Column - Jonathan Metcalfe
THE HYPE DIMENSION
“DEFENDERS OF FREEDOM”
‘Elite Force Aviator’ – George W. Bush
The quotation above is only one in literally hundreds of patently ridiculous sentiments that seem to roll off the president’s tongue as easily as the invectives that lie behind them. As Lenin observed: “a lie told often enough becomes the truth.” These are the vocal spillages dripping with a sheen of quasi-religious nationalism founded on simple, uncomplicated lies. They surround his administration in a slick of deception so deep that anyone caught in its swell becomes mired in the same noxious and over-powering wish to deceive. Or perhaps they are simply finding their true neo-con natures, ad majorem Dei gloriam…
George Bush, as Governor of Texas gave the thumbs up for 146 death row executions, the highest number for any governor in history. He is a man primed for this brand of presidency that requires a non-existent conscience and an ego of psychopathic proportions. With this neo-con idol as the figurehead, anyone who questions policy and flawed intelligence is deemed unpatriotic; anyone who questions the dismantling of the constitution, the incontrovertible deception of 9/11 and the virtual blitzkrieg in Iraq is deemed subversive and a supporter of terrorism. And his essential nature is not alone – he is surrounded by similar sociopathic individuals. After decades of socio-cultural programming is it any wonder that the US government and its executive shadow are able to get away with so much and at such great social cost?
During the uneasy aftermath of the Iraq invasion, a US-led propaganda assault continues to reach new heights of coercion. Initially labelled “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” the capture of Iraq was a vital stage in an apotheosis of hype which began its ascent long before the twin towers atrocity. The (sour) cream of the neo-con military interventionists headed by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Dick Cheney, Stephen Hadley and many others put their signatures to an open letter to Republican leaders back in 1998 urging a change in US policy where unilateralism, including the removal of Saddam Hussein, would be the normal course of future foreign policy. Most of these signatories are “coincidentally” now in the present administration and extending the same expansionism with almost unlimited finances to ensure its success, even if the US is bankrupted in the process. It was closely followed by the glossy and “civilised”: The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) fronted by William Kristol. These expansionists also undersigned a diatribe of imperialism with the added bonus of other humanitarian dignitaries including: Jeb Bush, Zalmay khalilzad, Elliot Abrahams, Dan Quale and a smattering of right wing intellectuals such as Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Francis Fukuyama and Midge Decter. Twelve years later the aims of PNAC have been comprehensively transferred into the national security strategy of the US.
PNAC is an important document in this regard and is well worth the look in order to understand the minds of those for whom the world is simply a place to “slash and burn” and extract the dividends between the two. If one even takes a cursory look at this paper together with the Home Security Bill and the expanded Patriot Act we can get some idea that the agenda here IS for a particular brand of a “New World Order” which George Bush Senior famously reiterated during a televised Council of Foreign Relations press conference in 1992. However, it is clear that this NWO is a many faceted agenda beyond the American Patriot gun-toting call to arms and the many belief systems trailing in its wake. As ever, things are somewhat more complex. But certainly, the present administration is a means to a specific and exclusive end, which spirals back beyond factions within the shadow executive bodies and with a high probability that most are themselves being controlled and manipulated on the planetary chess-board.
The Bush administration seek to maintain and expand the economic and international supremacy of the US and to reshape the geo-political globe under the ridiculous banner of “pre-emptive strikes” while feathering their own nests in the process. It is not difficult to see why. Iraq holds the second largest expanse of oil reserves in the world, representing a gateway to further domination of the Middle East. This is one of the reasons why Saddam was first in line along that classic piece of scripted propaganda: the “axis of evil.” The fact that there was no foundation whatsoever to this much vaunted sound-byte is irrelevant. It sounded great and appealed to the reflex of the lowest emotions. As Bush’s historical mentor and expert propagandist Adolf Hitler in Vol. I of Mein Kampf observed: “All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself.”
Examples of deception abound. A video-taped footage from 2001 of Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice admitting that “Iraq wasn’t a military threat and had not developed weapons of mass destruction since the first Gulf War a decade before” obviously showed a breath-taking lack of principles from two of Bush’s top officials. Similarly, Paul Wolfowitz a primary architect of the war in Iraq was caught out in an interview with conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham. He was asked when he first came to believe that Iraq was behind the 9-11 terrorist attacks and responded: "I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it." For Wolfowitz and his colleagues, 10,000 Iraqi deaths are no more than a collection of numbers on a computer screen. These and a multitude of supremely arrogant admissions were largely ignored by the media. The ensuing hype and hysterical war mongering that followed ensured that such opportunities for the near terminal species of the mainstream investigative journalist were convincingly lost with only occasional “sparks” appearing on the internet. Those sparks were quickly finding a new newspaper to work for. To consolidate their power, the US government needed to play all of their propaganda cards, and very early on in the game the US media came up with a full house of compliance.
OFFICES OF STRATEGIC DECEPTION
In its comprehensive paper on post-war findings, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently accused the Bush administration of systematic misrepresentation. They concluded that Bush had prior knowledge of the absence of any evidence regarding Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological weapons programmes before taking the decision to go to war. Referring to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate report they further high-lighted “an unusual number of dissenting views by intelligence officials”, as well as the pressing of intelligence analysts to come to “more threatening” conclusions regarding Iraq. The lead author of the CEIP report, John Cirincione stated: “The NIE was wildly off the mark." In other words - they systematically lied. If so why? Why was an administration allowed to go against intelligence both from sub-divisions within the FBI and analysts within the Oval Office? Clearly there is an agenda of epic proportions. Having faith in decades of “information domination” and the “dumbing down” of its populace gave the neo-cons considerable justification for pursing this agenda. Elements within the Pentagon were heating the hype to stratospheric levels immediately after the twin-towers attack as part of an operation that had obviously been encouraged perhaps years before the event. With a vision of a lucrative conquest in sight under the sop of fighting terrorism, the Office of Strategic Influence was born in early 2002 with the objective of initiating “black propaganda” actions against foreign press and journalists. The Office represented much more than the age-old re-telling of major geo-political porkies.
The Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld went out of his way to bypass the enormous intelligence agency briefings and to go to his own personalized office where he could sift through and present the intelligence that supported the war on Iraq and to jettison any embarrassing data that could lead them away from a unilateral military expansion. Indeed, it was because many within the intelligence agencies had been providing hard data that logically screamed at the administration NOT to attack Iraq that the OSI was created, fitting neatly into the existing executive shadow government. Once the totally fictitious link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had been established and primed in the minds of mass America, Al Qaeda could be given first billing spawned from covert and complex manipulations by the CIA, Pakistani ISI and the Israeli Mossad. Bush could then initiate the “shock and Awe” of a “Christian crusade” against the terror organisation and focused propaganda attack on anyone else who disagreed with that “God-given” right. What better way to ensure a panacea of domination than by creating an enemy that is instantly malleable and forever open to serve the ends of a specific doctrine of control?
The Department of Defence had been sidelined in favour of the concentrated “war room” of OSI headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, and according to a Guardian report from February 18 2002 “the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.” The article further states: “One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said. General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.” To illustrate this point, on September 8th 2002 the Bush administration planted a story in The New York Times written by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon entitled: US says Hussein intensifies quest for A-Bomb Parts, coming of course, from “unnamed Bush officials.” This was one of many examples of basic media propaganda via “sympathetic” journalists. The story was perfectly timed as an effective advert for Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of mass destruction and the sought after vindication of the US crusaders. The fact that the evidence was false didn’t matter. By the time journalists dug around to find that the purchases of aluminium tubes were obviously not intended for nuclear uses, the damage had been done; further escalating the fear and enabling Bush to carve another notch in his propaganda stick which he continues to beat the American public with.
An important impetus for the OSI’s creation came from the T.V. news channel that is Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar and modelled on the BBC. The station has an enormous audience throughout the Arab world and is a diverse mix of interviews, live debates and an uncensored range of opinions. It has also traditionally exposed human rights abuses and is thus hated by dictators in the region and now fittingly by the US administration. The military wanted to counter the station’s critical reporting of its invasion and was thus waiting for the moment to “take ‘em down.”
On November 13, 2001, a US central command spokesman admitted a U.S. aircraft dropped two 500-pound bombs on the building housing the station. By sheer luck no Al-Jazeera staff remained in the building at the time of the bombing. With high technology involving satellite and lap-top “cross-hair” accuracy and awareness of Al-Jazeera location for over two years, we were meant to believe that the T.V. station, lying in a residential neighbourhood with three satellite dishes on its roof - was an accident. Yet according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) newsletter January 31st 2002 we read as follows:
The Pentagon denied that the office had been targeted though it could not say why Al-Jazeera had been hit, which makes such a denial fairly worthless. Ibrahim Hilal, the chief editor of the Arabic language network in a Guardian report said that “the decision to exclude our office from the coverage was taken weeks before the bombing. But I don't think they would do that while we were the only office in Kabul." He further believed that “the attack was deliberate and long-planned.” Another international humanitarian law had been flouted and denial was the only course of action, a pattern that has been systematically repeated since Bush came to power.
The latest news confirms that the US picked façade of the Iraq Governing Council has not got off to a good start. They found a way to limit the station’s influence by banning the reportage of their “activities” for one month. The council’s hackles were habitually raised when it discovered that the news station would not tow the line of their vested US backed interests. When Al-Jazeera decided to report the impartial truth and move in the “opposite direction" daring to criticise the interim government, this could not be tolerated. What was especially interesting was the strong reaction to a “provocative” programme aired on January 27th of this year called ‘Israel's infiltration into Iraq.’
A team of panelists discussed the role of Israel in the invasion of Iraq, the alleged spying and claims that Ariel Sharon had visited Iraq in December 2003 in order to attend hearing sessions of the captured Saddam Hussein. It was further claimed that infiltration by Israel into Iraq began from three areas: economic, political and military power. One panelist presented a book entitled: ‘The Mossad in Iraq’ in which cooperation between Kurdish and Jewish leaders dated back to 1968. Spying in the US or “infiltrating” Iraq and the substantial involvement with the twin towers attack suggests the Israeli Mossad code: ‘By way of deception, thou shalt do war’ is considerably more than just a maxim. It becomes especially disturbing when placed in the context of US/Israel propaganda stakes, with Iraq being carved up to the highest bidder and ideological aims claiming equal importance to economic interests.
The Office of Strategic Influence appeared to be dismantled in February 2002 after considerable jitters within Pentagon circles and a minor media backlash. However, this was wholly untrue. The name merely changed to Office of Special Plans to appease the critics, this time headed by Undersecretary of Defence Douglas Feith with parental care from Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, very much still doting on their propaganda baby.
The OSP continued to broaden its aggressive evangelical mission into all so-called allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and Western Europe. Being spearheaded by the shadow executive government and thus closely tied to the future plans for FEMA and the designs of the military industrial complex, more wholly undemocratic funnelling is taking place from the $10 billion emergency supplement to the Pentagon budget, though the amount has not been disclosed. What is more worrying, but not altogether surprising from a record of increasing secrecy, is the fact that the majority of senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides had no idea about the plans of the OSP. The Pentagon however deemed it acceptable to pay $100,000 a month (presumably of tax payers’ money) to a Washington-based international consulting company called The Rendon Group run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. With their website opening catch-phrase: “Information as an element of power,” one can immediately see why their PR and high level spinning is so attractive, having already worked, most notably for the CIA and the Kuwaiti royal family.
Although the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in the United States, to place undue credence on this naive piece of legislation is to align ourselves with wishful thinking on the scale of Chamberlain’s “peace in our time.” Perhaps it was a purposeful ruse to keep Congress and outer government minions satisfied. If so, it would simply be following the normal pattern of “natural selection” within US policy making. In the present circumstances such laws are not, and never have been worth the paper they are written on. When these pieces of paper are waved in Congress as a feeble reminder of democratic ideals, executive orders can be passed and applied to counter such moves. And when confronted with the few independent journalists and government employees who have dared to speak out, they simply shout “treason,” deny, obfuscate and rely on the mainstream media to douse the flames of truth that will naturally, albeit briefly appear amid the ever-present smokescreen.
In such an unhealthy climate the creation of the OSP and other less “official” and highly secretive operations can press ahead under the direction of the shadow executive branches. If the government is brazenly implanting draconian measures at home and flouting international laws abroad as the official face of governmental policy, then it becomes a matter of simple logic that highly classified plans and operations are being developed and finalized far beyond the press, public and Congress. But it is also likely that many personnel within governmental departments and divisions within the intelligence agencies remain partially ignorant, as analysts and governmental workers discovered during the 9/11 cover-up, which of course, still continues.
A rather infamous military unit with a less than all-American, apple pie history has been assigned to implement the policies of the OSP: the Army’s Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS). The unit is known to have been deployed in Central America, Afghanistan and the Balkans and is currently authorized to use computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, as well as facilities and staff of the military global public affairs apparatus that are now “officially” mandated. Control of the Internet, the development of electronic warfare against disobedient media, and the control of commercial satellites are also part of its remit. For example, In March 2000 the website fair.org (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) published the story from the French Intelligence newsletter and the Dutch newspaper Trouw that several officers from the PSYOPS unit at Fort Bragg were allowed to work at CNN (though the report title quotes more than 1,500 unconfirmed).The story received little coverage.
In the 1980s, officers from the 4th Army PSYOPS group staffed the National Security Council's Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), where stories were planted in the US media in order to strengthen and support Reagan’s controversial Central American policies. Equally disturbing was an investigation by the congressional General Accounting Office who found that OPD had engaged in "prohibited, covert propaganda activities," and as the Iran-Contra scandal broke and the subsequent investigations that followed, the office was eventually shut down. However, the 4th PSYOPS unit is still very much in operation and with, it seems, a new lease of life.
In combination with the National Security Agency’s major forays into highly advanced electronic surveillance systems and mind control experimentation, PSYOPS takes on a much greater threat than most of us realise or indeed, will be prepared to accept.
Rauni Kilde, MD, former Chief Medical Officer of Finland, lectures and writes about an NSA Mind Control system using radio implants and microchips connected to satellites that are similar to what can be find in past "NSA PSYOPS" documents. Kilde writes: "With electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) brain stimulation fully coded, pulsating electromagnetic signals can be sent to the brain, causing the desired voice and visual effects to be experienced by the target. This is a form of electronic warfare." Most certainly. And this form of extreme harassment is increasing, though by its very nature, it is notoriously difficult to obtain the evidence, assuming of course that prosecution is a viable option which in truth, it is not.
Citizens Against Human Rights Abuse (CAHRA) supports many of the claims of systematic surveillance stalking and virtual torture via electromagnetic waves and electronic interference not just within the US. The disturbing nature of the NSA and its famously secret activities no doubt produces its fair share of internet bunkum. Equally, there is far too much correlative and corroborative evidence from a variety of sources to suggest that it is merely conspiracy “cranking” at work. It may well be all in the mind, but not in the way some may prefer to think.
According to one researcher amongst many, Dr. Armen Victoria’s 1998 essay regarding ‘The Military Use of Electromagnetic Microwave and Mind Control Technology’ states the capability of cloning human EEGs for targeted mind control purposes where a variety of emotional responses and instinctive reactions:
It appears that The Tri-Service Electromagnetic Advisory Panel (TERP) represents the interests of all three military services in the U.S. It is still conducting some of the most advanced research in the world which in turn stems from the investigations made by the Russian pioneers in mind control technology during the early 1960s and 1970s. The U.S. Air Force has been research into ocular injury by exposure to millimetre wave system, bio-effects of High Power Microwave in low microwave regions (S band) and Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR). The use of High Power Microwave (HMP), by each of the military services seems to be commonplace. Judging by the wealth of research on the subject the US Navy is also getting extremely excited at the prospect of utilizing electro-magnetic waves as a psychotronic weapon.
We may then understand that the recent Iraq invasion represented an opportunity to test out not only the new developments in microwave weaponry and other aberrations, but a valuable opportunity to experiment with the latest PSYOPS advances. As Guardian columnist John Sutherland put it: “The battlefield will be the testing ground for the US samurai. No more rhesus monkeys or pigs but real, live Iraqis.” According to Dr. Oliver Lowry who has had the dubious honour of working for the US military on several classified projects, Iraqi soldiers may have been the latest unwitting guinea pigs to further such advances which include:
If this weren’t horrifying enough we then have the sector of “information dominance” to complement such invasive excursions into our minds. According to American military experts the first two components of “information dominance” consist of: 1) Building up and protecting friendly information; and degrading information received by your adversary. 2) The ability to deny, degrade, destroy and/or effectively blind enemy capabilities. This is nothing new, though the Iraq war and the phantom linkage of a terrorist plot will tend to burnish the steely resolve of those who favour profitable exploitation and the search for omnipotence. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons for the 15 Information domination centres already established in the US, Kuwait and Baghdad. The Ministry of Defence and the Foreign office in the UK are reflecting Tony Blair’s evangelical attachment to Bush’s coat tails by placing information operations firmly on the agenda with close links to the aforementioned centres. A network of global connections are therefore being created in order to formerly set in motion a huge cross fertilisation of data which can then be re-packaged and sent out to the world’s media and finally, the public.
The very fact tentative reporting of information domination and PSYOPS operations are now even being discussed in mainstream broadsheets – though still few and far between – does not reflect a sudden and rapid sea change within the military nor that it suggests a previously wholesome, honourable and humanitarian approach to geo-political and intelligence maneuverings, much as the American people would like to believe in their moral exceptionalism. The manipulation of information to serve a specific end has a long history. Rather, we see an Orwellian control system becoming less covert due to the climate of stimulated fear and social engineering; it can therefore be allowed to come to the fore without many impediments to its continuing progress. If the mainstream US media isn’t towing the line due to naive belief systems, then it is most assuredly sitting in the lap of the Bush Administration through vested political/corporate interests and/or the Zionist lobby who have extraordinary leverage in American society, let alone news reporting. What this means is that bureaucratic barriers and constitutional safeguards that once at least slowed the propensity for civil and human rights abuses and breaches in international law are effectively non-existent. America has placed the world on a “see-saw” colour-coded alert according to its own purposely exacerbated terrorism threat.
PSYOPS is the tool of an oligarchy and an empire that is highly secretive and conspiratorial by nature. Most governmental operations take place in secrecy as an inherent dynamic of hierarchical, organizational behaviour. Therefore, it is only a natural, albeit disturbing chain of entropic events which are leading to a rapid integration of propaganda and news media into the military command structure. With a majority of reports from Iraq by “embedded” journalists relaying reports which are “positive” or “neutral,” we can then recognize the mainstream media as effective instruments of “friendly” information bolstering. The line is steadily blurring the distinction between friend and foe, with PSYOPS operations and the media (e)merging as one.
On May 1st 2002, in a premature display of perceived victory and bravado, the president honoured the gung-ho and neo-macho premise of the movie Top Gun by swaggering across the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and posing for photographers. Photos of Bush with a “thumbs up” sign appeared in magazines and internet sites. One could almost here the cheesy rendition of the movie’s soundtrack: “highway to the danger-zone.” Better still, as you can see under the headline of this column, we could buy a George Bush doll in authentic “Elite Force Aviator” attire for the bargain basement price of $39.99! Why of course! What price the life of Iraqi civilians? A plastic “George Bush” for American kids and cluster bombs for Iraqi children six thousand miles away. It betrays an extraordinary level of collective ignorance, cynical profiteering and astonishing disrespect for lost civilian lives. An inauguration of a world “danger-zone” it will most certainly be, with US policy dictating and creating the required “danger” for its own purposes as it sees fit.
The Top Gun type mentality along with all the other gun-slinger-dirty-dozen-rootin’-tootin’-meanest-varmint-this-side-of-Texas clichés are on show here. Osama and Saddam are the designated villains with the Middle East as the town that’s only big enough for Bush and his magnificent seven. It remains to be seen whether Bush will ride off into a desert sunset with his less than stable spoils or ransack the next town as self appointed sheriff. Whichever way the rig the next election, the neo-con administration has and will avail itself of one of the most potent moulders of our perceptions: Movies.
The entertainment industry has long since been the tool of successive shadow administrations and affiliated “think-tanks.” Fear and disinformation is the province of the CIA. It secretly subsidizes many authors, media critics and journalists via private foundations and front organizations which are indirectly or directly linked to the Hollywood industry. The present propaganda machine has subsumed this medium into a potent weapon of subliminal and downright ham-fisted mass programming to a greater degree than ever before. For instance, did you ever wonder why there was a steady flurry of war movies spear-headed by Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan in 1998? From 2000 to 2002 there was a tangible increase in war film production both in the cinema and on T.V. reaching a peak prior to 9/11 including: Windtalkers, Black hawk Down, U-571, Band of Brothers (T.V.) The Thin Red Line, The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, The Sum of all Fears, K-19, Hart’s War, Behind Enemy Lines, and the most objectionable piece of sensational tripe in the form of Jerry Bruickheimer’s epic Pearl Harbour, where the US rewrote history in true “Forest Gump” style. This latter movie was perhaps the most obvious piece of propaganda designed to elicit the response of “America under attack” and the accompanying mass expression of righteous indignation that was required. Since 9/11 more than one third of Hollywood productions are war movies or associated fear mongering. "The Sum of All Fears" directed by Phil Alden Robinson, and released in 2002 is a case in point. A group of terrorists get their hands on a nuclear device, which they explode in a US city, hoping to start a war with Russia. It received the endorsement and support of both the Pentagon and the CIA. I wonder why.
It is also interesting to note that the most commercially successful Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has been responsible for some of the most popular movies in motion picture history and the collective thought patterns that followed. With this in mind, it is also highly probable and for reasons we can only guess at, that he is an artful propagandist in the pay of Bilderberg Grp. and its affiliated shadow executive aspirations.
En masse, some of these films may have played a minor role in moulding the psyche of this troubled nation, just as they did during the intense paranoia of the cold war era. They may serve to engender a sense of patriotism, and an erroneous star spangled heroism that inflates the national pride, and simultaneously demands an emotional outlet. (Even those in the so-called anti-war category may do this by feeding into the aura of “war fever.”) If the democrats are afraid to speak out against the present fascism for fear of not supporting the troops (most of whom are demoralised and utterly desperate to return home) then the same can could be said of the public at large where the herd mentality can be at its strongest involving God, the military, and the beloved home soil. Hollywood is US culture. By the same token, the deification of the movie market ensures that it is not simply a way to relax and enjoy our leisure time – they have become the incessant analgesic and anesthetic to our own imagination and creativity; numbing our cognitive abilities with bland, iconic formulas for living; programming trite solutions for love and relating; substituting voyeurism, violence and titillation for the potential of cultivating true understanding and greater awareness. Once we rely more and more on the buffering arena of entertainment we become progressively open to the subtle tinkering of our already pliable emotions. It seems this objective fact has not been lost on the neo-cons and it’s military.
The BBC picked up on this stratagem in a report from October 2001. We discover that US intelligence specialists sought in secret, “advice on handling terrorist attacks from Hollywood film-makers.” According to the trade paper Variety “a discussion group between movie and military representatives was held at the University of Southern California…” And further: “The group is said to have been set up by the US Army to discuss future terrorist activity in the wake of the attacks of 11 September.” Regardless of the wisdom of consulting Hollywood for advice on anything let alone military tactics, is this not rather strange for such a plan of action to take place barely a month after the 9/11 attacks? Unless of course, it represented a single stage within a long-term strategy. The report continues: “Among those reported to have been involved were Die Hard screenwriter Steven E.De Souza and Joseph Zito, director of Delta Force One and Missing in Action. Other, more conventional, feature makers were also said to have been present, including Randal Kleiser, who made Grease.”
“Grease”? Perhaps the military will dance and sing their way into Syria? If only. The fact that military intelligence are considering the advice of B-movie writers and directors is disturbing enough, it becomes especially worrisome when we consider the bizarre reversal of those that are in the business of killing, looking for advice from those who present killing as sure-fire entertainment. It surely becomes apparent that such an exercise would prove a potential asset if they were considering how to capitalize on future terrorist attacks along with the associated emotional manipulation that could be carried out within such scenarios. As a Variety spokesman mentions: “the entertainment industry can offer expertise in understanding plot and character, as well as advice on scenario training.” Sound familiar? Evidence strongly suggests, not only did the President know about the imminent attack on the Twin towers, there was also substantial circumstantial and solid empirical evidence that this may have been carefully crafted with major elements of simulation from within the US itself. In other words, 9/11 was largely manufactured to achieve ideological and political goals most of which we are now witnessing. Finally, the end piece of the report allows us to read between the lines:
Obviously more than his job’s worth. The above piece is I suspect, only the tip of the iceberg. When we tie this in with the NSA classified surveillance and PSYOPS technology that is far in advanced of anything we see in the market place then such pooling of entertainment utilities to bolster this same insider technology is not at all far-fetched. But more importantly, it becomes another method in which to utilize the psychopathology of a nation and much of our world that lives through movies. It is also clear that there is an open and “official” dimension to this propaganda which has moved outwards to the second tier of pyramidal operations. In other words, they are so cocksure of their abilities to keep the wool over our eyes they simply don’t care anymore.
Since the Second World War we are now observing a “bleed-through” of such experimentation across all intelligence and military endeavours which necessarily must include the moulding of the population through ALL means at their disposal. Or in the words of one President Abraham Lincoln: “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed. He who moulds opinion is greater than he who enacts the laws.” And when you have control of both the laws and all possible outlets for propaganda then public opinion is effectively the clay that is permanently on the potter’s wheel. The waters of our sedentary lifestyles on the one hand and the ever-increasing storms of hardship on the other act to keep the clay manageable and open to “problem-reaction-solution” scenarios such as the rightly dramatic but Hollywood laden overtones of the twin towers attack. It will not be too long before you have a T.V. movie or a heavily financed “blockbuster” depicting the events of 9/11 on the scale of The Towering Inferno. You can be sure that Wim Wenders won’t be in the director’s chair.
Many movies can be wonderfully inspiring art. However, in a world where the lowest common denominator rules, there are few that make it beyond the market maw of commercial constraints, and if they do, then distribution is weak. High culture is not an easy buck. And apparently we now have a movie of The Alamo in production with the tag line: “Stand your ground.” Who knows? Perhaps Dubya will consider implementing an executive order for the lead role. It matters little the path to glory: politics to acting – acting to politics; both are understandably gaining a pre-nuptial relationship where the concept of serving the people is as meaningful as the residue from a “Mr. Slurpee” milk-shake. Taken as one spoke in the wheel of a culture whose denial is spinning way out of control, many movies represent another sub-weapon in the formidable armoury of the propaganda war.
It is no
longer the television that is the tool of the political propagandists
but the computer. Political marketing experts can employ ever more sophisticated
means to harvest the nation’s opinions of their potential candidates
and manipulate adverts and habitual poll tables according to their bought
and paid for agenda. The almost unbelievable wealth of data available
from market profiling is there to be used as a chess piece of manipulation.
Potential supporters or detractors can be contacted by phone number, postal
code, religious beliefs, income etc. and can be selectively enhanced,
or conversely, data can be blocked out massaging suitable percentage probabilities
which are subsequently seen and heard in the media. Seldom do reporters
question exactly how these fleeting numbers are acquired.
The history of a different kind of push button mechanism is that of voting software. The neo-con members that form the present administration have shown some decidedly suspicious local and national results in their rise to the White house. For example, just before the presidential election in 2002 one local voting system result was a 0% turnout among more than 800 voters. A recount was requested after a shock result in favour of Republicans where Democrat votes amounted to less than 2000 with a potential of 31,375 from 80 or so precincts. It was a little more than bad luck. The average county turnout should have produced at least 10,000 votes. The candidate’s request was denied by the Star Elections board.
Katherine Harris, Florida State Secretary shamefully “purged” more than 90,000 votes (mostly black and Hispanic democratic voters) during the 2000 election pantomime and came to symbolize the ease in which the election software can be used to deceive. Reports of thousands of ballots disappearing from several counties were repeated during the election for Florida Governor in which Jeb Bush sailed to victory. This was already coming from a wave of complaints concerning broken voting machines or multiple registers occurring for Bush when the opposite candidate was selected. After making their respective bids for the Senate, the extremely dubious victories of Republican candidates Chambliss and Hagel were further overshadowed by the death of Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone and his family in a plane crash. This “accident” ominously ensured that Republican control of the Senate was a mere formality. Yet again, the potentially explosive opportunity to unmask the truth behind obvious signs of election rigging continue to be lost under the sop of “Election reform” and the consequent patterns of Republican “successes.”
With the new touch screen systems there is no paper for proof of ballot casting; there is a blockage of access to software operations, thus evidence of malpractice cannot be verified, whatever the results. Furthermore, one cannot confirm whether a vote has been registered or not, nor is there the possibility of a recount. The development of a $22 million system to allow overseas military and other Americans to vote is currently being tested in US counties ready for this year’s primaries and general election. Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE) was financed by the Department of Defence with growing calls for abandonment due to the obvious danger of cyber attacks and its “inherent insecurity”, most notably by a panel of computer security experts asked by the government to review the program. As ever, the expert will be ignored. And with two Republican dominated corporations, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Diebold Voting Systems, controlling 80% of the vote count back in the United States, it is a perfect technocratic solution to the neo-cons problem of indeterminacy. If events start to suggest even a shred of democracy at work, then manipulate the voting codes and keep a firm tight on the media leash to ensure that they have the maximum propaganda numbers to create the illusion of an electoral process.
The eight year Iran/Iraq war (1980-1988) can be remembered as one of the most shockingly harrowing conflicts of the 20th century. It was reminiscent of the First World War in terms of sheer numbers of dead; territory shifting back and forth between the two sides like bone-dry seas, heavy with the burden of teenage corpses and the endless pain of grieving families. It was a lucrative time for the US, Russia, and various European nations eager to extend this barbarism in order to squeeze out the highest profits from a whole generation of beleaguered youths. Meanwhile, the rest of the Middle East looked on, until the final combined casualty list total reached one million. The combined profit from these arms deals however, is unknown, but we can guess at the obscene sums of money accrued. To further compound the misery and the arrogance of its leaders, nightmarish monuments were erected on the backs of an already broken people: the fountain of blood in Teheran, the soldier statuaries in Basrah and two giant crossed swords clasped by equally giant arms modelled on Hussein himself. They were also cast in a British foundry.
It is not without considerable cause that we may compare these gruesome monuments with the same grandiosity of the Statue of Liberty. Although it is undeniably impressive and an extraordinary feat of human engineering, we now get the sensation that behind that massive display of commemorative ardour are the true disproportionate and caricatured dimensions that characterise most of America’s value systems. If true liberty was ever present, it has now been comprehensively eroded and the torch long since blown out by winds of change that have little to do with freedom, but everything to do with sculpturing the same US hegemony in all cultures and creeds. As her original libertarian ethos was largely set against a backdrop of slave labour, urban gang warfare and a network of secret political, financial, and occult fraternities bent only on power, those initial ideals seem to be no more than wishful, romantic delusions. To this end, she has come to truly represent her heritage - a monolithic Medusa that captures all who blindly face her imposing figure, while inured in the subjectivity and relentless propaganda peddled by the government and its media.
If the media had rekindled even a fraction of the truth-seeking aspirations that have sporadically surfaced in the not so distant past, it is possible that George W. Bush and his minions may have been prevented from gaining ascendancy and inevitably invading Iraq. The reporting during that period was shockingly complacent and self-serving where money talked and a pension was eminently preferable. It remains so. Authentic journalism lies in many independent websites, subscription journals and magazines that cannot hope to compete with the mainstream. Is there still time for a collective whistle to blow loud and long? Although it appears to be decidedly late in the game, life is ever unpredictable. What seems to be clear is that there are extremely powerful forces at work in which propaganda is but one potent tool within a many layered arsenal that is on the cusp of changing into full-blown totalitarianism – Nazi style. The signs are there amid the complex gauze of our conditioning and the acquiescence to a system that thrives on our disempowerment.
Accepting this expanding dimension of hype extinguishes are own unique torches to truth and actively supports the ability of those to destroy any idea of freedom. If we make the effort to understand how propaganda surrounds our lives we may then make an informed choice to refuse it. Once this choice has been taken, it may release a flicker of hope and the fuel for concerted action to alight within. Perhaps then we will have no need for the monuments of propaganda and illusion that exist in our internal and external worlds, or those who will use our energy to erect them.
to re-election campaigns and toy boxes near you. Dana Milbank, Washington
Post, August 12, 2003
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