by Doug Casey, International Man:
International Man: Government attracts sociopathic types who are interested in wielding power over others. These are the kinds of people who rise to the top of the Deep State, the permanently entrenched bureaucracy.
You’ve met your fair share of swamp creatures. Tell us about the time you met former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Doug Casey: It was at the New Orleans Investment Conference, the year Dick Cheney was running for president. A friend of mine who took a dislike to Cheney invited me to join him at a special meeting that had been organized for Republican fat cats—potential donors to Cheney’s campaign.
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Cheney was pressing the flesh and holding forth. I joined the group, and Cheney comes up to me, as he did to everybody. He says, “Dick Cheney, it’s nice to meet you,” and sticks his hand out. I looked at him and said, “Dick, I’m not going to shake hands with you. I despise you and everything you stand for.”
I thought that delivering a verbal gut blow in public might shatter his criminal persona. But he’s a skilled politician and has been around the block many times.
His comeback was, “Well, why do you say that?” That gave me 60 seconds to detail exactly why I thought he was a horrible human being. He tried not to show it, but it threw him off balance and destroyed any possibility of raising money from the assembled fat cats. I think it’s important that self-important public figures be treated appropriately, as they deserve.
About a week later, I was at another conference in San Francisco. Cheney was also there; he was attending all of the hard money/conservative conferences. He figured that attendees—wealthy, conservative Republicans—were likely donors to his campaign.
Anyway, my friend Mark Skousen ran into Cheney at the Hyatt’s business center.
Mark went up to Cheney, and to break the ice said, “Mr. Cheney, it’s nice to meet you. I understand that you met my friend Doug Casey last week in New Orleans.” I don’t think Mark was trying to wave a red flag in front of an angry bull—just being naive.
Cheney wouldn’t shake hands and refused to talk to him.
That was interesting because I would have thought that Cheney would have just disregarded me as another heckler. Apparently, my having ruined his day in New Orleans put him on a slow burn. Perhaps it ruined his week.
The next year, when I was still a trustee at Washington College, Stephen Balch, the founder of the newly formed National Association of Scholars and Trustees, invited me to join the organization. Lynn Cheney, Dick’s wife—a thoroughly distasteful pear-shaped harpy—was also at the meeting. She was being recruited as an influential bigwig. We took an immediate and visceral dislike to each other. I was subsequently disinvited to join, which came as no great surprise.
International Man: Another notable Deep State figure is former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. You’ve met him several times and have even debated him on a conference stage.
Tell us about your experiences with Newt Gingrich.
Doug Casey: I met Newt also at the New Orleans conference. Although I lived in Washington DC for many years, I never associated with Deep State types. But, as I said, they often show up at financial conferences, where conservative rich people can be tapped for donations.
I had a private lunch with Newt. It was pleasant enough, although, like most conversations with politicians, completely meaningless. Newt seemed incapable of originating any thought that wasn’t a programmed talking point. Pols are experts at dodging questions—they like to limit the conversation to inoffensive subjects like the weather and the state of the roads.
I was unsuccessful in getting him to talk about any serious philosophical or historical issues. But I was able to turn the conversation to the events of 9/11—because this was only two months after they occurred.
I asked him: “What do you think about what happened to Building 7.” And, he said, “Building 7? What do you mean?”
I explained to him that it was a 47-story office building, which wasn’t hit by a plane, but nonetheless collapsed in its own footprint—as did Buildings 1 and 2—later on the same day. He looked at me and said, “What are you talking about? I’ve never heard about that. Is that right?”
I was flummoxed that somebody in his position didn’t even know that a third major building in the WTC had gone down on 9/11. The event has never been adequately explained, and nobody cares, even though its collapse confounds the laws of engineering and physics.
It was obvious to me that he sincerely knew nothing about it. Of course, Building 7 was never talked about in the news. That giant omission is inexplicable and brings up all kinds of questions about what really happened that day and who was really at fault.
I don’t think Newt had been exposed to it because these people live in a silo, where they only talk to their handlers, sycophants, and other Deep Staters in similar positions.
Newt, a leader of the Republican Party, really didn’t know anything beyond his talking points. He had no observations worth remembering about history or economics either—the two things that he was supposed to know more about than most. No doubt he’ll deny the encounter if asked about it. My parting words to him were, “Be sure to check out Building 7.” He may or may not have asked anybody else about it since he would risk being labeled a conspiracy theorist. Here is a man who passes as an intellectual in the brain-dead Republican party but who has about zero intellectual curiosity.
International Man: Many people don’t know this, but you were a classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University. Can you tell us about any of your encounters with the former president?
Doug Casey: I’ve had three encounters with Bill Clinton over the years, but only two worth mentioning. I’ll dispense with stories about him worshipping at the altar of a porcelain god after a night of debauchery—so did most everybody in the class. Or that it’s said he wasn’t much of a ladies’ man in those days. I guess that came later, with political success.