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But realities began to interfere again. Reagan saw an opening with the soviets. The CIA told Reagan that they saw the Soviet Union as for the most part a paper tiger, on the brink of economic collapse. He believed that if he and Gorbachev could just talk it out, he could convince him-could bring him to reason. To Rumsfeld/Cheney this heresy was total folly, particularly if true. A dedicated and evil adversary was what was needed, to generate some healthy public fear and to stiffen the presidential backbone. Enter Leo's boys-the Neocons, and "Team B" was born. Team B was a backstage team of ideologues assembled by Rumsfeld and Cheney who were tasked with reevaluating wholesale the CIA's views on the Soviet threat in order to reestablish it as the bogeyman du jour and scuttle detente and the SALT II agreement. A parallel spin team whose job was to-- well, -shape the intelligence around the policy. Sound familiar? Reagan capitulated to Team B in many ways- Salt II was never ratified, for example- but Team B's greatest utility was that it served as the prototype of what are now frighteningly numerous parallel structures that the Duo have set up to bypass recalcitrant bureaucracies, agencies or individuals, or to make policy without the encumbrance of the "old guard". These tools are also handy to discredit those who disagreed. Colin Powell was one of their first victims.
Didn't Team B happen during the Ford administration, when Papa Bush was CIA director?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 16th, 2006 at 06:56:56 PM EST
You are right, it had it's beginning then. But Susskind's article and another good private source tells me that it's most important function was to create a package of neocon perspective pieces that were used to massage Reagan's perception of the "Russian Menace", and the perceptions of many others as well.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed May 17th, 2006 at 04:04:11 AM EST
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