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Semantic Propaganda Feeds Stupidity: : Lies are being fed to the Public by America’s Two-party Plutocracy

By Joel S. Hirschhorn

Semantic Propaganda Feeds Stupidity: Lies are being fed to the Public by America’s Two-party Plutocracy

We would already have had a much needed American revolution in response to the tyranny of the money-fed two-party plutocracy that is destroying the middle class except for one big problem: so much of the American population is just plain stupid. Too stupid to behave like angry Greeks and rise up in the streets to rebel against the dysfunctional government.

In the never ending fight of Republicans and their cancerous (make that stupid) Tea Party members to gain even more control of the US political system, economy and culture they have fixed on another semantic weapon. The latest attack on intelligence is the constant use of the term job creators in place of words like the rich or wealthy. Not just plain Republicans in Congress are doing this, but especially the large crop of Republican presidential candidates.

This bit of cleverness surely was deemed necessary because much of the nation was beginning to appreciate the class warfare going on. Rising economic inequality, unemployment set in concrete, and merging of the middle class into the poverty stricken lower class were all becoming clearer.

Keep this in mind: As Zuckerman pointed out, the US “experienced the loss of over 7 million jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off from full-time employment.” Business sectors have discovered that they can maximize profits with smaller US work forces; they export jobs and their capital investments. And they benefit from all kinds of tax loopholes protected by Republicans so that they pay very little if any US taxes.

A terrific new new article by Jeff Reeves makes the case that unemployment will actually rise to over 10 percent, because of anticipated layoffs in the financial, technology, and aerospace and defense sectors. The data are compelling. All this despite high profits.

Apple is sitting on an amazing $76 BILLION in cash. Other than understanding that people are paying too much for their products, just imagine if they invested a big fraction of that on moving manufacturing of its products from foreign countries to the US. An enormous number of good jobs could be created here.

What were Republicans to do, especially as they used the current crisis surrounding the need to raise the national debt limit to seek huge cuts in federal spending affecting ordinary Americans and prevent higher taxes for the greedy rich and corporate forces?

What better way than to falsely claim and constantly presume that those that should be paying higher taxes are exactly the ones who create jobs and that they would not do so if hit by higher taxes. In truth, this is a bold lie. The richest Americans have been paying the lowest taxes in many decades and corporate profits have been enormous, and this reality has clearly had absolutely no positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment plaguing at least 30 million Americans and their family members.

Go back to the post-World War II era when the richest Americans paid very high taxes and you discover that jobs and fairly distributed wealth were created in abundance.

Neither wealth nor jobs trickle down from the Upper Class. Proper government policies are required to prevent criminally large fractions of the nation’s wealth going to the most greedy and selfish elites. Those NOT rich that support Republicans are very stupid; they have been brainwashed by the steady stream of Republican lies and propaganda that are used to serve the rich and corporate interests sustaining Republicans with much money. The return on their investment has proven more than adequate to justify their endless input of money to Republicans.

We probably will soon see President Obama cave in and giver Republicans much of what they want. There will be major cuts in federal programs that will place millions of Americans in even more precarious economic uncertainty and pain. And there will probably be far too little increases in taxes on the rich and corporations. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security may all be cut in ways that harm many people.

Lies are constantly being fed to the public. Will you be smart enough to see them for what they are? The more you face this ugly, disturbing reality, the more embarrassed you will be about the US political system and, hopefully, the more inclined you will be to stop voting for any Republicans or Democrats and participating in our delusional democracy.

Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.

Joel S. Hirschhorn is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Copyright © Joel S. Hirschhorn, Global Research, 2011

A Recipe For Fascism

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Chimera

© unknown

By Chris Hedges

A Recipe For Fascism

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.

More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.

All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money—hundreds of billions of dollars—is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency. This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity.

The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters. And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our political process.

Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace.

The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or benefits.

The “inevitability” of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in “The Collapse of Globalization” points out, “the role of charity should be to fill the cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good hasn’t yet focused or can’t. Dealing with poverty is the basic responsibility of the state.” But the state no longer has the interest or the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades. They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in globalization’s empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored by many within the tea party.

We are ruled by huge corporate monopolies that replicate the political and economic power, on a vastly expanded scale, of the old trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wal-Mart’s gross annual revenues of $250 billion are greater than those of most small nation-states. The political theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt liberal institutions and the government that once protected them. The tea party rabble, to placate their anger, will also be encouraged by their puppet masters to attack helpless minorities, from immigrants to Muslims to homosexuals. All these political courtiers, however, serve the interests of the corporate state and the utopian ideology of globalism. Our social and political ethic can be summed up in the mantra let the market decide. Greed is good.

The old left—the Wobblies, the Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO), the Socialist and Communist parties, the fiercely independent publications such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses—would have known what to do with the rage of our dispossessed. It used anger at injustice, corporate greed and state repression to mobilize Americans to terrify the power elite on the eve of World War I. This was the time when socialism was not a dirty word in America but a promise embraced by millions who hoped to create a world where everyone would have a chance. The steady destruction of the movements of the left was carefully orchestrated. They fell victim to a mixture of sophisticated forms of government and corporate propaganda, especially during the witch hunts for communists, and overt repression. Their disappearance means we lack the vocabulary of class warfare and the militant organizations, including an independent press, with which to fight back.

We believe, like the Spaniards in the 16th century who pillaged Latin America for gold and silver, that money, usually the product of making and trading goods, is real. The Spanish empire, once the money ran out and it no longer produced anything worth buying, went up in smoke. Today’s use in the United States of some $12 trillion in government funds to refinance our class of speculators is a similar form of self-deception. Money markets are still treated, despite the collapse of the global economy, as a legitimate source of trade and wealth creation. The destructive power of financial bubbles, as well as the danger of an unchecked elite, was discovered in ancient Athens and detailed more than a century ago in Emile Zola’s novel “Money.” But we seem determined to find out this self-destructive force for ourselves. And when the second collapse comes, as come it must, we will revisit wrenching economic and political tragedies forgotten in the mists of history.

Chris Hedges, who writes a weekly column for Truthdig, is the author of “Death of the Liberal Class.”

Related:

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946

Obama’s Finest Hour: Killing Innocent People For “Made-Up Crap”

October 19, 2010 1 comment

October 18, 2010: By Chris Floyd

Obama’s Finest Hour: Killing Innocent People For “Made-Up Crap”

If ever I am tempted by the siren songs of my tribal past as a deep-fried, yellow-dawg Democrat, and begin to feel any faint, atavistic stirrings of sympathy for the old gang, I simply think of things like the scenario below, sketched last week by Johann Hari, and those wispy ghosts of partisanship past go howling back to the depths:

Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbours until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops. Why? They refuse to comment. They don’t even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? Somebody told them. Who? You don’t know, and there are no appeals against the robot.

Now imagine it doesn’t end there: these attacks are happening every week somewhere in your country. They blow up funerals and family dinners and children. The number of robot-planes in the sky is increasing every week. You discover they are named “Predators”, or “Reapers” – after the Grim Reaper. No matter how much you plead, no matter how much you make it clear you are a peaceful civilian getting on with your life, it won’t stop. What do you do? If there was a group arguing that Pakistan was an evil nation that deserved to be violently attacked, would you now start to listen?

…[This] is in fact an accurate description of life in much of Pakistan today, with the sides flipped. The Predators and Reapers are being sent by Barack Obama’s CIA, with the support of other Western governments, and they killed more than 700 civilians in 2009 alone – 14 times the number killed in the 7/7 attacks in London. The floods were seen as an opportunity to increase the attacks, and last month saw the largest number of robot-plane bombings ever: 22. Over the next decade, spending on drones is set to increase by 700 per cent.

Friends, it’s very simple: if you support Barack Obama and the Democrats — even if reluctantly, even if you’re just being all sophisticatedly super-savvy and blogospherically strategic about it, playing the “long game” or eleven-dimensional chess or what have you — you are supporting the outright murder of innocent people who have never done anything against you or yours. You have walked into a house, battered down the bedroom door, put the barrel of a gun against the temple of a sleeping child, and pulled the trigger. That is what you are supporting, that is what you are complicit in, that is what you yourself are doing.

But hey, let’s be all super-savvy and eleventh-dimensional ourselves here for a moment. Let’s be pragmatic, and technocratic, let’s be grown-ups, let’s not get sidetracked by a bunch of jejune, dorm-room, hippy-dippy moralizing. No, let’s concentrate on practicalities, let’s get down to brass tacks, let’s be serious and focus on “what works” to protect our national security. OK, so here’s the practical result of the illegal campaign of mass murder that Obama is waging on the sovereign territory of one of America’s allies:

… Drone technology was developed by the Israelis, who routinely use it to bomb the Gaza Strip. I’ve been in Gaza during some of these attacks. The people there were terrified – and radicalised. A young woman I know who had been averse to political violence and an advocate of peaceful protest saw a drone blow up a car full of people – and she started supporting Islamic Jihad and crying for the worst possible revenge against Israel. Robot-drones have successfully bombed much of Gaza, from secular Fatah to Islamist Hamas, to the brink of jihad.

Is the same thing happening in Pakistan? David Kilcullen is a counter-insurgency expert who worked for General Petraeus in Iraq and now advises the State Department. He has shown that two per cent of the people killed by the robot-planes in Pakistan are jihadis. The remaining 98 per cent are as innocent as the victims of 9/11. He says: “It’s not moral.” And it gets worse: “Every one of these dead non-combatants represents an alienated family, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially as drone strikes have increased. … It could be poised to get even worse: Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars says the US has an immediate plan to bomb 150 targets in Pakistan if there is a jihadi attack inside America.

Why, it’s almost as if the drone campaign was designed to create more and more enemies — and more and more contracts for war profiteers to build more and more drones, which can then be used to create more and more enemies, which means more and more contracts for …. say, it is a practical plan, after all! A practical plan to create terrorism, not quell it.

And what is the “evidence” used by the Administration militarists as they draw up their target lists for the defenseless villages in Pakistan? What is the “intelligence” produced by the $75 billion lavished on our 200,000 security apparatchiks every year? On what basis is Barack Obama killing people in Pakistan? Hari reports:

..[The] press releases uncritically repeated by the press after a bombing always brag about “senior al-Qa’ida commanders” killed – but some people within the CIA admit how arbitrary their choice of targets is. One of their senior figures told The New Yorker: “Sometimes you’re dealing with tribal chiefs. Often they say an enemy of theirs is al-Qa’ida because they want to get rid of somebody, or they made crap up because they wanted to prove they were valuable so they could make money.”

That’s right: Barack Obama is killing hundreds of innocent civilians in Pakistan on the basis of crap made up for money. Made-up crap. For money. That’s why a child who is just as precious as your child is to a parent who is just as real a person as you are was killed this week, by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party and the entire bipartisan foreign policy establishment of the United States of America: crap made up for money.

And of course, it’s not just tribal chiefs making up crap for blood money: the entire aforementioned bipartisan foreign policy establishment is now and has for years been making up crap “so they could make money” — for themselves, for their corporate patrons, for their government agencies, for their defense and “security” stockholdings, for the perpetuation of their bloated, belligerent, pig-ignorant domination of world affairs and American society — by killing innocent people all over the world.

“But oh my gosh, oh my lord, we have to support Obama! What if those Tea Party Republicans get into power? What would happen then?” What would happen? The same goddamned thing that’s happening right now, that’s what. More and more war, more and more murder, more and more domination by a militarist kleptocracy. As Glenn Greenwald notes this week, Obama and the Tea Partiers (and the neocons, and the liberal hawks, and the Bush Regime war criminals) are in lockstep (even goosestep) on keeping the War Machine stoked and rolling.

That’s why the opposition to the Tea Party Republicans has been so anemic, focused almost entirely on personality flaws or asinine comments or resume padding or stupid things they did in college. The Democrats can’t possibly attack them on substance — i.e., the fact that the Tea Partiers are rabid warmongers who delight in murder, torture and repression and believe that the poor, the sick, the old, the weak, the unlucky, and the vulnerable should just eat shit and die already — because these are the same positions the Democrats hold! Who “reformed” health care into a gargantuan, guaranteed boondoggle for rapacious conglomerates? Who bailed out the bankers and left millions in the hands of savage “robo-signers?” Who set up the “Catfood Commission” and stocked it from top to bottom with long-time, deep-dyed haters of the poor and the weak? It wasn’t Dick Cheney, bub.

I don’t want to see the Tea Partiers in power. But I’m not going to support one faction of murderers and plunderers just to keep out another faction of murderers and plunderers. Hari makes this good analogy about the drone program:

Yet many people defend the drones by saying: “We have to do something.” If your friend suffered terrible third-degree burns, would you urge her to set fire to her hair because “you have to do something”? Would you give a poisoning victim another, worse poison, on the grounds that any action is better than none?

Similarly, I say: would you support one murderer — who likes to break into children’s bedrooms and blow their brains out — in order to stop another murderer, who would do the same thing, from taking over a vicious gang of murderers? What would be the basis, the reason for your support? That the first murderer wears nicer suits? Digs cooler music? Throws better street parties? Leaves a pretty little flower next to the blown-out brains?

For a system sunk so deeply in evil, there is no “lesser” evil to choose. The militarist kleptocracy itself is evil, and every political faction that does not denounce it and seek to dismantle it is complicit in this evil. The choice is to stand outside such factions; the choice is non-cooperation with evil, as advocated by Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi, King. I’m not going to spend my brief time here on earth standing with blood-soaked killers, no matter what factional name they give themselves, or what loyalties they might claim on our myth-clouded memories of the past. I’m not going to teach my children that all we can do is to grovel before one child-murdering maniac or another, to keep quiet, to never speak the truth, to sell their votes, their dignity and their souls to murderers who would pervert every good instinct — and every bad instinct — every worthy hope and every nasty fear, to keep themselves in power.

Dead children. Made-up crap. For money. That’s what our leading “dissidents” want us to support. There is much that could be said about the utterly puerile arguments being offered for this murder-abetting stance; but in the interests of brevity, and civility — and my own sanity — I will forbear, and simply say: no thanks.

Murderers, Cowards, Morons and Thieves: Portrait of an Empire in a Political Season

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

By Chris Floyd

Murderers, Cowards, Morons and Thieves: Portrait of an Empire in a Political Season

Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com continues his lonely vigil of documenting the carnage being inflicted upon civilians in Pakistan by the increasingly frenzied drone missile attacks ordered by the Peace Laureate in the White House.

Almost every day, Ditz has fresh hell to offer up on the story of this remarkably brazen campaign of outright war crimes. Most of his pieces draw on foreign sources; there is almost nothing in the American press about this literally inhuman invasion of the sovereign territory of a nation allied to the United States. It is truly a bizarre situation; then again, in a militarist system whose pervasive moral depravity has long reached lunatic proportions, murdering the children of your allies is perhaps not so unusual. Certainly, the guardians of our public discourse don’t consider it newsworthy in any way.

The latest update from Ditz captures many of the main features of Barack Obama’s ruthless robot war on Pakistan: mass killings, murky motives and missed targets:

Pakistan’s remote tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan are in a state of virtual panic tonight as US drones continue to loom in the air and three attacks against separate towns across the region killed at least 28 people and wounded an unknown number of others.

The Daily Times story that Ditz links to goes on to describe the “great panic among the locals” as the American drones continued to hover over the defenseless towns even after the attack. No one could be sure when or if the robots would fire again. There was no way to stop the machines; they were impervious, implacable, just floating there, groaning in the sky, their “pilots” sitting safely and comfortably before computer screens thousands of miles away. You couldn’t get away, you couldn’t hide, you couldn’t protect your children.

This is raw terrorism, pure and simple, nothing but terrorism, terrorism on the grandest of scales, terrorism without end – no one-time “spectacle,” but a grim, steady, relentless, mechanical process. It is also the terrorism of cowards, murdering at a vast distance, by remote control, in sneak attacks against defenseless people.

Ditz’s story also includes what has become a familiar motif in the American way of Terror War: attacking communal gathering of civilians – weddings, funerals – and slaughtering the participants.

Officials have so far failed to identify any of the targets of the attacks, but reports from the ground suggest that one of the US drones attacked a funeral procession that was carried out for people killed in a previous attack.

Nor was this the only Standard Operating Procedure at play in the latest raid. There was also the familiar “provocative attacks which destroy local peace-making efforts and ensure the continuation of violent conflict” scenario, coupled with one of the overarching themes of the entire Terror War: missing the ostensible targets of a raid and killing civilians instead.

Reports suggested that the targets hit were related to one of the militant factions which has an existing ceasefire with the Pakistani government, and it does not appear that any of the victims of the attacks were “high value” targets.

This is in so many ways a portrait in miniature of the entire bloody and misbegotten enterprise in Central Asia. For viewed in this light – that is, by the declared aims of the American-led coalition of occupation — what is the entire “Af-Pak” war but a gargantuan failure to capture or kill a handful of “high value” targets, who somehow, miraculously, always manage to escape, while civilians are killed by the thousands?

But of course these “high value targets” are not the true aim of the war. The war itself is the aim of the war: the continuation of perpetual – and profitable – conflict, and the expansion of the power and privilege and corrupted wealth that accrues to the bipartisan operators (and lickspittle apologists) of a militarist empire.

Even the perpetrators of these war crimes no longer to pretend that these conflicts have any real purpose; the War Machine’s own “intelligence analysts” regularly report that the wars are exacerbating the very problems they are ostensibly designed to quell: violent extremism, divisive tribalism, ignorance and poverty, repression of women, political instability in strategic regions, fear and insecurity at home, etc. But none of this matters – not to the Peace Laureate and his party of spineless corporate servitors, nor to the Republicans and their cretinous Tea Partiers, nor, it seems, to the vast majority of the American public who follow these blood-soaked factions of ruthless, third-rate gangsters, bagmen, morons and courtiers.

And now another election season is upon us. The massive acts of state terrorism committed by the United States will fall even further beneath the media radar (if that’s possible). “Progressive” forces will furiously debate the best way to rouse the “base” to support their admittedly disappointing champion, if only to keep the drooling hordes of zealous Know-Nothings at bay. They will put aside the daily murder of innocent people by their champion in order to play a few “savvy” hands of partisan politics – as if they were living in some kind of ordinary, open political system, instead of a phantasmagorical Grand Guignol of state terror, state murder and corporate rapine, a rigged game where the only outcome is more and more and more of the same.

As for me, I am long past caring about the political fortunes of murderers and cowards – and of those who want to take their places and be murderers and cowards too. I can only repeat – for the nth time – the words of Henry David Thoreau:

“How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”

Caught! Mossad Paid by U.S. to Spy on “Dissident,” Tea Party, Environmentalist

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

By Gordon Duff

GORDON DUFF: CAUGHT! MOSSAD PAID BY U.S. TO SPY ON “DISSIDENTS,” TEA PARTY, ENVIRONMENTALISTS

TAXPAYERS FUNDING ISRAELI DATABASE OF AMERICAN CITIZENS

Did you know that attending a meeting to organize a bake sale for new band uniforms can put you on a terrorist watch list? You don’t have to join a peace group or protest oil drilling to be considered dangerous. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hired ITRR, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, a Jerusalem based company owned by the Mossad and tied directly to the Israeli Ministry of Defense to track “dissidents” and “activists.” In the process, they managed to find the most dangerous terrorist organization of all, the governor’s own non-profit organization, one supporting school funding initiatives. From ITTR’s website:

“All of the information ITRR’s staff creates is sent to its monitoring center in Jerusalem, where it is analyzed”

Governments, states, cities and even rural towns, believing they are participating in a Homeland Security initiative, have contracted with this and other organizations under foreign control, read “Israeli,” tracking organizations as diverse as the Tea Party and the Sierra Club. Reports submitted by ITTR showed them spying on nearly every organization they could find, no matter how innocent, patriotic or public minded. Organizations tied to Jewish causes, however, managed, somehow, to slip under the radar.

Those that were included are so comprehensive that it would be nearly impossible for an American to escape having confidential files, collected under government authority and financing, paid for by American taxpayers, held by Israeli intelligence agencies. In fact, databases include every organization, regardless of its membership or policies, with personal information on members being stored in databases in Israel.

Never has a nation funded a foreign spy organization’s efforts to catalog potential intelligence assets, operatives and, at the same time, take over the job of watching themselves. This is one of the greatest intelligence coups in history. Combine this with control of America’s airport security and total control of America’s communications networks, everything, mobile, internet, even landlines….we might as well pull down the flag and roll over.

Governor Rendell expressed shock at the gross violation of constitutional rights involved in hiring this company, one that is said to be working for state and local governments across the United States. Rendell said he was “stunned” when he learned about the spying relationship, one he characterized as “ludicrous.” From Governor Rendell’s apology to the people of Pennsylvania at a capitol news conference this week:

“I am deeply embarrassed and I apologize to any of the groups who had this information disseminated on their right to peacefully protest”

As early as December 2001, not long after the 9/11 incident, Fox News investigated Israeli spying on the United States. However, not long after airing the Carl Cameron Report with Brit Hume as Host, not only did the show itself disappear but all transcripts as well, at least “almost all.”

BRIT HUME, HOST: It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence.

At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work. Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11. …

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Since September 11, more than 60 Israelis have been arrested or detained, either under the new patriot anti-terrorism law, or for immigration violations. A handful of active Israeli military were among those detained, according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged surveillance activities against and in the United States.

There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that they Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are “tie-ins.” But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, “evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.”

Numerous classified documents obtained by Fox News indicate that even prior to September 11, as many as 140 other Israelis had been detained or arrested in a secretive and sprawling investigation into suspected espionage by Israelis in the United States. Investigators from numerous government agencies are part of a working group that’s been compiling evidence since the mid ’90s. These documents detail hundreds of incidents in cities and towns across the country that investigators say, “may well be an organized intelligence gathering activity.”

The first part of the investigation focuses on Israelis who say they are art students from the University of Jerusalem and Bazala Academy. They repeatedly made contact with U.S. government personnel, the report says, by saying they wanted to sell cheap art or handiwork. Documents say they, “targeted and penetrated military bases.”

The DEA, FBI and dozens of government facilities, and even secret offices and unlisted private homes of law enforcement and intelligence personnel. The majority of those questioned, “stated they served in military intelligence, electronic surveillance intercept and or explosive ordinance units.”

Why would Israelis spy in and on the U.S.?

A GAO investigation states: “According to a U.S. intelligence agency, the government of (Israel) conducts the most aggressive espionage operations against the U.S. …It aggressively collects military and industrial technology and the U.S. is a high priority target.” The document concludes: “Israel possesses the resources and technical capability to achieve its collection objectives.” (END VIDEO CLIP)

And in the days ahead, we’ll take a look at the U.S. phone system and law enforcement’s methods for wiretaps. And an investigation that both have been compromised by our friends overseas.

HUME: Carl, what about this question of advanced knowledge of what was going to happen on 9-11? How clear are investigators that some Israeli agents may have known something?

CAMERON: It’s very explosive information, obviously, and there’s a great deal of evidence that they say they have collected — none of it necessarily conclusive. It’s more when they put it all together. A bigger question, they say, is how could they not have know?

These Fox News revelations from 2001, long dead and gone, buried in the archives never to be heard from again, tell a story, not of betrayal by a “friend” or “ally” but one of America’s national obsession with memory loss, almost as though the “hard drive” meant to represent America’s common sense was “wiped,” reformatted after picking up a virus from opening one of those nasty emails we are all warned about. The virus, of course, is the mainstream news media itself.

The Pennsylvania spying story was never reported nationally. It couldn’t be, there is a “blackout” on any news critical of Israel, real forced censorship, part of the official policy of the Obama administration, as it was of the Bush administration, cheerfully adhered to by media owned and operated by Israel itself.

The Fox News report of 2001, showing America’s counter-terrorism organizations hot on the trail of Israel, was the last report of its kind on any major network. Not one word spoken of by Cameron or Hume has been repeated in nine long years. Not one lead has been followed up, not one more question asked, the entire thing, forgotten, forgiven, overlooked or perhaps something darker and more threatening.

Related:

December 1, 2009: Flashback: Israel Did 9/11
[includes Fox series mentioned in article]

Freedom Flotilla’s Real Victory, America’s Propaganda Machine Exposed

June 11, 2010: By Gordon Duff

GORDON DUFF: FREEDOM FLOTILLA’S REAL VICTORY, AMERICA’S PROPAGANDA MACHINE EXPOSED

ISRAELI HOAX VIDEOS DEBUNKED, USS LIBERTY REMEMBRANCE SUPPRESSED

The second the faked videos were available, cheap edits and voice overs first, Sky News and Fox, both owned by Israeli Likudist Rupert Murdoch, began the disinformation campaign.  The “Freedom Flotilla” of peace activists suddenly became an armed Al Qaeda invasion force replete with heavy artillery, dirty bombs and terrorist trainers.

Patched in over the wounded calling for aid was the Israeli soundtrack, “Go Back to Auschwitz.”  This was played dozens of times before technicians showed it and other Israeli released video and audio from the attack to be counterfeit.  With hours of video smuggled out, those tiny memory cards fit in the oddest places, Israel, Fox, Beck and the parade of media who ate up the lies are now delegitimized as are the groups that stood with them in silence.

It isn’t just the dubbed audio or the new video showing IDF troops executing wounded.  With so many witnesses of unquestionable integrity all saying the same thing, Israel and the media married to them are on the ropes.  The belief that any story contrary to the political or economic ties of the corporate owners could easily be tagged as “conspiracy theory” has backfired.

As a result, every media outlet and every anchor and pundit that took a wrong side against this unexpected avalanche is tumbling into obscurity, Wolf Blitzer, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glen Beck leading the way.

THE TEA PARTY DILEMMA

Surprisingly, to many, the Tea Party has failed to criticize President Obama’s weak response to our failure to chastise Israel.  There had been earlier debates on whether the our inability to reign in Israeli extremism was costing American lives in war.  That debate is clearly over.  Israel has become, not only a massive liability but has shown America to be emasculated.

Even more surprising, as our Israeli lobby is headed by Joe Biden, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman, the political enemies of America’s Tea Party movement, creating one of the most noticeable cases of “strange bedfellows” in recent political history.

Does the covert financing from Fox and AIPAC sources that underwrites Tea Party activities, travel, entertainment and staff limit how patriotic they are allowed to be?

With revelations that Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, hated by the Tea Party as founder of the “modern welfare state,” shown to have authorized Israel to killed 300 US Navy personnel because of blackmail tied to a sexual “indiscretion” with a Mossad operative, anyone would think that USS Liberty Remembrance Day would be a good time to remind Americans about the duplicity of liberal democrats.

But there is silence on the USS Liberty issue and, not a word in support of the survivors or in remembrance of the dead.  Who is sleeping with the Mossad now?

AMERICA’S CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE

With Britain’s largest labor union, Unite, boycotting Israel and organizations around the world, even those typically distanced from any mention of support for Palestinians now openly condemning Israel for everything from piracy to kidnapping and murder, even charges against the Israeli government for fraudulent use of credit cards stolen from Flotilla passengers, the silence from America is deafening.

The United States Senate is planning to vote on a resolution condemning victims of what has been universally characterized as a war crime.  Here again, conservatives lead the way, in lockstep with President Obama and his top aide, Rahm Emmanuel.

To dodge international condemnation, President Obama has promised Gaza a $400 million payoff, “blood money” to buy silence for America’s unwillingness to an endless series of international conventions including Articles 5 and 6 of the NATO charter.

In fact, no major group in the United States, no veteran’s organization, political party, trade union or activist group has challenged Israel.

A KNIFE IN THE BACK OF NATO

Unreported in the American news, the Turkish ship attacked in international waters is, by law, sovereign soil of a NATO signatory state.  An attack on such a target is an act of war on NATO itself as outlined in the treaty ratified by the United States Senate.

With one American citizen executed and several kidnapped, some tortured, American sovereignty has, in itself been challenged.  After the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, then Undersecretary of State, George Ball said:

The ultimate lesson of the Liberty attack had far more effect on policy in Israel than America.  Israel’s leaders concluded that nothing they might do  would offend the Americans to the point of reprisal.  If America’s leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens it seemed clear that their American friends would let them get away with almost anything.” (Undersecretary of State George Ball)

With the keystone of the “Bush Doctrine” the mutual aid provisions of the NATO agreement and America’s increased vigilance, even to the point of pugnacity, defending citizens from the actions of rogue nations or terrorist groups anywhere in the world, our “blind eye” to Israeli transgressions, be they murder on the high seas, assassination in Dubai, spying in the Pentagon or “bankster” fraud, has dug a “credibility hole” that America may never be able to crawl out of.

THE DIVERGENT MEDIA, THE MORAL AND THE MORASS

With news outlets around the world, some even in Israel, condemning, not only the brutality of the attack but the criminal and nakedly blatant attempt to “spin” the aftermath, destroying press “assets” enmasse in the process, the corruption of the mainstream media has now been put on display.

Typically, a major blunder by a news organization, even those such as Fox that are continually caught in open fabrication of stories, is lost in the events of the next day or next week.  The slow unfolding of the Freedom Flotilla story seems to have fostered a renewal of real investigative journalism, an art thought dead in today’s fast moving world.

Millions around the world, tens of millions of Americans have a clear memory of the carefully scripted narrations to the Israeli videos, now known to be, not only edited for context but also suspected of being “reinacted,” read “fabricated.”

With the mainstream media tied to the scripted limits set by the corporate masters, the real story, the scandal, the sex and violence was left to the internet news outlets, now grown powerful and some too independent, a threat to the Orwellian model.

When balancing between “professional liars” and “conspiracy theorists,” it seems like this has been a big win for conspiracy.  Where this will lead, many so very deserving need to fear.

The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger

By Chris Hedges

The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger

Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged.

The followers of deviant faiths, from Judaism to Islam, must be converted or repressed. The deviant media, the deviant public schools, the deviant entertainment industry, the deviant secular humanist government and judiciary and the deviant churches will be reformed or closed. There will be a relentless promotion of Christian “values,” already under way on Christian radio and television and in Christian schools, as information and facts are replaced with overt forms of indoctrination. The march toward this terrifying dystopia has begun. It is taking place on the streets of Arizona, on cable news channels, at tea party rallies, in the Texas public schools, among militia members and within a Republican Party that is being hijacked by this lunatic fringe.

Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is touted as required reading by trash-talk television hosts like Glenn Beck. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored in Christian schools and soon will be ignored in Texas public school textbooks. The Christian right hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, has been rehabilitated, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is defined as part of the worldwide battle against Islamic terror. Legislation like the new Jim Crow laws of Arizona is being considered by 17 other states.

The rise of this Christian fascism, a rise we ignore at our peril, is being fueled by an ineffectual and bankrupt liberal class that has proved to be unable to roll back surging unemployment, protect us from speculators on Wall Street, or save our dispossessed working class from foreclosures, bankruptcies and misery. The liberal class has proved useless in combating the largest environmental disaster in our history, ending costly and futile imperial wars or stopping the corporate plundering of the nation. And the gutlessness of the liberal class has left it, and the values it represents, reviled and hated.

The Democrats have refused to repeal the gross violations of international and domestic law codified by the Bush administration. This means that Christian fascists who achieve power will have the “legal” tools to spy on, arrest, deny habeas corpus to, and torture or assassinate American citizens—as does the Obama administration.

Those who remain in a reality-based world often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons and simpletons. They do not take seriously those, like Beck, who pander to the primitive yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. Critics of the movement continue to employ the tools of reason, research and fact to challenge the absurdities propagated by creationists who think they will float naked into the heavens when Jesus returns to Earth. The magical thinking, the flagrant distortion in interpreting the Bible, the contradictions that abound within the movement’s belief system and the laughable pseudoscience, however, are impervious to reason. We cannot convince those in the movement to wake up. It is we who are asleep.

Those who embrace this movement see life as an epic battle against forces of evil and Satanism. The world is black and white. They need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to believe they know the will of God and can fulfill it, especially through violence. They need to sanctify their rage, a rage that lies at the core of the ideology. They seek total cultural and political domination. They are using the space within the open society to destroy it. These movements work within the confining rules of the secular state because they have no choice. The intolerance they promote is muted in the public assurances of their slickest operators. Given enough power, and they are working hard to get it, any such cooperation will vanish. The demand for total control and for a Christian nation and the refusal to permit any dissent are on display within their inner sanctums. These pastors have established within their churches tiny, despotic fiefdoms, and they seek to replicate these little tyrannies on a larger scale.

Many of the tens of millions within the Christian right live on the edge of poverty. The Bible, interpreted for them by pastors whose connection with God means they cannot be questioned, is their handbook for daily life. The rigidity and simplicity of their belief are potent weapons in the fight against their own demons and the struggle to keep their lives on track. The reality-based world, one where Satan, miracles, destiny, angels and magic did not exist, battered them like driftwood. It took their jobs and destroyed their future. It rotted their communities. It flooded their lives with alcohol, drugs, physical violence, deprivation and despair. And then they discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God intervenes in their lives to promote and protect them. The emotional distance they have traveled from the real world to the world of Christian fantasy is immense. And the rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and ultimately feared, for they seek to pull believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them.

There are wild contradictions within this belief system. Personal independence is celebrated alongside an abject subservience to leaders who claim to speak for God. The movement says it defends the sanctity of life and advocates the death penalty, militarism, war and righteous genocide. It speaks of love and promotes fear of damnation and hate. There is a terrifying cognitive dissonance in every word they utter.

The movement is, for many, an emotional life raft. It is all that holds them together. But the ideology, while it regiments and orders lives, is merciless. Those who deviate from the ideology, including “backsliders” who leave these church organizations, are branded as heretics and subjected to little inquisitions, which are the natural outgrowth of messianic movements. If the Christian right seizes the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, these little inquisitions will become big inquisitions.

The cult of masculinity pervades the movement. Feminism and homosexuality, believers are told, have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian right, is a muscular man of action, casting out demons, battling the Antichrist, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. This cult of masculinity, with its glorification of violence, is deeply appealing to those who feel disempowered and humiliated. It vents the rage that drove many people into the arms of the movement. It encourages them to lash back at those who, they are told, seek to destroy them. The paranoia about the outside world is stoked through bizarre conspiracy theories, many championed in books such as Pat Robertson’s “The New World Order,” a xenophobic rant that includes attacks on liberals and democratic institutions.

The obsession with violence pervades the popular novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. In their apocalyptic novel, “Glorious Appearing,” based on LaHaye’s interpretation of biblical prophecies about the Second Coming, Christ returns and eviscerates the flesh of millions of nonbelievers with the sound of his voice. There are long descriptions of horror and blood, of how “the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin.” Eyes disintegrate. Tongues melt. Flesh dissolves. The Left Behind series, of which this novel is a part, contains the best-selling adult novels in the country.

Violence must be used to cleanse the world. These Christian fascists are called to a perpetual state of war. “Any teaching of peace prior to [Christ’s] return is heresy…” says televangelist James Robinson.

Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, instability in Israel and even the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seen as glorious signposts. The war in Iraq is predicted, believers insist, in the ninth chapter of the Book of Revelations, where four angels “which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of men.” The march is inevitable and irreversible and requires everyone to be ready to fight, kill and perhaps die. Global war, even nuclear war, is not to be feared, but welcomed as the harbinger of the Second Coming. And leading the avenging armies is an angry, violent Messiah who dooms hundreds of millions of apostates to a horrible and gruesome death.

The Christian right, while embracing a form of primitivism, seeks the imprint of law and science to legitimate its absurd mythologies. Its members seek this imprint because, despite their protestations to the contrary, they are a distinctly modern, totalitarian movement. They seek to co-opt the pillars of the Enlightenment in order to abolish the Enlightenment. Creationism, or “intelligent design,” like eugenics for the Nazis or “Soviet” science for Stalin, must be introduced into the mainstream as a valid scientific discipline—hence the rewriting of textbooks. The Christian right defends itself in the legal and scientific jargon of modernity. Facts and opinions, once they are used “scientifically” to support the irrational, become interchangeable. Reality is no longer based on the gathering of facts and evidence. It is based on ideology. Facts are altered. Lies become true. Hannah Arendt called it “nihilistic relativism,” although a better phrase might be collective insanity.

The Christian right has, for this reason, its own creationist “scientists” who use the language of science to promote anti-science. It has fought successfully to have creationist books sold in national park bookstores at the Grand Canyon and taught in public schools in states such as Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Creationism shapes the worldview of hundreds of thousands of students in Christian schools and colleges. This pseudoscience claims to have proved that all animal species, or at least their progenitors, fit on Noah’s ark. It challenges research in AIDS and pregnancy prevention. It corrupts and discredits the disciplines of biology, astronomy, geology, paleontology and physics.

Once creationists can argue on the same platform as geologists, asserting that the Grand Canyon was not created 6 billion years ago but 6,000 years ago by the great flood that lifted up Noah’s ark, we have lost. The acceptance of mythology as a legitimate alternative to reality is a body blow to the rational, secular state. The destruction of rational and empirically based belief systems is fundamental to the creation of all totalitarian ideologies. Certitude, for those who could not cope with the uncertainty of life, is one of the most powerful appeals of the movement. Dispassionate intellectual inquiry, with its constant readjustments and demand for evidence, threatens certitude. For this reason incertitude must be abolished.

“What convinces masses are not facts,” Arendt wrote in “Origins of Totalitarianism,” “and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system which they are presumably part. Repetition, somewhat overrated in importance because of the common belief in the masses’ inferior capacity to grasp and remember, is important because it convinces them of consistency in time.”

Augustine defined the grace of love as Volo ut sis—I want you to be. There is, he wrote, an affirmation of the mystery of the other in relationships based on love, an affirmation of unexplained and unfathomable differences. Relationships based on love recognize that others have a right to be. These relationships accept the sacredness of difference. This acceptance means that no one individual or belief system captures or espouses an absolute truth. All struggle, in their own way, some outside of religious systems and some within them, to interpret mystery and transcendence.

The sacredness of the other is anathema for the Christian right, which cannot acknowledge the legitimacy of other ways of being and believing. If other belief systems, including atheism, have moral validity, the infallibility of the movement’s doctrine, which constitutes its chief appeal, is shattered. There can be no alternative ways to think or to be. All alternatives must be crushed.

Ideological, theological and political debates are useless with the Christian right. It does not respond to a dialogue. It is impervious to rational thought and discussion. The naive attempts to placate a movement bent on our destruction, to prove to it that we too have “values,” only strengthens its legitimacy and weakness our own. If we do not have a right to be, if our very existence is not legitimate in the eyes of God, there can be no dialogue. At this point it is a fight for survival.

Those gathered into the arms of this Christian fascist movement are desperately struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. We failed them; we owe them more: This is their response. The financial dislocations, the struggles with domestic and sexual abuse, the battle against addictions, the poverty and the despair that many in the movement endure are tragic, painful and real. They have a right to their rage and alienation. But they are also being used and manipulated by forces that seek to dismantle what is left of our democracy and abolish the pluralism that was once the hallmark of our society.

The spark that could set this conflagration ablaze could be lying in the hands of a small Islamic terrorist cell. It could be in the hands of greedy Wall Street speculators who gamble with taxpayer money in the elaborate global system of casino capitalism. The next catastrophic attack, or the next economic meltdown, could be our Reichstag fire. It could be the excuse used by these totalitarian forces, this Christian fascism, to extinguish what remains of our open society.

Let us not stand meekly at the open gates of the city waiting passively for the barbarians. They are coming. They are slouching toward Bethlehem. Let us shake off our complacency and cynicism. Let us openly defy the liberal establishment, which will not save us, to demand and fight for economic reparations for our working class. Let us reincorporate these dispossessed into our economy. Let us give them a reality-based hope for the future. Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, will use this rage to snuff us out.

Chris Hedges, who writes a column every Monday for Truthdig and who graduated from Harvard Divinity School, is the author of “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” He was a reporter for many years with The New York Times. His latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”

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