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Unfreedom Tower casts a dark shadow over ‘Gulag America’

By Dr. Kevin Barrett | Press TV | May 19, 2013

The USA, once one of the most free countries on earth, is no longer free. It is rapidly becoming a militarized gulag society – a giant open air prison.”
Nearly 1,000 American military bases occupy every corner of the planet. US troops have killed more than a million people in various countries during the past decade. Officially, this is all being done in the name of “freedom.”

Yet the USA, once one of the most free countries on earth, is no longer free. It is rapidly becoming a militarized gulag society – a giant open air prison.

The faster Americans lose their freedom, the louder their leaders chant empty, Orwellian freedom slogans. And the loudest and most Orwellian symbol of American unfreedom is the new World Trade Center skyscraper officially named the Freedom Tower, which might more appropriately be called the Unfreedom Tower.

Appropriately enough, the new Unfreedom Tower will be surrounded by $40 million dollars worth of “security infrastructure” including bollards, dual-barricades, street barriers and 11-foot-tall security booths. New York Business Journal lamented the situation in its recent headline: “World Trade Center or armed camp?” According to the New York Times, Lower Manhattan will become “a fortresslike environment” featuring “a fortified palisade of guard booths, vehicle barricades and sidewalk barriers.” New York Magazine quoted one of the planners: “You have these checkpoints that make it look more like an armed camp or a gated community.”

Or an Israeli-occupied territory.

The Unfreedom Tower is the architectural symbol of the new, post-9/11 world. The contradiction between its ostensible symbolic meaning – “freedom” – and the reality on the ground around it is not an accident.

George Orwell famously explained how those who set out to crush freedom do so by violating logic and language. By flooding the airwaves with slogans like “freedom is slavery,” Big Brother’s dystopian government in Orwell’s novel 1984 paralyzes the public’s capacity to think clearly and logically. Once clear thinking is paralyzed, Big Brother can do whatever he wants. As Orwell put it: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

By building a “Freedom Tower” surrounded by an armed camp, symbolizing the loss of liberty that 9/11 was designed to catalyze, the architects of Philip Zelikow’s post-9/11 “whole new world” are systematically and intentionally destroying the American public’s capacity to think.

Zelikow, Wolfowitz, and the other architects of this Orwellian “whole new world” have been using their controlled corporate media to attack the American mind with Orwellian “freedom equals slavery” slogans, beginning just minutes after the Twin Towers were demolished. Practically before the North Tower had finished its ten-second-freefall, the television was blaring that Bin Laden and his friends did it because “they hate our freedoms.” The utter absurdity of this statement was rarely remarked on.

The television then repeatedly told Americans that in order to preserve their freedom, they would have to give up some of their liberty. The fact that freedom and liberty mean the same thing makes this an absurdity. By forcing Americans to internalize such absurdities, the mind-controllers created a whole nation of unthinking automatons, ready to march off to war on transparently ridiculous premises… and to systematically slaughter civilians, rape children in front of their parents as an “interrogation technique,” commit unspeakable sexual crimes at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, poison much of the Middle East and Central Asia with depleted uranium, murder thousands of innocent people with cowardly drone strikes, and generally perpetrate unspeakable acts on a daily basis.

As Voltaire put it: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” If Voltaire were alive today, he would tell us that people who believe three skyscrapers can disappear at free-fall acceleration through the path of most resistance, due to modest office fires ignited by only two planes, will commit the most hideous atrocities imaginable.

The Unfreedom Tower now looms over an unfree land.

In today’s America, executive-branch death panels oversee a “disposition matrix” in which computers decide which people will be murdered by the government, which ones will merely be disappeared without charges into the global sex torture gulag, and which ones will be arrested and tried in a courtroom. This despite the clear Constitutional statement that in the USA, no one may be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” And the phrase “due process of law” is clearly defined: It means a public, transparent trial by jury, beginning with presumption of innocence, under various safeguards.

The pretext for this annihilation of liberty is the “war on terrorism.” Big Brother tells us that terrorists are likely to strike us all dead at any moment, so emergency measures are necessary. But in reality, terrorism barely even exists. Americans are more likely to drown in their bathtubs, or be hit by lightning, than be killed by terrorists. The whole terror scare is a paranoid hallucination that was carefully scripted and inflicted on the American people by the most depraved and demonic mind-controllers who have ever lived.

Anybody who can see that two plus two make four, not five, can see that the current rulers of the USA are not the Constitutional government. They are treasonous usurpers.

When will Americans break through the checkpoints, overturn the guard booths, overwhelm the barricades, and overthrow the demons-in-human-form who have paralyzed their minds and destroyed their freedoms?

May 19, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

When Will We Realize That It Is Murder?

By TOM MCNAMARA | CounterPunch | January 31, 2013

In his essay “A Hanging,” George Orwell recounts, in great detail, the events he witnessed leading up to the execution of a man. It is important to note that before becoming an outspoken critic of the hypocrisy of Governments, George Orwell worked for one. He was a member of the Indian Imperial Police, having served in Burma, a British colony at the time.

The condemned was a small Hindu man who, while apparently resigned to his fate, none the less had irritated the jail superintendent by the fact that he was still alive at 8:00 o’clock in the morning. “The man ought to have been dead by this time” the superintendent said irritably. The slow pace of the execution was disrupting the smooth functioning of the prison, since the other prisoners couldn’t be fed their breakfast until the sentence had been carried out.

We are given a vivid description of how the man walked awkwardly, encumbered by the chains that restrained him, but steadily, to his fate. When the execution party was about forty yards from the hangman’s gallows, Orwell tells us that a most curious thing occurred. The prisoner, in the last few remaining minutes of his life, made the slight effort to step aside as he was walking so as to avoid a puddle that was in his path.

This event shocked Orwell, who candidly reveals to us that until that moment, he had never truly realized what it meant to kill another human being. It took the insignificant act of a man not wanting to get his feet wet on the way to his own execution to make Orwell understand, for the first time in his life, “what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man” and of the “unspeakable wrongness” involved in executing someone.

The US, as part of its “War on Terror,” a war which, conveniently enough, was undeclared and has no expiration date, has been using drones for at least a decade now. And 2013 appears to have gotten off to a spectacular start, with 7 attacks in the first 10 days of January in Pakistan alone. This compares to an average of less than one a week in 2012. One report has as many as 11 civilians being killed so far this year. This figure is, of course, being disputed by U.S. officials. Unfortunately, they declined to provide a figure of their own.

And while their use has grown, President Obama assures us that, “Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties” and that missile launches have been “very precise precision strikes against al Qaeda and their affiliates, and we have been very careful about how it’s been applied.”

In a direct rebuke to his critics, the President argues, “There’s this perception that we’re just sending a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly. This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists who are trying to go in and harm Americans.”

One would be forgiven for disagreeing.

On October 14, 2011, a 16-year-old boy, and American citizen, named Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed in a deliberate drone strike in Yemen (8 other people were also killed). He shared the same fate as his father, Anwar al-Awlaki, also an American citizen, who was killed in a targeted drone strike 2 weeks prior.

And the boy’s crime? According to Obama senior campaign adviser, and former White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, it was to have the unfortunate luck of being born to a “radical” Muslim cleric.

In an interview with We Are Change, a self proclaimed non-partisan media organization,    Mr. Gibbs tells us that the boy “should have [had] a far more responsible father.” It is not clear if by “responsible father” Mr. Gibbs meant someone with a Nobel Peace Prize, a “kill list” and a fleet of armed attack drones at his disposal.

In defense of the dead boy, it should be noted that his father, an accused member of al-Qaeda who was allegedly plotting to blow up US airliners and poison US citizens, had an honor not given to many radical Muslim clerics.

He had the distinct pleasure of being an invited guest at the Pentagon, dining there in the days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This is a privilege that not even your faithful correspondent’s father has enjoyed.

But surely the killing of children (even children with horrible fathers or children who were not fortunate enough to have been born American citizens) through drone strikes is something that we can all agree is reprehensible and indefensible, isn’t it?

Not according to Mr. Joe Klein, political columnist for Time Magazine. In comments made on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe” on October 23, 2012, Mr. Klein presents us with the thought provoking question of, “Whose four year old gets killed?” He then goes on to advocate the indiscriminate killing of innocent people in the Middle East and Africa with drone attacks (Mr. Klein’s original question implies that he prefers the people killed be four year children), defending his point by stating, “What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.”

To find a similar argument, logic or thought process, I believe, you would have to go back to one of the most morally bankrupt and reprehensible regimes in all of history.

(Author’s Note: while your faithful correspondent is neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist, if your thoughts should ever take you to a place where you find yourself justifying the murder of innocent 4 year old children, I suggest you seek the care of a mental health professional immediately)

But all this talk of killed children is surely a moot point, isn’t it? The US government, once more, assures us that drones are used in a responsible manner, and therefore, rarely kill civilians, let alone children. Unfortunately, a study by the Brookings Institute leads us to believe the contrary. It argues that for every “insurgent” killed, there are, on average, 10 civilians killed as well. And the New American Foundation has found that the US government has the habit of repeatedly under-reporting the number of civilians killed and wounded in drone attacks. More troubling still, a study done jointly by Stanford Law School and the NYU School of Law claims that the US government, as a matter of policy, habitually under-reports the number of civilians killed and wounded in drone attacks.

The US is entering its 12th year of war in Afghanistan (longer than the Soviet Union’s campaign). A key component of US strategy in the region is targeted drone strikes. America’s drone policy has reportedly killed between 474 and 881 civilians in the region, including 176 children.

Further compounding all of this is the controversial US policy called the “double tap.” This involves striking an initial target and then, as people arrive to give aid to the original victims, following up with repeated attacks on the same site. It has been reported that, as a result of this policy, innocent bystanders and non-combatants have been intentionally killed. There are also disturbing reports that funerals have been deliberately hit by targeted drone strikes as well. In almost any other case these events would be labelled as war crimes or terrorism. But somehow, in the US, they only raise “contentious legal questions” according to the New York Times.

If we consider ourselves as being part of a just and correct society, Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter should give us reason to pause. It expressly prohibits the threat or use of force by one state against another.

Some proponents of drone attacks have argued that Article 2(4) doesn’t apply, since these attacks are mostly being carried out on militants and insurgents in regions where the rule of law has broken down. Therefore, the phrase “state” doesn’t apply, nullifying that section of the Charter.

This argument is dubious at best. If it were China, Russia, or Iran engaging in this type of behavior closer to US shores, say in the remote regions of Central or South America, there is no doubt that the US government would be in an uproar over the legality, and the morality, of attack drones.

There is also no doubt that we would finally be able to recognize what the killing of innocent men, women and children with drones really is.

Murder.

Tom McNamara is an Assistant Professor at the ESC Rennes School of Business, France, and a Visiting Lecturer at the French National Military Academy at Saint-Cyr, Coëtquidan, France.

Sources

“A Hanging” by George Orwell, 1931

“Abdulrahman al-Awlaki’s birth certificate” The Washington Post. Accessed at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/documents/abdulrahman-al-awlaki-birth-certificate.html

“Anwar al-Awlaki” October 19, 2012, The New York Times. Accessed at:

http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/a/anwar_al_awlaki/index.html

“Anwar al-Awlaki killing sparks US travel alert” October 1, 2011, BBC. Accessed at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15140198

“CIA ‘revives attacks on rescuers’ in Pakistan” by Chris Woods, June 4th, 2012, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Accessed at:

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/06/04/cia-revives-attacks-on-rescuers-in-pakistan/

“Critics of US drone programme angered by John Brennan’s nomination to CIA” by Paul Harris, January 10, 2013, The Guardian. Accessed at:

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/critics-us-drone-brennan-cia-nomination

“Do Targeted Killings Work?” by Daniel L. Byman, Senior Fellow Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, July 14, 2009, The Brookings Institute. Accessed at:

http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2009/07/14-targeted-killings-byman

“Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes” by Cora Currier, January 11, 2013, ProPublica. Accessed at:

http://www.propublica.org/article/everything-we-know-so-far-about-drone-strikes#correx

“George Orwell” BBC History. Accessed at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/orwell_george.shtml

“Get the Data: Obama’s terror drones” by Chris Woods, February 4, 2012, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Accessed at:

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/get-the-data-obamas-terror-drones/

“Joe Klein’s sociopathic defense of drone killings of children” by Glenn Greenwald, October 23, 2012, The Guardian. Accessed at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/23/klein-drones-morning-joe

“Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan” the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (Stanford Law School) and the Global Justice Clinic (NYU School of Law), September 2012. Accessed at:

http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Stanford_NYU_LIVING_UNDER_DRONES.pdf

“Morning Joe: Scarborough: Drone program is going to cause US problems in future” MSNBC, Accessed at:

http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/scarborough-drone-program-is-going-to-cause-us-problems-in-future/17yak5xn9?cpkey=2a4bc99a-0f01-4da8-8cdf-8fe4b888a3b4%257c%257c%257c%257c

“Obama Defends Drone Use” by  Carol E. Lee and Adam Entous, with a contribution from Jared Favole, January 31, 2012, The Wall Street Journal. Accessed at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204652904577193673318589462.html

“Obama Top Adviser Robert Gibbs Justifies Murder of 16 Year Old American Citizen”  WeAreChange.org, video published October 23, 2012. Accessed at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7MwB2znBZ1g

“Qaeda-Linked Imam Dined at Pentagon after 9/11” By Bob Orr, October 21, 2010, CBSNews /

CBS. Accessed at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-6978200.html

“Robert Gibbs Says Anwar al-Awlaki’s Son, Killed By Drone Strike, Needs ‘Far More Responsible Father’” by ryan Grim, October 24, 2012, The Huffington Post. Accessed at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/robert-gibbs-anwar-al-awlaki_n_2012438.html

“The Charter of the United Nations” June 26, 1945. Accessed at:

http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/intro.shtml

“The Moral Case for Drones” by Scott Shane, July 14, 2012, The New York Times. Accessed at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/sunday-review/the-moral-case-for-drones.html?ref=opinion

‘The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2012’ The New American Foundation. Accessed at:

http://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones

“U.S. airstrike that killed American teen in Yemen raises legal, ethical questions” by Craig Whitlock, October 22, 2011, The Washington Post, Accessed at:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-10-22/world/35277515_1_awlaki-military-airstrike-al-qaeda-affiliate

“U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan on rise for 2013” by Greg Miller, January 11, 2013, The Washington Post. Accessed at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-drone-strikes-in-pakistan-on-rise-for-2013/2013/01/10/d0a204a0-5b58-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toby Harnden’s anti-war book wins Orwell Prize for political writing

Press TV – May 26, 2012

An anti-war book, once pulped by the UK Ministry of Defense, has won the Orwell Prize for political writing by the judges’ unanimous vote.

Dead Men Risen by Toby Harnden is about the death of British officer Lt Colonel Rupert Thorneloe in Afghanistan in 2009.

The book “takes us into the hearts and minds of the Welsh Guards in a way that is both interesting and visceral,” the judges said.

“It challenges every citizen of this country to examine exactly what we’re asking soldiers to do in Afghanistan,” the panel continued.

“Rather than offering easy answers it lets the soldiers speak for themselves.”

The book was published by Quercus in amended form after the MoD bought the entire first print run and destroyed them.

Since the start of the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, 412 British service personnel have been killed.

Britain has more than 9,000 troops stationed in the war-torn country.

Founded by Bernard Crick in 1993, the Orwell Prize is considered the pre-eminent British prize for political writing which honors a writer, a journalist and a blogger each year.

Winners are short-listed entries which come closest to English novelist and journalist George Orwell’s own ambition to “make political writing into an art.”

May 26, 2012 Posted by | Book Review, Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A citizens guide to understanding corporate media propaganda techniques

By George Orwell | | 01.09.2010

https://i0.wp.com/www.crestock.com/uploads/blog/2008/propagandaposters/us_propaganda-21.jpg

A few decades ago, there were thousands of independent media outlets in the US. Today in America, six multinational global media mega corporations run by six individuals control 96% of the content Americans see on TV and watch at the movies; read in books, magazines and newspapers, and hear on the radio.

  • Time Warner
  • VIACOM
  • CBS
  • Walt Disney
  • News Corp
  • General Electric

Click the link below to see the details of who owns what.

Media Ownership Chart: The Big Six

These 6 corporations own the major entertainment theme parks, movie studios, television and radio broadcast networks, cable and satellite channels, video news, magazines, book publishers, sports entertainment, integrated telecommunications and the communications satellites themselves, wireless phones, video games software, electronic media, internet, record labels and the music industry, and more.

Everything you believe, more or less, is delivered to you by a monolithic six individuals running these corporations. They play golf together. They plot and scheme together. They are members of the same clubs and organizations.  These cretins see the people, the citizens… as donkeys or Muppets who will believe anything. These demi-gods decide in advance what the donkeys should believe and what attitudes they should have about everything.

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”- Richard Salent, Former President CBS News.
12,700,000 Google References

“News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising” – former NBC news President Rubin Frank 147,000 Google References

“For better or worse, my company is a reflection of my character, my thinking, my values” – Rupert Murdoch 297,000,000 Google References

“We are here to serve advertisers. That is our raison d’etre”  – CBS C.E.O. Michael Jordan  308,000 Google References

“We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective” – Michael Eisner, CEO, The Walt Disney Co 364,000 Google References

“We are going to impose our agenda on the coverage by dealing with issues and subjects that we choose to deal with.” – Richard M. Cohen, Senior Producer of CBS political news. 1,360 Google references

“We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets, and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.” – Katherine Meyer Graham, Washington Post publisher 41,500 Google References

“People shouldn’t expect the mass media to do investigative stories. That job belongs to the ‘fringe’ media.” – Ted Koppel – (American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline) 2770 Google References

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any  significance  in the major  media.”–William Colby, former CIA Director, quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy 167,000 Google References

Following this brief introduction is an attempt to enumerate powerful propaganda techniques being used on the American public and the world population by the corporate or so called “mainstream” (MSM) or mass media.

Having familiarized yourself with these techniques, you will be able to spot them as they are being deployed against you. The best way to counter propaganda is to understand the techniques and how they are used.

Framing [or re-framing] the debate

Debate a legitimate issue, and ostensibly have both sides represented, but instead on the continuum of opinion, have one from the middle and one from an extreme view and thus contain the debate to meet your ideological framing and goals. Alternatively, have a strong debater for one side, and a weak debater for the point of view you would like to suppress.

Framing (social sciences)

From Wikipedia:

A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation — that is, a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes—that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events. In simpler terms, a person has, through their lifetime, built a series of mental emotional filters. They use these filters to make sense of the world. The choices they then make are influenced by their frame or emotional filters.
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Alternatively, the power of the media can re frame the entire context of a debate if desired.

Example:  a nuclear accident has occurred.

Instead of debating the effects of radiation release, float the idea using one of your “experts” or shills that radiation is good for you. Thus re frame the debate to whether or not radiation is good for you instead of how much it will take to cause cancer and disease.

Example:  re frame a debate about torture by instead of debating the legality or morality of torture, debate the effectiveness of torture techniques.

Programming the viewers attitudes

This has become a very widely used propaganda technique.  Cover a story, complete with your ideological spin, and then follow up with interviews of  “ordinary people” who support your point of view but frame it as the popular point of view or the only point of view. If you have to do 1000 interviews to pick 2, the viewer never knows. The viewer walks away with a powerful form of sub conscious attitude programming as they hear the propaganda point regurgitated by someone “just like them”. This same technique can be used on letters to the editor, emails to TV news hosts, or wherever else cherry picking of public opinion can be conducted without tipping off the viewer, reader or listener. This powerful technique which is basically fraud, if deployed for long enough with consistent messages, can change an entire culture over time.

Distraction

Instead of covering stories that matter, cover irrelevant, trivial stories about entertainers or celebrities and blow them up into grand productions so you don’t have to discuss anything that really matters, or when something happens that you don’t want to discuss but ordinarily would be forced by popular opinion to discuss, generate a distraction of your own sensational making which you discuss instead. By using the volume and coordination technique, the media monopolists can entirely obfuscate or bury important stories and issues of their choosing.

Group think

TV programs often revolve around groups of people delivering the content or opinion because people programmed not to be able to think for themselves instinctively believe groups promoting a certain opinion more than one individual. They all nod their heads in agreement with whatever propaganda is to be pushed on you, and the idea is that you also will nod your head like a brain dead zombie.

This can all be punctuated by “experts”. The group of “experts” will collectively come to the “correct” conclusions for you so you don’t have to think for yourself, even if you still can.

Guided Interpretation for the reader or viewer

In this technique, a journalist or anchorman will tell you what someone else said.

In some cases, quotes will be taken out of context, but in many cases an entirely concocted version of what was said will be passed off as the truth to an unsuspecting reader, listener or viewer.

What was actually said will not be referenced, because if the viewer or reader has access to what the actual content was, it exposes the fraud. That being the case, this technique is dangerous, because if the reader or viewer does have access to the source, the propaganda becomes apparent leaving distrust.

Fluff and ice cream cones

Everyone loves an ice cream cone. Run feel good stories about puppies and teddy bears. Regardless of what really happens or the actual state of affairs, convey the message that all is good, America is great, and things are the same as they always have been. If cities decay, just don’t shoot wide shots of those cities any more.  Always project a disneylandish, cartoonish, surreal version of reality.

Leverage what people like and what people are compassionate towards to build  trust and leave the viewer feeling happy and complacent. Most importantly, establish trust and goodwill in your enterprise. Do everything necessary to give it the appearance of legitimacy no matter how fraudulent it is.  Always.

Artificial reality

By framing the entire programming of the network, and by subtle editorializing over news stories, you can create an artificial reality, posing as the truth.

As a media mogul, you drive the programming and choose what to cover and how to cover it through your upper management, programming and editor selections. As a viewer, is is critically important to remember that every word read comes from a teleprompter, and the people who write, edit and select the copy are the ones actually delivering the content. The people who actually read the news to you are in that position because they are experts at reading propaganda and sounding convincing while doing it.

“For better or worse, my company is a reflection of my character, my thinking, my values” – Rupert Murdoch

Good looking, likable, trusted newscaster:

“here is a story about someone who did the right thing”.

According to whom? The programming director?

Ex:  xyz is a desired reality or propaganda point….

Good looking, likable, trusted newscaster says on the most widely watched news channel in America:

“I believe xyz and I think the majority of Americans are right there with me”.

Not.  This is pure propaganda in it’s most overt form.

“Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves” – George Orwell

Direct programming

In this method, a story is covered with the specific intent of a viewer walking away holding a desired point of view. The actual coverage of the story as compared to the truth could range from slightly true to entirely untrue. The story is merely a tool to achieve an end result.

Special interest ads posing as news stories

In this technique, a special interest advertisement will be crafted as if it is a news story and presented as such. Only the astute viewer will be able to spot the fraud.

Video news release

From Wikipedia:

A video news release (VNR) is a video segment created by a PR firm, advertising agency, marketing firm, corporation, or government agency and provided to television news stations for the purpose of informing, shaping public opinion, or to promote and publicize individuals, commercial products and services, or other interests. In this way, VNRs are video versions of press releases.
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The big lie technique

Tell a lie so large that no one will question the authenticity because of the size of the lie. This is a time tested, proven propaganda technique and used by the most infamous of  media controllers and propagandists.

Big Lie

From Wikipedia:

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Omission

This is a simple, straightforward and effective technique. For news that doesn’t fit your agenda, or news that might cause your advertisers or special interest supporters to withhold support, for news that might not fit with the overall story line and talking points… just don’t cover the story. Alternatively, if a high profile person carries an opinion or message you would like to suppress, don’t ever invite that person as a guest. Since you and your peers didn’t cover it, it didn’t happen.

This very powerful tool combined with the volume and coordination technique gives a media mogul the ability to decide for everyone else what is and what is not important. Omission is often combined with the distraction technique.

Volume and coordination

This is the opposite of omission. The goal of this technique is to create broad awareness of a propaganda point through a media deluge. This is often punctuated by many or all of the big six joining in unison to promote or hype the same propaganda point, idea or story. In this way, even a small or trivial item can be boosted to the forefront of collective consciousness. If desired, through TV, Magazines, movies and sitcoms, any point can be focused in the forefront of the mind of the population. This technique can be used effectively for short term or more importantly for long term results. As with many techniques in this guide, this technique becomes more effective the more consolidated the media becomes.

Humanization and de-humanization or personalization and de-personalization

If you show dead bodies it generates a reaction. If you humanize a story, you generate sympathy for the victim. Alternatively if you avoid humanization or dehumanize atrocities or awful acts, you can avoid public sympathy being created. This technique is often used to report on war and decide on behalf of the viewer or reader who are the “good guys” and who are the “bad guys”. It doesn’t have to be used in wartime however. Propaganda pieces can be run to humanize bad guys or dehumanize good guys. This technique can and often does go so far as to frame a villain(s) as a victim(s) or vice versa. This is a very powerful technique which has been used with great effectiveness. Friends of the media are good. Enemies are bad.This technique alone can accomplish that goal when used by a skilled group of propagandists.

Friendly fire

Repeatedly have as guests, people who strongly support your causes, or alternatively have weak debaters appear to represent causes you don’t support. A weak debater combined with a hostile interview can decimate a legitimate topic of debate or point of view.

Historical revision

Omit unflattering feedback and generate your own positive feedback. Dead people and historical events are a prime target for historical revision in news, movies, mini series, or any other venue where a fictionalized account of the past or a past personality can be configured as truth by the network, studio or publication.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell

Winning the viewer

Attempt to foster goodwill and viewer loyalty by covering fluff stories using likable or attractive people and personalities in a way that ordinary viewers or readers can identify with. In this way, people are more likely to swallow the dope. This extends to using disaster and tragedy for shameless self promotion, ratings boosts, and leveraging of the media empire. Ideally, the consumers of your propaganda will love you as you program them.

“The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering—a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting—three hundred million people all with the same face.” – George Orwell

Emphasis and repetition

Cover stories which match your agenda over and over and over… and over. People will remember repetition and will come to believe anything if it is repeated often enough.

Shills

Invite often, people with so called “credentials”, who pose as “experts”, “professors” or other lofty titles who support the network point of view as if it is the truth. Often, these so called experts will have a financial or career interest, or some other political or ideological affiliation regarding their point of view that is not disclosed. The Wikipedia entry below concentrates on “selling goods or services”. It is imperative to note that the “goods and services” could include a point of  view, or an ideology, or a political, social or religious position.

Shill

From Wikipedia:

A shill is person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services.
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Gatekeepers

Employ “trusted” personalities who pretend to be on the side of exposing media or government corruption and who pretend to represent the common citizen but who is in fact, dealing sophisticated propaganda.

Gatekeeper

From Wikipedia:

A gatekeeper is defined as someone who controls access to something. It also refers to individuals who decide whether a given message will be distributed by a mass medium.
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Repeating a lie

George Orwell along with many infamous propagandists have said that if you repeat a lie frequently enough, people will take it to be true.

Telling the truth

If the media selectively tells the truth on points where an ideological agenda or sponsorship is not at risk, that opportunity can be used to tell the truth and gain viewer confidence. It is critically important to occasionally tell the truth in order to maintain credibility or legitimacy.

Fogging an issue

Sometimes special interest groups or sponsors will have an interest in making sure that as few people pay attention to an issue as possible, or alternatively that an issue is of little importance. A good propagandist can write a long, nonsensical article or offer a confusing video segment for the purpose of confusing the viewer or reader and obscuring any real issues through confusion or lack of interest. This technique can be used when the story is too big for the distraction or omission techniques.

Vilification and character assassination

This is an important tool that is often used to keep politicians in line by fear and intimidation of what they know has already happened to people with the “wrong” opinion. People or personalities whose opinion or positions are to be suppressed are subtly (or not so subtly) vilified and sabotaged, usually by over blowing a trivial issue relating to something people are sympathetic to. Vilification is most effective when used subtly and over a long period of time, so the audience or readership becomes slowly programmed as to who is “good” and who is “bad”.  A broad array of techniques can be used ranging from hiring investigators to “dig up dirt”, then using the volume and coordination technique. The “He Said, She Said” technique is also employed for character assassination.  Using this method, the author or newscaster can cast the backlash to someone else and say something they know isn’t true, or isn’t fair, but they want to say it anyway. As a media mogul, your enemies become the people’s enemies and your friends become the people’s friends.  You can eject a politician or shame a public personality. This is an extremely effective and important arena. See also “character assassination via the question mark” under “cooking the headlines”.

Keep only team players

If a newscaster, commentator or journalist or editor has the wrong opinion, fire them and replace them with someone who has the correct opinion. The looming threat of un-personing acts as a powerful compliance tool for field reporters and editors. During the past several years in America, there have been a lot of high profile corporate reporters, anchormen and anchorwomen who have been un-personed within 24 hours of uttering the “wrong” opinion. Media mogul pimps hastily un-person rogue reporters because it has a chilling effect on the remainder of their stable of whores.

Embedded editorial views in news stories

In Journalism, the editorial page is where opinion is supposed to be expressed, but editorial views can be subtly introduced into “news” to program the viewer or reader.

As a media consumer, look for opinions which are stated as if they are fact. Facts can be substantiated, opinions cannot.

Also, be on the lookout for subtle inaccuracies,  or  a dismissive tone. Alternatively, editorial views can be injected into news by subtly misstating a topic, often a serious one, and pretending any objecting or concerned view of the treatment of the topic is silly, unrealistic, or just not necessary. This can become related to deciding who is sane on behalf of the viewer or reader.  The more subtly these opinions and distortions can be substituted for facts, the more powerful the propaganda tool of editorialized news. This technique can be punctuated or made more potent by keeping in line with your friends in Government who echo the same views as truth.

The largest and supposedly most respected media outlets in America today routinely sell editorial views as news. Corporate media journalism in America has morphed from informing the public, into something entirely sinister. In spite of this, most Americans remain in the dark as to the fraud and advanced PR techniques being hoisted upon them.

Lies as truth

Run  a story or headline that you know isn’t true to support your point of view. In a subtler form, mistranslate or misquote to suit. Alternatively, publish or sponsor polls intended to give a desired result.

Deciding who is sane on behalf of the viewer or reader

Portray points of view you would like to suppress as extreme, crazy, dangerous or not legitimate. If necessary, call in one or more of your “experts” for emphasis.

This effect can be multiplied by ensuring that members of the audience, even though they may have all collectively come to the same opinion,  if it is not the desired opinion, you ensure that each viewer believes they are crazy and alone in holding that point of view.  This is a potent technique used to form “mainstream” opinion.

Furthermore, as one of the six media owners, you can leverage the “correct mainstream opinion” by “behavior placement” in your sitcoms, magazine articles, and on the radio. In behavior placement, one out of your stable of celebrity actors holds certain behaviors, ideas or attitudes that are either condoned or maligned by the rest of the cast. This could be an attitude, an opinion they hold regarding anything, a product they use,  ideas about religion or anything else.

Americans have become enamored with celebrities from decades of Hollywood propaganda. We have been conditioned to want to be like them. Celebrity behavior placement is a very, very powerful tool in the media owners arsenal.

Advertising as news

Run goodwill stories about advertisers, or for that matter about your parent company, as if you are covering news or human interest stories. Effectively as a media mogul you can have free stealth advertising throughout your enterprise. If you own a theme park, have your news division do a “story’ about how great the theme park is. Punctuate that by cherry picking interviews and broadcasting them in the segment so viewers can hear it from others who are “just like themselves”.

The hostile or friendly interview

Interview people whose views you support in a friendly manner. Interview people whose views you would like to suppress in a hostile manner. This technique is most effective when kept low key. A variation of this technique is to invite a guest for an “interview”, then have an aggressive personality talk over them the whole time and repeat as truth things they never said or things they said out of context.

A more advanced variation of this propaganda technique is to invite someone and label them as an “expert” or “professor” or any favorable handle for a “friendly” interview who does not well represent a cause or issue. The important distinction here is that the viewer sees a friendly interview and yet walks away unimpressed by the point of view.

Humor as a propaganda tool

Feature comedians who support your point of view, ideological or religious agenda.  As a media mogul, it’s easy to get the Muppets to laugh as you deride and attack your enemies with so called humor from your stable of “comedians”.  Use this “humor” for character assassination, vilification or to punctuate your propaganda regarding who is sane and who isn’t. If you tightly control your stable of prime time comedians,  people will only laugh at what you want them to laugh at. If a comedian in your A list isn’t with the program, then they disappear forever into obscurity.

Unflattering (or flattering) handles

Corral an entire group of people into a pigeon hole, by crafting handles that carry positive or negative connotations.

Examples:

He is a “conspiracy theorist” (negative connotation) used to tar anyone who contradicts or attempts to expose the propaganda of the party line.

He is a “goldbug” (negative connotation) used to subliminally encourage the idea that someone favorable to owning gold is a kook or single minded extremist.

A “truther” – negative connotation label applied to any person who questions the government version of 911.

A “right wing (left wing) extremist” – to portray a given point of view as extreme, whether it is or not.

Use the power of words to emphasize or de-emphasize acts or information

The crowd was “peppered” with hellfire missiles.

Trusted anchorman – “They criticize us for using enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding” *. MSNBC 2/22/2010

*Please note that waterboarding is currently defined in international law not as an “enhanced interrogation technique” but as torture. The United States put to death Japanese commanders accused of waterboarding. The public is not OK with torture, so you just re-define it as an “enhanced interrogation technique”, and it’s fine.

Collateral damage – when innocent people are killed in wartime, a suitable, soft term is needed. If an army accidentally inflicts collateral damage, even if that means killing scores, hundreds or thousands of innocent people, a simple two word term called “collateral damage” makes it OK.

Divide and conquer

Create simple minded divisions between groups of people to keep them distracted and arguing among themselves over mostly trivial issues. Use black and white, good and evil, and particularly the faux left and right divide. Leave no room in the middle for discussion as if all opinions and issues are binary. When events happen, don’t ever discuss actual causes. As a media owner, you have your employees discuss the event, and make up the cause in your programming department.

Using anonymous sources

Generate “news” using anonymous sources. This technique could range from mis-quoting, to outright fabrication and lying such as an anonymous source that is entirely fictional and created to generate a certain reaction or artificial reality. Anonymous sources are used heavily in the US media to lay the propaganda groundwork and to manufacture the popular consent for wars of conquest and aggression.

Using guided imagery

This is an advanced technique which is now pervasive in all PR, advertising and corporate programming as well as central banking.  The idea is a takeoff on the idea popularized by George Soros which is that “markets influence events they anticipate.” By the same token, there is an assumption that if the people are told something as if it is true, then it will in fact become true. You could call this molding public opinion. An example of this would be saying as if it is fact, “70 percent of the country is in favor of xyz”. The idea is that this repeated, will have the effect of causing the public opinion to actually be that. Another would be “we have green shoots” or “the country is out of the recession”, with the idea being that if you state this as fact, then people will have more confidence and spend and it will become true.

Using music, lighting and effects

Music and lighting effects can be powerful promoters of feelings and emotion. Both are heavily employed, and deployed against the public. For example, when promoting the party line, be sure to have the music set to create all the right feelings and emotions. Wave the flag. Set your color scheme to red, white and blue. Create emphasis by dramatic lighting or by talking loud and fast or soft and somber.

The privilege of being a media mogul means having your personal points of view represented and delivered by people who are “just like” the audience to be programmed.

Fabricated evidence

This technique is practiced by promoting as self sourced or repeating “evidence” that could range from non existent to fabricated. This could include doctored photographs to include, exclude or exaggerate information, audio recordings and video productions, as well as dossiers or written documents. Any or all of which are promoted as “the truth” though they may in fact have only some basis in truth or be entirely fabricated. It could in fact have been an entirely paid for promotion.

The preemptive strike

A journalist, anchor or interviewer  attacks at the very outset of the article or segment with the “acceptable” view of the topic, prior to the topic. This is a brute force technique and is easy to spot. It usually involves some sort of angry tirade.

Leveraging the media empire

The media empire can be used by the parent company for advertising, propaganda and goodwill. This is a very broad arena where subtle or overt techniques can be used.

As a multinational media mega corporation, you can use your music empire to promote your viewpoint or more importantly, eliminate alternative points of view. If the musicians on your record label step out of line, quietly retire them. Sign acts that for whatever reason, have a message which you personally like.

You can advertise your theme park in the name of news. You can interview people who wrote books you published, or interview people who produced movies for a subsidiary. You can promote your ideals with a consistent message throughout your subsidiaries and enterprises. You can promote or demote points of view you agree or disagree with. You can use behavior placement in the sitcoms, movies and other programming arenas to produce a consistent message of your choosing.  As media empires become ever fewer, ever larger, and ever more powerful, this tactic becomes more and more potent.

Serialization of a related chain of events and the memory hole

This technique works to reconcile incompatible truths by deconstructing all events to a serial chain, and discarding all past information unless not doing so proves particularly useful. This is what George Orwell referred to as the “memory hole”.

If you remember the past version of the truth, then often the current version of the truth is not compatible with that version of the truth; therefore there should be no memory of the past unless it is a reverse engineered version. Otherwise, incongruence is generated.  At least the news isn’t covering it. That’s the point.

You are supposed to forget the past and concentrate on what you are being told today. It’s all a serial chain of sound bites and propaganda intended and engineered to give desired current results. There are no causes and effects, only an unrelated serial chain of events.

Memory hole

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Cooking the headlines

Headline tickers offer endless opportunities for revisionist or deceptive news and fast, efficient propaganda programming. There are more people reading the headline tickers than are following the actual stories. For example, hundreds of people in an airport may be just following the headline ticker… People receiving a news stream on the internet may be only looking at headlines. Therefore, if you can cook the headlines you effectively get “propaganda leverage”. Furthermore, people remember the headlines without necessarily following the actual story;

technique #1. – deceptive headlines designed to convey a certain message, but based on an actual event

technique #2 – false headlines ie “WMD found in Iraq”. Over 70 percent of the US population came to believe that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, and the reason is that headlines were running which repeatedly made that claim, although it was entirely untrue.

technique #3 – embedding propaganda as reasons in headlines, ie “stocks soared today because… (made up propaganda reason follows)”

technique #4 – overplay some headlines and underplay other headlines to decide on behalf of the viewer or reader what is important

Repetition and trust

There are 300 million Americans in the United States and yet spanning the entire corporate media, the people invited on as regulars by the big six could fill a gymnasium. The point is that if “trusted” sources are developed and cultivated by the corporate media, people will come to believe what they say, regardless of what they say or how wrong they have been in the past.

Propagandists are held out by the corporate media to the public as “experts” who do not represent the centrist views of the majority of Americans, have been wrong about nearly everything they have ever said, and these people are never held to account. At the same time, people who have been correct or people who have views that represent mainstream America remain off the people’s radar, never or rarely invited as guests except maybe for a hostile interview.

In sum total this technique can be used to generate a heavy handed dose of artificial reality.

Subliminal messages

Anything you say while wearing an American Flag lapel pin is patriotic.

The topic of subliminal messages could probably justify a post in itself. In short, at the subliminal level, advertisers and the media like to link things together. In general, they want to link positive things, things you want to be, things you see yourself as, things you support, things you desire or desire to be, to themselves, to the dope they are pushing, or to their advertisers. Music, lighting or sounds can be employed to create subliminal hypnotic effects. Behavior placement can be used for subliminal effects. If they are doing their job well, you will never even be aware it’s happening.

Re-framing the question

By re-framing the question or subtly altering the question, or even by the possible answers offered to the question, a media enterprise can move the discussion to a different realm or even change the answer. This technique is often used for poll results to be used as propaganda. It can also be used to alter the subject of a debate.

Engineered reality

Using this brute force technique, camera angles, staged events and engineered real time and post production effects can be added to a video feed to dramatically alter the viewers perception. With the correct camera angle, a small crowd can be made to seem large or vice versa.

If your media company would like to minimize or maximize a protest to suit your ideological agenda, it can be covered using a camera angle minimizing or maximizing the crowd, along with a suitable dialogue which confirms the selected camera angle and desired viewer take away. This can be followed up using other techniques such as cherry picked interviews with participants to deliver whatever message is desired.

Using a laugh track you can program the viewers in terms of what is perceived to be funny. Other audio effects can also be added. Real time audio and video production techniques can augment or add elements to a video feed that weren’t present in the un-doctored feed.

Investigative journalism (or lack thereof) as a weapon or a tool

Using the guise of investigative journalism, corporate media can either bag a victim or let a friend off the hook. This can be used on politicians, people in the public spotlight, or anyone whose views are to be suppressed or promoted.

Of all the controversy surrounding 9/11, one of the most mysterious aspects is that there were very unusual large option bets placed prior to the incident which paid hundreds of millions, if not billions to the account holders who placed those bets. By law, every account holder who places a trade on a US exchange is known and can be easily traced by any federal law enforcement or regulatory body. To date, almost ten years after the event, these profiteers were never identified and there was never any effort by the corporate media using investigative journalism to force the disclosure to the American people, when there easily could have been. This is a glaring example of a lack of investigative journalism being used as a tool and corporate media complicity in nefarious, treasonous deeds.

“People shouldn’t expect the mass media to do investigative stories. That job belongs to the ‘fringe’ media.” – Ted Koppel – (American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline) 2770 Google References

Leading the viewer or reader

This is a powerful, simple technique which is used pervasively to introduce editorial content into news. This works by leading the viewer or reader in a subtle way to a pre-defined conclusion, or to make the subject look awkward for disagreeing with propaganda pre-established by the host.

From the newscaster to the interviewee:

Don’t you think that (thing to be agreed with follows).

Wouldn’t you agree with (high profile “expert” who has never been correct about anything and returns every week to spew propaganda) that (xyz propaganda point).

I know I (propaganda point), what about you?

Most Americans believe (propaganda point) what is your opinion?

Fewer and fewer people (propaganda point).

Everyone wants (propaganda point).

The best case is (propaganda point).

Planting seeds of doubt

Character assassination via the question mark. This is a very powerful technique which can be used for character assassination while avoiding lawsuits. The way it is done is to pose outrageous and libelous character assassination as a question, and thus plant seeds of doubt in the mind of the viewer or reader. This is best illustrated by example:

Ron Paul: Terrorist?

Token Equal Time

The goal of this technique is to create an appearance of fairness. It consists of an article or video segment written or broadcast with entirely one point of view, then at the end a meager statement from the opposing view is mentioned, then immediately refuted. In this way the reader absorbs the intended point of view while at the same time believing the topic has had fair treatment.

The “May Have” Technique

The words “may have” provide endless opportunities for programming a zombie audience.  This is a form of character assassination and similar to character assassination via the question mark.

“Iran may have committed a cyber-attack on the BBC”

“AP: Iran may be cleaning up nuclear traces at military site”

“BBC News – Iran ‘may boost nuclear programme’, diplomat warns”

The double-talk “may have’s” convey the LIES (but with plausible deniability):As a viewer or listener, you should be acutely aware of the use of the words “may have”  by the media propagandists.

Sex sells news

Pasty faced bimbos with silicone cleavage, bubbly personalities and enough botox to immobilize cattle… as fake as the half baked teleprompter propaganda they’re serving up to a nation of  300 million Muppets.

It doesn’t really matter what they say, and no one really cares… because the men aren’t listening.  This is why programs which cater to a male audience like financial news channels are stacked with stacked bimbos who couldn’t tell a debenture from a derivative.  Why else would anyone listen to a casino operator pimping their casino day in and day out?  Men will go so far as to watch with the sound muted. It’s a cheap trick to gain viewers who otherwise would be disinterested in the endless, incessant propaganda pitch.

Enough said.

In total, when these potent techniques are used synergistically, the entire fabric of a society can be guided, shaped and molded. Your only defenses are awareness and even better, turning it off.

EarthBlog News©

April 26, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 31 Comments

Secret British Colonial Archive Finally Released

Revealed: Britain’s Orwellian Empire

By GRAHAM MacPHEE | CounterPunch | April 20, 2012

After his death, George Orwell’s terrifying vision in Nineteen Eighty-Four of a future in which the past could be erased and rewritten at will by a faceless bureaucracy was quickly appropriated in the US and Britain for the purposes of Cold War propaganda. The novel was taken as confirmation of a worldview that divided the globe according to an almost ontological opposition, between a ‘free world’ that clung to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and a ‘them’ who were not only violent and cruel (after all, hadn’t ‘we’ had recourse to massive violence, from the fire-bombing of Dresden to Hiroshima and Nagasaki?), but who offended against the very laws of empirical truth and the sanctity of the historical record. But without in any way detracting from the crimes of the Soviet empire or the Communist Party regime in China, in reality the calculus of violence and horror in the postwar world was never so neatly and cleanly divided, especially once the populations excluded from the Cold War algebra of ‘us’ and ‘them’ begins to be taken into account—namely the populations of the ‘Third World,’ upon whom so much of the bloody Cold War was fought out. The upcoming disclosure of a massive haul of some 8,800 secret files—which one respected British historian has called “the ‘lost’ British Empire archive” (BBC News, 17 April 2012)—may require a rethinking of the whole Cold War narrative. For while the Cold War warriors of the West rightly denounced Stalinist and other regimes for their horrifically cynical and insidious rewriting of the past—airbrushing out not only individuals, but whole institutional structures of criminality, and indeed the fate of whole populations—these archives suggest that the decolonizing British state was also guilty of manipulating the historical record and hiding major crimes against humanity, albeit on a scale that has still to be assessed and fully understood.

The secret colonial archive is comprised of thousands of documents that detail the military and police activities of British colonial administrations in 37 British colonial territories, from Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Aden—the scenes of high profile late-colonial wars—to much less well-known and often overlooked colonial flashpoints, such as the Chagos Islands, Guyana, Botswana, and Lesotho. As the prospect of national liberation loomed in each territory, British officialdom conducted a wholesale program of stripping the colonial archives, extracting incriminating documents that recounted acts of murder, torture, and wide-scale human rights abuses, and ‘repatriating’ them to Britain. Significant instances of crimes that are recorded in these files that have emerged so far include the reported murder and torture of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya in the 1950s, the alleged operation of a secret torture center in Aden in the 1960s, and the forced removal of Chagos Islanders to make way for the massive US base on Diego Garcia  (Guardian, 18 April 2012). There are indications that documents were also removed that might embarrass British allies, especially the United States.

However, in British law such documents once ‘repatriated’ should have become available for public scrutiny; instead they were hidden, and their existence denied. The secret archive only came to light in 2011 as the result of a court case taken by five elderly Kenyans, who sued the British government claiming that they had been tortured during the Mau Mau Emergency, an uprising led by the Kikuyu people against British rule that lasted from 1952 to 1960, and which resulted in an estimated death toll of between 25,000 and 300,000 (Guardian, 21 July 2011). Historians working for the claimants began to unearth evidence of a secret trove of documents that had been deliberately ‘disappeared’ by the Foreign Office, and which appear to record not only atrocities in Kenya, but also a whole host of criminal state actions across the late-colonial world. According to Professor David Anderson of Oxford University, “the British Government did lie about this,” and as he observes “this saga was both a colonial conspiracy and a bureaucratic bungle” (BBC News, 17 April 2012). Shamed by the revelations in court, the British Government has promised full disclosure, with documents being released incrementally in tranches from this month through to the end of 2013. This is a massive archive, and clearly no firm conclusions can be drawn at present. It will need the scrutiny of activists, civil rights professionals, academics, and civil society groups from across the world to begin to make sense of the material, and to begin to understand its importance not only for the historical record, but also for current political circumstances.

Yet even at this early stage, the revelation of this secret archive offers an important insight into the ways in which the British government cynically and quite deliberately sought to reconstruct the postwar record in order to manipulate wider perceptions of the West’s postwar global role. While sometimes conducted hastily, the winnowing of the colonial archive was calculated and designed with systematic intent. Files that could be left behind after independence were classified as “legacy,” while those considered too sensitive to fall into the hands of post-independence governments were designated as “watch,” and could only be handled by colonial officials who were “British subject[s] of European descent” (BBC News, 17 April 2012).

However, not only was the historical record being quite deliberately edited, but in truly Orwellian fashion the process of censorship was itself carefully concealed. As The Guardian newspaper reports:

Painstaking measures were taken to prevent post-independence governments from learning that the watch files had ever existed. One instruction states: “The legacy files must leave no reference to watch material. Indeed, the very existence of the watch series, though it may be guessed at, should never be revealed.” [Therefore, when] a single watch file was to be removed from a group of legacy files, a “twin file”—or dummy—was to be created to insert in its place. If this was not practicable, the documents were to be removed en masse. (Guardian, 18 April 2012)

Given the complicated and time-consuming nature of the process of combing through the files, it appears that in their haste officials increasingly resorted to the wholesale destruction of sections of the colonial archive. A memo from April 1961 advises: “To obviate a too laborious scrutiny of ‘dead’ files, emphasis is placed on destruction—a vast amount of paper in the Ministry of Defence secret registry and classified archives could be burnt without loss” (BBC News, 17 April 2012). The secret cache of 8,800 files is thus most likely the reduced remnant of a much larger ‘ghost’ archive, comprising files destroyed not only to hide evidence of criminal actions but also to conceal the very program of concealment itself. Although initial indications suggest that this archival destruction was conducted on a massive scale, its full extent may never be known.

The intellectual legacy of the Cold War was the starkly melodramatic opposition of ‘free world’ and ‘evil empire’ so memorably rehearsed by President Ronald Reagan. However, one unacknowledged consequence of the overwhelming focus on the crimes of the Soviet regime was the airbrushing from popular consciousness of the continuing historical role of British colonialism in the postwar period, and its continuity with the emergent US hegemony. The aggressive defense of a late colonial edifice based in the Middle East, East Africa, and the Far East—regions that continue to number among the central battlefields of the US ‘war on terror’—was at the time a serious embarrassment to the Western Cold War vocabulary of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy.’ But it now transpires that the West’s capacity to win the propaganda battle was not simply a matter of the best arguments winning the day, but depended on the bureaucratic manipulation of the past and the systematic liquidation of extensive sections of the historical record.

Orwell himself was in fact much less convinced by the Cold War’s stark oppositions than his subsequent promoters were willing to concede. As a former colonial policeman in Burma, he wrote about the insidious suppression of independent thinking among European colonial administrators in his 1934 novel Burmese Days. And although routinely read as a straightforward Cold War text, his more famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four involves a more complex geopolitical vision than it is usually given credit for. As Orwell explained in a letter to Roger Senhouse dated 26 December 1948, rather than focusing exclusively on the critique of totalitarianism, the novel also sought “to discuss the implications of dividing the world up into ‘Zones of influence,’” an insight that had been prompted by the news of the collaboration between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in organizing the postwar world.1 In Orwell’s mind, the suppression of autonomous political action by the emerging geopolitical power blocs of East and West was intimately bound up with the suppression of individual freedom of thought and the destruction of a historical record that functioned according to shared norms of inclusiveness, accuracy, and fidelity to verifiable data. We might speculate with good reason, then, that Orwell would not only have welcomed the revelation of the secret imperial archive, but might not have been so surprised to learn of it in the first place.

Graham MacPhee is Associate Professor of English at West Chester University. He is the author of Postwar British Literature and Postcolonial Studies (Edinburgh University Press, 2011), and co-editor of Empire and After: Englishness in Postcolonial Perspective (Berghahn, 2007).

Notes

1. George Orwell, In Front of your Nose: Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters 1946-1950, edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, Boston: Nonpareil (2000), 460.

April 21, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment