Peter Dale Scott
A son of the Canadian poet and constitutional lawyer F. R. Scott and painter Marian Dale Scott, he has been critical of American foreign policy since the era of the Vietnam War. Scott was a signatory in 1968 of the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, in which participants vowed to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. He spent four years (1957–1961) with the Canadian diplomatic service. He retired from the UC Berkeley faculty in 1994.
In terms of poetry, he is best known for his book-length poem Coming to Jakarta (subtitled "a poem about terror"), which describes in measured, prosodically regular verse the 1965 crisis in Indonesia that resulted in the Indonesian Civil War and the deaths of as many as half a million people, in which he believed the CIA to have played a role.
Scott is far from a stridently political poet, working always to connect the polemical to the personal. In Coming to Jakarta he writes:
- To have learnt from terror
to see oneself
as part of the enemy
- can be a reassurance
In the context of this emotional and psychological side of conflict, Scott alternates between descriptions of his own life—"dressed up in polished / gaiters with a buttonhook"—and the massive violence of his principal subject. Somewhere between confessional and scholarly, his poems often contain citations in the margins.
Scott has described his poem Minding the Darkness as his most important, though he concedes that "Like other long poems by older men. . . it toys dangerously with abstract didactic principles." The poem is intended as the culmination of a major poetic project of which Coming to Jakarta was the inception.
Scott has written about the role of the "deep state" (as opposed to the "public state"). Rejecting the label of "conspiracy theory", he has used the phrase "deep politics" to describe his political concerns. His interest in contemporary history has spilled over into his works of poetry, some of which must contain marginal notes to explain to readers which documents or real-world news events are being referred to. His book, The Road to 9/11 (2007), deals with geopolitical context of events leading to 9/11, and describes "how U.S. foreign policy since the 1960s has led to partial or total cover-ups of past domestic criminal acts, including, perhaps, the catastrophe of 9/11." The Road to 9/11 is the only one of Peter Dale Scott's book available in French under the title La Route vers le Nouveau Désordre Mondial. The latter was reviewed in March 2011 by Bernard Norlain, a retired French five-star General of the Air Force.
Of Scott's book, American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (2010) Daniel Ellsberg commented: "I said of Scott's last brilliant take on this subject, Drugs, Oil and War, that 'It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children.' Now Scott has written an even better book [...]"
An aspect of Scott's work that combines both his investigating interests and his poetry is illustrated by The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs, Managed Violence, and the Russian 9/11.
- The War Conspiracy (1972, OCLC 357579, out of print)
- The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (in collaboration, 1976, ISBN 0-394-40107-7)
- Crime and Cover-Up: The CIA, the Mafia, and the Dallas-Watergate Connection (1977, ISBN 0-87867-066-1)
- Introduction to Henrik Kruger's The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, & International Fascism (1980, ISBN 0-89608-031-5)
- The Iran-Contra Connection (in collaboration, 1987, ISBN 0-89608-291-1)
- Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (in collaboration, 1991, 1998, ISBN 0-520-21449-8)
- Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993, 1996, ISBN 0-520-20519-7)
- Deep Politics Two: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba (1995, 2007, ISBN 0-9790099-4-4)
- Drugs Oil and War (2003, ISBN 0-7425-2522-8)
- The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America (September 2007, ISBN 0-520-23773-0)
- The War Conspiracy: JFK, 911, and the Deep Politics of War (2008 reissue and expansion of 1972 edition) (July 2008, ISBN 978-0-9801213-6-0)
- American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (November 2010 - ISBN 978-0-7425-5594-5)
- Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics: Revelations from CIA Records on the Assassination of JFK (September 2013 - ISBN 978-1-6263-6009-9)
- Introduction to Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact: The Warren Commission, the Authorities & the Report on the JFK Assassination (1976, September 2013 - ISBN 978-1-6208-7997-9)
- [Poems] Fantasy Poets, no 6 (1952, OCLC 14115456)
- Prepositions of jet travel (1981, OCLC 9187198)
- Rumors of no law: Poems from Berkeley, 1968-1977 (1981, ISBN 978-0-9144768-8-7)
- Heart's Field (1986, OCLC 22099299)
- Coming to Jakarta: A Poem About Terror (1989, ISBN 0-8112-1095-2)
- Listening to the Candle: A Poem on Impulse (1992, ISBN 0-8112-1214-9)
- Crossing Borders: Selected Shorter Poems (1994, ISBN 0-8112-1284-X)
- Minding the Darkness: A Poem for the Year 2000 (2000, ISBN 0-8112-1454-0)
- Mosaic Orpheus (2009, ISBN 978-0-7735-3506-0)
- Tilting Point (2012, ISBN 978-0-9850260-9-7)
- W. H. New, ed. Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002: 1028.
- “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest”, New York Post, January 30, 1968
- Introductory matter to excerpts from Minding the Darkness, <http://www.flashpointmag.com/scott1.htm>.
- University of California Press. "Peter Date Scott (2007), The Road to 9/11". Retrieved April 30, 2009.
-  La Route vers le Nouveau Désordre Mondial, Editions Demi-Lune official website
-  Review of La Route vers le Nouveau Désordre Mondial (The Road to 9/11) by French Air Force general Bernard Norlain
-  Daniel Ellsberg about American War Machine
- The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs, Managed Violence, and the Russian 9/11, <http://lobster-magazine.co.uk/articles/global-drug.htm>
Deep politics discussion forum and video channel:
- JFK and 9/11 - Insights Gained From Studying Both at Google Videos (Adobe Flash video) - In his wide-ranging talk, Peter Dale Scott points out similarities that arise when you look at the assassination of JFK and the all events of 9/11. (COPA meeting in Dallas, Texas, November 18, 2006)
- Richard Cheney, Continuity of Government, and 9/11 - VIDEO: A talk by Scott given at the 9/11 Accountability Conference, Chandler, Arizona, February 25, 2007.
- Interview: University of Berkeley about his book: The Road to 911 Video
- Five poems at Jacket Magazine
- Interview from Words Without Borders
- Interview from Electric Politics.