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In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, author of the book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), denounced European media who write lies under pressure from the CIA. An English translation now is available but is very expensive. Wikipedia has the following information about the book:
In 2014, Ulfkotte published the book Gekaufte Journalisten (German Bought Journalists), in which he stated that the CIA and other secret services pay money to journalists to report stories in a certain light. According to Ulfkotte, the CIA and German intelligence (BND) bribe journalists in Germany to write pro-NATO propaganda articles, and it is well understood that one may lose their media job if they fail to comply with the pro-Western agenda. Der Spiegel noted that "Ulfkotte’s book was published by Kopp, a melting pot for conspiracy theorists. Kopp publishes works by ufologists, and by authors who claim the Americans destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center themselves in 2001... Ulfkotte’s critics see the book as a vendetta against the FAZ, which he left on bad terms."
On May 15, 2017 Next Revelation Press, an imprint of US-Canadian-based publisher Tayen Lane, released the English version of Bought Journalists, under the title, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News. James F. Tracy wrote on the globalresearch.ca conspiracy theory website that this English translation appears to have been suppressed throughout North America and Europe, that Tayen Lane has since removed any reference to the title from its website, and that, correspondingly, Amazon.com (per 31 July 2017) indicates the title is “currently unavailable,” with opportunities to purchase from independent sellers offering used copies for no less than $1309.09. The book’s subject matter and unexplained disappearance from the marketplace suggest that powerful entities are seeking to prevent its circulation, according to Tracy. Tracy also cites Ulfkotte saying the book "was almost completely ignored by mainstream German news media", although Gekaufte Journalisten sold more than 120,000 copies, lingered on the Der Spiegel bestseller list for 18 weeks, and was reviewed (and ridiculed) in Der Spiegel by Jan Fleischhauer who in June 2015 also wrote a portrait of Ulfkotte which was republished in January 2017.
Here is an informative review by
Mar 03, 2006 | www.nytimes.com
Can you trust the BBC news? How many journalists are working for the security services? The following extracts are from an article at the excellent Medialens
HACKS AND SPOOKS
By Professor Richard Keeble
And so to Nottingham University (on Sunday 26 February) for a well-attended conference...
I focus in my talk on the links between journalists and the intelligence services: While it might be difficult to identify precisely the impact of the spooks (variously represented in the press as "intelligence", "security", "Whitehall" or "Home Office" sources) on mainstream politics and media, from the limited evidence it looks to be enormous.
As Roy Greenslade, media specialist at the Telegraph (formerly the Guardian), commented:
"Most tabloid newspapers - or even newspapers in general - are playthings of MI5."
Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of covert UK warfare, report the editor of "one of Britain's most distinguished journals" as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll.
And in 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists.
In their analysis of the contemporary secret state, Dorril and Ramsay gave the media a crucial role. The heart of the secret state they identified as the security services, the cabinet office and upper echelons of the Home and Commonwealth Offices, the armed forces and Ministry of Defence, the nuclear power industry and its satellite ministries together a network of senior civil servants.
As "satellites" of the secret state, their list included "agents of influence in the media, ranging from actual agents of the security services, conduits of official leaks, to senior journalists merely lusting after official praise and, perhaps, a knighthood at the end of their career".
Phillip Knightley, author of a seminal history of the intelligence services, has even claimed that at least one intelligence agent is working on every Fleet Street newspaper.
A brief history
Going as far back as 1945, George Orwell no less became a war correspondent for the Observer - probably as a cover for intelligence work. Significantly most of the men he met in Paris on his assignment, Freddie Ayer, Malcolm Muggeridge, Ernest Hemingway were either working for the intelligence services or had close links to them.
Stephen Dorril, in his seminal history of MI6, reports that Orwell attended a meeting in Paris of resistance fighters on behalf of David Astor, his editor at the Observer and leader of the intelligence service's unit liasing with the French resistance.
The release of Public Record Office documents in 1995 about some of the operations of the MI6-financed propaganda unit, the Information Research Department of the Foreign Office, threw light on this secret body - which even Orwell aided by sending them a list of "crypto-communists". Set up by the Labour government in 1948, it "ran" dozens of Fleet Street journalists and a vast array of news agencies across the globe until it was closed down by Foreign Secretary David Owen in 1977.
According to John Pilger in the anti-colonial struggles in Kenya, Malaya and Cyprus, IRD was so successful that the journalism served up as a record of those episodes was a cocktail of the distorted and false in which the real aims and often atrocious behaviour of the British intelligence agencies was hidden.
And spy novelist John le Carré, who worked for MI6 between 1960 and 1964, has made the amazing statement that the British secret service then controlled large parts of the press – just as they may do today.
In 1975, following Senate hearings on the CIA, the reports of the Senate's Church Committee and the House of Representatives' Pike Committee highlighted the extent of agency recruitment of both British and US journalists.
And sources revealed that half the foreign staff of a British daily were on the MI6 payroll.
David Leigh, in The Wilson Plot, his seminal study of the way in which the secret service smeared through the mainstream media and destabilised the Government of Harold Wilson before his sudden resignation in 1976, quotes an MI5 officer: "We have somebody in every office in Fleet Street"
And the most famous whistleblower of all, Peter (Spycatcher) Wright, revealed that MI5 had agents in newspapers and publishing companies whose main role was to warn them of any forthcoming "embarrassing publications".
Wright also disclosed that the Daily Mirror tycoon, Cecil King, "was a longstanding agent of ours" who "made it clear he would publish anything MI5 might care to leak in his direction".
Selective details about Wilson and his secretary, Marcia Falkender, were leaked by the intelligence services to sympathetic Fleet Street journalists. Wright comments: "No wonder Wilson was later to claim that he was the victim of a plot". King was also closely involved in a scheme in 1968 to oust Prime Minister Harold Wilson and replace him with a coalition headed by Lord Mountbatten.
Hugh Cudlipp, editorial director of the Mirror from 1952 to 1974, was also closely linked to intelligence, according to Chris Horrie, in his recently published history of the newspaper.
David Walker, the Mirror's foreign correspondent in the 1950s, was named as an MI6 agent following a security scandal while another Mirror journalist, Stanley Bonnet, admitted working for MI5 in the 1980s investigating the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Maxwell and Mossad
According to Stephen Dorril, intelligence gathering during the miners' strike of 1984-85 was helped by the fact that during the 1970s MI5's F Branch had made a special effort to recruit industrial correspondents – with great success.
In 1991, just before his mysterious death, Mirror proprietor Robert Maxwell was accused by the US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of acting for Mossad, the Israeli secret service, though Dorril suggests his links with MI6 were equally as strong.
Following the resignation from the Guardian of Richard Gott, its literary editor in December 1994 in the wake of allegations that he was a paid agent of the KGB, the role of journalists as spies suddenly came under the media spotlight – and many of the leaks were fascinating.
For instance, according to The Times editorial of 16 December 1994: "Many British journalists benefited from CIA or MI6 largesse during the Cold War."
The intimate links between journalists and the secret services were highlighted in the autobiography of the eminent newscaster Sandy Gall. He reports without any qualms how, after returning from one of his reporting assignments to Afghanistan, he was asked to lunch by the head of MI6. "It was very informal, the cook was off so we had cold meat and salad with plenty of wine. He wanted to hear what I had to say about the war in Afghanistan. I was flattered, of course, and anxious to pass on what I could in terms of first-hand knowledge."
And in January 2001, the renegade MI6 officer, Richard Tomlinson, claimed Dominic Lawson, the editor of the Sunday Telegraph and son of the former Tory chancellor, Nigel Lawson, provided journalistic cover for an MI6 officer on a mission to the Baltic to handle and debrief a young Russian diplomat who was spying for Britain.
Lawson strongly denied the allegations.
Similarly in the reporting of Northern Ireland, there have been longstanding concerns over security service disinformation. Susan McKay, Northern editor of the Dublin-based Sunday Tribune, has criticised the reckless reporting of material from "dodgy security services". She told a conference in Belfast in January 2003 organised by the National Union of Journalists and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission: "We need to be suspicious when people are so ready to provide information and that we are, in fact, not being used." (www.nuj.org.uk/inner.php?docid=635)
Growing power of secret state
Thus from this evidence alone it is clear there has been a long history of links between hacks and spooks in both the UK and US.
But as the secret state grows in power, through massive resourcing, through a whole raft of legislation – such as the Official Secrets Act, the anti-terrorism legislation, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and so on – and as intelligence moves into the heart of Blair's ruling clique so these links are even more significant.
Since September 11 all of Fleet Street has been awash in warnings by anonymous intelligence sources of terrorist threats.
According to former Labour minister Michael Meacher, much of this disinformation was spread via sympathetic journalists by the Rockingham cell within the MoD.
A parallel exercise, through the office of Special Plans, was set up by Donald Rumsfeld in the US. Thus there have been constant attempts to scare people – and justify still greater powers for the national security apparatus.
Similarly the disinformation about Iraq's WMD was spread by dodgy intelligence sources via gullible journalists.
Thus, to take just one example, Michael Evans, The Times defence correspondent, reported on 29 November 2002: "Saddam Hussein has ordered hundred of his officials to conceal weapons of mass destruction components in their homes to evade the prying eyes of the United Nations inspectors." The source of these "revelations" was said to be "intelligence picked up from within Iraq". Early in 2004, as the battle for control of Iraq continued with mounting casualties on both sides, it was revealed that many of the lies about Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD had been fed to sympathetic journalists in the US, Britain and Australia by the exile group, the Iraqi National Congress.
Sexed up – and missed out
During the controversy that erupted following the end of the "war" and the death of the arms inspector Dr David Kelly (and the ensuing Hutton inquiry) the spotlight fell on BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan and the claim by one of his sources that the government (in collusion with the intelligence services) had "sexed up" a dossier justifying an attack on Iraq.
The Hutton inquiry, its every twist and turn massively covered in the mainstream media, was the archetypal media spectacle that drew attention from the real issue: why did the Bush and Blair governments invade Iraq in the face of massive global opposition? But those facts will be forever secret.
Significantly, too, the broader and more significant issue of mainstream journalists' links with the intelligence services was ignored by the inquiry.
Significantly, on 26 May 2004, the New York Times carried a 1,200-word editorial admitting it had been duped in its coverage of WMD in the lead-up to the invasion by dubious Iraqi defectors, informants and exiles (though it failed to lay any blame on the US President: see Greenslade 2004). Chief among The Times' dodgy informants was Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress and Pentagon favourite before his Baghdad house was raided by US forces on 20 May.
Then, in the Observer of 30 May 2004, David Rose admitted he had been the victim of a "calculated set-up" devised to foster the propaganda case for war. "In the 18 months before the invasion of March 2003, I dealt regularly with Chalabi and the INC and published stories based on interviews with men they said were defectors from Saddam's regime." And he concluded: "The information fog is thicker than in any previous war, as I know now from bitter personal experience. To any journalist being offered apparently sensational disclosures, especially from an anonymous intelligence source, I offer two words of advice: caveat emptor."
Let's not forget no British newspaper has followed the example of the NYT and apologised for being so easily duped by the intelligence services in the run up to the illegal invasion of Iraq.
Richard Keeble's publications include Secret State, Silent Press: New Militarism, the Gulf and the Modern Image of Warfare (John Libbey 1997) and The Newspapers Handbook (Routledge, fourth edition, 2005). He is also the editor of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. Richard is also a member of the War and Media Network.
Aug 23, 2011 | Truthout
At the onset of World War II, Walt Disney was not alone in his belief that film should play a dominant role in the teaching process or, as he claimed, in "molding opinion."7 He was, however, at the forefront of a movement to recognize a "new aspect of the use of films in war": training industrial workers and soldiers.8 Some historians try to account for Disney's participation in generating military propaganda by claiming that the studios were "taken over by the military as part of the war effort"9 on December 8, 1941. But Richard Shale has meticulously documented Disney's much earlier attempts to court contracts with the aircraft industry, the U.S. Council of National Defense, and Canadian military supporters.10 Indeed, despite a "popular (and frequently quoted) misconception" that the relationship between Disney Studios and the U.S. military was "unexpected or unsolicited," Shale observes an explicit shift in Disney's focus from "entertainment values to teaching values" that occurred before Disney acquired his first U.S. military contracts in December 1941.11 For instance, in 1940 Disney approached the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation with the idea of generating a training film on flush riveting. And in the spring of 1941, with Canada already engaged in war, Disney convinced the commissioner of the National Film Board of Canada, John Grierson, that animated films were better positioned as teaching tools than documentary films because of their "capacity for simplifying the presentation of pedagogical problems."12 Grierson then bought the Canadian rights to Four Methods of Flush Riveting and commissioned Disney to produce an instructional film that taught soldiers how to use an antitank rifle and four short films that encouraged Canadians to purchase war savings certificates.
Then, in the fall of 1941, Walt Disney toured South America at the bequest of the U.S. Office of Inter-American affairs, which was attempting to establish good relations and "hemispheric unity as explicated in Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy."13 With material collected on the trip, Disney proceeded to generate two feature films, Saludos Amigos (1943) and The Three Caballeros (1945), both intended to celebrate Latin American culture while accentuating its similarities with North American culture (and downplaying or ignoring issues like national politics and poverty).14 Born out of U.S. fear of a Nazi alliance with countries like Argentina, the films aimed to "enhance the Latin American image in the United States," while also "enhanc[ing] America's appreciation of Latin American Everymen."15 Yet, in making The Three Caballeros palatable to white Middle America and American imperialism less threatening to southerners, Disney more often than not caricatures Latin American culture as a voluptuous, exotic female who is fleeing the attentions of a libidinous, but comically ineffectual Donald Duck.16 There is little doubt that a relationship between Disney Studios and the U.S. government had been fully cemented by 1943, when 94 percent of the footage produced by Disney was under government contract.17
From 1941 to 1945, the Disney Studios produced dozens of short educational films, with their subjects ranging from aircraft and warship identification to dental hygiene to the household conservation of cooking oil for the making of military weapons. The studio also produced a number of anti-Nazi short films, including Der Fuehrer's Face (1943), Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi (1943), and Reason and Emotion (1943), two of which were nominated for Academy Awards. In these shorts, Hitler is depicted as waging a mind-control campaign over the German people based on the manipulation of emotions such as anger, love, fear, sympathy, pride, and hate, while also occasionally employing force, regimentation, depravation, and false rewards. Of course, the success of the films' efforts to expose Nazi propaganda overwhelmingly relies on the use of comic devices, caricatures, and stereotypes to make Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito seem irrational and absurd.
Demonizing the enemy, according to Disney historian Leonard Maltin, "relieves aggression."18 This claim, suggesting that the films function to disperse rather than focus emotional energy, clearly sidesteps the multiple ways in which the films, much like the propaganda they critique, attempt to shape their audience's emotional responses, such as when Donald Duck, clad in starred-and-striped pajamas, croons to the Statue of Liberty, "Oh, boy, am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America!" Most significant about the techniques used by these Disney shorts is how they embody animation's capacity to draw clear, simple lines and present a selective representation of an otherwise complex reality. Through the use of comedy and comedic violence, in particular, Disney films are often released from the expectation that they might be attempting to do more than entertain.
Viewers wooed by animation's unique capacity to create novel images through exaggeration, distortion, and aesthetic style are easily absorbed into an imaginary world that quite deliberately focuses their eyes on a constructed reality to the exclusion of other possibilities. The value of the anti-Nazi short films for today's audiences lies in their obvious attempt to win the hearts and minds of American viewers through clever visual and ideological manipulation, while ironically issuing repeated warnings to viewers not to allow emotion to short-circuit their critical faculties. A historical perspective on the subject matter sets in relief how Disney's critique of propaganda using the medium of animation inevitably ventures into the realm of propaganda itself.
Also Read: Truthout's Book Review of "The Mouse That Roared"
And, Also See: "How Disney Magic and the Corporate Media Shape Youth Identity in the Digital Age"
During the war, a significant number of the studio's resources were devoted to making another feature-length propaganda film, Victory through Air Power (1943). The film, based in part on a book written by Major Alexander P. De Seversky, advocates the development of airplane and weapons technology as the means to win the war against the Axis powers. We are told the airplane will not only "revolutionize warfare" but is "the only weapon of war to develop such usefulness during peacetime." Dramatic music punctuates scenes that explore new models of airplanes with increased bombing potential. The United States as the "arsenal of democracy" is represented as a giant heart comprising factories that pump "war supplies" through "the arteries of our transport lines over distances that actually girdle the globe." This organic, humanizing image of "the great industrial heart of America" contrasts with the mechanical image of a spoked wheel used to represent the Nazi war industries, which are also vividly portrayed in dark reds and blacks suggestive of a hellish inferno. Japan is represented as a deadly, black octopus extending its "greedy tentacles" over its "stolen empire." We are told of the necessity for U.S. long-range bombers to strike at "the heart and vitals of the beast." With the lethal combination of the "superior" American "science of aviation" and "science of demolition," the "enemy lies hopelessly exposed to systematic destruction." At the same time, the film announces that "scientific bombing" will enable a "minimum investment in human lives," an oddly ambiguous use of language suggestive of two possible meanings in the context in which it appears: the assertion that aerial bombing of enemy territories requires a "minimum investment" of American soldiers and, what is both more sinister and perhaps in need of such coded language, the claim that bombing the enemy entails such "total destruction" that no human lives requiring "investment" will be left in its wake. Indeed, the film's climax consists of a montage of exploding bombs among Japanese cities and factories, which begin curiously unpopulated and end utterly annihilated. At the pinnacle of the climactic violence, the screen resolves into an image of a bald eagle descending upon and crushing the land-ridden octopus, which then dissolves into a dark cloud of smoke rising above Japan as "America the Beautiful" plays in the background.
Walt Disney believed that Victory through Air Power convinced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to support to long-range bombing.19 For a contemporary viewer who has the benefit of hindsight, the unquestioned propaganda offered by Victory through Air Power leaves one with the eerie feeling that the perspective being shaped by the film would not only fail to question the use of technology such as the atomic bomb but even wholeheartedly celebrate it as the quickest and most effective way to win the war. Indeed, it is precisely the film's unflinching support of the development of bigger and better bombing technology, from small hand-dropped bombs to ten-ton delayed-action bombs and armor-piercing bomb rockets, that might seem most disturbing given the devastating effects of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the postwar escalation of arms development during the Cold War and the ongoing expansion of the military-industrial complex in the United States.20 But Walt Disney did not just support the development of larger weapons; he was a firm supporter of what might be called the atomic age and made the classic 1956 propaganda film Our Friend the Atom, which was also produced as a book and appeared as an atomic submarine ride in the Tomorrowland section of Disney's Magic Kingdom. In this instance, as Mark Langer points out, Our Friend the Atom was designed to "counter opposition to the military use of atomic weaponry."21 The Magic Kingdom became an outpost for leading young people and adults to believe that an "Atomic reactor . . . is like a big furnace. An atomic chain reaction is likened to what happens when a stray ping-pong ball is thrown at a mass of mousetraps with ping-pong balls set on each one."22 Disney played a formidable role in convincing every school child that atomic energy was central not merely to winning the Cold War but also to preparing them for a future that would be dominated by the United States and its use of new energy sources, which incidentally could be instrumental in elevating the United States to the position of the world's preeminent military power. Mouse power easily and readily made the shift to celebrating atomic power and militarism while enlarging Disney's role as a major purveyor of propaganda.
The Disney films discussed above alert us to the fact that Disney animators honed their skills and gained widespread popular appeal in the 1940s by first producing propaganda films for the U.S. government. This often neglected reality underlying Disney's origins as a cultural entertainment icon should make us all the more careful to heed Janet Wasko's warning that Disney encodes preferred readings of both its animated films and its own brand image to such an extent that "one of the most amazing aspects of the Disney phenomenon is the consistently uniform understanding of the essence of 'Disney.'"23
Attuned to Disney's willingness to assume an overt pedagogical role during World War II, several critics of a more recent Disney film, Aladdin (1992), noted that the timing of the film's production and release coincided with U.S. military efforts in the Persian Gulf war. According to Christiane Staninger, Aladdin is "a propaganda movie for Western imperialism" that "shows the supposed unworkability of Middle Eastern traditions and the need for American intervention."24 Dianne Sachko Macleod takes this critique a step further, suggesting a link between Disney's "revival of British and French colonial stereotypes of Arab traders, fanatics, and beauties" and the "storehouse of racial and cultural images" used by the Pentagon to justify the war.25 Macleod notes that regardless of the filmmakers' intentions, the film had the general effect of "privileging the American myths of freedom and innocence at a time of nationalist fervor."26 Other connections between the film and the first Iraq war are not especially subtle: in addition to locating Aladdin in the fictional city of "Agrabah," it makes the villainous Grand Vizier Jafar look like a combination of Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini, while the two young heroes, Aladdin and Jasmine, not only look American-Disney animators made it publicly known that Aladdin was modeled after Tom Cruise27-but also, as Brenda Ayres suggests, display their heroism by "contesting (and changing) Arabian law and Islamic religious tradition."28 While it is impossible to discern the actual motives of the Disney animators, it is equally impossible to ignore the cultural context in which the American public viewed Aladdin. At the time of the film's release, the dominant media were aggressively promoting similar images of liberation from barbaric traditions in order to justify the United States' "right to intervene in Middle Eastern politics."29
Disney's Conservative Path
Despite the well-documented history of collaboration between the Walt Disney Company and U.S. military and state institutions, Disney has more recently claimed to have no interest in politics. How Disney's decision in May 2004 to block its Miramax division from distributing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 might qualify as a nonpolitical gesture is uncertain. At the time, a senior executive stated that "it's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle."30 Not only were a number of Disney's top executives known to be campaign contributors to the George W. Bush administration,31 but then CEO Michael Eisner was reported to have said that any criticism of the Bush administration might "endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor."32 Miramax arranged privately to buy Moore's film and distribute it independently, and in 2005, the founders of Miramax, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, did not renew their contracts with Disney.33
As suggested above, the company's alleged desire to remain outside politics contradicts the reality of Disney's historical pattern of intervening in political matters. It is hardly surprising, then, that in the wake of the unprecedented success of Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary, Disney/ABC decided to produce its own account of the events leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A $40 million miniseries titled The Path to 9/11, originally touted as a docudrama "based on the 9/11 Commission Report" and later as the "official true story," constituted a blatant political move on the part of Disney/ABC.34 In addition, Scholastic, Inc., the educational distribution partner for Disney/ABC, sent one hundred thousand letters to high school teachers across the United States encouraging them to use The Path to 9/11 in the classroom curriculum and directing them to online study guides.35
The miniseries was billed by its self-labeled conservative writer Cyrus Nowrasteh as an "objective telling of the events of 9/11"36 but faced severe criticism for its partisan depiction of events and actors. The Path to 9/11, directed by evangelical Christian filmmaker David Cunningham,37 depicted members of the Bill Clinton administration as totally incompetent, having repeatedly ignored opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and overlooked warnings of an incipient attack before September 11, 2001. When prescreened to a select number of film reviewers before it aired on television, the miniseries was received with skepticism and outrage, not merely from Democrats and Clinton supporters. Robert Cressey, a top counterterrorism official to both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, argued that a scene depicting the Clinton administration's refusal to pursue bin Laden was "something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It's factually wrong. And that's shameful."38 Nearly one hundred thousand readers of the online journal Think Progress sent protest letters to Robert Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, stating that the film inaccurately "places primary responsibility for the attacks of 9/11 on the Clinton administration while whitewashing the failures of the Bush administration."39 According to Tom Shales, writing for the Washington Post, the miniseries qualified as an "assault on truth."40 Shales added, "Blunderingly, ABC executives cast doubt on their own film's veracity when they made advance copies available to such political conservatives as Rush Limbaugh but not to Democrats who reportedly requested the same treatment. . . . Democrats have a right to be suspicious of any product of the conservative-minded Walt Disney Co."41 A group of academic historians led by Arthur M. Schlesinger sent a letter to ABC calling for the network to "halt the show's broadcast and prevent misinforming Americans about their history."42
The film presents a number of clichéd stereotypes of "big government" and bureaucratic incompetence, depicting paper-pushing officials as woefully indecisive at crucial moments, primarily because they are too self-interested to put their necks on the line. Clinton, for example, is represented as not wanting to issue orders for military action against al-Qaeda because he's too worried about the effect such decisions might have on the polls, that is, when he is not caught up in dealing with the fallout from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In one scene, General Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, which waits for U.S. approval to go after bin Laden, asks in a scornful tone, "Are there any men left in Washington?" Individuals working on the ground who buck procedure and orders from their superiors are, by contrast, willing to "take the heat." So, apparently, is George W. Bush, whose decisiveness in giving a strike-down order to the military after the 9/11 attacks really functions as the climax of the whole miniseries. One could imagine Bush political supporters cheering as this scene unfolded: finally, they could rest assured that there was a real man in Washington. Meanwhile, several FBI and U.S. customs agents recognize the nature of the "new kind of war" being waged against America, and their appeals to racial profiling and domestic spying appear justified in the film. For example, in a brief dialogue, one FBI agent states, "Americans have the right to be protected from domestic spying," and the central protagonist of the film, FBI counterterrorism agent John O'Neil (portrayed by Harvey Keitel), replies, "Do they have the right to be killed by terrorists?" Heroic individuals such as O'Neil are willing to bypass "red tape" and stand in stark contrast to (1) politicians who are too worried about public opinion not to bow to the pressures of "political correctness," (2) uncooperative CIA officials who jealously guard intelligence when they are not mindlessly adhering to obsolete federal legislation that protects individuals' rights, and (3) various utterly casual security officials and workers who would rather appease suspicious-looking members of the public than be confronted with a situation that might embroil them in conflict. And that is not all. The film contrasts the coolness of John O'Neil's astute judgments with the irrationality of emotionally overwrought women, such as the ambassador to Yemen, Barbara Bodine (Patricia Heaton), and the fanatic zeal of the terrorists. In fact, many of the characters who represent terrorists such as Mohamed Atta (Martin Brody) and Ramzi Yousef (Nabil Elouahabi) share the same intense stare, bristly mustache, and swarthy skin exhibited by Hitler in Disney's World War II propaganda films. While it might be possible for a viewer to overlook insipid dialogue, fallacious logic, melodrama, and weak narrative structure, it is virtually impossible to ignore the film's use of racist and sexist stereotypes to lend legitimacy to all the standard bogeys of extreme right-wing ideology. And, most importantly, there remains the film's utterly deceptive self-presentation as a historically accurate depiction of events. Even lead actor Harvey Keitel told a CNN interviewer prior to the airing of the miniseries,
I had questions about certain events-material I was given in The Path to 9/11 that I did raise questions about. . . . Not all the facts were correct. . . . You cannot cross the line from a conflation of events to a distortion of the event. No. Where we have distorted something, we made a mistake, and that should be corrected. It can be corrected, by the people getting involved in the story that they are going to see.43
In response to the controversy surrounding The Path to 9/11, Scholastic, Inc., announced that its online study guide did not meet the company's "high standards for dealing with controversial issues" and would be replaced with new materials that would focus more on media literacy and critical thinking.44 ABC also responded to protests by broadcasting disclaimers about the miniseries's "fictionalized" representation while airing a minimally reedited version on September 10 and 11, 2006. But ABC's rather inexplicable decision to air the broadcast without commercials-entailing a loss of $40 million45-fostered an illusion of the film's closer proximity to real life, if not also conveying the impression that it was a public service announcement. Most significantly, the broadcast that aired on the second night was framed by a strategic interruption-George W. Bush's Address to the Nation-prompting one journalist to note the "thematic synchronicity," as the president's speech called for ongoing support for the war on terror.46 It is difficult to deny the political synergy suggested by the combination of the rightwing The Path to 9/11 and Bush's speech-synergy being a profitdriven marketing strategy by no means unfamiliar to a megacorporation like Disney47-as Bush appealed to Americans to recognize the ongoing threat of terrorism and the necessity of preemptive action as the only way to safeguard "advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism."48 When placed in the context of the film, Bush's success could be measured in terms of how the post9/11 decisions made by his government succeeded where Clinton's administration apparently had failed. Furthermore, the timely juxtaposition allowed the film to gain a greater veneer of authenticity from the speech's presentation of topical and really existing political concerns, while the film in turn provided credible images and points of reference for listeners trying to engage the highly rhetorical, often self-referential use of language characteristic of Bush's speech. Additionally, the blurring of fact and fiction embodied by the film lent to the speech the mythic or symbolic power generated by extended narrative, and the grandeur of the presidential address added authority to the film.
As a context for Bush's speech, The Path to 9/11 made an effort to point out some of the problems in law enforcement and governance that preceded the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but the nature of the critique-although presented as objective and all encompassing-never rises above criticizing particular individuals for their character failings. The film was cleverer, however, in the way it indicated the supposed gaps in the system and advocated taking a hard line, but offered no concrete alternatives. In doing so, the film left it to Bush to emerge as the ultimate hero, opening up a space for a timely description of the measures instituted since 9/11:
We've created the Department of Homeland Security. We have torn down the wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information. We've tightened security at our airports and seaports and borders, and we've created new programs to monitor enemy bank records and phone calls. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, we have broken up terrorist cells in our midst and saved American lives.49
If The Path to 9/11 presented a single narrative perspective (the "path" taken) as the infallible "truth," then Bush's speech, with a similar kind of religious confidence, also took for granted that only one predetermined course could secure the nation from the terrorist threat. At no point did the film or Bush's speech suggest that the situation was complex enough to necessitate the consideration of several possible paths; indeed, both narratives closed off the possibility of questioning the effectiveness of the security measures endorsed and instituted. Difficult questions-such as the extent to which freedom should be limited in order to be secured or the kinds of sacrifices entailed by "national security"-were simply ignored in favor of the message that Americans must do whatever it takes to defeat the "enemy." It is hard to believe that the gross trivializations of the complex issues surrounding terrorism and the war in Iraq in The Path to 9/11 and Bush's address could almost escape public protest only five years after the horrifying events of September 11, 2001.
One notable exception to the general complaisance with which the public received The Path to 9/11 involved a group of students at Ithaca College who protested the college's acceptance of a private donation from Robert Iger on the grounds that The Path to 9/11, touted as a docudrama, was actually an egregious display of media bias. Students argued that "accepting Disney money would send the wrong message about the importance of objectivity to the school's journalism and communications students."50 Although a Disney spokesperson responded to the student protesters by calling them "people who can't distinguish between fact and fiction," Ithaca College president Peggy R. Williams lent credence to the students' concerns by reassuring them that Iger's donation "does not buy Disney any influence on campus. . . . Our curriculum decisions are our own."51 Although certainly admitting no wrongdoing, Disney has uncharacteristically and tellingly opted not to sell The Path to 9/11 on DVD-defying the expectations of both those who assumed the company would try to recover the costs of making the miniseries and vociferous right-wing groups who continue to support the film's representation of the events leading to 9/11.52
The National Security-Family: Meet The Incredibles
As films like Aladdin and The Path to 9/11 suggest, the Walt Disney Company has an impressive ability to revise more or less familiar stories, updating the issues to make them resonate in people's lives at the current moment. It is how Disney offers audiences not simply escape but also a mode of relating to the real conditions of their existence that makes Disney films such a long-lived and potent force in U.S. and global popular culture. As Louis Marin suggests regarding the powerful cultural role of Disney theme parks, Disney represents both "what is estranged and what is familiar: comfort, welfare, consumption, scientific and technological progress, superpower, and morality." Importantly, Marin adds, "These are values obtained by violence and exploitation; [in Disney culture] they are projected under the auspices of law and order."53 Marin's framework is especially useful for understanding a film such as The Incredibles as mediating the "imaginary relationship that the dominant groups of American society maintain with their real conditions of existence, with the real history of the United States, and with the space outside of its border."54 In a post-9/11 world, Academy Award winner The Incredibles brings home the need not only to reclaim "superpower" identity as a quintessential American quality but also to recognize that American soil is not immune to the threat of violent attacks. In response to the forces threatening America-internally, the weakening of superhero resolve in the face of excessive bureaucracy, public cynicism, and unthinking adherence to the law; externally, enemies whose infantile resentment at being "not super" results in a genocidal campaign against everything "super," even to the extent of terrorizing an innocent public-the PG-rated film sanctions violence as a means to establish a new brand of "law and order." Although hearkening back to the nuclear family as the source of America's security and strength, the film diverges from past narratives in its emphasis on a natural order in which authority and power belong in the hands of the few strong leaders left in America, while the rest of us must duly recognize our inevitable "mediocrity." This overall message is especially disturbing in light of the events following 9/11, when the United States witnessed a growing authoritarianism throughout the larger culture.55 Some consequences of the American response to the tragic terrorist attacks have been a general tolerance for the use of preemptive violence and coercion, control of the media, the rise of repressive state power, an expanding militarization, and a thriving surveillance and security industry that is now even welcomed in public schools. And these are only some of the known consequences: many of the effects of the Bush administration's policies are still coming to light. In 2009, President Barack Obama ordered the release of top-secret Bush administration memos that sanctioned the CIA's use of torture on terror suspects. A year previous, New York Times reporter David Barstow wrote an exposé of "independent" military analysts who appeared on television networks to inform the public with their expert and objective impressions of the war in Iraq (many were retired army generals and had direct ties to corporations that were courting government military contracts). It turned out the Pentagon was coaching the military analysts behind the scenes to put a favorable spin on the Bush administration's "wartime performance," with the apparent collusion of U.S. media networks, including ABC, which failed to check for, or simply ignored, evident conflicts of interest.56 In addition to calling into question the journalistic integrity of the media, the scandal made it seem as if the Bush administration's public relations machine was taking its cues from corporations such as Disney by not only launching a marketing campaign carefully tailored to uphold its public image but also secretly controlling access to information and limiting public discourse, all in order to sell a sense of security to the American people.
An emphasis on controlling public speech and public spaces-not to mention autocratic rule, secrecy, and the appeal to security-is nothing new to Disney, whose theme parks, according to Steven Watts, "blur the line between fantasy and reality by immersing visitors in a totally controlled environment."57 Disneyland is a useful space, apparently, to undertake surveillance, and Walt Disney offered the FBI "complete access" to Disneyland facilities in the 1950s for "use in connection with official matters and for recreational purposes."58 Indeed, the development of a cordial relationship between Walt Disney and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is now better understood not only in relation to Walt Disney's fervent anticommunism but also in light of revelations that he may have served as "a secret informer for the Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."59 Certainly, as Watts indicates, it is known that Disney was appointed a special FBI agent in part because of his desire to root out so-called communist agitators from the film industry.60 More recently, Eric Smoodin notes that the Disney corporation remains "interested in constructing surveillance as entertainment," as suggested by the marketing of products such as a Mickey Mouse doll with glow-in-the-dark eyes that illuminate sleeping children for the benefit of parental scrutiny.61
The Incredibles, with its complex appeal to several levels of audience, received overwhelming praise from film critics, who admired not only its retromodern aesthetic and detailed animation but also its "stinging wit."62 However, most reviewers who observed an "edge of intellectual indignation"63 focused on the first thirty minutes of the film in which the main character, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), is forced to conceal his superhero identity as a consequence of public disaffection and a string of lawsuits (he is sued after rescuing a suicidal man named Sansweet who claimed Mr. Incredible had "ruined [his] death"). With "average citizens" now proclaiming they want "average heroes," Mr. Incredible; his superhero wife, Elastigirl/Helen (Holly Hunter); and their children become the middle-of-the-road Parr family, trying to maintain a normal suburban lifestyle by suppressing their superpowers in what one reviewer suggests is a "suspicious society that's decidedly below-Parr."64 As suggested by a Boston Globe film review, Bob Parr's cubicle office job as a claims adjuster at Insuricare is designed to evoke identification with the "middle-age blues felt by audience members."65 But many reviewers, in choosing to highlight the film's critique of suburban conformity and corporate greed, misread or overlook the film's central message, which does not elicit identification on the part of a mere newspaper journalist or academician: in fact, normal people who wrongly identify with superheroes and devalue their worth are society's worst threat. The film's villain, Buddy aka Syndrome (Jason Lee), begins as Mr. Incredible's "number one fan" but then transgresses the boundary between admiration and emulation. Conflict arises when Buddy asserts that his rocket boot technology enables him "to be super" without being born with superpowers. When rejected by Mr. Incredible, who prefers to "work alone," Buddy turns the pathological injury into villainy with an ideological goal: to provide the technology "so that everyone can be superheroes. . . . And when everyone's super, no one will be." The connections between Buddy and the dominant media's portrayal of international terrorists are multiple: his fixation on demolishing a superpower, his development of hightech weaponry, his narcissistic rage, his ideological purpose, and, what resonates most clearly, his plan to gain power over a fearful public by launching a plane at Manhattan. At one point, Buddy even tells Mr. Incredible, "Now you respect me, because I'm a threat. . . . It turns out there's a lot of people, whole countries, who want respect. And they will pay through the nose to get it." Given the film's resounding judgment of Buddy/Syndrome-he is shredded by a jet turbine while attempting to kidnap the Parr baby-it is difficult to understand how the film's message could be interpreted, as one reviewer suggests, as empowering viewers to recognize the "secret identities we all keep tucked away in our hearts."66 Even if one were to extend an allegorical reading of The Incredibles to argue that all Americans are super, it would not be possible to elide the film's clear validation of a social hierarchy along primordial lines.
Throughout the film, the plight of the super family is closely linked to their superiority. The Incredibles' son Dash (Spencer Fox), frustrated by not being able to demonstrate his speed in school sports competi-tions, acts out in his fourth-grade class by playing pranks on his teacher. Dash wins his father's admiration, but the thought of a graduation ceremony for fourth-graders leads Mr. Incredible to burst out, "It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional . . . " Later in the film, Elastigirl reassures daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), "Your identity is your most valuable possession. . . . Doubt is a luxury we can't afford anymore. You have more power than you realize. Don't think. Don't worry. If the time comes, you'll know what to do. It's in your blood." As A. O. Scott astutely recognizes in a New York Times review, the movie argues, "Some people have powers that others do not, and to deny them the right to exercise those powers, or the privileges that accompany them, is misguided, cruel and socially destructive."67 Being "super" in such a framework does not mean being smart or being virtuous; it simply means possessing innate power. The highly advanced modern society produces mediocrity because its ethics (a belief in social justice and equality) counter the effects of natural selection by nullifying Darwinian fitness as the condition for survival.
If the film indeed offers up "the philosophy of Ayn Rand"-who opposed collectivism, altruism, and the welfare state in favor of egoistic individualism-then it turns to violence as the means to achieve supremacy.68 At no point during The Incredibles' "eardrum-bashing, metal-crunching action sludge" and its self-referential mockery of "monologuing" does the film suggest that reasoning, discussion, or any other form of peaceful resolution might be pursued instead of violence. More in keeping, however, with Disney conventions than Rand's philosophy is the film's conflation of the pursuit of individualism with the protection of the nuclear family. One reviewer cleverly summarizes the film's main theme as "the family that slays together stays together."69 In this way, the white, nuclear, middle-class family becomes the ethical referent for a bombproof collectivity: only a muscular protection of one's own will ensure stability, identity, and agency, not to mention consumerism, heterosexuality, clearly defined gender roles, parenthood, and class chivalry. The result is that the film brings "individuals and their families to the centers of national life, offering the audience an image of itself and of the nation as a knowable community, a wider public world beyond the routines of a narrow existence."70 But the American nation drawn by the film is imaged as one that neither shies away from use of force nor requires any justification for its display of blatant chauvinism when confronted by others.
The Incredibles further contrasts the banality of suburban life with the glamour and excitement of "hero work." The elaborate security compounds of Syndrome's island and the home of fashion designer Edna Mode (Brad Bird) are suped up with the latest high-tech gadgetry, the exhilarating navigation of which bears a close resemblance to video game playing, particularly in the medium of computer-generated animation. And even if the filmmakers' intended to parody gated homes à la Hollywood Hills in their representation of Edna Mode's mansion, the cumulative message makes security and surveillance systems seem not only unthreatening but also quite normal-at least as familiar as, say, the presence of gates and cameras at Walt Disney World. In fact, Syndrome's island has a developed monorail system, which implies a double reference both to the James Bond movie Dr. No (1962) and to Disney World itself. Referentiality seems to come full circle as The Incredibles' island imitates Bond films that likely drew on the model of Disney theme parks in portraying the villain's lair. For instance, Bond's antagonist in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) "inhabits a politically autonomous island that features an amusement park funhouse,"71 an allusion that betrays cultural anxiety about a rigidly controlled theme park environment governed by an autocrat who deliberately toys with defenseless people's perceptions and plays upon their fears. The Bond films were tapping into a darker side of the Disney-designed spaces, also noted by M. Keith Booker, who writes, "The fictional utopias portrayed in the [Disney] parks have a definite dystopian side, as anyone who has ever been bothered by the efficiency with which the parks are able to control and manipulate the vast populations who visit them has noticed."72 Yet, the lush tropical island in The Incredibles works less to expose the dark side of a totally regulated world than to associate it with exotic thrills and gamelike suspense as the superheroes infiltrate Syndrome's compound-a brilliant advertisement for a family adventure at Walt Disney World, if there ever was one. More disturbing is the recognition that as dominant culture in the United States accepts the expansion of a security-military-surveillance-intelligence complex, negotiating such altered environments can be reduced to slapstick comedy (when, for instance, Elastigirl finds herself stretched between two security doors and must fight against a number of armed guards). Not rendered entirely harmless, the island environment also represents the ideal locale for the Incredible children to rise to the challenge of a real danger-their mother tells them that unlike "the bad guys" on "Saturday morning cartoons . . . these guys will kill you"-and to engage the enemy in a display of family loyalty and heroic exceptionalism.
Because "calls to action litter the film," critics such as David Hastings Dunn have suggested that The Incredibles is "an allegorical tale justifying U.S. foreign policy under George W. Bush."73 Indeed, the only imaginable way the "slightly fascist" Incredibles could be labeled a "family-friendly film,"74 as one critic claims, is if one assumes the "super" refrain throughout the film is an oblique reference to American superiority and supremacy, such that viewers are included as part of one big national family, a family that has recently demonstrated its mettle on the world stage by waging wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, Mr. Incredible repeatedly argues for an ethic of intervention and pushes aside anyone who poses an obstacle to action. Those individuals who wish to prevent superheroes from acting are fundamentally weak: people who claim their right to noninterference, politicians who cravenly seek public approval, lawyers who succumb to financial pressures, teachers who suppress any challenges to their authority, and employers who expect blind obedience to corporate policy. Interventionism is legitimated when Bob/Mr. Incredible helps an elderly woman with her insurance claim, only to face his irate boss, who indicates that Bob's loyalties must be redirected to one specific purpose: "Help our people! Starting with our stockholders." While the diminutive Mr. Huph (Wallace Shawn) launches into a speech about the necessity for the "little cogs" in the company machine to "mesh together," Mr. Incredible is prevented from saving a man in the street who is being mugged. The film deserves credit for extending a clichéd critique of office work as crushing of individual creativity to a representation of greed and corruption plaguing private corporations charged with providing public services. Unfortunately, the only solution to the social ills of exploitation and dehumanization proffered by the film is to put one's faith in the individuals who have the power to subjugate a clear and unambiguous enemy, in other words, a militaristic version of the old adage "Father knows best." Before we join the throngs of enthusiastic reviewers who laud the film for its exposure of corporate abuses of power, it should be understood that the film is as much invested in showing how postindustrial capitalism-and liberal democracy even more so-elevates the weak manipulators above the authentic strongmen. Instead of presenting a viable solution to the ravages of neoliberal economics on social democracy, The Incredibles offers only one reactionary alternative devised in the realm of fantasy: superheroes will save us as long as we recognize our natural inferiority and give them our unqualified vote of confidence. The huge, hard-bodied Mr. Incredible is ready to rescue America from the city slicker, ladies' man softness of the postwar era. (Admittedly, this superhero for a "postfeminist" generation has an exceedingly competent female sidekick/wife, but one who tellingly possesses the complementary superhero power of extreme malleability).
When considered alongside the blockbuster success of The Incredibles and its overarching message in 2004, it probably should not surprise us that George W. Bush was reelected the same year-in part because his public relations team managed to convince voters that, in an insecure world rife with terrorist threats, they should depend on his uncompromising judgments of good and evil, his impervious cowboylike manner, and his "strong, stable personality." What makes The Incredibles appear to be superheroes is the same quality that apparently made George W. Bush seem presidential: the ability to act free from the paralyzing effects of thoughtful consideration. This orientation toward decisive action in the film becomes an end in itself since, as Jeremy Heilman points out, "There are no scenes in which characters learn to use their power responsibly (except for those that extol conformity), and no moments in which loss of life is felt."75
According to George Soros, the events of 9/11 renewed a "distorted view" of American supremacy that "postulates that because we are stronger than others, we must know better and we must have right on our side."76 If American patriotism reached a fever pitch in the aftermath of 9/11, then The Incredibles clearly tapped into a desire to assert U.S. preeminence on the world stage. Indeed, all the superheroes are American, and the only non-American with any power is a villainous French mime named Bomb Voyage. The overall message of the film, as Hastings Dunn points out, is a perennial neoconservative theme: "America's failure to spread its values can lead to 'blowback' from former clients and protégés."77 The only response offered by the film to a society supposedly weakened by a misguided egalitarianism and the post–Cold War softening of American resolve is to minimize in-stitutional and legal controls while letting unrestrained power achieve its deserved place of domination. For "supers" to dictate the common good once again, The Incredibles concludes, "it's up to the politicians." It is difficult to imagine a more resounding dismissal of democratic processes than this final assertion, suggesting less the need for political accountability and public participation than the need for emboldened leaders whose decisive action should be divorced from the values and constraints imposed by the mediocre masses.
Disney and the Rhetoric of Innocence
The bizarre way in which The Incredibles marries two dangerous social ideals-a Darwinist notion of survival of the fittest and a retrograde identity politics based on biological superiority-can verge on acceptability when it is packaged as a Disney animated film that carries the overarching association with childhood innocence. Audiences are meant to appreciate the fact that if in a fit of rage Mr. Incredible destroys a car, or another human being for that matter, then it is simply a natural expression of his innate "super" identity and not something that requires moral assessment. Or, worse yet, it is something that can only be considered as intrinsically good. By appealing to the view that "might is right," the film fails to open up the possibility that values and ethics are constituted by various social mechanisms and material relations of power. Instead, the tautological rationale suggests that being "right" is simply entailed by being "super," such that the imperative to conquer the enemy who threatens one's way of life remains not only above question but also without any negative consequences (after all, the enemy is not "super" like us). The presumption of innate American benevolence is implied by a reading of The Incredibles as a national allegory. At stake in this concept of America as a superpower is the belief that its leaders and the entire populace are incorruptible and therefore exemplify absolute goodness.78
As we have seen in previous chapters, this notion of a benign, incorruptible nature is nothing new to Disney, whose cultural productions rely on innocence as a rhetorical tool to legitimate dominant relations of power. The Incredibles slightly modifies the concept of childhood innocence by linking it to a citizenry in need of a blameless and absolute paternalistic authority to safeguard its interests. The appeal to innocence often enables animated Disney films to fly below a critical radar. The Incredibles probably does so, despite its authoritarian overtones, because of the historical and cultural context in which it was received. After the tragic events of 9/11, Americans sought an opportunity to envision themselves as proactive agents of history rather than its passive victims and as part of a community with strong leadership that could instill hope for security and redemption in a world that seemed hostile to such desires.
However, when politics is cloaked in the guise of innocence, more is at stake than a simple affirmation of desire. At stake is the way in which Disney films garner the cultural power to influence how people think not simply through their particular mode of representation but also through shaping the knowledge and subjectivities of their viewers in order to valorize some identities while disabling others. Film watching involves more than entertainment; it is an experience that reproduces the basic conditions of learning. To understand Disney films, we need to understand how Disney culture influences public understandings of history, national coherence, and popular values in ways that often conceal injustice, dissent, and the possibility of democratic renewal. While the retro style and clever allusiveness of The Incredibles appeal to what is aesthetically pleasing about America's past, there is no acknowledgment of an underlying totalitarian ethos driving, for instance, U.S. military and imperial expansion during the Cold War. Although weakling institutions and individuals hinder all things "super," Mr. Incredible, as an exemplary cultural icon, enables the reconstruction of American history purged of its seamy side, not least of all through an appeal to nostalgia, stylized consumption, and a reinvigorated patriotism. Moreover, The Incredibles' comic representation of 1950s suburban mediocrity does little to challenge the prevailing discourses of patriarchy, class, and sexism. In fact, the film pays tribute to the consumerism, patriarchy, and family values associated with 1950s sitcoms by suggesting that the failing of such a family orientation lies not in its oppressive control but in how settling into a mundane reality and accepting the onset of complacency sap its inherent magisterial vitality. Taking what it considers best from that era, the film revitalizes conservative ideology for a new generation of video-gaming kids, sexing up the suburban doldrums with designer superhero garb and high-tech stunts that substitute spectacle for critical engagement.
The Incredibles and The Path to 9/11 are films produced at a particular historical moment that share the theme of defending U.S. hegemony and values against the insidious forces of a weak-willed political correctness at home and envious terrorists determined to destroy the American way of life abroad. One interesting outcome of the comparison can be seen in the way the different film genres elicited much different responses from the public despite their thematic similarities. The Path to 9/11's claim to portray historical events objectively in the form of a documentary-style ABC miniseries drew some public resistance, whereas the animated Disney film whose very representation defies objectivity drew virtually none. But the messages of The Incredibles are no less persuasive for being more fantastic.
Clearly, The Incredibles' inscription of biological supremacy represents not only an assertion of dominant family values but an ideological justification for genderand race-based conceptions of U.S. global imperialism and national identity. The Path to 9/11 is less clever in concealing its affirmation of racist and sexist attitudes and its legitimation of violence, but The Incredibles is far more dangerous in that it has been viewed in a generally unfiltered manner by millions of children and adults worldwide. Recognizing the conservative influence of Disney films-a conservatism that manifests with unprecedented boldness in The Incredibles-should not entail avoiding them, suppressing them, or complacently accepting their cultural ascendancy. It should involve making explicit how and what we learn from the very political messages being taught by Disney films, rather than accepting them at face value or dismissing their existence altogether.
Consuming culture even as a form of entertainment is fundamentally a pedagogical experience, and the more educators, parents, students, and other cultural workers become active in their attempts to decode the complex representations being offered by Disney, the more rich and rewarding our experiences with popular culture will become. For this reason, a nuanced criticism of Disney films would not assume that they inherently disempower the audience but would instead view such cultural encounters as opportunities that can empower children and adults by creating the conditions that give people control over the production and types of knowledge and values arising from their experiences as cultural consumers. Being resisted here is the attitude that turns Disney's native utopianism into an excuse to adopt a stance that willfully overlooks the risks incurred by allowing a multinational corporation to escape any critical scrutiny as it reproduces dominant forms of identity, authorizes particular forms of history, and validates "hierarchies of value as universally valid, ecumenical, and effectively consensual."79 Nothing could be more dystopian in its consequences than the abdication of our responsibility to be critical and thoughtful of the ways the U.S. media represents America to itself and others. Disney should not be allowed to dictate, limit, and monopolize the only current and future possibilities imaginable for an increasingly global culture that must be able to imagine a better life-a life built upon the precepts of compassion and justice rather than American-centered images of power, nostalgia, insularity, and world domination.
Oct 10, 2014 | The GuardianBradBenson, 10 October 2014 6:14pmThe American Public has gotten exactly what it deserved. They have been dumbed-down in our poor-by-intention school systems. The moronic nonsense that passes for news in this country gets more sensational with each passing day. Over on Fox, they are making the claim that ISIS fighters are bringing Ebola over the Mexican Border, which prompted a reply by the Mexican Embassy that won't be reported on Fox.BaronVonAmericano , 10 October 2014 6:26pm
We continue to hear and it was even reported in this very fine article by Ms. Benjamin that the American People now support this new war. Really? I'm sorry, but I haven't seen that support anywhere but on the news and I just don't believe it any more.
There is also the little problem of infiltration into key media slots by paid CIA Assets (Scarborough and brainless Mika are two of these double dippers). Others are intermarried. Right-wing Neocon War Criminal Dan Senor is married to "respected" newsperson Campbell Brown who is now involved in privatizing our school system. Victoria Nuland, the slimey State Department Official who was overheard appointing the members of the future Ukrainian Government prior to the Maidan Coup is married to another Neo-Con--Larry Kagan. Even sweet little Andrea Mitchell is actually Mrs. Alan Greenspan.
General Electric, the world's largest military contractor, still controls the message over at the so-called "liberal" MSNBC. MSNBC's other owner is Comcast, the right wing media conglomerate that controls the radio waves in every major American Market. Over at CNN, Mossad Asset Wolf Blitzer, who rose from being an obscure little correspondent for an Israeli Newspaper to being CNN's Chief "Pentagon Correspondent" and then was elevated to supreme anchorman nearly as quickly, ensures that the pro-Israeli Message is always in the forefront, even as the Israeli's commit one murderous act after another upon helpless Palestinian Women and Children.
Every single "terrorism expert", General or former Government Official that is brought out to discuss the next great war is connected to a military contractor that stands to benefit from that war. Not surprisingly, the military option is the only option discussed and we are assured that, if only we do this or bomb that, then it will all be over and we can bring our kids home to a big victory parade. I'm 63 and it has never happened in my lifetime--with the exception of the phony parade that Bush Senior put on after his murderous little "First Gulf War".
Yesterday there was a coordinated action by all of the networks, which was clearly designed to support the idea that the generals want Obama to act and he just won't. The not-so-subtle message was that the generals were right and that the President's "inaction" was somehow out of line-since, after all, the generals have recommended more war. It was as if these people don't remember that the President, sleazy War Criminal that he is, is still the Commander in Chief.
The Generals in the Pentagon always want war. It is how they make rank. All of those young kids that just graduated from our various academies know that war experience is the only thing that will get them the advancement that they seek in the career that they have chosen. They are champing at the bit for more war.
Finally, this Sunday every NFL Game will begin with some Patriotic "Honor America" Display, which will include a missing man flyover, flags and fireworks, plenty of uniforms, wounded Vets and soon-to-be-wounded Vets. A giant American Flag will, once again, cover the fields and hundreds of stupid young kids will rush down to their "Military Career Center" right after the game. These are the ones that I pity most.Let's be frank: powerful interests want war and subsequent puppet regimes in the half dozen nations that the neo-cons have been eyeing (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan). These interests surely include industries like banking, arms and oil-all of whom make a killing on any war, and would stand to do well with friendly governments who could finance more arms purchases and will never nationalize the oil.
So, the same PR campaign that started with Bush and Cheney continues-the exact same campaign. Obviously, they have to come back at the apple with variations, but any notion that the "media will get it someday" is willfully ignorant of the obvious fact that there is an agenda, and that agenda just won't stop until it's achieved-or revolution supplants the influence of these dark forces.
IanB52, 10 October 2014 6:57pm
The US media are indeed working overtime to get this war happening. When I'm down at the gym they always have CNN on (I can only imagine what FOX is like) which is a pretty much dyed in the wool yellow jingoist station at this point. With all the segments they dedicate to ISIS, a new war, the "imminent" terrorist threat, they seem to favor talking heads who support a full ground war and I have never, not once, heard anyone even speak about the mere possibility of peace. Not ever.
In media universe there is no alternative to endless war and an endless stream of hyped reasons for new killing.
I'd imagine that these media companies have a lot stock in and a cozy relationship with the defense contractors.
Damiano Iocovozzi, 10 October 2014 7:04pmID5868758 , 10 October 2014 10:20pm
The media machine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States of Corporations. The media doesn't report on anything but relies on repeating manufactured crises, creating manufactured consent & discussing manufactured solutions. Follow the oil, the pipelines & the money. Both R's & D's are left & right cheeks of the same buttock. Thanks to Citizens United & even Hobby Lobby, a compliant Supreme Court, also owned by United States of Corporations, it's a done deal.Oh, the greatest propaganda arm the US government has right now, bar none, is the American media. It's disgraceful. we no longer have journalists speaking truth to power in my country, we have people practicing stenography, straight from the State Department to your favorite media outlet.
Let me give you one clear example. A year ago Barack Obama came very close to bombing Syria to kingdom come, the justification used was "Assad gassed his own people", referring to a sarin gas attack near Damascus. Well, it turns out that Assad did not initiate that attack, discovered by research from many sources including the prestigious MIT, it was a false flag attack planned by Turkey and carried out by some of Obama's own "moderate rebels".
But all that research from MIT, from the UN, and others, has been buried by the American media, and every single story on Syria and Assad that is written still refers to "Assad gassing his own people". It's true, it's despicable, and it's just one example of how our media lies and distorts and misrepresents the news every day.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Renov8 February 16, 2019 at 8:01 amWouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them.
With the ongoing internet reformation we are experiencing, its a lot easier for the masses to see the bigger picture, the parties involved and the corrupt characters playing the puppet strings for the media.
Glad to see these shysters exposed for what they are propagandists.
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
pretzelattack , Feb 13, 2019 11:07:59 AM | linkfu guardian.
When you take issue with Editorial decisions of the Guardian, the Moderation team is the wrong place to address it. You would have better luck following the procedures outlined on https://www.theguardian.com/info/complaints-and-corrections.
As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation.
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This was about the blatant bullshit, by Luke Harding, about Assange and manning meeting at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
"The guardian stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting.
Of course, that would be difficult since there is no evidence that Manafort somehow whisked himself (maybe a dr. who tardis) in and out of one of the most heavily surveilled sites in the world.
"Independent journalism" at its finest.
Feb 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
Asagirian , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:24 pm GMTNBC = CIA = NBCIAAgent76 , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMTMarch 19, 2017 The CIA's 60-Year History of Fake News How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers
Whitney's new book, "Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers," explores how the CIA influenced acclaimed writers and publications during the Cold War to produce subtly anti-communist material. During the interview, Scheer and Whitney discuss these manipulations and how the CIA controlled major news agencies and respected literary publications (such as the Paris Review).
JANUARY 18, 2017 CIA Publishes About 13 Million Pages of Declassified Files Online
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) published nearly 13 million pages of declassified files on its official website for the first time in its history. The declassified files were previously publicly available only at the National Archives in Maryland.
Feb 08, 2019 | www.unz.comEdward Curtin • January 31, 2019 • 3,100 Words • 24 Comments • Reply
...The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg -- "world view warfare." As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d'etre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.
In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as "psychological warfare," a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now. Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world. And true to form in this circle game of friends helping friends, this propaganda program was ably assisted after WW II by all the Nazis secreted into the U.S. ("Operation Paperclip") by Allen Dulles and his henchmen in the OSS and then the CIA to make sure the U.S. had operatives to carry on the Nazi legacy (see David Talbot's The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America's Secret Government , an extraordinary book that will make your skin crawl with disgust).
This went along quite smoothly until some people started to question the Warren Commission's JFK assassination story. The CIA then went on the offensive in 1967 and put out the word to all its people in the agency and throughout the media and academia to use the phrase "conspiracy theory" to ridicule these skeptics, which they have done up until the present day. This secret document -- CIA Dispatch 1035-960 -- was a propaganda success for many decades, marginalizing those researchers and writers who were uncovering the truth about not just President Kennedy's murder by the national security state, but those of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. Today, the tide is turning on this score, as recently more and more Americans are fed up with the lies and are demanding that the truth be told. Even the Washington Post is noting this, and it is a wave of opposition that will only grow.
The CIA Exposed -- Partially
But back in the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, some covert propaganda programs run by the CIA were "exposed." First, the Agency's sponsorship of the Congress of Cultural Freedom, through which it used magazines, prominent writers, academics, et al. to spread propaganda during the Cold War, was uncovered. This was an era when Americans read serious literary books, writers and intellectuals had a certain cachet, and popular culture had not yet stupefied Americans. The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites. Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters , and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity of the CIA and the famous literary journal The Paris Review.
Then in 1975 the Church Committee hearings resulted in the exposure of abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. In 1977 Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire -- "The CIA and the Media" -- naming names of journalists and publications ( The New York Times, CBS , etc.) that worked with and for the CIA in propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world. (Conveniently, this article can be read on the CIA's website since presumably the agency has come clean, or, if you are the suspicious type, or maybe a conspiracy theorist, it is covering its deeper tracks with a "limited hangout," defined by former CIA agent Victor Marchetti, who went rogue, as "spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting -- sometimes even volunteering -- some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.")
Confess and Move On
By the late 1970s, it seemed as if the CIA had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, had confessed its sins, done penance, and resolved to go and sin no more. Seeming, however, is the nature of the CIA's game. Organized criminals learn to adapt to the changing times, and that is exactly what the intelligence operatives did. Since the major revelations of the late sixties and seventies -- MKUltra, engineered coups all around the world, assassinations of foreign leaders, spying on Americans, etc. -- no major program of propaganda has been exposed in the mainstream media. Revealing books about certain CIA programs have been written -- e.g. Douglas Valentine's important The Phoenix Program being one -- and dissenting writers, journalists, researchers, and whistleblowers (Robert Parry, Gary Webb, Julian Assange, James W. Douglass, David Ray Griffin, Edward Snowden, et al.) have connected the U.S. intelligence services to dirty deeds and specific actions, such as the American engineered coup d'état in Ukraine in 2013-14, electronic spying, and the attacks of September 11, 2001.
But the propaganda has for the most part continued unabated at a powerful and esoteric cultural level, while illegal and criminal actions are carried out throughout the world in the most blatant manner imaginable, as if to say fuck you openly while insidiously infecting the general population through the mass electronic screen culture that has relegated intellectual and literary culture to a tiny minority.
Let me explain what I think has been happening.
Organizations like the CIA are obviously fallible and have made many mistakes and failed to anticipate world events. But they are also very powerful, having great financial backing, and do the bidding of their masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc. They are the action arm of these financial elites, and are, as Douglass Valentine has written, organized criminals. They have their own military, are joined to all the armed forces, and are deeply involved in the drug trade. They control the politicians. They operate their own propaganda network in conjunction with the private mercenaries they hire for their operations. The corporate mass media take their orders, orders that need not be direct, but sometimes are, because these media are structured to do the bidding of the same elites that formed the CIA and own the media. And while their ostensible raison d'ȇtre is to provide intelligence to the nation's civilian leaders, this is essentially a cover story for their real work that is propaganda, killing, and conducting coups d'états at home and abroad.
Because they have deep pockets, they can afford to buy all sorts of people, people who pimp for the elites. Some of these people do work that is usually done by honest academics and independent intellectuals, a dying breed, once called free-floating intellectuals. These pimps analyze political, economic, technological, and cultural trends. They come from different fields: history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science, cultural studies, linguistics, etc. They populate the think tanks and universities. They are often intelligent but live in bad faith, knowing they are working for those who are doing the devil's work. But they collect their pay and go their way straight to the bank, the devil's bank. They often belong to the Council of Foreign Relations or the Heritage Foundation. They are esteemed and esteem themselves. But they are pimps.
... ... ...
Methods of Propaganda
Infecting minds with such symbols and stories must be done directly and indirectly, as well as short-term and long-term. Long term propaganda is like a slowly leaking water pipe that you are vaguely aware of but that rots the metal from within until the pipe can no longer resist the pressure. Drip drop, drip drop, drip drop -- and the inattentive recipients of the propaganda gradually lose their mettle to resist and don't know it, and then when an event bursts into the news -- e.g. the attacks of September 11, 2001 or Russia-gate -- they have been so softened that their assent is automatically given. They know without hesitation who the devil is and that he must be fought.
The purpose of the long-term propaganda is to create certain predispositions and weaknesses that can be exploited when needed. Certain events can be the triggers to induce the victims to react to suggestions. When the time is ripe, all that is needed is a slight suggestion, like a touch on the shoulder, and the hypnotized one acts in a trance. The gun goes off, and the entranced one can't remember why (see: Sirhan Sirhan). This is the goal of mass hypnotization through long-term propaganda: confusion, memory loss, and automatic reaction to suggestion.
Intelligence Pimps and Liquid Screen Culture
When the CIA's dirty tricks were made public in the 1970s, it is not hard to imagine that the intellectual pimps who do their long-range thinking were asked to go back to the drawing board and paint a picture of the coming decades and how business as usual could be conducted without further embarrassment. By that time it had become clear that intellectual or high culture was being swallowed by mass culture and the future belonged to electronic screen culture and images, not words. What has come to be called "postmodernity" ensued, or what the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman calls "liquid modernity" and Guy Debord "the society of the spectacle." Such developments, rooted in what Frederic Jameson has termed "the cultural logic of late capitalism," have resulted in the fragmentation of social and personal life into pointillistic moving pictures whose dots form incoherent images that sow mass confusion and do not cohere.
... ... ...
Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/
renfro , says: February 8, 2019 at 6:53 am GMTMichael Kenny , says: February 8, 2019 at 10:36 am GMT
But they are also very powerful, having great financial backing, and do the bidding of their masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc. They are the action arm of these financial elites, and are, as Douglass Valentine has written, organized criminals. They have their own military, are joined to all the armed forces, and are deeply involved in the drug trade. They control the politicians. They operate their own propaganda network in conjunction with the private mercenaries they hire for their operations. The corporate mass media take their orders, orders that need not be direct, but sometimes are, because these media are structured to do the bidding of the same elites that formed the CIA and own the media. And while their ostensible raison d'ȇtre is to provide intelligence to the nation's civilian leaders, this is essentially a cover story for their real work that is propaganda, killing, and conducting coups d'états at home and abroad.
Very entertaining. Now tell us how all this works. And what the CIA gets out of it. I mean they surely don't do it for nothing do they? Does the CIA Director get rich for working for 'masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc'? Or is everyone under a giant Satanic Cult in the sky and the CIA is their headquarters on earth?
... ... ...Is the author saying anything other than the CIA operates like all other intelligence agencies? Does he really think his readers don't know that?Commentator Mike , says: February 8, 2019 at 11:32 am GMTUnder "The CIA Exposed" could have mentioned Philip Agee's "Inside the Company" as he was the Edward Snowden of his day.Jake , says: February 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
Interestingly, CIA agent Miles Copeland, Jr., the father of the drummer of the British band "The Police", said the book was "as complete an account of spy work as is likely to be published anywhere" and that it is "an authentic account of how an ordinary American or British 'case officer' operates
All of it is presented with deadly accuracy."
(ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Agee )Jake , says: February 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm GMT
" Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d'etre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.
In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as "psychological warfare," a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now."
The Yank propaganda machine always was an alliance between WASP Elites and Jews. Always. The Yank WASPs knew that Brit and British Commonwealth WASPs had done the same thing: make alliance to rule the world, which featured – not a bug but a feature – new ways to use psy ops to pervert the vast majority of white Christians they ruled.
Until that is understood, which means accepting that WASP culture itself is a problem as big as Jews and Jewish culture, all that is done in opposition to all that is horrendously wrong today is wasted time and energy.@DESERT FOX The CIA is a British creation, just like Israel's Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency.AWM , says: February 8, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
The CIA is a pure WASP Elite creation. It always has served the interests of the WASP Elite, in the UK and the rest of the Anglosphere as well the US. And the CIA always has served the interests of Jews and Israel, because that makes perfect sense for WASP culture, which was formed fully, completed, by the Judaizing heresy Anglo-Saxon Puritanism.
Judaizing heresy guarantees pro-Jewish politics and culture.James Jesus AngletonInsert Fake Iriish Name here , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm GMT
This guy had it figured out.Sean, Who else, is here first with the CIA line, "CIA works for the president!" CIA shoehorned that into the Pike Committee report right after Don Gregg visited the committees and gave them an ultimatum: back off or it's martial law.
Then Sean mouths a bit of bureaucratic bafflegab about feasibility.
The feasibility of CIA crime is a product of CIA impunity. So next Sean feeds you more CIA boilerplate by trying to pathologize anyone who's aware of CIA impunity through formal legal pretexts in municipal law. John Bolton, Trump's CIA ventriloquist, had one prime directive as unauthorized UN ambassador: remove any reference to impunity from the Summit Outcome Document. To that end he submitted 600+ NeoSoviet amendments to paralyze the drafting process.
That's how touchy CIA is about its impunity. CIA is the state, with illegal absolute sovereignty because they can kill you or torture you and get away with it.
If you're John Kennedy, if you're Robert Kennedy, if you're Dag Hammarskjöld, if you're Judge Robert Vance. No matter who you are.
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier," the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.
The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.
"We've talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere -- they don't believe that ever happened," said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.
We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down... there's an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to - just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty . -Greg Miller
Ross notes that WaPo somehow failed to report this information, nor did Miller include this tidbit of narrative-killing information in his recent book, "The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy."
Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims.
Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team."
Cohen's alleged Prague visit captured attention largely because the former Trump fixer has vehemently denied it, and also because it would seem to be one of the easier claims in Steele's 35-page report to validate or invalidate.
Debate over the salacious document was reignited when McClatchy reported April 15 that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence Cohen visited Prague. No other news outlets have verified the reporting, and Cohen denied it at the time.
Cohen last denied the dossier's allegations in late June, a period of time when he was gearing up to cooperate with prosecutors against President Donald Trump . Cohen served as a cooperating witness for prosecutors in both New York and the special counsel's office. - Daily Caller
Cohen's attorney and longtime Clinton pal Lanny Davis vehemently denied on August 22, one day after Cohen pleaded guilty in his New York case - that Cohen had never been to Prague, telling Bloomberg " Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life ."youshallnotkill , 19 minutes ago link
Trump never ceases to crack me up. While his (terrible) current lawyer, declares on TV that there was collusion but it just didn't last long, Trump calls his former lawyer/fixer at "Rat".
This is just too funny, I mean this is the President of the United States calling his former personal lawyer a "Rat" which of course is a common mob term for a witness testifying against you.
Of course it never happened, just like Manafort didn't make 3 trips to London to meet Julian Assange. These fictions were just used as a pretext for diving into the backgrounds of Trump's political supporters and find crimes to charge them with.
The Cohen raid was particularly egregious, a likely violation of attorney-client privilege. Not suprisingly the American Bar Association is silent.
So here is a WaPo reporter saying they sent reporters to every hotel in Prague to find out if Cohen had been there, they spent weeks and weeks researching, interviewing, and nothing. What they are not saying is that they also spent shitloads of Bezo's money exploring all the other fake dossier claims.
And nothing.....all you hillarytards have been completely scammed by, your pulses sent aflutter with clickbait and page views and thats it. So sorry you losers.
Yeah, like rubles are worth anything outside of Russia. Gold on the other hand ...
But seriously, you two should get a room. If you can't see the conspiracy in the Strzok/Page texts, the setup of Papadapoulous by the Brits, the phony FISA warrant using the FBI informant, the setup of General Flynn, and the seedy cast of characters in the DOJ breaking laws right and left, you should be checked for brain wave activity. You probably think the Russians paid for all of the above too. Go suck a bag of Russian dicks.
Jan 20, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
January 08, 2018 Joel Whitney is a co-founder of the magazine Guernica, a magazine of global arts and politics, and has written for many publications, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. His book Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers describes how the CIA contributed funds to numerous respected magazines during the Cold War, including the Paris Review, to subtly promote anti-communist views. In their conversation, Whitney tells Robert Scheer about the ties the CIA's Congress for Cultural Freedom had with literary magazines. He talks about the CIA's attempt during the Cold War to have at least one agent in every major news organization in order to get stories killed if they were too critical or get them to run if they were favorable to the agency. And they discuss the overstatement of the immediate risks and dangers of communist regimes during the Cold War, which, initially, led many people to support the Vietnam War.
James Jesus Angleton was part of this post-OSS group that understood how important spying and covert ops had been in World War II. And from there, he makes all kinds of terrible mistakes. He and his group believed essentially that they needed to do better propaganda than the Soviets did, and one of the ways that they thought they could do it better was to do it subtly and, you could say, secretly.
So, when this program is threatened with exposure in '64, '65, '66 and '67 through various sources like Ramparts and The New York Times, this privilege of secrecy that they enjoyed was not something that they were willing to give up. So you have something that is described as relatively benign, this funding of culture through the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a funding of student movements through the National Student Association, the funding of labor unions that would be less communist-influenced than the communist-dominated ones that they presumed were out there. These were seen as benign answers. They were reactions to Soviet penetration. So, secrecy is a key to making them work.
So, even if you want to make the argument that, for instance, the Congress for Cultural Freedom never censored its magazines–which I think has been severely disproved; they did censor. Even if you wanted to say that they published all sorts of great writers–which clearly they did; that was part of the subtlety of it and part of the brilliance of it, and part of the soft-power charm of it. Even if you wanted to say all that, when the secrecy is exposed by honest accounting in the media, the fourth estate, the adversarial media of American bragging around the world, they are so attached to their secrecy, and so upset, the CIA group led by people like Angleton, that they commit something that is about as anti-American as anything in our system. Which is: more secrecy, more media penetration to the point of penetrating, first, the anti-Vietnam War press; second, the student, the college student newspapers and press; the alternative, so-called, press. Which essentially is a license to do what they did later. So, where Ramparts was penetrated, leads to Operation Chaos, presumably; that leads to Operation Mockingbird in the seventies.
By the time we have Carl Bernstein reporting on Operation Mockingbird, and John Crewdson reporting on its international equivalent in the New York Times–Bernstein in Rolling Stone–you essentially see the CIA trying to have at least one agent at every major news and media organization it can do in the world.
And Crewdson reporting in the Times at the end of 1977 essentially says that they had one agent or contract agent at a newspaper in every world capital on Earth. They could get stories killed or get stories to run that portrayed the CIA's views in a favorable way, or kill them if they did not.
Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com
Giuseppe , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm GMTI challenge anyone to name a modern war prosecuted by the US government and its allies that did not involve at its root the direct fabrication of blatant lies on enormous levels, both as a casus belli and also to manipulate public opinion in favor of hostilities.JoaoAlfaiate , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT
The clandestine activity represented by these *provocations* isn't even good spycraft. The Skripal case and the latest use of chlorine gas in Syria are risible, clumsy, amateur attempts to wangle the empire into war that the callowest rube could see through. And yet, it's working its magic on the media. The politicians, suborned by the war machine, give unanimous bipartisan assent.
What the hell is going on?@Giuseppe Saddam's WMD, Gulf of Tonkin, etc., etc. And now a ridiculous false flag attack in Syria. Did it take place at all? But the narrative is all. The press in the USA is more effectively controlled and conformist than in Germany in the late 1930s and nobody goes around beating up journalists or sending them to a KZ. The Syrian Gov't is winning the civil war, things are going well but what Assad really needs is to have the crap bombed out of his military by Uncle Sam. What transparent bullshit.jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT@JoaoAlfaiateJoe Hide , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm GMT
The press in the USA is more effectively controlled and conformist than in Germany in the late 1930s
Who controlled the press there and then?
What can be said about the control and conformity of the Soviet, British and American press of the time?
and nobody goes around beating up journalists or sending them to a KZ.
That's probably because the usual thugs don't need to do that any longer since they control virtually everything.
A couple of anecdotes to illustrate my point.:
2 of the reasons we don't hear much about mobsters these days are that the press and judiciary are owned by them and if you do get something published, you run the risk of getting snuffed. They probably don't stop at mere blinding anymore.
Victor Riesel was an American newspaper journalist and columnist who specialized in news related to labor unions. In 1956 a mobster threw sulfuric acid in his face on a public street in Chicago causing his permanent blindness.
"Treason is a strong word, but not too strong to characterize the situation in which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, and indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be." This indictment launched a nine-part series of articles entitled "Treason of the Senate."
-David Graham Phillips, Cosmopolitan magazine, February 1906
In 1911 Phillips was shot multiple t imes by Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough, a Harvard-educated scion of a prominent Maryland family ,at Gramercy Park in New York City.Good article.Jake , says: April 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm GMT
Still, you authors need to start digging deeper. Trump and his Allies are putting on an amazing show / act to distract their ( and Humanities going back generations) hidden enemies.
The Bad Guys have for millennia weoponized information, convincing the public, reporters, and journalists that the rabbit hole ends here, that they don't need to dig any deeper, to just accept this slightly deeper layer of the onion. That warm and fuzzy feeling from scratching just a little deeper into to information matrix, isn't enough anymore. You guys have the intelligence, experience, and ability just do it please!@tjm The CIA, the Mossad, and the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency are all children of British secret service.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
MK-DELTABURKE , says: July 22, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT@Cagey Beast Aspen Institute does make attempts at outreach, but they invariably cock it up by eliciting, recruiting, or suborning every single person they bring in. The shitheads even tried to do it to me. You would think they'd have a dossier saying I hate those cobags.Cagey Beast , says: July 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
Their fundamental problem is, Aspen Institute is CIA. Their first and only instinct is to use people like toilet paper. They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control.@MK-DELTABURKE Exactly.skrik , says: July 23, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT
Aspen Institute is CIA.
Yes, the Aspen Institute is the CIA and the CIA is the Aspen Institute. Or, to be more precise, the CIA is the armed wing of Washington's permanently governing technocratic party, in the same way the KGB was the armed wing of the Soviet Communist Party.
Poor Julian Assange is likely going to be in their hands not too long from now. The citizen of one Five Eyes country will be arrested by another and then sent off to the imperial metropole, to be kicked around like a political football. The rest of us Anglosphericals are expected to cheer or remain silent. Either is acceptable.@TGPancho Perico , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm GMT
there is nothing at all mindless or demented about them
Me: Oh yes there is; by *them* I don't mean "Zuckerberg, others" but the actual rulers of 'the West,' then see this:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Aspen Institute is CIA
and [perhaps most critically] this:
may depend on support for Trump from Israel and the Pentagon!
Now, I term the actual rulers of 'the West' the ccc = covert criminal cabal. Of course they are in hiding -- acting from 'behind the curtain,' as some have it -- it has to be that *dishonest* way -- for them. Among their most notable 'fruits' are the JFK murder, USS Liberty outrage, inside-job 9/11 psyop and the utterly wicked destruction of Libya/Gaddafi, just 4 of many. The extended list is looong, and note that the 1st 3 in my list demonstrate the ccc 'murdering their own' -- except that to the ccc, anybody not actually in the ccc itself is not 'their own' but only exploitable/disposable objects. Of course the ccc causes lies to be promulgated, hence the Lügenpresse . Neoliberalism/austerity must also come from the ccc, causing misery wherever it's forced upon us, we the people. One of the spivs in suits who 'sold' neoliberalism to the Aus people called it 'economic rationalism' and jeered: 'What would you rather -- irrational economics?' Another ccc modus operandi item is coercion as demonstrated by the downstream effects of Downer's "Get a briefing!" -- which shows us that the CIA et al. is a 'command conduit' if not a command originator. What I'm trying to illustrate here is that the ccc does not merely operate like a mafia, it *is* a mafia, and one of the author's "may depend on" items suggests a name for this mafia, namely: Khazar. That's our miserable world, deliberately made that way by that mafia; if that's not 'mindless and demented' what is? rgds@MK-DELTABURKE The Aspen Institute is CIA, but the CIA is an organization created and controlled by the globalist conspirators at the Council on Foreign Relations, mostly the Rockefellers and other banksters.
Jan 04, 2019 | theintercept.com
Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts the Network for Being Captive to the National Security State and Reflexively Pro-War to Stop Trump
A VETERAN national security journalist with NBC News and MSNBC blasted the networks in a Monday email for becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine's promotion of militarism and imperialism.
As a result of NBC/MSNBC's all-consuming militarism, he said, "the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength" and "is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism."
The NBC/MSNBC reporter, William Arkin, is a longtime prominent war and military reporter, perhaps best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010, co-reported with two-time Pulitzer winner Dana Priest, on how sprawling, unaccountable, and omnipotent the national security state has become in the post-9/11 era. When that three-part investigative series, titled "Top Secret America," was published, I hailed it as one of the most important pieces of reporting of the war on terror, because while "we chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, this is the Real U.S. Government: functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization."
Arkin has worked with NBC and MSNBC over the years and continuously since 2016. But yesterday, he announced that he was leaving the network in a long, emphatic email denouncing the networks for their superficial and reactionary coverage of national security, for becoming fixated on trivial Trump outbursts of the day to chase profit and ratings, and -- most incriminating of all -- for becoming the central propaganda arm of the CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI in the name of #Resistance, thus inculcating an entire new generation of liberals, paying attention to politics for the first time in the Trump era, to "lionize" those agencies and their policies of imperialism and militarism.
That MSNBC and NBC have become Security State Central has been obvious for quite some time. The network consists of little more than former CIA, NSA, and Pentagon officials as news "analysts"; ex-Bush-Cheney national security and communications officials as hosts and commentators; and the most extremists pro-war neocons constantly bashing Trump (and critics of Democrats generally) from the right, using the Cheney-Rove playbook on which they built their careers to accuse Democratic Party critics and enemies of being insufficiently patriotic, traitors for America's official enemies , and abandoning America's hegemonic role in the world.
MSNBC's star national security reporter Ken Dilanian was widely mocked by media outlets for years for being an uncritical CIA stenographer before he became a beloved NBC/MSNBC reporter (where his mindless servitude to his CIA masters has produced some of the network's most humiliating debacles ). The cable network's key anchor, Rachel Maddow, once wrote a book on the evils of endless wars without congressional authorization, but now routinely depicts anyone who wants to end those illegal wars as reckless weaklings and traitors .
Some of the most beloved and frequently featured MSNBC commentators are the most bloodthirsty pro-war militarists from the war on terror: David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Ralph Peters, and Bill Kristol (who was just giddily and affectionately celebrated with a playful nickname bestowed on him: "Lil Bill"). In early 2018, NBC hired former CIA chief John Brennan to serve as a "senior national security and intelligence analyst," where the rendition and torture advocate joined -- as Politico's Jack Shafer noted -- a long litany of former security state officials at the network, including "Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James B. Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush."
As Shafer noted, filling your news and analyst slots with former security state officials as MSNBC and NBC have done is tantamount to becoming state TV, since "their first loyalty -- and this is no slam -- is to the agency from which they hail." As he put it: "Imagine a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities."
All of this led Arkin to publish a remarkable denunciation of NBC and MSNBC in the form of an email he sent to various outlets, including The Intercept. Its key passages are scathing and unflinching in their depiction of those networks as pro-war propaganda outlets that exist to do little more than amplify and serve the security state agencies most devoted to opposing Trump, including their mindless opposition to Trump's attempts (with whatever motives) to roll back some of the excesses of imperialism, aggression, and U.S. involvement in endless war, as well as to sacrifice all journalistic standards and skepticism about generals and the U.S war machine if doing so advances their monomaniacal mission of denouncing Trump. As Arkin wrote (emphasis added):
My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.
To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested . Despite being at "war," no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus' and Wes Clarks', or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we've had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as "analysts". We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.
Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton's hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.
I'd argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I'd also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there's a lot to report here, but I'm more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America's wars.
In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think – like everyone else does – that we miss so much. People who don't understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it's corporate control or even worse, that it's partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.
For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump's various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?
That an entire generation of Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism, über-patriotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors, a reckless use of the "traitor" accusation to smear one's enemies, and a belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing. These toxins will endure far beyond Trump, particularly given the now full-scale unity between the Democratic establishment and neocons .
photosymbiosis1 hour ago
Just remembered something about Arkin. This book: Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World January 25, 2005 by William M. Arkin https://books.google.com/books/about/Code_Names.html?id=KXLfAAAAMAAJ In particular there was this one exercise called Vigilant Guardian, run by NORAD, simulating terrorist attacks by hijackers which, curiously enough, happened to be in operation on the very day the Saudi hijackers were actually conducting such attacks:NORAD's next Vigilant Guardian exercise, in 2001, will actually be several days underway on 9/11 (see (6:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). It will include a number of scenarios based around plane hijackings, with the fictitious hijackers targeting New York in at least one of those scenarios (see September 6, 2001, September 9, 2001, September 10, 2001, and (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006]
http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=vigilant_guardian However, what's interesting from Arkin's book, as I recall, is that this operation name was then reused in Afghanistan (a very rare practice, apparently, to reuse an operation name, but perhaps if you wanted to hide the original program, etc...), in 2003 or so - here's a NYT article about Vigilant Guardian in Afghanistan: https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/20/magazine/where-the-enemy-is-everywhere-and-nowhere.html It's just one of many stories that makes one wonder exactly how much pre-warning the Bush Administration had about the 9/11 attacks, and whether there was a deliberate decision to allow the hijackers to seize control of the planes without any interference. It did save the Bush presidency, it did open the door to the Iraq invasion, and the Saudi intelligence services were involved with helping the hijackers. All very suspicious, really. Point being, Arkin's book is one of the few sources that lay out all those covert/overt program names, and is a real treasure for anyone interested in the history of that era.
bobhope1: 2 hours agoDysnomia 3 hours ago
This has been clearly obvious for several years. Goebbels would be proud.open_hearted_jade 2 hours ago
If there were some kind of political realignment (similar to the realignment that took place in the 60s and 70s where racist white Democrats became racist white Republicans) where neoconservatives and warmongers become Democrats, and the Republican Party becomes the party of, surely not peace, but at least moderation in foreign military intervention, that might not be too bad, or at least not too much worse than the earlier post-9/11 status quo.
But I'm afraid this shift in discourse heralds something worse than that. So-called "liberal" media's embrace of neoconservatism and imperialism is likely to have the effect of narrowing the Overton window on issues of war and peace, making genuine anti-war positions even more unthinkable and beyond the pale. There will increasingly be no place for public anti-war discourse.
The single greatest threat to human freedom in the world today is the U.S. national security state. Inculcating public reverence for the state is perhaps the most dangerous thing that a media organization could do.Tom_Collins 2 hours ago ( Edited )
Neoliberal media has always embraced boundary transgression, always embraced invasiveness, always embraced adventurism, always embraced war.
... ... ...AtheistInChief 3 hours ago
...America as the single biggest threat to world peace, right? https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/08/07/polls-us-greatest-threat-to-peace-world-today.htmlLawrence_Hill 4 hours ago ( Edited )
Fox is a racist bully. MSNBC is poison, & CNN is a joke. If nothing else, Trump is right about one thing. The American media is the enemy of the people.Michael_Wilk 4 hours ago
Do we remember way back in the 80's/Reagan admin war involvement in the El Salvador civil war when NBC anchor Tom Brokaw openly questioned the US's support for death squad leader D' Auboissan's terror regime on the air? Shocking! A Walter Cronkite-Vietnam War moment Brokaw supposed, maybe?
I remember that in all the hullabaloo that followed one of our ruling class commented that Brokaw was being $5 million a year not to say such subversive things. Lesson learned, Brokaw nor any other gainfully employed MSM tool has made the same mistake again, and now Brokaw has emeritus status in the NBC "News" hierarchy.
That comment opened my eyes for the first time to the reality of American MSM...TimN 5 hours agoThat an entire generation of Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism, über-pat riotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors, a reckless use of the "traitor" accusation to smear one's enemies, and a belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing.
I have to take issue with your use of the word 'formerly' in describing Cold War values. They are still very much right-wing. They never stopped being right-wing, nor did the current and former government and security state apparatchiks polluting the airwaves with their lies.
haugeneder 6 hours ago
The neo-con and neo-lib argument against this unfortunate reveal of things present, and things to come: "But Trump! Trump!" I didn't think I'd see things unravel so quickly, but Goddamn. Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy, my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate, and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters" jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!" The dopes are ascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.Tlaloc 7 hours ago
Great piece. America is on the precipice and there are few who care -- very few. Time for an great economic depression -- not recession -- to shift the ground or open it to swallow us whole.Art 6 hours ago
Interesting that we might be seeing a shift on both parties, the republicans finally embracing their libertarian side (long being a part of the republican party) and the neocons trying to find a new home on the democratic party. I wonder where the progressive side of the DNC will go, they might be the ones pushed out of any national party :(Dysnomia 3 hours ago[...] the progressive side of the DNC [...] might be the ones pushed out of any national party
Fuck that! They're headed for permanent electoral failure on every occasion they put forward neocons on any ballot. We, The People, Are Fed Up With Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs!johnanderson 7 hours ago ( Edited )
Unfortunately, I think it's more likely that we'll see a shift only on the Democratic side. Democratic Party leadership has basically always been neoconservative supporters of the national security state, but there has been some resistance within the rank and file. The narrowing of the Overton window we're seeing will make such resistance increasingly beyond the pale.
But I don't think the Republican Party, in terms of leadership or rank and file, will become more "libertarian" (in the American sense of that word) or less pro-war. I think there's likely to be greater consensus among the political class in favor of U.S. imperialism generally, and Trump, to the extent he occasionally makes moves in the opposite direction, is a convenient foil to bring that about.open_hearted_jade 2 hours ago
There is no "means test" for the empire military spending supports energy supplies supports international banking supports global corporatism but the democrats will help republicans squeeze the peons with excessive education costs, unaffordable health care premiums and copays, expensive housing, and social security cutbacks because they are playing the same elite economic game against the majority true the democratic leadership has a better stance on abortion and a generally more rainbow-flavored social agenda. Because they want this stuff for their own social class however economic policy will be at our expense ... just watch Pelosi and CompanyMona 7 hours agoBut the democrats will help republicans squeeze the peons with excessive education costs, unaffordable health care premiums and copays, expensive housing,....
Those costs rise for one reason...trailgrub 7 hours ago ( Edited )
...And here's Joe Biden: ""Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code, what was the first thing we have to go after, Social Security and Medicare. Now we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. It's the only way to find room to pay for it." Biden is after means testing and other "adjustments" slashing SS, as endorsed by his pal. Paul Ryan. (This is called Republican Lite.)
And then there's Nancy Pelosi with her neoliberal austerity economics; her budget rules that would preemptively block a #GreenNewDeal & #MedicareForAll : https://theintercept.com/2019/01/02/nancy-pelosi-pay-go-rule/photosymbiosis 8 hours ago ( Edited )
Thanks for publishing this story, Glenn, and putting your perspective on it. We've known for a long time that NBC & MSNBC "have become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies." Before Comcast purchased them, General Electric owned these networks for many years. The public's interests are the last thing on their minds when they do "news reporting."
Have you watched when MSNBC's "prime time" talk shows are doing live sports-like camera angles, moves, and shots in their studio, trying to make it look all-the-more sensational on your TV screen? I mean, they're doing these intricate camera shots, rapid switching between cameras, zooming, panning, trying to make it look like a high-production-value shoot, and it looks like they've hired some live sports producers and technical directors to make this pathetic illusion on the air. All this shit for talking heads. Rotf-lmao.
What's next? Slow-motion HDTV instant replays of Rachel Maddow, utilizing zoomed-in camera shots of her mouth, when she's spraying spittle into her guests' faces? That's what happens when she launches into her infamous hissy fits.
The round table MSNBC uses in their cheap studio is only 4 feet in diameter. In other words, they're shooting these live action shots of people talking around an itty-bitty little table, and they're doing all this intricate camera work with approximately 8 cameras to make it look 'sensational', action-packed, and thrilling. Instead, it's extremely ugly, stupid, idiotic, disgusting, and ridiculous. It's not sensational. It's a disgusting cocktail of vomit, puss, and diarrhea.
I need reliable sources of news and weather so I can live my life sustainably with dignity while I maintain my values. My pride and dignity are invaluable to me. All these a-holes are doing for me is raising my blood pressure and pissing me off. That's why I read The Intercept. I'd like to have the option to just sit back and watch TI's reporting on a news channel someday SOON, if possible.
Again, what's our msm network news alternatives, besides Fox news, and why are they so pathetic? CBS news: Les Moonves in particular has cheered the Trump phenomenon, telling investors in 2016 that the Trump campaign "may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." -- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/24/cbs-fcc-trump/ -- Moonves got fired and lost his pension -- The longtime chairman-CEO was forced out Sept. 9, 2018 amid a cascade of sexual assault and misconduct allegations. "The CBS board of directors has denied former chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves any of the $120 million severance he was due under his employment contract after conducting a five-month internal probe of his conduct and the corporate culture at CBS Corp." -- https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-les-moonves-denied-severance-20181217-story.html ABC news: Who owns ABC? Walt Disney bought ABC 22 years ago. Exactly, we're in Disneyland.
Fred_Cowan 8 hours ago
Some basic facts:
The US military presence in the Middle East has nothing to do with national security (i.e protecting American citizens from military attack by foreign nations, or even with disrupting the activities and funding of terrorist groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda, groups we financed and armed as part of the overthrow Assad strategy).
It has everything to do with controlling the region's oil flow and propping up regimes like Saudi Arabia who agree to invest the majority of their oil money in Wall Street banks. This is called petrodollar recycling, a strategy devised in the 1970s. Here is a foundational document discussing the plan, from 1974: https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974LONDON16506_b.html
"CENTRAL THESIS, BASED ON BELIEF THAT THERE IS NO EARLY PROSPECT OF BREAKING OIL CARTEL, IS THAT WE SHOULD SEEK EARLY DIALOGUE WITH PRODUCERS TO WORK OUT ARRANGEMENTS WITH ALL OR SOME OF THEM TO (A) INDEX PRICE OF OIL AND (B) BRING THEM INTO RECYCLING MECHANISM IN ORDER TO SHARE THE RISK. SECOND PAPER LARGELY DUPLICATES FIRST, THOUGH IT DOES ADD SOME STRESS ON LONGER RANGE PROBLEM OF MASSIVE SURPLUS OF OPEC COUNTRIES, ESTIMATED AT $400 BILLION BY 1980, FOR WHICH NO SOLUTION IS PROPOSED OTHER THAN NEW INTERNATIONAL RECYCLING AGENCY PROPOSED IN BOTH PAPERS."
One key point is that the proponents of this scheme in the United States, be they Democrats or Republicans, have zero interest in replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar and battery storage. That would sour the whole deal; nobody would buy Saudi oil. Of course the Russkies, the stated enemy, don't want to see Europe go 100% renewable either, any more than the Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump Administrations did. The Russia-US conflict is mostly over who gets to sell gas to Europe, and neither dealer wants the addict to kick the habit, right?
This is a very consistent policy, year-to-year.
Now, why can't the corporate media honestly discuss this? Because they are the corporate establishment's propaganda monkeys, little more, regardless of whether they work at MSNBC or at FOX.
Oh, and this is why #Resist Trump is so nonsensical, when those supporting that them want to install a Joe Biden or Kamela Harris, who would continue right on with this status quo, i.e. blocking the development of renewable energy and continuing the idiotic military entanglements in the Middle East.Mona 8 hours ago
Real News vs "fake news" is almost impossible to find and dissect. Even looking for real reporting beyond echoing is hard to find. The real problems are ignored or misstated to the extent real solutions are impossible. Not just security and endless wars but every aspect of civil existence, education, healthcare, you name it. We exist in an echo-chamber where real knowledge and understanding have been all but banished.Mona 1 hour ago
@Tom Collins & Art
"Yeah one wonders if [Snowden's] cover would have been blown so decisively had he done it anonymously through Wikileaks"
No need to wonder! Snowden made clear -- explicitly stated-- he wanted Greenwald and Poitras, and not Wikileaks. He deeply desired journalists to exercise judgment over what should be released to the public and did not want a data dump.
Further, he insisted on outing himself , and did so several days after the first document was published. At his behest, Poitras videotaped a 20-minute video of him taking responsibility, which was then posted at The Guardian. He did this, among other reasons, to spare his co-workers from suspicion and investigation.DC_Reade 8 hours ago
Citizen 4 won the Oscar for best documentary in 2013 or '14. It's all Snowden, Greenwald, Poitras, and other real players.Mona 6 hours ago
If the only way someone can manage to frame any of these issues is as "Fox vs. MSNBC" or "Trump Corruption vs. Washington Establishment Defenders of Democracy", they've assented to a two-valued action-reaction Pavlovian conditioned response loop.
No way should that be confused with a process of independent thought.
Unsurprisingly, I don't read one mention in the above post to any of the specifics of the content in Glenn Greenwald's remarks, or to any of the observations made by Arkin in his email resignation.
You're too busy fitting everyone with Team Jerseys tailored to your preconceived ideas.MiltonWiltmellow 6 hours ago ( Edited )
"This article does not inform."
Oh, it does lots of informing, you just don't like what it informs us of, to wit, the first paragraph:A VETERAN national security journalist with NBC News and MSNBC blasted the networks in a Monday email for becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine's promotion of militarism and imperialism . As a result of NBC/MSNBC's all-consuming militarism, he said, "the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength" and "is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism."
Any substantive response, Milton?Tom_Collins 5 hours agoAny substantive response, Milton?
As always, Mr. Greenwald's description is hyperbolic and bordering on unhinged. As DC_Reade suggested, I read Arkin's email. You should too. It seemed more like a Montaigne Essaiy or a reflective note for posterity than a thundering repudiation of MSNBC.
Mr. Greenwald turns it into a typical Greenwald crie du guerre™ against the evil Deep State (a term which he appears to have mercifully discarded. Too Foxy I suppose.) Here's his problem. Crying "wolf" only works for awhile. Eventually it becomes part of the information flood drowning everyone. Any bit of flotsam is as good as another.DC_Reade 4 hours ago ( Edited )
What's your point again? Do you even know?Tom_Collins 4 hours ago ( Edited )
Excerpts from Arkin's email:
"Seeking refuge in its political horse race roots, NBC (and others) meanwhile report the story of war as one of Rumsfeld vs. the Generals, as Wolfowitz vs. Shinseki, as the CIA vs. Cheney, as the bad torturers vs. the more refined, about numbers of troops and number of deaths, and even then Obama vs. the Congress, poor Obama who couldn't close Guantanamo or reduce nuclear weapons or stand up to Putin because it was just so difficult. We have contributed to turning the world of national security into this sort of political story. I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting..."
"...I argued endlessly with MSNBC about all things national security for years, doing the daily blah, blah, blah in Secaucus, but also poking at the conventional wisdom of everyone from Matthews to Hockenberry. And yet I feel like I've failed to convey this larger truth about the hopelessness of our way of doing things, especially disheartened to watch NBC and much of the rest of the news media somehow become a defender of Washington and the system..."
"...For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump's various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?..."
Yes, William Arkin does go on to be gracious and complimentary of some of his (former) colleagues at NBC. Arkin mantains his professional composure. His critique of the focus and practices of NBC/MSNBC News is tempered and reasoned. But the critique is scathing, nonetheless.Mona 3 hours ago
You are missing Milton's point altogether. Like "Craig Summers", MW expects that his word alone is enough to dismiss the editorial/investigative/analytical work put in by Greenwald, Arkin or anyone else on the topics considered most important by the U.S. State Department.
When MW or CS weigh in on these things to dismiss or diminish these stories/opinions/facts with the wave of a hand or incorrect reading (and absolutely nothing of substance), we are supposed to defer to them respectfully and re-consider the respect we have developed for the professionalism, dedication and personal/career risks taken on by the people who bring us these stories that are inconvenient to the establishment government and media actors.OftenWrongSeldomInDoubt 9 hours ago
"As DC_Reade suggested, I read Arkin's email. "
Cool, Milton, and what are your substantive comments on this part:My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus. To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested. Despite being at "war," no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus' and Wes Clarks', or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we've had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as "analysts". We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous. Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton's hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play. I'd argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I'd also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there's a lot to report here, but I'm more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America's wars. In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think – like everyone else does – that we miss so much. People who don't understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it's corporate control or even worse, that it's partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right. For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump's various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI. Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?bluecurl3 9 hours ago
This is SO validating to read! Surely no other ruler in history with a cute butt and polite voice ordered killings in 56 countries in one year. I want someone to discuss this without accusing me of being pro-Rump. I guess, the Rachel Maddows of the world cannot criticize Hillary/Obama for expanding every awful thing for which the good people of the world hated Bush.
There are two giant problems in the world today-
1. the scale of people who lost their homes and countries because of the good guy's wars and
2. climate change which the good guy's 27,600 odd bombs of 2016 might or might not have exacerbated. After all, each bomb costs upward of $10,000,000. Who is measuring the greenhouse gases released by them?
The media needs to be equally adversarial to 'liberal' governments as they are to 'conservative' ones, so that majority parties cannot take credit for granting me bathroom and bedroom permissions that are surely my personal domain! The media must shed light on whether it is bad to tell 'aliens' not to cross a border or it is bad to win a Nobel Peace prize before raining bombs on brown people in other countries, never separating children from families, when blowing up ten civilians for every 'target' we extra-judicially decided to label as militant.
So thank you for this article!!Xavi 8 hours ago
Gotta hand it to the neocons, soon after the Vietnam debacle (I served 3 tours there), and Watergate, they quickly licked their wounds and devised a new playbook that, over time, would become a 'Project for the New American Century'. First things first, get rid of the draft. Go professional, and then only a very minuscule percentage of Americans have skin in the game, meaning their own sons and daughters at risk, while the rest of America can focus on the more important things, like watching the Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, etc. etc., or sports, or the newest fashions, or the current fad diets, or the newest Trump tweet, bla bla bla.
Next, and this is genius because it incorporates that great American pastime, greed, spread all of that endless supply of taxpayer money around to each and every State, County, and municipality in the form of jobs tied to the military industrial complex. Now, lots of Americans have skin in the game, as long as the lobbyists, politicians, government and the military can provide a pipeline of endless wars and conflicts. Of course, in order to provide and maintain the patina of morality and righteousness, a subservient and corporate controlled media is vital.
And finally, silence and denigrate any meaningful opposition. As Kierkegaard stated, "Once you label me you negate me." Hence the long, ongoing labeling of opposition with terms like traitor, anti-American, unpatriotic, (insert name or country here) sympathizer. The sad part of all of this, too many Americans are gullible enough to swallow this crap, hook, line and sinker, as long as they get their daily ration of manna.firstpersoninfinite 9 hours ago
Orwellian times.firstpersoninfinite 8 hours ago
No, it's not rocket science. Otherwise you couldn't have proven Greenwald's point with your own views about "supporting" the security state so easily. You missed the entire point of the article, which is that the neocons and the neoliberals support the same cast of nefarious personalities that got us into the Middle East, over and over again. Why is NBC/MSNBC normalizing right-wing radicalism? Because they've joined hands with neocons and neoliberals to support the military/industrial complex. Your argument is akin to someone claiming that their Communion wafer is more holy than anyone else's because it has the Pope's imprint on it.Dysnomia 2 hours ago
Neocons, like Irving Kristol, Bill Kristol's father, were leftists in the 1930's. It's not a difficult term to come to terms with, historically. I don't wonder why anyone questions what Trump is doing. I never said such a thing.
What Trump has done during his first two years in office has not been questioned by the mainstream press at all. Only the imbecile tweets and the gaffes are of any interest to the citizens of such a redoubtable empire as our own. A friend of mine who fights anti-wolf and anti-bear laws in Montana, laws sent down by the Trump administration, says that these are the same laws they fought during 8 years of Obama. The mainstream of both parties are the two sides of the same coin. So I agree with the "role reversal."DC_Reade 10 hours ago
I think the problem is not that supporting the "deep state" is becoming a convenient excuse to oppose Trump, but that opposing Trump is becoming a convenient excuse to support the deep state.photosymbiosis 11 hours ago
Bravo, William Arkin. I only wish that you could have found some way for you to resign on the air in the middle of a broadcast. (I've been wishing such a scenario for decades. Preferably featuring one or more news anchors.)
Incredible that the USA has spent trillions of dollars in a game of whack-a-mole that's been extended over the entire globe with no time limitations, occasionally interspersed with declarations of surprise that the nation faces more emergent terror threats than ever. We spend more money on the military and warfare than we spent during the Cold War. And all that was required to trigger this spiral into perpetual militarism was a single special operation carried out 17 years ago by a small team of not-particularly-elite commandos who hijacked four airliners, thereby obtaining the one-time ability to repurpose three of them into cruise missiles.
By now, it should be no surprise that other large nations have taken notice of the American assumption of entitlement to police the world and begun their own rearmament campaigns. Also worth noting that the focus on the Terror Threat has served as the rationale for massive investment in a level of surveillance technology that's unknown in human history. As for the norms and values that international law was supposedly intended to provide for governments everywhere, all of that went out the window in 2003, with the unprovoked invasion of Iraq by the Benevolent Hegemon Hyperpower. American scolding of other nations for their armed territorial incursions and imperial designs has rung awfully hollow, ever since.
The emphasis on massive military escalation to deal with terrorism outbreaks is reminiscent of the War on Drugs- which, it should be noted, also remains largely in effect, notwithstanding occasional feints toward de-escalation. And we all know what the War on Drugs did in terms of empowering the criminal elite that it was supposed to eliminate.
What's that all about? The leaders of this country- and for that matter, the supposed leaders of the rest of the world- aren't leading. To me, almost all of them look like they're running from something: they're running from fossil fuels addiction and its toxic blowback, looming climate catastrophe, natural resource depletion, maldistribution of wealth and neglect of the commons.Benito_Mussolini 10 hours ago
What's the central reason MSNBC is so pro-war? Because the shareholders in its parent corporation, Comcas, have a deep vested interest in militarism, arms sales, and the capture of natural resources around the word:Comcast, a large cable operator, completed its purchase of a majority stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric in January 2011. The cable giant bought the rest of NBCUniversal in February 2013. NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC, as well as NBC, Bravo, USA and other channels.
Comcast major holders, $US:
- Vanguard Group, Inc. 10,965,964,846
- Blackrock Inc. 10,179,872,652
- State Street Corporation 5,785,488,229
- Capital World Investors 5,427,547,692
- Massachusetts Financial Services Co. 4,787,803,825
Lockheed Martin major holders, $US:
- State Street Corporation 13,394,660,471 Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) 6,210,096,924
- Capital World Investors 5,098,130,465
- Blackrock Inc. 5,084,573,828
- Bank of America Corporation 2,826,426,091
ExxonMobil major holders, $US:
- Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) 26,661,034,588
- Blackrock Inc. 21,669,998,686
- State Street Corporation 16,964,902,104
- Northern Trust Corporation 4,566,789,988
- Bank Of New York Mellon Corporation 4,420,622,076
It pretty obvious once you look at the value of an outfit like Blackrock's investments in media, arms, and oil - they don't want any stories told on MSNBC that would threaten the profit margins of Exxon, Lockheed or Comcast.
The only real solution is government enforcement of anti-trust legisation which would require the likes of Comcast, TimeWarner(CNN) and NewsCorp(FOX) to divest their media holdings, creating dozens of independently owned outfits not beholden to some corporate master who won't let them discuss important topics like, say NAFTA....johnnyred 11 hours agoThe only real solution is government enforcement of anti-trust legislation
Hopefully, MSNBC will be smart enough to provide a friendly platform for ex-government officials. It means a great deal to government officials to know their influence, public visibility (and associated appearance fees) will continue into their retirement. I don't watch MSNBC, so I don't know if they have implemented this strategy, but the pictures in the article seem encouraging.Somewherearoundtikrit 11 hours ago
War is touted exclusively by those who've never experienced it. Get rid of the generals, put in some infantry casualties, those who've lost a limb or two.
Then we can have some informed comment.Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
Meanwhile, over at The Guardian, "In these critical times..." their "editorial independence" is in sincere need of your donation. They're just 80K away from their million dollar goal! Pardon me while I retch. Julian Assange is still being robbed of his freedom. In these critical times indeed. Thank you Glenn.Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
The Guardian can get its funding from the organizations for whom they carry water. Not a damn cent from me. After they caved in on the Snowden files, I was done with them for good.Somewherearoundtikrit 11 hours ago
Yeah one wonders if his cover would have been blown so decisively had he done it anonymously through Wikileaks, but I think they were onto him anyway. Ultimately the information got out, and media orgs like The Guardian were exposed for their fealty to the national security state(s).Orville 6 hours ago
Speaking of leaks, whenever I hear "water carrier," this inevitably comes to mind https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JGfXiIXTpE0MyInnocuousUsernameWasBanned 9 hours ago
Cryptome wouldn't have censored the releases, as WikiLeaks has. Still WikiLeaks continues to be one of the world's premier journalistic outlets.tigertiger 8 hours ago
Was anyone else surprised by how long it took them to get to a million? I've seen Kickstarters for video games that got to a million faster. The slow pace of the fundraising seemed like a rebuke. I was hoping they'd never hit a million.
And I say all of that as someone who has recurring donations set up for about a dozen podcasts and blogs. The nonprofit/fundraiser model is the way to go, but I also think that publicly owned media outlets, or privately owned but public-interest-minded news organizations, while editorially independent, can't be totally contemptuous of their reader/donors.
I would never donate to the Guardian for a million reasons, but to pick just one: they have played the lead role in smearing Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters as dangerous radicals and anti-Semites.
And I would never donate to The Intercept, for instance, because of the crucial role it has played in promoting Russiagate and amplifying voices like Mattathias Schwartz's. (I'll never stop reminding people that Schwartz non-jokingly advocated here for what would essentially be a coup -- Obama "putting a hold on the transfer of power" -- after the most recent presidential election. The Intercept published that. Amazing.) And the face of the Intercept, arguably, is no longer Greenwald but Mehdi Hasan, who publishes rank propaganda smearing peace activists as "Bashar al-Assad Apologists" who revere human rights abusers as "heroes." (Again: the Intercept published that. Amazing.)
My favorite line from that Arkin email is the one about the tension between worship of "officialdom" and respect for "public yearnings." To political elites and reporters (including the experts at the Intercept who spent a week running PR for Nancy Pelosi's speaker bid, and who constantly write off the 2016 election as a consequence either of sinister foreign interference or of the squalid bigotry, stupidity and ugliness of non-coastal Americans), officialdom always wins, and "public yearnings" are just the bleatings of deplorables.
If Glenn's excellent reporting was removed from this site, The Intercept would be as deserving of Arkin's critique as NBC and the Guardian are.TravisTea 11 hours ago
They didn't hit their million, which they wanted before the end of the year, but they're still begging. Not for lack of trying, that 'give us money!' pop up has to be about the loudest, most intrusive of it's kind I've ever seen.
And yes, TI is only marginally less repulsive (thanks to Glenn, Lee Fang, and Jon Schwartz). It amazes me that an outlet owned by a bajillionaire constantly begs for money. I guess they think it makes them more 'populist' or something- 'look, the peons are sacrificing their pennies to help us!'.Carlaly 11 hours ago
As an American author (and journalist) once wrote:
"Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his . And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the 'universal brotherhood of man' -- with his mouth."
-- Mark Twain, Man's Place in the Animal World (1896)
P.S. As always, thank you very much, Mr. Greenwald (and thank you, Mr. Arkin).
Mona 11 hours ago
Just vindicates what you have been saying all along. Although I expect the denialists will dismiss Arkin as some anti-American, anti-troop stooge of Putin.Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
"The cable network's key anchor, Rachel Maddow, once wrote a book on the evils of endless wars without congressional authorization, but now routinely depicts anyone who wants to end those illegal wars as reckless weaklings and traitors."
She's just coming home. Liberals have long been dominated by hawks (after all, Vietnam was a Democrats' war, albeit Nixon/Kissinger took the war crimes up to 11.)
Maddow long ago described herself as a "national security liberal."Which leads to yet another element of Ms. Maddow's portfolio: the daughter of an Air Force captain who served stateside during the Vietnam War, she is an admitted defense-policy wonk. "I'm a national security liberal, which I tell people because it's meant to sound absurd," she said. "I'm all about counterterrorism. I'm all about the G.I. Bill."
brer_rabbit 11 hours ago ( Edited )
Madcow would like nothing more than to see open war with Russia.Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
maddcow . . my laugh of the day.brer_rabbit 11 hours ago
It's a common refrain in far-right reaches of the Internet. I almost felt bad for saying it, but that's what she's become on the topic of Russia.open_hearted_jade 11 hours ago
Yes, whenever is see her, or Anderson Cooper, or any of these guys for that matter (which is rare . . usually for a few minutes to catch a glimpse of the latest environmental disaster, mass shooting, or whatever) my first thought always goes to question the kind of upbringing that could have produced such vapid people, who enthusiastically shame themselves on a daily basis for money. What must they think of their audience?Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
Maddow is less respected by an awakening public -- therefore she must be a conservative right winger. Didn't you learn anything after 1945?endlesswar 11 hours ago
You've made made totally missing the point into a trolling form of art. Bravo.PatrickShaw 6 hours ago
Attacking an extreme right wing president from the right, while lauding unrepentant war criminals like Bush and McCain. Just about sums up what it means to be a liberal in this day and age.xochtl 12 hours ago
MSNBC and their national security contributors do not speak for liberals. They never invite liberal voices on who are anti-war/pro diplomacy.brer_rabbit 12 hours ago ( Edited )Still, that a network insider has blown the whistle on how all this works, and how MSNBC and NBC have become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies, while not surprising, is nonetheless momentous given how detailed and emphatic he is in his condemnations.
perfect summaryclawhammerjake 13 hours ago. . if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.
bingoSteeeve 13 hours ago ( Edited )
War is a business decision.TheManj 13 hours ago ( Edited )
I've been consistently surprised that anyone is still watching these things. Personally, I've already divested from special-interest funded media outlets and the DNC for that matter. It's always interesting when I run across someone parrotting their viewpoints though.pedinska2 13 hours ago
The greatest scam of the millennium, after cruptocurrency, was the use of Trump Derangement Syndrome to pervert "progressives" into acolytes of the security establishment.Benito_Mussolini 13 hours ago
Actually, TDS wasn't used in the original perversion so much as it was used as the cement to keep it firmly in place.
I lay blame for much of the greatest scam of the millenium on Obama with his drone policies, expansion of our involvement in the ME, retention of the same Smartest Guys in the Room who tanked our economy and wholesale conversion of liberals into acceptance of further erosion of our Constitutional rights with his warm embrace of the same criminals running the security state when torture became de rigueur. He was just so darn pretty and eloquent they had no choice but to believe all the lies dripping from those sexy lips. And have you seen Michelle's arms???!? /sErelis 13 hours ago
To herd people, it's more effective to use both the carrot (Obama) and the stick (TDS). The fact that progressives needed to be herded is a testament to their numbers and success.bluecurl3 4 hours ago
This essay is critical for every American to read. No exaggeration. NBC/MSNBC has become the proverbial spear tip in the march toward nuclear war with Russia. Every day, step by step, brick by brick, they are laying the foundation for the justification of war--in fact, for needing and demanding war, almost any war, but more particularly with Russia. Let's remember that when Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, 72% of Americans supported it to according to Gallup. That didn't happen overnight with some big propaganda event.Mike5000 13 hours ago
Perhaps, but I would suggest that Iran has become the most desired target for a war, and due in no small part to the aggressive advocacy for such a war by Israel and Saudi Arabia, and their subservient boot-licking, ass kissing American politicians. I'm all for pulling our troops out of Syria, but mark my word, Bibi and his zionist war-hawks will seize the opportunity to bomb the hell out of Syria, and use it as a pretext to launch attacks against Iran.PresumptuousInsect 13 hours ago
Maddow is not really pro-war or anti-war. She is just pro whatever Clinton and Pelosi happen to be pushing this week. It's a shame. She's a good presenter but hopelessly biased.Erelis 13 hours ago
I think she is more enthralled to the people who are paying her.Bill_Owen 10 hours ago
Maddows rhetoric and reporting is pro-war regardless of her motivations. She uses the language of aggression and conspiracy and accusation in describing the Russians and other Americans such as Jill Stein. She without exception imputes malevolent motives on "the enemy" which is Russia leading to a truly a bizarre clip telling Americans in somber and concerned tones that Russia and N. Korea share a border. The conspiracy has been exposed.MyInnocuousUsernameWasBanned 9 hours ago
What is it, exactly, about Hillary Clinton that enthralls Rachel Maddow so much that she now pretty much spends her days building a case (in-the-sky) for war on Russia? Seems pathological somehow.William 13 hours ago
Look at how her ratings and salary have been affected by her transformation. She's gone from "cable news anchor" to "superstar." The Russiagate scam has also given dozens of mediocrities like Seth Abramson a chance to be noticed and to feel important. Even the writers on the Intercept's "intelligence" beat have been doing some sort of Tom Clancy cosplay for the last two years. It's profitable and fun to be one of these people, as long as you don't have a nagging sense of shame.Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
Indeed, none of this is new. I read Norman Solomon's and Martin Lee's UNRELIABLE SOURCES: A GUIDE TO DETECTING BIAS IN NEWS MEDIA back when I was in college in the late 80s and they cite General Electric's ownership of NBC (before there was an "MSNBC") uncritically:
General Electric's Influence on NBC GE is by no means a hands off owner of NBC. Lee and Solomon in their book Unreliable Sources have detailed how GE insisted on the removal of references to itself in an NBC programme on substandard products. They also point out that NBC journalists have not been particularly keen to expose GE's environmental record and that TV commercials by a group called INFACT, urging a boycott of GE products, were banned by NBC as well as other television stations. NBC did however briefly report GE's indictment for cheating the Department of Defense which was reported more extensively in other media outlets. (Lee and Solomon 1990, pp. 77-81) Former NBC News Chief, Lawrence Grossman, claims that the head of GE, Jack Welch made it clear to him that he worked for GE and told him not to use terms such as 'Black Monday' to describe the stock market crash in 1987 because it depressed share prices such as GE's (Cited in Naureckas 1995). Todd Putnam, editor of National Boycott News, tells of how he was approached by the NBC's Today Show to do an interview about consumer boycotts. Their biggest boycott at the time was against General Electric and its nuclear defense contracts but the show wouldn't let him talk about that and was reluctant to have him mention boycotts against any large corporation preferring him to talk about "a boycott that was 'small,' 'local' and 'sexy'." (1991) Mark Gunther writing in American Journalism Review claims that references to General Electric's use of the bolts in an NBC Today Show on defective bolts in planes, bridges and nuclear plants, were edited out and only mentioned in a follow-up segment after criticism of the omission (1995, p. 40). In 1990 NBC Nightly News ran 14 minutes of coverage over three days of a breast cancer detection machine produced by GE, without mentioning that it was made by NBC's owners. The other two major television networks didn't bother to cover it at all. (FAIR 1991) Helen Caldicott who had been featured on the Today Show previously found that when she wrote her book If You Love This Planet, which used GE as a case study of an environmentally damaging company, her scheduled appearance was mysteriously cancelled (Anon. 1992). In 1987, one year after GE took over NBC, NBC broadcast a special documentary promoting nuclear power using France as a model. The promotion for the programme proclaimed that "French townspeople welcome each new reactor with open arms". The documentary won a Westinghouse sponsored prize for science journalism. (Westinghouse Electric Company also builds nuclear power stations.) Shortly after the documentary was screened, when there were a couple of accidents at French power stations and there was significant opposition to nuclear power amongst the French population (polls showed about one third opposed it), NBC did not report the story although some US newspapers did. (Lee and Solomon 1990, p. 78) Karl Grossman documents in Extra! (1993) how the programme What Happened? broadcast on NBC in 1993 gave a one sided account of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and its aftermath. It showed local resident Debbie Baker saying that she was not as afraid of the nuclear plant as she used to be. However, according to Grossman, Baker, whose son was born with Down's syndrome 9 months after the accident and who has received $1.1 million in a settlement arising from the accident, was shocked at how the programme had been edited to imply her acceptance of the plant. She said she was still extremely uncomfortable with the plant and that what she had said was she felt safer since her groups set up a network of radiation monitors around the plant. Neither Baker's settlement nor the 200 or so others "made to families who have suffered injury, birth defects and death because of the 1979 accident" were mentioned. Instead a nuclear power industry expert was featured who said the plant's back-up safety systems worked successfully. When EXTRA! pointed out that no scientists critical of nuclear power appeared in the program, Jaffe [executive producer of the show] responded, 'That is correct. Maybe there is some misunderstanding. That show is not a journalistic show but an entertainment show to look into and to find out the reason and cause of various accidents and incidents.' (Grossman 1993, p. 6) NBC has not been alone in putting a positive spin on the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. On the tenth anniversary of the accident, the New York Times ran an anniversary article opposite the editorial page headlined "Three Mile Island: The Good News" which argued that the accident had been good for the nuclear power industry prompting better management and emergency planning. The paper did not report the fact that 2000 residents living near the plant had filed claims for cancer and other health problems they blamed on the accident, nor the 280 personal-injury settlements paid out to such claimants, nor the unusual clusters of leukemia, birth defects and hypothyroidism around the plant. (Lee and Solomon 1990, p. 210) This was not the first time Times reporting had fitted with General Electric's views. In 1986 the Times reported on the use of humans as subjects in tritium absorption experiments. Tritium is routinely handled by nuclear power plant workers. An early edition of the paper said: "The tritium study was financed by the Atomic Energy Commission and conducted by the General Electric Company at Richland, which abuts the Hanford [nuclear weapons] reservation." In the late edition the sentence ended after Commission and no longer named General Electric. (Tenenbaum 1990)
Art 11 hours ago
Sure, but the question then becomes: Why didn't the corporate networks and newspapers with whom NBC competed point these things out?Tom_Collins 11 hours ago
That's what my father always said about media - that it was self-correcting. But he was wrong. They're all influenced by the same thing, namely the ultra-rich and their money.Art 11 hours ago
But wouldn't another network stand to gain more clout from the ultra-rich, corporations, and their money from NBC's losing viewers/ratings due to exposure for their corrupt unwillingness to report negatively on their parent corporation's actions?Midwest 14 hours ago
They share a huge fraction of investors, that's the problem.TheManj 13 hours ago
Nothing has changed except that there is an outsider independent president. NBC was just as bad 20 years ago.Phil 14 hours ago
Project Mockingbird was publicly revealed years ago, but pretty much totally ignored by the audiences who lap contentedly from the MSM koolaid bowl.PresumptuousInsect 14 hours ago
William Arkin is right on point with his email to MSNBC, especially when he says:
"And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as "analysts". We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. "
In that same vein I have problems with MSNBC et al also covering the farewell speeches of outgoing Senators and Representatives which are full of warnings as to how the current system is "broken" [Paul Ryan, ClaireMcCaskill, Orrin Hatch, Jeff Flake, among many] and not calling them out.
It's ironic that these politicians who have gorged themselves on literally millions of dollars in campaign funding from Big Pharma, Defense Contractors, Energy, Big Banking, and even insider stock trading now feel compelled to warn us of graft and corruption they all fostered. These politicians get elected as nobodies, sell their votes, retire as millionaires, then have the nerve to tell us how corrupted our government has become as they check out to become Lobbyist's.
Orrin Hatch was a Senator for 42 years but last week he woke up one morning to find the Senate needs fixing? Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House and fiercely defended Trump but now as he leaves he's suddenly discovers that things aren't right in Washington? And what about all those who are still in office now – where are their warnings and concern? The answer is it's difficult to talk while you're in office stuffing your mouths at the trough.
Sadly, MSNBC and the media carry these farewell speeches with no comment except that they are all great public servants and their viewers soak it all up because to do otherwise would be unpatriotic. And the march of the lemmings to the voting booths continues.shenebraskan 14 hours ago
I am so glad to see this man speak out. For the longest time, war and the military budget has been a third rail in politics, and "support the troops!"--however hypocritical that slogan might be--has been a rallying cry as well as an accusation of treason/unAmericanism/communism, etc., for those who have had doubts. But finally we are starting to see signs of dissatisfaction with the status quo among the political class, and even antiwar bullet points listed on some platforms. There are even calls for diplomacy, a word that seemed to have been deleted from all U.S. dictionaries. I hope that Arkin's outcry serves to move this agitation forward.
Dunno if you noticed (I did because I watch State Department briefings), but when Brett McGurk resigned as Syria envoy, in a similar huff to McMaster, he bemoaned the loss of his colleagues at State and Pentagon. State Department has become another branch of the MIC, not a diplomatic corps. And I am not saying this is all because of Trump. Probably started when we "won" the Cold War.
Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
RatioDecidend , 4 Jun 2018 01:33This article is excellent and well overdue. All we need to do now is to wrench control of our mainstream media out of the hands of Corporate (foreign) control. We are being told to vote against ourselves in order for the few corporate elite to accrue massive wealth and power over us.RatioDecidend -> Lawrie Griffith , 4 Jun 2018 00:51
MEDIA laws need to be very strict with very, very severe financial penalties for bias and propaganda. Certainly remove this concept of self regulation whereby they sit on their own disciplinary boards. Raise the standards of our media and allow us to retrieve some semblance of our democracy.
Without media control, how would corporations be able to manipulate and propagandise the populace with their own vested interests.
That is why governments are doing corporate bidding and getting fascist style surveillance of its people, in order to counteract the ability of the people to gain knowledge through the internet and vote against corporate control of our democracy.... nothing to do with terrorism which was caused mostly by corporate foreign extraction of wealth through weapon sales; resource acquisition, etc.
Oops, got to go, hope that makes sense.It is back to control of our mainstream media by the very (foreign) corporations that are sucking out our wealth and putting nothing back.
Corporate media ia all powerful. They insidiously permeate the populace with corporate views of Australia's financial and economy; infrastructure and every aspect of social life from birth to euthanasia with racism and religion thrown in for good measure.
Should a politician have the audacity to act against their corporate interests, they do not last long, without exclusions - PMs Whitlam and Rudd being prime examples.
This current mob of gutless underachieving dinosaur neo con nutters in govt, are completely turning over Australia to these Corporate (foreign) parasites and our prospect is not looking good.
Within no time we will be a Corporatocracy (as is the USA) and along with that comes 1% owning 99% of the wealth; third world poverty; crime through the roof; drugs out of control; public health and education a joke; public services non existent; legal system in disarray and entrenched with bias and inequity.
Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
bevin , Dec 22, 2018 9:33:42 AM | linkThe journalism scandals are just beginning.
Craig Murray today publishes accounts from the "Integrity Initiative" showing that journalists in Scotland are receiving retainers of 2500 a month Sterling, plus expenses and payment for actual articles published.
And if this is going on in Scotland we can be quite sure that it is actually happening in North America and Europe, generally, and, of course, in the less prosperous parts of the world where standards of integrity are just as low as they are hereabouts.
We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved.
Murray's blog is almost always worth following, just as 'b's is. Yesterday more news about the Skripal case emerged: it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.
What we are witnessing is the complete incompetence of those running the Empire. While malicious, indeed deadly, they simply cannot keep up with the critics of imperialism. Their power rests entirely on their ability to use force, both physical and financial. Their attempts to use social medias to their advantage are lame and ineffective. It seems clear to me that they will soon be reduced to using their power not just to hobble but to cripple critics- net neutrality is already finished.
Dec 13, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk
in Uncategorized by craig
The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple's Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger's entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue "holiday" cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye's official propaganda.
Some things don't change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
"I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I'll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser."
It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.
Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it.
The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the "Institute for Statecraft" to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).
By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.
Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.
Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.
I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.
I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.
But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.
As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier.
You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy".
As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity
Dec 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
24 minutes ago remove Share link Copy How you can tell that MSM is the front man for the CIA...nothing happens until MSM picks up the story
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.comsanda1scuptorNYC , 30 Aug 2012 07:36Howard Zinn said, in a speech given shortly after the 2008 Presidential election, "If you don't know history, it's like you were born yesterday. The government can tell you anything." (Speech was played on DemocracyNow www.democracynow.org about Jan. 4, 2009 and is archived, free on the website.)sigil , 30 Aug 2012 05:49
Being older (18 on my last Leap Year birthday - 72), I recall the NYTimes and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having "planted CIA workers" as NYTimes writers. Within my adult lifetime, in fact.Brusselsexpats , 30 Aug 2012 05:49
This is what the CIA reflexively does: insists that [...] it is an "intelligence matter".
In a sense the CIA is always going to be right on this one - "Central Intelligence Agency" - but only as a matter of nomenclature, rather than of any other dictionary definition of the word "intelligence".Actually the collusion between the CIA and big business is far more damaging. The first US company I worked for in Brussels (it was my first job) was constantly being targeted by the US media for having connections to corrupt South American and Third World regimes. On what seemed like an almost monthly basis our personnel department would send round memos saying that we were strictly forbidden to talk to journalists about the latest exposé.kcameron , 30 Aug 2012 05:26
It was great fun - even the telex operators knew who the spies were.The line "'The optics aren't what they look like,' is truly an instant classic. It reminds me of one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes (which, unlike many attributed to him, is real, I think). Yogi once said about a restaurant in New York "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Perhaps Yogi should become an editor for the Times.AmityAmity , 30 Aug 2012 04:55British readers will no doubt be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn of cozy relations between a major news organization and a national intelligence agency.MiltonWiltmellow , 30 Aug 2012 02:40
... ... ...
"'I know the circumstances, and if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing,' Baquet said. 'I can't go into in detail. But I'm confident after talking to Mark that it's much ado about nothing.'
"'The optics aren't what they look like,' he went on. 'I've talked to Mark, I know the circumstance, and given what I know, it's much ado about nothing.'"
How can you have a Party if you don't have Party elites?
And how can a self-respecting member of the Party claim their individual status within the Party without secret knowledge designed to identify one another as members of the Party elite?
[Proles are] natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals ... Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals the Party was trying to achieve. ... The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering -- a world of of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons -- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting -- 300 million people all with the same face. The reality was decaying, dingy cities, where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes... [ 1984 ,pp 73-74]
It makes no difference if an imagined socialist England, a collapsing Roman city-state empire, an actual Soviet Union, or a modern American oligarchy.
Party members thrive while those wretched proles flail in confused and hungry desperation for something authentic (like a George Bush) or even simply reassuring (like a Barack Obama.)
Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.)
Manzetti has "no bad intent" because he is loyal to the Party.
Like all loyal (and very well compensated) Party members, he would never do anything as subversive as reveal Party secrets.
People can be detained for almost any reason these days!
After all, what's the future of a Party that lacks effective enforcement?
Dec 03, 2018 | www.unz.com
...First, let's look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing official narrative (aka "official truth" or "truth" -- note quotes ). I'm going to use The Guardian 's most recent blatantly fabricated article (" Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy ") as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by "respectable" outlets over the course of the last two years. The " Russian Propaganda Peddlers " story. The " Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton " story. The " Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid " story. The " Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape " story. The " Novichok Assassins " story. The " Bana Alabed Speaks Out " story. The " Trump's Secret Russian Server " story. The " Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis " story. The " Russians Orchestrated Brexit " story. The " Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms " story. The " Twitter Bots " story. And the list goes on.
I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others).
The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.
By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.
At this point, I imagine you're probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing "truth." Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the "truth" thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes' lies). Unfortunately, it isn't. Here is why.
Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.
Nor are there many "truths" (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one "truth" the "official truth". The "truth" according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of "truth" was invented (i.e., to render any other "truths" lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some "objective truth" (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger's dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn't. The truth is just a story a story that is never our story.
The "truth" is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else's story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the "truth" of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their "truth" as heresy. They regard their "truth" as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.
For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or "fearless adversarial" outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.
Or all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian , or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can't afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.
Look, I'm not trying to argue that it isn't important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." People already know the truth the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.
And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.
As for Julian Assange, I'm afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn't left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can't have heretics of Assange's notoriety running around punching holes in their "truth" and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.
C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .Manufacturing Truth
James Forrestal , says: December 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm GMTGood piece. I think there's another layer, though.Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT
The truth or falsehood of individual facts about the physical world can often be determined with near-certainty. But when it comes to history, or "news" about current events/ politics, reality is much too complex to address directly. Too many individual facts to be comprehensible, let alone useful.
We must pick, choose, emphasize, or ignore particular elements, and arrange them into some kind of structure, in order to form a useful narrative. Or in the case of "news," the legacy media oligarchy largely performs this function for us -- we simply passively accept/ adopt their narrative. Or, in many cases, "choose" between the closely-related variants of that narrative offered by the "liberal" vs. "conservative" press.
This process of abstraction, simplification, and organization inevitably involves data loss. So no narrative is "true" in the same sense that individual facts about the real world are true. But some narratives incorporate large amounts of "facts" that are demonstrably false, and some are more useful/ descriptive/ predictive than others. No one engaged in this process is "objective." They -- or we -- are all in some way part of the story. It should be self-evident that some narratives are more useful to the perceived interests of owners of major media outlets than others, and that these will assume a much more prominent place in their coverage than ones that are deleterious to those interests.
Ideally, most people would take these factors into account when evaluating the "news," and maintain a much more skeptical attitude than they typically do. But there are several factors that prevent this.
One is simply time/ efficiency. These individual narratives, taken together, support -- and are supported by -- our overall worldview. There aren't enough hours in the day to be constantly skeptical about everything, especially since the major tools of distortion involved in constructing mainstream narratives tend to be selection bias/ memory-holing, with obvious lies about known facts (like the Guardian story referenced here) used only sparingly. It's simply not practical to to constantly consider potentially "better" narratives, and to reevaluate one's worldview based on these.
And which narrative we believe often has more to do with perceived social pressure/ social acceptability than with "truth." As you put it,
Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.
Mass media pushing a common narrative creates an artificial perception of social consensus. Creating, or even finding, alternative narratives means fighting the inertia of this perceived consensus, and potentially suffering social costs for believing in the "wrong" one. The social role of narratives is largely independent of their "truth" -- if what you're "supposed" to believe is highly implausible, that actually gives it higher value as a signal of loyalty to the establishment.
It's probably best to maintain a resolutely agnostic attitude toward most "news" items, unless one is particularly interested in that particular event. " Why are they pushing this particular story?" "Why now ?" and " What are they trying to accomplish here?" are often more useful questions than "Is it true?"
It's not a new issue -- only exacerbated by the advent of mass visual media:
"Propaganda" -- Edward Bernays (1928)
"The Free Press"– Hilaire Belloc (1918)I get what Hopkins is trying to do here, but redefining terms (i.e., "truth") doesn't do what he thinks it does.Brabantian , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
The truth is not ' what most people think '; it's not ' what we are told to believe '; it's not ' the official narrative '.
There is a useful cautionary tale embedded in Hopkins' piece, but he doesn't tease it out properly.
Take this excerpt:
The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.
With significant caveats, it is a reasonable description of the way the political world works: if the political class decides that its interests are best served by declaring that a specific narrative X is 'true', it will obtain immediate compliance from about half the livestock, and can then rely on force (peer pressure; subsidy or taxation; state coercion) to get an absolute majority of the herd to declare that they accept the 'truth' of X .
If X is objectively false, too bad.
Try to run a legal argument based on the objective falsity of a thing that the political class has deemed to be true: you'll be shit outta luck.
This is highly relevant where I am sitting: here are two examples – one really obvious, one a bit less so (but far more important because of its radical implications).
Obvious Example: Drug Dogs
Recent research has shown that drug sniffing dogs give false positive signals between 60% and 80% of the time – i.e., in terms of identifying people who are in actual physical possession of drugs at any point in time, drug sniffing dogs perform worse than a coin toss.
Note that this is before considering that the dog's handler is often pointing the dog at a target that the handler thinks is likely to be carrying drugs. (Although in reality, drug dogs are paraded around at concerts and in public spaces, sniffing every passer-by).
However there is an Act of Parliament (capitalise all the magic words) that asserts that a signal from a drug sniffing dog is sufficient to qualify as what Americans call "probable cause" – i.e., reasonable suspicion for a search.
Does anyone think that evidence should be admissible if it results from a search conducted based on 'probable cause' derived from a method that produces worse outcomes than tossing a coin?
Judges will tie themselves into absolute epistemological knots to get that evidence admitted – and they will refuse to permit defence Counsel from adducing evidence about drug dog inaccuracy because since the defendant actually did have drugs in their possession, the dog didn't signal falsely.
In other words, the judge conflates posterior probability with prior probability; the prior probability that the dog is correct, is 10%-40%; this should not suffice to generate probable cause (or 'reasonable suspicion).
More Interesting Example: 'Representative' Democracy
In general, Western governments assert that their legitimacy stems from two primary sources: some founding set of principles (usually a constitution – written or otherwise), and 'representativeness' (including ratification of the constitution by a representative mechanism, for those places with written foundational documents).
The Arrow Impossibility Theorem [1,2] and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem [3,4], both show that there is no way of accurately determining group preferences using an ordinal voting mechanism.
What this boils down to, is that representativeness is a lie – and it's a lie before any consideration of voting outcomes ; it's a meta -problem (the problem that ordinal voting cannot do what it is claimed to do – viz ., accurately identify the 'will of the people'/'social preferences'/'what the people want').
Beyond the meta-problem, there is also the actual counting problem: no government has ever been elected having obtained the votes of an outright bare majority, i.e., 50%-plus-1 of the entire eligible franchise. (It's more like 25-35% for most parliamentary systems – for US presidential elections in the full-franchise period, the winner is voted for by 29% of the eligible population; you would be horrified to look at US Senate results).
So when the new unhappy lords (and their Little Eichmann bureaucrat enablers) promulgate laws based on assertions of legitimacy because of a constitutional Grundnorm and/or the representative nature of government both of those things are pretty obvious furphies; they are objectively not 'truth' and no amount of heel-clicking and wishing will make it so.
Which brings us to a key legal aphorism that has a jurisprudential history going back four centuries: Ratio legis est anima legis, et mutata legis ratione, mutatur ex lex – which dates from Milborn's case ( Coke 7a KB ).
The reason for a law is the soul of the law, and if the reason for a law has changed, the law is changed .
What this means – explicitly – is that " no law can survive the [extinction of the] reasons on which it is founded ".
American courts re-expressed this as " cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex " (the reason for a law having ceased, the law itself ceases) – e.g., in Funk v. United States , 290 US 371 (1933) in which Justice Sutherland opined –
This means that no law can survive the reasons on which it is founded. It needs no statute to change it; it abrogates itself . If the reasons on which a law rests are overborne by opposing reasons, which in the progress of society gain a controlling force, the old law, though still good as an abstract principle, and good in its application to some circumstances, must cease to apply as a controlling principle to the new circumstances.
Again: try running this argument in a court: " The asserted basis for all laws promulgated by the government, is provably false. Under a doctrine with a 4-century jurisprudential provenance, the law itself is void ."
See how far you get.
So Hopkins makes a good-but-obvious point – power does not respect either rights or truth; as such it does you no good whatsoever to have the actual truth on your side. He should have made the point better.
References (links are to PDFs of each paper)
 Arrow (1950). " A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare " Journal of Political Economy 58 (4): 328–346
 Geanakoplos, John (2005). " Three Brief Proofs of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem " Economic Theory 26 (1): 211–215
 Gibbard (1973). " Manipulation of voting schemes: a general result " Econometrica 41 (4): 587–601.
 Satterthwaite (April 1975). " Strategy-proofness and Arrow's Conditions: Existence and Correspondence Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions " Journal of Economic Theory 10: 187–217.C J Hopkins, despite some good quotes and insights above, regrettably falls into the trap of peddling Derrida-tier relativistic nonsense, playing a word game about 'truth', as if 'truth' was not real merely because most people have strong incentives to avoid being devoted to itKratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
Where you stand depends upon where you sit, etc., Karl Marx's dictums about economic and power positions shaping consciousness, and of course the century-old classic:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
from Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Hopkins more or less repeats Sinclair when he says
Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.
Despite selling-out truth to the relativism devil in some passages, Hopkins nevertheless creates some quotable, including the particularly insightful:
The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative.
The following notion of Hopkins is seen now and then in the alt-sphere, but always bears repeating
It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution."
... ... ...@TulipRobinG , says: December 4, 2018 at 12:21 am GMT
The coin of truth is iron and blood.
That's absolutely, 100% wrong.
Iron and blood are the tools used to force people to accept what isn't true. (Another way to tell: it was uttered by a fucking politician – a cunt who wanted to live in palaces paid for by the sweat of other people's brows).
Truth does not need violence to propagate itself: in a completely-peaceful system of free exchange, bad ideas (of which lies are a subset) will get driven out of the market place because they will fail to conform to ground truth.
Falsehood requires violence (arguably it is a form of violence: fraud is 'violent' because it causes its victims to misallocate their resources or to deform their preferences and expectations).
In a very real sense, truth does not need friends: all it requires is an absence of powerful enemies.@James ForrestalJett Rucker , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States
This film shows a great example of propaganda in action. Free to watch now and this link also includes a short version and a trailer.When I tell any Truth, it is not for the sake of Convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who Do.polistra , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT
~ William Blake, 1810The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts.The scalpel , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
But we CAN know the truth about our own situation, our own neighborhood, and our own families. The current riots in France are a concrete ASSERTION of local truth against the blatant and condescending official lies. The majority of France is getting poorer and suffering more from migrant crime. Macron insists that starvation is necessary to serve Gaia, and crime is necessary to serve Juncker. The people would prefer to have a leader that serves France.@FB Scientific truth is limited by two factors – assumptions, and hidden variables. For example, we might drop a brick in a vacuum and believe that it falls at 9.8 m/s squared. Here, we make the assumption that the force of gravity is constant. And for most of history we were unaware of the hidden variable of relativity to the speed of light.DFH , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
So, assuming (LOL) that we are able to eliminate all assumptions and account for all hidden variables, there is a scientific truth. That is ASSUMING we are not just a simulation in someone elses computer!
Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts .What is truth? – John 18:38FB , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT@The scalpel LOL and then there is the 'observer effect' also especially in good old quantum mechanics in the end scientific truth does boil down to what 'some can agree on'Tulip , says: December 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT@Kratoklastes Strength is the production of force over distance. That is to say, force is a quantifiable, physical phenomenon that, deconstruct it as much as you want, will hit you like a tsunami whether you believe it or not.TimothyPMadden , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
Force only works because there is a real world that transcends philosophical bullshit and marketing.
The subjective piece is will: victory is attained when the enemies will to resist is crushed. Through the repeated use of physical force, eventually any enemy can be worn down and vanquished.
The world is finite, desire is infinite, and for every desire and appetite, there is a will. As multiple wills will that they attain their infinite desires in a finite world, there will always be a conflict of will, which will always ultimately be resolved by force. Which means ultimately, despite the rich imaginations and appetites of humans, and their related striving, physical force will ultimately rule the day, and conquer, condition, and constrain the mental life of mankind.
Of course, desire and appetite will not take no for an answer, and in their frustration, they will imagine, fantasize, and conceptualize rationales for why this is not so. This is the nature of our desires, and in good times of prosperity and peace, they may even bend our reason in the direction of these appetites and fantasies, until the instincts for self preservation and endurance rust, and are even forgotten. But like the moon revealed by a passing cloud, the perpetual war of human existence will inevitably reassert itself, and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing.What is truth ?The Scalpel , says: Website December 5, 2018 at 12:34 am GMT
Truth is a word .
After reading the article and the aggregate comments, I am strengthened in my belief that the physics analogy of Schrödinger's cat is among the most useful (and notwithstanding the otherwise valid criticism of it in the comments). In the same way that the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, does not purport to define a given word, per se , but rather gives a detailed description of how the word has in fact been used over the years and centuries.
I refer to my version of Schrödinger's cat as counter-sense words or oscillating-contradictions .
Oscillating contradictions and cogno-linguistic manipulation
The primary means by which corporate supremacy, for example, is achieved and maintained in practice is via the maintenance and use of a small arsenal of about two dozen critical counter-sense or yo-yo -like words/terms that are asserted or claimed to mean either "X" or "Minus-X" at the option of the decision-maker.
Among the most important and sui generis (in a class of its own) is the word person which is held to mean a living, breathing being of conscience (literally a being of equity) with the rights, powers and privileges of such being ("X"), or else it can mean a corporate entity which is a notional/inanimate item of property to be bought and sold and otherwise traded for profit in the stock and financial markets ("Minus-X").
By way of example/demonstration of the ongoing cognitive manipulation process, if someone had managed to hit the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court with a blast of truth-ray just before they announced their decision in Citizens United, here is what we may have got instead:[MORE]
We here at the Supreme Court are part of what can be fairly and broadly referred to as an arm of the entrenched-money-power.
At certain times and under certain circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be natural-persons-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person or living being of conscience.
At other times and other circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be items of property that can be actively bought and sold and traded for profit in the stock and financial markets.
Your laughable naiveté is manifest in your expectation that you are going to receive a definitive answer from this Court, or even that it is possible for us to give you one. Among the foundational purposes of this Court is to actively prevent that question from being answered definitively at all. The instant we give a definitive answer, the game is over.
Whatever answer we give you must perpetuate the systematized delusion that the same concept (corporate personhood) can mean either X (a living being of conscience), or minus-X (an item of property), depending on the ever-changing needs of the decider.
So our current answer is that a corporation is a natural-person-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, except when it isn't. We'll let you know next time whether that situation has changed in the meantime.
Essentially all counter-sense words/terms follow that same template .
Notwithstanding that the respective concepts are logically and objectively mutually exclusive , the judges of the Courts (and the broadly-defined financial-world/social-control-structure) maintain that it can be either or both , and we'll let you know if and when it becomes important.
So a corporate person has a right of free speech when giving money to influence political parties, but not to object to itself being sold as a piece of property in the stock and financial markets or when it is acquired in a merger or takeover financed by its own assets. If a corporation has the legal capacity and rights of a natural person, then how can it be owned as the legal property of another? The purpose of the Courts is to ensure that that question is never presented in that way.
After person , the remaining most significant counter-sense or yo-yo -like words are (surprise surprise) essentially all money-and-finance-based, and the most important among these is the word principal and its role in facilitating illegal front-loading or ex-temporal fraud (interest illegally and unlawfully compounded in advance).
Is the amount of principal the actual or net amount advanced by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use and control?
Or is it the amount that the debtor agrees that they owe regardless of the amount received?
Is the amount of principal a question of fact ? Or of the agreement of parties ?
[Here is the premise / offer that is referenced immediately below:]
Lender (e.g., typical second-mortgage lender): "I will loan you $10,000 at 20% per annum provided that you sign and give to me a marketable security that claims or otherwise purports to evidence that I have loaned you $15,000 at 10% per annum, plus an undisclosed and unregistered side-agreement and cheque (check) back to me for a bonus or loan fee of $5,000 as a payment from the nominal proceeds."
In the process example used above, what is the principal amount of the loan? Is it $10,000 because that is the factual net amount invested by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use? Or is it $15,000 because that is the amount that the debtor is required to falsely agree that they have received and owe as a condition of the loan? Or is it $20,000 because that is the total cash-equivalent/money assets ($15,000 mortgage + $5,000 cheque) that the debtor has to give to the creditor?
Is it a noun/fact ? Or is it an adjective/opinion merely pretending to be a noun? All debt and therefore money in the world today depends on the answer to that question that theoretically cannot exist.
Principal is a special type (and most significant form) of counter-sense word or oscillating contradiction where dictionaries normally only give one sense, while commercial practice defines the contrary. It would be very difficult to put the Whatever-the-debtor-agrees-that-they-owe sense into a dictionary, because the fraud against meaning (as well as the criminal law) is manifest in spelling it out, and ever more so in more specialized financial dictionaries.
So virtually every legal, financial, accounting, and ordinary English dictionary and/or regulation defines it to the effect "The actual amount invested, loaned or advanced to the debtor/borrower net of any interest, discount, premium or fees", while virtually every financial security in the real world at least implicitly incorporates the fraudulent alternative/contrary meaning.
This in turn allows the academic world to function on the rational/factual definition, while the markets maintain a wholly contradictory deemed or pretended reality, while both remain oblivious to the contradiction.
Thus principal means the nominal creditor's actual and net investment, unless it doesn't .
With this class of counter-sense word where there is a necessary and definitive answer, the real job of the judges of the Courts becomes to make certain that the question is never officially asked, and under no circumstances is it to be definitively answered.
With just one of these words you can theoretically steal the Earth . With a financial system that is relatively saturated with them, such becomes child's play . With these rules a group of competently-trained chimpanzees otherwise pulling levers at random could do as well as the so-called wizards of Wall Street .
And significantly, these oscillating contradictions enable the judges to be self-righteous in the extreme on behalf of the entrenched-money-power, while looting the little people of the product of their labour.
As in: You have received the principal amount ($10,000) and you are going to pay back the principal amount ($15,000) plus the ever-accumulating (and super-leveraged) interest upon it according to your contract, while the meaning of the word oscillates between fact and opinion – between a noun and an adjective – according to what the judge needs it to mean (or accommodate) at any given instant in time.
It seems impossibly obvious in this simple example, but with several of them orchestrated simultaneously or sequentially, anything can truly be made to mean anything .
A partial list of the most critical oscillating-contradicitions includes: loan, credit, discount, interest, rate-of-interest, agreement, contract, security, repay, restitution, etc., all of which mean either "X" or its conceptual opposite "Minus-X" at the option of the entrenched-money-power whose vast financial fortunes are founded on such cogno-linguistic arbitrage .
Here are what I believe to be four essential tools needed to triangulate reality via congo-linguistic parallax . The first two are mine, and the last two are from the American and English Courts, respectively.
1. Humans are highly cogno-linguistic . We perceive reality very largely as a function of the language that we use to describe it. Most everyone inherently believes and presumes that you have to be able to think something before you can say it. The greater reality is that, above a certain base level of perception and communication, you have to have the words and language by which to say something before you can think it .
2. The world is ever-increasingly controlled and administered by people who genuinely believe whatever is necessary for the answer they need. Administrative agents of the entrenched-money-power have solved the criminal-law enigma of mens rea or guilty mind by evolving or devolving (take your pick) into professional schizophrenics who genuinely believe whatever they need to believe for the answer they need, and who communicate among themselves subconsciously by how they name things. They suffer a cogno-linguistically-induced diminished capacity that renders them incapable of perceiving reality beyond labels .
3. Their core business model or modus operandi is the systematized delusion :
"A "systematized delusion" is one based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion ; there being one central delusion, around which other aberrations of the mind converge." Taylor v. McClintock, 112 S.W. 405, 412, 87 Ark. 243. (West's Judicial Words and Phrases (1914)).
One must not confuse the object of a conspiracy [to defraud] with the means by which it is intended to be carried out. Scott v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner  60 Cr. App. R. 124 H.L.
I have long since abandoned my search for truth, per se, since I came to realize that the best I can ever do is to constantly strive to move closer to it. With apologies to the physicists, Truth is the Limit of Infinite Good Faith .@Tulip " which will always ultimately be resolved by force."redmudhooch , says: December 5, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT
Right there is where you lost the plot. That statement is just your opinion and it cannot be proven true. The rest of your argument falls victim to this logical error.
" and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing."
Also, just your opinion. For example, the "dreamer" might die still comforted by his/her dreams, while the "prepper" might waste his life witing for the "inevitable' that never arrives.Truth shall set you free.
For the First Time Since 9/11, Federal Gov't Takes Steps to Prosecute the Use of Explosives to Destroy WTCs
In what can be described as a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth, a United States Attorney has agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers.
The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).
After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.
Some good documentary films here to watch for free:
Heres a couple more. Occupation of the American Mind is very good. All of John Pilgers films are great.
James Forrestal , says: December 5, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT@Wizard of Oz
My question/quibble relates to your objection to the use of sniffer dogs to establish probable cause for search because it is no better than a coin toss. That seems fallacious if, according to your figures, the dogs sniff 500 people and get excited by 10 of them of which 3 are correctly identified and 7 are false positives.
Yeah. The concepts of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value might be very helpful in assessing this.
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
bilejones, 30 Aug 2012 16:16Here's a wonderful example of the NYT's propensity for re-writing history: http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/08/30/ny-times-scrubs-mention-cia-arming-syrian-rebels-177311/ Long live the memory hole.BillOwen , 30 Aug 2012 13:15The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence Victor Marchetti
"It is the first book the federal government of the United States ever went to court to censor before its publication. The CIA demanded the authors remove 399 passages but they stood firm and only 168 passages were censored. The publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, chose to publish the book with blanks for censored passages and with boldface type for passages that were challenged but later uncensored."
There exists in our nation today a powerful and dangerous secret cult -- the cult of intelligence. Its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Its patrons and protectors are the highest officials of the federal government. Its membership, extending far beyond governmental circles, reaches into the power centers of industry, commerce, finance, and labor. Its friends are many in the areas of important public influence -- the academic world and the communications media.
The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy.
The purpose of the cult is to further the foreign policies of the U.S. government by covert and usually illegal means, while at the same time containing the spread of its avowed enemy, communism. Traditionally, the cult's hope has been to foster a world order in which America would reign supreme, the unchallenged international leader.
Today, however, that dream stands tarnished by time and frequent failures. Thus, the cult's objectives are now less grandiose, but no less disturbing. It seeks largely to advance America's self-appointed role as the dominant arbiter of social, economic, and political change in the awakening regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And its worldwide war against communism has to some extent been reduced to a covert struggle to maintain a self-serving stability in the Third World, using whatever clandestine methods are available.
Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com
In Homage to Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:
In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. ( Homage to Catalonia , ch. 14)
The police conducted this search "in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian communist secret-police] or Gestapo style for nearly two hours," Orwell says. He then notes that in "all this time they never searched the bed." His wife was still in it, you see, and although the police "were probably Communist Party members they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless."
Orwell's story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism , meaning "the practice of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts" (from Greek typhlos , "blind," + ophthalmos , "eye"). But it's a long word, so let's call it typhlism for short. Shorter is better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.
Oct 18, 2018 | www.rt.com
John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. Published time: 18 Oct, 2018 13:16 Edited time: 18 Oct, 2018 14:44
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That a free press underpins British democracy is an enduring myth that has been allowed to go unchallenged, up there with unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster. Because if a clutch of right-wing reactionary billionaires owning the bulk of a nation's major newspaper titles and media constitutes a free press, the word 'free' has been stripped and shorn of all meaning.
Yet, while the aforementioned – let's be kind here – 'anomaly' has long been understood by anyone of adult years with the ability to put their underpants on the right way round in the morning, the extent to which the British establishment press and media has been penetrated by intelligence services and acts as a conduit for their agenda is less well known.Read more Telegraph defence editor savaged by Owen Jones over Saudi-links, deletes Twitter account
That it is less well known remains one of life's great mysteries nonetheless. Scratch your average British journalist and you have yourself a frustrated spook; someone who would be on their toes at the sound of a car door slamming shut in the street, while harbouring fantasies of coming across Vladimir Putin in a dark alley one night and scoring one for the Empire.
Take Con Coughlin, for example, Defence Editor at The Daily Telegraph (more colloquially and accurately known as The Daily Torygraph). Coughlin is a product of a private school production line that has unleashed more knaves on the world than spittle on a dentist's chair. While his outing as an MI6 asset may have been a long time coming, now that it has, it marks yet another nail in the coffin of a media class whose relationship to truth and objectivity belongs in the box marked non-existent.
Though I hold no candle for Guardian columnist, Owen Jones, it remains a truism that even a blind chicken gets a piece of corn sometimes; and on this basis Jones has rendered us a service in outing Coughlin in a recent series of devastating tweets. Also providing an invaluable service in helping join the dots of the story is The Canary , independent left-wing news and views web journal that currently boasts a larger readership than a growing section of the mainstream media.
As it turns out, Mr Coughlin's links to MI6 (Britain's foreign intelligence agency) go back some time. As Jones writes: " A 2000 article reveals Coughlin was fed material by MI6 for years, which he then turned into Telegraph news articles ."
The Guardian article Jones is referring to was published at a time when the centre-left newspaper was a worthy source of information and analysis, home to the likes of Seumas Milne, one of Britain's finest-ever columnists currently plying his trade as chief press adviser to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. It just goes to show that whoever said evolution only moves in one direction had never taken the time to follow the trajectory of The Guardian in recent years.
But that's another story.
We are informed in the aforesaid 2000 Guardian article that " There is - or has been until recently - a very active programme by the secret agencies to colour what appears in the British press, called, if publications by various defectors can be believed, information operations, or 'I/Ops'. "
Further on: " A colourful example of the way these techniques expanded to meet the exigencies of the hour came in the early 70s, when the readers of the News of the World were treated to a front-page splash, "Russian sub in IRA plot sensation", complete with aerial photograph of the conning tower of a Soviet sub awash off the coast of Donegal ."
Read more British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime
This story was of course entirely bogus, as was one published in the Sunday Telegraph, sister paper of the aforementioned Daily Telegraph, over two decades later, written by – you guessed it – Con Coughlin.
From the article: " he [Coughlin] regaled [the newspaper's] readers with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy (sic) and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story [implicating Saif Gaddafi] was falsely attributed to a 'British banking official.' In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years. "
Coughlin, by the way, is also revealed, according to Jones, to have been an eager shill for the Saudis.
In the wake of the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, whom according to Turkish authorities was brutally murdered and dismembered by a group of Saudis, who, equipped with a bone saw, flew in to the country from the Kingdom to carry out the deed especially, Coughlin went to work shrouding matters in a fog of benign uncertainty. Consider: " It could well be, therefore, that the unfortunate Mr Khashoggi has become the victim of the region's dangerous and conflicting currents. " Ahem indeed.
Coughlin also saw fit to describe current Saudi tyrant - sorry Crown Prince - Muhammad Bin Salman (affectionately known as MbS) as a " human dynamo ," after he was afforded the privilege of a sit down interview.
At the risk of focusing too much on Mr Coughlin and his work, however, we are obliged to make the point that he is merely one among many British establishment journalists who have eagerly embraced the role of conduit of the nation's intelligence services over the years.
In his classic work on the 1984-85 miners' strike, The Enemy Within, Seumas Milne writes: " The incestuous relationship between the intelligence services and sections of the [British] media is, of course, nothing new. The connection is notoriously close in the case of foreign correspondents Sandy Gall, the ITN reporter and newsreader, boasted of his work for MI6 in Afghanistan during the 1980s ."
Milne, in the same passage, goes on to reveal how " After US Senate hearings in 1975 revealed the extent of CIA recruitment of both American and British journalists, 'sources' let it be known that half the foreign staff of a British daily [newspaper] were on the MI6 payroll. "
So there you have it, the murky relationship between British intelligence and the country's establishment journalists is one that reaches far back in time and continues in the present, as redoubtable and reliable as Big Ben itself.
In fact considering where we are, the indefensible positions taken by prominent newspaper journalists and columnists at not only The Telegraph but also The Times and, yes, The Guardian over Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela et al. – in other words, the way that almost to a man and woman they have fallen into line behind their own government when it comes to who the officially designated enemies of the moment should be – the question we need to ask ourselves is not how many of them might be in the pay of MI6 and MI5, but how many of them might not?
In fact considering where we are, the indefensible positions taken by prominent newspaper journalists and columnists at not only The Telegraph but also The Times and, yes, The Guardian over Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela et al. – in other words, the way in which they have fallen into line behind their own government when it comes to who the officially designated enemies of the moment should be – the question we need to ask ourselves is not how many of them might be in the pay of MI6 and MI5, but how many of them might not?
Like this story? Share it with a friend! The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Sep 27, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
I rarely tell readers what to believe. Rather I try to indicate why it might be wise to distrust, at least without very good evidence, what those in power tell us we should believe.
We have well-known sayings about power: "Knowledge is power", and "Power tends to corrupt, while absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." These aphorisms resonate because they say something true about how we experience the world. People who have power – even very limited power they hold on licence from someone else – tend to abuse it, sometimes subtly and unconsciously, and sometimes overtly and wilfully.
If we are reasonably self-aware, we can sense the tendency in ourselves to exploit to our advantage whatever power we enjoy, whether it is in our dealings with a spouse, our children, a friend, an employee, or just by the general use of our status to get ahead.
This isn't usually done maliciously or even consciously. By definition, the hardest thing to recognise are our own psychological, emotional and mental blind spots – and the biggest, at least for those born with class, gender or race privileges, is realising that these too are forms of power.
Nonetheless, they are all minor forms of power compared to the power wielded collectively by the structures that dominate our societies: the financial sector, the corporations, the media, the political class, and the security services.
But strangely most of us are much readier to concede the corrupting influence of the relatively small power of individuals than we are the rottenness of vastly more powerful institutions and structures. We blame the school teacher or the politician for abusing his or her power, while showing a reluctance to do the same about either the education or political systems in which they have to operate.
Similarly, we are happier identifying the excessive personal power of a Rupert Murdoch than we are the immense power of the corporate empire behind him and on which his personal wealth and success depend.
And beyond this, we struggle most of all to detect the structural and ideological framework underpinning or cohering all these discrete examples of power.
It is relatively easy to understand that your line manager is abusing his power, because he has so little of it. His power is visible to you because it relates only to you and the small group of people around you.
It is a little harder, but not too difficult, to identify the abusive policies of your firm – the low pay, cuts in overtime, attacks on union representation.
It is more difficult to see the corrupt power of large institutions, aside occasionally from the corruption of senior figures within those institutions, such as a Robert Maxwell or a Richard Nixon.
But it is all but impossible to appreciate the corrupt nature of the entire system. And the reason is right there in those aphorisms: absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption. If that were not the case, we wouldn't be dealing with serious power – as should be obvious, if we pause to think about it.
Real power in our societies derives from that which is necessarily hard to see – structures, ideology and narratives – not individuals. Any Murdoch or Trump can be felled, though being loyal acolytes of the power-system they rarely are, should they threaten the necessary maintenance of power by these interconnected institutions, these structures.
The current neoliberal elite who effectively rule the planet have reached as close to absolute power as any elite in human history. And because they have near-absolute power, they have a near-absolute control of the official narratives about our societies and our "enemies", those who stand in their way to global domination.
No questions about Skripals
One needs only to look at the narrative about the two men, caught on CCTV cameras, who have recently been accused by our political and media class of using a chemical agent to try to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia back in March.
I don't claim to know whether Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov work for the Russian security services, or whether they were dispatched by Vladimir Putin on a mission to Salisbury to kill the Skripals.
What is clear, however, is that the British intelligence services have been feeding the British corporate media a self-serving, drip-drip narrative from the outset – and that the media have shown precisely no interest at any point in testing any part of this narrative or even questioning it. They have been entirely passive, which means that we their readers have been entirely passive too.
That there are questions about the narrative to be raised is obvious if you turn away from the compliant corporate media and seek out the views of an independent-minded, one-time insider such as Craig Murray.
A former British ambassador, Murray is asking questions that may prove to be pertinent or not. At this stage, when all we have to rely on is what the intelligence services are selectively providing, these kinds of doubts should be driving the inquiries of any serious journalist covering the story. But as is so often the case, not only are these questions not being raised or investigated, but anyone like Murray who thinks critically – who assumes that the powerful will seek to promote their interests and avoid accountability – is instantly dismissed as a conspiracy theorist or in Putin's pocket.
That is no meaningful kind of critique. Many of the questions that have been raised – like why there are so many gaps in the CCTV record of the movements of both the Skripals and the two assumed assassins – could be answered if there was an interest in doing so. The evasion and the smears simply suggest that power intends to remain unaccountable, that it is keeping itself concealed, that the narrative is more important than the truth.
And that is reason enough to move from questioning the narrative to distrusting it.
Ripples on a lake
Journalists typically have a passive relationship to power, in stark contrast to their image as tenacious watchdog. But more fundamental than control over narrative is the ideology that guides these narratives. Ideology ensures the power-system is invisible not only to us, those who are abused and exploited by it, but also to those who benefit from it.
It is precisely because power resides in structures and ideology, rather than individuals, that it is so hard to see. And the power-structures themselves are made yet more difficult to identify because the narratives created about our societies are designed to conceal those structures and ideology – where real power resides – by focusing instead on individuals.
That is why our newspapers and TV shows are full of stories about personalities – celebrities, royalty, criminals, politicians. They are made visible so we fail to notice the ideological structures we live inside, which are supposed to remain invisible.
News and entertainment are the ripples on a lake, not the lake itself. But the ripples could not exist without the lake that forms and shapes them.
Up against the screen
If this sounds like hyperbole, let's stand back from our particular ideological system – neoliberalism – and consider earlier ideological systems in the hope that they offer some perspective. At the moment, we are like someone standing right up against an IMAX screen, so close that we cannot see that there is a screen or even guess that there is a complete picture. All we see are moving colours and pixels. Maybe we can briefly infer a mouth, the wheel of a vehicle, a gun.
Before neoliberalism there were other systems of rule. There was, for example, feudalism that appropriated a communal resource – land – exclusively for an aristocracy. It exploited the masses by forcing them to toil on the land for a pittance to generate the wealth that supported castles, a clergy, manor houses, art collections and armies. For several centuries the power of this tiny elite went largely unquestioned.
But then a class of entrepreneurs emerged, challenging the landed artistocracy with a new means of industrialised production. They built factories and took advantage of scales of economy that slightly widened the circle of privilege, creating a middle class. That elite, and the middle-class that enjoyed crumbs from their master's table, lived off the exploitation of children in work houses and the labour of a new urban poor in slum housing.
These eras were systematically corrupt, enabling the elites of those times to extend and entrench their power. Each elite produced justifications to placate the masses who were being exploited, to brainwash them into believing the system existed as part of a natural order or even for their benefit. The aristocracy relied on a divine right of kings, the capitalist class on the guiding hand of the free market and bogus claims of equality of opportunity.
In another hundred years, if we still exist as a species, our system will look no less corrupt – probably more so – than its predecessors.
Neoliberalism, late-stage capitalism, plutocratic rule by corporations – whatever you wish to call it – has allowed a tiny elite to stash away more wealth and accrue more power than any feudal monarch could ever have dreamt of. And because of the global reach of this elite, its corruption is more endemic, more complete, more destructive than any ever known to mankind.
A foreign policy elite can destroy the world several times over with nuclear weapons. A globalised corporate elite is filling the oceans with the debris from our consumption, and chopping down the forest-lungs of our planet for palm-oil plantations so we can satisfy our craving for biscuits and cake. And our media and intelligence services are jointly crafting a narrative of bogeymen and James Bond villains – both in Hollywood movies, and in our news programmes – to make us fearful and pliable.
Assumptions of inevitability
Most of us abuse our own small-power thoughtlessly, even self-righteously. We tell ourselves that we gave the kids a "good spanking" because they were naughty, rather than because we established with them early on a power relationship that confusingly taught them that the use of force and coercion came with a parental stamp of approval.
Those in greater power, from minions in the media to executives of major corporations, are no different. They are as incapable of questioning the ideology and the narrative – how inevitable and "right" our neoliberal system is – as the rest of us. But they play a vital part in maintaining and entrenching that system nonetheless.
David Cromwell and David Edwards of Media Lens have provided two analogies – in the context of the media – that help explain how it is possible for individuals and groups to assist and enforce systems of power without having any conscious intention to do so, and without being aware that they are contributing to something harmful. Without, in short, being aware that they are conspiring in the system.
The first :
When a shoal of fish instantly changes direction, it looks for all the world as though the movement was synchronised by some guiding hand. Journalists – all trained and selected for obedience by media all seeking to maximise profits within state-capitalist society – tend to respond to events in the same way.
The second :
Place a square wooden framework on a flat surface and pour into it a stream of ball bearings, marbles, or other round objects. Some of the balls may bounce out, but many will form a layer within the wooden framework; others will then find a place atop this first layer. In this way, the flow of ball bearings steadily builds new layers that inevitably produce a pyramid-style shape. This experiment is used to demonstrate how near-perfect crystalline structures such as snowflakes arise in nature without conscious design.
The system – whether feudalism, capitalism, neoliberalism – emerges out of the real-world circumstances of those seeking power most ruthlessly. In a time when the key resource was land, a class emerged justifying why it should have exclusive rights to control that land and the labour needed to make it productive. When industrial processes developed, a class emerged demanding that it had proprietary rights to those processes and to the labour needed to make them productive.
Our place in the pyramid
In these situations, we need to draw on something like Darwin's evolutionary "survival of the fittest" principle. Those few who are most hungry for power, those with least empathy, will rise to the top of the pyramid, finding themselves best-placed to exploit the people below. They will rationalise this exploitation as a divine right, or as evidence of their inherently superior skills, or as proof of the efficiency of the market.
And below them, like the layers of ball bearings, will be those who can help them maintain and expand their power: those who have the skills, education and socialisation to increase profits and sell brands.
All of this should be obvious, even non-controversial. It fits what we experience of our small-power lives. Does bigger power operate differently? After all, if those at the top of the power-pyramid were not hungry for power, even psychopathic in its pursuit, if they were caring and humane, worried primarily about the wellbeing of their workforce and the planet, they would be social workers and environmental activists, not CEOs of media empires and arms manufacturers.
And yet, base your political thinking on what should be truisms, articulate a worldview that distrusts those with the most power because they are the most capable of – and committed to – misusing it, and you will be derided. You will be called a conspiracy theorist, dismissed as deluded. You will be accused of wearing a tinfoil hat, of sour grapes, of being anti-American, a social warrior, paranoid, an Israel-hater or anti-semitic, pro-Putin, pro-Assad, a Marxist.
None of this should surprise us either. Because power – not just the people in the system, but the system itself – will use whatever tools it has to protect itself. It is easier to deride critics as unhinged, especially when you control the media, the politicians and the education system, than it is to provide a counter-argument.
In fact, it is vital to prevent any argument or real debate from taking place. Because the moment we think about the arguments, weigh them, use our critical faculties, there is a real danger that the scales will fall from our eyes. There is a real threat that we will move back from the screen, and see the whole picture.
Can we see the complete picture of the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury; or the US election that led to Trump being declared president; or the revolution in Ukraine; or the causes and trajectory of fighting in Syria, and before it Libya and Iraq; or the campaign to discredit Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party; or the true implications of the banking crisis a decade ago?
Profit, not ethics
Just as a feudal elite was driven not by ethics but by the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of land; just as early capitalists were driven not by ethics but by the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of mechanisation; so neoliberalism is driven not by ethics but the pursuit of power and wealth through the control of the planet.
The only truth we can know is that the western power-elite is determined to finish the task of making its power fully global, expanding it from near-absolute to absolute. It cares nothing for you or your grand-children. It is a cold-calculating system, not a friend or neighbour. It lives for the instant gratification of wealth accumulation, not concern about the planet's fate tomorrow.
And because of that it is structurally bound to undermine or discredit anyone, any group, any state that stands in the way of achieving its absolute dominion.
If that is not the thought we hold uppermost in our minds as we listen to a politician, read a newspaper, watch a film or TV show, absorb an ad, or engage on social media, then we are sleepwalking into a future the most powerful, the most ruthless, the least caring have designed for us.
Step back, and take a look at the whole screen. And decide whether this is really the future you wish for your grand-children.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/
Aug 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
alley cat, August 16, 2018 at 1:58 pmFrederike , August 17, 2018 at 6:34 pm
From the WaPo op-ed "God Bless the Deep State," by Eugene Robinson:
Democrats in Congress are powerless; the Republican leadership, spineless. Experienced government officials know that their job is to serve the president. But what if the president does not serve the best interests of the nation?
In this emergency [emphasis mine], the loyal and honorable deep state has a higher duty. It's called patriotism.
Is Robinson really suggesting a military coup? That would take a lot of planning and organization and would be almost impossible to keep secret. Some honest military officer might find out and put the kibosh on it, like Kirk Douglas did in Frankenheimers's classic political thriller, Seven Days in May .
Robinson talks like he has given up on impeachment by what he calls a powerless and spineless Congress. Maybe he's thinking of something quicker and cleaner than a coup, something that could be carried out by a small group of conspirators within an agency trained in removing uncooperative heads of state?
Since deep state conspirators routinely smear all those who demand evidence as "Russian agents," maybe non-conspirators should use the same tactic on them, e.g.: Is Robinson on the CIA payroll? Because anyone who agrees with anything the CIA says is obviously working for the CIA, right?
What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
I'm still looking for an English copy of Journalists for Hire by Udo Ufkotte.Frederike , August 17, 2018 at 6:47 pm
There is only one article that is translated into English: "The world upside down" 2006, http://www.ulfkotte.de/18.html
Journalists for Hire is available in German only. (I was able to buy a copy last year.)
http://it-book.org/pdf/journalists-for-hire You can download the ebook in English
Sep 14, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com
Liane Theuer says: August 20, 2018 at 9:09 amThe US media has send journalists to Salisbury very early. For example Ellen Barry, NYT. These journalists have influenced the official narrative to a decisive extent.Noone says: August 20, 2018 at 5:03 am
On March 9 ABC News has send their chief reporter Terry Moranto to Salisbury. This is the video : https://abcnews.go.com/International/video/soldiers-heading-scene-poisoning-attack-england-53638197
He used the Snap Fitness CCTV to establish the „fact" that the Skripals went from Zizzis through Market Walk to the bench.
Rob, just another false translation of what Putin said about traitors. Listen to Moran´s interpretation at 2:00 in the video. Quote : Vladimir Putin's held a town hall session and he was asked about this five's that had been traded and he said, and this is almost a direct quote : „They will kick the bucket. Trust me. They betrayed their colleagues, their brothers in arms. And they took thirty pieces of silver and are gonna choke on all that." [End quote]
At 3:00 Terry Moran shows the CCTV of Snap Fitness. It´s outside at the right side of the entrance.Paul Craig Roberts: The CIA Owns the US and European MediaLiane Theuer says: August 20, 2018 at 7:38 am
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/08/18/the-cia-owns-the-us-and-european-media/One of the best books I have ever read is "Bought Journalists" : https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857Miheila says: August 20, 2018 at 10:01 amNoone & Liane:
Excellent articles, thanks.
I recommend everyone to watch the video on Liane's link: https://youtu.be/sGqi-k213eE 15 minutes well worth watching.
Oct 18, 2014 | www.youtube.com
German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.
Abel Danger , 3 years ago2dogarage , 1 year ago
OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD - Operation Mockingbird was (IS) a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA. In addition to earlier exposés of CIA activities in foreign affairs, in 1966 Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. The United States Congress investigated, and published its report in 1976. Other accounts were also published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis's 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire.Aljo , 2 years ago
Dead at 56... RIP brave manJohn Zook , 2 years ago
the secret societies, the banks, the oil families and other super rich powerful groups of people all call the shots in secret, doesn't matter who the "elected" president is, they are going to do what they want to do, unless, people know the truth...Владимир Порфирьевич , 3 years ago
Being of German decent my sympathies are with the people of Germany. Not to say that the Russian people haven't had a bad deal, of course they have under the Bolshevik Jews who nearly destroyed Russia for the sake of Zionist ideology.
The people of Germany deserve better than this. They need to overthrow American control of their government and their media and replace it with pro German people who will serve the interests of Germany, not that of the vicious prostitute Washington and their pimps. Not that of the corrupt child molesting swine in Belgium who control the E.U.
They need to do something about it now and decisively take back control of their own country. Germany must stop being a puppet controlled by the worst criminal element in the world.... the CIA. Freedom for Germany!Christian Christensen , 2 years ago
The EU pawns are ruled by the US lords! and The EU has Imposed the sanctions on Russia and thanks to that destroys the European economies because it is good for the US economy!
The US has weaken the EU companies so the Americans have weak competitors in Europe and on the agreement between the European Union and the United States the American companies and economy will gain but European companies and farms will lost and many Europeans will lost their jobs for the sake of US welfare!
The US manufacturers will earning and developing but the Europeans will go bankrupt and lost their jobs!Olav Larsen , 3 years ago (edited)
It wouldn't surprise me if this also applied on Swedish media. For decades our journalism was very neutral showing two sides of the story, but nowdays, last 7-8 years, things have changed. Swedish media has to a high degree become incredible one-sided in the writing of world politics... I started to notice the change some 7-8 years ago. Of course I find expectations like the municipal Television station SVT that still seems two-sided, but most written press in Sweden have become rotten, very rotten.colin porter , 2 years ago
Good for you, coming clean about Germany's role in all this. Germany pretending to be innocent since WW2 but they're just as involved as any of the other usual suspects. And when I say Germany, I don't mean ordinary citizens but the intelligence media and political establishment.Ro Nom , 3 years ago (edited)
I wouldn't mind if America was controlling the world if they had any moral integrity. The country was born through the genocide of the natives and the re population of the country with slaves. Covertly funding and supporting dictators tyrants and terrorists since the end of the second world war as part of their foreign policy. Training illiterate Afghan farmers in terrorist tactics to fight the Russians in a proxy war encouraging Jihad to get more Muslims to fight the Russians creating what we call today modern radical extremism. Funny how it became immoral when American blood was shed. Funny how all of Saddam's transgressions were ignored while he was at war with Iran and how stopping the war with Iran suddenly made these actions unacceptable to America(how did Saddam gain power again?).
The really astounding thing to me is how the American public seem to have this idea of being the bastion of freedom and democracy. But then Again everyone in my country seems to be similarly ignorant about our own foreign policy and atrocities committed in the name of Empire.
We killed more than Hitler did and were a lot worse. Just most of our victims were brown or black so don't seem to matter. You are only really evil if you commit Genocide against white European Jews. Non whites don't seem to matter.Qrayon , 2 years ago
Brave man. Corporate news is what we get in the western world. I did not know Europe did not have a free press also. Russia has government news, which is more free than our military industrial complex and corporate news. The big military industries want wars and endless wars. Our government is a puppet on their strings. I would rather have a government in control rather than a government under the control of military industries which creates endless wars to feed this military corporate monster.
This is a small planet. We are all inter connected. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on this little planet has to stop. We have to learn to get all along.
The US's MIC has to find other ways to make money. This MIC could spend money on developing outer space programs, go the depths of the oceans, and study the fauna and flora on the earth. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on earth has to stop. The world is too small for this NONSENSE.Justus v. Blutacker , 3 years ago
Herr Ulfkotte is a man of courage, but when he says that the BND was formed by the CIA, he doesn't mention that the CIA has roots in the Gehlen Spy network of the 3rd Reich after WW2.
Who has built the first concentration camp? It was the British Empire during the war against the Boers. The British put women, children and old people in these camps to make the Boers surrender.
The same is true for the Americans in WW2 in regard to German and Japanese civilians. (Just two examples of many!) These f*** Anglo-Saxons killed millions of people just for the heck of it -- in Dresden, Hiroshima, many smaller places all around the world... -- and they keep doing it in several Arabian countries these days. Of course, other empires, like the Russian, or the German, did evil deeds in their history but they took the responsibility. I hope that the Anglo-Saxons once will have their own 'Nuremberg'.
Sep 14, 2018 | off-guardian.org
intergenerationaltrauma says February 11, 2018The rather obvious suppression of the English version of what was a "best seller" in Germany suggests that the Western system of thought manipulation and consent manufacture sees itself as weaker and more vulnerable than one might at first imagine.Google Talpiot Program says January 30, 2018
We can see from a year+ of "Russiagate" that Western media is a clown-show, much of so called "alternative media" included.
My guess is that this book is just too dangerous to allow it to become part of the debate on "fake news" and "Russiagate." Of course now the CIA doesn't even have to exclusively – "own"- journalists as fronts when ex-CIA heads are being hired outright by MSM as pundits. I just wish someone with access would post an English language PDF version online. It would be a real contribution to free thought and free speech to do so.Just like "200 years together" by Solzhenitsyn which was never officially published in English despite Andrei having authored many works which were big sellers. Just an example of other private business and corporations are often fully responsible for pro-establishment censorship.Harry Stotle says January 15, 2018The treatment of the book aroused suspicion because of its content – ie supine news outlets forever dancing to the tune of western military imperatives.Marcus says January 20, 2018
Ongoing support for illegal wars tell us that the MSM has hardly been at the forefront of informing readers why war criminals like Hilary and Obama keep getting away with it. In fact Obama, just like Kissinger was awarded a peace prize – so obviously something has gone very wrong somewhere.
It may be, although it seems unlikely that the mis-handling of an important theme like this is simply due to oversight by the publisher (as Matt claims) but neither is it beyond the realms of possibility that somebody has had a word with someone in the publishing world, perhaps because they are not overly keen on the fact Udo Ulfkotte has deviated from the media's mono-narrative about why it is necessary for the US to destabilise countries and kill so many of their citizens.
Lets face it – it would be harder for the pattern to be maintained if the MSM was not so afraid of telling the truth, or at least be more willing to hold to account politicians as the consequences of their disastrous policies unfold for all to see.
Maybe you want to have a go at answering the obvious question begged by such self evident truths – why are the MSM usually lying?The book was never published in English. It was advertised, and then withdrawn. That is suppression...Michael McNulty says January 14, 2018Somebody said banning books is the modern form of book burning, and like Heinrich Heine said two centuries ago, "Where they burn books, in the end, they start burning people."jones says January 12, 2018
Western elites realize what they could have, what they could do and what they could get away with, but only if they reinvent the political system Hitler created. If they defeat every enemy abroad who might stop them, next they'll do to their own people what the Nazis did to those they didn't want alive. If enough water sources are lost to fracking, and enough food sources lost through poisoned seas and forest fires, many people will go to their camps as refuge but few will survive them. This ecological destruction is for future population reduction.
In the US they use newspeak to say what the Nazis described with more honesty. Their master race became the indispensable nation, their world domination became full spectrum dominance, and Totalerkrieg became the global war on terror. There will be others.Farzad Basoft anyone ? Journos have long been pliant enablers for Intel agencies. It's strange how Dr. Ulfkotte's revelations have been taken as some signifier of further Western moral decay/decadence.summitflyer says January 15, 2018Maybe I am taking what you wrote out of context but I don't find it strange at all .It is just that someone, Udo, on the inside has become a whistle blower , and confirmed what most suspected .The establishment can't have that.Connect says January 12, 2018
See John Swinton on the independence of the press at http://constitution.org/pub/swinton_press.htmAs the economy growth has this so-called invisible hand, journalism also has an 'invisible pen'. One of the questions that need an answer: how come feminists are so anti-Putin and anti-Russia? Easy to connect to dots?bevin says January 11, 2018The real story here, which the media pretends not to notice, is that if Intelligence services and corporations did not finance newspapers they would cease to exist. The old business model whereby newspapers covered their costs by selling advertising and paid circulation is finished. Under that model there were, to an extent, incentives for the publisher to preserve a modicum of credibility in order to keep readership, as well as reasons to publish sensational stories to beat competition.Serge Lubomudrov says January 11, 2018
Those days are gone: none of the newspapers make financial profits, they now exist because they have patrons. They always did, of course, but now they have nothing else- the advertisers have left and circulation is diminishing rapidly.
The days that Ulfkotte recalled were times when it took lots of money and careful preparation to put spooks into the newsroom, nowadays the papers are only too happy to publish the CIA's PR and very grateful if the government pays their journalists' salaries.
As to competition that is restricted to publishers competing to demonstrate their loyalty to the government and their ingenuity in candy coating its propaganda.
Anyone doubt that Luke Harding will be in the running for a Pulitzer? Or perhaps even the Nobel Prize for Literature?For those whose German is not good enough (like me, unfortunately), but know Russian, there's a Russian translation: https://www.litres.ru/udo-ulfkotte/prodazhnye-zhurnalisty-lubaya-pravda-za-vashi-dengi/vexarb says January 9, 2018For what it's worth, I skimmed through this very long link by Matt, and could find no mention of poison gas -- certainly no denunciation -- just horrific conventional arms : Der Spiegel 1984: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13508659.htmlGeorge Cornell says January 9, 2018
Also for what it's worth, the German publisher's blurb which I got Google to translate above, says there is much more to the book than old Soddem: the author names names and points to organizations.
Now, without any evidence, based only on my faulty memory and highly biased interpretation of events strung together on a timeline, here is my conspiracy story about a very nice country called Iraq and a very nasty Iraqi called Saddam who came to a very nasty end at the hands of his much more nasty friends, who first gave him a boost and then put in the boot.
- 1914 Great Britain invades Iraq and BP takes over the Iraqi oilfields.
- 1968 Iraqi govt member under Yaya wants to nationalize the oil. CIA coup replaces Yaya with Saddam as a safe pair of hands.
1970 Saddam the dirty dog does the dirty on the friends who put him in power; he nationalizes Iraqi oil. And nationalizes Iraqi banks. From now on Saddam is a dead man walking. Like Mossadeq in Iran whom the US-UK replaced with the Shah
- 1978 But in Iran the Shah is replaced by the Islamic Socialist Republic -- who again nationalize Iranian oil. Saddam's friends now face a dilemma: kill him first, or kill the Ayatollah's first? They decide to first go for the Ayatollahs -- with Saddam's help.
- 1980 Saddam invades Iran with help from US and Germany -- including, strangely enough, generous supplies of poison gas.
- 1984-1989 Saddam's invasion of Iran flops. Reports about use of poison gas by Saddam begin to emerge, first in German newspapers then even debated US govt.
- 1990 Saddam thinks he has restored credit with the US & Germany by using their weapons against Iran, and now has the green light to invade another country. Finds out his mistake in the Gulf War. He is once again, a dead man walking. So is his country.
- 2001 Saddam is accused of harbouring Islamic terrorists who knocked down 3 skyscrapers by flying 2 passenger planes into them. The idea of Secular Baathist Saddam in league with religious fanatics is ridiculous, but what the heck it's a story.
- 2003 Saddam hanged for, inter alia, use of chemical weapons; likewise his minister whom the MSM have a field day comically calling "Chemical" Ali.
- 2017 Who's next? The Ayatollahs, of course. And anyone else who dares to nationalize "our" oil. Or "our" banks.That is more than plausible. Unfortunately. Hard not to sympathize with the Iraqis and feel shame for what has been done in the name of the US and UK. Rotten to the core, and sanctimonious to boot.rtj1211 says January 9, 2018To understand how journalism is bought, go analyze the output of the Uk's Daily Telegraph. They literally sell space to lobbyists and for several years outraged BTL comment would tear the articles to shreds. The whole UK Press prostitutes itself whenever there is a US war on i.e. all the time. It really is about time the CIA were unmasked – they do not serve our interests, they serve only their own .Carrie says January 9, 2018The Guardian sells space to lobbyists too. Not ad space – article space. It's literally hiring itself out to whomever wants to buy the right to publish an article under its name.Brian Steere says January 8, 2018Well one things stands out in bold and that is the fear that such a revelation is associated with. 'Broad spectrum dominance' of a central intelligent agency is a reversal of the wholeness of being expressing through all its parts.candideschmyles says January 8, 2018
Fake intelligence is basically made up to serve a believed goal. The terrorism of fear generates the goal of a self-protection that sells true relationship to 'save itself'.
This goes deep into what we take to be our mind. The mind that thinks it is in control by controlling what it thinks.
If I can observe this in myself at will, is it any surprise I can see it in our world?
What is the fear that most deeply motivates or drives the human agenda?
I do not ask this of our superficial thinking, but of a core self-honesty that cannot be 'killed' but only covered over with a thinking-complex.
And is it insane or unreal to be moved by love?
We are creatures of choice and beneath all masking, we are also the creator of choice.
But the true creative is not framed into a choosing between, but feeling one call as the movement of it.
When the 'intelligence' of a masking narrative no longer serves, be the willingness for what you no longer claim to have, and open to being moved from within.I am so tired of the simmering fury that lives inside me. This bubbling cauldron brim full of egregious truths, images and accounts accumulated over nearly 40 years of looking behind the headlines. I disagree that the usurpation of journalists and media organisations is in any way a recent phenomena. It certainly predates my emergent mind. And even the most lauded of anti-establishment hacks and film makers self-censored to some degree. True, the blatant in your face propaganda and thought control agenda has accelerated, but it was always there. I do not believe Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Pilger and their like could have done much more than they have, that is to guide us in a direction counter to the official narrative. And to insinuate they are gatekeepers, when our heads never stretch above the parapet, is really just a reflection of our own frustration that despite their work the only change remains for the worse.Serge Lubomudrov says January 8, 2018
Yet I fear worse is to come. Our safe bitching in glorious anonymity has been all that we have had as solace to the angst that pervades us, the other 1%. But the the thumbscrew is tightening. We may be as little as months away from any dissent being entirely removed from the internet by AI algorithms. I have already been receiving warnings on several sites anyone here would call legitimate that have had their security certificates removed and the statement that the site may contain malicious code etc. How prepared are we for blackout?The publisher even removed the 2 year old news announcement about the book! Though the twit is still there. Probably, overlooked.summitflyer says January 8, 2018
https://twitter.com/saumacus/status/950468330086858757A foundation should be set up in remembrance of Udo and sponsored by all true journalists and truth seekers. Maybe some day there will be a Udo Ulfkotte award to the bravest journalist of the year .Wouldn't that be something .Udo's work would not have been in vain . That would throw a monkey wrench into orgs like the Guardian and their ilk .Just dreaming out loud maybe , but with good intentions.Alun Thomas says January 8, 2018Original German version can be found here: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=ABA05365ABE35FD446D6F83B149A32A2Chris G says January 8, 2018
Unfortunately no english version, but other controversial texts have sometimes been crowd-translated, maybe something like this may happenThank you Alun for the link to the German edition, which I have managed to download (naughty me!) I think the suggestion of retranslating important sections and dressing these in some commentary for (presumably legitimate) publication on e.g. Off-G would be a good idea. I'm quite fluent in German and would be glad to help.Admin says January 8, 2018
Mods: do you see any legal pitfalls?That depends on who holds the rights to the English language version and the original and whether they would want to take issue. If it's Ulfkotte's family they may be happy to see his work get some sort of airing in English. If it's his publishers we can imagine they will see things differently – as indeed would whoever it is that seems to want the book buried.Martin Read says January 8, 2018Tried to get to that site and was told that I couldn't via my Virgin provider because of a High Court order. Somebody moved a bit quickly.Carrie says January 8, 2018Me too! My Broadband provider is blocking access due to a High Court injunction.Alun Thomas says January 8, 2018
@ChrisG & @Alun Thomas – can you guys still get there? It might be a country or region thing.I heard it is blocked in many western countries, as the site is well known for its disregard for copyright. Fortunately not the case where I am (NZ). If you're technically inclined, a VPN or anonymising application may help, although a VPN that 'exits' in a western area won't get you any further ahead.George Cornell says January 8, 2018I had no problem, but provider in CanadaArrby says January 11, 2018One hopes. I also hold out hope for F. William Engdahl's "Geheimakte NGOs." Here's a Dissident Voice article in which Engdahl discusses the role of NGOs in aiding and abetting the US regime change program:Frank says January 8, 2018
I also recommend, highly, Stephen Gowans's article about social networking in the service of the US regime change program:
"Overthrow Inc.: Peter Ackerman's quest to do what the CIA used to do, and make it seem progressive" by Stephen Gowans
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/overthrow-inc-peter-ackerman%E2%80%99s-quest-to-do-what-the-cia-used-to-so-and-make-it-seem-progressive/Yes, it has also been interesting to note that in 2015 the Guardian published a review of Richard Sakwa's book 'Frontline Ukraine' in which the author was critical of both NATO and the EU, in fomenting this crisis. The 2014 'coup' which was carried out in February 2014 was, according to the independent geopolitical publication, Strator, 'the most blatant in history.' The appraisal which was carried out by Guardian journalist Jonathon Steele was generally favourably disposed to Sakwa's record of events; however, Mr Steele now rarely publishes anything in the Guardian. Read into this what you like.Hugh O'Neill says January 8, 2018
As to Sakwa's latest book,'' Russia Against the Rest'', – nothing, not a peep, it doesn't exist, it never existed, it never will exist. It would appear to be the case that the Guardian is now fully integrated into the military/surveillance/media-propaganda apparatus. The liberal gatekeeper as to what is and what isn't acceptable. Its function is pure to serve the interests of the powerful, in much the same way as the church did in the middle ages. The media doesn't just serve the interests power it is also part of the same structure of dominance, albeit the liberal wing of the ruling coalition.
During the British war against the Boers in South Africa, at the turn of the 19/20 century, the then Manchester Guardian took a brave and critical stand against the UK government. This lead to its offices in Manchester being attacked by jingoistic mobs, as was the home of the then editor C.P.Scott, whose family needed police protection. In those days 'Facts were Sacred', unlike the present where opposing views are increasingly ignored or suppressed.Having just watched the documentary film tribute to I.F. Stone, "All Governments Lie", I was struck by the fact that no-one mentioned Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone journalist (who outed General McChrystal, but whose Mercedes went mysteriously out of control, hit a tree and exploded, throwing the engine 200 yards clear of the wreck ). Here was a film about control and self-censorship, yet no-one even breathed the acronyms C.I.A. or FBI. Matt Taibbi referred to a silent coup, but none dared to mention the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. These doyens of Truth included the thoroughly dodgy Noam Chomsky. Finally, the Spartacus website suggests that the saintly I.F. Stone was in the pay of the CIA. Other terms unspoken were CIA Operation Mockingbird or Operation Northwoods. There was a clip of 9/11, but zero attempt to join up all the dots.Harry Stotle says January 8, 2018
RIP Udo Ulfkotte. CIA long ago developed a dart to induce all the signs of a heart attack, so one is naturally somewhat suspicious. Lies and assassinations are two sides of the same coin.The only thing harder to find than Udo Ulfkotte's book is a Guardian review of it.Harry Stotle says January 8, 2018
I daresay any mention of this book, BTL, would immediately be moderated (i.e censored) followed by a yellow or red card for the cheeky commentator.
The level of pretence on this forum has now reached epic proportions, and seems to cuts both ways, ie. commentators pretending that there are not several subjects which are virtually impossible to discuss in any depth (such as media censorship), and moderators pretending that 'community standards' is not simply a crude device to control conversational discourse, especially when a commentators point of view stray beyond narrow, Guardian approved borders.
Books, such as 'Bought Journalists' (which expose the corruption at the heart of western media) are especially inconvenient for the risible 'fake news' agenda currently being rammed down the readerships throat – some of these people at the Guardian have either absolutely no insight, or no shame.This piece put me in mind of Daniele Gansers seminal book, 'NATOs secret armies' Of course Off-G picked up on it but I can't find any commentary from the GuardianGeorge Cornell says January 8, 2018
Ulfkotte and Ganser in their ways are both telling a similar story – NATO, i.e an arm of the US military industrial complex are mass murderers and sufficiently intimidating to have most western journalists singing from the same hymn sheet.
Since the Guardian follows the party line it is only possible to send coded or cryptic messages (BTL) should commentators wish to deviate from the approved narrative.
For example, I was 'pre-moderated' for having doubts about the veracity of the so called 'Parsons Green tube bomb', especially the nature of the injuries inflicted on a young model who looked like she was suffering from toothache.
My guess is NATO's secret army are still in full swing but there is no chance the Guardian will pick up on it – they're too busy whipping up antipathy towards Iran.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/05/west-ignores-iranian-people-power-peril#commentsBeen there, done that. What ordinarily happens if the submission is proper and cannot be censored on the basis of impropriety or foulmouthedness or any other good reason, but exposes a Guardian sacred cow in an embarrassing light, is that it is said to be off topic. Now this is really unaccountable, and truly subjective.
The community in community standards is "them" and has close ties to the 1%, if I hazard a guess.
Sep 14, 2018 | www.litmir.me
ЛитМир - Электронная Библиотека > Ульфкотте Удо > Продажные журналисты. Любая правда за ваши деньги
Sep 14, 2018 | www.amazon.com
Steven Yates 5.0 out of 5 stars August 7, 2017 Format: HardcoverThis book was "privished"XXX, September 30, 2017 Format: Paperback
No, I haven't read the book, because it is priced completely out of my reach. I am giving it five stars anyway because of what I've read *about* it, as I've followed its author's saga -- the blackout by German media of the original German edition Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) for a couple of years now, raids by German police on the author's house, his noting how he feared for his life, and his finally being found dead on January 13 of this year "from a heart attack" (he was only 56, and because it is possible to kill someone in ways that look like a heart attack, some people believe he was murdered).
The fate of a whistleblower against one of the world's most powerful organizations in a controlled society being passed off as a democracy?
Two things are abundantly clear:
(1) The English translation of this book has been "privished." There are a couple of good recent discussions of what it means to "privish" a book, but Amazon will not allow me to link to them. So let's just say: the purpose of "privishing" is make a book with an unwanted message disappear without a trace by limiting information about it, destroying its marketability by printing too few copies, and refusing reprint rights, so that the copies available are too expensive for readers of ordinary means (which is nearly all of us).
(2) Anyone who claims there are no conspiracies, that there are no behind-the-scenes efforts by powerful people to suppress information that would expose their efforts at global domination, is full of crap.Sell this book so we can buy it!XXX, November 11, 2017 Format: Paperback
Amazon, you are a tool of the State. This book is available in English at a market competitive price. Why do you refuse to make it available to your customers?
How many CIA-paid journalists do you have on staff at the Washington Post? To the reviewer who asked how much money the author will see from the exhorbotant price of the book, he won't see any because he is dead.
He died of hearth issues shortly after the publication of the book. He did have a history of heart ailments so I am not implying a sinister act. You can find an good interview with him on YouTube if they haven't removed it.DynamiteXXX, July 31, 2017 Format: Hardcover
Have read this book in German but as far as I know it is no longer available in bookshops in Germany either. The author who was a deputy editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine and worked there for 17 years turns whistleblower and spills the beans on the corruption of German media by US lobby agencies which have CIA backing.
The news is always given a pro American slant and journalists can look forward to rewards for their efforts. Should they not collude then their career is over. Corrupted German journalists are named and shamed. The EU is also revealed to be equally corrupt .
German journalists assigned to EU reporting have to sign a document stating that they will never write anything negative about the EU. The level of manipulation by the EU is also frightening. The author himself was part of the set up and even received a prestigious reward for his pro America efforts but eventually became disgusted by the system and his collusion in it.
I pre ordered the book last year in English on Amazon as my son wanted to read it but I kept receiving emails from Amazon changing publication dates and eventually they informed me that they were unable to access the book. There is no doubt that the book is dynamite and has been suppressed because of this.Tyranny in America Writ Large In A Super-Large PriceXXX, August 16, 2017 Format: Paperback
Somebody has set the price of this book -- available in English though it is -- so high as to make it unavailable. I wonder, if some rich or extremely extravagant person were to bye this book at the $1300 price it's offered at, would the author ever see a dime of that?
This situation reeks of Stasi or Asian plutocratic realms. We want our freedom back! What are you people (including colluding Amazon) trying to cover up? Shame on you!Second book I've wanted that's been bannedbossaboy on November 19, 2017
Second book I've wanted that's been banned by Amazon. Shame on you, Mr. Bezos. Unfortunately for you, more people are waking up to this. The cracks are starting to show.The suppression of the English language version of this book is censorship of the most Orwellian kind.
I have been awaiting the English version of this book for several years now, watching with interest while the publishing date was delayed multiple times. As a best seller in Germany one had to wonder why it would take years to translate the book to English unless there were forces working against publication. Well, low and behold it is finally set to publish in May 2017 when it again doesn't and finally disappears from sight. The obvious suppression of this book is censorship of the press and of course speaks volumes about Western "freedom of the press" as a fantasy.
The collussion of corporate media and Western intelligence is a taboo subject one must surmise. It suggests that our power structure realizes it has a rather fragile hold on the popular mind when the CIA morphs into the former KGB to simply suppress and disappear unacceptable reporting.
I would suggest that the absolute silence by MSM about this book and its censorship validates the authors contentions that much of MSM reporting is right out of the Western intelligence agencies and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality on the ground.
Somewhere in the great beyond Orwell is smiling and thinking "I told you so."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.realclearpolitics.comGreenwald Journalists 'eagerly manipulated' on Russia story - YouTube
Tucker Carlson interviews Green Greenwald of The Intercept about journalists "willingly" being taken advantage of by the intelligence community on stories about Russia to reap the benefits, even when they know what they are publishing is "totally false."
From Tuesday's broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight on the FOX News Channel:TUCKER CARLSON: So, Glenn, just to get to the facts of this story, it is conclusively shown that the story about the 21 voting systems being hacked is untrue, correct?GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: It's false in two ways, one is that several of the states included in the list, such as Wisconsin, California, and Texas, said that the websites that the Homeland Security Department cited had nothing to do with voting systems, they are entirely unrelated.
And it's false in a second way, which is a lot of the stories, in fact, most of them said that Russia tried to hack into the voting systems when in fact even Homeland Security, it can only show that what they did was scan those computer systems, which is basically casing something to say for vulnerabilities and made no attempts to actually hack into them. So, it was false on various levels.
CARLSON: So, you and I don't agree on a lot of issues but I think we share the same concern about this story, and that is that American journalists are being manipulated for whatever reason by the intelligence community in the United States, and I'm wondering why after years of having this happen to American journalists, they are allowing this to happen again.
GREENWALD: Well, that's the thing I would refrain that a little bit. I don't actually think so much that journalists are the victims in the sense of that formulation that they're being manipulated. I think at best what you can say for them is they are willingly and eagerly being manipulated.
Because what you see is over and over they publish really inflammatory stories that turn out to be totally false and what happens in those cases? Nothing. They get enormous benefits when they publish recklessly. They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of re-tweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV. They get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear more about this Russia and Trump story.
And when their stories get completely debunked, it just kind of, everybody agrees to ignore it and everyone moves on and they pay no price. At the same time, they are feeling and pleasing their sources by publishing these sources that their sources want them to publish. And so, there is huge amounts of career benefits and reputational benefits and very little cost when they publish stories that end up being debunked because the narrative they are serving is a popular one, at least within their peer circles.
CARLSON: Gosh! That is so dishonest. I mean, I think all of us and journalism have gotten things wrong, I certainly have. If you feel bad about it, I mean, you really do and there's a consequence. Do you really think there's that level of dishonesty in the American press?
GREENWALD: I think what it is more than dishonesty is a really warped incentive scheme bolstered by this very severe groupthink that social media is fostering in ways that we don't yet fully understand.
GREENWALD: Most journalists these days are in Congressional Committees or at zoning board meetings or using -- they're sitting on Twitter talking to one another and this produces this extreme groupthink where these orthodoxies arise in deviating from them or questioning them or challenging, believe me, results in all kinds of recrimination and scorn. And embracing them produces this sort of in group mentality where you are rewarded, and I think a lot of it is about that kind of behavior.
CARLSON: That is really deep. I mean, you live in a foreign country, I'm not on social media, so maybe we have a little bit of distance from this, where do you think the story is going? What's the next incarnation of it?
GREENWALD: Well, the odd part about it, and about the inpatients that journalists have in trying to just jump to the finish line is that there are numerous investigations underway in the city, including by credible investigators, including Senator Burr and Warner and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which most people seem to trust and certainly Robert Mueller who is armed with subpoena power, and everyone is really eager to lavish with praise.
So, we are going to find out presumably one way or the other soon enough. I guess that one thing that is so odd to me Tucker, is that, this has been going on now for a year, this accusation that the Trump administration or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to hack the DNC and John Podesta's email and we know that there are huge numbers of people inside the government who are willing to leak, even at the expense of committing crimes in order to undermine Trump and yet, there has been no leaks so far showing any evidence of that kind of collusion leading one to wonder why that is.
So, I hope that everybody is willing to wait until the actual investigation reveals finally the real answers. But it doesn't seem that will be the case.
CARLSON: Bravery is when you disagree in public with your peers. And by that definition, you are a very brave man. Glenn Greenwald, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.
Sep 15, 2012 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile says: September 15, 2012 at 11:58 am
Something went wrong there!
Here's Tisdall on Russia:
And on and on
Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters.
I don't think that's far from the truth actually. As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.
Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.
May 29, 2017 | insider.foxnews.com
Following Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte's alleged assault of a reporter, some in the mainstream media are trying to blame the incident on President Trump. CNN host Don Lemon argued that Trump has culpability because he's said "very horrible things" about reporters and suggested that they are the enemy of the American people. MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell said that Trump has helped whip up "hostility" toward the press, while Joe Scarborough said a "straight line" can be drawn between Trump's anti-media rhetoric and the Gianforte incident.
On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Dana Loesch said the agenda-driven media is focused on negatively portraying Trump, while they're largely giving Democrats a pass.
"Let's discuss Tom Perez and his cussing crusade that he's been giving at so many different fundraisers.
Let's talk for a moment about the California Democrat convention ... where you had a number of Democrats on stage screaming 'expletive Trump' and 'expletive Republicans.'" She said Democrats and the mainstream media then want to turn around and accuse Trump and those on the right of fomenting violence.
Watch more above.
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