Friday, February 19, 2016
American Mind Control: The Cost of Secrecy Part 1 – Examining the Effects of Secrecy, Propaganda, and Organized, White-Collar Crime
This will be the first installment of what I hope to turn into a series. The latest focus of my writing has been to bring to light the fact that there is much more to the story of recent American history than any of us were initially told by mainstream sources. This information consists mostly of recently declassified documents from the CIA and other official departments, the testimony of those who participated in the various programs in question, as well as the victims of such programs whose rights and lives were violated thereby. I also intend to investigate whether or not the methods used to commit such violations are still being used in modern-day America.
Though I do not necessarily enjoy writing about subject-matters that may be seen as negative or demoralizing, I feel that it is my responsibility (as well as the responsibility of all who consider themselves active American citizens) to be fully aware of their own political environment so as to ensure justice, fairness, and freedom for all of us. In order to ensure this, we must be fully informed.
The Common Secrecy
One commonality we find upon reading on declassified American history is the fact that many officials and departments within American governance have been engaged in perpetuating blatant and definitive crimes (many times, crimes against humanity), yet very few (if any) ever faced trial or punishment for these crimes. We find that the typical means of dealing with these crimes is that they are either ignored and dismissed, or they are buried and classified in the name of “national security”, deliberately keeping the American public in the dark and uninformed of these blatant, ethical infractions.
My intention within this series is to bring these crimes to light, and to call them to the sober attention of those who believe in the ethical integrity of American governance. I intend to make the point that any amount of white collar crime (or any type of crime), when left unchecked and unpunished for a long enough period of time, will inevitably grow, spread, and can eventually consume an entire nation, and that the only way to ensure justice is to demand transparency and accountability in all aspects of government. (One interesting fact to note, in American today, definitive corruption is considered a normal aspect of the system.)
This issue of secrecy has been of concern for decades by those who appreciate the importance of transparency in maintaining a free and civil society. Though it may seem that presently, there are few that advocate for such issues, there have always been those who have stood for the principle. One of these men could be considered a trail-blazer in this matter, and though he may have paid the ultimate price for his fight, he fought valiantly for the cause of transparency. This man was John F. Kennedy.
During John F. Kennedy's final speech, he touched on a very sensitive subject that virtually no one has come close to suggesting since. (There are many ordinary citizens who have continued this fight for transparencies, but they have, for the most part, been ignored.) During this speech, Kennedy delved into the subject of secret societies subverting the American way, and revealed to us all how secrecy posed a greater threat to the people of America than any foreign army. Here is an excerpt from this revealing, and yet forgotten speech.
“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society, and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are sited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it, and there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security would be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of censorship and concealment.
For we are apposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covet means for expending its sphere of influence; on infiltration instead of invasion; on subversion instead of elections; on intimidation instead of free choice; on gorillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its decenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned; no rumor is printed; no secret is revealed.”
(President John F. Kennedy at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on April 27, 1961. "The President and the Press" before the American Newspaper Publishers Association)
Click here to watch JFK's speech...
Secret societies who take secret oaths, who operate and deal in secrecy... These were real concerns from one of the most respected commanders in chief this country has seen. These concerns are valid, and this threat of abuse of secrecy is as real now as it was then. This excessive secrecy is not the way any truly free country can operate, as any functional and open society requires full knowledge of the situations in which the voters' right holds stake. So we see that these secret societies were a serious concern for JFK, and we also see that not long after this speech, he was assassinated (Nov. 22, 1963). Not only this, but it seems that very few (if any) who succeeded him were willing to mention this issue of secrecy, and pursue it with the same valor that he showed. It also seems that as the years went on after his death, the U.S., as well as the much of the rest of the world, became more and more similar to this dire scenario that Kennedy spoke of during his final speech. With this in mind, the possibility seems quite strong that someone (or someone's) behind this secret-society issue wanted him out of the way. (However, at this point, this is only speculation.)
Many years after JFK's premature death, another man stood up and took the exact same stance, only this time, it was in greater detail. One cannot say why he himself is still alive to continue such a quest. (Though they may consider the possibility that any secret plan, given five decades to either end, or to progress, might not be in very much jeopardy due to general exposure. There still lies the possibility that exposure of the secrets of the extremely wealthy and resourceful is not dangerous at all. However, we have not yet reached that point in the discussion.) Still, this man testified to actions very similar to those about which Kennedy warned. For those familiar with the name “John Perkins”, this is not exactly news. Perkins is the author of the autobiography, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”, and in this account, he gives the details of his job as an NSA operative. According to Perkins, the repugnant secrecy described by Kennedy now represents the norm in modern-day, American society.
In light of this issue of secrecy, one may be inclined to respond with a bit a skepticism that such secrecy could survive in the “age of information”. However, it must be realized how many black-budget programs have been initiated and completed, how many bills that have been either rushed through the voting process, or hidden completely from the public eye, and how many laws have been dictated and passed by presidents without any knowledge or consent of the American people. In light of this, this secrecy must be realized as that fact that it is. To what degree this secrecy exists is what we intend to uncover. Lets continue.
An Agenda in Progress
According to John Perkins, this secrecy is alive and well. As said before, Perkins is an author and former employee of the NSA, and had the position termed “economic hitman” which basically consisted of traveling to foreign countries and extorting those countries for their wealth and resources on behalf of American corporations. Perkins has given many lectures and interviews, elaborating upon information that falls right in line with what Kennedy warned about. It would seem that in light of Perkins testimony, these plans made in secret have not at all ended, but have instead, advanced substantially. Below is an example of how Perkins describes his former job.
“It's been our job to basically cheat third-world countries around the world out of trillions of dollars... ...and then funnel those dollars into US corporations, and also a few wealthy people in those third-world countries.
The most typical way that we work is that we'll identify a third-world country that has resources that we covet (the Panama Canal, a labor force in Haiti, for example... Often, it's oil.), and we'll make an arrangement with the leaders of that country for them to accept a loan from the World Bank or it's affiliates, and the condition of that loan is that 90% of it will never leave the United States. It'll be sent from banks in Washington to banks in Houston, San Francisco, and New York, where the big engineering firms are.
These companies then, in association with many others will build projects in this third-world country like power plants, industrial parks, ports, that primarily serve the very, very rich people. Usually these things don't help the poor people at all. In fact, the countries then settle with a huge debt that they can't possibly repay, which is part of the plan.
So at some point, we economic hit men go back and say, “Look, you owe us a lot of money. You can't repay your debt. Therefor, sell all of your oil to our oil companies really cheap, or vote with us in the next U.N. vote that's critical to us, or provide land for our military base in your country.” It's a form of slavery, in a way.”
A lecture given by John Perkins in June 15, 2005 at a benefit for One Earth Indigenous Nations Institute, covered by CSPAN.
To listen to the entire lecture, click here...
Extortion, bribery, threats, assassinations, and military assaults... According to Perkins' first-hand knowledge, these are common tools used in this method of corporate imperialism.
This is the state of America today. We still raise the same flag, we celebrate the same holidays, and see the same “support our troops” ads. The appearance of order, ethical integrity, honor, and respect for equal rights are still promoted as common-place. We still celebrate the 4th of July, we still listen to the latest “State of the Union” speeches, and read about or view congressional hearings on TV, but behind the glamour, the song, and the dance lies something much, much different than that which appearances reveal. We see the impoverished state of many third-world nations, and the apparent efforts that the United States makes to aid these countries, but behind the scenes, this same governance is contributing to the destruction and impoverishment of the very nations it claims to be aiding (as the majority of this “aid” is given exclusively to the excessively wealthy).
Though this extortion, bribery, and manipulation may be despicable to learn of, it is only the beginning of the job of an economic hitman. In this speech, Perkins goes on to describe an elaborate method of coercing foreign leaders to sell out their own countries for the sake of avoiding violent opposition from a deceived American military (as military is usually given a version of the situation which omits the financial blackmail, and monetary interests happening behind the scenes). During this process of bribery, the foreign leader might be offered, drugs, money, or women. If they bite, the deal is done, at which point their country basically belongs to American corporations. If they refuse, then subversive operatives are sent in. These people (referred to as “the jackals”) commonly start riots, violent uprisings, or cues. If these uprisings don't convince the foreign leader to play the game of American corporations, this is when assassination becomes the plan. If these corporate assassins are unsuccessful, then the military is sent into the country. The military forces typically decimate the country's cities, and eventually overthrows the government. This is the method by which this hitman program operates, and this method has worked for decades. It is very possible that many of the news stories we hear regarding the justification for invading foreign nations have often been smoke screens for this economic hitman program.
At this point we have proven the possibility that there is much more to the dark underbelly of the United States than the average person may know (or want to know). We see that the underlying corruption goes much farther than a simple bride here and there to this or that politician for the sake of an upcoming vote, but that instead, this operation functions with the efficiency of organized crime (though such crime is so enormous, there is no actual law against it, according to Perkins). These are crimes committed and perpetuated by the very people who swore an oath to uphold justice.
We are faced with this grim reality of organized, criminal activity from the very governance we have depended upon to take care of this country. The question is, how did all of this happen without anyone noticing, and attempting to stop it? The answer is the same as it has always been. When conducting any secret operation, one does not reveal one's actions to those who would most certainly appose them. All questionable and/or unethical actions are either kept secret, or are excuse away as irrelevant. There is a more effective way of dealing with this information which ensures that few if anyone will appose the undertaking of these unethical actions. This brings us to the subject of propaganda.
Getting Our Propaganda Fix
During Kennedy's last speech, he touched upon the issue of a free and open press. He expressed concerns of clear manipulation of the press by government interests who may have had much to loose from the disclosure of certain, “sensitive” information. In recent times, we have gained more knowledge about the details of this secrecy, but the main concern was that concealment of pertinent information cannot, and does not lead to the healthy, open society which America claims to have. Much of the information tampering, both then and now may easily be considered propagandistic in nature. The question is, has the American governance ever deliberately resorted to propaganda as a means of swaying public opinion in any given direction. The answer is “yes”.
The fact is that propaganda has a long and intimate history with the United States governance. It would be somewhat relieving to learn that this distribution of propaganda was limited to foreign nations who were at odds with the United States, but this is unfortunately not the case. According to Wikipedia, the use of American propaganda extends for decades. One such description begins at the onset of the First World War.
World War I
“The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down (guns, gunpowder, cannons, steel, etc.), the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens". The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.”
World War II
“During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history". Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities. The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davis. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.”
The Cold War
“During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.”
The Iraq War
“In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program. The goal of the operation is "to spread the administration's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts. On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.
The Shared Values Initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America. Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.”
The examples given by Wikipedia span roughly an entire century of time. From WWI to the Iraq War, every last one was spurred on by a manipulated public opinion, and the tool of choice (as always) was propaganda. Considering the fact that this is openly admitted by a mainstream source such as Wikipedia, one would find it unreasonable to deny the fact. This makes the notion of this same tactic of propaganda being used to promote the notorious “War on Terror” very likely. I don't imagine very many people needing to be reminded that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found, but, as Perkins has revealed, there were plenty of resources to covet. However, since evidence is what we are looking for in this matter of propaganda, lets examine some.
On December 23, 2015, Naturalnew.com published an article regarding the issue of American propaganda. This article describes the U.S. government as being the “second largest P.R. firm in the world”, and accurately so. Here is what Natural News had to say.
“It's no secret that many people feel that the U.S. Government is synonymous with all things shady, filled with half-truths, loopholes and lingo that sounds fancy, but is really a self-serving set of words designed to offer minimal benefits to the rest of society.
Supporting these opinions is a finding from an Open the Books report which details what people think about the U.S. government – their public relations activities in particular. In a nutshell, Open the Books, which is described as a "nonpartisan, non-profit organization focused on providing transparency in government," found that the U.S. government spends a shocking amount of money on its public relations efforts. How much, you ask? Enough to report that the "U.S. Government ranked 2nd largest Public Relations Firm in the World"
The report suggests that the U.S.government spent a total amount of about $4.5 billion over the past eight years, which is broken down as follows: 1) some $2.347 billion in salary and bonus payments to federal employees and 2) $2.02 billion spent on outside contractors.”
The article continues to give a breakdown of how these funds are used in the efforts to sway public opinion. Following this, the article continues this eye-opening revelation on government spending for the sake of propagandizing its own people.
“The Open the Books report explains that their goal is to shed light on information that's otherwise buried and kept from the public awareness. As such, they state their belief that "Federal agencies ... not only resist transparency but often pretend to be transparent when, in reality, they are engaged in self-promotion. Too often, they use their charge to disclose information as a cover for public relations campaigns that are designed to advance their interests (i.e. their desire for more funding and higher salaries) rather than the public interest."
So we see that this business of propaganda is considerably lucrative in nature. If ever governance intends to behave badly, (according to what history has shown us) it becomes necessary for the people to remain ignorant or deceived about such behavior. If this governance would spin this behavior as necessary for “defending national security”, for example, it would pass more easily than if the public knew the entire, money-motivated truth. Therefor it is necessary to convince the public through various means to ensure their compliance and agreement with the actions of governance. After all, no government action is able to stand without the consent of the people.
United States Government Formally Legalizes Propagandization of Its Own Citizens
Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012
We have examined the evidence that the United States government has been recently and historically engaged in psychologically manipulating its own people via propaganda, and reviewed multiple examples of the fact. This is sufficient for the sake of information. However, to drive such a point home, lets add one more piece to this body of evidence.
A Play on Media
In 2014, David Heilbroner produced a documentary entitled, “The Newburgh Sting”. This documentary would go on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, and there is no mystery as to why. The Newburgh Sting reveals the shocking reality that many of the instances of violent “terrorism” in the United State and elsewhere are fictitiously perpetrated either by hired help, or by unsuspecting citizens who end up being entrapped by authorities. These actions were admittedly perpetrated by the FBI and are said to function as propaganda to boost public opinion for advancement of the “war on terror”.
This may sound unbelievable, but these proposals are not hear-say. They are not speculation, or theory. These are document facts, and are supported by video evidence collected by the FBI themselves during this “sting” operation. During this documentary, we see several men (none of them Muslim) who come from an impoverished neighborhood, being bribed ($250,000 each) into committing a violent act that turns out to be nothing more than a play. They are handed fake weapons, fake equipment, strung along by FBI agents under cover, and when they finally do what they were told to do by the FBI, they are stopped, arrested and put in prison for 25 years. However, it is not necessary to blindly believe these words. Simply watch the documentary and see for yourself.
Click here to watch The Newburgh Sting, free on Youtube.
This is definitively, and admittedly fake news, presented as real in order to push an agenda that was questionable from the beginning. Once again, we see government agencies propagandizing their own citizens not for the sake of the common people, but only for the sake of getting ahead on their own budget, and placing their own job security ahead of the respect for human rights. It would seem that the state of American governance is more than willing to break the law for the sake of money. If this is not corruption at its worst, I would say that it's pretty close.
We see here that the issue of propaganda, as apposed to honest and thorough communication to the American people, is the norm in the present state of the country. However, this propaganda is only part of the issue which concerned Kennedy. One of the main issues he discussed in his final speech was freedom of the press to provide open, through, and unhindered information to the public, but in modern-day America, this freedom is virtually nonexistent. The following article from Huffington Post details a legal investigation into the case of one New York times reporter, James Risen, who stood for this freedom of the press.
"They've said in that there is no reporter's privilege," Risen said. "I think they want the court to rule on a fundamental constitutional issue of whether or not there is a reporter's privilege in a criminal case, which makes this case kind of have a broader import than it might otherwise have."
"That's why I think it's become a pretty important case," he continued. "It's a fairly basic constitutional issue for the press, whether or not there is a reporter's privilege. It's something a lot of people outside the press don’t really understand, don't really care about. I think the basic issue is whether you can have a democracy without aggressive investigative reporting and I don't believe you can. So that's why I'm fighting it."
The hardline stand against reporter's privilege -- the DOJ briefs always put the term in quotation marks -- is a hallmark of the Obama administration's unprecedented crackdown over leaks. So is trying to throw the book at the alleged leakers.
The Obama administration has charged six government officials accused of providing classified information to the media with violations of the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law intended to prohibit aiding the enemy. That’s more uses of Espionage Act for that purpose than under all previous presidential administrations combined.
While the Obama administration hasn't prosecuted those responsible for torture during the Bush years, it is taking a strong stand against a former official believed to have supplied information to the media about use of torture and other controversial tactics during the previous administration."
It seems that there is little concern from clear and evident crimes against humanity. However, when it comes to the revelation of those crimes (which were classified per procedure), there is no mercy for those who reveal them. Not only does it seem that the present-day governance stands either neutral, or side with those who commit crimes against humanity, but this modern governance seems to consider its own citizenry as “the enemy” (hens the misuse of the Espionage Act).
Another poignant article from The Guardian details the account of Bradley Manning, the army operative who passed off information to Wikileaks regarding the United States active torture program. Manning was subjected to general court-martial and faced charges which included aiding and embedding the enemy. Here is what The Guardian had to say.
“The conviction of Bradley Manning under the 1917 Espionage Act, and the US Justice Department's decision to file espionage charges against NSA whistleblower EdwardSnowden under the same act, are yet further examples of the Obama administration's policy of using an iron fist against human rights and civil liberties activists.
President Obama has been unprecedented in his use of the Espionage Act to prosecute those whose whistleblowing he wants to curtail. The purpose of an Espionage Act prosecution, however, is not to punish a person for spying for the enemy, selling secrets for personal gain, or trying to undermine our way of life. It is to ruin the whistleblower personally, professionally and financially. It is meant to send a message to anybody else considering speaking truth to power: challenge us and we will destroy you.
Only ten people in American history have been charged with espionage for leaking classified information, seven of them under Barack Obama. The effect of the charge on a person's life – being viewed as a traitor, being shunned by family and friends, incurring massive legal bills – is all a part of the plan to force the whistleblower into personal ruin, to weaken him to the point where he will plead guilty to just about anything to make the case go away. I know. The three espionage charges against me made me one of "the Obama Seven".
In early 2012, I was arrested and charged with three counts of espionage and one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA). (I was only the second person in US history to be charged with violating the IIPA, a law that was written to be used against rogues like PhilipAgee.)
Two of my espionage charges were the result of a conversation I had with a New York Times reporter about torture. I gave him no classified information – only the business card of a former CIA colleague who had never been undercover. The other espionage charge was for giving the same unclassified business card to a reporter for ABC News. All three espionage charges were eventually dropped.
So, why charge me in the first place?
It was my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA's torture program and for confirming to the press, despite government protestations to the contrary, that the US government was, indeed, in the business of torture.
The general issue of ethical failure on the part of the United States governance becomes more and more clear each time they falsely accuse brave whistle-blowers like Manning of aiding the “enemy”. The article continues.
This policy decision smacks of modern-day McCarthyism. Washington has always needed an "ism" to fight against, an idea against which it could rally its citizens like lemmings. First, it was anarchism, then socialism, then communism. Now, it's terrorism. Any whistleblower who goes public in the name of protecting human rights or civil liberties is accused of helping the terrorists.
That the whistleblower has the support of groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or the American Civil Liberties Union matters not a whit. The administration simply presses forward with wild accusations against the whistleblower: "He's aiding the enemy!" "He put our soldiers lives in danger!" "He has blood on his hands!" Then, when it comes time for trial, the espionage charges invariably are either dropped or thrown out.
The administration and its national security sycophants in both parties in Congress argue that governmental actions exposed by the whistleblower are legal. The Justice Department approved the torture, after all, and the US supreme court said that the NSA's eavesdropping program was constitutional. But this is the same Justice Department that harassed, surveilled, wiretapped and threatened Martin Luther King Jr, and that recently allowed weapons to be sold to Mexican drug gangs in the Fast and Furious scandal. Just because they're in power doesn't mean they're right.
Cases like this reveal the fact that this type of information control is not isolated to a Snowden, or an Assange. This fascist form of reputation/appearance management of government seems to be maintained at the expense of anyone who stands against the unethical practices therein. It does not at all matter if these courageous individuals have actually broken any law, or compromised the actual security of the American people. Just and John F. Kennedy warned during his own era, the goal, then and now, is to silence decenters, and to bury the mistakes of the corrupted.
Due to the fact that the American people have been so thoroughly propagandize for such an extended period of time, one would only be wise to question the validity of common opinions on governance. If opinion is based upon the active “public relations” campaign we are constantly exposed to in media today, that opinion is not likely to reflect the true state of the union, but only an ideal fantasy. In order to have the true, unedited story, one needs not only the frequent multiple alternative, and reliable sources of information, but to learn these tactics of manipulation, so as to built an immunity thereto. Add in courage and willingness to face the less-than-ideal reality that presents them, and the individual can then face the facts.
Thanks to: http://discerningthemystery2000plus.blogspot.com/