Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. —Gospel of Thomas
Let me tell you a story about a boy from North Carolina.
He’s a nice kid. Not popular, not unpopular. He’s not exactly dumb but school just isn’t for him. So he drops out. He likes computers so he tries to get a GED credit in computer science at a community college but he drops out of that too.
At 19, he joins the army immediately begins training for Special Forces. The training comes to an end when he breaks both his legs. Legs that are inexplicably essential for what we might reasonably assume is a computing role.
According to him, things didn’t work out so he gets a job as a security guard at an NSA facility in 2003. (Guess his legs were okay by then?) But at the same time, he also starts working for the CIA at age 23, without a high school diploma.
There is then a long gap where he continues to work for the CIA but not much else is known. He does say he learned Mandarin and studied Buddhism on a Japanese military base -shades of Lee Harvey Oswald- at some stage in his life. Either that was in his brief period of enlistment or it was here.
In 2007, the CIA sends him to Geneva and gives him high level clearance as a computer security expert. In his own words, he soured on the CIA after he saw them get a banker drunk, have him crash his car and then force him to do their bidding by promising to expunge the record.
So then, in 2009, he apparently leaves the CIA, which isn’t really something people tend to do. Ever.
He immediately gets a job with the world’s most profitable private military contractor, despite being ‘disillusioned’ with the intelligence world. The private military contractor works for the NSA, the CIA’s long-term rival, whose (publicly acknowledged) budget is much, much larger than that of its little nazi brother.
Deciding to wait one and a half presidential terms in case Obama worked out, he ‘independently’ reached the conclusion that he wasn’t going to and so he triggered the single greatest intelligence leak in the history of the world with a thumb drive. As Jon Rappoport says:
Is it likely he could have accessed and snatched thousands of highly classified NSA documents?
“Let’s see. Who’s coming to work for us here at NSA today? Oh, new whiz kid. Ed Snowden. Outside contractor. He’s not really a full-time employee of the NSA. Twenty-nine years old. No high school diploma. Has a GED. He worked for the CIA and quit. Hmm. Why did he quit? Oh, never mind, who cares? No problem.
“Tell you what. Let’s give this kid access to our most sensitive data. Sure. Why not? Everything. That stuff we keep behind 986 walls? Where you have to pledge the life of your first-born against the possibility you’ll go rogue? Let Snowden see it all. Sure. What the hell. I’m feeling charitable. He seems like a nice kid.”
This nice kid is Ed Snowden, our ‘heroic whistleblower’. Who is zipping all over the world with prepared slides for credulous British newspapers as well as flawlessly presented sound bites about his motive… but without a lawyer and now without a functioning passport. Old KGB sea dog, Putin himself, could barely conceal the glee on his hardened-yet-droopy face. An entire career in the Kremlin and those capitalist pigs are doing to themselves what he never could. (Turns out all it took was an oil drum and a piece of coconut.)
Here’s Naomi Wolf’s opinion:
a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call ‘message discipline.’ He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps — which are evidence of great media training, really ‘PR 101′ — are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.
b) In the Greenwald video interview, I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points — again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.
So why is it considered ‘conspiracy theorizing’– a phrase with an echo of eccentric mythologizing — to raise questions based on being aware of the obvious — that now this same kind of activity is highly funded here at home?
This is something you can’t not see if you spend time around people who are senior in both the political establishment and the intelligence and state department establishments. You also can’t avoid seeing it if you interview principled defectors from those systems, as I have done since 2007?s The End of America, my book that warned Americans about exactly this rise of the police state in ‘the Homeland’.
The fact that now the same kinds of surveillance, infiltration, influence on news stories, overt identities that mask covert identities, and so on, that are very basic to intelligence work overseas — are now legal to engage in here at home, and are very heavily funded.
Many of these forms of disruption of domestic political and news events — from the fake Occupy protesters who were really DHS or NYPD operatives, to the confirmed history of FBI disruption of grassroots groups, and so on — have been fully documented.
Why should it be seen as bizarre to wonder, if there are some potential red flags — the key term is ‘wonder’ — if a former NSA spy turned apparent whistleblower might possibly still be — working for the same people he was working for before?
None of this is to suggest that the nice boy from NC doesn’t believe in what he’s doing -what sane person wouldn’t? It is to point out that, once again, the world’s media has a clandestine puppeteer’s hand shoved all the way up to its large intestine. Like that wikileaks volunteer who was actually a paid FBI informant.
However this ends, it will certainly be interesting.
Let me tell you the story of a much worse boy.
He’s not from North Carolina, he’s from the entitled, Labour intelligentsia enclave of Hampstead. He does have a degree. An Oxbridge PPE; de rigeur for senior British politicians; paid for by mummy and daddy. He then had a career of doing nothing but talking as his father’s connections booted him straight to the top of the Labour stable.
His brother is currently leader of the Labour party. But he ‘quit’ to ‘go and work for a charity in New York’.
His name is David Miliband and when he resigned, The Guardian, the paper that broke Snowden’s story, positively fell over themselves strewing garlands of praise on the Labour princeling. This is actually quite difficult to do because, I’m not kidding here, he’s basically done nothing.
Not a word from the press about this ‘charity’ he was going to work for, except that it came with a Manhattan apartment and a £280,000 salary. Seems rather a lot for a charity, doesn’t it?
So I looked into it.
He’s working for the ‘International Rescue Community’ which has got the be the frontiest of CIA front names I have ever heard of. George Costanza’s Human Fund has nothing on this.
On the board of directors of this CIArity? Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, the former managing director of Lehmann Brothers, NBC’s Tom Brokaw, the managing editor of CBS news.
Want to know how I accomplished this thrilling, watergate-esque act of investigative journalism?
I. Looked. On. Their. Fucking. Website.
God save the next journalist who complains about his or her job to me, honestly. From The Guardian and the BBC, it is an oversight so astounding that you can, and should, only interpret it one way. They are collaborating. That’s how access journalism works.
Because everyone in Britain knows the current Prime Ministerial selection plan for the next decade goes as follows:
- Cameron wins without the Lib Dems.
- Boris takes the job from him mid term.
- Then it’s David Miliband, fresh from working for the CIA for about ten years.
What would literally any of these journalists have found if they devoted the approximately seven minutes I spent looking into this?
The IRC’s earliest incarnation, the International Relief Association (IRA), was founded in 1931, not in the United States but in Germany by two left-wing factions, the Communist Party Opposition (KPO) and the Socialist Workers Party (SAP) to aid victims of state repression. After the Nazis took power in 1933, the organisation moved its headquarters to Paris (Chester, p.7).
The KPO consisted of members of the right opposition, purged by Stalin in 1929 because of their support for Nikolai Bukharin, as opposed to the left opposition of Leon Trotsky. Among those purged was Jay Lovestone, the erstwhile head of the American Communist Party. It was Lovestone who formed an American section of the International Relief Association in 1933. His intention was mainly to aid his Right Opposition comrades, but in classic Comintern style, he ensured the board consisted mainly of progressive luminaries who could attract much wider support. Einstein was one of these (Chester, p.8).
The IRA’s substantial refugee work in the 1930s was partly a cover for resistance work in Germany.
After the war, the Committee’s European representatives focused on rebuilding the German SPD as a bulwark against the Communists. With the onset of the Cold War, its refugee work became of interest to the newly emerging CIA as a potential source of intelligence and propaganda expertise. The CIA created front organisations, such as the National Committee for a Free Europe, that were potential rivals to the Committee, which stressed its status as a ‘voluntary agency’ in a 1949 memorandum, but also its willingness to ensure that “specific interests relating to our national security will receive top priority over any others” (Chester, p.65).
The Committee began a major aid programme in El Salvador in 1984, a move some linked to the election of a pro-American president (Chester, p.190). At around the same time, David Miliband’s 1970-vintage predecessor as IRC president, Bill Casey, was using Nicaraguan exiles to launch a proxy war against the Sandinistas as Reagan’s CIA director.
Can’t WAIT for Prime Minister Miliband. This is how Britain gets fucked from both sides of the allegedly opposite ends of the spectrum who are selling the same crap for the exact same masters, anyway:
Enter Britain’s official opposition, in the form of shadow chancellor Ed Balls. This is surely his moment to make his mark on the continental stage. Labour’s forebears fought the Great Depression. They pilloried the “bankers’ ramp” that imprisoned MacDonald and Snowden in 1931. They cheered Keynes and swore that never again would productive capacity be subservient to financial greed. What would Balls do in his speech on Monday? The answer is he joined the bankers’ ramp. He agreed with George Osborne that the central pillar of coalition economic policy should be to cut the deficit, and with no compensating stimulus to economic activity. His only relief was the newest legal high, “infrastructure spending”, which in the short term merely tips fees into the pockets of consultants. Balls is austerity-lite.
The IRC strikes me as a weird mirror of Operation Gladio, ‘a conspiracy so large, it’s time you learned about it.’
I am pleased to link here the 1992 three-part BBC documentary by Alan Francovich, Gladio. Utilizing interviews from the many European and American principals involved, the documentary relates the story of the biggest “conspiracy” of our time (are you listening, Cass Sunstein?) — the existence of a covert terrorist network maintained throughout Europe by NATO, which utilized terrorism in an effort to discredit the political left.
These “stay-behind” networks originally were built up by recruiting fascists from the countries the U.S. and Britain occupied, meant to be a bulwark against a possible and feared Soviet invasion after World War II. When the invasion never occurred, the networks were not dismantled, but took on a different mission: to keep the left from gaining power in any of these states, from Sweden and Belgium to France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey and elsewhere.
The existence of secret “stay-behind” armies and groups, known today by the Italian name, Gladio, caused a sensation in the early 1990s, when they were revealed by then-Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Since then, Gladio-like operations, supposedly ran by the CIA and to some extent the British MI6, have been linked to a number of terrorist attacks, assassinations, and right-wing coups in Europe, e.g., the Bologna train station bombing in 1980, the 1967 generals coup in Greece, etc.
Among other canards the Gladio story can put to rest is the silly belief that no large scale conspiracies can exist, at least in a so-called open, democratic society such as ours. And yet, Gladio proves that is not true. In fact, since the revelations of the early 1990s, there has been practically no discussion of this crucial aspect of contemporary history by U.S. historians or policy makers. The existence of this huge conspiracy and intervention against sovereign European states is almost never even referred to by the vast majority of political commentators, left or right, in the United States.
It’s not really discussed, is it? You would think it would be top of mind seeing as we’re witnessing the after effects of these well-worn rat lines with the rise of radical right groups such as the Golden Dawn. The dust must have barely settled on the shadow infrastructure before the new tenants arrived. Astounding.
Let’s return to Naomi Wolf:
There is no bright line that separates ‘real events’ from the world of intelligence, surveillance, and potential intervention in outcomes. There is not ‘reality’ and ‘spy novels’ any more, with no interpenetration. On the contrary — the surveillance/security world and ‘the real world’ are bring more closely knit all the time, and both reporters and commentators need to lose their naivete about this interpenetration.
There is no longer a bright line between ‘us’, transparent reality in which everything is as it appears, and ‘them’ — the spooks, the shadow side, what used to be the material of John le Carre novels.
The security state and its apparatus is a now a massive part of our economy; billions and billions of dollars — the number is not transparent — are transmitted via DHS, the NSA and other entities into the hiring of vast numbers of people whose job is to do what they do while not appearing to do what they do, in terms of surveillance and other forms of domestic scrutiny of dissent; other billions are funnelled into the technology that indeed watches everything we do and say. Some of the jobs go to people inside the NSA — but more and more of these tasks are being done by people contracted to engage in security or surveiilance-related tasks, in mainstream corporate America.
Perhaps the smokiest of guns in this field is the now notorious proclamation by the BBC’s Jane Standley that WTC 7 had collapsed, twenty minutes before it happened. It remained visible for 15 minutes before the beeb cut the transmission.
There was a great video last year -which I’m trying to find- on the anniversary of 9/11, when a fellow BBC reporter asks her what happens in the most convoluted and unsuccessful ‘debunking’ I have ever seen. She read it off a sheet she was handed, hence it’s not a conspiracy. Case closed. Here’s a quote from her:
“It’s very unfortunate that this whole conspiracy – kind of – ridiculous situation has grown out of what’s really a very small and very honest mistake.”
Of course, it was a mistake she made twice before the feed was cut. Now the video I had saved has been removed. And Jane Standley’s wikipedia page has been deleted. And the BBC openly admits they have ‘lost the tapes from that day’ (presumably in the same way that NASA lost the original Apollo 11 footage).
So no, it’s not a conspiracy. It was just an innocuous piece of paper. And paper is never used for conspiratorial reasons. Certainly not newspaper.
Birds of a feather
In 2004 a whistleblower informed the New York Times that the National Security Agency (NSA) was violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by ignoring the FISA court and spying on Americans without obtaining the necessary warrants. The corrupt New York Times put the interests of the US government ahead of those of the American public and sat on the story for one year until George W. Bush was safely reelected.
By the time the New York Times published the story of the illegal spying one year later, the law-breaking government had had time to mitigate the offense with ex post facto law or executive orders and explain away its law-breaking as being in the country’s interest. It is extraordinary that Washington’s brutal 12 year assault on Muslim lives in six countries has not resulted in at least one dozen real, not fake FBI orchestrated, terrorist attacks in the US every day.
Historically, this should not be surprising. A little birdie is telling you not to be surprised. A Mockingbird.
“Most people didn’t realize the extent of the intelligence media organization. It’s fairly incredible. They sort of brag about it. When you read the books about the history of the CIA, one of the heroes was the first man in charge of media operations, a man named Frank Wisner. And they referred to his organization as the Mighty Wurlitzer.
And there’s this image of this guy sitting at one of those giant organs, you know, with seventeen keyboards and you’re playing this — sort of like The Phantom of the Opera in that scene, and there was the guy running the CIA media operations all around the world. And he really was because every single city of any size on earth, he had some employee who was — supposedly worked for a newspaper or a magazine or a radio station or a wire service, and they could get stories anywhere.”  Testimony of William Schaap.
Thanks for the past tense, Mr Schaap, but I’m not as confident as you that this isn’t still happening. Just look at this takedown of Snowden’s character in; naturally; The New York Times -based on nothing. All those yammering, double-chinned windbags braying on about loyalty and such… Amazing how new the light looks on their absurd ideas when you break through your cognitive dissonance regarding the manipulation of news media.
Brooks’s opinion has triggered some flapping head bullshit from other pundits who simply refuse to accept the possibility that any of their brethren could be collaborating.
Unless they’re one of the hundreds of journalists wiretapped by the NSA over the years, putting them in company that includes General Petraeus, congressmen, candidates for the Supreme Court, White House staff and future president Barack Obama:
And, of course, the US/Al-Qaeda connections I have been talking about for years now, despite some resistance, which have emerged to be entirely true in Syria. The POTUS and MI6 are publicly funding what they admit are Al Qaeda.
FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds was described as “the most gagged person in the history of the United States” by the American Civil Liberties Union. Was the Sunday Times pressured to drop its investigation into her revelations?
According to two Sunday Times journalists speaking on condition of anonymity, this and related revelations had been confirmed by senior Pentagon and MI6 officials as part of a four-part investigative series that were supposed to run in 2008. The Sunday Times journalists described how the story was inexplicably dropped under the pressure of undisclosed “interest groups”, which, they suggest, were associated with the U.S. State Department.
In interviews with this author in early March, Edmonds claimed that Ayman al-Zawahiri, current head of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s deputy at the time, had innumerable, regular meetings at the U.S. embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, with U.S. military and intelligence officials between 1997 and 2001, as part of an operation known as ‘Gladio B’. Al-Zawahiri, she charged, as well as various members of the bin Laden family and other mujahideen, were transported on NATO planes to various parts of Central Asia and the Balkans to participate in Pentagon-backed destabilisation operations.
And if you think these ‘destabilisation operations’ are restricted to foreign soil then you’ve obviously not a Boston-based fitness fan or a former border guard who was declared a terrorist and had her father murdered for blowing the whistle about dozens of mujahadeen entering the US via its land border with Mexico. (The site has the usual caveats, but Julia’s story is on the level.)
Ahh yes, journalists. They’re barely paid enough to keep themselves in supermarket-brand breakfast bourbon, and yet their phones and emails are properly bugged rather than PRISM bugged. Remember that? Remember how that happened last month? All that outrage over how the Justice Department used the CIA to spy on journalists and how it was a huge attack on democracy.
What a difference a month makes. Especially when their rival agency, the NSA, suffers the worst intel leak in history at the hands of a ‘former’ CIA agent.
Funny old world.
“Rats with wings do yer things”
Mockingbird is just one little tail on the rat king, as you might expect.
Get a load of this fawning, nausea-inducing claptrap:
After the Coalition’s 2010 Spending Review, George Osborne announced that, from this year, the Civil List would be replaced by a new Sovereign Support Grant – paid for by 15 per cent of the Crown Estate revenue.
As before, the Crown Estate officially belongs to the Queen, but she still has no right to sell it – and it is managed by an independent organisation, led by the Crown Estate Commissioners. The Queen and her heirs now have an inflation-proof cut of the soaring value of the Crown Estate – she no longer has to go cap in hand to the Treasury for a pay rise.
The Queen? That would be -to give her the full title- Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith.
She is the legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface. She is the only person on earth who owns whole countries, and who owns countries that are not her own domestic territory. This land ownership is separate from her role as head of state and is different from other monarchies where no such claim is made – Norway, Belgium, Denmark etc. The value of her land holding. £17,600,000,000,000 (approx). This makes her the richest individual on earth.
How fortunate she doesn’t need to go ‘cap in hand’ to the Treasury! Crisis over. Thanks for this ‘news’, Torygraph.
We can, of course, find examples of news media furthering imperial agendas in realms without monarchs:
Put bluntly, the disastrous invasion of Iraq, which was sold on the basis of lies told by President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, and others might not have happened without the enthusiastic help of The New York Times,Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and others. The blood of more than a hundred thousand — perhaps more than a million — Iraqis and 4,500 Americans is on their hands too.
Today, like the Bush administration alumni attempting to duck responsibility, the media blame “bad intelligence” for their conduct. But that will not wash. The dissenting reports of Knight Ridder’s Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay, along with a very few others, show definitively that in 2002–03 solid intelligence information undermining every propagandistic administration claim was readily available to anyone willing to use traditional reporting techniques. Strobel and Landay were mostly ignored. On the rare occasions when The New York Times or The Washington Post reported on the doubts intelligence personnel had about the Bush narrative, the stories were buried deep in the paper.
Amazing what little birds can tell you, huh?
Let’s get weirder.
A history of psyops
From the inimitable Peter Levenda and his Sinister Forces:
During the Watergate era a somewhat unsettling revelation was made: that for twenty-five years (or more) the CIA had conducted psychological experimentation upon both volunteers and unwitting subjects—both at home and abroad—to find the key to the unconscious mind, to memory, and to volition. Their goal was to create the perfect assassin and to protect America from the programmed assassins of other countries. This project was known by the name MK-ULTRA, but it had its origins in earlier forms of the same “brainwashing” agenda: Operations BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE.
To me, this was astounding. A US government agency was conducting what—to a medievalist—could only be characterized as a search for the Philosopher’s Stone, for occult power, for magical spells and talismans. Indeed, some of the CIA’s subprojects included research among the psychics, the mediums, the magicians and the witches of America and beyond. And the Army was not far behind in its mind control testing… What was even more disturbing was the revelation that nearly all records of this incredible and superhumanly ambitious project were destroyed in 1973 on orders of CIA director Richard Helms himself. In his testimony, he claimed that MK-ULTRA did not come up with anything worthwhile, and that the project had been terminated. Then why were the documents shredded? We do not know who the test subjects were. We don’t know what was done to them. We don’t know how they have been programmed, if at all. We don’t know what they might do. Or what they have already done.
We touched on this in the Spook Tech post, but you simply don’t know how far along this stuff got. I know cognitive dissonance wants you to reject it but don’t. What would you do with unlimited money and sixty years to experiment?
Remember Allen Dulles, the CIA head who absorbed an entire Nazi spy network into the CIA and who sat on the Warren Commission after JFK had fired him and promised to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces?
Now remember Richard Helms, the guy from the Levenda quote above? The one who burned decades of MK ULTRA material? Here’s a memo between the two men:
…[W]e intend to investigate the development of a chemical material which causes a reversible non-toxic aberrant mental state, the specific nature of which can be reasonably well predicted for each individual. This material could potentially aid in discrediting individuals, eliciting information, and implanting suggestions and other forms of mental control. — Richard Helms, memorandum to Allen Dulles, April 3, 1953
Let’s run this through line back into that persistent Nazi archonic current and up to today. I presume you’re all familiar with The National Enquirer?
You may not be aware that it became the national monster that it was after it was acquired by a man whose father had funded Mussolini, with cash raised from mobster Frank Costello and immediately after he had left the CIA psy-ops programme.
Pope acquired the New York Enquirer in 1952 for $75,000. The Enquirer purchase was supposedly made, in part, with a loan from Frank ‘the prime minister’ Costello.
“Pope was certainly peculiar. His interest in journalism started early: Pope’s father, a gravel entrepreneur who was cozy with the Mafia, founded Il Progresso, the Italian-language daily in New York, and helped bankroll Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. Casting around for something to do after MIT and the CIA, Pope borrowed money from mobster Frank Costello to relaunch the Enquirer, then a Gotham scandal broadsheet with a circulation of 17,000, as a national tabloid.” [More.]
Thus we have at least one continuous through line from mid-twentieth century European facism, through the Nazi-riddled CIA of the postwar period and out into the supermarket shopping baskets of Middle America.
Now, you may say “oh well, that’s the National Enquirer, what were you expecting?”
To that I refer you to the previous examples at the New York Times, The Guardian and the fact that our beloved timelords exist solely thanks to Royal Charter. Or the fact that Italian commercial media is monopolised by a criminal billionaire and member of P2. Or the US and UK elections stolen by Murdoch’s media empire.
Or -on the subject of election stealing- how about the fact that the Koch brothers are planning to buy at least 8 newspapers? Or Gina Rinehart buying up Australia’s Fairfax Media to sway mining law discussion in her favour?
Returning to the example of The National Enquirer, we have a thirty year (at least) history of mind manipulation experimentation by an unaccountable spook army built on Nazi DNA, we have the public acknowledgement that said spook army embedded operatives in media organisations around the world and we have at least one that was directly owned an operated by an ‘ex’-CIA psy op/facist sympathiser that was paid for with mob money.
It certainly throws some of the strange stories to do with aliens and bigfoot and demonic abductions and other incidents of Enquirer weirdness into new light, doesn’t it? There’s another book in this for Nick Redfern. He will have probably finished it by the time you’re done reading this sentence, too.
Think the era of psy ops is over?
Not in Afghanistan, where the British are building a network of ‘Afghan’ radio stations. (Sidebar: Ever wondered why the BBC World Service was previously run by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office? Next question, what was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s previous name?)
The 15 (UK) Psy Ops Group rarely ever features in the media and there’s not a great deal of information about them, although most of it has been collected on this PowerBase page.
In fact, the last time 15 (UK) Psy Ops hit the headlines was when one of their unit was killed in 2008, who was most notable in the media for being the first British female solider to die in Afghanistan.
Except for that, one of the last mentions was in 2003. And now they’re press-releasing an award given to them by their own organisation and talking to reporters.
So why the PR drive? Recruitment, it seems. Commander Steve Tatham notes that “at a time most of the Armed Forces are being cut back, his unit is being expanded”.
Expanded, you say?
A box of birds
You ever idly wondered why it is the broadcast and film industries that get such high level support -right up to direct and bizarre presidential interference- when it comes to commercial protection?
It’s actually a comparatively small industry and not even the one that is the most affected by piracy. (That would be pharma and/or technology.) Nevertheless, you pirate Everybody Loves Raymond and you could go to prison. Sexually assault a woman on a date and -assuming you’re not black- you can be off to sensitivity classes.
The question is the same when it comes to the eternal battle to prevent web censorship or the creation of a ‘two speed’ internet or whatever the next archonic nightmare happens to be. Why? Why in a state of economic freefall does the leader of the free world™ personally intervene in copyright legislation debates? Why is he so desperate to make sure that CNN loads faster than Vimeo on your cell phone?
Yes, sure. All that effort in corralling us back toward a limited number of broadcast outlets is all about ‘protecting the artist’. The artist, who has always been treated so very well by commercial film and television.
Commercial film and television that not only collaborated with the Nazis, but paid money to fund Germany armaments:
In June 1939 Metro-Goldwyn Mayer treated 10 Nazi newspaper editors to a “good-will tour” of its studio in Los Angeles. Mr. Urwand also found a December 1938 report by an American commercial attaché suggesting that MGM was financing German armaments production as part of a deal to circumvent restrictions on repatriating movie profits.
Mr. Urwand said that he found nearly 20 films intended for American audiences that German officials significantly altered or squelched. Perhaps more important, he added, Jewish characters were all but eliminated from Hollywood movies.
That’s old timey stuff, though isn’t it? Surely such things do not go on anymore? How bout this… good ol’ Zero Dark Thirty, which the CIA was allowed to vet in order to ensure ‘appropriate portrayal of the Bin Laden operation’, also known as singing from the same shit-covered hymn sheet:
From an Agency perspective, the purpose for these discussions was to help promote an appropriate portrayal of the Agency and the Bin Laden operation.
Say what you will about the supposed power of alternative media, the majority of ‘alternative comment’ is an echo chamber of material emanating from a very limited number of sources. This is not to say there isn’t amazing work done outside the archonic system, just that a few seconds glancing at Google and Twitter trends shows you how easy it is to programme widespread discussion outside the footprint of your media asset.
When planning a commercial media campaign, one looks at three categories:
Using the famous Old Spice Twitter/TV campaign as an example, the ‘paid’ element is the purchased ad slots. The ‘earned’ components are both the reaction on Twitter and the international commentary it created. The ‘owned’ elements are the numbers of people who ended up following Old Spice’s Twitter account or subscribing to their newsletter as a result.
Obviously the goal is to spend the least on the first element whilst maximising the reach of the second one to grow the size of the third. Even outside advertising campaigns, this is how you measure media; with uplift, with brand sentiment, with ‘universe reach’.
After the Koch brothers complete their purchase of a network of 8 papers (paid), they will have the means to confidently make national discourse dance like an archoniette (earned) and hopefully get the Randian dystopia they have always dreamed of (owned).
So, I ask you again, why is the President so personally keen on making sure that network news and commercial film survives?
From an article about the British Library’s propaganda exhibit:
It is the difficulty of separating truth from propaganda in the volume of today’s communications that worries the experts. The final piece in the show is an electronic wall that displays Twitter traffic from the London Olympics, Obama’s re-election, and the recent mass shooting at a school in Connecticut. “In a global, social-media world, do we know who these people are? They’re all talking,” reflects Jude England, the library’s head of social science.
The tweets parade by, spiking and subsiding; at home, our Facebook feeds crawl with marketing pitches; book reviews on Amazon are penned by paid guns. Individuals, paid lobbyists, corporations, activists: “It’s not entirely clear who’s behind these things,” Ms England observes. “Propaganda at its most potent has always been something we don’t recognise as propaganda,” says John Pilger, a documentary filmmaker and journalist. As this absorbing exhibition makes clear, it is time we got better at reading between the lines.
Which brings us, inevitably, to these internets.
“There’s many, many exciting and important things you could do that you just can’t do because they are illegal or they are not allowed by regulation. And that makes sense, we don’t want our world to change too fast. But maybe we should set aside some small part of the world … I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out some new things and figure out: What is the effect on society? What is the effect on people? Without having to deploy it into the normal world. And people who like those kinds of things can go there and experience that.” -Larry Page. Keynote address at Google’s I/O event. May 15. 2013.
Ahh, the digital frontier. Leaving aside the latest monitoring revelations, it remains the the manipulator’s dream:
In February 2011, a year after Brown penned his defense of Anonymous, and against the background of its actions during the Arab Spring, Aaron Barr, CEO of the private intelligence company HBGary, claimed to have identified the leadership of the hacktivist collective. (In fact, he only had screen names of a few members). Barr’s boasting provoked a brutal hack of HBGary by a related group called Internet Feds (it would soon change its name to “LulzSec”). Splashy enough to attract the attention of The Colbert Report, the hack defaced and destroyed servers and websites belonging to HBGary. Some 70,000 company e-mails were downloaded and posted online. As a final insult to injury, even the contents of Aaron Barr’s iPad were remotely wiped.
The HBGary hack may have been designed to humiliate the company, but it had the collateral effect of dropping a gold mine of information into Brown’s lap. One of the first things he discovered was a plan to neutralize Glenn Greenwald’s defense of Wikileaks by undermining them both. (“Without the support of people like Glenn, wikileaks would fold,” read one slide.) The plan called for “disinformation,” exploiting strife within the organization and fomenting external rivalries—“creating messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization,” as well as a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error.” Greenwald, it was argued, “if pushed,” would “choose professional preservation over cause.”
Other plans targeted social organizations and advocacy groups. Separate from the plan to target Greenwald and WikiLeaks, HBGary was part of a consortia that submitted a proposal to develop a “persona management” system for the United States Air Force, that would allow one user to control multiple online identities for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grassroots support or opposition to certain policies.
If you’re wondering how widespread this “persona management” programme actually is, spend a few hours reading the comments under some alt research YouTube videos, be they related to 9/11 or Syria or Boston or basically anything.
The entire digital space is now run by a few companies who graciously leave backdoors for the intelligence world into your entire life and who, as the opening address indicates, publicly wish for a space where they can experiment on humans beyond the reach of democracy.
Now, speaking of commercial collaborators, watch this segment of Woody Harrelson’s documentary, Ethos, from a few years ago. It’s cued up to a part regarding the deep interrelationship between the intelligence world and corporate interest. The whole thing is worth a watch. (It loses it a bit where it suggests the best thing you can do is ‘vote with your wallet’ but the content is otherwise good.)
But we saw this with Occupy, didn’t we? Infiltration and disruption of legal protests at the behest of banks:
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document –reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
The mind war
When Jean Baudrillard declared that the Gulf War did not take place, he meant it in that delightfully French, post-structuralist sense of simulacra. Modern wizards know slightly better. Because the media literally makes reality. That’s why this is so important.
Have a look at this ‘satellite’ interview on CNN from last month:
In a bizarre television and spatial anomaly on CNN this morning, the blanket coverage of two true-crime stories led two news anchors to conduct an odd “satellite” interview from the very same parking lot, background traffic and all.
They’re standing in the same parking lot! But that doesn’t look enough like “news”, enough like “facts”.
If you want to have people believe that the Al Qaeda murderers being financed by Britain, Germany and the US in Syria are ‘rebels and freedom fighters’ (which is what we called them when we used them in Afghanistan in the first place, then we called them terrorists, so it’s kinda… what… full circle?) then all you need to do is stand a couple of meat puppets in a carp park and have them read off a ‘piece of paper’ the way Jane Standley did on September 11.
This literal creation of reality gets weirder. Because here’s the part where we tie in some ‘informed speculation’ to do with some of that spook tech the shadow world has been building with its sixty years of unlimited money.
So we go to the last genuine Republican on earth (in the good sense of the term), my current parapolitical darling, Catherine Austin Fitts and what she heard about brain entrainment on Wall Street back in the eighties. As ever, the whole thing is worth a watch, but it’s also cued up.
Too weird for you? Then you’re on the wrong blog! But also, in
Soviet Russia the modern world, TV watches you:
The technology includes cameras and microphones that are installed on DVRs or cable boxes and analyzes viewers’ responses, behaviors and statements to various ads — and then provides advertisements that are targeted to the particular household.
Specifically, the technology can monitor sleeping, eating, exercising, reading and more, AdWeek reported.
The great ‘they’ want a camera to gauge our reaction to broadcast emanating from our expensive glowing rectangles? Care to rethink your opinion of clandestine brain entrainment?
Back to Peter Levenda’s Sinister Forces:
Richard Helms—in expanding the CIA’s mind control effort begun with Operation BLUEBIRD and its successor Operation ARTICHOKE— proposed the more comprehensive and aggressive MK-ULTRA on April 3, 1953 and it was approved by Allen Dulles on April 13, 1953, three days after he gave a very disturbing speech at Princeton University that cited “how sinister the battle for men’s minds had become.”
He was referring to Soviet brainwashing techniques—or what was known, or imagined, of them at that time—and how a human mind could become putty in the hands of the specially-trained Communist controllers. Remember that 1953 was a pivotal year for Soviet Communism: Stalin died in 1953 and a titanic struggle for power ensued in Russia, with dangerous implications for the West. The picture Dulles painted of the world situation in general, and of the state of Soviet mind control in particular, was frightening, and he lost no time in approving what was to become the most ambitious ever scientific quest for the secrets of consciousness, something that had not been seen in this world since the days that magicians advised the crowned heads of Europe and alchemists toiled to turn lead into gold in the basements of archdukes and princes. Probably only the Nazi aberration known as the Ahnenerbe-SS comes close to duplicating in scope what MK-ULTRA was designed to do.
What we see in both the public and clandestine technology of commercial media is a supremely potent weapon in the literal creation of worlds. Leaving aside what might be happening to your mind without you knowing it, leaving aside the fact that this literal mind war often claims actual scalps –just as we saw with Iran Contra and just as we saw even more recently with Michael Hastings– simply on the level of ontological ownership of certain terms alone this tech puts the great ‘they’ at an advantage:
Even as the New York Times and its ilk now use hipster-bashing to delegitimize the new political awareness among the same un- and underemployed twenty- and thirty-somethings — previously taken to task for their avoidance of politics — the same bashers employ this all-purpose dummy to ventriloquize their own refined and slightly ridiculous consumption habits.
And while Rupert Murdoch’s reactionary gazetteers at least acknowledge the ongoing, and (in the case of 13 Thames Street) partly political character of the evictions in which they delight, the enlightened New York Times will always opt for the “fucking hipster” show — the 21st century bourgeois liberal’s preferred flavor of minstrelsy — over any ‘hard times’ depiction of downward mobility among artists, anarchists and other riffraff. That, after all, could depress today’s gentrifiers or tomorrow’s property values.
Which, of course, brings us to the ontological battles over forteana (“little green men”) and parapolitics (“conspiracy theorists”). So we return to Levenda’s comment on it:
Eventually, psy-ops like these combined to redefine the parameters of acceptable discourse in America. Principal among the notions placed beyond the Pale was the practice and theory of “conspiracism”—which soon came to include criticism of mainstream reportage. More than a matter of seeing cabals behind every murder, it was a way of thinking, a stance toward the networks, the press and the feds. Anyone who looked too deeply into events, or who asked too many questions, was dismissed as “a conspiracy-theorist.” (This, after MK-ULTRA, Iran-Contra, BCCI and the destruction of the World Trade Centers.)
In some ways, it is as if the century itself has been encrypted, so that if an historian would be honest, he must also become an investigator reporter. Failing that, we are left at the mercy of ambitious academicians and journalists, stenographers to power who are themselves complicit in an astonishing string of cover-ups and atrocities that stretch from Dealey Plaza to Watergate, Waco to 9-11.
I can find no more wonderful example of this in the words of Jack Straw regarding Britain’s complicity in CIA renditions:
Jack Straw, the then foreign secretary, dismissed the evidence, telling MPs in December that year that “unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States … there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition.”
Straw told the same MPs that media reports of UK involvement in the mistreatment of detainees were “in the realms of the fantastic”. Documentation subsequently disclosed in the high court in London showed that Straw had consigned British citizens to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba after they were detained in Afghanistan in 2001.
So the ‘dark forces’ of the British Foreign Secretary -Levenda’s ‘sinister forces’- actually turned out to be real and hidden behind a manipulated public discourse?
Cut the feed, kids.