Understanding The Deep State's Propaganda
Propaganda is essential to the Deep State’s operation...
The Deep State is the small number of people who control the organizations that donate the majority of the funds which finance the political careers of national officials, such as Presidents, Prime Ministers, and members of the national legislature. Almost always, the members of the Deep State are the controlling stockholders in the international corporations that are headquartered in the given nation; and, therefore, the Deep State is more intensely interested in international than in purely national matters. Since most of its members derive a large portion of their wealth from abroad, they need to control their nation’s foreign policies even more than they need to control its domestic policies. Indeed, if they don’t like their nation’s domestic policies, they can simply relocate abroad. But relocating the operations of their corporations would be far more difficult and costly to them. Furthermore, a nation’s public know and care far less about the nation’s foreign than about its domestic policies; and, so, the Deep State reign virtually alone on the nation’s international issues, such as: which nations will be treated as “allies” and which nations will instead be treated as “enemies.” Such designations are virtually never determined by a nation’s public. The public just trust what the Government says about such matters, like, for example, the US regime’s standard allegation, for decades, that “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism”, which is clearly a blatant lie.
Iran, of course, is the world’s leading Shia nation, whereas Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading Sunni nation; and the US aristocracy are bonded to the aristocracies of both Saudi Arabia and Israel, against Iran. This allegation against Iran has always been promoted by the royal family who own Saudi Arabia, the Saud family, and also by the billionaires who control Israel, as well as by the billionaires who control the US So: this allegation is by the Deep State, which controls at least these three countries: US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
But, as was just said, this allegation by the Deep State is false: On 9 June 2017, I headlined “All Islamic Terrorism Is Perpetrated by Fundamentalist Sunnis, Except Terrorism Against Israel” and listed 54 terrorist attacks which had been prominent in US-and-allied media during 2001-2017, and all of them except for a few that were against Israel were attacks by Sunni groups — not affiliated with Iran. Subsequently, Kent R. Kroeger’s 16 May 2019 study “Is Iran the biggest state sponsor of terrorism?” concluded that overwhelmingly the majority of terrorist attacks ever since 1994 have been by Sunni groups, but he attributed the attacks by Yemen’s Shiite Houthis against Sunni Saudi Arabia as being “terrorist” attacks, even though these were instead actually responses to the Sauds’ war against, and to eliminate, Houthis in Yemen. Also, Kroeger attributed those Houthi actions to “Iran,” which is absurd. (The Houthis simply did not like being exterminated. And the US, of course, supplied the weapons and the military planning, for this attempted ethnic cleansing operation.) There were many other methodological flaws. And yet, still, even with its methodological flaws, Kroeger, concluded: “The distorted US propagandized image of Iran’s aggression looming over the Middle East is, frankly, ‘fake news.’” This is how untrustworthy the Deep State’s ‘news’ actually is. The term “fake news” is, in fact, misleading (or itself fake news) if it is not referring to the Deep State’s propaganda. In my 27 November 2017 “How the US Came to Label Iran the Top State Sponsor of Terrorism”, I described specifically the Deep State’s operation that had created the phrase “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism”. But this is the way the Deep State operates, routinely, on all international issues. It operates by deceit. This is how it achieves the consent of the public, whom it actually rules. This is entirely consistent with the scientific findings about the United States, that it is a dictatorship, not a democracy. All of the evidence is consistent.
The Deep State here is the US-and allied Deep State, no merely national organization. It consists mainly of America’s billionaires, plus of the billionaires in US-allied countries such as UK, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel — but many more (including, for example, in Honduras, Brazil, etc.). These people number fewer than 2,000 in total, and they do deals together, and their contacts with one-another are both direct person-to-person, and indirect by means of representatives or agents. However, America’s billionaires lead the US-and-allied Deep State. That’s to say, the leaders are among the 607 US billionaires, the people who mainly fund American national political campaigns and candidates — and these 607 individuals determine who will get an opportunity to become a US President or member of Congress, and who won’t. For example: these individuals don’t necessarily select the politician who will become America’s President, but they do select who will get the opportunity to be among the serious contenders for that position. (Basically, what the mullahs do in Iran, these super-rich do in America. Whereas in Iran the clergy rule, in America the aristocracy rule.)
One, in particular, is George Soros, and this article will detail the views of one of his many beneficiaries. Another of these billionaires is Charles Koch, but he will not be discussed here, and inside the United States he is popularly considered to be an enemy of George Soros, only because the two men oppose each other on domestic issues. (Billionaires tend to be much more concerned with, and united about, foreign affairs than about domestic affairs, though they do oppose both their taxation and their regulation — they are for ‘free markets’, both domestically and abroad, and yet they also favor imposition of economic sanctions against countries which resist becoming controlled by them, and so they don’t really favor free markets except to the extent that free markets favor their own increase in power and thus tend toward oligopoly and away from competition.) Both men are much more alike than different, and both represent what’s called “neoliberalism,” which is the universal ideology of billionaires, or at least of all billionaires who donate to (i.e., invest in) politicians. Only few billionaires don’t invest in politicians; and, though politicians disagree with one-another, almost all of them are neoliberals, because politicians who aren’t that are not funded by the Deep State (the billionaires). The foreign policies of neoliberals are called “neoconservative” and this means supporting regime-change in any country that’s labeled by billionaires and their government an “enemy” nation. So, “neoconservative” is merely an extension of “neoliberal”: it favors extending neoliberalism to other nations — it is internationally aggressive neoliberalism; it is imperialistic neoliberalism. It is fascism, but so is neoliberalism itself fascist; the difference between the two is that neoconservatism is the imperialistic extension of fascism — it is the imperialistic fascism that, in World War II, was represented by the three Axis powers — Germany, Italy, and Japan — not by the purely domestic fascism that was represented by Spain. Whereas Spain was merely neoliberal, the Axis were also neoconservative (expansionist neoliberal), and the latter is what the Allies in WW II were warring against. But now the US has emerged as the world’s leading neoconservative regime, invading and occupying country after country, none of which had ever invaded nor even threatened to invade the United States. Propaganda is necessary in order to ‘justify’ doing that. This article will describe how that’s done.
The Deep State doesn’t concern domestic issues, because virtually all of its members control international corporations, and the Deep State is almost entirely about international issues: foreign policies, diplomacy, military issues, and international spying agencies called “intelligence agencies” — extending the empire. The Deep State controls all of that, regardless of what Party is nominally in power. (The public care little about foreign policy, pay little attention to it, and believe the government when it alleges that “national security” is about protecting them, and not about expanding the power and wealth of the billionaires.)
The dictatorship of the US Deep State really is more international than national; it provides the continuity in international relations, when it chooses and defines which nations (which foreign governments) are “allies” (meaning “we sell arms to them”) and which are instead “enemies” (meaning “we should sanction them and maybe even bomb them”). Both allies and enemies are essential in order for the military-industrial-press-government complex (here: “MIPGC”) to thrive, and the Deep State controls the entire MIPGC. In other words: the Deep State is an international empire, and, as such, its supreme aspiration is to conquer (via subversion, sanctions, coups, and/or invasions) all countries that it labels as “enemies.”
The way that the Deep State views things, there is no need for an ‘enemy’ to threaten or invade the United States in order for it to be “an enemy,” but, instead, the United States and its allies possess a God-given right to impose sanctions against, or coups overthrowing, or invasions of, any country they choose, so long as they can criticize that other country for being a ‘dictatorship’, or for ‘violating human rights’, or for otherwise doing what the Deep State itself actually does more than any other government on this planet does (and particularly does it to its selected ‘enemies’ — such as were Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and any other country that’s either friendly toward, or else an ally of, Russia, which is the other nuclear super-power, and the Deep State’s central target).
However, though those few super-wealthy individuals (in addition to the general public’s taxes) fund its operations, their many operatives are true-believing followers (believers in neoliberalism-neoconservatism), and this is the reason why the masters fund those individuals’ careers. It’s why these masters provide the platforms and personal connections and employment which enable the true-believers to advance, while opponents of the Deep State (i.e., opponents of the billionaires’ collective dictatorship) cannot find any billionaires to patronize them. In a society that has extremely concentrated wealth, this means that there will be virtual penury for opponents of the billionaires’ collective dictatorship. Especially the major politicians need patrons amongst the aristocracy, the billionaires, in order to have successful careers.
The beneficiary of the Deep State who will be exemplified, discussed, and finally quoted, here, will be Jacek Rostowski, who is also known as Jan Anthony, and as Jan Anthony Vincent-Rostowski. Wikipedia’s article on him opens:
Jan Anthony Vincent-Rostowski, also known as Jacek Rostowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjan ˈvint͡sɛnt rɔsˈtɔfskʲi]; born 30 April 1951, London) is a British-Polish economist and politician who served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.
He was a candidate for Change UK in London at the 2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom.
It also says:
From 1995 he has been Professor of Economics and was the head of the Department of Economics at the Central European University in Budapest during the periods: 1995–2000 and 2005–2006. …
Rostowski was a member of Britain’s Conservative Party. In the beginning of 2010, it was announced that two months prior he has become member of the Civic Platform party (PO). In the wake of the Parliamentary Elections of 2011, he became Member of Parliament, being elected from the list of Civic Platform Party (PO).
In late 2015, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz appointed Rostowski as her top political adviser.
Vincent-Rostowski has published around 40 academic papers on European enlargement, monetary policy, currency policy and the transformation of post communist economies. He is the author of academic books including Macroeconomic Instability in Post-Communist Countries published by Oxford University Press.
On November 3rd, the Ukrainian ‘news’-medium Apostrophe interviewed him, and published the interview in Ukrainian. (The interviewee isn’t fluent in Ukrainian, but the article’s translator into Ukrainian isn’t identified.) What will be posted here is an English translation of that Ukrainian original.
Apostrophe started in August 2014.
The site was aimed to prepare informational and analytical materials, presentations of important events in politics, economics, society and culture. Apostrophe’s editorial policy is based on principles of impartiality, precision and veracity, velocity, objectivity and balance in the presentation of information. Apostrophe sticks to journalism ethical standards. That is why published materials should not propagate violence, cruelty, cause racial, national or religious hatred. Apostrophe is a proponent of the common humanism values, peace, democracy, social progress and human rights.
The project functions with the direct participation and use of the resources of the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS). Apostrophe’s idea lies within the framework of synergy between journalists and analysts.
ICPS was founded in 1994 upon the initiative of the Prague-based Open Society Institute (OSI). At that moment, ICPS was the first independent think-tank in Ukraine.
The Open Society Institute was founded by George Soros. He also founded the Central European University in Budapest, where the interviewee was employed for five years.
Those are just the obvious ways in which the interviewee had been funded and advanced by Mr. Soros.
Soros also had helped to fund the overthrow of the democratically elected and internationally non-aligned President of Ukraine in 2014 and to replace him with a nazi anti-Russian regime which serves as a terrific asset for the US-and-allied Deep State, because of Ukraine’s having a 1,625-mile border with the country that the US-installed regime in Ukraine hates: Russia (hates it because the Deep State craves, above all, to control also the other nuclear super-power; so, this is hatred-on-command).
A basic presumption of that interview, both by the interviewer and by the interviewee, is the Russian Government’s being wrong in everything, and the Ukrainian Government’s — the regime which Obama (another of Soros’s beneficiaries) had installed — being right in everything. Here is this interview, as an illustrative example of how propaganda is professionally done:
ORIGINAL OF THIS ARTICLE (in Ukrainian) (now translated here into English):
Apostrophe: How would you describe the current state of security in the European region?
Jan Anthony: Since 2014, military security has become a more important topic of discussion in Europe. After all, the events in Crimea and Donbass caused shock. After a long period of time, when defence issues were put on the back burner, they are now again becoming an important factor in the European security environment. Now there are serious problems requiring high priority and serious solutions. And, of course, there are other problems that relate to the same issue — the fight against terrorism, for example.
The EU and NATO work very closely together to prepare for different types of threats. Now there is a return to a potential military conflict with Russia. In addition, there is an unsustainable security situation in the south, in Africa, because of the conflict in Libya, and in the Sahara. They can also pose a terrorist threat. Therefore, the issue of European security has become more complex than it was 5-10 years ago.
“You specialize in managing military conflicts. How do you think the conflict in Ukraine can be solved?
“Conflict management and conflict resolution are different things. Now I see attempts to create a more positive context in the Donbass issue. We need to return to the Minsk agreements as a basic resolution on the conflict. As you know, discussions are under way on the so-called Steinmeier formula. Therefore, now there is an opportunity to return to the discussion of how the Minsk agreements should be implemented. There are serious questions about the sequence of points — what should be done in the first place. And there is also the question of how to confirm the parties’ compliance with their obligations, because now there is a very low level of trust among the participants. Therefore, everything that will be done, it is necessary to immediately demonstrate — behold, it is fulfilled.
“How about the implementation of Minsk? Especially given that it has not worked for almost 5 years.
“As I see it, no one is discussing any alternatives now. Perhaps among the people discussing ways to implement the agreements, there are other options, but I have no idea what they can be. The Minsk agreements are still in the spotlight.
“Let’s talk about Crimea. What are the threats on the peninsula?
“With Crimea it’s a different story than with Donbass. In Crimea there are facilities that can be a base for Russian nuclear weapons, including the Russian navy, capable of carrying nuclear weapons in the Black Sea. [NOTE HERE: Obama’s takeover of Ukraine was originally aimed at taking over Russia’s naval base in Crimea and installing an even larger US naval base there, against Russia.]
“So the main threat is nuclear weapons?
“Of course, it is an extremely serious threat by its nature. Any use of it would be disastrous.
“Will the Kremlin decide to use these weapons in the near future? Or is it just a way to intimidate the West?
“The primary objective of nuclear weapons is deterrence. This is the main goal with which Russia placed it in Crimea.
“Is it possible to compare the situation with the Cuban crisis?
“I would not say that these two situations are similar. There the crisis came very, very close to escalating into an armed conflict. I don’t think we’re going to get to that level of confrontation. [NOTE HERE: Both the interviewer and the interviewee ignore that instead of the Soviet Union’s 1962 attempt to place nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba 95 miles from America’s border, the US ploy now is to place its nuclear missiles right on Russia’s 1625-mile border with Russia — the discussants’ assumption reverses the actual threat, and thus insults their readers’ — or else their own — basic intelligence.] But now it is a very dangerous situation. We need to find more stable mechanisms that cannot be developed by comparing the situation to the Cuban crisis.
“How can the Western world force Russia to take its weapons from Crimea?
“Of course, the sanctions have had an effect. I’m sure they’ll stay — I don’t see any reason to take them off. International pressure on Russia will continue. Normalization of relations with it is impossible as long as the current situation in Crimea remains. And since Russia has no intention of leaving the peninsula, we will live for a long time in difficult relations with it, including sanctions, as well as cooperation of Western countries, taking into account possible military confrontation.
“Let’s recall the attack on Ukrainian military vessels in the Kerch Strait, which occurred almost a year ago. How can we avoid the threat of further Russian attacks on Ukrainian and foreign ships?
“Ukraine has lost control of part of its navigation, as well as guaranteed access to the Sea of Azov — and this is a complex problem. This issue must therefore remain the focus of international attention. Ukraine should have access to the water area and carry out commercial operations in ports. Georgia faced the same problem — the loss of control over navigation in a certain area. A special mechanism is needed to address these issues. But I have no suggestions on what it should be.
“Russia recently blocked international waters in the Black Sea and thus blocked trade routes. How should the international community respond to such behaviour?
“We must respect the International Convention on Navigation. We must continue to conduct military exercises in the Black Sea and it is important that NATO countries participate in them. Of course, there remains a risk that Russia will also organize its exercises. I think the ships will enjoy the freedom of navigation established by the International Convention. Some issues may need to be discussed more broadly for the sake of a future long-term convention. We need to make it more relevant to modern security requirements. It is important to revise time limits on stay in the Black Sea for NATO ships. Nato’s defence and deterrence plans should also be changed. NATO must have greater access to the Black Sea and its naval forces spend more time there.
“Does the need to renegotiate international agreements on the weakness of international institutions, as well as their unpreparedness for strikes by Russia, speak?
“Many countries have entered into bilateral agreements with Russia to ensure their confidence in the use of the sea. I think such deals need to be modernized, as well as add another agreement, which spells out a mechanism for discussing maritime incidents on the basis of international organizations, for example, under the OSCE umbrella. This will avoid misunderstandings that may arise from disregard for the rules.
In the case of deliberate violations, for example, when military exercises block part of the Black Sea, other measures of influence will have to be used. And in that case, there must be a clear international response. If you look at the 2014 NATO summit at Brussels, there have been decisions that have had a very tough response in the event of any crisis. The only question is what to do to Ukraine, which is not a member of the Alliance and does not obey its decisions.
“Regarding Russian military power. During the “Grom-2019” exercises, which were held recently under the personal guidance of Vladimir Putin, the nuclear submarine cruiser K-44 “Ryazan” fired only one ballistic intercontinental missile R-29R. The other missile just didn’t come out of the mine. This is not the first time that the Russian army has failed. So the question arises, is Russia really a threat to peace, all this is just a demonstration?
“Russia can solve the problems that you have named. But no one doubts that it has an extremely powerful nuclear arsenal. Despite some problems with weapons, Russia is still very strong.
“The Kremlin has promised to develop short- and medium-range missiles and deploy them to confront the West (in fact, they already exist — Iskanders). Does this mean that now the situation in Europe is close to the state of the Cold War, when the USSR and the West deployed iCBM for mutual deterrence?
“Yes, Russia has already developed and deployed the ICBM. We don’t know if they’re all equipped with nuclear weapons. But for the balance of power, NATO must have a significant force with nuclear weapons.
There are differences with the Cold War. Then there was complete separation and no contact between East and West. And now we have significant economic cooperation. It is still possible to hold political discussions, including with the participation of intergovernmental organizations. So now the situation is not quite the same as during the Cold War. But, as I said, the security situation in Europe is very difficult and relations with Russia deteriorate. The absence of signs that this deterioration is coming to an end is worrying. There are no very effective ways to improve relations with Russia. Therefore, there are different reasons for concern.
“The Kremlin sent the S-400 division and the Panzir-S battery to Serbia to the Russian Air Defense Forces. This is, in fact, Russian military exercises near the EU. [NOTE HERE: The problem isn’t that Russia is moving too close to the EU — such as the discussants imply — but that NATO has moved right up to Russia’s borders. Again, the presumption insults readers’ — and/or their own — basic intelligence.] Is this preparation for a strike against the West?
“Serbia’s position is that they want to have good relations with both their neighbors and NATO countries, but also with Russia. Serbia is also training with NATO countries. Serbia wants a balance of power, but in the event of a conflict it will support EU membership. It is politically and economically related to Western countries. Therefore, I do not believe that such exercises are the Kremlin’s preparation for an attack on the EU.
“How would you assess the military threats to Europe in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova?
“It is difficult to answer because these are three different countries and the situation in each of them is completely different from the other.
“Ukraine and Moldova have similar situations. Russian soldiers are still in Transnistria – the only difference is that the conflict there is frozen.
“Yes, they are there, but they do not fight like in Ukraine.
Do you believe that this frozen conflict can continue?
“Today we think it’s not very likely.
“Is Europe expecting a military strike from Russia?
“No, we don’t expect it and we don’t expect it. But we do not rule it out, we allow it in our defense plans. Preparations are under way for these attacks, which means that their probability is reduced.
“Russia invests heavily in European political parties like the French National Front or the League of the North in Italy. Is there any evidence that the Kremlin is investing in “militia” in EU countries and supplying weapons to Europe to shake up the situation. Perhaps it is funding crime to influence the situation in the EU?
“There have been many investigations into ties with the Kremlin, in particular financial ties from politicians. The EU discusses a lot of cyber threats, the possibility of attacks on infrastructure, as well as information attacks. But I have never seen the Kremlin supply weapons to non-state organizations, especially criminal groups.
“Russia has taken up the settlement of the issue in Syria. What’s going on out there now?
“Officially, Russia is helping Bashar al-Assad’s forces gain control over Syrian territory. But what is happening now is, from the Kremlin’s point of view, the formation of a single strategic space, including the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. Russia has free access to the Black Sea and now the Russian Navy has gained much greater access to the waters of the eastern Mediterranean. They plan to use this strategic space for a possible confrontation with NATO forces.
“How can this affect Europe?
“It’s a very difficult question. One issue of concern is the influx of refugees and temporarily displaced persons to Turkey and Europe. On the other hand, again, Russia’s creation of a single strategic space, interference in the Mediterranean.
“Let’s go back to Ukraine. You are a nuclear safety expert. We have many nuclear power plants, can they pose a threat to the world in the event of full-scale aggression?
“Yes, this is a very big threat, first of all for Ukraine itself, then for the rest of the world. One of the Ukrainian officials stated that this is why there was a significant revision of the concept of Ukraine’s security. It includes so-called “internal threats” to nuclear equipment and the creation of national protection, will protect and defend nuclear reactors. I think that the threat to the infrastructure of the nuclear power plant in Ukraine is real. But the Ukrainian government takes this seriously and takes the necessary measures.Conclusion
As can be clearly seen there, the basic method of the Deep State’s propagandists is to ask questions which have assumptions that are the reverse of reality, and to answer these questions in ways that confirm those falsehoods.
This is what many millions of people get paid to do.
And it creates “Big Brother” or the Deep State here, just as, in 1948, George Orwell might have been thinking that it would do in 1984. And a good example of how the Deep State ‘justifies’ itself in America, is shown here.Tyler Durden Thu, 11/14/2019 - 23:45 Tags Politics War Conflict
The Cheapest Places To Rent An Apartment In The U.S.
Americans who are looking for a deal on an apartment might want to check out Ohio...
You will find more infographics at Statista
A one-bedroom apartment in Columbus, Ohio, costs $489 a month. It's the only zip code on the list that's under $500.
Rogers, Arkansas and Greenville, Texas, were tied for second least expensive, with monthly rents costing $510. Cities like Oklahoma City, Champaign, Illinois and Shreveport, Louisiana, cost under $550 per month.
Conway, Arkansas fell in the middle of the last with $555 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and Amarillo, Texas, Derby, Kansas, and Youngstown, Ohio finished off the least expensive zip codes by costing renters about $600 per month.Tyler Durden Thu, 11/14/2019 - 23:25 Tags Business Finance
Casualties Of War: Military Veterans Have Become America's Walking Wounded
Come you masters of war / You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes / You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls / You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know / I can see through your masks….
You fasten all the triggers / For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch / When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion / While the young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies / And is buried in the mud.
— Bob Dylan, “Masters of War”
War drives the American police state.
The military-industrial complex is the world’s largest employer.
War sustains our way of life while killing us at the same time. As Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent and author Chris Hedges observes:
War is like a poison. And just as a cancer patient must at times ingest a poison to fight off a disease, so there are times in a society when we must ingest the poison of war to survive. But what we must understand is that just as the disease can kill us, so can the poison. If we don't understand what war is, how it perverts us, how it corrupts us, how it dehumanizes us, how it ultimately invites us to our own self-annihilation, then we can become the victim of war itself.
War also entertains us with its carnage, its killing fields, its thrills and chills and bloodied battles set to music and memorialized in books, on television, in video games, and in superhero films and blockbuster Hollywood movies financed in part by the military.
Americans are fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda that keeps them content to wave flags with patriotic fervor and less inclined to look too closely at the mounting body counts, the ruined lives, the ravaged countries, the blowback arising from ill-advised targeted-drone killings and bombing campaigns in foreign lands, or the transformation of our own homeland into a warzone.
Nowhere is this double-edged irony more apparent than during military holidays, when we get treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians, corporations and others with similarly self-serving motives eager to go on record as being pro-military.
Yet war is a grisly business, a horror of epic proportions.
In terms of human carnage alone, war’s devastation is staggering. For example, it is estimated that approximately 231 million people died worldwide during the wars of the 20th century. This figure does not take into account the walking wounded—both physically and psychologically—who “survive” war.
Many of those who have served in the military are among America’s walking wounded.
Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts more than 20 million veterans who have served in World War II through the present day, the plight of veterans today has become America’s badge of shame, with large numbers of veterans impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, suicide, and marital stress, homeless, subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration offices.
According to a recent report by the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017.
On average, 6,000 veterans kill themselves every year, and the numbers are on the rise.
As Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston, observed, “For soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, coming home is more lethal than being in combat.”
Unfortunately, it’s the U.S. government that poses the greater threat to America’s military veterans, especially if they are among that portion of the population that exercises their First Amendment right to speak out against government wrongdoing.
Consider: we raise our young people on a steady diet of militarism and war, sell them on the idea that defending freedom abroad by serving in the military is their patriotic duty, then when they return home, bruised and battle-scarred and committed to defending their freedoms at home, we often treat them like criminals merely for exercising those rights they risked their lives to defend.
The government even has a name for its war on America’s veterans: Operation Vigilant Eagle.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, this Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”
Coupled with the DHS’ dual reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” which broadly define extremists as individuals, military veterans and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” these tactics bode ill for anyone seen as opposing the government.
Yet the government is not merely targeting individuals who are voicing their discontent so much as it is taking aim at individuals trained in military warfare.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the DHS has gone extremely quiet about Operation Vigilant Eagle.
Where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be fire.
And the government’s efforts to target military veterans whose views may be perceived as “anti-government” make clear that something is afoot.
In recent years, military servicemen and women have found themselves increasingly targeted for surveillance, censorship, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, labeled as extremists and/or mentally ill, and stripped of their Second Amendment rights.
An important point to consider, however, is that under the guise of mental health treatment and with the complicity of government psychiatrists and law enforcement officials, these veterans are increasingly being portrayed as threats to national security.
In light of the government’s efforts to lay the groundwork to weaponize the public’s biomedical data and predict who might pose a threat to public safety based on mental health sensor data (a convenient means by which to penalize certain “unacceptable” social behaviors), encounters with the police could get even more deadly, especially if those involved have a mental illness or disability coupled with a military background.
Incredibly, as part of a proposal being considered by the Trump Administration, a new government agency HARPA (a healthcare counterpart to the Pentagon’s research and development arm DARPA) will take the lead in identifying and targeting “signs” of mental illness or violent inclinations among the populace by using artificial intelligence to collect data from Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
These tactics are not really new.
Many times throughout history in totalitarian regimes, such governments have declared dissidents mentally ill and unfit for society as a means of disempowering them.
As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum observes in Gulag: A History: “The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can ‘pay their debt to society,’ make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself. The rulers of ancient Rome and Greece sent their dissidents off to distant colonies. Socrates chose death over the torment of exile from Athens. The poet Ovid was exiled to a fetid port on the Black Sea.”
For example, government officials in the Cold War-era Soviet Union often used psychiatric hospitals as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally through the use of electric shocks, drugs and various medical procedures.
Insisting that “ideas about a struggle for truth and justice are formed by personalities with a paranoid structure,” the psychiatric community actually went so far as to provide the government with a diagnosis suitable for locking up such freedom-oriented activists.
In addition to declaring political dissidents mentally unsound, Russian officials also made use of an administrative process for dealing with individuals who were considered a bad influence on others or troublemakers.
Author George Kennan describes a process in which:
The obnoxious person may not be guilty of any crime . . . but if, in the opinion of the local authorities, his presence in a particular place is “prejudicial to public order” or “incompatible with public tranquility,” he may be arrested without warrant, may be held from two weeks to two years in prison, and may then be removed by force to any other place within the limits of the empire and there be put under police surveillance for a period of from one to ten years. Administrative exile–which required no trial and no sentencing procedure–was an ideal punishment not only for troublemakers as such, but also for political opponents of the regime.
This age-old practice by which despotic regimes eliminate their critics or potential adversaries by declaring them mentally ill and locking them up in psychiatric wards for extended periods of time is a common practice in present-day China.
What is particularly unnerving, however, is how this practice of eliminating or undermining potential critics, including military veterans, is happening with increasing frequency in the United States.
Remember, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) opened the door for the government to detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker. According to government guidelines for identifying domestic extremists—a word used interchangeably with terrorists—technically, anyone exercising their First Amendment rights in order to criticize the government qualifies.
It doesn’t take much anymore to be flagged as potentially anti-government in a government database somewhere—Main Core, for example—that identifies and tracks individuals who aren’t inclined to march in lockstep to the government’s dictates.
In fact, as the Washington Post reports, communities are being mapped and residents assigned a color-coded threat score—green, yellow or red—so police are forewarned about a person’s potential inclination to be a troublemaker depending on whether they’ve had a career in the military, posted a comment perceived as threatening on Facebook, suffer from a particular medical condition, or know someone who knows someone who might have committed a crime.
The case of Brandon Raub is a prime example of Operation Vigilant Eagle in action.
Raub, a 26-year-old decorated Marine, actually found himself interrogated by government agents about his views on government corruption, arrested with no warning, labeled mentally ill for subscribing to so-called “conspiratorial” views about the government, detained against his will in a psych ward for standing by his views, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys.
On August 16, 2012, a swarm of local police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s Virginia home, asking to speak with him about posts he had made on his Facebook page made up of song lyrics, political opinions and dialogue used in a political thriller virtual card game.
Among the posts cited as troublesome were lyrics to a song by a rap group and Raub’s views, shared increasingly by a number of Americans, that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job.
After a brief conversation and without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, Raub was then handcuffed and transported to police headquarters, then to a medical center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook posts were “terrorist in nature.”
Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. Meanwhile, in a kangaroo court hearing that turned a deaf ear to Raub’s explanations about the fact that his Facebook posts were being read out of context, Raub was sentenced to up to 30 days’ further confinement in a psychiatric ward.
Thankfully, The Rutherford Institute came to Raub’s assistance, which combined with heightened media attention, brought about his release and may have helped prevent Raub from being successfully “disappeared” by the government.
Even so, within days of Raub being seized and forcibly held in a VA psych ward, news reports started surfacing of other veterans having similar experiences.
“Oppositional defiance disorder” (ODD) is another diagnosis being used against veterans who challenge the status quo. As journalist Anthony Martin explains, an ODD diagnosis
“denotes that the person exhibits ‘symptoms’ such as the questioning of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the unwillingness to go along with the crowd, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or individuals who are suspicious of large, centralized government… At one time the accepted protocol among mental health professionals was to reserve the diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and teachers.”
Frankly, based on how well my personality and my military service in the U.S. Armed Forces fit with this description of “oppositional defiance disorder,” I’m sure there’s a file somewhere with my name on it.
That the government is using the charge of mental illness as the means by which to immobilize (and disarm) these veterans is diabolical. With one stroke of a magistrate’s pen, these veterans are being declared mentally ill, locked away against their will, and stripped of their constitutional rights.
If it were just being classified as “anti-government,” that would be one thing.
Unfortunately, anyone with a military background and training is also now being viewed as a heightened security threat by police who are trained to shoot first and ask questions later.
Feeding this perception of veterans as ticking time bombs in need of intervention, the Justice Department launched a pilot program in 2012 aimed at training SWAT teams to deal with confrontations involving highly trained and often heavily armed combat veterans.
Police encounters with military veterans often escalate very quickly into an explosive and deadly situation, especially when SWAT teams are involved.
For example, Jose Guerena, a Marine who served in two tours in Iraq, was killed after an Arizona SWAT team kicked open the door of his home during a mistaken drug raid and opened fire. Thinking his home was being invaded by criminals, Guerena told his wife and child to hide in a closet, grabbed a gun and waited in the hallway to confront the intruders. He never fired his weapon. In fact, the safety was still on his gun when he was killed. The SWAT officers, however, not as restrained, fired 70 rounds of ammunition at Guerena—23 of those bullets made contact. Apart from his military background, Guerena had had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.
John Edward Chesney, a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran, was killed by a SWAT team allegedly responding to a call that the Army veteran was standing in his San Diego apartment window waving what looked like a semi-automatic rifle. SWAT officers locked down Chesney’s street, took up positions around his home, and fired 12 rounds into Chesney’s apartment window. It turned out that the gun Chesney reportedly pointed at police from three stories up was a “realistic-looking mock assault rifle.”
Ramon Hooks’ encounter with a Houston SWAT team did not end as tragically, but it very easily could have. Hooks, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, was using an air rifle gun for target practice outside when a Homeland Security Agent, allegedly house shopping in the area, reported him as an active shooter. It wasn’t long before the quiet neighborhood was transformed into a war zone, with dozens of cop cars, an armored vehicle and heavily armed police. Hooks was arrested, his air rifle pellets and toy gun confiscated, and charges filed against him for “criminal mischief.”
Given the government’s increasing view of veterans as potential domestic terrorists, it makes one think twice about government programs encouraging veterans to include a veterans designation on their drivers’ licenses and ID cards.
Hailed by politicians as a way to “make it easier for military veterans to access discounts from retailers, restaurants, hotels and vendors across the state,” it will also make it that much easier for the government to identify and target veterans who dare to challenge the status quo.
After all, no one is spared in a police state.
Eventually, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we all suffer the same fate.
It stands to reason that if the government can’t be bothered to abide by its constitutional mandate to respect the citizenry’s rights—whether it’s the right to be free from government surveillance and censorship, the right to due process and fair hearings, the right to be free from roadside strip searches and militarized police, or the right to peacefully assemble and protest and exercise our right to free speech—then why should anyone expect the government to treat our nation’s veterans with respect and dignity?
Here’s a suggestion: if you really want to do something to show your respect and appreciation for the nation’s veterans, why not skip the parades and the flag-waving and instead go exercise your rights—the freedoms that those veterans swore to protect—by pushing back against the government’s tyranny.
It’s time the rest of the nation did its part to safeguard the freedoms we too often take for granted.
Freedom is not free.Tyler Durden Thu, 11/14/2019 - 23:05 Tags Politics
China Is About To Get Angry: US Senate To Vote Show Of Support For Hong Kong Protesters
As noted moments ago, futures ramped to new record highs rising above 3,100 following a quote from top Trump advisor Larry Kudlow, who has figured out that he gets most bang for the buck in juicing futures when liquidity is virtually nil, around 8pm or so, when he told reporters that Phase One of the China deal is "down to the short strokes", adding that "we are in communication with them every single day right now", and repeating that "a deal is close", even if "it’s not done yet."
And yet, while such Deal On/Deal Off market manipulation is nothing new and has been going on for over a year and a half, there is the possibility that China is about to be royally pissed off, if not by Trump for whom a China (non) "deal" is critical to pushing the market to all time highs just before the 2020 presidential election and thus will not dare to anger Xi Jinping over the ongoing fiasco that is Hong Kong, then by the Senate, which is preparing for quick passage of legislation to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong by placing the city’s special trading status with the U.S. under annual review.
According to Bloomberg, the Senate is set to bring the bill to the floor under an expedited process that would allow for quick passage unless there is an objection, according to the lead sponsor, Republican Senator Marco Rubio. And since it is unlikely anyone will object, the bill is expected to pass as early as next week.
"The world witnesses the people of Hong Kong standing up every day to defend their long-cherished freedoms against an increasingly aggressive Beijing and Hong Kong government,” Rubio said. “Now more than ever, the United States must send a clear message to Beijing that the free world stands with Hong Kongers in their struggle."
Rubio and Democratic co-sponsor, Senator Ben Cardin, have garnered broad bipartisan support for their bill, including from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, who has pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a swift vote. Rubio and McConnell met late Wednesday to hash out a way forward for the legislation, which would also levy sanctions on people the president finds responsible for human rights violations.
“The world needs to see that the United States will stand up and tell the Chinese Communist Party that what they are doing to the people of Hong Kong is wrong,” Risch said in a statement. “The U.S. stands with the people of Hong Kong, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senate leadership and my colleagues across the aisle to move this bill swiftly.”
While it is unclear what the Senate's vote will achieve, besides potentially removing any hope for even a "phase one" deal, Hong Kong has been paralyzed since Monday morning, when a demonstrator was shot during protests.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that the White House declined to comment Thursday when asked whether Trump would sign it into law; a veto by Trump would indicate that for all the belligerent posturing, Trump and Xi have long since reached an agreement behind the scenes, whereby China "folds" to Trump's demands, while Trump refuses to intervene in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would require the State Department to certify at least once a year whether Hong Kong should keep its special status under U.S. law. This legislation is slightly different from the version passed by the House of Representatives, which means the two bills would have to be reconciled and passed by both chambers before going to President Donald Trump.
Predictably, on a day when China's president Xi said that "stopping the storm and restoring order" in Hong Kong is the most urgent task for Hong Kong, once again raising the possibility of military intervention by the PLA, the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday warned of retaliation if the measure passes Congress, adding that China will take resolute measures to safeguard its interests, and repeating that the US should immediately stop interference in Hong Kong issues.Tyler Durden Thu, 11/14/2019 - 22:45 Tags Politics
PBS Frontline's "In The Age of AI" Exposes Big-Tech's Ongoing Abuse Of Public Trust
You won’t see cell phones or personal computers much in movies or TV shows until the late 1990s because most people didn’t own them. Of course most people didn’t need them either. If you couldn’t afford a “home phone” – pay phones usually weren’t hard to find. Anyone who needed to be “on call” – like doctors – wore pagers.
People who grew up without new technology know firsthand that it has made the world better in some ways.
We also know that it has made it worse in others. People who never knew the world without new technology have been conditioned to believe that all of it is necessary as well as beneficial. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. 5G is very dangerous (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is associated with many risks as well.
There will always be people who want more technology regardless of the human and environmental consequences. Those kinds of people are not going to like Frontline’s “In the Age of AI”.
FRONTLINE investigates the promise and perils of artificial intelligence, from fears about work and privacy to rivalry between the U.S. and China. The documentary traces a new industrial revolution that will reshape and disrupt our lives, our jobs and our world, and allow the emergence of the surveillance society.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyGEejOBdFc]Tyler Durden Thu, 11/14/2019 - 22:25 Tags Technology Internet
The SAS soldier (pictured) will be awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for his response to gun and grenade attack by al-Shabaab terrorists on the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi on January 15.
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