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Whitlock: The fall of Afghanistan illustrates the utter failure of the ‘intelligence community’ President Eisenhower predicted

Op-ed
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America today isn't hard to understand. In his farewell address 60 years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower explained the destructive path the "intelligence community" planned for us.

His explanation went well beyond expressing fear of a military-industrial complex. He warned that secularism, technology, and academia beholden to government would conspire with the military to undermine the greater purpose of our nation.

Every failure we're witnessing today — from Afghanistan to Big Tech censorship to critical racism theory being taught in our schools — can be traced to the 15-minute warning Eisenhower delivered on Jan. 17, 1961.

The American people have been stripped of their power. A cabal of military, political, technological, media, and academic elites has seized control of our republic under the pretense of fortifying democracy. I call the cabal the "intelligence community," the elites who are convinced their degrees, titles, fancy word salads, and wealth make them a superior breed of human being. They practice intelligence supremacy. They grab power in the sincere belief that their ascendancy assures the safety and prosperity of the world at large. They are the most high.

Everyone outside this country can easily see that America no longer serves a higher power or a higher purpose. The Taliban conquered our military might because they justifiably rejected the secular values we tried to impose on their country.

That is not written or said as an endorsement of Sharia law, the set of Islamic religious rules that denies women equal rights. It's stated to expose the folly of thinking secular values could unseat religious ones in Afghanistan. You can't subdue the Greater Middle East with guns and drones, bombs and airplanes. Muslims, and other highly religious people, do not fear death the way Americans do.

Our military-industrial complex cannot control the Taliban or end their belief in the patriarchy. They're not trapped in the American-made matrix President Eisenhower predicted six decades ago. Eisenhower's farewell address is too often solely reduced to his military warning. His speech was much more than that. The World War II hero outlined the threat of Marxist political ideology in layman's terms.

"We face a hostile ideology — global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method," Eisenhower said. "Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle — with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment."

That is Eisenhower, in 1961, telling us that a war is being waged in the minds of Americans. Would we remain one nation under God, or would a hostile, atheist ideology overrun our religious values and love of freedom?

Eisenhower then pivoted to discussing the dangers of an American society trapped by military expense.

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience," he said. "The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

From there, Eisenhower urged Americans to be suspicious of the federal government's influence on scholarly research and science. Sixty years ago, Eisenhower warned us about the Trust the Science movement. It's as if he knew one day America would provide funding for a lab in Wuhan, China.

"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields," he said. "In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity."

Finally, Eisenhower forecasted that Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, and the satans of Silicon Valley would become our rulers.

"Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect," he said, "as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

Sixty years ago, our 34th president interpreted George Orwell's book, "1984," which was published four years before Eisenhower ascended to the presidency.

Two years after Eisenhower left office, President John Kennedy was assassinated. Five years later, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated. President Kennedy defied our military commanders in his handling of Cuba. Bobby Kennedy's first presidential campaign speech, "Conflict in Vietnam and at Home," centered on exiting the Vietnam War. Dr. King spoke against the Vietnam War.

I'm not wearing a tin-foil hat. Neither was Dwight Eisenhower.

The whole world, even Taliban soldiers hiding in mountain caves, can see that our military, academic institutions, politicians, spying agencies, media, tech billionaires, and celebrity class have been corrupted by a blind pursuit of power, money, and fame.

Long before we surrendered Kabul, we surrendered the moral high ground through fear and cowardice. As control of America was stripped from the people, a handful of public executions silenced dissent. No one should be surprised the Taliban embarrassed us abroad. Our intelligence community has been embarrassing us at home for 60 years.
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