, I’ve skipped a lot of the history (Chapters Four through Ten).  There has to be something left for you to go and find and read.

I’ll finish with a few quotes that pertain more to why you should do so. 

It is clear that for some decades the bottom-upward processes of democracy have increasingly been supplanted by the top-downward processes of the deep state. But the deeper strain in history, I would like to believe, is the opposite direction: the ultimate diminution of violent top-down forces by the bottom-up forces of an increasingly integrated civil society. [p. 134]

Scott notes Jonathan Schell’s The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and The Will of the People, which puts forth the thesis that “violence has now become dysfunctional as a political instrument” (p. 7) and that “forms of non-violent action can serve effectively in the place of violence at every level of political affairs”. (p. 8).

Scott says, on page 141, “What is needed … is a re-direction of the US government away from mania and illegality….” and notes Madison, in a forecast of his conclusion: “A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.”

The development of the Internet has provided new channels of communication for those concerned progressives and dissidents (including “conspiracy theorists”) who are unheard in the increasingly corporatized and corrupt governing media. These in turn have supplied a growing constituency in support of those isolated and embattled whistle-blowers who have arisen in virtually every agency contributing to the unchecked security state. And we have seen at least two successful bureaucratic revolt in the last decade: first in the FBI and the Justice Department against the Terrorist Surveillance Program memos inspired by Cheney and then “the revolt of the generals” in 2006 against Donald Rumsfeld. [page 164]


American politics, both foreign and domestic, are being increasingly deformed by a war on terrorism that is counter-productive, radically increasing the number of perpetrators and victims of terrorist attacks. It is also profoundly dishonest, in that Washington’s policies actually contribute to the funding and arming of the al-Qaedists that it nominally opposes.

Above all, the war on terror is a self-generating war because, as many experts have warned, it produces more terrorists than it eliminates. It has become inextricably combined with America’s earlier self-generating and hopelessly unwinnable war, the so-called War on Drugs.

The two self-generating wars have, in effect, become one. By launching a War on Drugs in Colombia and Mexico (the so-called AUC) and an even bolder reign of terror in Afghanistan on 2001, America has contributed to the doubling of opium production there, making Afghanistan now the source of 90 percent of the world’s heroin and most of the world’s hashish. [page 167]

On page 172, Scott reminds us of Eisenhower’s warning in 1953: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”

This echoes the Sermon on the Mount and asks us to reflect on the total cost of the firing of Tomahawk missiles, for example. 

One could divert, as I just did, to run a simple search on the costs of such armaments, and the potent and telling connections within campaign monies. More than a few people have done this and published their back-tracing to see who is enriched and who is infecting us with their psychopathology of paranoia and distressed imaginings of victimhood.

Before treating the reader with his annotated epilogue [Greek Theater: Mario Savio and the Socratic Quest], Scott leaves us with this:

… I believe that a well-coordinated nonviolent antiwar minority — of from two to five million, acting with the resources of truth and common sense on their side — can win. America’s core political institutions are at present both dysfunctional and unpopular….

Clearly new strategies and techniques of protest will be needed. It is not the purpose here to define them, but I predict that future protests — or cyberprotests — will require more skillful use of the Internet. [This of course lends urgency to the fight for free and unfettered Internet access, which “the unchecked security state” increasingly attempts to deny.] This is why the revelations of Edward Snowden are so significant: they reveal how the great new hope for a global civil society — the Internet — is being co-opted while few noticed.

I repeat that one cannot be confident of victory in the struggle for sanity against special interests and ignorant ideologues. But with the increasing danger of a calamitous international conflict, the need to mobilize for sanity is increasingly clear. The study of history is one of the most effective ways to avoid repeating it.


Of additional interest:

Saudi Arabian officials say they are preparing to move forward with an upgrade to the country’s navy that could include a multibillion-dollar contract for Bath Iron Works, the Reuters news service reported Wednesday.

BIW’s DDG-51 destroyer is one of at least two ship designs being considered for the long-discussed Saudi Naval Expansion Program II, or SNEP, which has an estimated value of roughly $20 billion, Reuters said.

More here: 


Glenn Greenwald on the Senate’s action on the USA Freedom Act [See the part about Senator Arlen “Magic Bullet” Specter’s comments ] 

Deep Underground Bonkers

Deep Underground Bonkers

On page 22 in the second chapter of Peter Dale Scott’s American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy, Scott introduces the history of Miles Copeland and Adnan Kashoggi and the establishment of a “private CIA” through the use of confidential arrangements made among politically astute people in private corporations involved in the international arms trade among oil states. 

Essentially what was involved was the establishment of a method for the massive infusion of money into the needy Middle East countries, including Israel; Adnan pledged $100 million of his own money which had been laundered through BCCI; the Saudi intelligence chief was a major shareholder. Pages 29 and 30 are must reading.

Scott’s articulation of the role and influence of decades of Continuity of Government planning — eventually dubbed “The Doomsday Project” and exemplified by the E4B flying in restricted airspace over the White House on 9/11 — begins in earnest in Chapter Three.  

Note is made frequently of the revolving doors of government and the military-industrial complex, and no one personifies the murky ambivalence of it all more than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who continued their pursuit of a weakened Constitution and a strengthened Presidency while they were private citizens functioning as CEO’s in the oil and pharmaceutical industries. Scott recounts the implementation of  shadow government for months following 9/11.

“Cheney jumped into action in his bunker beneath the East Wing to ensure continuity of government… by ordering one hundred mid-level executive officials to move to specially designated underground bunkers and stay there 24 hours a day. They would not be rotated out, he informed them, for ninety days, since there was evidence, he hinted, that the terrorist organization al-Qaida, which had masterminded the attack, had nuclear weapons.” 

[Scott cites Shirley Ann Warshaw, “The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney”,


This is echoed just earlier tonight by Obama: 


[Further linkage, though not mentioned by Scott per se, is the fact that Cheney and his counselor Addington participated in a “lessons learned during Iran-Contra” conference  “convened by Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams” [ see’s_office_fund_al_qaeda-tied_groups_…_and_no_one_cares ],

“the “lessons learned” from that labyrinthine, secret, and illegal arms-for-money-for-arms deal involving the Israelis, the Iranians, the Saudis, and the Contras of Nicaragua.”]


In the 90-day period after 9/11, four programs first envisioned and planned in the 1980’s were implemented; 

the militarization of homeland security; warrantless detentions; 

warrantless deportations; and 

warrantless surveillance. 

“The clearest example was the administration’s Project Endgame — a 10-year plan, initiated in September 2001, to expand detention camps at a cost of $400 million in FY2007 alone. This implemented the central feature of the massive detention exercise, Rex 84, conducted by Louis Giuffrida and Oliver North in 1984. 


This may or may not be relevant to the establishment of a state of emergency in Missouri tonight.   


“As originally reported by Alfonso Chardy in a newspaper article in the Miami Herald, July 5, 1987, at the US Army War College, Giuffrida wrote a thesis advocating the forcible relocation of millions of black Americans to concentration camps in the event of a national emergency.[3] Prior to September 2014 the Miami Herald article was the only publication to share details about Giuffrida’s thesis.[4] “

Giuffrida, Col. Louis O. (25 February 1970). National Survival-Racial Imperative. U.S. Army War College. Retrieved 2014-09-11.

Scott reminds us that two of the Presidential Directives published during that immediate post-9/11 period are classified, their topics remaining unknown to this day.  

It is generally agreed that, of the three men in the National Command Authority on 9/11, Cheney was the ideologue most committed to restoring the power of a Presidency that had been weakened by Watergate. Cheney had already declared in his Iran-Contra Minority Report of 1987 his belief that “the Chief Executive will on occasion feel duty bound to assert monarchical notions of prerogative that will permit him to exceed the law.” And Vice President Cheney, along with Cheney’s counsel David Addington and John Yoo, established the legal justifications for declaring that the President had the prerogative power to “deploy military forces preemptively,” and that “the Geneva Conventions and other international agreements against torture did not protect members of the al Qaeda organizations.” [p. 36]

The National Emergencies Act, one of the post-Watergate reforms that Vice President Cheney so abhorred, specifies that: “Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.”  The law does not permit Congress to review an emergency; it requires Congress to review it. 

Yet since 2001 Congress has not once met to discuss the State of Emergency declared by George W. Bush in response to 9/11, a State of Emergency that remains in effect today…. [p. 40-41]

“With a few notable exceptions, there has thus far been scant interest in the media and the public in the extraordinary facts that Cheney and Rumsfeld were able to

  1. help plan successfully for constitutional modifications, when they were not in government, and
  2. implement those same changes themselves when back in power.


Here I jump ahead to chapters nine and ten to note Scott’s thesis that the four major deep events of recent American history are linked. He cites four over-arching examples:

  1. Bureaucratic misbehavior by governmental agencies in each case played significant roles.
  1. Their consequences increased coercive, repressive power for those agencies. 
  1. There were symptomatic overlaps in personnel between perpetrators from one event to the next. 
  1. There were elements of the international drug trade that were involved “suggesting that our current plutonomy is also a narconomy.

“In the background of each event (and playing an increasingly important role) one sees the Doomsday Project — the alternative emergency planning structure with its own communication network, operating outside a shadow network outside of regular government channels.” [Emphasis mine]

A few pages later, Scott, citing his own work , identifies this network as Flashboard. [See the following four links: ]

On page 118, Scott mentions John Dean’s involvement in COG activities as assoc. del attorney general, and the role of an army reserve officer named Norman Katz who had been summoned to Washington in December 1963. And then there’s all that extensive cross-over between the military intelligence and the Dallas Police Department. [Read, people, read.]

A common denominator in three of the four deep events (JFK, Iran-Contra, and 9/11) was the presence of an alternative communications network involving emergency preparedness personnel. Cheney on the phone in the bunker tunnel may have been an example; a portable radio in the lead car of the Presidential motorcade may have been another. [See page 119]. 

“Since the deep event of 1963, the legitimacy of America’s political system has become invested in a lie — a lie that subsequent deep events have helped to protect.” Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach sent the message on 11/25/63; the Warren Commission cemented it.  Subsequent Presidents have spoken to it Todd Leventhal’s official job in Obama’s State Department included defense of the lone nut theory against so-called “conspiracy theorists”. [See footnotes #76 &77 on page 248.]

Scott’s “study of the inter-relationship between deep events” was extended and deepened over four decades. He noticed the overlap between apparently marginal personnel from Dealey Plaza to Watergate, and from Watergate to Iran-Contra. 

He has extended this to three deeper levels, what he calls

the “operational” [the “common modus operandi”],

the “institutional” [ ‘shared agency of implementation”], and

“the “financial” [“common sources of funding”]. 


He recognized “more than a dozen common operational modalities” between the “outwardly dissimilar” events of Dealey Plaza and 9/11, with three being the most striking:

  1. the almost instant identification of the “designated culprits”; 
  2. the hidden intelligence backgrounds of the “designated culprits”; and
  3. the protection of the “designated culprits” by governmental agencies “to ensure that they would not be placed under surveillance of taken off the streets”. 


In Chapter Two (page 21), Scott described the “ambiguous symbiosis” of two different aspects of the American deep state: the privatized military-industrial complex, and Wall Street. He described the “revolving door”, citing the involvement of Booz Allen, for exmaple, going back to Allen Dulles and the CIA in 1953.  On page 124, he notes Booz Allen again (owned by the Carlyle Group) and SAIC, and the much older power of Wall Street, its powerful banks and law firms (think the Dulles Brothers and Sullivan and Cromwell), the banks and other major financial institutions, and the Seven Sisters.

And then there are all those clubs and circles….

deep state: calling the world to assemblage

The first four paragraphs of 

Peter Dale Scott’s American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy 

 ring like a tocsin calling the world to an assemblage of concerned and active minds. 


The rest of the book — I’m only into the second chapter (but have perused the notes, the index et al) — barely mentions Rockefeller. and the name Rothschild doesn’t seem to have an appearance, but Scott doesn’t fail to note in great depth the role of the Federal Reserve, Wall Street and — at least thus far — the central role of the Dulles Brothers. 

The premise is this:  the inter-related“deep events” of the JFK assassination, the Watergate break-in, the 1980 October Surprise and Iran-Contra, and 9/11, along with the paymaster of international drug and arms trafficking, “are embedded in ongoing covert processes, have consequences that enlarge covert government, and are subsequently covered up by systematic falsifications in media and internal government records.” 

These events are not just odd anomalies of the body politic but are part of a long-term weave reaching back to pre-World War One events, through the days of Hoover, McCarthy and Truman, and which have shaped a serious threat to civil order.

One of the factors that clearly link this parallelogram of what Scott calls “the dark quadrant of unaccountable power” is that many of the personnel are/were active in “America’s highest level emergency planning, that is, Continuity of Government (COG) planning, known inside the Pentagon as “the Doomsday Project”. 

These have resulted in permananent militarization and a “self-propelling dynamic of power that becomes repressive”

“The manipulative ethos [of the repressive bureaucracies of the Pentagon, the CIA,Homeland Security, the FBI et alia] “promotes and corrupts those who, in order to be promoted, internalize the culture of repressive dominance into a mindset.”

“Newly-formed and ill-supervised agencies spawn contradictory policies abroad, the net effect of which is usually expansive and deleterious— not just to the targeted nation but also to America. This is especially true of covert agencies, whose practice of secrecy means that controversial policies proliferate without either coordination or review.”

Note is made that this manipulative mindset of repression has turned inward on America and is now aimed at its own people and its own society, as evident in the news and in the permanent deployment since 2008 of a U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team under Northcom with the dedicated assignment of being available to be “called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control”, here mirrored for history:

Acquire this book at your earliest opportunity. 

You will be able to follow the news of global confrontation in a more informed way.