Vindication Through Violence:
Jimmy Carter and the DC Sniper
by Alexander Cockburn
October 13, 2002
The FBI is working on a profile of the sniper who, by this Saturday morning, has killed ten people in the suburban DC area. Here's CounterPunch's input. He's a He. He was in the military. Probably in Special Forces. He's white. He's in his 40s or 50s. He lives alone. He's a psychopath.
In the DC/ Virginia/ Maryland area, surrounded with retired military, this narrows down the suspect list to several hundred thousand. On the freeway you're surrounded by them. Cut one off and you risk getting your head blown open. Watch out when you go to the Mall. Beat the guy in the white van to a parking space and the next might be YOU. There are a lot of retired, highly-trained psychopathic killers out there. And some of them aren't even retired. Ask the relatives of the wives of Fort Bragg, murdered by husbands back from Afghanistan, so highly trained they killed if the vacuum cleaner got on their nerves.
Congress votes Aye and gives Bush the go-ahead to bomb Saddam Hussein the next time Harken hits the headlines. The Delta Force and the Navy SEALS hone their killing knives, sight their night-scopes, ready for behind-the-lines action in Iraq. The Special Forces, the Rangers, the 81st Airborne, and all the other elite units pore over the street maps of Baghdad and the aerial photos of Saddam's palaces.
In some months or years they'll Come Home from the frontiers and outposts of Empire, many of them time bombs. They'll become drunks or drug addicts. They'll beat their kids or their wives or both. The kids will grow into men who'll beat their wives or kids or both. A few of them will mature into killers, like the Sniper. That's part of the price of always being at war. Mostly the wives and kids pay for it on the Home front for years to come.
Now they've given Jimmy Carter the Nobel Peace prize. Who knows? The DC Sniper may have first started to cook back in Carter time, when Jimmy said America would not stand idly by while Nicaragua tried to set forth on a different path after they threw out Anastasio Somoza.
Carter told the Sandinistas they had to retain the National Guard, which had been Somoza's elite band of US-trained psychopathic killers. The Sandinistas said No. So Carter ordered the CIA to bring up the officers and torturers running the Argentinean death squads to train up a force of Nicaraguan exiles in Honduras, and launch them on terror missions across the border. They called them the Contras.
Carter was a busy man. Not just content with forming the Contras, he harkened to the pain of South Korea, where workers and peasants were demonstrating. His envoy, Richard Holbrooke advised the South Korean military to hit back hard, and they did, killing around 30,000, the most horrible massacre since the Korean War. And yes, Carter started the covert CIA operation in Afghanistan, rallying the mujihadeen to fight the Soviets. Soon the CIA would bring Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan to lend a Saudi presence and Saudi cash.
Now he's a peace prize winner. He's been campaigning for it for years. He's a white male American with the blood of thousands on his hands. So how could he miss, unless the Peace Prize Committee had decided to abbreviate the whole process and give it to George Bush. Maybe next year, though Ariel Sharon is the next in line.
is the author The Golden Age is In Us (Verso, 1995) and 5 Days That
Shook the World: Seattle and Beyond (Verso, 2000) with Jeffrey St. Clair.
Cockburn and St. Clair are the editors of Counterpunch, the nationís
best political newsletter, where this article first appeared.