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National Security State as Racket on the Danger of Terrorism
Review of Literature

“Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative  Inverted Totalitarism The Deep State Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Operation Gladio - Wikipedia
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism   Humor Etc

"The greatest threat is that we shall become like those who seek to destroy us"

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

Michael Hirsh in

How America's Top Tech Companies
Created the Surveillance State )

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies ("Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency).  It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as it is married to neoliberalism and does not included the decisive influence of the state in economic sphere.

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly militarized, meaning that as most aspects of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place. All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now acquire police solutions.

Moreover intelligence services became Praetorian Guard of  neoliberal elite that is in power and that completely changed the nature of governance in the USA. Now there is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America".  It has population of around 5 million people and controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is more more then 1% of population. And now it become a formidable political force that strives to become a kingmaker. much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex. 

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produce social conflict, which at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation" and other neoliberal crap).  At some point it requires police methods of suppression of dissent. As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th "nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached form that interest of lower 80% of population, adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

Under leoliberalism, which established itself in the USA since late 70th, tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions, "revolving door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society) became political decisions favoring neoliberal elite at the expence of common sitizents. To hide this requires constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat. that's where intelligence agancies come handy as they by-and-large control key journalists and key MSM. For example Washington Post for a long time was called "voice of CIA" even in the US establishment. 

Since 9/11 terrorism is used as a smoke screen to hide the warts of neoliberalism and facilitate the transition of state into nationa security state. Adoption of Patriot Act and resulting hypertrophied growth of intelligence agencies in the USA are just a tip of the iceberg. In reality the situation became pretty much Orwellian with Intelligence agencies as a ne Big Brother and   the war between Oceania (USA and NATO vassals) and Eurasia (Russia and China) in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984,  It is clear that the war with terrorism launched what can be called  "permanent war for permanent peace".  The level of rampant militarism in the USA now is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements, especially under Trump (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

Paradoxially intelligence agencies  and Pentagon can't live peacefully with each other and struggle for power. That why intelligence  agencies launched a color revolution against Trump, who can be viewed as the Presidential Candidate of Pentagon.  After coming to power Trump introduced several new measures which represent the idea of "national neoliberalism". He explicitly wants to use the power of the US to bully all nations. Those who behave against the USA wishes have sanction imposed and are threatened with war.

In this mutation of  neoliberalism as a social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the USA. The Deep state as it is now called. For example intelligence againces now strive and de facto achieved the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place, but nobody from CIA went to jail for this: "mission accomplished").

The colossal budget with  juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives intelligence agencies and Pentagon not only tremendous power, but also create vested ideological and financial interests. Wars became necessary for maintaining the level of those budgets. Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy. For example, for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of Wall Street.

There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from the Congress, nor from the Supreme Court. But the reverse is not true. In a way they now strive to serve as a surrogate king.  In other words, instead of the servant of the state intelligence agencies became the master. Tail wags the dog.  This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal of KGB brass, who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that was the key factor tthat led to the dissolution of the USSR.

The key "three letter agencies" (CIA, DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18, 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.  Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA. 

It is prudent to view National Security State as a modern form of corporatism, closely related to concepts of neo-fascism and Inverted Totalitarism. As ellatynemouth noted in the comment to the Guardian article Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay (Dec 26, 2013):

The surveillance state is the ruling class's key hole through which they monitor us and our potential dissent. It's now an integral part of capitalism and can't be removed.

The game has changed. It's now about convincing us as much as possible that they will stop snooping on us. They won't though. It will just become more heavily hidden.

Surveillance state was made possible with the advent of computers, Internet and wireless communication. In some features it is close to neo-fascism and Latin-American far right authoritarian regimes, but there are important difference. Instead of organized violence against opponents it achieved its goals without relentless physical repression/elimination of opponents. It's key feature is mass surveillance, discreditation and blackmailing of opponents (like in German Democratic Republic there are dossier for every member of society and skeletons from the closet can be revealed for any politician or activist)  as well as control and manipulation of media, not mass repression of opponents. Like neofascist regimes of the past (such as Pinochet regime in Chile) and authoritarian "communist" regimes of the past and present, it make organized opposition to the government virtually impossible. Of the 20 characteristic traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around a half are applicable to the national security state.

After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas ("America is an exceptional nation"). As an amazing example of doublespeak  Bushists managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less).

Bush government inspired post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps $75 billion; but in reality more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.

Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the  "deep state" is actually in charge. In most areas the Obama administration was more like Bush II administration, with "change we can believe in" as a smokescreen for nefarious actions. Obama launched more wars then Bush II too.  In this sense this was the most blatant and the most successful  "bait and switch" in the recent  political history of the USA.  Later is lightly different form repeated with Trump, who  also during election campaign proposed reasonable steps of improving standard of living of the US population and finishing forign wars, but instance switched sides after election pushing neoliberal policies at home, and continuing all Bush-Obama wars foreign wars abroad.  He also appointed open war hawks into his administration. The list of neocons in Trumps administration is as long as in Bush II administration and includes people in key positions such as Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo.

This is the view of Professor Michel Greenon, who in his book advocated the view that tradition troika of powers in the USA became by and large ceremonial and that real actors, at least in area of national security are not non-elected executives of super-powerful and well financed three-letter agencies. Here is a brief overview taken from review published by Reason (National Security State - Reason.com):

Though Glennon doesn't describe his thesis in terms of public choice theory, it echoes that discipline's insight that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run the institutions. For the Trumanites, Glennon explains, "benefits take the form of enlarged budgets, personnel, missions; costs take the form of retrenchments in each." Witness the vast archipelago of intelligence facilities-nearly three Pentagons' worth of office space-that have been erected in greater Washington, D.C., since 9/11.

The national security state is becoming an autonomous, self-perpetuating entity, Glennon warns. It sets the table for elected officials' choices and increasingly dictates terms to them. The permanent bureaucracy basks in the "glow" of Madisonian institutions, drawing legitimacy from the illusion that elected officials are in charge. But while the buck may stop with the president, the real power resides with the Trumanites.

This explanation is strongest in the realm of state surveillance, which serves as Glennon's central case study. Recall the embarrassing revelation, in the summer of 2013, that the NSA was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. What did the president know, and when did he know it? If you believe top administration officials, Obama was almost as surprised as Merkel. Glennon quotes Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that the Merkel wiretap, like a lot of NSA programs, occurred "on autopilot."

On one hand, that's what you'd expect them to say. On the other hand, the claim is entirely plausible, and it is consistent with the earlier history of NSA abuses uncovered by the Church Committee in the 1970s. Under Project SHAMROCK, for example, the NSA collected the content of virtually all cable traffic entering or leaving the United States for three decades-150,000 messages a month at its height. It was, the committee's final report concluded, "probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken." And yet it's not clear that any president ordered, approved, or was even aware of SHAMROCK. When the program's existence was exposed in the mid-'70s, Louis Tordella, longtime deputy director of the NSA, admitted that he didn't know whether any president or attorney general had ever been briefed on it.

The picture grows somewhat more complicated when we look at the modern practice of presidential war making. From the Truman administration onward, the president has accumulated enormous unchecked authority, despite James Madison's conviction that, since the executive department was "most distinguished by its propensity to war," it is "the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence."

When it comes to picking the wars we wage, it's not clear that the Trumanites are fully in charge. Take four major war-powers decisions during the Obama administration: the Afghan surge, the escalation of drone attacks, the Libya intervention, and the current war against ISIS. I put the Trumanite win-loss record at roughly .500 here. The military and national security bureaucracy fought hard for the surge and the drone escalation, and got them. They generally opposed the Libyan action, and some prominent Trumanites-such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs -appear to have been reluctant to endorse our latest war in the Middle East.

In the case of this most recent war, domestic politics seems a better explanation: The president yielded to the near-irresistible demand that he "do something" about the beheading of Americans and the implosion of the Iraqi state. Bombing ISIS is something, so we're doing it.

The Obama experience suggests we get the wars the Trumanites want -- and also some they don't. But this is hardly fatal to Glennon's thesis. He stresses that "a good theory of institutional behavior can predict, at best, only tendency over time"; his "predicts only that national security policy will change little from one administration to the next." So far, that theory is holding up rather well.

Even so, I've always been partial to one version of the "government politics" explanation. A few years ago, I wrote a book arguing that "Americans' unconfined conception of presidential responsibility is the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties." If the political reality is such that the president will be held personally accountable for any domestic terror attack, don't be surprised when he seeks powers nearly as vast as the expectations put upon him.

Glennon acknowledges it's not either-or; "explanations overlap," he writes. Dumb wars and security-state overreach are the result of political choices and the bureaucratic imperative. Policy continuity is depressingly overdetermined.

Real-time histories of key national security decisions in the Obama years tend to underscore this point. In Kill or Capture, reporter Daniel Klaidman describes the enormous political pressure the Obama administration was under after the failed "underwear bomber" attack on December 25, 2009. "For the White House," Klaidman writes, "the psychic toll of Christmas Day was profound. Obama realized that if a failed terror attempt could suck up so much political oxygen, a successful attack would absolutely devastate his presidency. And much as he liked to talk about returning to first principles, Obama also had a powerful instinct for self-correction-as well as self-preservation."

The psychic aftershock of Christmas 2009 helped shape a lot of what followed: from body scanners at airports to ramped-up drone strikes to the lethal targeting of an American citizen.

But to Glennon's point, the administration was under pressure from the Trumanites well before that. In the 2012 book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, James Mann describes a concerted effort by then-CIA director Michael Hayden and other senior intelligence officials to preserve business as usual by scaring the hell out of the incoming Obama team. Their private name for this scheme was the "Aw, Shit! Campaign."

The scare tactics worked. Klaidman reports that both Harold Koh, legal advisor at the State Department, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, used the same metaphor to describe the military pressure for more targeted killings: a runaway train. It was like "a massive freight train hurling down the tracks" Koh said. "You would have to throw yourself on the tracks to try to stop it," said Johnson.

All this helps shed light on Obama's strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.

In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?

National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.

It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.

While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real power belongs.  Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president to push the act through the Congress.

But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate. 

As Paxton describes it (Tracking Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and  "imperial" and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Post 9/11  "passions" in the USA were definitely skillfully used by Bush administration to push the nation into the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it were pretty vicious, really in traditions of Third Reich ("you are either with us, or with our enemies"). 

But public was not really central in this whole issue. Americans were extras at best, patsies at worst,  Essentially all major decisions were made "behind the curtain" by deep state structures and public was just brainwashed into approval of those action. That's an important different between national security state and classical fascist regimes. In classic fascist state the leading fascist party would be central to unleashing such a war.  Here it was bust a bunch of highly placed bureaucrats in Bush II administration (so called neocons, which is an ideological group allied with the military industrial complex, but not an organized party as such).

Here is a more extended treatment of this issue (cited from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

I would like to stress that similar processes occurred in different states after WWII as well (Latin America military dictatorships are one example). And with new force and on the new level after the dissolution of the USSR in Russia.  Of course the USSR was a National Security Surveillance State even before WWII, being one of the "pioneers" of this form of state along with Italy and Germany. But it was a rather "primitive" form of national security state  in a sense that it did not rely on computers, collecting "envelope" of all Internet communication, emails headers and other "meta-data" as well as systematic interception of SMS-based communications as well interception of wireless communication and financial operations via computerized banking (especially credit card transactions)  for surveillance.

Rule of Trumanites as the essence of the US National security state -- Boston Globe review of Michael Glennon book

Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, and is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.” published a very penetrating review of the book in  The Boston Globe. In which he stated:

It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.

Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”

If this were a movie, it would soon become clear that some evil force, bent on consolidating power and undermining democratic governance, has surreptitiously tunneled into the under-structure of the nation. Not so. In fact, Glennon observes, this hyper-secret and difficult-to-control network arose in part as an attempt to head off just such an outcome. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.

By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”

This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.

Why National Security State needs provocations -- pseudo terrorist attacks (false flag attacks)

There are multiple reasons such as to instill fear, and to demonstrate competence (Big Brother’s Liberal Friends — Crooked Timber)

Dr. Hilarius, 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.

Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it’s repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.

Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.

Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than “your betters know best” and that the state’s critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn’t need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more...

Tremendous push (or acceleration of pre-existing tendencies) toward National Security State occurred after 9/11 under the banner of fighting terrorism. At the point technological capabilities of mass surveillance using computers and the ability to have a dossier for everybody were in place, while mass deployment of PC, credit cards and cell phones provides constant stream of information to those dossiers, not that different from "gum shoes" reports. On November, 2001 the phone records of most Americans begin flowing to the N.S.A. After 9/11, President Bush authorizes the N.S.A. to collect phone and Internet content and metadata without a warrant. Within weeks, under the so-called President’s Surveillance Program (P.S.P.), the major telephone companies voluntarily hand over the data. The N.S.A. creates a twenty-four-hour “Metadata Analysis Center” (MAC) to search the phone records. In October 26, 2001: The Patriot Act is passed. Section 215 allows the government to seize “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

At this point the process started with adoption of Truman doctrine came to a logical end: national surveillance state became a reality. Formally Truman Doctrine was created "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." but in reality their function was more questionable and after 9/11 (some people date this event as early as 1963 -- JFK assassination) those activities created what is called "The State Within a State" similar to the USSR KGB role (see The State Within a State by Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick). Here is one review of the book:

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

I have problems with the author's obvious hatred of the Russian Revolution and Stalin and the way she claims there is an unbroken chain of horror going all the way back to 1917. Obviously things are better today -- hence her book! She says 66.7 million people died under "Chekist" rule since the Russian Revolution -- and then cites the Guiness Book of Records as her source!? No one could ever prove such a figure, I think its one of things that's repeated 'til it becomes fact.

I also find the author's lack of knowledge about our own CIA kind of disheartening. This fine organization has spread as much death and terror in the Third World (Indonesia, Guatemala,Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc. etc. ) as the KGB ever did anywhere, yet she seems to make them out to be benevolent compared to the KGB (which if you read this book are responsible for everything wrong with the world today).

After reading this book I still don't understand why she thinks the KGB or its incarnations are as bad today as they were at the height of the Terror in 1937. Its not really explained in the book. I still am not convinced that the KGB was the NKVD, and definitely convinced that either was the SS. Research I have done casually has never come up with hard, convincing figures for a Nazi style genocide in the USSR, and this anecdotal, unconvincing book didn't change my historical views.

See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State." From Amazon review:

Hogan, a specialist in American diplomatic and national security studies, has written a complex but interesting work on the emergence of the national security state. To create this state, it was necessary to merge the armed forces, the Defense Department, and scientists into a single unit to enhance the military's capabilities. To a large extent, this unification was accomplished in the 1950s. The driving forces were James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, and powerful members of Congress such as Carl Vinson (D-GA), who chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs, along with presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Hogan presents a compelling case but overemphasizes the importance of Truman and Eisenhower while downplaying the role of Vinson and others in the security state's creation. In fact, both Truman and Eisenhower often seemed opposed to it but succumbed to pressure from Congress and key figures like Acheson. This extremely complex study, which deals with a subject few other books handle, is designed for scholars and informed lay readers interested in the creation of the "military-industrial complex." by Richard P. Hedlund, Ashland Community Coll., KY

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in his book "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History" noted:

"As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present."

Attempts to curtain the surveillance proved to by fruitless.  Church Committee was probably the most important "after JFK assassination" attempt to somewhat tame three latter agencies and especially CIA, but it ended in nothing.

Later NSA overtook CIA in many areas of intelligence gathering activities. Which create internal frictions between two agencies. State Department also "infringed" in CIA role in foreign countries and, for example, in organization of neoliberal color revolutions in oil rich or strategically important countries it is difficult to tell when clandestine actions of State Department ends and clandestine actions of CIA stars and vice versa. 

In is interesting to note that even Senators feel threatened by this total surveillance system. In December 14, 2005 Senators Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and several colleagues sign a letter warning that Section 215 “would allow the government to obtain library, medical and gun records and other sensitive personal information” that “would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans.” They demand that the records requested should “have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy,” a requirement that would

protect innocent Americans from unnecessary surveillance and ensure that government scrutiny is based on individualized suspicion, a fundamental principle of our legal system.

In March, 2006, the Patriot Act is reauthorized without the changes sought by Obama and others.

In his October 19, 2012 review of the book Saman Mohammadi (The Excavator) wrote:

The case could be made that the creation of the CIA and the National Security State in 1947 was necessary. But after sixty years of human rights abuses, systematic attacks on the constitution, false flag terror events, assassinations of political reformers, and other horrible crimes against humanity, should not the CIA be reformed?

Let's put the question of morality aside. What are the "national security" reasons that legitimize the existence of the CIA? Once you learn that Al-Qaeda is a CIA creation and proxy insurgent army and that 9/11 was a massive false flag operation, you come to the natural conclusion that the CIA does not perform a national security role.

The CIA plays a much dirtier role: engineering the American mind. It is not denied that the shadow CIA has major influence in the mainstream media, especially amongst top newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Michael S. Rozeff speculates that the New York Times is entirely run by the CIA.

We can't know for certain if that is true because of the lack of historical documentation in the public domain, but there is a mountain of observable evidence that proves the CIA has many of its spooks working for the New York Times. Go here for just one example.

Until the American people demand that the U.S. government commit to radical transparency and the principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution, the shadow CIA and the mainstream media can twist history and manage public perceptions of reality as much as they like.

The shadow CIA's greatest power comes from its command of the American public mind as well as its ability to create a fictional version of history. The false flag September 11 events was the shadow CIA's biggest media operation to date. It was their Mona Lisa. They painted the canvas of reality with the brush of myth, and worked day and night to shape the collective memory of the American people while the horror of the tragic attacks was still fresh in the nation's mind.

Although the shadow CIA doesn't have a total command of the American mind and of history, as proven by the rise of the global 9/11 truth and justice movement, it possesses enough media power to mold world public opinion and dictate government policy for the United States with ease. There is no question that its power is totalitarian in nature and its aims are evil. It does not serve the interests of the American people; that much is clear.

How can there be freedom when CIA officials in television studios, newspaper offices, and publishing companies drive the public conversation and form the national narrative on every issue of significance. The global alternative media is the only global civil society actor that is putting limits on the CIA's power to make up history and suppress the truth about historical events like 9/11 and the occult sacrifice of JFK.

In the past, the shadow CIA was presented with roadblocks in the Congress. But 9/11 fixed that problem. The laws and the politics changed. In "The Big Chill," author Dan Froomkin says the absence of Congressional leadership in the post-9/11 political universe has strengthened executive power. Here is an excerpt his article:

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of government—particularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill—not to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists's Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. "What we've got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks."

Since the Congress is not willing to stand up for the rights of the American people, the truth, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, then the American people and global civil society must stand up. Congress has no real power. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, Congress only has an eight percent approval rating. There are underground, neo-Nazi groups in Europe that are more popular than the Congress.

The mainstream media is no better. It is content with its role as a propaganda arm of the shadow CIA, and that is a tragedy. American newspapers have the power to improve their nation and change the world for the better, but instead they choose to cover up independent investigations of shady events like 9/11 that shed light on how the U.S. government really operates.

Alternative media outlets like Infowars.com, Veterans Today, Lew Rockwell.com, Washington's Blog, The Corbett Report, and countless others are doing the best they can to educate the American people and wake up humanity.

The last thing the shadow CIA wants to see is an informed and awakened America. It is waging a silent war on human consciousness because it is scared of an enlightened world. A world that is awake and aware of its crimes against humanity is its greatest nightmare.

If the shadow CIA has its way, it will continue inventing stories and passing it off as history with total immunity. But the global alternative media is telling the shadow CIA: Enough is enough, stop lying to the American people and the world.

The CIA's reckless disregard of U.S. traditions and laws made former President Harry Truman rethink his decision to create the CIA in the first place. On December 22, 1963, Truman wrote in The Washington Post:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency (Wikipedia):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer argues that the Bush I war in Iraq (as well as Bush II invasion and occupation of the country) was an action of the military industrial complex usurping the "peace dividend". Iraq was attractive target as it has oil and far enough away to prove a good vehicle for eating up contract cash. He views the rise of the National Security Defense State as a consequence of "the threat of peace" for military industrial complex and identifies seven characteristics of a such a state:

  1. The military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
  2. Political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
  3. The military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
  4. Obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
  5. The working assumption is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
  6. It restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
  7. The church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Now we can add one additional feature
  1. Total surveillance

Compare that definition of the National Security State with the definition of Inverted Totalitarism. Most countries now have features of both.

The debate about National Security State reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don’t currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here’s why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the “Two to Three Hop” scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).”

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

Whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it ?

The book American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (edited by Ignatieff) raised an important and probably the most controversial question in world politics: whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it.

Following are based on the article by Laurence W. Britt published in Free Inquiry magazine

To a secular humanist, the principles of international law seems logical, right, and crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

The following regimes can be studies in this respect: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. They constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible. Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
  1. Propaganda of nationalism and Exceptionalism ("shining city on the hill", beckon of democracy, etc). Prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins. The fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy. Pride in the military, and demands for unity are way of expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a level of suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia (French fries - Freedom fries).

  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Despite "freedom rhetorics" the party views human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious and truth about gulags is out, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the parties would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, such as Muslims, communists/socialists/liberals, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Opponents of these party were inevitably labeled as terrorists stooges and dealt with accordingly.

  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites identified closely with the military. A disproportionate share of national budget is allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an ultimate expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

  5. Sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, the party covertly views women as second-class citizens. Often are both anti-abortion and homophobic with the cover of religious values. For propaganda reasons those attitudes were masterfully blended into strong support of the fundamentalist religious sects, thus lending the party some legitimacy to cover for its abuses.

  6. A controlled mass media. The mass media could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Control can be indirect and subtle with formal adoption of slogan about "free media". Methods included the control of licensing, access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders and owners of the mass media are part of the power elite. The result is rampant brainwashing, which usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the party's excesses.

  7. Obsession with national security. A national security apparatus is bend to come under direct control of the ruling elite. It is used to bypass laws as a direct instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

  8. Abuse of religion. The party attaches itself to the dominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of religious values. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with those values is swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents are “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the party is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

  10. Power of organized labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Being poor was considered akin to a vice.

  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these party. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities professors come under close scrutiny; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or scientific theories, especially economic, are strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.

  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police is often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Criminal charges sometimes are used against political opponents. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of two candidates representing the same power elite are usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, suppressing responsibilities for legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

The most recent debate about the legitimacy of national security state as exists in the USA was sparked by Edward Snowden revelations. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about National Security State modus operandi  might send a chill up your spine...


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National Security State

National Security State Bulletin, 2017 National Security State Bulletin, 2016 National Security State Bulletin, 2015

[Dec 14, 2018] Less Than Grand Strategy: Zbigniew Brzezinski s Cold War The Nation

The subtitle of this effusively admiring biography of Zbigniew Brzezinski, America's Grand Strategist, does not reflect its true purpose. A more accurate one might be this: "Just as Smart as the Other Guy." The other guy, of course, is Henry Kissinger. The implicit purpose of Justin Vaïsse's book is to argue that in his mastery of strategic thought and practice, Brzezinski ranks as Kissinger's equal.
Notable quotes:
"... That Brzezinski, who died last year at age 89, lived a life that deserves to be recounted and appraised is certainly the case. Born in Warsaw in 1928 to parents with ties to Polish nobility, Brzezinski had a peripatetic childhood. ..."
"... After graduating from McGill, Brzezinski set his sights on Harvard, which at the time was the very archetype of a "Cold War university." Senior faculty and young scholars on the make were volunteering to advise the national-security apparatus just then forming in Washington. For many of them, the Soviet threat appeared to eclipse all other questions and fields of inquiry. In this setting, Brzezinski flourished. Even before becoming an American citizen, he was thoroughly Americanized, imbued with the mind-set that prevailed in circles where members of the power elite mixed and mingled. Partially funded by the CIA, the Russian Research Center, Brzezinski's home at Harvard, was one of those places. ..."
"... From his time in Cambridge, he emerged committed, in his own words, to "nothing less than formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, so that we could eventually dismantle the Soviet bloc" and, not so incidentally, thereby liberate Poland. To this cause, the young Brzezinski devoted himself with single-minded energy. ..."
"... Convinced that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc were internally fragile, he believed that economic and cultural interaction with the West would ultimately lead to their collapse. The idea was to project strength without provoking confrontation, while patiently exerting indirect influence. ..."
"... This limited academic influence probably did not bother Zbig; he never saw himself as a mere scholar. He was a classic in-and-outer, rotating effortlessly from university campuses to political campaigns, and from government service to plummy think-tank billets. According to Vaïsse, Brzezinski never courted the media. Even so, he demonstrated a pronounced talent for getting himself in front of TV cameras, becoming a frequent guest on programs like Meet the ..."
"... Toward the end of his life, Brzezinski even had a Twitter account. His last tweet, from May 2017, both summarizes the essence of his worldview and expresses his dismay regarding the presidency of Donald Trump: "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse." ..."
"... Although not an ideologue, Brzezinski was a liberal Democrat of a consistently hawkish persuasion. Committed to social justice at home, he was also committed to toughness abroad. In the 1960s, he supported US intervention in Vietnam, treated the domino theory as self-evidently true, and argued that, with American credibility on the line, the United States had no alternative but to continue prosecuting the war. Even after the war ended, Vaïsse writes, Brzezinski "did not view Vietnam as a mistake." ..."
"... Yet Vietnam did nudge Brzezinski to reconsider some of his own assumptions. In the early 1970s, with an eye toward forging a new foreign policy that might take into account some of the trauma caused by Vietnam, he organized the Trilateral Commission. Apart from expending copious amounts of Rockefeller money, the organization produced little of substance. For Brzezinski, however, it proved a smashing success. It was there that he became acquainted with Jimmy Carter, a Georgia governor then contemplating a run for the presidency in 1976. ..."
"... When Carter won, he rewarded Brzezinski by appointing him national-security adviser, the job that had vaulted Kissinger to the upper ranks of global celebrity. ..."
"... Because of Brzezinski's limited influence on foreign policy after Carter, Vaïsse's case for installing him in the pantheon of master strategists therefore rests on the claim that on matters related to foreign policy, the Carter presidency was something less than a bust. Vaïsse devotes the core of his book to arguing just that. Although valiant, the effort falls well short of success. ..."
"... From the outset of his administration, Carter accorded his national-security adviser remarkable deference. Brzezinski was not co-equal with the president; yet neither was he a mere subordinate. He was, Vaïsse writes, "the architect of Carter's foreign policy," while also exercising "an exceptional degree of control" over its articulation and implementation. ..."
"... The disintegration of the Soviet bloc and eventually of the Soviet Union itself was, in his view, a nominal goal of American foreign policy, but not an immediate prospect. ..."
"... The Camp David accords did nothing to resolve the Palestinian issue that underlay much of Israeli-Arab enmity; it produced a dead-end peace that left Palestinians without a state and Israel with no end of problems. And the Brzezinski-engineered embrace of China, enhancing Chinese access to American technology and markets, accelerated that country's emergence as a peer competitor. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Zbigniew Brzezinski: America's Grand Strategist By Justin Vaïsse; Catherine Porter, trans.

Buy this book

Underlying that purpose are at least two implicit assumptions. The first is that, when it comes to statecraft, grand strategy actually exists, not simply as an aspiration but as a discrete and identifiable element. The second is that, in his writings and contributions to US policy, Kissinger himself qualifies as a strategic virtuoso. For all sorts of reasons, we should treat both of these assumptions with considerable skepticism.

That Brzezinski, who died last year at age 89, lived a life that deserves to be recounted and appraised is certainly the case. Born in Warsaw in 1928 to parents with ties to Polish nobility, Brzezinski had a peripatetic childhood. His father was a diplomat whose family accompanied him on postings to France, Germany, and eventually to Canada. The Nazi invasion of 1939, which extinguished Polish independence, also effectively ended his father's diplomatic career. With war engulfing nearly all of Europe, Brzezinski would not set foot on Polish soil again for nearly two decades.

Although the young Brzezinski quickly adapted to life in Canada, the well-being of Poles and Poland remained an abiding preoccupation. After the war, he studied economics and political science at McGill University, focusing in particular on the Soviet Union, which by then had replaced Germany as the power that dominated the country of his birth. Brzezinski was a brilliant student with a particular interest in international affairs, a field increasingly centered on questions related to America's role in presiding over the postwar global order.

After graduating from McGill, Brzezinski set his sights on Harvard, which at the time was the very archetype of a "Cold War university." Senior faculty and young scholars on the make were volunteering to advise the national-security apparatus just then forming in Washington. For many of them, the Soviet threat appeared to eclipse all other questions and fields of inquiry. In this setting, Brzezinski flourished. Even before becoming an American citizen, he was thoroughly Americanized, imbued with the mind-set that prevailed in circles where members of the power elite mixed and mingled. Partially funded by the CIA, the Russian Research Center, Brzezinski's home at Harvard, was one of those places.

From his time in Cambridge, he emerged committed, in his own words, to "nothing less than formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, so that we could eventually dismantle the Soviet bloc" and, not so incidentally, thereby liberate Poland. To this cause, the young Brzezinski devoted himself with single-minded energy.

A s a scholar and author of works intended for a general audience, Zbig, as he was widely known, was nothing if not prolific. Churning out a steady stream of well-regarded books and essays, he demonstrated a particular knack for "summarizing things in a concise and striking way."

Clarity took precedence over nuance.

And with his gift for stylish packaging -- crafting neologisms ("technetronic") and high-sounding phrases ("Histrionics as History in Transition") -- his analyses had the appearance of novelty, even if they often lacked real substance.

Whether writing for his fellow scholars or addressing a wider audience, Brzezinski had one big idea when it came to Cold War strategy: He promoted the concept of "peaceful engagement" as a basis for US policy.

Convinced that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc were internally fragile, he believed that economic and cultural interaction with the West would ultimately lead to their collapse. The idea was to project strength without provoking confrontation, while patiently exerting indirect influence.

Yet little of the Brzezinski oeuvre has stood the test of time. The American canon of essential readings in international relations and strategy, beginning with George Washington's farewell address and continuing on through works by John Quincy Adams, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Hans Morgenthau, and a handful of others (the list is not especially long), does not include anything penned by Brzezinski. Although Vaïsse, a senior official with the French foreign ministry, appears to have read and pondered just about every word his subject wrote or uttered, he identifies nothing of Brzezinski's that qualifies as must-reading for today's aspiring strategist.

This limited academic influence probably did not bother Zbig; he never saw himself as a mere scholar. He was a classic in-and-outer, rotating effortlessly from university campuses to political campaigns, and from government service to plummy think-tank billets. According to Vaïsse, Brzezinski never courted the media. Even so, he demonstrated a pronounced talent for getting himself in front of TV cameras, becoming a frequent guest on programs like Meet the Press . He knew how to self-promote.

Toward the end of his life, Brzezinski even had a Twitter account. His last tweet, from May 2017, both summarizes the essence of his worldview and expresses his dismay regarding the presidency of Donald Trump: "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse."

F rom the time Brzezinski left Harvard in 1960 to accept a tenured position at Columbia, he made it his mission to nurture and facilitate that sophistication. For Zbig, New York offered a specific advantage over Cambridge: It provided a portal into elite political circles. As it had for Kissinger, the then-still-influential Council on Foreign Relations provided a venue that enabled Brzezinski to curry favor with the rich and powerful, and to establish his bona fides as a statesman to watch. Henry's patron was Nelson Rockefeller; Zbig's was Nelson's brother David.

Although not an ideologue, Brzezinski was a liberal Democrat of a consistently hawkish persuasion. Committed to social justice at home, he was also committed to toughness abroad. In the 1960s, he supported US intervention in Vietnam, treated the domino theory as self-evidently true, and argued that, with American credibility on the line, the United States had no alternative but to continue prosecuting the war. Even after the war ended, Vaïsse writes, Brzezinski "did not view Vietnam as a mistake."

Yet Vietnam did nudge Brzezinski to reconsider some of his own assumptions. In the early 1970s, with an eye toward forging a new foreign policy that might take into account some of the trauma caused by Vietnam, he organized the Trilateral Commission. Apart from expending copious amounts of Rockefeller money, the organization produced little of substance. For Brzezinski, however, it proved a smashing success. It was there that he became acquainted with Jimmy Carter, a Georgia governor then contemplating a run for the presidency in 1976.

Zbig and Jimmy hit it off. Soon enough, Brzezinski signed on as the candidate's principal foreign-policy adviser. When Carter won, he rewarded Brzezinski by appointing him national-security adviser, the job that had vaulted Kissinger to the upper ranks of global celebrity.

Zbig held this post throughout Carter's one-term presidency, from 1977 to 1981. It would be his first and last time in government. After 1981, Brzezinski went back to writing, continued to opine, and was occasionally consulted by Carter's successors, both Democratic and Republican. Yet despite having ascended to the rank of elder statesman, never again did Brzezinski occupy a position where he could directly affect US policy.

Because of Brzezinski's limited influence on foreign policy after Carter, Vaïsse's case for installing him in the pantheon of master strategists therefore rests on the claim that on matters related to foreign policy, the Carter presidency was something less than a bust. Vaïsse devotes the core of his book to arguing just that. Although valiant, the effort falls well short of success.

From the outset of his administration, Carter accorded his national-security adviser remarkable deference. Brzezinski was not co-equal with the president; yet neither was he a mere subordinate. He was, Vaïsse writes, "the architect of Carter's foreign policy," while also exercising "an exceptional degree of control" over its articulation and implementation.

In a characteristic display of self-assurance and bureaucratic shrewdness, as the new president took office, Brzezinski gave him a 43-page briefing book prescribing basic administration policy. Under the overarching theme of "constructive global engagement," Brzezinski identified 10 specific goals. The first proposed to "create more active and solid cooperation with Europe and Japan," the 10th to "maintain a defense posture designed to dissuade the Soviet Union from committing hostile acts." In between were less-than-modest aspirations to promote human rights, reduce the size of nuclear arsenals, curb international arms sales, end apartheid in South Africa, normalize Sino-American relations, terminate US control of the Panama Canal, and achieve an "overall solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem."

While Brzezinski's agenda was as bold as it was comprehensive, it nonetheless hewed to the Soviet-centric assumptions that had formed the basis of US policy since the end of World War II. Zbig recognized that the world had changed considerably in the ensuing years, but he also believed that any future changes would still occur in the context of a continuing Soviet-American rivalry. His strategic perspective, therefore, did not include the possibility that the international order might center on something other than the binaries imposed by the Cold War. The disintegration of the Soviet bloc and eventually of the Soviet Union itself was, in his view, a nominal goal of American foreign policy, but not an immediate prospect.

Using Brzezinski's 10 policy objectives as a basis for evaluating his performance, Vaïsse gives the national-security adviser high marks. "Few administrations have known so many tangible successes in only four years," he writes, citing the Panama Canal Treaty, the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, and improved relations with China. Yet while Panama remains an underappreciated achievement, the other two qualify as ambiguous at best. The Camp David accords did nothing to resolve the Palestinian issue that underlay much of Israeli-Arab enmity; it produced a dead-end peace that left Palestinians without a state and Israel with no end of problems. And the Brzezinski-engineered embrace of China, enhancing Chinese access to American technology and markets, accelerated that country's emergence as a peer competitor.

More troubling still was Brzezinski's failure to anticipate or to grasp the implications of the two developments that all but doomed the Carter presidency: the 1978 Iranian Revolution and the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Vaïsse does his best to cast a positive light on Brzezinski's role in these twin embarrassments. But there's no way around it: Brzezinski misread both -- with consequences that still haunt us today.

The Iranian Revolution, which Brzezinski sought to forestall by instigating a military coup in Tehran, offered a warning against imagining that Washington could shape events in the Islamic world. Brzezinski missed that warning entirely, although he would by no means be the last US official to do so. As for the Kremlin's plunge into Afghanistan, widely interpreted as evidence of the Soviet Union's naked aggression, it actually testified to the weakness and fragility of the Soviet empire, already in an advanced state of decay. Again, Brzezinski -- along with many other observers -- misread the issue. When clarity of vision was most needed, he failed to provide it.

Together, these two developments ought to have induced a wily strategist to reassess the premises of US policy. Instead, they resulted in decisions to deepen -- and to overtly militarize -- US involvement in and around the Persian Gulf. While this commitment is commonly referred to as the Carter Doctrine, Vaïsse insists that it "was really a Brzezinski doctrine."

Regardless of who gets the credit, the militarization of US policy across what Brzezinski termed an "arc of crisis" encompassing much of the Islamic world laid the basis for a series of wars and upheavals that continue to this day. If, as national-security adviser, Brzezinski wielded as much influence as Vaïsse contends, then this too forms part of his legacy. When it mattered most, the master strategist failed to understand the implications of the crisis that occurred on his watch.

The most glaring problem anyone faces in trying to assert Brzezinski's mastery of world affairs, however, rests not in Iran or Afghanistan, but in how the Cold War came to an end. Indeed, Brzezinski viewed it as essentially endless. As late as 1987, just two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was still insisting that "the American-Soviet conflict is an historical rivalry that will endure for as long as we live."

B rzezinski was certainly smart, flexible, and pragmatic, but he was also a prisoner of the Cold War paradigm. So too were virtually all other members of the foreign-policy establishment of his day. Indeed, subscribing to that paradigm was a prerequisite of membership. Yet this adherence amounted to donning a pair of strategic blinders: It meant seeing only those things that it was convenient to see.

Which brings us back to Zbig's last tweet, with its paean to American leadership as the sine qua non of global stability. The tweet neatly captures the mind-set that the foreign-policy establishment has embraced with something like unanimity since the Cold War surprised that establishment by coming to an end. This mind-set gets expressed in myriad ways in a thousand speeches and op-eds: The United States must lead. There is no alternative; history itself summons the country to do so. Should it fail in that responsibility, darkness will cover the earth.

This is why Trump so infuriates the foreign-policy elite: He appears oblivious to the providential call that others in Washington take to be self-evident. Yet adhering to this post–Cold War paradigm is also the equivalent of donning blinders. Whatever the issue -- especially when the issue is ourselves -- it means seeing only those things that we find it convenient to see.

The post–Cold War paradigm of American moral and political hegemony prevents us from appreciating the way that the world is actually changing -- rapidly, radically, and right before our very eyes. Today, with the planet continuing to heat up, the nexus of global geopolitics shifting eastward, and Americans pondering security threats for which our pricey and far-flung military establishment is all but useless, the art of strategy as practiced by members of Brzezinski's generation has become irrelevant. So too has Zbig himself.

[Dec 14, 2018] What percentage of CIA budget goes to the support of free press

Notable quotes:
"... Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back. ..."
"... Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. ..."
"... I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs. ..."
"... It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion ..."
"... "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw" ..."
"... Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

capatriot , 29 Aug 2012 15:49

Good article. I especially like this:

The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable.

Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back.

Besides, they don't all do it ... there are honorable reporters out there, some few of whom work for the Times and the Post.

BradBenson , 29 Aug 2012 15:48
Another great article Glenn. The Guardian will spread your words further and wider. Salon's loss is the world's gain.

Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. That these email were allowed to get out under FOIA is indicative of the fact that there are some people on the inside who would like to get the truth out. Either that, or the head of some ES-2's Assistant Deputy for Secret Shenanigans and Heinous Drone Murders will roll.

CautiousOptimist , 29 Aug 2012 15:40
Glenn - Any comments on the recently disclosed emails between the CIA and Kathryn Bigelow?
CasualObs , 29 Aug 2012 15:32
Scott Horton quote on closely related Mazzetti reporting (in this case regarding misleading reporting on how important CIA/Bush torture was in tracking down and getting bin Laden, the focus of this movie):

"I'm quite sure that this is precisely the way the folks who provided this info from the agency [to Mazzetti] wanted them to be understood, but there is certainly more than a measure of ambiguity in them, planted with care by the NYT writers or their editors. This episode shows again how easily the Times can be spun by unnamed government sources, the factual premises of whose statements invariably escape any examination."

http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/blog/winners-sinners-mary-murphy-mark-mazzetti

I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs.

If you don't like their paper-thin answers, tough. In their view (imo) this will blow over and business will resume, with the all-important friends and connections intact. Thus leaving the machinery intact for future uncritical, biased and manipulative "spin" of NYT by any number of unnamed govt. sources/agencies...

Montecarlo2 , 29 Aug 2012 15:29

In what conceivable way is Mazzetti's collusion with the CIA an "intelligence matter" that prevents the NYT's managing editor from explaining what happened here?

That one is easy, as we learned in the Valerie Plame affair. It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion.

hominoid , 29 Aug 2012 15:27
Just another step down the ladder towards despotism. "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw"
LakerFan , 29 Aug 2012 15:13

The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.

Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

The humor seems to go completely out of the issue when 100,000 people are dead and their families and futures changed forever.

Like I said, in a moral world....

[Dec 14, 2018] Vetting NYT materials by CIA reflects full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the neoliberal MSM

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Having said that, still worrying that the CIA devotes time to finding out what Maureen Dowd might write! ..."
"... It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them." ..."
"... A few years ago the New York Times reported that there had been a successful coup in Venezuela - toppling Chavez. The story turned out to be inaccurate. The NY Times finally revealed their source - US State Dept... who were using NYT to give critical mass and support to their dream end to a thorn in their side. ..."
"... The New York Times-all the news the CIA decided is fit to print. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
Pouzar99 , 29 Aug 2012 17:36
Great column. The NYT does do some good things, such as give us Paul Krugman three times a week, some important reporting and articulate editorial opposition to the republican nightmare, but they are much, much too close to the government, as evidenced by their asking for permission to print news the White House disapproves of.

They are also devoted to denying their readers an accurate picture of American foreign policy. I frequently comment on threads there and my contributions nearly always get posted, except when I use the word empire. I have never succeeded in getting that word onto their website , nor have I seen it make it into anyone else's comment. It is like the famous episode of Fawlty Towers. "Don't mention the empire.'' Stories and commentaries sometimes describe specific aspects of US policy in negative terms, but connecting the dots is obviously forbidden.

Bill Keller is like a character from The Wire. The perfect example of the kind of authority-revering careerist that butt-kisses his way to the top in institutions.

Burgsmueller -> Fulton , 29 Aug 2012 17:25
Shouldn't it be a bigger surprise that the CIA still needs to ask someone connected to find out what somebody else wrote on any electronic device?

In related news: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/29/spyware-can-take-over-iphone-and-blackberry-new-study-reveals/

Fulton , 29 Aug 2012 17:16

most of the story seems to come down to the usual kind of thing we see from Judicial Watch - manufactured outrage over almost nothing

I think part of the outrage here is the extent to which it's almost hard to muster the energy because it's become so much the norm for the NYTimes to be in bed with whoever is in power in Washington at any given time. It's the sort of thing that should be "they did what!!!!?" but instead it's "yeah, well, Judith Miller, Wen Ho Lee, etcetc ... >long drawn-out sigh<." So, perhaps there is some manufacturing of outrage, but not unreasonably so if you take a step back and look at what's going on.

Having said that, still worrying that the CIA devotes time to finding out what Maureen Dowd might write!

JoeFromBrooklyn -> worldcurious , 29 Aug 2012 17:10
Learn to read. From the column:

"This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

gunnison , 29 Aug 2012 17:05

Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable. Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

This is extremely important, and manifestly true. One runs into such people all the time. I haven't read any comments yet, but it would not surprise me to find some of them already here.

Even worse, I've done it myself on occasion, most recently just the other day on a Cif thread. Though I will say this; this kind of bullshit is not so much "transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable ", as grudgingly transformed into something unstoppable , but still toxic and objectionable.

That's mighty thin gruel as an alibi, but the reality for a lot of ordinary working people is they get fucking tired of it, and yes, they do get discouraged, then cynical and hardened to it all. That, of course, is part of the plan.

Keep swinging Glenn. This shit matters.

Anotherevertonian , 29 Aug 2012 16:42
The NYT is as stuffed-full of spook urinals, bottom-feeders and intelligence officers as...The Guardian?

I'm more shocked than I can feign.

Montecarlo2 -> jaytingle , 29 Aug 2012 16:42

"The optics aren't what they look like." Is Dean Baquet related to Yogi Berra?

Yogi Berra anticipated this problem: "You can observe a lot by watching".

Ahzeld , 29 Aug 2012 16:33
I'm unaware of a "source" being a person who requests documents from the reporter for doing damage control on behalf of the boss. (Not that I'd worry about Dowd either.) How exactly is this secret national intel? I'm glad this came out. We are being manipulated by the govt. through its minions in the media. The entire incident, from the glorious movie to this revelation is a fraud.

I found this interesting example of media manipulation at nakedcapitalsim.org: "Pro-marijuana group endorses Obama The Hill. This purported group, which claims 10,000 members, appears to be just one guy with a PO Box and a press list. But don't count on your average reporter digging deeper than the news release.": Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/links-82812.html#717LX1oL7dfPsb7I.99

The breadth and depth of propagandizing of citizens is astounding. I wonder what it's like to have so little integrity. What kind of person so readily sells out their fellow citizen with lies? It's scary because people read these things and they have no idea they are lies. People are making decisions based on manufactured "facts". It's very difficult to find actual information and I can tell you from personal experience, Obama supporters cling desperately to "authorities" like the NYTimes to maintain their belief in the goodness of dear leader.

jaytingle , 29 Aug 2012 16:31
"The optics aren't what they look like."
Is Dean Baquet related to Yogi Berra?
paperclipper , 29 Aug 2012 16:15
This weird big-brother relationship goes both ways. A few years ago the New York Times reported that there had been a successful coup in Venezuela - toppling Chavez. The story turned out to be inaccurate. The NY Times finally revealed their source - US State Dept... who were using NYT to give critical mass and support to their dream end to a thorn in their side.

Nice investigative journalism. A couple of years ago the NYTmade a big deal of publicly firing a low level writer for making up articles from his NY apt when he was supposed to be in the field. He was hardly the worst of the bunch.

brianboru1014 , 29 Aug 2012 16:07
Great article and thankfully I do not trust big newspapers in the USA especially the New York Times since it has being caught lying about Weapons of Mass Destructions in Iraq to justify the Iraq War. Judith Millar was the liar then. Read CounterPunch and smaller publications for the truth. The NYT is all about selling ads on a Sunday. It really is a corrupt rag.
GlennGreenwald -> MonaHol , 29 Aug 2012 16:04
MonaHol

Ooh la-la. Snooty! Can Greenwald survive the devastatingly profound criticisms being lobbed in his new venue?

Who will be the first commenter to leave the classic devastating critique:

"The author fails to present a balanced view, showing only one side. The author's argument has no substance and is not really worth anything."

JinTexas , 29 Aug 2012 16:02
"The New York Times-all the news the CIA decided is fit to print."
JinTexas , 29 Aug 2012 16:00
"the optics aren't what they look like" – is one of the most hilariously incoherent utterances seen in some time."

Strategery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOUuKQlGdEs

AhBrightWings , 29 Aug 2012 15:59

"this didn't come from me and please delete after you read." -- Mazzetti

This could serve as the epitaph for our times. This (Shock and Awe, drones, the Apache Massacre, Guantanamo, killing children, etc.) didn't come from US (even though it did) because ...our crimes can be deleted through that magical "we're too big and bad to fail" button.

See, nothing to worry about.

(Except future historians who will not be blindfolded and gagged and who will therefore have some choice things to say about the journalists who were fully complicit in the crimes of this lawless era.)

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times fraudulent election plot dossier escalates anti-Russia hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." ..."
"... The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The New York Times published a fraudulent and provocative "special report" Thursday titled "The plot to subvert an election."

Replete with sinister looking graphics portraying Russian President Vladimir Putin as a villainous cyberage cyclops, the report purports to untangle "the threads of the most effective foreign campaign in history to disrupt and influence an American election."

The report could serve as a textbook example of CIA-directed misinformation posing as "in-depth" journalism. There is no news, few substantiated facts and no significant analysis presented in the 10,000-word report, which sprawls over 11 ad-free pages of a separate section produced by the Times.

The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history."

Why does it "appear" to be the Kremlin? What is the evidence to support this claim? Among the 8.5 million inhabitants of New York City and another 700,000 in Washington, D.C., aren't there enough people who might despise Obama as much as, if not a good deal more than, Vladimir Putin?

This absurd passage with its "appeared" and "may well have" combined with the speculation about the Kremlin extending its evil grip onto "United States soil" sets the tone for the entire piece, which consists of the regurgitation of unsubstantiated allegations made by the US intelligence agencies, Democratic and Republican capitalist politicians and the Times itself.

The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times , polls have indicated that the charges of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 presidential election have evoked little popular response among the

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times aka The Langley Newsletter

"We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few."
Notable quotes:
"... bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere! ..."
"... CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ? ..."
"... collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this... ..."
"... The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees. ..."
"... The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives. ..."
"... World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now." ..."
"... just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain. ..."
"... We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few. ..."
"... The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA). ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com

samesamesame , 1 Sep 2012 13:02

bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere!
loftytom , 1 Sep 2012 10:40

I assume we're going to see a NYT expose on the large scale dodgy dealings of the Guardian Unlimited group then?

They could start with the tax dodging hypocrisy first. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/05/16/has-the-guardian-exploited-tax-loopholes-to-save-millions/

kantarakamara , 1 Sep 2012 10:04
"@smartypants54

29 August 2012 9:44PM
Glenn,

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. (sic) He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

You'e confusing apples with oranges. Hersh seeks information on issues that outrage him. These do not usually include propaganda for the intelligence agencies, but information they would like to suppress. He's given secret information because he appears to his informers as someone who has a long record of integrity.

Therealguyfaux -> Montecarlo2 , 1 Sep 2012 07:48
It's straight outta that old joke about the husband being caught by his wife in flagrante delicto with the pretty young lady neighbour, who then tells his wife that he and his bit on the side weren't doing anything: "And who do you believe-- me, or your lying eyes?"
Haigin88 , 1 Sep 2012 06:58
New York Times a.k.a. The Langley Newsletter
globalsage , 1 Sep 2012 06:32
CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ?
snookie -> LakerFan , 1 Sep 2012 05:46
collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this...
hlkcna , 1 Sep 2012 02:28
The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees.

Following the pre-Iraq embellishment, NYT covered up its deeds by sacrificing Journalist Judith Miller. As Miller answered a post-war court case, none other than Chairman & CEO Arthur Sulzberger jr. locked arms with her as they entered the courtroom.

The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives.

World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now."

NYT, a liberal icon? In year 2000, when I lived in NYC, New York Daily News columnist A.M. Rosenthal used to regularly demonize China in language surpassing even Rush Limbaugh. I told myself nah, that's not the Rosenthal-former-editor of the NYT. Only when I read his obituary a few years later did I learn that it was indeed the same one.

Grandfield , 1 Sep 2012 00:56
Well of course. And just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain.
weallshineon , 1 Sep 2012 00:42
We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few.

NOAM CHOMSKY _MANUFACTURING CONSENT haven't read it? read it. read it? read it again.

thought totalitarianism and the ruling class died in 1945? think again. thought you wouldn't have to fight like grandpa's generation to live in a democratic and just society? think again.

You are not the 1 percent.

JET2023 -> MonaHol , 31 Aug 2012 21:53
Would that we could hold these discussions without reference to personal defamations -- "darkened ignorance" and "educate yourself" which sounds like "f___ yourself". Why can't we just say "I respectfully disagree"? Alas, when discussing political issues with leftists, that seems impossible. Why the vitriol?

Greenwald's more lengthy posts make it clear that he believes that people who differ with him are "lying" and basing their viewpoint upon "a single right wing blogger". He chooses this explanation over the obvious and accurate one -- legal rationales developed by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration. The date of Greenwald's archive is February 19, 2006. Oddly, he bases all of his contentions upon whatever he could glean up to that date. But the legal rationale for warrantless wiretaps was based upon memos written by John Yoo at the OLC that Greenwald did not have access to in 2006. The memos were not released until after Obama took office in 2009.

Obama released them in a highly publicized press conference staged for maximum political impact. Greenwald could not possibly have understood the legal rationale for the program since he had not been privy to them until March 2009 if, indeed, he has bothered to acquaint himself with them since then. Either way, nobody was "lying" except those who could have understood the full dimension and willfully chose to hide or ignore the truth. It's not exactly like I am new to this subject as you seem to imply. I wrote a 700 page book about Obama administration duplicity in this same vein. An entire chapter is devoted to this very topic.

Warrantless wiretaps were undertaken after a legal ruling from OLC. And after Obama took office, warrantless wiretaps were continued. Obviously since they were based upon OLC rulings, since no prosecutions have ever been suggested and since they have continued uninterrupted after Obama took office, the Justice Department under both administrations agrees with me and disagrees with Greenwald. We arrive at this disagreement respectfully. Despite Obama's voluminous denunciations of the Bush anti-terror approach on the campaign trail, he resurrected nearly every plank of it once he took office.

But this is a subsidiary point to a far larger point that some observers on this discussion to their credit were able to understand. Despite all of these pointless considerations, the larger point of my original post was that Greenwald missed the "real" story here, which was that the collusion between NYT and CIA was not due to institutional considerations as Greenwald seems to allege, but due to purely partisan considerations. That, to me, is the story he missed.

I find that people who are losing debates try to shift the focus to subsidiary points hoping that, like a courtroom lawyer, if they can refute a small and inconsequential detail raised in testimony, they will undercut the larger truth offered by the witness. It won't work. Too much is on the record. And neither point, the ankle-biting non-issue about legality of warrantless wiretaps or the larger, salient point about the overt partisan political dimension of NYT's collusion with a political appointee at CIA who serves on the Obama reelection committee, has been refuted.

Joseph Toomey
Author, "Change You Can REALLY Believe In: The Obama Legacy of Broken Promises and Failed Policies"

JoshuaFlynn , 31 Aug 2012 20:15
Conspiracy theorists, have been, of course, telling you this for years (given media's motive is profit and not honesty). I suppose the exact same conspiracy theorists other guardian authors have been too eager to denounce previously?
MonaHol -> JET2023 , 31 Aug 2012 18:50

The NSA wiretap program revealed by Risen was not illegal as Greenwald wrongly asserts. As long as one end of the intercepted conservation originated on foreign soil as it did, it was perfectly legal and required no FISA court authorization.

Mr. Toomey, in 2006 Greenwald published a compendium of legal arguments defending the Bush Admin's warrantless wiretapping and the (sound) rebuttals of them. It is exhaustive, and covers your easily dispensed with argument. By way of introduction to his many links to his aggregated, rigorous analyses of the legal issues, he wrote this:

I didn't just wake up one day and leap to the conclusion that the Administration broke the law deliberately and that there are no reasonable arguments to defend that law-breaking (as many Bush followers leaped to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong and then began their hunt to find rationale or advocates to support this conclusion). I arrived at the conclusion that Bush clearly broke the law only by spending enormous amounts of time researching these issues and reading and responding to the defenses from the Administration's apologists.

He did spend enormous time dealing with people such as yourself, and all of his work remains available for you to educate yourself with, at the link provided above.

JET2023 -> Franklymydear0 , 31 Aug 2012 18:43
Maybe you'd like to explain that to Samuel Loring Morison who was convicted and spent years in the federal system for passing classified information to Janes Defence Weekly. I'm sure he'd be entertained. Larry Franklin would also like to hear it. He's in prison today for violating the Espionage Act.

Courts have recognized no press privilege exists when publishing classified data. In 1971, the Supreme Court vacated a prior restraint against NYT and The Washington Post allowing them to publish the Pentagon Papers. But the court also observed that prosecutions after-the-fact would be permissible and not involve an abridgement of the free speech clause. It was only the prior restraint that gave the justices heartburn. They had no issue with throwing them in the slammer after the deed was done.

Thomas Drake, a former NSA official, was indicted and convicted after revealing information to reporters in 2010. The statute covers mere possession which even NYT recognized could cover reporters as well. There have been numerous other instances of arrests, indictments and prosecutions for disclosure to reporters. It's only been due to political calculations and not constitutional limitations that have kept Risen and others out of prison.

utkarsh356 , 31 Aug 2012 12:39
Manufacturing Consent: The political economy of mass media by Noam Chomsky can perhaps explain most of the media behaviour.
HiggsBoson1984 , 31 Aug 2012 12:26
The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA).
Leviathan212 , 31 Aug 2012 10:54
What outrages me the most is the NYT's condescending attitude towards its readers when caught in this obvious breach of journalistic ethics.

Both Baquet and Abramson, rather than showing some humility or contrition, are acting as if nothing bad has happened, and that we are stupid to even talk about this.

Leviathan212 -> AnnaMc , 31 Aug 2012 10:28

This article misses the elephant in the room. Namely, that the NYT only plays footsies with Democrats in positions of power. With the 'Pubs, it's open season.

Not true. There are many examples of the NYT colluding with the Bush administration, some of which Glenn has mentioned in this article. Take, for example, the fact that the NYT concealed Bush's wire-tapping program for almost a year, at the request of the White House, and didn't release details until after Bush's re-election.

ranroddeb , 31 Aug 2012 10:10
" The optics aren't what they look like " This phrase brings to mind the old Dem catch phrase " Who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes? " .

[Dec 14, 2018] The dirty propaganda games NYT play

Highly recommended!
They are not only presstitutes, they are degenerative presstitutes...
Notable quotes:
"... I love how the NYT mentions how no public evidence has emerged, to skirt around the fact that if there were internal evidence (from some gov agency or private citizen) it would've leaked by now. There is no such thing as evidence which hasn't been leaked in an alleged scandal of this size. ..."
"... Further, the corporate news media gave Trump something like $2 billion dollars worth of advertising in free airtime. That's a much larger impact -- around 20 times Clinton's campaign costs IIRC -- than any alleged hacked e-mails (though the e-mails were leaked not hacked, and that played a role. As well as the FBI's investigation into Clinton's illegal email server which was public fact at the time) or social media interference. ..."
"... Banks, defense contractors and oil companies decide who the President is and what their Cabinet will look like (see Obama's leaked CitiBank memo "recommending" executives to his 2009 Cabinet). Russians and the American people do not. ..."
"... John Pilger's essay: Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing appropriately describes this BigLie media item b dissected, while also observing, "Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years," prior to providing Why this is so. ..."
"... but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it. ..."
"... The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom the Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo. [My emphasis] ..."
"... on journalism and it being usurped by social media behemoths google, facebook, twitter and etc - i found this cbc radio) interview last night worth recommending.. ..."
"... That New York Times piece was amazing. Belief anything the US Gov't/anti-Russian lobby and other nut cases tell you, unquestioningly. Investigative journalism at its best! ..."
"... Accept the most stupid evidence with blinking an eye. Even if one believes the collusion argument, try to be a bit critical. And always believe that a GRU hacker will put Felix Dzerzinnsky's name in their program. For heaven's sake he was Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB, not the GRU which was military intelligence. ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

daffyDuct , Sep 20, 2018 8:21:06 PM | link

Woodward, "Fear" pg 82-85

"After the security briefing and everyone cleared out, McCabe shut the door to Priebus's office. This is very weird, thought Priebus, who was standing by his desk.

"You know this story in The New York Times?" Priebus knew it all too well.

McCabe was referring to a recent Times story of February 14 that stated, "Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the elections, according to four current and former American officials."

The story was one of the first bombs to go off about alleged Trump-Russian connections after Flynn's resignation.

"It's total bullshit," McCabe said. "It's not true, and we want you to know that. It's grossly overstated."

Oh my God, thought Priebus. "Andrew," he said to the FBI deputy, "I'm getting killed." The story about Russia and election meddling seemed to be running 24/7 on cable news, driving Trump bananas and therefore driving Priebus bananas. "This is crazy," Trump had told Priebus. "We've got to stop it. We need to end the story." McCabe had just walked in with a big gift, a Valentine's Day present. I'm going to be the hero of this entire West Wing, Priebus thought.

"Can you help me?" Priebus asked. "Could this knockdown of the story be made public?"

"Call me in a couple of hours," McCabe said. "I will ask around and I'll let you know. I'll see what I can do."

Priebus practically ran to report to Trump the good news that the FBI would soon be shooting down the Times story

Two hours passed and no call from McCabe. Priebus called him."I'm sorry, I can't," McCabe said. "There's nothing I can do about it. I tried, but if we start issuing comments on individual stories, we'll be doing statements every three days." The FBI could not become a clearinghouse for the accuracy of news stories. If the FBI tried to debunk certain stories, a failure to comment could be seen as a confirmation.

"Andrew, you're the one that came to my office to tell me this is a BS story, and now you're telling me there's nothing you can do?" McCabe said that was his position.

"This is insanity," Priebus said. "What am I supposed to do? Just suffer, bleed out?" "Give me a couple more hours." Nothing happened. No call from the FBI. Priebus tried to explain to Trump, who was waiting for a recanting. It was another reason for Trump to distrust and hate the FBI, a pernicious tease that left them dangling.

About a week later on February 24 CNN reported an exclusive: "FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down Recent Trump-Russia Story." Priebus was cast as trying to manipulate the FBI for political purposes.

The White House tried and failed to correct the story and show that McCabe had initiated the matter.

Four months later on June 8, Comey testified under oath publicly that the original New York Times story on the Trump campaign aides' contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials "in the main was not true."


BM , Sep 21, 2018 8:38:36 AM | link

The Mueller Hoax is unraveling.
Posted by: Sid2 | Sep 20, 2018 3:03:44 PM | 3

The Mueller Hoax is unraveling, and concommittently the NYT is digging in; ergo , the NYT is also unravelling! The NYT will permanently damage its reputation with its own readers.

David , Sep 20, 2018 4:37:34 PM | link
I love how the NYT mentions how no public evidence has emerged, to skirt around the fact that if there were internal evidence (from some gov agency or private citizen) it would've leaked by now. There is no such thing as evidence which hasn't been leaked in an alleged scandal of this size.

Further, the corporate news media gave Trump something like $2 billion dollars worth of advertising in free airtime. That's a much larger impact -- around 20 times Clinton's campaign costs IIRC -- than any alleged hacked e-mails (though the e-mails were leaked not hacked, and that played a role. As well as the FBI's investigation into Clinton's illegal email server which was public fact at the time) or social media interference.

Banks, defense contractors and oil companies decide who the President is and what their Cabinet will look like (see Obama's leaked CitiBank memo "recommending" executives to his 2009 Cabinet). Russians and the American people do not.

karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:40:58 PM | link
John Pilger's essay: Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing appropriately describes this BigLie media item b dissected, while also observing, "Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years," prior to providing Why this is so.
karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:59:56 PM | link
15 Cont'd:

Want to highlight this additional bit from Pilger:

"Journalism students should study this [New book from Media Lens Propaganda Blitz ] to understand that the source of "fake news" is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox news, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it.

The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom the Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo. [My emphasis]

IMO, the bolded text well describes BigLie Media. I wonder what George Seldes would say differently from Pilger if he were alive. Unfortunately, Pilger failed to include MoA as a source in his short list of sites having journalistic integrity.

karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:59:56 PM | link james , Sep 20, 2018 5:04:45 PM | link
on journalism and it being usurped by social media behemoths google, facebook, twitter and etc - i found this cbc radio) interview last night worth recommending..
jrkrideau , Sep 20, 2018 5:46:02 PM | link
That New York Times piece was amazing. Belief anything the US Gov't/anti-Russian lobby and other nut cases tell you, unquestioningly. Investigative journalism at its best!

Accept the most stupid evidence with blinking an eye. Even if one believes the collusion argument, try to be a bit critical. And always believe that a GRU hacker will put Felix Dzerzinnsky's name in their program. For heaven's sake he was Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB, not the GRU which was military intelligence.

[Dec 14, 2018] Operation Mockingbird has never stopped

Notable quotes:
"... The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same. ..."
"... these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them. ..."
"... The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool. ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Chris Harlos , 29 Aug 2012 19:01
The New York Crimes. The seamless web of media, government, business: a totalitarian system. Darkly amusing, perhaps, unless one begins to tally the damage.

USA Inc. Viva Death,

Did you hear the one about the investment banker whose very expensive hooker bite off his crank?

rrheard , 29 Aug 2012 18:36
I'm not sure what's scarier--that the CIA is spending taxpayer dollars spending even a split second worrying about what a two bit hack like Maureen Dowd writes, or that the NY Times principals are so institutionally "captured" that they parrot "CIA speak".

Well what's actually scarier is that Operation Mockingbird has never stopped.

Or maybe that our purported public servants in the legislature are bipartisanly and openly attempting to repeal portions of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987 banning domestic propaganda.

America is becoming a real sick joke. And the last to know will be about 65% of the populace I like to call Sheeple.

024601 -> SanFranDouglas , 29 Aug 2012 18:32
Very depressing. I thought we would get a smart bunch over here. The major trend I've noticed instead? Blind support for the empire and the apparatus that keeps it thriving. Unable to be good little authoritarians and cheer for the now collapsing British Empire, they have to cheer for it's natural predecessor, the American Empire. This includes attacking all those who might question the absolute infallible of The Empire. Folks like.. Glenn. It is fascinating to watch, if not disheartening.
SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 18:29

So all cozying up to spooks is not always a bad thing, huh?

Just my point.

I see. I thought your point was that there was some sort of equivalence between Hersh's development of sources to reveal truths that their agencies fervently wished to keep secret and Mazzetti's active assistance in protecting an agency's image from sullying by fellow journalists.

I guess I stand corrected. . .

shenebraskan -> Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:12
And that ended his career in government service, as it should have...or not:

From Wikipedia: John O. Brennan is chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President.

Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:01
Unfortunately this is nothing new for Mazetti or the New York Times, nor is it the first time Glenn Greenwald has called Mazetti out on his cozy relationship with the CIA:

The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash
The coordinated, successful effort to implant false story lines about John Brennan illustrates the power the intelligence community wields over political debates.
Glenn Greenwald Dec. 08, 2008 |

...Just marvel at how coordinated (and patently inaccurate) their messaging is, and -- more significantly -- how easily they can implant their message into establishment media outlets far and wide, which uncritically publish what they're told from their cherished "intelligence sources" and without even the pretense of verifying whether any of it is true and/or hearing any divergent views:

Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, New York Times, 12/2/2008:

Last week, John O. Brennan, a C.I.A. veteran who was widely seen as Mr. Obama's likeliest choice to head the intelligence agency, withdrew his name from consideration after liberal critics attacked his alleged role in the agency's detention and interrogation program. Mr. Brennan protested that he had been a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation tactics, yet Mr. Obama evidently decided that nominating Mr. Brennan was not worth a battle with some of his most ardent supporters on the left.

Mr. Obama's search for someone else and his future relationship with the agency are complicated by the tension between his apparent desire to make a clean break with Bush administration policies he has condemned and concern about alienating an agency with a central role in the campaign against Al Qaeda.

Mark M. Lowenthal, an intelligence veteran who left a senior post at the C.I.A. in 2005, said Mr. Obama's decision to exclude Mr. Brennan from contention for the top job had sent a message that "if you worked in the C.I.A. during the war on terror, you are now tainted," and had created anxiety in the ranks of the agency's clandestine service.

...The story, by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, noted that John O. Brennan had withdrawn his name from consideration for CIA director after liberal critics attacked his role in the agency's interrogation program, even though Brennan characterized himself as a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation techniques. Brennan's characterization was not disputed by anyone else in the story, even though most experts on this subject agree that Brennan acquiesced in everything that the CIA did in this area while he served there.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/08/cia/print.html

CitizenTM , 29 Aug 2012 17:52
The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same.
tballou , 29 Aug 2012 17:51
"these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

Glenn - the only objection I have to your column and all your previous columns on this matter is that I am not sure the establishment media actually claim to be watchdogs, at least not any more, and certainly not since Sept 11. They really are more like PR reps.

SanFranDouglas -> OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:51

The media is another tool in the [government, in this case] arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

Yes. The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool.

OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:44
Did everyone forget the Judith Miller article? The usage of Twitter and other social media during the Iranian election of 2009? The leaks about the Iranian nuclear program in the Telegraph? ARDA?

The U.S. government, along with every other government in the world, uses the media to influence public opinion and send geopolitical messages to others that understand the message (normally not the masses). The media is another tool in the arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

We use social media to create social unrest if it aligns with our interests. We use the media to send political messages and influence public opinion. The vast majority of reporting in the N.Y. Times, WSJ, Guardian, Telegraph, and etc. do not reflect this, but every now and then "unnamed sources" help further a geopolitical message.

In this country, it has been that way since before the founding fathers and the Republic. Remember the Federalist, Anti-Federalist, Sam Adams as Vtndex, and etc.? Newspapers used for "propaganda" purposes.

SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 17:42

Upthread I asked him for his comments on the reporting of Seymour Hirsh. He is someone who cozied up to all kinds of people - and wound up busting some extremely important stories in the process.

I think a modest amount of review of Sy Hersh's work will demonstrate that his "cozying up" hasn't included running interference for the spooks' official PR flacks.

DuErJournalist , 29 Aug 2012 17:42
The New York Times: Burn after reading!

[Dec 14, 2018] The American Mega-Media has long been in the bag of Corporatism. Long gone are the days of reporters challenging the Military. During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O Clock Follies.

Notable quotes:
"... For one thing, Marzetti apparently passed a draft of a Maureen Dowd column for vetting by the CIA . Her importance, or not, as a columnist or pundit aside, why would a NYT employee slip material to a gov't agency? That's the skillset of an informant, not a journalist. ..."
"... Today, the Wall Street-Security-Military Industrial Complex is unchallenged. Exaggerated respect is shown to the Military. Many of the Reporters who called in question the Political-Military establishment during Vietnam were muted during the second invasion of Iraq. None of lessons that Vietnam should have taught them about the lengths the Government would go to such as out right lies, and covert deceit were learned. Perhaps they were cowed into cooperation. ..."
"... Unprincipled and disingenuous - both the Obama Administration and the New York Times. Doesn't come as a surprise though ... ..."
"... I'd be worried about anyone going to the CIA for their fact-checking too... ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Pindi -> LakerFan , 30 Aug 2012 00:46

In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

As indeed are most UK newspapers, including the Graun.

Another great article Glen, please keep them coming.

Tujays , 30 Aug 2012 00:40
"The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration."

-- Maureen Dowd
Downgrade Blues, Aug. 6, 2011, NYT

smartypants54 -> MonaHol , 29 Aug 2012 23:31
I would have answered just as OnYourMarx has done. Most every story Hersh broke was from a series of well-developed relationships within CIA and/or MIC.

In terms of its relevance, it seems to me that any real journalist worth their salt does this. And so rather than deride those who have relationships with government sources, we need to dig a bit deeper and ask ourselves what distinguishes the kind Hersh developed from those that are problematic.

smartypants54 -> TallyHoGazehound , 29 Aug 2012 23:24
Excuse me for thinking that perhaps in the context of a discussion about the relationship between the media and government, it might be helpful to talk about how journalists can actually use their relationships with people in the government to break important stories. So I noted my thoughts about Hersh and asked for his.

Contrary to "gotcha," I thought it might be an opportunity to take the conversation a bit deeper. As with what I said about humor, its no skin off my nose if no one takes me up on it. The only reason I brought it up later is because someone suggested perhaps I should attempt to engage on a more substantive level...which I had done.

I've been completely upfront about the fact that I disagree with Glenn on most things (although I'll just point out that I did comment about how much I agreed with his article on authoritarianism). So please also excuse me while I try to learn all the rules about what is ok and not ok to talk about and how I'm supposed to do that properly in order to satisfy someone like you.

But thanks for ultimately getting back to the point in talking about the difference being what emerges from the "cozy relationship." I actually disagree with that though. I think it depends on the journalist's ability to do critical thinking and questioning. If they're merely stenographers or are simply set on finding something negative - either way they corrupt what the real story might be.

coramnobis -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 23:19

Let's clear up one thing...Maureen Down is not a journalist OR a reporter. She is opinion columnist.

You can suggest that there's a qualitative difference between journalists and reporters, but Dowd is neither one. So to me, the distinction when it comes to her is meaningless.

If that is so, then why would the CIA be so interested in what she wrote? And why would a NYT employee pass an unpublished draft to them without, presumably, checking with an editor? "See, nothing to worry about," indeed.

coramnobis -> BlackHawke , 29 Aug 2012 23:15

Frankly, I don't even understand what your hang up is. Was Marzetti supposed to violate this woman's trust? Is he not supposed to talk to government officials in order to report the news, which is the whole raison d'etre of his career.

For one thing, Marzetti apparently passed a draft of a Maureen Dowd column for vetting by the CIA . Her importance, or not, as a columnist or pundit aside, why would a NYT employee slip material to a gov't agency? That's the skillset of an informant, not a journalist.

I didn't think Ms. Dowd was that important to our nation's security, but that aside, why pass company material to outsiders?

"This song was known to everybody. A book was afterward printed, with a regular license He happened to select and print in his journal this song ... He was seised in his bed that night and has been never since heard of. Our excellent journal de Paris then is suppressed and this bold traitor has been in jail now three weeks Thus you see, madam, the value of energy in government; our feeble republic would in such a case have probably been wrapt in the flames of war and desolation for want of a power lodged in a single hand to punish summarily those who write songs."
-- Thomas Jefferson, in Paris, to Abigail Adams, June 21, 1785

MonaHol -> OnYourMarx , 29 Aug 2012 23:13
Right, and I knew some of that. However I was after the other commenter's notions of what he meant by saying Hersh "cozyd up" to CIA and MIC ppl, with an eye to figuring out why s/he thinks Hersh and his sources have relevance to the article being discussed.
TallyHoGazehound -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 22:58

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work.

It's been kind of a long day. And, it's possible that I either need another drink, or to simply hit the sack. So, apologies if this comes off sounding less than supportive. While you're busy wondering and assuming , you might better advance your case if you also did a little Googling . And, pro tip, it wouldn't hurt to spell Hersh's name correctly. Lends credibility, methinks.

http://www.salon.com/2011/02/28/seymour_hersh_whowhatwhy/
http://www.salon.com/2012/04/06/report_us_trained_terror_group/
http://www.salon.com/2011/06/02/hersh_8/

I'd suggest that you were ignored because of the gotcha flavor to the way you tried to engage. I would also suggest that if Glenn thought you were asking your question with some sincere intent, he might answer that it depends on how that coziness is conducted, and what emerges from that "cozy relationship." Dan Gillmor's piece - to which Glenn links - on this subject may add some additional insight.

In other words, if you're gonna do gotcha it helps not to show your hand too soon, or be quite so transparent. One could do a little research first and bring their best game.

OnYourMarx , 29 Aug 2012 22:50
@MonaHot: Hersh's New Yorker piece about Bush regime ramping up against Iran in 2008. Robert Baer of the CIA was at least one of his sources for that piece. In fact the film Syriana based Clooney's character on Baer.

Richard Armitage is the other MIC dude that comes to mind when thinking back on Hersh's stories. There must be countless of them, though, including Saudis and Israelis who work to provide info to the MIC.

MonaHol -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 22:25

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work. That's why I brought him up. He cozys up to MIC folks as well. So its important to make a distinction between cozying up to break important stories and cozying up to get access to power...a distinction that Glenn didn't make.

What do you mean by claiming Hersh "cozys up" to MIC ppl? And what would be a specific example of a story he broke after doing that?

MonotonousLanguor , 29 Aug 2012 22:21
The American Mega-Media has long been in the bag of Corporatism. Long gone are the days of reporters challenging the Military. During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O' Clock Follies.

Today, the Wall Street-Security-Military Industrial Complex is unchallenged. Exaggerated respect is shown to the Military. Many of the Reporters who called in question the Political-Military establishment during Vietnam were muted during the second invasion of Iraq. None of lessons that Vietnam should have taught them about the lengths the Government would go to such as out right lies, and covert deceit were learned. Perhaps they were cowed into cooperation.

Julian Assange who should be seen as a hero to the free press was vilified by our corporate press. Assange did the work a free press and a real reporter should perform.

RobspierreRules , 29 Aug 2012 22:17
Pravda e Izvestia
smartypants54 -> walkin , 29 Aug 2012 22:10
Let's clear up one thing...Maureen Down is not a journalist OR a reporter. She is opinion columnist.

You can suggest that there's a qualitative difference between journalists and reporters, but Dowd is neither one. So to me, the distinction when it comes to her is meaningless.

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work. That's why I brought him up. He cozys up to MIC folks as well. So its important to make a distinction between cozying up to break important stories and cozying up to get access to power...a distinction that Glenn didn't make.

Finally, I have no need whatsoever for anyone to laugh with me. I just found the juxtaposition of Dowd and reporting to be funny. Someone said something similar and I added my agreement. If its not funny to you - ignore it. Not sure why you'd think I'd expect anything else.

BlackHawke , 29 Aug 2012 22:07
Mr. Grenwald, let's not make more of this than it's worth. I see nothing wrong with newspapers working with government agencies in order to report their news to their readership. Frankly, I don't even understand what your hang up is. Was Marzetti supposed to violate this woman's trust? Is he not supposed to talk to government officials in order to report the news, which is the whole raison d'etre of his career.
walkin -> Andrew Wood , 29 Aug 2012 22:05
You wrote:

Mr Greenwald, please don't pretend that journalism has only just 'degraded'

If the sub-header had read "Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has only just lost the imperative to be a check to power" then you would have a case.

It doesn't, and you don't.

Next time read past the sub-header. You might get more out of it.

shenebraskan -> AhBrightWings , 29 Aug 2012 21:59

About those fabled "handouts" ...where are they?

Exactly. Not coming from the so-called socialistic/communistic Democrat party either. In fact, the only reference I have seen to poverty since John Edwards in 2008 (he who shall not be named!) is on the front page of HuffPo, where there are Shadow Conventions, one of which concerns Poverty in America. There was a book in 1962, The Other America by Michael Harrington. We are well on our way to having that be The Only America , at least for the vast majority of us.

walkin -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 21:58

I'd agree that the comment Glenn responded to was pretty superficial. I was just laughing with another commenter at the idea of Dowd doing any actual reporting.

What's interesting to me is that's the one Glenn responded to. And yet when I asked what I believe was a pretty substantive question about where the reporting of someone like Seymour Hirsh [sic] fits into his critique of journalism, he ignores it.

Superficial? He responded because, intentionally or not, you misrepresented what he said. While you may not have appreciated the difference, "reporting" and "journalism" are qualitatively (there's that word you don't like) different things.

It takes very little in the way of courage, skill or talent to work as a "reporter" for a major mainstream newspaper like the New York Times. For most pieces that the government has an interest in spinning (like the one under discussion), this is how it works: 1. Type up the words of anonymous officials, 2. Submit your article to those same officials for "fact-checking," censorship and approval, 3. Retire for the day.

Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer, and not a trained journalist, on the other hand, is doing real journalism, and putting most reporters to shame in the process. I can count on a single hand the number of reporters in the U.S. who deserve, like Greenwald, to have the term of art "journalism" applied to their work. Hersh is one of them, and in this context, there isn't any more to say with regards to a "critique."

As far as Glenn's own position goes, you can read any number of articles where he has praised Hersh's work. Just Google it.

That said, by joining the Guardian, Greenwald has graduated to a milieu where he rightly expects higher standards, in both professional practice and in the quality of his readership. That doesn't mean you leave levity at the door, but it does mean that you leave your whiny, self-entitled attitude ("But why won't he answer the question I really want him to answer?").

There are serious issues at stake here. I have a genuine question for you: if you disagree with Greenwald so much, why would you expect him (or most of his readers) to laugh along with what you find funny?

Think about that, and get back to me if you come up with something plausible.

Andrew Wood -> GlennGreenwald , 29 Aug 2012 21:50
Mr Greenwald

Look at the top of the webpage, just underneath the headline.

It says:

Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has lost the imperative to be a check to power

Andrew Wood , 29 Aug 2012 21:39
Is it worse for a journalist to help the security forces of his or her own country, or to be an "agent of influence" for your country's enemies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Gott

basicmeans , 29 Aug 2012 21:23
The USA has become so engrossed in itself that it doesn't even pretend to be a judicial state. Here we have a man called Osama Bin Laden who is innocent of any crime yet the President of the United States of America brags about having him murdered.

This means that a precedent has been set that the President can order the murder of anyone even you.

smartypants54 -> TallyHoGazehound , 29 Aug 2012 21:20
Thanks for the pointers.

The reason I said that perhaps I'd need to leave off the levity is that it was my superficial comment finding some humor in all this that Glenn responded to and suggested that I was a complainer lacking in quality. It wasn't meant as anything but a half-baked half-assed jab at the lightweight known as Maureen Dowd.

But as I said above, when I attempted to engage with some substance, I got ignored. I have no doubt that Glenn has a sense of humor. But I'm afraid I'm not a good enough humorist to combine a laugh with in-depth engagement.

I'm counting on you being right on the idea that Glenn thrives on well reasoned dissent. That's why I'm here.

ElLissitzsky , 29 Aug 2012 21:14
Unprincipled and disingenuous - both the Obama Administration and the New York Times. Doesn't come as a surprise though ...
AhBrightWings -> shenebraskan , 29 Aug 2012 20:37
Indeed. Horse-hooey is a pleasant alternative to this steaming load of self-congratulatory manure.

About those fabled "handouts" ...where are they? Not in evidence when I see the local homeless vets in their wheelchairs...Nowhere to be found when I see children shivering at bus stops without proper coats...can't quite see it in my overcrowded library...one of the hottest tickets in town because it's literally a warm place to go. I'm sure parents who've lost homes because they were craven enough to have a sick child and went bankrupt caring for them would love to find this fabled place where those generous hands, stuffed full of money and goodies, are vying with each other to make things right.

If only we could find it.

-------------

"As of March 2012, 46.4 million Americans were receiving on average $133.14 per month in food stamps. "

According to the Government Accountability Office, at a 2009 count, there was a payment error rate of 4.36% of food stamps benefits down from 9.86% in 1999. A 2003 analysis found that two-thirds of all improper payments were the fault of the caseworker, not the participant. ("Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Payment Errors and Trafficking Have Declined, but Challenges Remain GAO report number GAO-10-956T, " July 28, 2010)

Wow, let's go wild on $33.25 a week! And then be accused of being "lazy," "pigs," "welfare queens," "parasites," "scum," etc.

[Pay no attention to the fat man behind the curtain busy purchasing his third home, or paying his lawyer to find another tax loophole in the Virgin Islands; that pure industrious Republican bloke is too busy to stick his neck out and see the world as he's helped make it for others.]

coramnobis , 29 Aug 2012 20:34
I found this linked off Mazzetti's blog . Seems that USAF drones have been tracking private vehicles on New Mexico highways. Targeting practice. Maybe not news story but an interesting little sidelight.

As if the National Transportation Safety Board didn't have enough to worry about.

Oh, and Glenn, here's a Salon story from 2010 titled The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page . Your lede: "In The New York Times today, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins expose very sensitive classified government secrets -- and not just routine secrets, but high-level, imminent planning for American covert military action in a foreign country ..."

This didn't come from me, and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about. -- Guardian story

RobGehrke -> avelna2001 , 29 Aug 2012 20:00

Was she aware that he was using the CIA to do his fact-checking?

I'd be worried about anyone going to the CIA for their fact-checking too...

[Dec 14, 2018] The whole austerity crisis thing appears to have been engineered so that a few blinkered and unpatriotic, vulture mafia privateers can make a killing, selling off vital state assets, such as infrastructure and ports, to the Chinese. This is a very suspicious and widespread trend.

Notable quotes:
"... Bob Marley got it right.... the human race is becoming a rat race, and it's a disgrace. ..."
"... The biggest problem is the financialisation of the economy... what is the actual value of things? The market is so manipulated that real price discovery is not possible. ..."
"... We have an over-cooked service-sector economy unsustainably reliant on cheap debt, cheap energy, and cheap manufactured goods to fuel our 'high-end levels of consumption, and mobility or living standards, and an over-heated housing market that is unsustainably run according to the needs of investors and landlords rather than residents or tenants. ..."
"... What we need is a coordinated approach between our nations. Undercutting each other on corporate taxes, writing tax avoidance into law, and continuing to allow multinationals to influence our politicians and play our governments against each other is exactly the game we must end. ..."
"... Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further.... ..."
"... "Ransom". There is no better word to describe it. This (the ransom mentality) is exactly the reactionary, vindictive, doctrinaire psychology that must be extracted like a cancer from our institutional lives and the human species. A monolithic task. But identifying the cause is the first step to cure. ..."
"... these are the new medieval transnational barons ..."
Jun 09, 2013 | theguardian.com
MysticFish -> Crackerpot , 8 Jun 2013 14:43
@Crackerpot - The whole austerity crisis thing appears to have been engineered so that a few blinkered and unpatriotic, vulture mafia privateers can make a killing, selling off vital state assets, such as infrastructure and ports, to the Chinese. This is a very suspicious and widespread trend.
artheart , 8 Jun 2013 14:38

Bob Marley got it right.... the human race is becoming a rat race, and it's a disgrace.

I see it every day from the window of my flat, on a main road, in Bethnal Green. There's a 'mentally unstable' Rastafarian who stands by the overground station, and shouts things out to people like "You're living in babylon".

I do sometimes think he's not the mental one.

artheart -> HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 14:32
@HolyInsurgent

The biggest problem is the financialisation of the economy... what is the actual value of things? The market is so manipulated that real price discovery is not possible.

We have an over-cooked service-sector economy unsustainably reliant on cheap debt, cheap energy, and cheap manufactured goods to fuel our 'high-end levels of consumption, and mobility or living standards, and an over-heated housing market that is unsustainably run according to the needs of investors and landlords rather than residents or tenants.

The whole thing is going to blow apart. Our 'aspirations' are slowly killing us - they're destroying the social fabric.

MikeInCanada , 8 Jun 2013 14:28
What we need is a coordinated approach between our nations. Undercutting each other on corporate taxes, writing tax avoidance into law, and continuing to allow multinationals to influence our politicians and play our governments against each other is exactly the game we must end.
HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 14:08

Deborah Orr: Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further....

I never thought I would live long enough to see this level of honesty ATL. It should have been published long ago, but at least the discussion now begins.

"Ransom". There is no better word to describe it. This (the ransom mentality) is exactly the reactionary, vindictive, doctrinaire psychology that must be extracted like a cancer from our institutional lives and the human species. A monolithic task. But identifying the cause is the first step to cure.

peterpuffin -> PointOfYou , 8 Jun 2013 14:03
@PointOfYou - these are the new medieval transnational barons

[Dec 14, 2018] Here's the funny thing about those who cheer the broken neoliberal model. They promise we will get to those "sunny uplands" with exactly the same fervor as old Marxists.

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism? This is not just a financial agenda. This a highly organized multi armed counterculture operation to force us, including Ms Orr [unless she has...connections] into what Terence McKenna [who was in on it] termed the `Archaic Revival'. That is - you and me [and Ms Orr] - our - return to the medieval dark ages, if we indeed survive that far. ..."
"... The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. ..."
"... the UK government did intervene in the economy when it bailed out the banks to the tune of many billions of pounds underwritten by the taxpayer. The markets should always be regulated sufficiently (light touch is absolutely useless) to prevent the problems currently being experienced from ever happening again. ..."
"... Traditional liberalism had died decades before WWII and was replaced by finance capitalism. What happened after WW II was that capitalism had to make various concessions to avoid a socialist revolution: social and political freedoms indeed darted ahead. ..."
"... No chance mate, at least not all the time greasy spiv and shyster outfits like hedge funds are funding Puffin face and the Vermin Party. They are never going to bite the hand that feeds them ..."
"... And in case we get uppity and endeavour to challenge the economic paradigm and the rule of these neoliberal elites, there's the surveillance state panopticon to track our movements and keep us in check. ..."
"... There is not a shred of logical sense in neoliberalism. You're doing what the fundamentalists do... they talk about what neoliberalism is in theory whilst completely ignoring what it is in practice. In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism. ..."
"... She, knowingly, let neo-liberal economic philosophy come trumpeting through the door of No10 and it's been there ever since; it has guided our politicians for the past 30 odd years. Hence, it is Thatcher's fault. She did this and another bad thing: the woman who glorified household economics pissed away billions of pounds of North Sea Oil. ..."
"... Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism. In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jenny340 -> EllisWyatt, 8 Jun 2013 13:37

@EllisWyatt - Here's the funny thing about those who cheer the broken neoliberal model. They promise we will get to those "sunny uplands" with exactly the same fervor as old Marxists.
PointOfYou , 8 Jun 2013 13:37

Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

Neoliberalism? This is not just a financial agenda. This a highly organized multi armed counterculture operation to force us, including Ms Orr [unless she has...connections] into what Terence McKenna [who was in on it] termed the `Archaic Revival'. That is - you and me [and Ms Orr] - our - return to the medieval dark ages, if we indeed survive that far.

The same names come up time and time again. One of them being, father of propaganda, Edward Bernays.

Bernays wrote what can be seen as a virtual Mission Statement for anyone wishing to bring about a "counterculture." In the opening paragraph of his book Propaganda he wrote:

"..The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organised. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind..."[28]

Bernays' family background made him well suited to "control the public mind." He was the double nephew of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. His mother was Freud's sister Anna, and his father was Ely Bernays, brother of Freud's wife Martha Bernays.

Snookerboy -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 13:17
@OneCommentator - the UK government did intervene in the economy when it bailed out the banks to the tune of many billions of pounds underwritten by the taxpayer. The markets should always be regulated sufficiently (light touch is absolutely useless) to prevent the problems currently being experienced from ever happening again.

Those at the bottom of society and those in the public sector are the ones paying the price for this intervention in the UK. If you truly believe in the 'free' market then all of these failing organisations (banks, etc) should have been allowed to fail. The problem is that the wealth created under the current system is virtually all going to those at the top of the income scale and this needs to change and is one of the main reasons that neo liberalism should be binned!

ATrueFinn -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 13:09
@ OneCommentator 08 June 2013 5:21pm

No, it was as recently as ww2 more or less

Traditional liberalism had died decades before WWII and was replaced by finance capitalism. What happened after WW II was that capitalism had to make various concessions to avoid a socialist revolution: social and political freedoms indeed darted ahead.

Do read a book about history!

clairesdad -> brighton2 , 8 Jun 2013 13:06
@brighton2 - No chance mate, at least not all the time greasy spiv and shyster outfits like hedge funds are funding Puffin face and the Vermin Party. They are never going to bite the hand that feeds them.
NotWithoutMyMonkey , 8 Jun 2013 13:01
And in case we get uppity and endeavour to challenge the economic paradigm and the rule of these neoliberal elites, there's the surveillance state panopticon to track our movements and keep us in check.
TedStewart , 8 Jun 2013 12:51
Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

Are you saying neoliberalism is a great big useless pile of shit? Then you are absolutely right!

kingcreosote -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 12:47
@ MickGJ 08 June 2013 1:08pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

I know what you are saying it's just sooner or later as those at the bottom continue to be squeezed the wealthy will sow their own seeds of destruction. I think we are witnessing the end game which is reflected in the desperation of the coalition to flog everything regardless of the efficacy of such behavior, they feel time is running out and they would be right.

taxhaven , 8 Jun 2013 12:44
Call it what you will - "neoliberalism", "neoconservatism", "socialism" or whatever it is...

This debate is not even really solely about money: this is about liberty , about free choice, about being permitted to engage in voluntary exchange of goods and services with others, unmolested. About the users of services becoming the ones paying for those services.

Ultimately the real effect will be to remove power from governments and hand it back to where it belongs - the free market.

dmckm -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 12:43
@ OneCommentator 08 June 2013 5:04pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

voluntary transactions among free agents. That's called a free market and it is by far the most efficient way to produce wealth humanity has ever known.

Could you explain how someone bound by a contract of employment, with the alternative, destitution, is a 'free agent'?

jazzdrum -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 12:25
@SpinningHugo - Nothing comes out of nothing and i well remember black Monday in the City. That was the start of the spivs running the economy as if it were a casino. If you think its only on CiF that Thatcher gets the blame, think on this, Scotland, a whole nation blames her too.
TedSmithAndSon -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 12:24
@theguardianisrubbish -

Unless you are completely confused by what neoliberalism is there is not a shred of logical sense in this.

There is not a shred of logical sense in neoliberalism. You're doing what the fundamentalists do... they talk about what neoliberalism is in theory whilst completely ignoring what it is in practice. In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism.

Savers in a neoliberal society are lambs to the slaughter. Thatcher "revitalised" banking, while everything else withered and died.

Neoliberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom, communism is definitely not. Neoliberalist policies have lifted millions of people out of poverty in Asia and South America.

Neoliberalism is based on the thought that you get as much freedom as you can pay for, otherwise you can just pay... like everyone else. In Asia and South America it has been the economic preference of dictators that pushes profit upwards and responsibility down, just like it does here.

I find it ironic that it now has 5 year plans that absolutely must not be deviated from, massive state intervention in markets (QE, housing policy, tax credits... insert where applicable), and advocates large scale central planning even as it denies reality, and makes the announcement from a tractor factory.

Neoliberalism is a blight... a cancer on humanity... a massive lie told by rich people and believed only by peasants happy to be thrown a turnip. In theory it's one thing, the reality is entirely different. Until we're rid of it, we're all it's slaves. It's an abhorrent cult that comes up with purest bilge like expansionary fiscal contraction to keep all the money in the hands of the rich.

outragedofacton -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 12:02
@MickGJ - You are wrong about the first 2 of course. Banksters get others to do their shit.

But unfortunately the poor sods who went down on D Day were in their way fighting for Wall Street as much as anything else. It's just that they weren't told about it by the Allies massive propaganda machine. So partly right

5/10

LetsGetCynical , 8 Jun 2013 11:57

The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe

Which would be what? State planning? Communism? Totally free market capitalism? Oh wait, we already have the best of a bad bunch, a mixed capitalist economy with democracy. That really is the crux of it, our system isn't perfect, never will be, but nobody has come up with a better solution.

outragedofacton -> artheart , 8 Jun 2013 11:55
@artheart - Thank goodness for RT.

Learn also about the West's nefarious activities in the Middle East.

ATrueFinn -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 11:51
@ fr0mn0where 08 June 2013 4:29pm

Barclays bank "only" paid out £660m in dividends to the bearers of risk capital, while its bonus pot for a very select number of its staff was £1.5bn.

Fascinating! Now, one could infer that Barclays represent "beneficial capitalism", rewarding its hard-working employees, but maybe we won't.

This is not the traditional capitalist style

The Traditional capitalist is not an extinct species but under threat. For the time being the population is stagnant in some countries and even increasing in some others. However, due to the foraging capacity of Neoliberal creature , competing in the same economical niche, the size and life expectation of it are diminishing.

dmckm -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 11:50
@ SpinningHugo 08 June 2013 10:59am . Get cifFix for Firefox .

She, knowingly, let neo-liberal economic philosophy come trumpeting through the door of No10 and it's been there ever since; it has guided our politicians for the past 30 odd years. Hence, it is Thatcher's fault. She did this and another bad thing: the woman who glorified household economics pissed away billions of pounds of North Sea Oil.

szwalby -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 11:30
@MickGJ - No, you're right. Why let yesterdays experience feed into what you expect of the future? Lets go forwards goldfish like, every minute a brand new one, with no baggage!
And by the way, who saved the hide of the very much private sector banks and financial institutions? The hated STATE, us tax payers!
fr0mn0where -> ATrueFinn , 8 Jun 2013 11:29
@ATrueFinn -

I think I agree with everything that you say here? The people at the top these days aren't really of much use for anything, including capitalism. The only thing that they do excel at is lining their own pockets and securing their privileged position in society.

They have become quite up front about it. There was a bit of a fuss last year when Barclays bank "only" paid out £660m in dividends to the bearers of risk capital, while its bonus pot for a very select number of its staff was £1.5bn. Barclays released a statement before their AGM explaining:

"Barclays is fully committed to ensuring that a greater proportion of income and profits flow to shareholders notwithstanding that it operates within the constraints of a competitive market."

This is not the traditional capitalist style competition that they are talking about where companies competed as to who can return the biggest profit for their shareholders this now comes secondary to the real competition which is for which company can return the biggest bonuses for a small group of employees.

theonionmurders -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 11:05
@theguardianisrubbish

Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism. In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises.

No wonder you're so ignorant of the basics of economic policy if you won't flick through a book - fear of accepting that you're simply wrong is a sure sign of either pig ignorance or denial, and is as I said embarrassing so its not really much point in wasting anymore time engaging with you.

petercs , 8 Jun 2013 10:44

The neoliberal idea is that the cultivation itself should be conducted privately as well. They see "austerity" as a way of forcing that agenda.

..."neoliberal", concept behind the word, has nothing to do with liberal or liberty or freedom...it is a PR spin concept that names slavery with a a word that sounds like the opposite...if "they" called it neoslavery it just wouldn't sell in the market for political concepts.

..."austerity" is the financial sectors' solution to its survival after it sucked most the value out of the economy and broke it. To mend it was a case of preservation of the elite and the devil take the hindmost, that's most of us.

...and even Labour, the party of trade unionism, has adopted austerity to drive its policy.

...we need a Peoples' Party to stand for the revaluation of labour so we get paid for our effort rather than the distortion, the rich xxx poor divide, of neoslavery austerity.

Crackerpot , 8 Jun 2013 10:43
When the IMF 'admitted' that the first bail out of Greece was 'bungled' are they trying to imply that the subsequent bail outs have been a success....
artheart , 8 Jun 2013 10:34
People need to start watching The Keiser Report to hear the truth, if they can handle the truth. Link here: http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/

I simply cannot recommend it enough.

MickGJ -> bluebirds , 8 Jun 2013 10:30

@bluebirds - deregulated capitalism has failed

Of course it has. And it will continue to "fail", while provide us with all sorts of goodies, for the foreseeable future. Capitalism's endless "failure" is of no more concern than human mortality. Ever tried, ever failed, try again, fail better.
epinoa -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 10:25
@CaptainGrey -

Except it's not. It is still very much alive and growing.

In as much as a zombie is.

The "alternatives" have crashed and burned save Cuba and North Korea.

I'd say the current oligarchical form of capitalism has crashed quite spectacularly. I say this as a free market capitalist too.

[Dec 14, 2018] Noam Chomsky pointed this out aeons ago though-that the American model is to use tax money to benefit private interests through technological infrastructure

Notable quotes:
"... Now we see moneyed entities with vested interests, carpet bagging and flogging off the NHS and an unelected fossil fuel mandarin, at the heart of government decision making, appointing corporate yea-sayers, to the key government departments, with environmental responsibilities. Corporations capturing the state apparatus for their own ends, is 'corporatism.' ..."
"... "Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits." ..."
"... The bailout is simply actual neoliberalism as opposed to the theory inside tiny right wing minds. The system depends on the wealthy not being allowed to suffer the consequences of their own greed, or it would represent revolution and still not work. ..."
"... Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits. It always amusing to see neoliberal morons shout about the red menace when they're two sides of the same coin. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is nothing if not the opposite extreme of the communist planned economy. Like the communist planned economy, neoliberalism is doomed to failure. I think we've all been sold a lie. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | discussion.theguardian.com

epinoa -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 10:19

@Fachan -

Just as democracy is the worst system of government except for all other, so capitalism is the worst economic model except for all other.

Shame we only have bastardized forms of them.
bridkid5 -> NotAgainAgain , 8 Jun 2013 10:18
@NotAgainAgain - this is very true, it reminds me of an engineering company I worked for in Nottingham (since gone under). The production manger was a corrupt thief. He gradually sub-contracted the production work out to other companies in the area, taking backhanders for his troubles.

Once all the production was farmed out, he somehow got himself promoted to director level, where he and a sycophant subbed all the design work out. So all the production and design was done out of house, standards dropped and the company closed, leaving him with a nice payoff, just prior to retirement.

Some would say he played a blinder, my interpretation is he ruined a perfectly viable company, making a very good product, and over the course of about 5 years put over 30 people out of work.

In a just world he would be spending his retirement in prison.

ATrueFinn -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 10:13
@ MickGJ 08 June 2013 2:16pm

ext year's harvest (possibly of GM food which makes better use of scarce resources)

Indeed. Wheat will grow as flour and fly to our cupboards.

ATrueFinn -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 10:10
@ fr0mn0where 08 June 2013 1:53pm

Income distribution and a happy workforce is actually very good for business as well as society!

Of course it is, but the capitalists do not know it. In many countries, including Finland, the "condition of the working classes", ie. working conditions, have been in rapid decline for the last 20 years.

Permanent salaried jobs have been replaced with temps from agencies, unpaid overtime is becoming the norm, burnouts are commonplace and so on.

If in your country things are different, no mass lay-outs and outsourcing to China, count yourself lucky!

crinklyoldgit , 8 Jun 2013 10:04
On form, Debs. Here is something I like.

But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments

Noam Chomsky pointed this out aeons ago though-that the American model is to use tax money to benefit private interests through technological infrastructure.

It was ever thus, if in slightly different forms. Still it is surprising that they have gone so quickly from their stated position at the start of the republic of a rejection of kings and emperors to their position now of corruption so ingrained it is impossible to make distinctions. Proxy emperors are emperors all the same, no matter the rhetoric that promotes them.

One senses that there is very little 'going back' possible. Besides, the great Neoliberal scam is predicated upon the qualities of the 'governments' we have and the capacity of those 'rhetoricians' with the capacity to say anything or play any role, to lick any arse, to get elected. Such apparent strength is weakness. In this world that now exists here, we have now entered the same world as the USSR in the eighties, where the announcement of bumper harvests of wheat, made everyone with a brain cell groan and think 'Oh fuck! no bread this winter-quick, run to the shops now, and buy up all the flour there'.

But there is now no way to declare that without being seen as beyond the pale-a bug eyed conspiracist.

Still, I am a believer in the connectedness of this world. The economic system and its mythologies are just weird and distorted canaries in the coalmine of the wider environment. It is indicating that there is a misalignment between the way we think and what is possible in this world. Austerity promoters and 'Keynsian' Ballsites are one and the same thing-both pretenders that the key to the problems is within their narrow gifts

Hubris is followed by nemesis. In a wider sense what we seen now is a complete failure of the capacity to educate and to learn,and moderate behaviour, and find some way of caring for our 'others', beyond the core of 'self'. nationalism is essentially an extension of 'self'. We now shall see the failure of a retraction of thought into nationalism and scapegoating.

I predict that the population of the world will decline over the next century-quite markedly.
The only solace is that at the end of the process, the pain will be forgotten. It always is.

MysticFish -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 09:57
@MickGJ - Cameron said 'We will cut the deficit, not the NHS,' and promised to be the 'greenest government ever,' saying that you could 'go green,' if you voted 'blue.'

Now we see moneyed entities with vested interests, carpet bagging and flogging off the NHS and an unelected fossil fuel mandarin, at the heart of government decision making, appointing corporate yea-sayers, to the key government departments, with environmental responsibilities. Corporations capturing the state apparatus for their own ends, is 'corporatism.'

Spoutwell , 8 Jun 2013 09:53

Much of the healthy economic growth – as opposed to the smoke and mirrors of many aspects of financial services – that Britain enjoyed during the second half of the 20th century was due to women swelling the educated workforce.

There was very little 'healthy economic growth' in Britain in the second half of the 20th century. Britain was bankrupt after WW2 with its people dependent on Marshall Aid and food contributions from its former 'colonies'.

Whatever 'growth' occured after Marshall Aid arrived was scuppered by a class system where company managers were more concerned with walking on the workers than with keeping their businesses afloat while such discrimination provoked hard left trade union policies which left british industry uncompetitive and ultimately non-existent.

If that wasn't enough, Thatcherism arrived to re-inforce class discrimination, sell off national services and assets and replace social policy with neo-liberal consumerism. Whether the workforce was swollen by women or anyone else is immaterial.

The anti-democratic incestuous class conflict latent in British society continues to ensure that the UK will remain a mere vassal state of foot-soldiers and consumers for international neo-liberal capitalism.

MurchuantEacnamai -> DasInternaut , 8 Jun 2013 09:49
@DasInternaut - Completely agree. The performance has been poor to absymal. But this is a failure of democratic governance because the collective interests of citizens as consumers and service users are not being represented and enforced by the elected politicians since they have been suborned by the capitalists elites and their fellow-travellers.

The people, indeed, have been sold a lie, but, unfortunately, it is only UKIP which is making the political waves by revealing selected aspects of this lie. The three established parties have been 'bought' to varying extents. But more and more citizens are beginning to realise the extent to which they have been bought.

Itsrainingtin , 8 Jun 2013 09:44
There is an upside to all of this, maybe I wont get modded so much from now on for being so angry at the ideological criminals . Hopefully the middle classes will cotton on to the fact that all this is not a mad hatters tinfoil hobby, we need more of them to be grumpy.
szwalby -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 09:43
@MickGJ - We've already seen it. Not great so far. GS4, Winterbourne view, southern cross, trains...............Welfare to work companies, delivering no better results than people left to their own devices. Energy companies.

We'll see if the new wave of free schools, academy schools, and all the service outsourced by the council perform any better.

Doubtful, as to make a profit, they have to employ poorer paid people, less well qualified, and once they've got a contract, they've got very little competition, as when the second round of bidding comes around, as the firms having got the first contract are the only one with relevant experience, they are assured of renewal, the money machine will keep going!

MurchuantEacnamai -> TedSmithAndSon , 8 Jun 2013 09:39
@TedSmithAndSon - There's a huge difference between meddling and ensuring effective governance. But I expect in your omniscence you know that.
theguardianisrubbish -> theonionmurders , 8 Jun 2013 09:38
@theonionmurders - I am not going to read a book.

Neoliberalism are policies that are influenced by neo classical economics. If you are suggesting that the neoliberal school of thought would advocate any kind of a bailout then you are mistaken. Where else have I "apparently" embarrassed myself?

theguardianisrubbish -> TedSmithAndSon , 8 Jun 2013 09:28
@TedSmithAndSon - This is just an inaccurate rant not a reply.

"The system depends on the wealthy not being allowed to suffer the consequences.."

Unless you are completely confused by what neolibralism is there is not a shred of logical sense in this.

"The debt industry are the lenders who take advantage of a financial system..."

Which is what savers are. They come in the form of individuals businesses and governments. This encompasses everyone.

"whilst paying the lowest possible rate. Wonga, for instance."

If you are a lender you do not pay anything, you receive.

"Thatchers revolution was to take our citizenship and give it a value, whilst making everyone else a consumer, all for a handful of magic beans in the shape of British Gas shares."

...not forgetting that she revitalised the economy and got everyone back to work again.

"Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits."

Neoliberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom, communism is definitely not. Neoliberalist policies have lifted millions of people out of poverty in Asia and South America. Communism has no benefits for society open your eyes!

theonionmurders -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 09:24

@theguardianisrubbish - Does this author not realise that a government bailout goes against the whole neoliberal school of thought?

No it isn't. You're confusing neoliberalism with neo classical economics. The level of knowledge on economic theory here is sometimes embarrassing.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/rsw/research_centres/theory/conf/rg/harvey_a_brief_history_of_neoliberalism.pdf

MickGJ -> ATrueFinn , 8 Jun 2013 09:16

@ATrueFinn - After they are finished, what do Singaporeans eat?

Next year's harvest (possibly of GM food which makes better use of scarce resources). I imagine the sun will eventually stop bombarding us with the energy that powers photosynthesis but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
richmanchester -> MurchuantEacnamai , 8 Jun 2013 09:13
@MurchuantEacnamai - I think the point is this, Amazon make money by selling books, they avoid paying taxes, yet expect an educated, literate population to be provided for them, on the grounds that illiterate people don't buy books, and expect roads to move the books around on.

So who will pay for this?

TedSmithAndSon -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 09:12
@theguardianisrubbish - No! The bailout is simply actual neoliberalism as opposed to the theory inside tiny right wing minds. The system depends on the wealthy not being allowed to suffer the consequences of their own greed, or it would represent revolution and still not work.

The debt industry are the lenders who take advantage of a financial system designed to push profits upwards (neoliberalism in practice), whilst paying the lowest possible rate. Wonga, for instance.

Thatchers revolution was to take our citizenship and give it a value, whilst making everyone else a consumer, all for a handful of magic beans in the shape of British Gas shares.

Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits. It always amusing to see neoliberal morons shout about the red menace when they're two sides of the same coin.

szwalby -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 09:04
@MickGJ -

.and provides them at a massively inflated cost accompanied by unforgivable waste and inefficiency, appalling service and life-threatening incompetence.

as opposed to the private sector, who always does what it says it will do, at reasonable cost, for the benefit of their customers, and with due regards to ethics? Like the Banks, the financial sector, who will never sell you a product that isn't the best for you, regardless of their interest? the private companies like Southern Cross, GS4?

The private insurance who refuse to take you on the minute you've got some illness or disability? Get off it! The state isn't perfect, the services it provides are not perfect, but replacing them with private provision isn't the answer!

DasInternaut -> MurchuantEacnamai , 8 Jun 2013 08:59
@MurchuantEacnamai - How would you rate how well British government has done in ensuring markets are genuinely competitive. How well has British government done in ensuring our energy market is competitive, for example. Does the competitiveness we observe in the energy market give customers better or worse value than they had before deregulation? How do you rate the British government's performance in rail and public transport, with respect to competitiveness?

Personally, and notwithstanding the notable exception of telecoms, I rate the British (and US) government's performance in deregulating state entities, creating new markets and ensuring competition, as poor.

Neoliberalism is nothing if not the opposite extreme of the communist planned economy. Like the communist planned economy, neoliberalism is doomed to failure. I think we've all been sold a lie.

[Dec 14, 2018] Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom ..."
"... Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law. ..."
"... So it seems that your suggestion is for a return to western capitalism post-war style - would that be right? (b.t.w. if I bring up the whole Soviet Union thing, it is partly because quite a few commentators in this debate come across as if they wish for something much more leftist than that). ..."
"... What you have missed, is that the lions share of the proceeds of that growth are not going to ordinary people but to a tiny minority of super rich. It is not working for the majority. ..."
"... The taxpayers are left to pick up the tab, nations are divided against immigrants and scroungers and then unfettered evangelists like you can spout as pompously as you like about how much big business would like to remove the state from corporate affairs. ..."
"... Without the state there wouldn't be neo-Liberalism, it took state regulated capitalism to build what unfettered purists insist on tearing apart for short term greed. ..."
"... The trouble is Neo-Liberals do not want to remove the state at all, they want to BE the state and in the process rendering democracy pretty much meaningless. And they've succeeded. ..."
"... The biggest swindle ever pulled was turning the most glaring and crushing failure of unfettered corporatism into the biggest and most crushing power grab implemented in order to suppress the will of the people ..."
"... Nobody hates a market more than a monopoly and capitalism must inevitably end in monopoly as it has. For the profiteering monopolies investment especially via taxation is insane as it can only undermine their monopoly. ..."
"... The bankers have always known that the austerity caused by having to pay off un-payable loans, that increase every year, will eventually produce countries very similar to the "Weimar Days" in pre-Hitler Germany. ..."
"... They also know that drastic conditions such as these often lead to a collapse of democracy and a resurgence of Fascism. ..."
"... Neoliberalism could not exist without massive state support. So the term is meaningless. There is nothing "liberal" about having a huge state funded military industrial complex that acts a Trojan horse for global corporations, invading other countries for resources. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is a branch of economic ideology which espouses the value of the free-market, and removing all protective legislation, so that large companies are free to do what they want, where-ever they want, with no impediments from social or environmental considerations, or a nation's democratic preferences. ..."
"... Business-friendly to who exactly: the nation or hostile overseas speculators? ..."
"... The golden age of 1945 - 1975 or so witnessed huge rises in standards of living so your point linking neo-liberalism to rising standards of living is literally meaningless. There was an explosive growth in economic activity during the three or four post war decades ..."
"... The assumption shared by many round here that the young are some untapped resource of revolutionary energy is deeply mistaken ..."
Jun 10, 2013 | www.theguardian.com

WyldeWolfe , 10 Jun 2013 19:42

Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

So it's been a success then.

disorderedworld , 10 Jun 2013 17:21
A wonderful article that names the central issue. Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law. The resultant rise of financial capitalism, which now eclipses the productive manufacturing-based capitalism that was the engine of world growth since the industrial revolution, has propelled a dangerous self-serving elite to the centre of world power. It's not just inequality that matters, but the character of the global elite.
MatthewBall -> murielbelcher , 10 Jun 2013 16:23
@murielbelcher -

The neo-liberal order commenced only in the late 1970s - there was a very different order prior to this which was not "soviet socialism" as you term it.

So it seems that your suggestion is for a return to western capitalism post-war style - would that be right? (b.t.w. if I bring up the whole Soviet Union thing, it is partly because quite a few commentators in this debate come across as if they wish for something much more leftist than that).

Anyway, my worry with this idea is that I am just not convinced that life in "The West 1945-80" was better on the whole than in "The West 1980-present". It's true that unemployment is higher these days, but a lot of work in the post-war years was boring and physically exhausting; in factories and mines where conditions were degrading and bad for health; and where industrial relations were simply terrible. I think as well that the higher unemployment is a localized phenomenon that many developing countries are not experiencing (this is relevant because Deborah Orr proposes change for the whole world, not merely the West).

There were also frequent recessions and booms - in fact, more frequent (albeit shorter) than now. What seems to have changed in this respect is that, whereas we used to alternate regularly between 2-3 years of boom and 1-2 years of bust, we now have 15 years of continuous boom followed by a (maybe?) 10 year bust (this pattern began around 1980). If you asked me which of these two patterns I preferred, then I think I'd go for the pre-1980 pattern, but its not clear to me that the post-1980 pattern is so much worse as to underwrite a savage indictment of the whole system.

As for Casino banking: they should reform that. Britain's Coalition Government has done something in that respect, although its not very radical - I am hoping Labour can do more. There is certainly a lot to be said for banks going back to a pre-"Big Bang" sense of tradition and prudence.

Buts let's not also forget the plus sides in the ledger for post-1980 capitalism: hundreds of millions in the former third world lifted out of poverty; unprecedented technological innovation (e.g. the internet, which makes access to knowledge more equal even as income inequality grows); and the accomodation (at least in the West) of progressive social change, such as the empowerment of ethnic minorities, LGBT people and women.

Change, yes - but lets be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

MatthewBall -> Grich , 10 Jun 2013 15:40
@Grich -

What you have missed, is that the lions share of the proceeds of that growth are not going to ordinary people but to a tiny minority of super rich. It is not working for the majority. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/07/58-of-real-income-growth-since-1976-went-to-top-1-and-why-that-matters.html

OK, but both the claim and the link cited in support talk only about a problem in the US. This can't really answer my point, which was that the rest of the world should not be expected to support a change to the economic system of the whole world just because of problems that are mostly localised to North America and Europe. People in developing countries might like the fact that they are, at last, catching "the West" up, and might well not care much about widening inequality of incomes in Western societies.

If you are going to propose changes that you want the whole world to adopt, as Deborah Orr does, then you should be careful to avoid casually assuming that Africa, India, China, et al, feel the same way about the world's recent history as we do. It seems to me that not enough care has been demonstrated in this regard.

MarkHH -> MickGJ , 10 Jun 2013 13:34

@MickGJ - Left to their own devices the most extreme neo-liberals would remove the state almost completely from corporate life.

Except when the State has to step in to prop up an unsustainable ideology. Then it's all meek murmurings and pleas for forgiveness and a timid "we'll be better from now" concessions and the Government obliges the public with the farce that they actually intend to do anything at all but make the public pay for the financial sector's state subsidized profligacy.

Once the begging bowl is re-filled of course then the pretense of "business as usual" profligacy rises to the fore.

The taxpayers are left to pick up the tab, nations are divided against immigrants and scroungers and then unfettered evangelists like you can spout as pompously as you like about how much big business would like to remove the state from corporate affairs.

When you well know that is the last thing big business would like to do. More of the state owned pie is always the most urgent of priorities. Poorer services at inflated costs equates as 'efficiency' until the taxpayer is again left to step in and pick up the bill.

Without the state there wouldn't be neo-Liberalism, it took state regulated capitalism to build what unfettered purists insist on tearing apart for short term greed.

The trouble is Neo-Liberals do not want to remove the state at all, they want to BE the state and in the process rendering democracy pretty much meaningless. And they've succeeded.

The biggest swindle ever pulled was turning the most glaring and crushing failure of unfettered corporatism into the biggest and most crushing power grab implemented in order to suppress the will of the people.

Just as IMF loans come with 'obligations' the principle of democracy itself was sold as part of 'the solution'.

The unsustainable, sustained. By slavery to debt, removal of society's safety net and an economy barely maintained by industries that serve the rich, vultures that prey on the weak and rising living costs and the drudgery of a life compounded by a relentless bombardment of everything in life that is unattainable.

Toeparty , 10 Jun 2013 05:28
Nobody hates a market more than a monopoly and capitalism must inevitably end in monopoly as it has. For the profiteering monopolies investment especially via taxation is insane as it can only undermine their monopoly. With the economy now globalised not even a world war could sweep away the current ossified political economy and give capitalism a new lease on life. It's socialism or monopoly capitalist barbarism. Make your choice.
DracoTBastard , 10 Jun 2013 05:26

The IMF exists to lend money to governments,

Money that the governments don't actually need as they can print their own money and spend it to use their countries own resources and then raise taxes to offset the extra spending and thus maintaining monetary value. The reality is that a government should never, ever borrow money.
Malakia123 , 10 Jun 2013 03:35
The beginning period between the two world wars (1919-33) in Germany called the Weimar Republic shows us exactly what severe austerity imposed by the Treaty of Versailles caused. Because the German economy contracted severely due to reparations payments, steady inflation and severe unemployment ensued. Of course the FED having started the Great Depression in America had not helped matters much anywhere in the world. The bankers have always known that the austerity caused by having to pay off un-payable loans, that increase every year, will eventually produce countries very similar to the "Weimar Days" in pre-Hitler Germany.

They also know that drastic conditions such as these often lead to a collapse of democracy and a resurgence of Fascism.

What causes inflation is uncontrolled speculation of the kind we have seen fed by private banking at various crucial points in history, such as the Weimar Republic. When speculation is coupled with debt (owed to private banking cartels) such as we are seeing in America and Europe now, the result is disaster. On the other hand, when a government issues its own "good faith" commerce-related currency in carefully measured ways as we saw in Roman times or Colonial America, it causes supply and demand to increase together, leaving prices unaffected. Hence there is no inflation, no debt, no unemployment, and no need for income taxes.

In reality, the Weimar financial crisis began with the impossible reparations payments imposed at the Treaty of Versailles. It is very similar to the austerity being imposed on European Nations and America as we speak – regardless of the fact that the IMF is trying to pose as "the Good Cop" at the moment! The damage has been done to nations like Greece, and others are soon to follow. The uncontrollable greed of banks and corporations is leading to an implosion of severe magnitude! It's time to open their books and put a stop to these private banks right now!

brucefiiona -> MysticFish , 9 Jun 2013 20:36
@MysticFish - So the US who has a greater spend on the military than communist China is neoliberal?

Neoliberalism could not exist without massive state support. So the term is meaningless. There is nothing "liberal" about having a huge state funded military industrial complex that acts a Trojan horse for global corporations, invading other countries for resources.

The term neoliberal is not only meaningless but misleading as it implies a connection with true liberalism, of which it has no meaningful connection.

brucefiiona , 9 Jun 2013 20:28
Do away with deceptive terms like neoliberalism, capitalism, socialism, left wing and right wing and things become clearer.

At root a lot of the people who get involved in all of the above have very similar character traits - love of power, greed, deceitful, ruthlessness. Most start out with these character traits, and others gain them as a result of power.

Anyone high up in politics or business is unhinged. You have to be. The organizational structures in these things are so synthetic, the beliefs so artificial, rigid, dogmatic and inhuman that only a unhinged person could prosper in this climate.

Most reasonable people admit doubt, are willing to accept compromise, are willing to make the occasional sacrifice for the greater good. All these things are what make us human, however all these things are seen as weaknesses in the inverted world of business and politics.

Business and politics creates an environment where the must inhuman traits prosper.

fr0mn0where -> murielbelcher , 9 Jun 2013 14:42
@murielbelcher -

"no but the highly placed banking and financial class are along with their venal political mates"

For sure but are they capitalists? Although they may well own capital does their power derive from the ownership of capital? You may, or may not be interested in this lecture on the future of capitalism by John Kay.

MysticFish -> AssistantCook , 9 Jun 2013 14:28
@AssistantCook - Neoliberalism is a branch of economic ideology which espouses the value of the free-market, and removing all protective legislation, so that large companies are free to do what they want, where-ever they want, with no impediments from social or environmental considerations, or a nation's democratic preferences. Von Hayek was a major influence and Thatcher was a loyal disciple, as was the notorious dictator, Pinochet. It is economic theory, designed for vulture capitalists, and unpopular industries like fossil fuel or tobacco, and usually the 'freedom' is all one-sided.
MysticFish -> DavidPavett , 9 Jun 2013 14:12
@DavidPavett - If states are too big, then what about multinational banks and corporations? I wonder why Neoliberal ideology does not try to limit the size of these. They are cumbersome and destructive, predatory dinosaurs and yet our politicians seem mesmerised to the point of allowing them special favours, tax incentives and the ability to determine our nation's policies in matters such as energy and health. Why not 'Small is Beautiful,' when it comes to companies? It doesn't make sense to shrink the state but then let non-transparent and unaccountable, multinational companies become too powerful. One gets the feeling the country is being invaded by the interests of hostile nations, using all-too-convenient Neoliberal ideology and hidden behind a corporate mask.
Jesús Rodriguez , 9 Jun 2013 12:46
Is the IMF ever stop evading its responsibility and blaming others for the worldwide financial tragedy it has provoked? Is it ever stop hurting the working class?
theguardianisrubbish -> murielbelcher , 9 Jun 2013 07:28
@murielbelcher -

"Neo-liberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom for the rich and powerful elites is all."

No it is not that is what you want to believe. There is nothing in this statement other than an opinion based on nothing.

"Many people across the globe were lifted out of poverty between 1945-1980 so what does your statement about neo-liberalism prove"

Which countries during this period saw massive sustainable reductions in poverty without some free market model in place?

"It is you who should open your eyes and stop expecting people on here to accept your ideological beliefs and statements as facts."

I don't expect people to accept my beliefs I am just pointing out why I think their beliefs are wrong. This is a comment section the whole idea of it is to comment on different views and articles. How can you ever benefit or make an accurate decision or belief if you do not try to understand what the opposite belief is? I think nearly everything I have said has been somewhat backed up by logic or a fact, I have not said wishy washy statements like:

"Neo-liberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom for the rich and powerful elites is all."

Unless you can expand on this and give evidence or some form of an example why you think its true then it makes no sense. You are not the only commentor on this article to make a similar statement and the way people have attempted to justify it is due to bailouts but as I have said a bailout is not part of the neoliberal school of thought so if you have a problem with bailouts you don't have a problem with neoliberalism.

theguardianisrubbish -> murielbelcher , 9 Jun 2013 07:10
@murielbelcher - I don't want to go to far into Thatcherism because it is slightly off topic. The early 80s recession was a global recession and yes during the first few years unemployment soared. Why was that because the trade unions were running amok the UK was losing millions of days of work per month.

Inflation was getting out of control and the only way to solve it was a self induced recession. You cannot seriously believe that without the reforms that she implemented we would not have recovered as quick as we did nor can you argue that it was possible for her or anyone else to turn around such an inefficient industry. Don't forget the problems of the manufacturing industry go back way before Thatcher's time.

theguardianisrubbish -> someoneionceknew , 9 Jun 2013 06:34
@someoneionceknew -

"Here's your problem. You believe that banks lend savings. They don't. Loans create deposits create reserves."

I am not claiming to be an expert on this if you are then let me know and please do correct me. I agree banks do not lend deposits but they do lend savings. There is a difference putting money on deposit is different to say putting money into an ISA. I don't agree though that deposits create reserves I believe that they come from the central bank otherwise banks would be constrained by the amount of deposits in the system which is not true and something you have said is not true.

Nevertheless, the majority of liquidity in the bond markets (like most other markets) comes from institutional investors, i.e pension funds, unit trusts, insurance companies, etc. They get their money from savings by consumers as well as sometimes companies. Ok we don't always give our money to insurance companies when we save but via premiums is another way the ordinary consumer contributes to this so called "debt industry". I also said that foreign and local governments buy debt and companies invest directly into the debt market.

MysticFish -> MickGJ , 9 Jun 2013 06:17
@MickGJ - Business-friendly to who exactly: the nation or hostile overseas speculators?
theguardianisrubbish -> TedSmithAndSon , 9 Jun 2013 06:14
"In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). "

Iceland would disagree.

"The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism."

Why have only the rich benefited from the bailout? You are not making any sense.

"The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism."

Why? You cannot just say a statement like that and not expand, it makes no sense.

"Thatcher "revitalised" banking, while everything else withered and died."

...but also revitalised the economy and got everyone back to work.

"Neoliberalism is based on the thought that you get as much freedom as you can pay for, otherwise you can just pay... like everyone else."

Again you have to expand on this because it makes no sense.

"In Asia and South America it has been the economic preference of dictators that pushes profit upwards and responsibility down, just like it does here."

Don't think that is true in most cases nor would it make sense. Why would a dictator who wants as much power as possible operate a laissez-faire economy? You cannot have personal freedom without having economic freedom, it is a necessary not sufficient condition. Tell me a case where these is a large degree of political freedom but little to no economic freedom. Moreover look at the countries in Asia and South America that have adopted a neoliberal agenda and notice their how poverty as reduced significantly.

"I find it ironic that it now has 5 year plans that absolutely must not be deviated from, massive state intervention in markets (QE, housing policy, tax credits... insert where applicable), and advocates large scale central planning even as it denies reality, and makes the announcement from a tractor factory."

Who has 5 year plans?

"In theory it's one thing, the reality is entirely different."

If the reality is different to the theory then it is not neoliberalism that is being implemented therefore it makes no sense to dispute the theory. Look at where it has been implemented, the best case in the world at the moment is Hong Kong look at how well that country has performed.

"a massive lie told by rich people "

I can assure you I am not rich.

"Until we're rid of it, we're all it's slaves."

Neoliberalism is based on personal freedom. If you believe this about neoliberalism in your opinion give me one economic school of thought where this does not apply.

theguardianisrubbish -> theonionmurders , 9 Jun 2013 05:35
@theonionmurders -

"Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism."

What you are saying does not make sense. Whatever you say about that there was no where else to turn the government had to bailout out the banks a neolibralist would disagree.

"In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. "

That's corporatism which so far you have described pretty well.

"History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises."

What?! Bailouts have been occurring before the industrial revolution. Deregulation in the UK occurred mainly during the 80s not 70's. Furthermore financial deregulation occurred in the UK in 1986. In the USA the major piece of financial deregulation was the Gramm Leach Bliley Act which was passed in 1999. So you have just undercut your own point with the examples you gave above. You could argue Argentina and we could argue all day about the causes of that, but I would say that any government that pursues an expansionary monetary policy under a fixed ER is never going to end well.

"...policy if you won't flick through a book."

My point was that when people quote a source they tend to either quote the page that the point comes from. To be honest if this book is telling you that neoliberalism and neoclassical are significantly different (which you seemed to suggest in you earlier post) then I would suggest put the book down.

ATrueFinn -> fireman36 , 9 Jun 2013 04:17
@ fireman36 09 June 2013 1:32am

Don't like it? Change the rules.

Exactly! However:

"Google, Amazon and Apple... avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments."

Yes to the first, no to the second. Corporations with revenues exceeding the GDP of a small nation have quite a lot of power: Exxon's revenue is between the GDP of Norway and Austria. In Finland Nokia generated 3 4 % of the GDP for a decade and the government bent backwards to accommodate its polite requests, including a specific law reducing the privacy of employees' emails.

Grich -> MatthewBall , 8 Jun 2013 22:29
@MatthewBall -

I am not sure if this is true. We have the same economic system (broadly speaking, capitalism) as nearly every country in the world, and the world economy is growing at a reasonable rate, at around 3-4% for 2013-14 (see http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/pdf/c1.pdf for more details).

We percieve a problem in (most of) Europe and North America because our economies are growing more slowly than this, and in some cases not at all. The global growth figure comes out healthy because of strong growth in the emerging countries, like China, Brazil and India, who are narrowing the gap between their living standards and ours. So, the world as a whole isn't broken, even if our bit of it is going through a rough patch.

What you have missed, is that the lions share of the proceeds of that growth are not going to ordinary people but to a tiny minority of super rich. It is not working for the majority. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/07/58-of-real-income-growth-since-1976-went-to-top-1-and-why-that-matters.html

oriel46 -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 22:08
@Fachan - Except that it isn't capitalism that was being criticized here, but neoliberalism: a distinction that's often lost on neoliberals themselves, ironically.
TomorrowsWorld , 8 Jun 2013 19:58
I'm sure that Denis Healy and any number of African economists would confirm that the IMF is quite simply a refuge of absolutely last resort, when investor confidence in your economy is so shattered that the only way ahead is to open the shark gates and allow big money to plunder whatever value remains there, without the benefit of any noticeable return for your people. Greece is but one more victim of a syndrome that encompasses all the science and forensic analysis of ritual sacrifice.
murielbelcher -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 19:10
@OneCommentator - don't confuse economic deregulation which acted as handmaiden to global finance and multinationals as economic freedoms for population

China's govt was doing what china's govt had decided to do from 1978 BEFORE the election of Thatcher in 1979 or Reagan in 1980 (office from Jan 1981), so very little correlation there I think

The GATT rounds whether you agree with their aims or not were the products of the post war decades, again before Thatcher and Reagan came to power

The golden age of 1945 - 1975 or so witnessed huge rises in standards of living so your point linking neo-liberalism to rising standards of living is literally meaningless. There was an explosive growth in economic activity during the three or four post war decades

murielbelcher -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 19:04
@theguardianisrubbish - you can't get away with this

She DID not get everyone back to work again. There were two recessions at either end of the 1980s. She TRIPLED unemployment during the first half of the 1980s and introduced the phenomenon of high structural unemployment and placing people on invalidity benefits to massage the headline unemployment count. Give us the figures to back up your assertion that she "got everyone back to work again." I suspect that you cannot and your statement stands for the utter nonsense that it is in any kind of reality.

A few months after she was forced out Tory Chancellor Norman Lamont in 1991 during yet another recession declared that "unemployment was a price worth paying"!!!

Neo-liberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom for the rich and powerful elites is all. Many people across the globe were lifted out of poverty between 1945-1980 so what does your statement about neo-liberalism prove

It is you who should open your eyes and stop expecting people on here to accept your ideological beliefs and statements as facts.

Because they are not: in no shape, way or form

fireman36 , 8 Jun 2013 19:03
Not very impressed to be honest. For starters:

"The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt. And, of course, its loans famously come with strings attached: adopt a free-market economy, or strengthen the one you have, kissing goodbye to the Big State."

That's glib and inaccurate. A better read about the IMF from an insider: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/ Digest: the biggest problem the IMF have to deal with in bailouts is always the politics of cronyism; free-market oligarchs and government in cahoots.

"Many IMF programs "go off track" (a euphemism) precisely because the government can't stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program "goes back on track" once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern -- and thus win or lose -- under the IMF-supported plan. The real fight in Thailand and Indonesia in 1997 was about which powerful families would lose their banks. In Thailand, it was handled relatively smoothly. In Indonesia, it led to the fall of President Suharto and economic chaos."

MickGJ -> JohnBroggio , 8 Jun 2013 18:42

@JohnBroggio - who caters for the idealist vote?

Generally whoever happens to be in opposition at the time. This made the LibDems the ideal (sorry) choice for a long time but then they broke a long-standing if unspoken promise that they would never actually be in government.

Last weekś Economist has some very interesting stuff from the British Social Attitudes survey which shows the increasing drift away from collectivist ideals towards liberalism over each succeeding generation.

The assumption shared by many round here that the young are some untapped resource of revolutionary energy is deeply mistaken

[Dec 14, 2018] Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom by Deborah Orr

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe ..."
"... The IMF also admits that it "underestimated" the effect austerity would have on Greece. Obviously, the rest of the Troika takes no issue with that. Even those who substitute "kick up the arse to all the lazy scroungers" whenever they encounter the word "austerity", have cottoned on to the fact that the word can only be intoned with facial features locked into a suitably tragic mask. ..."
"... Yet, mealy-mouthed and hotly contested as this minor mea culpa is, it's still a sign that financial institutions may slowly be coming round to the idea that they are the problem. ..."
"... Markets cannot be free. Markets have to be nurtured. They have to be invested in. Markets have to be grown. Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments. ..."
"... The neoliberalism that the IMF still preaches pays no account to any of this. It insists that the provision of work alone is enough of an invisible hand to sustain a market. Yet even Adam Smith, the economist who came up with that theory , did not agree that economic activity alone was enough to keep humans decent and civilised. ..."
"... Governments are left with the bill when neoliberals demand access to markets that they refuse to invest in making. Their refusal allows them to rail against the Big State while producing the conditions that make it necessary. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | www.theguardian.com

The crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe

Sat 8 Jun 2013 02.59 EDT First published on Sat 8 Jun 2013 02.59 EDT

The IMF's limited admission of guilt over the Greek bailout is a start, but they still can't see the global financial system's fundamental flaws, writes Deborah Orr. Photograph: Boris Roessler/DPA FILE T he International Monetary Fund has admitted that some of the decisions it made in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis were wrong, and that the €130bn first bailout of Greece was "bungled". Well, yes. If it hadn't been a mistake, then it would have been the only bailout and everyone in Greece would have lived happily ever after.

Actually, the IMF hasn't quite admitted that it messed things up. It has said instead that it went along with its partners in "the Troika" – the European Commission and the European Central Bank – when it shouldn't have. The EC and the ECB, says the IMF, put the interests of the eurozone before the interests of Greece. The EC and the ECB, in turn, clutch their pearls and splutter with horror that they could be accused of something so petty as self-preservation.

The IMF also admits that it "underestimated" the effect austerity would have on Greece. Obviously, the rest of the Troika takes no issue with that. Even those who substitute "kick up the arse to all the lazy scroungers" whenever they encounter the word "austerity", have cottoned on to the fact that the word can only be intoned with facial features locked into a suitably tragic mask.

Yet, mealy-mouthed and hotly contested as this minor mea culpa is, it's still a sign that financial institutions may slowly be coming round to the idea that they are the problem. They know the crash was a debt-bubble that burst. What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return; even if they do, the same thing will happen again, but more quickly and more savagely. The thing is this: the crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response from the start should have been a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe, a "structural adjustment", as the philosopher John Gray has said all along.

The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt. And, of course, its loans famously come with strings attached: adopt a free-market economy, or strengthen the one you have, kissing goodbye to the Big State. Yet, the irony is painful. Neoliberal ideology insists that states are too big and cumbersome, too centralised and faceless, to be efficient and responsive. I agree. The problem is that the ruthless sentimentalists of neoliberalism like to tell themselves – and anyone else who will listen – that removing the dead hand of state control frees the individual citizen to be entrepreneurial and productive. Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further – some setting about the task with greater relish than others. Now the task, supposedly, is to get the free market up and running again.

But the basic problem is this: it costs a lot of money to cultivate a market – a group of consumers – and the more sophisticated the market is, the more expensive it is to cultivate them. A developed market needs to be populated with educated, healthy, cultured, law-abiding and financially secure people – people who expect to be well paid themselves, having been brought up believing in material aspiration, as consumers need to be.

So why, exactly, given the huge amount of investment needed to create such a market, should access to it then be "free"? The neoliberal idea is that the cultivation itself should be conducted privately as well. They see "austerity" as a way of forcing that agenda. But how can the privatisation of societal welfare possibly happen when unemployment is already high, working people are turning to food banks to survive and the debt industry, far from being sorry that it brought the global economy to its knees, is snapping up bargains in the form of busted high-street businesses to establish shops with nothing to sell but high-interest debt? Why, you have to ask yourself, is this vast implausibility, this sheer unsustainability, not blindingly obvious to all?

Markets cannot be free. Markets have to be nurtured. They have to be invested in. Markets have to be grown. Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments.

And further, those who invest in these companies, and insist that taxes should be low to encourage private profit and shareholder value, then lend governments the money they need to create these populations of sophisticated producers and consumers, berating them for their profligacy as they do so. It's all utterly, completely, crazy.

The other day a health minister, Anna Soubry , suggested that female GPs who worked part-time so that they could bring up families were putting the NHS under strain. The compartmentalised thinking is quite breathtaking. What on earth does she imagine? That it would be better for the economy if they all left school at 16? On the contrary, the more people who are earning good money while working part-time – thus having the leisure to consume – the better. No doubt these female GPs are sustaining both the pharmaceutical industry and the arts and media, both sectors that Britain does well in.

As for their prioritising of family life over career – that's just another of the myriad ways in which Conservative neoliberalism is entirely without logic. Its prophets and its disciples will happily – ecstatically – tell you that there's nothing more important than family, unless you're a family doctor spending some of your time caring for your own. You couldn't make these characters up. It is certainly true that women with children find it more easy to find part-time employment in the public sector. But that's a prima facie example of how unresponsive the private sector is to human and societal need, not – as it is so often presented – evidence that the public sector is congenitally disabled.

Much of the healthy economic growth – as opposed to the smoke and mirrors of many aspects of financial services – that Britain enjoyed during the second half of the 20th century was due to women swelling the educated workforce. Soubry and her ilk, above all else, forget that people have multiple roles, as consumers, as producers, as citizens and as family members. All of those things have to be nurtured and invested in to make a market.

The neoliberalism that the IMF still preaches pays no account to any of this. It insists that the provision of work alone is enough of an invisible hand to sustain a market. Yet even Adam Smith, the economist who came up with that theory , did not agree that economic activity alone was enough to keep humans decent and civilised.

Governments are left with the bill when neoliberals demand access to markets that they refuse to invest in making. Their refusal allows them to rail against the Big State while producing the conditions that make it necessary. And even as the results of their folly become ever more plain to see, they are grudging in their admittance of the slightest blame, bickering with their allies instead of waking up, smelling the coffee and realizing that far too much of it is sold through Starbucks.

[Dec 14, 2018] The era of neoliberalism has seen a massive increase in government, not a shrinkage. The biggest change is the role of governments - to protect markets rather than to protect the rights and dignities of its citizens

Notable quotes:
"... The era of neoliberalism has seen a massive increase in government, not a shrinkage. The biggest change is the role of governments - to protect markets rather than to protect the rights and dignities of its citizens. When viewed by outcome rather than ideological rhetoric, it becomes increasingly clear that neoliberalism has nothing to do with shrinking the state, freeing markets, or freeing the individual, and everything to do with a massive power grab by a global elite. ..."
"... What was the billions of pounds in bank bailout welfare and recession on costs all about? You tell me. All the result of the application of your extremist free market ideology? Let the banks run wild, they mess up and the taxpayer has to step in with bailout welfare and pay to clear up the recession debris ..."
"... Market participants and their venal political friends have during the past 30 years of extremist neo-liberal ideology rigged, abused, distorted and subverted their market and elite power to tilt the economic and social balance massively in their favour ..."
"... Neo liberalism = the favoured ideology of the very rich and powerful elite ..."
"... at last somebody is looking at globalisation and asking whose interests is it designed to serve? It certainly ain't for the people. ..."
"... the highly placed banking and financial class are along with their venal political mates ..."
"... We've had three decades of asset stripping in favor of the rich elites and look at the mess we're in now. ..."
"... I strongly believe that people are not being told the full story. Like the NSA surveillance revelation, the effects will not be pretty when the facts are known. No country needs the IMF. ..."
"... The mythology surrounding deficits and national debt is a religion that the world is in desperate need of debunking. Like religion, the mythology is used as a means of power and entrenchment of privilege for the Ruling Caste, not the plebs (lesser mortals). ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.theguardian.com
justamug , 8 Jun 2013 18:09
This article is a testament to our ignorance. Orr is no intellectual slouch, but somehow, like many in the mainstream, she still fails to address some fundamental assumptions and thus ends up with a muddled argument.

"What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return;"

Lending has not stopped - it's just moved out of one market into another. Banks are making profits, and banks profit are made by expanding credit.

Neoliberal ideology insists that states are too big and cumbersome, too centralised and faceless, to be efficient and responsive.

Yes and no. There is a difference between what is preached and what happens in practice. The era of neoliberalism has seen a massive increase in government, not a shrinkage. The biggest change is the role of governments - to protect markets rather than to protect the rights and dignities of its citizens. When viewed by outcome rather than ideological rhetoric, it becomes increasingly clear that neoliberalism has nothing to do with shrinking the state, freeing markets, or freeing the individual, and everything to do with a massive power grab by a global elite.
murielbelcher -> MurchuantEacnamai , 8 Jun 2013 18:06
@MurchuantEacnamai - well righty ideologues such as yourself and your venal political acolytes have utterly failed to support the case or institute measures that: "apply effective democratic governance to ensure market

What was the billions of pounds in bank bailout welfare and recession on costs all about? You tell me. All the result of the application of your extremist free market ideology? Let the banks run wild, they mess up and the taxpayer has to step in with bailout welfare and pay to clear up the recession debris

Market participants and their venal political friends have during the past 30 years of extremist neo-liberal ideology rigged, abused, distorted and subverted their market and elite power to tilt the economic and social balance massively in their favour

You the taxpayer are good enough to bail us out when we mess up but then we demand that your services are cut in return and that your employment is ever more precarious and wages depressed (at the lower end of the scale - never ever the higher of course!! That's the neo-liberal deal isn't it

Neo liberalism = the favoured ideology of the very rich and powerful elite and boy don't they know how to work its levers

freedomrespect , 8 Jun 2013 18:00
Very insightful commentary and at last somebody is looking at globalisation and asking whose interests is it designed to serve? It certainly ain't for the people. Amazing it's been approved on a UK liberal newspaper as well!
Boguille -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 17:57
@Fachan - There was nothing in the article about envy. It was an exposition of the failure of our present system which allows the rich to get ever richer. That would be fine if it weren't for the fact that the increasing disparity in wealth is bringing down the economy and making it less productive while leaving a large part of the population in, or on the verge of, poverty.