Exposing the Empire of Lies (Part A)
Written May 23, 2017 draft, rev May 29
Posted January 16, 2018
© Futurescapes21C 2018 All rights reserved
“But the America we celebrate is an illusion. It does not exist.” – Chris Hedges
In this essay, I will pull back the curtain on the American Empire. You will get a glimpse of the real America minus the Madison Avenue hype, Hollywood mythology, Vegas glitz and cultivated sentimentality. It won’t be a pretty picture. As you may have heard, the truth, as freeing as it is, brings its own misery.
Author Chris Hedges states that the America you thought you knew, no longer exists. For some who have long been faithful to cherished myths, like America the Beautiful, the weight of these revelations could be too much to process at one sitting. For this reason, I have broken my analysis into two parts. I’ve also done my best to forewarn and prepare you for what you are about to discover. It would be also helpful to intersperse the heavy reading with some long walks.
The good news is that escaping a delusion can be immensely freeing. It’s not unlike emerging from the blur of a dense fog or the choking smoke of a forest fire. For the first time in some time, perhaps ever, you will be able to see the world more clearly. Pursuing a more accurate understanding of the real America doesn’t make you disloyal. Nor does it mean the end of the world, just the end of a personal delusion. You may have already glimpsed cracks in the facade. You may have had doubts about the lavish claims made in the advertising. And if you suspected that you were being deceived, you're right and likely to a far greater degree than you ever thought.
Bill Willers tells of an encounter with a Brussels protester at a 2007 demonstration in Brussels, who after 30 years of living in the US had returned to Europe. The protester said he had returned, because, after 30 years of living in the US, he didn’t like what he saw happening to is citizens.
They've been taken hostage for the past 20 years by a group of people who destroyed them physically, spiritually and intellectually, and now they're trying to do the same thing in Europe." Willers asks, How many lies over the years does it take before a society comes to its senses and realizes that its overriding worldview has been crafted largely by manipulative lies?1
Good question: “How many lies does it take?”
An imaginary democracy
American author, Chris Hedges declares that democracy in America is a “useful fiction.” A closer look reveals that what may have once resembled democracy has given way to an oligarchy or a corporatocracy with totalitarian features. I first awakened to this reality when I stumbled across a study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page. The two concluded that: “over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.” Drawing on data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, they concluded that: “…. rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.”2
These findings resonate when one considers how unelected powerful influencers now shape the policies of the US government. We have learned, for example that Obama’s 2008 cabinet was for the most part picked by Citibank. Clearly, this in itself would predispose the legislative agenda and policy focus for Obama’s first term.3
The number of lobbyists in Washington at any given time could range from 15,000 to more than double that number because thousands aren’t registered. Registered and non-registered lobbying is estimated at $9 billion per year. Many lobbyists have previously served in the federal government and are highly skilled in the art and science of bending politicians’ ears and will.4 They bring a single-minded focus on their clients’ interests, with a number of them even happy to write the new legislation for the legislator.5
Author and political theorist, Sheldon Wolin, describes the American system as “inverted totalitarianism” or a “managed democracy” at best. Significantly, in Wolin’s conception of inverted totalitarianism, the economic order trumps the political order.
There is no national institution left that can accurately be described as democratic. Citizens, rather than participate in power, are allowed to have virtual opinions to preordained questions, a kind of participatory fascism as meaningless as voting on “American Idol.” Mass emotions are directed toward the raging culture wars. This allows us to take emotional stands on issues that are inconsequential to the power elite.6
Considering Wolin's analysis, it’s not difficult to understand why middle class American citizens feel disconnected from their governments and their elected leaders. One the one hand, they see the trappings and participate in the rituals of a democracy, but on the other, decisions in Washington yield the same predictable results, irrespective of which party assumes power. Author and political analyst, Paul Craig Roberts paraphrases Vladimir Putin’s description of America’s imaginary democracy.
In the West, voters cannot change policies through elections, because the ruling elites control whoever is elected. Elections give the appearance of democracy, but voting does not change the policies that favor war and the elites. Therefore, the will of the people is impotent.
People are experiencing that they and their votes have no influence on the conduct of affairs of the country. This makes them afraid, frustrated, and angry, a combination of emotions that is dangerous to the ruling elite, who in response organize the powers of the state against the people, while urging them with propaganda to support more wars.
Roberts highlights the entrenchment of America’s status quo establishment, despite the many promises of change which bring successive administrations to power. Obama promised to get America out of Afghanistan and reverse the police state created by George W. Bush. Ultimately, he increased America’s military entanglements and expanded the police state. The title of an article by Roberts tidily sums up his assessment: “American democracy: A dead man walking.”7
An unelected, Deep State government
The best explanation for the death of American democracy lies in the fact that the country is ultimately governed by the Deep State. Wikispooks defines the Deep State as:
…(loosely synonymous with the shadow government or permanent government) is in contrast to the public structures which appear to be directing individual nation states. The deep state is an intensely secretive, informal, fluid network of deep politicians who conspire to amplify their influence over national governments through a variety of deep state milieux.8
Author and founder of the Rutherford Institute, John Whitehead describes the parallel covert operation and extensive reach of this hybrid, public-private entity.
As Lofgren reveals, this state within a state, “concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” is a “hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.
The Deep State not only holds the nation’s capital in thrall, but it also controls Wall Street (“which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater”) and Silicon Valley.9
It’s often been pointed out that both presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kenney warned Americans regarding the growing threat of the Deep State. Eisenhower specifically named the growing military industrial complex as a potential threat to America’s democracy. Kennedy’s November 12, 1961 speech to the American Newspaper Publisher’s Association, while more nuanced, warned of “a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence…”10 This could have been a subtle reference to the Deep State influences, which, according to some analyses, had him assassinated in November 1963.11
Until now, the Deep State has largely been submerged alligator-like below the water of the swamp. The US presidential election of 2016 and, seemingly a post election political struggle have riled the water and brought the alligator to the surface. Professor and attorney, Rahul Manchanda contends that we can now make out the identity of the players and the characteristics of Deep State actors that distinguish them from average American citizens.
The first of his seven defining characteristics is “an overwhelming desire to start WWIII”. The last is “a deep commitment to the Stasi-like police state with its attendant social engineering, manipulation of the judiciary and the courts, and complete and total control over the legislative (Congress and Senate), and if possible, domination and infiltration of the Executive Branch.”12 In a subsequent article, Manchanda elaborates on his point regarding Deep State control of the judiciary.
Many long-term surviving judges have reported that the Constitution intended that only elected lawmakers be permitted to create law, yet federal and state judges routinely and daily create their own law in the judicial system based on their own activism, personal opinions, corruption, bribery, and bias.
…The Deep State Plutocrat/Oligarch Elite control these financial purse-strings, and exercise this power on a daily basis, so that our body of law and jurisprudence is today, and at once, totally unrecognizable from the visions of the Founding Fathers and our first American courts.13
Seemingly, American assumptions regarding the integrity of their justice system are like that of the Empire itself, cherished illusions. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that that American Justice has become something of a marketplace where favourable verdicts may be bought or can be crafted to suit the occasion by artisan judges shaping verdicts as they are inclined.
Ironically, it is those who have been on the receiving end of the brute force of American imperialism who understand the Empire best. Syria’s President Assad describes the power of the Deep State and its control over US presidents in particular.
The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime which are the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making. The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, during and after his election campaign, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack. As we have seen in the past few weeks, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime.14
That pretty much sums it up doesn’t it.
Note: Some analysts differentiate between the Deep State and the more permanent and powerful structure of the Shadow Government.
Treasonous, (war) criminal presidents
Treason, simply defined, is the betrayal of one’s country. A closer look at official and hidden US history reveals that the country’s leaders have betrayed the country time and time again. It’s a pattern that continues to the present. Some expect that full disclosure of the events of 9/11 will reveal the US was betrayed by the country’s leaders. The 9/11 attack should be viewed as a pivotal point in US history for more than one reason.
Among other things, it provided a pretext for the so-called “war on terror” and an open-ended series of US-led regime changes abroad. It also provided the impetus for a shift of power from Congress and “the people” to the office of the president. The implications of that power shift continue to play out in both US domestic and foreign policy today.
George Bush’s Patriot Act (October 26, 2001) significantly expanded state and presidential powers. Among other things, the act provided the ability to detain immigrants indefinitely and to search homes and businesses without the owner or occupant’s knowledge or permission. And while Obama’s Freedom Act (2015) placed some constraints on NSA surveillance, the broad trajectory of national legislation has been toward a major expansion of government powers to spy on American citizens. These powers extend to the ability to monitor electronic communications with little oversight and to seize the business records of telecom companies.
Journalist, John Pilger contends that Obama’s most historic achievement was brining the war on democracy “home to America.” Pilger explains how anti-terrorism legislation puts American citizens, once considered innocent until proven guilty, at risk.
Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) granted the Pentagon “the legal right to kidnap both foreigners and US citizens and indefinitely detain, interrogate and torture, or even kill them. They need only “associate” with those “belligerent” to the United States. There will be no protection of law, no trial, no legal representation. This is the first explicit legislation to abolish habeas corpus (the right to due process of law) and effectively repeal the Bill of Rights of 1789.”
Pilger points out that President Obama can start wars abroad “at will” and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without any permission from Congress. This power extends to “arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory.“15 It sounds almost god-like, doesn’t it?
Loyal citizens of the empire cling desperately to their collective delusions regarding America’s moral superiority. The pretense is unsustainable, however in the face of the apparent criminality of America and its leaders. Paul Craig Roberts indicts four successive American presidents:
Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby committing two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime.16
A footnote on the subject of war crimes committed by US presidents is that on September 22, 2000, the district court in Belgrade handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for war crimes. The defendants, including Tony Blair, Robin Cook, George Richardson, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and nine others, were each sentenced to 20 years in a Yugoslav prison.17
In his 2005 Nobel speech, Harold Pinter comments on the relative silence regarding America’s criminality. He attributes the silence to America’s bold deceptiveness. And he notes, it has also enabled by the unthinking passivity of American citizens.
The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. ... Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties, but it's very comfortable.18
The hypocrisy demonstrated by America's political leaders is mind-warping. Even as their crimes are exposed to the world, they continue to point condemning, holier-than-thou fingers at the failings of foreign leaders who dare to object to America’s demands. Look more closely and you can detect the odour of the regime change propaganda is in the air. The nakedness of the emperors is increasingly apparent.
Compromised puppet politicians
You may have heard the cynical assessment to the effect that America has the best government that money can buy. You may have wondered how otherwise intelligent individuals can be turned into puppets. And, you might also have wondered if it’s a classic case of a few bad apples or something more systemic. Then there are the questions of who pulls the political strings and how?
There are different kinds of strings and a variety of string pullers controlling Washington’s puppets. One string is Gulf Petro dollars. Investigative reporters with the New York Times and the Nation have reported, “the Saudis, UAE and Qatar have been flooding the nation’s capital with greenbacks.”19 In June of 2016, Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia was quoted as saying that his country had financed 20% of the cost of Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.20 These funds no doubt went some distance in buying US support in the country’s war with Yemen and silence regarding its war crimes.
Turkey also has its fingers on the strings. It’s been described as the poster child when it comes to creating foreign lobbying opportunities for former members of both political parties. In recent years, Turkey has hired and “army of lobbyists” including a former house speaker, a former director of the CIA, former house members and former representatives.21
And when it comes to puppet masters, there is perhaps none more effective than Israel’s lobby group, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Phillip Geraldi describes AIPAC as a 1,600 pound gorilla.22 Could this be one of the reasons that Ariel Sharon, in 2001, was able to boast that, “We, the Jewish people, control America, and America knows it.”23 Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu also boasted about the pliability of America. He is quoted as stating: “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”24
The boast perhaps derives in part from the fact that AICPAC influence can end political careers, something that keeps a lot of members of congress attentive to Israel’s interests. But the controls are more elaborate than that. Former Georgia Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney was the first to publicly describe how the Israel lobby used one of its strings to control members of Congress.
According to McKinney, candidates in both the House and the Senate were asked to sign pledges of support for Israel. The pledge committed the signatory to vote to provide consistent levels of economic support to the Zionist state. The pledge also included a vow to support Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. And, there were consequences if a candidate didn’t sign. (She explained that the tactic changed after she made this one public.)
You make a commitment that you will vote to support the military superiority of Israel—the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that…
Every candidate for Congress at that time had a pledge, they were given a pledge to sign…If you don’t sign the pledge, you don’t get money.25
Israel may have even more powerful tools of persuasion at its disposal. Former US army officer, Jaochim Hagopian explains in some detail how billionaire Jeffrey Epstein frequently flew high profile politicians and lawyers on his private Jet, the “Lolita Express” to his Caribbean resort, “Lolita Island.” Some of those high profile people who came to the island to fulfill their sexual fantasies may not have realized their activities were video recorded. The videos serve as leverage to blackmail and extort these now-compromised individuals. This is a long standing CIA-Mossad run system designed for controlling powerful politicians.26
Multiple alternative media sources have described a connection between pedophilia and the political impotence of Washington politicians. One report by an individual identified as an anonymous Department of Homeland Security employee suggested that one out of three electors are compromised. The leaker explained the perverse relationship between pedophilia and a politician’s career success, saying that, “Politicians who have pedophile tendencies are groomed for power, because they can be later extorted and controlled.”27 The “one out of three” is consistent with an estimate provided by an anonymous on-line FBI leaker. This leaker stated that 30% of Washington DC’s politicians is compromised because of their links to elite child pedophilia rings.28
If these reports are accurate, they would certainly explain a lot of things that defy logic like the pathological desire to put Israel’s interests before America’s interests on the part of some members of Congress. See John McCain and Lindsay Graham dance.
Note: This is a probably a good juncture for some deep relaxation breathing, a walk outdoors or some playtime with the family pet.
A police state variety of policing
Suppose for a moment, that you read that somewhere, citizens who dared to resist the police or question an order were “being subjected to all sorts of government-sanctioned abuse ranging from forced catheterization, forced blood draws, roadside strip searches and cavity searches, and other foul and debasing acts that degrade their bodily integrity and leave them bloodied and bruised.” And reading further you learned the children, “as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, tasered and held at gun point for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike—i.e., not being compliant enough.” You would probably conclude that these were reports of police abuses occurring in some third world dictatorship. And you’d be wrong. These are abuses reported to be occurring daily in America.29
Here’s how Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief described the state of policing in America today.
Policing is broken... It has evolved as a paramilitary, bureaucratic, organizational arrangement that distances police officers from the communities they’ve been sworn to protect and serve. When we have shooting after shooting after shooting that most people would define as at least questionable, it’s time to look, not just at a few bad apples, but the barrel. And I’m convinced that it is the barrel that is rotted.
There are several ominous signs and symptoms pointing to the emergence of an American police state. John W. Whitehead, author of Battlefield America: The war on the American people (2014) contends that policing in America has departed from the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. One ominous sign that something’s wrong with policing is simply it’s expanding size. The police force in America has grown into what reporter David Feige describes as “a vast army of 800,000 people with general arrest powers and increasingly armed with automatic weapons and automatic vehicles” to enforces its will.30
This isn’t the only number that should raise concerns. Here are a few other numbers supportive of Whitehead’s assertion that a police state has emerged.
50,000: the number of people admitted to emergency each year for treatment of injuries inflicted by the police.31
5,000: The number of Americans killed by cops since 9/11.32
963: The number of people killed by police in 2016.33
70: That’s how many times the US police-related deaths are higher than any of the other first world countries.34
There are several explanations for the current “broken” state of policing in America, including its increasingly brutal nature. The most plausible reason is police force mindset/culture, training and weaponry. As to the first, a strict “law and order” mentality absent accountability has contributed to what has been described by some critics as a war against the people. Journalist, Daniel Biers believes that inevitably when cops are told over and over that they’re “in a war, under siege or under attack and the citizens are the enemy, it will give rise to an atmosphere of fear, tension, and hostility, it’s going to turn out badly for citizens.”35
Paul Craig Roberts offers another explanation. Roberts cites the training of US police by either Israelis or Americans trained by Israelis. He points out that the practices of Israeli soldiers come from occupying a hostile Palestinian population unwilling to accept the theft of their land and isolation in what Roberts calls “ghetto enclaves.” 36 Certainly, the intimidating practices of an occupying army are not consistent with the fifties motto of the LAPD police department: “To protect and serve.”
Whitehead flags the role the federal government in the militarization of policing, specifically as it relates to the use of military equipment. In Whitehead’s assessment, the federal government has turned the police into extensions of the military by distributing “billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment to local police agencies” enhanced by federal grants for militarized training and SWAT teams.
Radley Balko, writing in the Washington Post, goes farther and suggests what ultimately lies behind the brutality of police tactics.
We’ve reached the point where state actors can penetrate rectums and vaginas, where judges can order forced catheterizations, and where police and medical personnel can perform scans, enemas and colonoscopies without the suspect’s consent. … In most of these cases, they were suspected only of possession or ingestion. Many of them were innocent… But these tactics aren’t about getting drugs off the street… These tactics are instead about degrading and humiliating a class of people that politicians and law enforcement have deemed the enemy (author’s italic).37
Looking ahead, I see no sign that the relentless march toward a police state model of policing will be halted soon. To borrow a familiar phrase, it’s likely going to get worse before its gets better. For one, the mechanisms for bringing about increased accountability on the part of police forces are apparently out of order. Second, those in positions of power and able to demand change appear to be unconcerned, and in fact, see the situation in very different terms. It’s said that President Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions sees no problem with policing in America. And Trump, rather than being alarmed about the abuses, refers to a “dangerous anti-policing atmosphere” in America as wrong and has vowed to “end it.”
This analysis is at odds with the fact that statistically being a cop in America is safer than it has ever been. According to Newsweek, “it’s safer to be a cop than it is to simply live in many U.S. cities... It’s safer to be a cop than it is to be a fisher, logger, pilot, roofer, miner, trucker or taxi driver. It’s safer to be a cop today than it’s been in years, decades, or even a century, by some measures.”38
What’s going to hold back the tide of an advancing police state when the country’s leadership sees the expanding police force as a victim rather than the perpetrator of crimes against the American people? It doesn’t sound like it will be the Trump administration.
In the dystopian world described by George Orwell in his classic book, 1984, the eyes of Big Brother see everywhere. There are helicopters hovering in the sky, “telescreens” in homes and offices listening to every conversation, and hordes of thought police reporting the slightest signs of resistance. The image of Big Brother on the back of a coin prompts some reflection on the part of Winston, the story’s main character, “Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you…. Nothing was your own except a few cubic centimeters in your head.”39
It’s a haunting thought. As chilling as it is, I wonder if the citizen’s the Empire today are either surprised or troubled by this image of total state surveillance. If they aren’t, I suspect they are ignorant or cowed by the convenient dictum that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.
Big Brother America has been rapidly ramping up surveillance capabilities since 9/11, all in the name of preventing terrorism of course. I speak here of a terrorism that is mostly of the Empire’s invention. Some of the Empire’s “achievements” in the realm of surveillance include drones the size of bees, an immense database of citizen images useful for facial recognition purposes and the ability to track every keystroke of a an individual’s computer. Then there’s the much-heralded smart home. Someone has darkly joked that in the future, our refrigerators could provide critical evidence that could convict us of a crime. But, I’m not laughing. Add the fact that research work is underway to figure how to hack human consciousness, and you have the makings of a dystopian future even more oppressive than the harried existence of Watson portrayed in 1984.
Recently, sixteen year Congressman, Dennis Kucinich offered this analysis regarding the significance of the leak of the contents of Vault 7.
It is bad enough that the government spies on its own people. It is equally bad that the CIA, through its incompetence, has opened the cyberdoor to anyone with the technological skills and connections to spy on anyone else. The constant erosion of privacy at the hands of the government and corporations has annihilated the concept of a “right to privacy,” which is embedded in the rationale of the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It is becoming increasingly clear that we are sliding down the slippery slope toward totalitarianism, where private lives do not exist.40
The march toward total surveillance of citizens’ movements, communication, commercial and financial activity has been unrelenting, despite critics’ concerns. It’s noteworthy that the expansion of government access to private information continued right through Obama’s last days in office.41 The next assault on our privacy is on the horizon. It’s been reported that US border agents have demanded access to the computers and social media accounts of visitors affected by President Trump’s limited travel ban. And on a related note, the head of the Department of Homeland Security has proposed forcing all “non-U.S. citizens to surrender their web browsing history, devices, and social media passwords before entering the country.”42
Among its peers in the West, Britain leads the way in imposing the most intrusive of surveillance systems on it own citizens. Seemingly, the government has assumed it has the right to monitor and surveil the live communication of British citizens at will. Legislation was passed in April of 2017 that enables police to shut down mobile phone communications at will of anyone even suspected of being associated with a crime. Graham Vanbergen, contributing editor at TruePublica.Org (UK) contends civil liberties and human rights are being systematically dismantled in his country under the false pretext of improving security.43
Such intrusions have consequences. Kali Holloway, writing in AlterNet, describes the measurable effects of increased surveillance of Americans. She reports that a Washington Post researcher, Jonathon Penny found that traffic to Wikipedia pages dealing with terrorism declined markedly after the Snowden files revealed the extent of NSA spying on Americans. The researcher concluded that ordinary citizens are less likely to engage in perfectly legal activities for fear of drawing unwanted government attention. The same chilling effect can be seen in the practices of professionals. It appears that journalists and lawyers are increasingly adopting methods of communicating with their sources that are less likely to leave a digital trail.
All the indicators are pointing to declining freedom in America. Professor Elizabeth Stoycheff points out that America now ranks 49th globally in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. Ponder the fact that Burkina Faso and Niger scored higher. Stoycheff’s research on the impact of government surveillance on citizens reveals that in general people holding minority opinions are less likely to speak out on-line if they held minority opinions.
Holloway’s troubling conclusion is that government surveillance tamps down personal expression, squelches dissent and promotes groupthink.44 It’s not exactly what the world needs now.
So there are concrete reasons then why democracy is dying. It’s not just that extreme surveillance that has hobbled our curiosity, suffocated political discourse and herded us into the corral of groupthink. There’s been a concerted effort by the PTB to constrain dissent. And, as you may recall, Robert Parry attributed the loss of professional objectivity and the decline of trust to careerism. Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’s a powerful and deadly combination.
Canada, the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand are members of an international spies club, the Five Eyes Alliance (FVEY). Edward Snowden leaked documents in 2013 which revealed that the FVEY had been spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the information with each other. This was a way of getting around domestic regulations that limited an agency’s spying on its citizens.45
Canada’s spy agency, CSIS was rebuked by the federal court, in 2016, for illegally retaining since 2001, what is called “associated data.” This is data from people not linked to particular investigations. CSIS obscured details of its operations from the court on two previous occasions.46 Critics suggest that the ruling demonstrates that CSIS is largely unaccountable. On a somewhat related note, it was reported in November 2016 that police in the Province of Quebec had secretly tracked the phone calls of at least six reporters in 2013.47 Scratch beneath the surface and you are likely to find spy and policing cultures are equally susceptible to the seductive of the “end-justifies-the-means” thinking.
There’s a general pattern that seems to play out in the testy relationship between security agencies and their government overseers. The agencies breach their boundaries, are caught, appear penitent and commit to play within their sandbox. Some time elapses, the incident fades in the public memory and then the cycle repeats itself with the agency pushing the boundaries out farther each time.
We once had a dog that played a game like this like on the farm. When he was rarely allowed in the house, he was restricted to the kitchen. When the family went to the living room, he naturally wanted to follow. But he was smart enough to strategically position himself half way across the threshold of the door to the living room and ever so gradually inch his way forward when no one was looking. When he was spotted, he would inch back but never quite go back to his starting point. Two inches forward and one back. That’s the formula.
This pattern has been playing out for decades. In 1975, a committee chaired by US Senator Frank Church investigated intelligence abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).48 Senator Church prophetically warned that at some future point, the security apparatus of the state could turn on the American people.
[The National Security Agency's] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is their capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.49
To address the concerns surfaced by the committee, the US Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. The Act was intended to provide oversight of covert intelligence activities while providing the secrecy necessary to protect national security.
Blogger, Scott Alfred describes the erosion of the protections provided to American citizens by FISA. Among other things, the NSA compromised Fourth Amendment protections in the name of combating terrorism. In recent years, the evidence has emerged that the NSA has engaged in “over collection” of domestic communications of Americans. While previous evidence suggested the surveillance was incidental, the NSA’s new wiretapping and spying was described by officials and briefed lawyers as “significant and systemic.”
An amendment to FISA in 2008 formally allowed the NSA to eavesdrop on phone calls and emails of ordinary Americans without properly justified warrants. And companies that co-operated with the government were absolved from liability. This meant that telecommunications companies could grant the government access to their private records of customer data with impunity.
In 2013, Americans learned that the NSA forced Verizon to release all phone records on an “ongoing, daily basis.” It was shortly after, news of the NSA’s PRISM, a program designed to tap companies for extensive email and electronic communication records, became public.50
In retrospect, it’s clear that 9/11 was a gift to Big Brother, if not a false flag of its own orchestration. The presumed terrorist attack provided fresh justification for an expansion and intensification of domestic surveillance. The very concerns outlined by Senator Church have now been realized. The protections of the FISA have been stripped away, and America’s security apparatus has turned directly on the country’s citizens.
You might be wondering if there are honest men and women employed by these agencies. Undoubtedly, there are. The routine partitioning of assignments given to those working in the lower ranks of these services effectively means they are blind to the causes they are serving. Increasingly, those that are aware their efforts are being stalled and stymied by superiors, are leaking information to the independent media. They see where the figurative train is headed and they don’t like it. It may be that or in some cases, the individual has had a pang of conscience. These folks are the allies of truth seekers in the truth revolution. If America and the world is to enjoy a peaceful and secure future, the rogue elements of the security complex must be exposed and confronted. The evidence provided by the whistleblowers and leakers is indispensable in this mission.
Ah, but you may be thinking, at least, US citizens can have some confidence in America’s electoral process. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, but the mythology persists.
When it comes to electoral integrity, the US was ranked dead last among developed nations in a report from the Electoral Integrity Project. The report compiles the assessments of experts called upon to evaluate “the perceived integrity of 180 national parliamentary and presidential contests held between July 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015 in 39 countries worldwide.” The United States scored 62 in comparison with Estonia (79) Rwanda (64) and the Republic of Korea (77)51
Political analyst and independent journalist, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts contends that rigged, and thus stolen, elections are in fact an American tradition. He adds that electronic balloting makes it easy. Roberts cites some examples.
Elections are stolen at every level—state, local, and federal. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s theft of the Chicago and, thereby, Illinois vote for John F. Kennedy is legendary. The Republican US Supreme Court’s theft of the 2000 presidential election from Al Gore by preventing the Florida vote recount is another legendary example.52
Investigative reporter, Robert Parry, highlights some of the more flagrant political maneuvers and fraudulent election activities in US history starting with the enactment of the US constitution.
1787: Enactment of US constitution: Slaves counted as three fifths of a person.
1800: Votes of Southern slave owners like Thomas Jefferson counted for more than the votes of Northern slave owners.
Post civil war: blacks given right to vote but whites in Confederate states concocted subterfuges to keep blacks away from poles, a factor until 1965.
1972: Richard Nixon’s Watergate break-in.
1960 election: challenger creates foreign crisis to create advantage over incumbent.
1968: Richard Nixon conspired to sabotage Johnson’s Viet Nam piece talks.
1980: Reagan covertly made deal with Iran to not release hostages during Carter’s bid for re-election.
2000: Citizen’s judgment overturned by judges to give a win to George Bush versus real winner, Al Gore.53
Parry concludes that contrary to popular belief, the US political process is “not democracy’s “gold standard.” He adds that the failure to honestly face up to its failures and to impose accountability on the cheaters ensures more of the same.
Finally, no account of the abuses of US electoral politics is complete without some reference to the impact of the 2010 Citizens United court decision on campaign funding. The US Supreme Court ruled that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by companies, labor unions and certain types of non-profit corporations. It appears that this decision opened up the financing of US elections, to a large degree, to US oligarchs. According to some observers, one of the most significant developments was a reported surge of “dark money” – secret cash funneled into US elections via politically active non-profit organizations.54
Thus far, our analysis of the state of the Empire has revealed that beneath the surface of the Empire, there is evidence of advanced corruption and decay. Thus, the reference to an Empire of Lies.” To summarize, this investigations has revealed:
It may not be apparent on the surface, but thus far the evidence reveals a "conquered" American Empire. A thinly-disguised totalitarian order masquerades as democracy. America has been sold out by compromised, treasonous leaders. Like a once healthy, but now sickly tree, it is severely infested by powerful parasitic interests and in an advanced state of rot. The invaders are slowly but surely killing the host. Paul Craig Roberts, who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, punctures the "America" illusion.
“America is a lost country. The total corruption of every public and private institution is complete. Nothing remains but tyranny. And lies. Endless lies.”55
It’s time to take a long walk.
1 Fabricating the American worldview, May 15, 2017, Counterpunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/15/fabricating-the-american-worldview
2 Princeton Study: U.S. no longer a democracy, TPM Livewire, April 18, 2014, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/princeton-experts-say-us-no-longer-democracy
3 Citibank chose Obama’s 2008 cabinet – Wikileaks, October 31, 2016, http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2016/10/31/1010556-citigroup-bank-chose-obamas-2008-cabinet-wikileaks/
4 Where have all the lobbyists gone, The Nation, February 19, 2014, https://www.thenation.com/article/shadow-lobbying-complex/
5 Banks lobbyists help in drafting financial bills, Dealbook, May 23, 2013, https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/banks-lobbyists-help-in-drafting-financial-bills/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130524
6 Can Capitalism and Democracy co-exist, Interview with S. Wolin, The Real News, YouTube, October 21, 2014, http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9175.html
7 American democracy: a dead man walking, Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for political economy, May 2, 2017, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/05/02/american-democracy-dead-man-walking/
8 Aristocracy deceive public about Deep State, Strategic Culture, February 23, 2017, http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/23/aristocracy-deceives-public-about-deep-state.html
9 The path to total dictatorship: America’s shadow government and its silent coup, The Rutherford Institute, October 24, 2016, https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_path_to_total_dictatorship_americas_shadow_government_and_its_sile
10 JFK: The last president to tell the truth about Illuminati, YouTube, February 26-12, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JdrhJKfNq0
11 JFK was murdered by the Deep State, LewRockwell.com, October 3, 2014, https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/no_author/jfk-was-murdered-by-the-deep-state/
12 Deep State members and their agents are slowly revealing themselves, Veterans News Now, April 1, 2017, http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2017/04/01/deep-state-members-and-their-agents-are-slowly-revealing-themselves/
13 Deep State control of American courts and judiciary, Veterans Today, January 2, 2017, http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2017/01/02/deep-state-control-of-the-american-courts-and-judiciary/
14 Syria’s Assad just explained how the U.S. really works,
Information Clearing House, May 27, 2017, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47138.htm
15 The world war on democracy – John Pilger, TruPublica, March 26-16, http://truepublica.org.uk/global/world-war-democracy-john-pilger/
16 A government of morons, Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for political economy, April 15, 2017, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/15/a-government-of-morons/
17 Lawyers serve indictment on NATO leaders for war crimes, The Global Politics, May 13, 2017, http://global-politics.eu/2017/05/13/lawyers-serve-indictment-nato-leaders-war-crimes/
18 Fabricating the American worldview, Counterpunch, May 15, 2017, http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/15/fabricating-the-american-worldview/
19 Stop taking Saudi money, Washington, Observer, September 29, 2014, http://observer.com/2014/09/stop-taking-saudi-money-washington/
20 Saudi Arabia has funded 20% of Hillary’s presidential campaign, Saudi crown prince claims, Zerohedge, June 14, 2016, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-13/saudi-arabia-has-funded-20-hillarys-presidential-campaign-saudi-crown-prince-claims
21 Want to be a ‘foreign agent’? Serve in Congress first, Politico, February 10, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/congress-foreign-lobbying-228982
22 AICPAC vetoes UN resolution on Israeli settlements, Veterans Today, February 23, 2011, http://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2011/02/23/philip-giraldi-aipac-vetos-u-n-resolution-on-israeli-settlements-u-s-casts-the-actual-ballot/
23 Israel control of USA (and Canadian) government, http://whale.to/c/israel_control_usa.html
24 Netanyahu in 2001: ‘America is a thing you can move very easily, Huffington Post, July 16, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/16/netanyahu-in-2001-america_n_649427.html
25 Cynthia McKinney drops bombshell: Candidates to sign pledges of support for “Israel”, ronaldwederfoort, November 19, 2012, https://ronaldwederfoort.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/cynthia-mckinney-drops-bombshell-candidates-to-sign-pledges-of-support-for-israel/
26 Power, pedophilia and the US government, Veteran’s Today, February 7, 2015, http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/02/07/power-pedophilia-and-the-us-government/
27 Huge interview with DHS insider, talks about #PedoGate and much more (with transcript), The Event Chronicle, February 17, 2017, http://www.theeventchronicle.com/breaking-news/breaking-huge-exclusive-interview-dhs-insider-talks-pedogate-much-transcript/#
28 27 FBI: 30% of Washington DC part of elite pedo ring, The Event Chronicle, February 6, 2017, http://www.theeventchronicle.com/cabal-exposed/fbi-30-washington-dc-part-elite-pedo-ring/
29 Run for your life: The American police state is coming to get you, Strategic Culture Foundation, April 22, 2017, http://m.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/04/22/run-your-life-american-police-state-coming-get-you.html
30 The iron jaws of the police state, Trump’s America is a constitution free zone, Newsbud, April 27, 2017, https://www.newsbud.com/2017/04/27/the-iron-jaws-of-the-police-state-trumps-america-is-a-constitution-free-zone/
31 US emergency department encounters for law enforcement-associated injury, 2006-2012, The Jama Network, April 19, 2017, http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/article-abstract/2619243
32 Ferguson: No justice in the American police State, Paul Craig Roberts, August 21, 2014, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/08/21/ferguson-justice-american-police-state-paul-craig-roberts/
33 Fatal force, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/
34 American cops just killed more people in March than the UK did in the entire 20th Century, The Free Thought Project, April 6, 2015, http://thefreethoughtproject.com/american-cops-killed-people-month-march-uk-entire-20th-century/
35 The iron jaws of the police state: Trump’s America is a constitution-free zone, Newsbud, April 17, 2017, https://www.newsbud.com/2017/04/27/the-iron-jaws-of-the-police-state-trumps-america-is-a-constitution-free-zone/
36 Police murder because they are trained to murder, Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for a political economy, July 11, 2016, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/11/police-murder-because-they-are-trained-to-murder-paul-craig-roberts/
37 If this is freedom and democracy, what is tyranny, Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for political economy, April 20, 2017, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/20/freedom-democracy-tyranny/
38 The iron jaws of the police state: Trump’s America is a constitution-free zone, The Rutherford Institute, April 25, 2017, https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_iron_jaws_of_the_police_state_trumps_america_is_a_constitution_fre
39 1984, George Orwell, Penguin Books, 1949, P. 29.
40 16 year congressman: CIA leak shows we’re “sliding down the slippery slope toward Totalitarianism, where private lives do not exist, Blacklisted News, March 9, 2017, http://www.blacklistednews.com/16_Year_Congressman%3A_CIA_Leak_Shows_We%E2%80%99re_%E2%80%9CSliding_Down_the_Slippery_Slope_Toward_Totalitarianism%2C_Where_Private_Lives_Do_Not_Exist%E2%80%9D/57232/0/38/38/Y/M.html
41 Obama expands spy agencies’ access to private data – just in time for Trump, Common Dreams, January 13, 2017, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/13/obama-expands-spy-agencies-access-private-data-just-time-trump
42 Homeland security chief wants US visitors to surrender passwords, Vocativ, February 8, 2017, http://www.vocativ.com/400896/trump-homeland-security-passwords/
43 Britain’s intrusive surveillance system. Threat to civil liberties and human rights, Global Research, May 9, 2017, http://www.globalresearch.ca/britains-intrusive-surveillance-system-threat-to-civil-liberties-and-human-rights/5589275
44 The nefarious surveillance state dangerously inhibits self-expression and a healthy democracy, AlterNet, May 21, 2016, http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/nefarious-surveillance-state-dangerously-inhibits-self-expression-and-healthy
45 Five Eyes, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes
46 In scathing ruling, Federal Court says CSIS bulk data collection illegal, The Globe and Mail, November 3, 2016, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/in-scathing-ruling-federal-court-says-csis-bulk-data-collection-illegal/article32669448/
47 Six reporters spied on by Quebec provincial police, CBC News, November 2, 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-journalists-police-spying-1.3833507
48 Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, (the Church Committee), United States Senate, https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/investigations/ChurchCommittee.htm
49 Senator Church’s prophetic warning, Washington’s Blog, April 22, 2012, http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/influential-senator-warned-in-1975-the-national-security-agencys-capability-at-any-time-could-be-turned-around-on-the-american-people-and-no-american-would-have-any-privacy-left.html
50 NSA domestic spying: A history of abuse. FreedomWorks, October 7, 2013, http://www.freedomworks.org/content/nsa-domestic-spying-history-abuse
51 The electoral integrity report, New year in elections report, 2015, https://sites.google.com/site/electoralintegrityproject4/projects/expert-survey-2/the-year-in-elections-2015
52 Rigged elections are an American tradition, Paul Craig Roberts Institute for political economy, October 21-16, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/10/21/rigged-elections-are-an-american-tradition-paul-craig-roberts/
53 The modern history of “rigged” US elections, Consortiumnews, October 27, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/27/the-modern-history-of-rigged-us-elections/
54 12 ways ‘Citizens United’ changed politics, Moyers and Company, January 22, 2015, http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/22/12-ways-citizens-united-changed-politics/
55 America destroyed, Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for Political Economy, July 3, 2016, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/03/america-destroyed-paul-craig-roberts/
Futurescapes21C, 2018 All Rights Reserved
For the better part of the last four decades, I have been encouraging people and organizations to anticipate the shape of their futures and plan accordingly. It can be daunting, but it can also be immensely practical. It can be as practical as using a set of binoculars to scope out a distant slope when hiking or winterizing your car before winter’s onslaught. Organizations that develop foresight capabilities are, among other things, creating a kind of organizational radar. This enables them to integrate discernible elements of tomorrow into today’s strategies and decisions.