Propaganda 104 Supplemental: Just Because You’ve Forgotten Doesn’t Mean You’re Forgiven

lies-truthby Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

“Darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it is simply its absence.” – Terry Pratchett

As we’ve previously discussed in the Propaganda Series, The Sound of Silence, propaganda is not always language or images. Sometimes it is the lack of words. It is just as important to “listen to what is not said” as it is to “listen to what is said”. Sometimes though, propagandists try to time travel. They employ a tactic in an attempt to change the present by attempting to change the past. I say “attempt” for reasons that will be clear soon enough.

The_Time_Machine_Classics_Illustrated_133When a propagandist tries to pull off this particular trick, they don’t need a fancy machine or a black hole or a magic potion as is the staple trope of science fiction and fantasy time travel. They need nothing more complicated than a pen or a typewriter. In the present, a word processor and some basic HTML coding skills will serve that purpose. Maybe Photoshop or GIMP. When a propagandist tries to change the present by changing the past, they don’t call it time travel.  No. They don’t call it anything, because they really hope you don’t notice what they are doing. Silence will work often, but they are not above a bit of misdirection. Well executed propaganda does, after all, have much in common with stage magic.

When we citizens and media consumers catch their slight of hand, we don’t call it time travel either. We call it historical revisionism. Just this week, the Obama Administration was caught red-handed doing precisely that in relation to the Edward Snowden case.

First, let us consider what exactly is historical revisionism. Is the term itself value loaded language? Is it always a bad thing? Is it always propaganda? The term in common usage certainly has a connotative meaning that is not the same as its denotative meaning.  As with the word “propaganda“, the connotative meaning is usually pejorative and implies lies, falsehoods and distortions of past events. Also like the word “propaganda”, the term “historical revisionism” has a larger denotative meaning that may or may not be value loaded.

At one level, historical revisionism is simply a scholarly endeavor to rewrite history based on new research or theories that either modify or contradict earlier historical writings. There is nothing wrong with that. Historical revisionism in that context performs a valuable function in the study of history although it is usually hotly challenged within academia as history is an often soft social science where the status quo holds a lot of sway. That challenging environment is also not a bad process by connotation as the process itself of claim and counterclaim often results in a refinement of both theory and the understanding of new evidence in context as well as eliminating false assertions and whole cloth fabrications from being incorporated into our understanding of history as fact.  Even so, the study of history faces certain challenges in addition to access to new data. There is (what I find to be most interesting) the challenge that new information from other fields of science present. Genetics, paleoclimatology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, chemistry . . . even astronomy – all can, do and have changed our understanding of history.  There is also some psychological and intellectual challenges to the study of history that can impact historical revisionism.  In fact, there are two logical fallacies that historians often fall prey to: the eponymous Historian’s fallacy – when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision – and presentism – where present-day ideas, such as moral standards, are projected into the past. Historians also have to contend with the context of the society in which they live.  Contemporaneously popular ideology and culture may skew historical revisionism as can political considerations like nationalism. However, as useful as historical revisionism as an academic endeavor can be, it has a dark side and that dark side can most often be seen in how contemporaneous ideology, culture and politics can make history a lie about the past designed to serve the present.

NaziFlagThis kind of historical revisionism is what most think of when they use the term as a pejorative. There is a special word for this kind of manifestly bad historical revisionism – negationism. Derived from the French term négationnisme, which means Holocaust denial, the basic idea applies to more than just Holocaust denial, but to making anything a “never was”. This is basic denial as a propaganda strategy/tactic.  Negationism also includes the propaganda strategy/tactics of deception, distortion, relativism and trivialization, very often executed to varying degrees as part of the same campaign. The Nazis engaged in wholesale historical revisionism in the form of book burning, altering history and science texts to provide examples of “Aryan superiority”, distorting their history and the history of the Jews and Roma to provide relativistic rationales for their persecution and to trivialize the true scale and horrific deeds done in the campaign of genocide they called “The Final Solution”. This suite of tactics is not unique to the Germans.  The Chinese did the same thing during the Cultural Revolution. The Japanese did (and still do) teach revisionist history about the events leading to World War II. The Soviets made historical revisionism into a propaganda art form. In America, we teach grade school and high school kids a sanitized version of American history that does a great disservice to the truths of the effective genocidal campaigns against the Native American peoples.

Clearly, historical revisionism is a value loaded term and, while it can be a good thing for the academic pursuit of history, it can be as a political practice a very dangerous very damaging form of propaganda.

President_Barack_ObamaIn 2008, Obama had a website that detailed his vision for reform.  Until very recently, this website was linked to on the White House official website and provided a valuable tool for comparing Obama’s promises to his performance. According to the Sunlight Foundation, that website in that form could last be viewed on June 8, 2013.  Remember that date.  It’s about to be relevant. That link to Obama’s agenda and promises is no longer on the White House website and the Change.gov of today is this non-comment of a splash page with a link to http://change.gov/content/home that returns a blank page reading :

Sorry, File Not Found: 404

Invalid URL /content/home

http://change.gov

All of the website’s pages are now and have only recently become inaccessible from the site. What was the Obama Administration so interested in making disappear? What needed to be never was? Perhaps they wanted to remove all record of Obama’s campaign promise to strengthen protections for whistleblowers. In case you don’t recall, his promise, once found in the Agenda/Ethics section of Change.gov, went like this:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.”

June 8, 2013 was two days after the first revelations were made about the NSA’s phone surveillance program by the then unrevealed Edward Snowden.

Apparently the Obama Administration and their flunkies have no idea how technology really works, but you can’t be held accountable for a promise you made if you (try to) erase all record of it, can you? That’s the whole point of making something never was. Unfortunately for them and their propagandist historical revisionist tactic but fortunately for actual history, memory in the digital age is persistent. The original home page for Change.gov can be seen here and the original content of the Agenda/Ethics page (quoted above) can be seen here.

As noted by Luke Johnson at the Huffington Post, “Prior to the Snowden leaks but after Pfc. Bradley Manning gave classified information to WikiLeaks, the Obama administration launched the Insider Threat program to combat leaks, in part by asking coworkers to keep a close eye on their fellow employees. The program also ordered more protections for those who use proper channels, but four national security whistleblowers have said that they became targets of Justice Department investigations after bringing concerns to the Department of Defense Inspector General.”

I think historical revisionism as a political propaganda methodology is in many ways worse than a simple lie.

Was this an attempt at historical revisionism in the most pejorative sense?

Is there another explanation that defies the timeline of removal?

Could there be other promises made they wish to “never was” in addition to the promised protection for whistleblowers?

What do you think?

Source(s): Huffington Post, Wikipedia, Change.gov, The Wayback Machine Web Archive (1, 2), Sunlight Foundation, http://www.mcclatchydc.com, Firedoglake

The Propaganda Series;
Propaganda 105: How to Spot a Liar
Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Streisand Effect and the Political Question
Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Sound of Silence
Propaganda 104: Magica Verba Est Scientia Et Ars Es
Propaganda 103: The Word Changes, The Word Remains The Same
Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Get ‘Em Young
Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Holly Would “Zero Dark Thirty”
Propaganda 102: Holly Would and the Power of Images
Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Child’s Play
Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Build It And They Will Come (Around)
Propaganda 101: What You Need to Know and Why or . . .

Related articles of interest;

Mythology and the New Feudalism by Mike Spindell
How about Some Government Propaganda for the People Paid for by the People Being Propagandized? by Elaine Magliaro
Is Freedom of the Press Dead? by Lawrence E. Rafferty

~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

105 thoughts on “Propaganda 104 Supplemental: Just Because You’ve Forgotten Doesn’t Mean You’re Forgiven

  1. Excellent….. Nunc pro tunc…. I guess we’re not as transparent as we were told Obama is or was going to be…. Scrubbing web pages….. Wonderful…. Who’d thought…. I guess the King George’s would be very pleased….. Obama is finishing up what Bush started….and got Nixon tossed out of office…. Again, excellent article…. I can’t wait to see what Jill has to say…..

  2. Gene H:

    Here’s the one I’ve been waiting for. Great topic and tour de force as usual. This is one to bookmark!

    BTW if you or OS or any of the other weekend bloggers get a chance I’ve got an unfinished draft of Installment 3 of the American Jury series in the blog hopper. I’d appreciate any critique any of you would care to share on this one or either of the other two. I’m trying to be concise but its not as easy as the rest of you make it seem.

  3. Thanks, Mark. I’m glad you liked it.

    I took a look at that draft and e-mailed a couple of suggestions. I hope they’re helpful and flattered you asked. :D

  4. Wowie! Thanks for bringing this up & recording the facts. BO has gradually morphed from a seemingly good guy to the worst president one could have!

  5. Mark,
    I will be glad to look at it on the morrow. I am fading fast and about to turn in. I can barely write a sentence and get both a verb and subject in it, much less read critically as an editor. Ever get so tired your fingers won’t cooperate on the keyboard?

  6. Gene,

    In a sense this is the last straw regarding Obama. I see it this way because up to this point it would be reasonable (though untrue) to defend the actions of his administration as possibly the result of a different viewpoint on national security, which though falacious was done with misguided “good intent”. By this act of “historical revisionism” coming from an Administration still in power we see an active propaganda function as oppressive in intent as satired in Animal farm.

    It reminds of a seen from a Woody Allen movie where his wife finds him in bed with his mistress, who gets dressed hurriedly and leaves right in front of his wife’s eyes. Woody all this time keeps telling his wife she’s imagined everything. In the end withe the mistress gone the wife just stares confusedly at the camera. Fade out.

    We are like that wife, sold a bunch of lies to elect him and now being told the promises were never made.

  7. Gene,
    Propaganda: a subject close to my heart. It pays well too. I just discovered a story about the right wing Propagandist-in-Chief, Dr. Frank Luntz. I think I am in the wrong business. Just a few minutes ago, I discovered a news story, with pictures, of his humble abode. The photos are a slide show, so you have to wait for them to scroll. I like money as well as the next person, but like the song title by Meat Loaf says, “I Won’t Do That.” I have my limits.

    Frank’s house and his museum quality collectables at the link.

    http://www.lamag.com/lastyle/lalookbook/2013/06/13/all-the-presidents-man

  8. Mark,

    Been drinking mezcal all evening and I’m not in shape to read it tonight. However, the first two have been superb and I have no doubt this will follow suit. Publish it, I can’t wait.

  9. I see the White House and the DoD have been less than forthcoming about endless war too. Last spring, Obama made a speech saying the U.S. is at war with, “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.” However, follow up questions since then regarding exactly who the “associated forces” might be, the Department of Defense has told reporters they cannot release that information because it’s a secret.

    Let me get this straight. The President of the United States says we are at war with somebody or something, but they cannot tell us who it is? Have I got that right? We are at war, but naming the enemy is a state secret?

    Grace Slick was prophetic. We have fallen into the rabbit hole.

  10. Travelling Limey,

    He gets away with as much as his four predecessors and they’ve all done much harm.

  11. One of the “classical” revisionist tales is Michael Parenti’s “The Assassination Of Julius Caesar.”

    It is a good read as it exposes the dichotomy between Gibbon’s classic texts — which defines basic consensus of Roman history — and another possible interpretation of a small, but critical, moment in western history.

    In both, the Gracchi land reforms were defeated — which leads to Parenti’s thesis and the fundamental motivation of Julius Caesar in returning from Germania and his crossing of the Rubicon.

    History is unfortunately post-interpretation at its base, filtered through the needs of cultural validity so as to justify any current cultural standing.

    There are facts that cannot be disputed in any historical venue, but the telling of said is most generally propaganda.

  12. Well done Gene. The “Ignore the man behind the curtain” tactic will not work in the Internet age. At least if we keep repeating the truth.
    OS, you gotta love Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane!

  13. And a toast with Victory Gin, to you, Gene.

    “It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday, [Winston Smith] reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.” — George Orwell, 1984

    When Americans can’t even remember what they thought they knew twenty-four hours ago, it would seem a safe bet for Big Brother to assume that they couldn’t come close to recalling what they thought he had said to them five years ago.

    “The past not only changed, but changed continuously. …”

  14. Excellent post. But I fear you are preaching to the choir. With the major news media (including Fox) on Mr. O’s side the majority will never realize what is happening. The major news casters that make their $ Millions will not turn on any administration for fear of loosing their cozy relationship. I have no doubt that should a Hitler or Stalin be running our country, NBC, CBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox would be right their on their coattails echoing the party line of the day.

  15. Was this an attempt at historical revisionism in the most pejorative sense?

    Is there another explanation that defies the timeline of removal?

    Could there be other promises made they wish to “never was” in addition to the promised protection for whistleblowers?

    What do you think?

    Yes. No.Yes.

  16. Gene H,

    To your point:

    It is just as important to “listen to what is not said” as it is to “listen to what is said”.

    The Wayback Machine can often be used to see where the propaganda is going, as you did with the disappearance of some web pages.

    Another interesting event of that nature, which was on a Department of Energy website, was also removed.

    But the Wayback Machine had archived the page, which among other things, said:

    “Oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy.”

    (The Peak of The Oil Lies – 2). They took it off because it was too revealing, said too much, and spoke volumes about both foreign and domestic policy.

    It revealed that our life as a nation is like our life as a human: we gotta have blood to live.

    “Without oil we die” is a bit too much for general consumption.

    Following that lead (“Without oil we die”) one comes to some history that confirms, as you said:

    In America, we teach grade school and high school kids a sanitized version of American history …

    There is an anachronism that caught my eye which brings this home.

    I looked around the web, including this blog, and saw over and over again the “MIC” or “MIIC” used to describe core aspects of our country.

    Oil is never mentioned in that type of anachronism … the lifeblood … is not mentioned!

    It’s that old “what they don’t say” propaganda you mentioned.

    Consider one aspect of that subject matter we are not told in that sanitized history you mentioned:

    Churchill fired the starting gun, but all of the Western powers joined the race to control Middle Eastern oil.

    (The Universal Smedley – 2). U.S. foreign policy, as well as domestic policy for that matter, has been about oil for a century … left out of the history books used to indoctrinate us.

    Oil should be in that type of anachronism: such as MOMCOM (ibid).

    Leaving out oil is leaving the truth out of that type of anachronism.

    Perhaps one day soon we should move on to the next level and discuss Oil-Qaeda while we are at it.

  17. When I was a dog kid we did not have high horse words like Whistleblower with a capital W. No, if someone told on someone else then they were a “snitch”, a “rat”, a “fink”. The rat word could be a verb. He “ratted” me out.

    And this is what the igPays are doing to Sgt. Manning. They demean him. They tortured him. When the guards take his blankets, his clothes, even his underwear, at night and turn down the temperature, they whisper threw the door: FINK. They were known to call him Ratso Risso.

    The same thing will happen t Snowden if the igPays get their hands on Snowden.

    I have to use Pig Latin on some of my words to get by WordPress.

  18. In fairness to Obama, he did promise not to look back at the war crimes and torture dungeons of his predecessors. Can we draw a line and move forward? Yes we can.
    He was a man of his word on that one.
    He did a slight ‘mispeak’ about closing the obscenity that is Guantanamo.

    “Sometimes though, propagandists try to time travel. They employ a tactic in an attempt to change the present by attempting to change the past. ”
    Sometimes they suceed with a form of time travel. They changed to present to give us a future in 1984.

    From http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/aug/15/nsa-they-know-much-more-you-think/

    ——————————————————————

    One man who was prescient enough to see what was coming was Senator Frank Church, the first outsider to peer into the dark recesses of the NSA. In 1975, when the NSA posed merely a fraction of the threat to privacy it poses today with UPSTREAM, PRISM, and thousands of other collection and data-mining programs, Church issued a stark warning:

    That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology…. I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.

    Church sounds as if he had absorbed the lessons of 1984. From the recent evidence, they are still to be learned.

    ——————————————————————-

    That was someone in 1975, looking at what was happening.
    .

    I fall about laughing/crying when I hear the gun lobby talk about Constitutions and resisting an oppressive government. They haven’t a clue.

    Never mind resisting. People can’t even begin to investigate wrongdoing without ‘someone’ being aware of their every move and contact.
    .

    Thank God we have a fearless free independent press.
    As in:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/28/edward-snowden-death-of-internet

    These are pretty significant outcomes and they’re just the first-order consequences of Snowden’s activities. As far as most of our mass media are concerned, though, they have gone largely unremarked. Instead, we have been fed a constant stream of journalistic pap – speculation about Snowden’s travel plans, asylum requests, state of mind, physical appearance, etc. The “human interest” angle has trumped the real story, which is what the NSA revelations tell us about how our networked world actually works and the direction in which it is heading.

    “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces” are Eurasia and Eastasia.
    Snowden, Manning, WikiLeaks are all part of Goldstein’s Brotherhood

  19. BarkingDog: “I have to use Pig Latin on some of my words to get by WordPress.”
    Lately I find that I have often have to post an exact copy/paste of exactly the same bytes to get by WordPress in this particular blog. “This commemt could not be posted”.
    Closing the tab and re-opening the link from the email seems to help, but sometimes a third or fourth attempt succeeds.
    Maybe it’s my paranoid browser settings and ‘stuff’ getting into a deadly embrace with WordPress. Maybe the WordPress database gets a fever when having to handle a very large blog. Maybe it’s aliens or dogs.

  20. “The greatest propagandist is Oil-Qaeda …”

    Followed closely by Chemical-Queda …

    http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2013/07/tafta-industry-comments-and-democracy.html

    Many of the large corporations use their comments to signal their support of “science-based regulation” over “political” considerations (read: support for a weakening of safeguards, such as labels for genetically-modified food, over popular backing for those safeguards). Here is a selection of some official corporate statements to that effect on TAFTA and food and product safety, submitted either to the U.S. Trade Representative or the Joint EU-U.S. Solicitation on Regulatory Issues:

  21. SlingTrebuchet 1, July 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

    “The greatest propagandist is Oil-Qaeda …”

    Followed closely by Chemical-Queda …
    ============================
    Remember that so many chemicals and pharmaceuticals are made from “the lifeblood of America’s economy”, a.k.a. oil, as are literally thousands of other commodities:

    Solvents, Diesel fuel, Motor Oil, Bearing Grease, Ink, Floor Wax, Ballpoint Pens, Football Cleats, Upholstery, Sweaters, Boats, Insecticides, Bicycle Tires, Sports Car Bodies, Nail Polish, Fishing lures, Dresses, Tires, Golf Bags, Perfumes, Cassettes, Dishwasher parts, Tool Boxes, Shoe Polish, Motorcycle Helmet, Caulking, Petroleum Jelly, Transparent Tape, CD Player, Faucet Washers, Antiseptics, Clothesline, Curtains, Food Preservatives, Basketballs, Soap, Vitamin Capsules, Antihistamines, Purses, Shoes, Dashboards, Cortisone, Deodorant, Footballs, Putty, Dyes, Panty Hose, Refrigerant, Percolators, Life Jackets, Rubbing Alcohol, Linings, Skis, TV Cabinets, Shag Rugs, Electrician’s Tape, Tool Racks, Car Battery Cases, Epoxy, Paint, Mops, Slacks, Insect Repellent, Oil Filters, Umbrellas, Yarn, Fertilizers, Hair Coloring, Roofing, Toilet Seats, Fishing Rods, Lipstick, Denture Adhesive, Linoleum, Ice Cube Trays, Synthetic Rubber, Speakers, Plastic Wood, Electric Blankets, Glycerin, Tennis Rackets, Rubber Cement, Fishing Boots, Dice, Nylon Rope, Candles, Trash Bags, House Paint, Water Pipes, Hand Lotion, Roller Skates, Surf Boards, Shampoo, Wheels, Paint Rollers, Shower Curtains, Guitar Strings, Luggage, Aspirin, Safety Glasses, Antifreeze, Football Helmets, Awnings, Eyeglasses, Clothes, Toothbrushes, Ice Chests, Footballs, Combs, CD’s & DVD’s, Paint Brushes, Detergents, Vaporizers, Balloons, Sun Glasses, Tents, Heart Valves, Crayons, Parachutes, Telephones, Enamel, Pillows, Dishes, Cameras, Anesthetics, Artificial Turf, Artificial limbs, Bandages, Dentures, Model Cars, Folding Doors, Hair Curlers, Cold cream, Movie film, Soft Contact lenses, Drinking Cups, Fan Belts, Car Enamel, Shaving Cream, Ammonia, Refrigerators, Golf Balls, Toothpaste, Gasoline…

    (A Closer Look At MOMCOM’s DNA – 2). The largest military forces in all history are amassed in the middle east and around it because of oil.

    We don’t know that because of propaganda which Gene H has been exposing in this series.

  22. For those who can feel or sense their cultural amygdala at work, note your response to this headline:

    80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey

    Now decide for yourself whether it is propaganda or not here.

    Whether it is propaganda or not, wars are very expensive … and the money to pay for the oil addiction … is not well spent is it?

  23. I’m glad you wrote about this Gene. Here is one, really disastrous consequence of Obama’s war on whistleblowers. This is about Risen at NYT. ” The chilling ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said that even though a journalist has promised confidentiality to a source, “there is no First Amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify by the prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings about criminal conduct that the reporter personally witnessed or participated in.” National security necessitates that those who illegally leak classified information be brought to justice, the court said. It added that it saw no clear legal justification for treating a reporter differently than any other citizen, and that “other than Sterling himself, Risen is the only witness who can identify Sterling as a source (or not) of the illegal leak.”

    Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times, told me she was “bitterly disappointed in the court’s decision,” calling it a blow to “the ongoing important work that journalists do in holding powerful institutions and the government accountable to the people.”

    The case has real-world consequences not only for journalists but for all Americans. It is part of a troubling trend that includes unprecedented numbers of criminal investigations involving leaked information; the obtaining of reporters’ phone records; and even one government claim that a journalist “aided and abetted” a leak. “

  24. The FBI shut down an advertisement asking for drone operators to speak on his film: “It is a lot like playing a video game,” admits a former Predator drone operator matter-of-factly to the artist Omer Fast. “But playing the same video game four years straight on the same level.” His bombs kill real people though and, he admits, often not the people he is aiming at.

    The remarkable insight into the working life of one of the most modern of military operatives is provided in a 30-minute film which will show at the Imperial War Museum in London from Monday, the first in a new programme of exhibitions under the title IWM Contemporary.

    The work by Fast, an Israel-born artist who lives and works in Berlin, is called 5,000 Feet is the Best, which takes its name from the optimum flight altitude of a Predator drone.

    What Fast’s film does brilliantly is evoke the weirdness of people in Nevada endlessly trawling foreign countries for “bad guys” which they then get permission to fire on.

    Fast interviews a former US air force drone operator who admits to making mistakes. “You see a lot of death,” he says before pondering why he carries on – perhaps because if it was not him then it might be some “new kid doing it badly”.

    Fast advertised online for drone operators to come forward and some did, although the advert was subsequently closed down by the FBI and rather fewer operators were forthcoming.

    One was willing. Some of his testimony in the film is the real man, blurred, and more uses an actor playing the operator talking to a journalist in a Las Vegas hotel room.” (guardian)

    We aren’t getting the information we are entitled to have.

  25. In a massive shift in attitudes, voters say 45 – 40 percent the government’s anti-terrorism efforts go too far restricting civil liberties, a reversal from a January 14, 2010, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when voters said 63 – 25 percent that such activities didn’t go far enough to adequately protect the country.

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/images/polling/us/us07102013.pdf/

    And then there is this:

    “… the impact of Edward Snowden. Suddenly, the “Security State” is in the spotlight rather than hidden in the shadows…. But the surprisingly close tally (Amash’s bill) — 217 against, 205 for — shows how profoundly the Snowden disclosures have resonated. The fact that there was a vote at all was significant.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/rieder/2013/07/25/story-money-columnist-rieder-snowdens-impact/2586011/

    No more change for you.

  26. Jill sez: “We aren’t getting the information we are entitled to have.”
    *******************************

    Y’think?

  27. O.S. Yes, that is exactly what I think and have been warning about since Bush/Cheney and Obama.

    Actually, I’ve worried about that before, but things have intensified since that group took over. I have been dismayed that it has taken left leaning people so long to figure that out. A lot of damage has been done because people on the left refused to come to terms with what was happening in our nation. So no, it’s not really been “Y’think” until just recently.

    Would someone please unlock a post I tried to make on NAL’s writing. It will double post otherwise, if it posts at all. I would like it to not double post. Thank you.

  28. So… Robert Redford’s next movie will be…

    “All The President’s Henchmen”…

    War is peacekeeping..

    Slavery is freedom..

    Ignorance is mandated..

    The truth will get you fired.. or indicted.

  29. Whatever your personal opinions, groups you are a part of or support I think you’d want to read this & at least view the 1st video on the link.

    As long as you are promoting non-violence I can respect your position.

    And at the same time even if I don’t like you position the last thing I’d wish on you is for some fool around you or your group to be caught involved engaged in the below type criminal behavior because then it discredits you & all others around.

    If you find some of this type criminality as below going on inform your friends/associates/law enforcement immediately.

    Maybe LE can not help, but at least you’ll be on record exposing those crimes to the public.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-26/guest-post-how-establishment-will-attempt-bring-down-liberty-movement

  30. I wonder if President Obama is conscious of these changes. Is he deliberating taking on an evil mindset to hide the truth and use propaganda techniques deliberately to fool the masses? Or, is he like the guy who thinks he knows better how things should be done, and then when he becomes in charge, he starts to realize all the reasons his predecessors did what they did, and so he follows suit. Or are the changes being done unwittingly? Is it just the character and demands of the office that he holds which changes him and he doesn’t even realize it? What do you all think?

  31. what do i think? i think it’s getting dark and i’ve been blaming my age for the diminishing light, but my age is not the cause. i see now that throughout my life, what people, companies, politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, government, institutions, corporations, etc. say does not line up with reality. when churches can molest children for two thousand years, when presidents can ignore the constitution, when banks/wall st. can launder drug money and commit other crimes, and change the laws so that only individuals pay for their crimes, when the supreme court allows unlimited amounts of money into our election systems and strikes down much of the voting rights act, we individual humans are too overwhelmed to deal with it alone, and we seem unable to band together to change it.

    we are all liars/deniers and we deserve our current reality. we can’t escape and we can’t change, we have peaked, we are doomed to continue in this way…

    i must accept this reality that we are moving on to our destiny to destroy our environment until it’s no longer habitable for humans.

    of course i could possibly feel different tomorrow, but that’s what i think today.

  32. Jill: there is no First Amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify by the prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings about criminal conduct that the reporter personally witnessed or participated in.”

    Well, there would be a question for my lawyer, were I a reporter.

    By the Fifth Amendment, I do not have to testify against myself. So if I personally think my testimony about what may have been a crime might be self-incriminating, why can’t I plead the Fifth?

    And if I am asked WHY I think it might be self-incrimination, can’t I still plead the fifth, since that would require me to explain my actions that I think might be self-incriminating, and would therefore still be providing information that could be used against me?

  33. For example, it is possible I heard something, saw something, or was informed about something that I was required by law to report, it is possible I did something illegal in gathering my information or setting up the interview, or during my interview, I might have done something that if revealed could result in a civil suit. What if I blackmailed or defrauded my source? If the prosecution does not have any evidence of what transpired or the entirety of information exchanged, then they cannot know I did not commit a crime. Whatever they already know, they can already use without my corroboration. It seems plausible that if the source is a target of prosecution, then my interactions with the source may also be a target of prosecution or civil suit.

  34. Tony C., I think your argument is valid. I must have forgotten to put things in quotes and I’m sorry about that. This is the govt.’s argument and unfortunately, it has been accepted by the court.

  35. DavidM: I wonder if President Obama is conscious of these changes.

    Probably, but I don’t think it makes a difference. I judge people on their actions, not the goodness or badness of their thoughts. I voted for Obama the first time around, but not the second. No matter what he is thinking, he has done, more than any other President in my memory, the opposite of what he promised to do, even when there was no compelling reason to do it.

    I reject the premise that we cannot know the compelling reasons that have to remain secret. That kind of claim is the mark of a charlatan; if the humans in office can understand it, so can the rest of us; they are not geniuses smarter than the millions of professors and lawyers that are NOT in office. And they are not our parents charged with protecting us from ugly truths; we are mature adults that can emotionally handle anything they can handle.

    I don’t care what Obama knows. His actions have causes unnecessary pain, anguish and death while preferentially rewarding the already insanely rich, it is his sociopathic actions that prove him to be a truly bad person.

  36. Jill: No, I understood that, I wasn’t trying to attribute that statement to you.

    It just occurred to me if the First Amendment was denied to me, I would leap to the Fifth. I am wondering how they would argue against my doing that.

  37. “Economics Cannot Trump Mathematics”

    Extreme Fear Is Reasonable

    It is nearly impossible to convince people that an economic ending is likely, perhaps inevitable. It is beyond anything they have seen or can imagine. I attribute that to a normalcy bias, an inherent weakness of experiential learners. For many, accepting something that has not occurred during their time on the planet is not possible. The laws of economics and mathematics may shape history but they are not controlled by history.

    The form of cataclysm and its timing is indeterminable. Political decisions continue to shape both. The madmen who are responsible for the coming disaster continue to behave as if they can manage to avoid it. Violating Einstein’s definition of insanity, they continue to apply the same poison that caused the problem. These fools believe they can manage complexities they do not understand. We are bigger fools for providing them the authority to indulge their hubris and wreak such damage.

    Apocalypse In One Picture

    James Quinn provided the following graph. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this graph is worth millions. The route to economic demise is depicted below:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-27/economics-cannot-trump-mathematics

  38. Tony C.,

    I thought about that also. The problem is it appears that law doesn’t matter. Look at what is happening to Bradley Manning. His prosecution is laughable, except for the fact that he’ll likely get life out of it. It’s all being fixed.

    I’m hoping that Snowden’s information breaks through to enough people so that a large enough group of people will object to what is happening. Chris Hedges said this in an interview. I have many problems with what he says but I think here, he has a point: “JAY: Right. Okay. Question number six. Congress seems a wholly owned subsidiary of the multinationals, Obama is pimping for GE in Africa, the Koch brothers have made a down payment on the Supreme Court, and money will control the next federal election and most of the state elections. Is there any scenario you see that will return this government to the people? Now, we’ve been kind of talking a lot about that in the previous segments, but that was the next question.

    HEDGES: Mass protests that begin to scare the hell out of these people and begin to disrupt systems that they care about, that really is the only solution. I think they’re very fragile. I think internally they know how corrupt they are, which is why they passed the NDAA, because they want to be able to pull the military on the streets, because I think ultimately they don’t trust the police to protect them. And those are the sentiments of a dying elite.

    So I think when we begin to organize against all the formal structures of power, I think that they may crumble as the Stasi state in East Germany, which when I was in East Germany appeared monolithic, fell in about a week, and it fell in a week because Honecker, Erich Honecker, the dictator for 19 years, sent an elite paratroop division down to Leipzig to fire on 70,000 demonstrators, and they refused to do it. And after that, in the same way that the tsar sent the Cossacks in to crush the Petrograd bread riots and they fraternized with the crowd, both Honecker and the tsar only lasted another week in power. And once the foot soldiers of the elite will not protect the elite, they’re done.

    And that’s why we have to be nonviolent, because ultimately what we are doing is trying to create a paralysis within systems of power, whereby we speak truth, we appeal to conscience, we expose corruption, fraud, lies by those in power so that when those forces are called into the street to stop us, they refuse to do so. That’s how all revolutions happen. And that’s really in the end what I’m calling for. I’m calling for the overthrow of this system. Let me say that again for Homeland Security. I mean, that’s what I’m doing.

    And I’m calling for it through nonviolent means, through mass protests, because as a father of four children, I know that if we don’t stop these forces, they will kill us. They will destroy the ecosystem on which the human species and my children depend for their life. And that is really the stakes that lie before us and why there is an imperative for all of us to take risks. And I don’t like going to jail as I have. Going to jail is more time than I care to donate to my government. But it really is the only option left, because if we fail at this, then it’s not just this particular civilization that will be extinguished but human habitation.

    JAY: Okay. Thanks very much.” (realtv)

  39. My late father turned me on to this about 50yrs ago and I’ve always tried not to get trapped by the forces to be, trying to sell you everything from wars to thing you really don’t need to make you happy. The king of the big P.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

    We almost made it out in the late 60 to mid 70s but with a little twist to the words being spoken by the sirens of Madison ave. and the cycle started again only this time being led by the best cycle-0-paths money could buy. Greed is Good.

  40. This video shows an example of very detailed drone surveillance that most people might think impossible outside of the movies

  41. Oky1: Yes, a propaganda blog entry is certainly the right place to post that as an exemplar of propaganda.

    What the graph says is that GDP is three times our national income.

    What the graph fails to say is that the interest on that debt, for our government, is about 1% or so.

    You are correct that economics does not trump mathematics, or in this case, fourth grade arithmetic: 1% of 3 times GDP is 3% of GDP required to service our debt.

    And not only that; but the GDP is growing by 2.5% a year, so the net loss is 0.5% of GDP.

    And not only that; but the government can (and does) print the money it takes to service the debt, so the result is a tiny, tiny percentage of inflation (NOT 0.5%, because the amount of money out there being inflated, including both cash and all debt of all kinds, is far greater than one year’s worth of GDP).

    The article compares the debt to that of a family: Many families have debt (home, cars, furnishings, clothing, entertainment and other kinds of equipment bought on credit) well in excess of their annual income, that is not unusual at all.

    The entire article is an unreasoned piece employing a scare tactic of “big numbers.” It has to tell you the “relationships are terrifying.” Why? because, they explain, if it goes on forever the consequences will be bad. But there is no proof whatsoever that it will go on forever; it is going on now because we are in a frikkin’ bi-generational recession that is going to last until 2020 or 2024, and without the debt it would be the bi-generational depression 80 years after the 1929 crash.

    The current level of debt is easily sustainable at this time, and until we can work out of the recession, and that is the anti-propaganda truth.

  42. What did you expect from a guy who thinks Einstein was a mathematician and Alex Jones is a credible source for information, Tony? Good data? ;)

  43. rafflaw: Debt is three times annual earnings.

    That would actually be a boon for most families if their interest rate was near zero, and is not a problem for a country that ultimately pays an interest rate near zero.

    Another way to look at it, is to debunk the idea that people cannot borrow their way out of debt: They can indeed do that.

    If the borrowed money is spent on useful things. For example, student loans that provide an education, housing that provides cheaper shelter, cars that provide the mobility needed to look for and take jobs further away than walking distance, clothing that meets the expectations of employers or clients, and so on.

    Most businesses borrow money, and use it to make a profit: Anything that can make a profit can equally reduce debt, thus it IS possible to “borrow your way out of debt.”

    The people that hate governmental debt are typically the wealthy, because our debt is paid for by inflating money.

    Inflating money is anathema to those that own lots of money, and those that are owed large amounts of money, because the loan payments are usually not geared to keep up with inflation, so the buying power of the money they are owed is reduced.

    But the common person does not HAVE a lot of cash, and is not owed a lot of cash. So inflation acts preferentially on the rich as a kind of “net worth tax.”

    It also affects buying power of wages, but wages tend to increase with inflation because workers demand it; hence their losses are temporary (perhaps still painful, but temporary). For the rich that own money and debt, the losses are permanent.

    For a rather large middle that is in net debt (owes more money than they have cash assets) inflation is a net gain: The purchasing power of the money they owe is reduced, which means they will have to work fewer hours to pay off the debt. But their gain is a rich entity’s loss, specifically the rich entity entitled to the loan payments.

    So they demonize national debt just like they demonize taxation; the driving motive is to prevent inflation and preserve the buying power of their wealth (both held, and owed to them).

  44. Plus, btw, our national debt is only about one year’s worth of GDP; the rest of the debt in that chart was consumer debt and business debt. Certainly business debt is almost entirely “productive” debt, and the vast majority of consumer debt (mortgages, cars, home repair, etc) is also “productive” debt. Meaning the benefit of the immediate asset bought with the debt is worth the cost (interest and/or principle) of the debt.

  45. Looks like the Obama administration had better start “classifying” (i.e., disappearing) YouTube episodes from The Simpsons Movie (circa 2007). Either that, or Big Br’er can simply order us Americans not to view what everyone else on planet earth laughed their asses off watching six years ago. It escapes me why someone hasn’t shown this clip at recent Congressional hearings on NSA spying — preferably with James Clapper and General Keith Alexander sitting in the hot seat.

  46. And speaking of Big Br’er Babbit:

    Big Br’er is Watchin’

    He says he’d like to tell us
    About his endless “war”
    But then he’d have to kill us
    For knowing just how far
    He’s gone to keep us fighting
    That baby made of tar

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2013

  47. Exclusive: Signs of declining economic security

    52 minutes ago

    By HOPE YEN
    Associated Press

    (AP:WASHINGTON) Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

    Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

    The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality.

    As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused _ on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race.

    Hardship is particularly growing among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy “poor.”

    “I think it’s going to get worse,” said Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia. Married and divorced three times, Salyers now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her boyfriend but it doesn’t generate much income. They live mostly off government disability checks.

    “If you do try to go apply for a job, they’re not hiring people, and they’re not paying that much to even go to work,” she said. Children, she said, have “nothing better to do than to get on drugs.”

    While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government’s poverty data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

    The gauge defines “economic insecurity” as experiencing unemployment at some point in their working lives, or a year or more of reliance on government aid such as food stamps or income below 150 percent of the poverty line. Measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79 percent.

    Marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones.

    “It’s time that America comes to understand that many of the nation’s biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position,” said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty. He noted that despite continuing economic difficulties, minorities have more optimism about the future after Obama’s election, while struggling whites do not.

    “There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front,” Wilson said.

    ___

    Nationwide, the count of America’s poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession. While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.

    More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.

    Sometimes termed “the invisible poor” by demographers, lower-income whites generally are dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60 percent of the poor are white. Concentrated in Appalachia in the East, they are numerous in the industrial Midwest and spread across America’s heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains.

    Buchanan County, in southwest Virginia, is among the nation’s most destitute based on median income, with poverty hovering at 24 percent. The county is mostly white, as are 99 percent of its poor.

    More than 90 percent of Buchanan County’s inhabitants are working-class whites who lack a college degree. Higher education long has been seen there as nonessential to land a job because well-paying mining and related jobs were once in plentiful supply. These days many residents get by on odd jobs and government checks.

    Salyers’ daughter, Renee Adams, 28, who grew up in the region, has two children. A jobless single mother, she relies on her live-in boyfriend’s disability checks to get by. Salyers says it was tough raising her own children as it is for her daughter now, and doesn’t even try to speculate what awaits her grandchildren, ages 4 and 5.

    Smoking a cigarette in front of the produce stand, Adams later expresses a wish that employers will look past her conviction a few years ago for distributing prescription painkillers, so she can get a job and have money to “buy the kids everything they need.”

    “It’s pretty hard,” she said. “Once the bills are paid, we might have $10 to our name.”

    ___

    Census figures provide an official measure of poverty, but they’re only a temporary snapshot that doesn’t capture the makeup of those who cycle in and out of poverty at different points in their lives. They may be suburbanites, for example, or the working poor or the laid off.

    In 2011 that snapshot showed 12.6 percent of adults in their prime working-age years of 25-60 lived in poverty. But measured in terms of a person’s lifetime risk, a much higher number _ 4 in 10 adults _ falls into poverty for at least a year of their lives.

    The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality. For instance, people ages 35-45 had a 17 percent risk of encountering poverty during the 1969-1989 time period; that risk increased to 23 percent during the 1989-2009 period. For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8 percent to 17.7 percent.

    Higher recent rates of unemployment mean the lifetime risk of experiencing economic insecurity now runs even higher: 79 percent, or 4 in 5 adults, by the time they turn 60.

    By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.

    By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

    “Poverty is no longer an issue of `them’, it’s an issue of `us’,” says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. “Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.”

    The numbers come from Rank’s analysis being published by the Oxford University Press. They are supplemented with interviews and figures provided to the AP by Tom Hirschl, a professor at Cornell University; John Iceland, a sociology professor at Penn State University; the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute; the Census Bureau; and the Population Reference Bureau.

    Among the findings:

    _For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

    _Since 2000, the poverty rate among working-class whites has grown faster than among working-class nonwhites, rising 3 percentage points to 11 percent as the recession took a bigger toll among lower-wage workers. Still, poverty among working-class nonwhites remains higher, at 23 percent.

    _The share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods _ those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more _ has increased to 1 in 10, putting them at higher risk of teenage pregnancy or dropping out of school. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 17 percent of the child population in such neighborhoods, compared with 13 percent in 2000, even though the overall proportion of white children in the U.S. has been declining.

    The share of black children in high-poverty neighborhoods dropped from 43 percent to 37 percent, while the share of Latino children went from 38 percent to 39 percent.

    _Race disparities in health and education have narrowed generally since the 1960s. While residential segregation remains high, a typical black person now lives in a nonmajority black neighborhood for the first time. Previous studies have shown that wealth is a greater predictor of standardized test scores than race; the test-score gap between rich and low-income students is now nearly double the gap between blacks and whites.

    ___

    Going back to the 1980s, never have whites been so pessimistic about their futures, according to the General Social Survey, a biannual survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Just 45 percent say their family will have a good chance of improving their economic position based on the way things are in America.

    The divide is especially evident among those whites who self-identify as working class. Forty-nine percent say they think their children will do better than them, compared with 67 percent of nonwhites who consider themselves working class, even though the economic plight of minorities tends to be worse.

    Although they are a shrinking group, working-class whites _ defined as those lacking a college degree _ remain the biggest demographic bloc of the working-age population. In 2012, Election Day exit polls conducted for the AP and the television networks showed working-class whites made up 36 percent of the electorate, even with a notable drop in white voter turnout.

    Last November, Obama won the votes of just 36 percent of those noncollege whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since Republican Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide victory over Walter Mondale.

    Some Democratic analysts have urged renewed efforts to bring working-class whites into the political fold, calling them a potential “decisive swing voter group” if minority and youth turnout level off in future elections. “In 2016 GOP messaging will be far more focused on expressing concern for `the middle class’ and `average Americans,'” Andrew Levison and Ruy Teixeira wrote recently in The New Republic.

    “They don’t trust big government, but it doesn’t mean they want no government,” says Republican pollster Ed Goeas, who agrees that working-class whites will remain an important electoral group. His research found that many of them would support anti-poverty programs if focused broadly on job training and infrastructure investment. This past week, Obama pledged anew to help manufacturers bring jobs back to America and to create jobs in the energy sectors of wind, solar and natural gas.

    “They feel that politicians are giving attention to other people and not them,” Goeas said.

    ___

    AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta, News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and AP writer Debra McCown in Buchanan County, Va., contributed to this report.

  48. It’s funny that you mention all of that off topic junk about economic security that has absolutely zero to do with propaganda. Or does it? Disruption and attempts to change the subject (redirection) are both staple tactics of propaganda trolls.

    The subject here is the Obama administration engaging in historical revisionism.

  49. Oky1: We don’t need ink anymore. Type some numbers into a secure computer system and the money is “created.” We have virtualized the printing press.

    The poverty is a result of people not getting a fair share of the profit for the work they do. They used to get a more fair share, but the rise of corporatism in the world and the shifting of jobs all over the globe to the lowest bidder with the fewest safeguards for workers has reduce the amount of money the workers get — hence poverty. Poverty here because other countries like China and India allow virtual slavery; and poverty there because their workers are virtually slaves.

    It isn’t that hard to figure out, just follow the money, and stop trusting what the people with money keep telling you. And stop trusting what their hired stooges are telling you.

  50. The corporate media’s collective decision not to air their film footage of street riots that took place during Deputy Dubya Bush’s first inauguration parade surely qualifies as propaganda by simply not showing what actually happened. Michael Moore, on the other hand, made devastating usage of that same network news footage simply by showing it at the beginning of his movie Fahrenheit 9/11. The United States clearly does not actually have an independent news media. Instead, corporate collusion — clearly in violation of anti-trust laws and the quaint notion of a “free market” of ideas and information — clearly enforces a uniform pablum of vapid commercial uniformity in America.

  51. MM,

    You tangentially raise a good point: in the information age, historical revisionism is practically impossible without mainstream corporate media collusion.

  52. Gene,

    Interesting post. I had not heard that the Change.gov web page had been “disappeared.”

    Two years ago I wrote a post about Obama’s DOJ going after whistleblowers. I’m going to post an excerpt from it, which includes something written by Glenn Greenwald:

    Promises, Promises: Is the Obama DOJ Going after Whistleblowers?
    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/03/06/promises-promises-is-the-obama-doj-going-after-whistleblowers/

    Gerstein says the revelation that the government obtained that information about Risen has alarmed First Amendment advocates, particularly in light of Justice Department rules requiring the attorney general to sign off on subpoenas directed to members of the media and on requests for their phone records. And Risen told POLITICO that the disclosures, while not shocking, made him feel “like a target of spying.”

    Greenwald says what he finds “particularly indefensible” is how the Obama DOJ is going back into the past to dig up “forgotten episodes.”

    This is how Greenwald closes his article:
    For a President who insists that we must “Look Forward, Not Backward” — when it comes to investigating war crimes by high-level Bush officials — this anti-whistleblower assault reflects not only an obsession on preserving and bolstering the National Security State’s secrecy regime, but also an intense fixation on the past. And increasingly extremist weapons — now including trolling through reporters’ banking and phone records — are being wielded to achieve it. As Thomas Jefferson warned long ago: “Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.”

  53. Elaine,

    Thanks for that pertinent addition. That Jefferson was a sharp guy. Greenwald’s not bad either. :D

  54. Cross posted as a relevant example:

    “anonymously posted 1, July 31, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Bradley Manning Revealed Crimes Far Worse Than the Ones He Supposedly Committed

    by John Glaser, Editor at Antiwar.com
    07/30/13

    WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning has been acquitted of the most serious charge against him, that of aiding the enemy. But the 20-something other charges, including espionage, have stuck and could land him a sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

    In the media world, even national security hawks like The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake concede that Manning’s leaks had “a lot of public benefit.” But very few have argued Manning should go free.

    Did Manning break the law? According to the letter, yes he did. But since when did we presume to hold people in government accountable to the law?

    The Bush administration lied to the American people in order to justify the war crime of attacking Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. That crime qualified, in the words of the Nuremberg Tribunal, as “the supreme international crime differing only from other crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Trillions of dollars and the death and suffering of millions of people were the consequences of that crime.

    The Bush gang also secretly ordered warrantless surveillance of Americans’ domestic communications without involving the courts, a blatant violation of both constitutional and statutory law. And don’t forget the setting up of a worldwide torture regime that directly violated longstanding international law as well as domestic law, specifically a Convention against torture, passed by Congress and signed by Ronald Reagan, which specifies that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever… may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

    Yet, nobody but the most marginal voices in our politics ever dared to suggest the Bush administration should be prosecuted according to the letter of the law.

    Many of these types of crimes have extended into the Obama era as well. The Obama administration’s penchant for secret legal interpretations of when the Bill of Rights applies and when it doesn’t conflicts with basic principles of the rule of law.

    James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, recently committed perjury when he lied to Congress about whether the National Security Agency collects information on American citizens, a federal crime as it turns out. He issued an apology, but otherwise faces no consequences.

    In the U.S., there are crimes the government approves of and those it doesn’t. Contrast Bradley Manning’s punishment, for example, with that of the commander in charge of the torture at Abu Ghraib. Manning was subjected to abusive detention and faces more than a hundred years in prison. Col. Thomas M. Pappas, who oversaw the brutal torment of hundreds of detainees got an $8,000 fine.

    Bradley Manning’s leaks revealed crimes far worse than the ones he has supposedly committed. The Collateral Murder video shows the sickening slaughter of a group of people in Iraq, including journalists and rescuers.

    One State Department cable revealed to the world for the first time that U.S. special operations forces raided a house in Iraq in 2006 and summarily executed one man, four women, two children, and three infants — all shot in the head. Although Phillip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, brought the incident to the attention of then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Bush administration failed to respond.

    Manning’s leaks also revealed the fact that the Obama administration colluded with the Yemeni dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh to execute a secret war without the consent of Congress and systematically lie about it. Yet Manning, who blew the whistle on this criminality, is the only one facing legal prosecution.

    The lopsided nature of our legal system is well-known to any close observer of American politics. The law is for the powerful to defy with impunity, and for the weak to be punished with.

    History, at least, will look very kindly on the actions of Bradley Manning and harshly on the crimes of the overlords he challenged. The real task is for Americans to get to the point where the country — and its government — is ruled by law, and not by men.”

    __________

    Thanks, ap.

  55. Gene H quoted John Glaser: “The Bush administration lied to the American people in order to justify the war crime of attacking Saddam Hussein’s Iraq… The real task is for Americans to get to the point where the country — and its government — is ruled by law, and not by men.”

    This is a clear example of revisionist history.

    If Bush lied, then so did Hillary Clinton along with 40% of House Democrats and 58% of Senate Democrats who voted to take military action in Iraq.

    For good or for bad, there is probably not a better example of the “rule of law” than the Iraq war. The entire action was the result of numerous laws being broken by Iraq and of numerous votes taken to uphold the rule of law. Furthermore, numerous investigations and debates both domestically and internationally have sought to examine the legality of the invasion. Our own federal courts determined that the action was legal. No international court of administrative body of any kind has issued advisory positions or legal findings that would make the attack illegal. Certainly there are individuals who have had issue with it, but none have been persuasive enough or shown what law was broken, nor even what law needs to be established to prevent such an event again. When it comes down to it, if a person has the position that the Iraq war was unjustified, they can in no way claim that it happened because of a violation of the principle of “rule of law.” Indeed, it is the “rule of law” that perhaps resulted in the Iraq war.

    Consider the hypothetical situation that we did not have the principle of “rule of law,”.and instead we had the rule of man. In that case, the United Nations under Kofi Annan would have prevented the attack, or if it took place, Kofi Annan afterward would have held those many nations involved in the aggression accountable for war crimes. The reason the Iraq situation ended up the way it did was because of the rule of law instead of rule under a person who had the perspective that the Iraq war was wrong.

  56. If Bush lied, then so did Hillary Clinton along with 40% of House Democrats and 58% of Senate Democrats who voted to take military action in Iraq.

    I don’t think “lie” means what you think it means.

    Politicians who vote based on information that they are given and believe to be true are not lying. They are voting.
    People who give information, knowing to to be untrue are lying.

    Major lies told included that
    – Iraq was invoved in 9/11
    – AQ were supported by Iraq
    – Iraq had WMD that could be deployed by missile within 48 hours
    .

    For some pointers to the legal/illegal question see,

    http://www.robincmiller.com/ir-legal.htm
    This has links to views for and against

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6917.htm
    This for a quick read – including Annan saying “illegal”.

    What you are at is the sort of semantic dancing we have seen recently from Clapper and Alexander.
    It the kind of dancing that turns torture into enhanced interrogation.
    It is the kind of dancing that has lying to congress as not lying but giving the least dishonest answer.
    It is the kind of dancing that has indiscriminate harvesting of everything as inadvertant and not under that program.

  57. SlingTrebuchet wrote: “Iraq was invoved in 9/11″

    I assume you are still talking about Bush’s alleged lie. This so-called lie is actually the lie. You realize that, right? Bush never claimed that Iraq was involved in 9/11. You are repeating something falsely put out to deceive people like you into believing that Bush said that when he never did.

    For what it is worth, I know what a lie is. When these members of Congress vote to support action based on intelligence they have vetted, intelligence not directly allowed to be viewed by the normal citizen, and that intelligence is a lie, then they are all complicit in that lie (if one actually exists at the root of it). As common citizens, we have no ability to vet the information ourselves. We rely upon them to evaluate it and determine the truthfulness of that information. Therefore, when they tell us it is good, we rely on them for that. Maybe they made a mistake, and therefore it would not be a lie, but if they made a mistake, the so did Bush. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t single out one person and claim they knew better and tricked the others without additional evidence to substantiate that claim.

  58. OK. The upfront from Bush was just the AQ connection and that Iraq would have given WMD/chemical weapons to AQ to attack the US.

    The rest of the lies stand.
    I think you are still straining at the meaning of the word “lie”.

    By your logic, Congress committees who are lied to by the likes of Clapper and Alexander are complicit in those lies.
    Although…. you have a point if you mean that they not making formal complaints of an offence and demanding prosecution would make them complicit.
    It is their job to oversee. They have so far failed to do that.
    Similarly, Obama is complict in the abduction and torture of innocents as he failed to prsecute those responsible.
    .

    More on the justifications for the Iraq invasion and on the examination of those reasons..
    http://www.cfr.org/iraq/iraq-justifying-war/p7689

  59. “If Bush lied, then so did Hillary Clinton along with 40% of House Democrats and 58% of Senate Democrats who voted to take military action in Iraq.”

    Davidm,

    Another example of the arguing technique that you do so well, if so wrongly. G.W. Bush was the President. He lied to Congress and to the American people and did so when the horror of 9/11 was still fresh in American minds. Of course many prominent Democrats and liberals supported him believing his lies that there was evidence that Iraq was behind 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction. This was another triumph for the propaganda of which Gene writes.

    What your point really is David yet another piece of propaganda on your part because you only mention Hilary Clinton among many prominent Democrats who voted for the war. Your aim is transparent since many think that Clinton will be the next Democratic Presidential candidate. Silly David. Don’t you get that this is not a liberal, or Democratic Party website? I personally do not like Hilary Clinton and I really didn’t like her husband. However, when it comes to the Iraq War, the totality of which I not only consider a War Crime, but also an example of stupid foreign policy, far too many people relied on the lies spread by a reckless Administration and it is hard to blame them for it.

  60. “Bush never claimed that Iraq was involved in 9/11. You are repeating something falsely put out to deceive people like you into believing that Bush said that when he never did.”

    Davidm,

    You continue to beg the question distorting the reality of the era. The Bush Administration clearly conflated 9/11 with Iraq and there are quotes from Dick Cheney clearly connecting the two. The polls of the era show the American people clearly believing that Iraq and 9/11 were connected. Shall I give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you are purposely being disingenuous, or should I disrespect your intelligence to state that you really do not understand the nature of what went on?

  61. David,

    You taking something for tht selective memory….. Involved in too many bar fights…. Got dropped on your head once too many….. You’re the one spreading misinformation…. Bush and Cheney both indicated and stated that saddam Husain was responsible for this…. And that they WMD….. Trip on man…. You’re funny…. You don’t happen to teach any children do you….. Or are you at Hillsdale…..

  62. Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/print/20030321-5.html

    March 21, 2003

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    On March 18, 2003, I made available to you, consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), my determination that further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, nor lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

    I have reluctantly concluded, along with other coalition leaders, that only the use of armed force will accomplish these objectives and restore international peace and security in the area. I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organiza-tions, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. United States objectives also support a transition to democracy in Iraq, as contemplated by the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

    Consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), I now inform you that pursuant to my authority as Commander in Chief and consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), I directed U.S. Armed Forces, operating with other coalition forces, to commence combat operations on March 19, 2003, against Iraq.

    These military operations have been carefully planned to accomplish our goals with the minimum loss of life among coalition military forces and to innocent civilians. It is not possible to know at this time either the duration of active combat operations or the scope or duration of the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to accomplish our goals fully.

    As we continue our united efforts to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States, I look forward to our continued consultation and cooperation.

    Sincerely,

    GEORGE W. BUSH

  63. Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/print/20030321-5.html

    March 21, 2003

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    On March 18, 2003, I made available to you, consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), my determination that further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, nor lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

    I have reluctantly concluded, along with other coalition leaders, that only the use of armed force will accomplish these objectives and restore international peace and security in the area. I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organiza-tions, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. United States objectives also support a transition to democracy in Iraq, as contemplated by the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

    Consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), I now inform you that pursuant to my authority as Commander in Chief and consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), I directed U.S. Armed Forces, operating with other coalition forces, to commence combat operations on March 19, 2003, against Iraq.

    These military operations have been carefully planned to accomplish our goals with the minimum loss of life among coalition military forces and to innocent civilians. It is not possible to know at this time either the duration of active combat operations or the scope or duration of the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to accomplish our goals fully.

    As we continue our united efforts to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States, I look forward to our continued consultation and cooperation.

    Sincerely,

    GEORGE W. BUSH

  64. This particular WordPress bog is shooting down comments.
    Let’s see if this gets past………

    Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/print/20030321-5.html

    March 21, 2003

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    On March 18, 2003, I made available to you, consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), my determination that further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, nor lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

    I have reluctantly concluded, along with other coalition leaders, that only the use of armed force will accomplish these objectives and restore international peace and security in the area. I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organiza-tions, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. United States objectives also support a transition to democracy in Iraq, as contemplated by the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

    Consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), I now inform you that pursuant to my authority as Commander in Chief and consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), I directed U.S. Armed Forces, operating with other coalition forces, to commence combat operations on March 19, 2003, against Iraq.

    These military operations have been carefully planned to accomplish our goals with the minimum loss of life among coalition military forces and to innocent civilians. It is not possible to know at this time either the duration of active combat operations or the scope or duration of the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to accomplish our goals fully.

    As we continue our united efforts to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States, I look forward to our continued consultation and cooperation.

    Sincerely,

    GEORGE W. BUSH

  65. SlingTrebuchet wrote: “OK. The upfront from Bush was just the AQ connection… The rest of the lies stand.”

    I do appreciate the concession, but I hope you understand that I don’t have a lot of time to get into the nuances of the other so-called lies. Whether or not they are lies are in my opinion debatable. A lie implies a conscious effort to deceive, and it is plausible to me that he suffered from confirmation bias, believing what he already thought was true. I don’t really know and I don’t think our discussing it will resolve that matter.

    My position on Iraq is that we needed to do something about Saddam Hussein. I consider his history of invading other countries, his demonstrated ability to build up a large army, the tremendous bloodshed he perpetrated on his own people, and his belief that he was the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar and was chosen by God to restore Babylon to its former glory. In my opinion, he was basically another Adolf Hitler in the making.

    In my opinion, when Bush stood on that aircraft carrier and declared victory, that should have been the end of it. Troops home. Other nations fear and respect America. End of story.

    Unfortunately, Bush let the Harvard lawyers and military conspire and persuade him that we needed to do some nation building, that we needed to create democracy in the Middle East so that their interests would be more aligned with ours. That effort was doomed to failure, especially when they draft new constitutions for these governments that make them Islamic republics, thus making a religious book of Scripture, the Quran, the supreme law of the land. It seems mighty strange to me that we learned for ourselves what a mistake this conflation of church and state is, yet we think it will be okay for Islam to do it. They basically were creating a so-called democracy with completely different rules from our own.

  66. Here is a peer-reviewed journal article in Perspectives on Politics, the official publication of the American Political Science Association.

    Here is the abstract:

    We suggest that the 2003 war in Iraq received high levels of public support because the Bush administration successfully framed the
    conflict as an extension of the war on terror, which was a response to the September11,2001,attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Our analysis of Bush’s speeches reveals that the administration consistently connected Iraq with 9/11. New York Times coverage of the president’s speeches featured almost no debate over the framing of the Iraq conflict as part of the war on terror. This assertion had tremendous influence on public attitudes, as indicated by polling data from several sources.

    Gershkoff , A., & Kushner, S. (2005). Shaping public opinion: The 9/11-iraq connection in the bush administration’s rhetoric. Perspectives on Politics, 3(3), 525-537.

    Link to the original published document below (PDF warning, may load slow):

    https://sgadaria.expressions.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Iraq-article_Gershkoff_Kushner.pdf

  67. Mike Spindell wrote: “The polls of the era show the American people clearly believing that Iraq and 9/11 were connected.”

    I understand this to be the case as well, but this is not the same as saying that the administration put out the story that Iraq was involved with the specific terrorist act of 911. The tremendous harm caused by 911 woke us up about threats in the Middle East. Iraq was obviously one to come to mind, and the recent invasion they made in Kuwait was still fresh on a lot of people’s minds. People responded to polls that asked if it was LIKELY that Hussein was involved with the attacks.

    Mike Spindell wrote: “The Bush Administration clearly conflated 9/11 with Iraq…”

    I’m not going to argue with that either, because connecting Iraq with terrorist groups and individuals involved with Al Qaeda who were responsible for the attacks will naturally cause people to assume that there was a connection. When making allegations of lying, however, it is important what the administration actually said. If the administration did not say that Iraq was responsible for 911, and if instead they said that invading Iraq would be consistent with our “war on terrorism,” then it would be a lie to claim that the administration blamed Iraq for the 911 attacks.

  68. Anon wrote: ” You’re the one spreading misinformation… Bush and Cheney both indicated and stated that saddam Husain was responsible for this…”

    No they did not. You are the one with the misinformation. Show me one quote where both Bush and Cheney said that Hussein was responsible for the attacks on 9/11/01. You won’t be able to find that quote because you are basing your belief on unsubstantiated propaganda.

  69. “I’m not going to argue with that either, because connecting Iraq with terrorist groups and individuals involved with Al Qaeda who were responsible for the attacks will naturally cause people to assume that there was a connection.”

    Yes. If you connect one party with another, and bang on about terrorism and 9/11, it is just about vaguely possible that people might get the idea that there is a connection. Who would have thought?

    So maybe it wan’t strictly a lie so much as it was “the least honest truth”?

    I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organiza-tions, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001

    .

    As for the absolute lies, the intelligence on AQ connections, WMD, missiles and nuke development that indicated they did not exist got somehow reworked to say that they did.

  70. “I’m not going to argue with that either, because connecting Iraq with terrorist groups and individuals involved with Al Qaeda who were responsible for the attacks will naturally cause people to assume that there was a connection.”

    Yes. If you connect one party with another, and bang on about terrorism and 9/11, it is just about vaguely possible that people might get the idea that there is a connection. Who would have thought?

    So maybe it wan’t strictly a lie so much as it was “the least honest truth”?

    I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001

    .

    As for the absolute lies, the intelligence on AQ connections, WMD, missiles and nuke development that indicated they did not exist got somehow reworked to say that they did.

  71. OS – great article. Thanks for the link. The pertinent statement in that study in regards to whether or not Bush lied to the American public in claiming that Iraq was responsible for 911 is the following:

    “President Bush never publicly blamed Saddam Hussein
    or Iraq for the events of September 11, but by consistently
    linking Iraq with terrorism and al Qaeda he provided the
    context from which such a connection could be made.”

  72. DavidM,
    As we both know, it is possible to lie and mislead without actually saying the words. Dr. Milton Erickson was a psychiatrist and master of the indirect suggestion in hypnosis. For example, you could be having lunch with him, and he could get you to pass the salt without asking directly. Instead of asking you to pass the salt, he would look around and comment idly, “I don’t see the salt.” Without even thinking, you would hear that as “Please pass the salt.”

    Dr. Frank Luntz has mastered the psychology of key words and indirect suggestion; checking them out on focus groups before handing them to his clients.

  73. David,

    Gnaw on this bone….And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed repeatedly for years that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration officials apparently swore in a lawsuit that Saddam was behind 9/11.

  74. SlingTrebuchet wrote: “So maybe it wan’t strictly a lie so much as it was “the least honest truth”?”

    I don’t see it as a “least honest truth.” There were terrorists in Iraq, and Hussein was a threat, so it made sense to communicate that attacking Iraq would be an important step to securing freedoms in our war against terrorism. There are many reasons we haven’t even begun to discuss that supports this viewpoint.

    What I do see as a lie is claiming that the Bush administration publicly blamed Iraq for 911. It is especially egregious when someone states this falsehood and then claims that Bush lied when he said it. He didn’t say it, so he couldn’t have lied, and even if he had said it, you can’t prove he said it in order in order to purposely deceive the public. If Bush did believe in the connection personally, then we would have to conclude that he used enormous restraint perhaps because he had no solid proof for that belief.

    Anon – did you miss putting in a link to an analysis? It is possible that Bush himself believed Iraq was connected, but he never presented that belief to the public if he did believe that. The lawsuit thing involves a Havard graduate author named Laurie Mylorie (see http://www.lauriemylroie.com/) who actually worked as a consultant to Bill Clinton. A lot of left wing propaganda outlets present her as part of “Team Bush” which leads people like you to say that she was part of the Bush Administration, but I have not seen any confirmation that there is that connection. Dr. Mylorie believes in the Iraqi connection with terrorist actions, including Al Qaeda, and especially the 1993 World Trade bombing, and she has written books about this. Attributing her to Bush does not seem proper to me, but if you can link to information that might correct my understanding here, I would appreciate it.

  75. davidm:

    Saddam’s WMD are probably buried in the sand or in Asad’s bunkers. He definitely had chemical weapons and I roomed with an Iraqi national in college in the mid 80’s who was studying anthrax at the veterinary college. He was doing post graduate work.

    It doesnt take much imagination, after all that has happened, to wonder why he was studying anthrax. It could have been for sheep and goats but who knows.

  76. Bron,

    One look at the Oil/Nat Gas & pipeline routes of the M East & you’ll instantly understand everything to need to know about the M East!

    Saddam,$ 0.99 gasoline in Tulsa Oklahoma on top of an Ph’ing oil well, post Saddam $3.50 gasoline.

    It’s a simple math quiz, almost everyone looses.

  77. Gene, I haven’t commented on any of the propaganda columns, but I have read all of them and it has been a superb series, And for someone like me, for whom much of communication technology remains mysterious, some of this stuff has been chilling.

  78. Oky1,
    I am glad you put that qualifier at the end. “Almost” everyone loses. that means those of us in the 99%. The super rich just keep acquiring more money and more power. But, they seem to be fearful little creatures cowering behind the walls and gates of their manicured communities. Money and power come at a moral and psychological cost.

    I have written this before. One of these days, some guy in a small lab somewhere is going to notice an anomaly on the electrical output meter of a homemade gadget, and the world will never be the same again. Remember all those buggy whip companies? How many obscenely rich railroad magnates can you think of, despite the fact a hundred years ago they owned most of the civilized countries of the world.

    Two undergraduate students at MIT were fiddling with ways to send information to one dorm room to another over the telephone digitally. One of the two, Larry Roberts, got a flash that the information would work best if it were sent in in a form he called “packets.” The other roommate, James D. Simpson, was busy teaching himself how to do glassblowing so he could make cloud chambers, since those were not exactly something you could order from Edmund Scientific or Radio Shack. The rest is history. You can Google both those names for the latest on them. The real back story is the Internet as we know it today was created in an MIT dorm room by a couple of teenagers. How do I know all this? Jimmy Simpson was one of my best friends in high school, living right around the corner from me.

  79. Soon we are all going to pay…. Exxons profits dropped 57% this second quarter…. It won’t stay like that for the next quarter I tell you..

  80. OS:

    Tesla was trying to use atmospheric electricity to power motors and in Atlas Shrugged that was what the mysterious motor was doing.

    If Tesla was working on it, it is possible. It isnt the oil companies who would lose, oil can be used for all types of things.

  81. SOT:

    Unlike various other rock- or cave-born gods, Mithra is not depicted in the Roman cultus as having been given birth by a mortal woman or a goddess; hence, it is claimed that he was not “born of a virgin.” However, a number of writers over the centuries have asserted otherwise, including several modern Persian and Armenian scholars who are apparently reflecting an ancient tradition from Near Eastern Mithraism.

    For example, Dr. Badi Badiozamani says that a “person” named “Mehr” or Mithra was “born of a virgin named Nahid Anahita (‘immaculate’)” and that “the worship of Mithra and Anahita, the virgin mother of Mithra, was well-known in the Achaemenian period [558-330 BCE]…” (Badiozamani, 96) Philosophy professor Dr. Mohammed Ali Amir-Moezzi states: “Dans le mithraïsme, ainsi que le mazdéisme populaire, (A)Nāhīd, mère de Mithra/Mehr, est vierge”—”In Mithraism, as in popular Mazdaism, Anahid, the mother of Mithra, is a virgin.” (Amir-Moezzi, 78-79) Comparing the rock birth with that of the virgin mother, Dr. Amir-Moezzi also says:

    …il y a donc analogie entre le rocher, symbole d’incorruptibilité, qui donne naissance au dieu iranien et la mère de celui-ci, Anāhīd, éternellement vierge et jeune.

    (…so there is analogy between the rock, a symbol of incorruptibility, giving birth to the Iranian god and the mother of that (same) one, Anahid, eternally virgin and young.)

    In Mithraic Iconography and Ideology (78), Dr. Leroy A. Campbell calls Anahita the “great goddess of virgin purity,” and Religious History professor Dr. Claas J. Bleeker says, “In the Avestan religion she is the typical virgin.” (Bleeker (1963), 100)

    One modern writer (“Mithraism and Christianity”) portrays the Mithra myth thus:

    According to Persian mythology, Mithras was born of a virgin given the title “Mother of God.”

    The Parthian princes of Armenia were all priests of Mithras, and an entire district of this land was dedicated to the Virgin Mother Anahita. Many Mithraeums, or Mithraic temples, were built in Armenia, which remained one of the last strongholds of Mithraism. The largest near-eastern Mithraeum was built in western Persia at Kangavar, dedicated to “Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras.”

    Artemis the Huntress holding two animals (lions?), Francois Vase, 6th century BCE; LouvreAnahita, also known as “Anaitis”—whose very name means “Pure” and “Untainted” and who was equated in antiquity with the virgin goddess Artemis—is certainly an Indo-Iranian goddess of some antiquity, dating back at least to the first half of the first millennium prior to the common era …” (Mithra: The Pagan Christ).

  82. Oky1:”One look at the Oil/Nat Gas & pipeline routes of the M East & you’ll instantly understand everything to need to know about the M East!”

    There is something more.
    Saddam was moving to sell oil in Euro or other currency.
    If producers stopped trading oil in US$, that would have had a huge impact.
    The US would not be in the position of being able to “print” oil.

    More about this in (from 2005)
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2005-08-08/petrodollar-warfare-dollars-euros-and-upcoming-iranian-oil-bourse

    It is now obvious the invasion of Iraq had less to do with any threat from Saddam’s long-gone WMD program and certainly less to do to do with fighting International terrorism than it has to do with gaining strategic control over Iraq’s hydrocarbon reserves and in doing so maintain the U.S. dollar as the monopoly currency for the critical international oil market.

  83. In this series on propaganda, Gene H has covered a lot of ground.

    For the current post he declares and asks:

    I think historical revisionism as a political propaganda methodology is in many ways worse than a simple lie.

    Was this an attempt at historical revisionism in the most pejorative sense?

    Is there another explanation that defies the timeline of removal?

    Could there be other promises made they wish to “never was” in addition to the promised protection for whistleblowers?

    What do you think?

    Historical revisionism, especially recent types of it like the Obama Administration website scrubbing, is in our national DNA if you will.

    The military actually thinks it is a spiritually mature Christian organization spreading godly ideals throughout the world as it gives birth to our freedoms at home.

    Likewise our science at its core is attached to unproven and unprovable attachments to ancient religion concepts (Weekend Rebel Science).

    The propaganda dynamic is so deeply ingrained in us that we would not resemble ourselves without it.

  84. sonofthunderboanerges seems to indicate that “Satan” did some propaganda, in the form of revisionist history.

    Since that is what Gene H is talking about in this post, I took a gander.

    The early church fathers address the propaganda in the form of revisionist history issue as a major concern:

    Mithraism was so popular in the Roman Empire and so similar in important aspects to Christianity that several Church fathers were compelled to address it, disparagingly of course. For example, in his Dialogue with Trypho, patristic writer Justin Martyr (100-c. 165) acknowledged the mysteries of Mithra and claimed in chapter 70 that they were “distorted from the prophecies of Daniel and Isaiah”:

    And when those who record the mysteries of Mithras say that he was begotten of a rock, and call the place where those who believe in him are initiated a cave, do I not perceive here that the utterance of Daniel, that a stone without hands was cut out of a great mountain, has been imitated by them, and that they have attempted likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah’s words? (Roberts (1870), 2.186)

    Justin MartyrJustin does not maintain that the Mithraic mysteries were copied from Christianity; his appeal to “prophecies” purportedly written centuries before is a tacit admission that Roman Mithraism, with rites already developed and known by his time, preceded Christianity.

    (Early Church Fathers address Mithraism). It is important that they note Mithra mythology is very ancient, preceding Christianity by centuries.

    Their basic argument is that prophecy is history written in advance, so the Mithra followers made up things way, way back in time so as to make historical events happen before the prophecies came to pass, and thereby revised history in some way via religious propaganda of sorts.

    In other words, if they were active today they would be altering websites, blogs, and the like to cover up or alter historical events.

    Just sayin’ …

  85. Most of us but, for example by placing strain on the skin and harness your” ‘Chi’ energies. For the chinese culture study, 15 percent of people say they have difficulty conceiving at some time. Acupuncture works to hinder the treatment of osteoarthritis wearing down of cartilage degeneration but it won’t have any number of well-supported psychological treatments for humans would do well with. The elbows and backs of defensive linemen, and really helps to promote blood circulation, improve egg quality, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder.

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