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What our Founders wanted for public education.

By Chuck Norris

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As young people around the nation graduate from academic institutions of all types, I espouse that we all graduate in our understanding of what our Founders wanted for public education.

A while ago, I read a few blogs in which skeptics were taking issue with information I presented in my column on our Founders' endorsement of the Bible being taught in public schools, which is even now happening in 373 school districts in 37 states, including my home state of Texas.

Because my wife Gena and I are on the board of the National Council of Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, I'm hand delivering the coup de grace to any opposition of our founders' educative intent of the good book – in their own words. Granted space doesn't permit an exhaustive treatment, but the following select citations should suffice all but those who remain defiant to historical fact.

Can you imagine a politician or president saying these things today?

Samuel Adams, who helped draft the Articles of Confederation, once wrote, "If we continue to be a happy people, that happiness must be assured by the enacting and executing of the reasonable and wise laws expressed in the plainest language and by establishing such modes of education as tend to inculcate in the minds of youth the feelings and habits of piety, religion and morality."

Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated, "The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty, is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

Fisher Ames, a Massachusetts representative to the First, Second, and Third Congresses and a Federalist to the Fourth Congress, made a case for the Bible as a textbook in schools, "Its morals are pure; its examples captivation and noble. The reverence for the sacred book that is thus early impressed lasts long, and, probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind."

George Washington once addressed Delaware chiefs among the Lenape Indians who desired to train their young people in American schools, saying, "You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention."

In 1789, during the same time when the First Amendment was written, then President Washington signed into law the Northwest Ordinance, which states, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

Governor Morris, who represented Pennsylvania at the convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and subsequently signed the U.S. Constitution, said, "Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

John Adams, who served as America's first vice-president and second president, stated, "Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. ... What a Utopia. What a Paradise would this region be. I have examined all (religions)… and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world. It contains more of my little philosophy than all the libraries I have seen."

Noah Webster, the "father of American scholarship and education," stated, "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

Joseph Story, associate justice of the U. S. Supreme Court and the "father of American jurisprudence," asked, "Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as divine revelation in the college (school) – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? … Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?"

Lastly, dispelling the myth that Thomas Jefferson never intermixed Christianity and government, in 1805 he was elected the first president of the Washington, D.C. public school board, under which schools used the Bible as a text for learning. Just three years after Jefferson left the school board and Washington, D.C., for retirement at Monticello, one principal reported to the board of trustees the progress his students made in reading and spelling, using the Bible as a text: Fifty-five have learned to read in the Old and New Testaments and are all able to spell words of three, four, and five syllables; 26 are now learning to read Dr. Watts' Hymns and spell words of two syllables; 10 are learning words of four and five letters.

In fact, the first hundred colleges in America were founded upon Judeo-Christian tradition, belief and practice, including Yale, Princeton and Harvard, the last of which had the official motto, "For Christ and the Church." My, how times have changed!

If our Founders advocated biblical learning – why won't we?

Most of our Founders were clear advocates for biblical teaching in public schools, a religious education that the First Amendment never intended to prohibit or restrict.

If the Bible was endorsed by our Founders as a textbook, how can we not follow suit by doing the same? The fact is, to leave out of educative curricula the most influential text in western civilization, including in American history, law and literature, is a blatant and biased withholding of proper public instruction.

It's time to answer in the affirmative the question of Fisher Ames, who assisted in the creation of the First Amendment and was also chosen, but declined (for health reasons), the presidency of Harvard University in 1805, "Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book?"

Comment

Brainwashing: How The British Use the Media For Mass Psychological Warfare

by L. Wolfe, The American Almanac, May 5, 1997.

``I know the secret of making the average American believe anything I want him to. Just let me control television.... You put something on the television and it becomes reality. If the world outside the TV set contradicts the images, people start trying to change the world to make it like the TV set images....''

--Hal Becker, media ``expert'' and management consultant, the Futures Group, in an interview in 1981 [1] In the 15 years since Becker's comment, Americans have become even more ``wired'' into a mass media network that now includes computer and video games, as well as the Internet--an all-surrounding network whose power is so pervasive that it is almost taken for granted. As the standup comic said, ``We are really a media conscious people. I know a guy who was run over by a car in the street. He didn't want to go to the hospital. Instead, he dragged himself over to the nearest bar, to check out whether he made it onto the evening news. When it wasn't on, he said, `What does a guy have to do, get killed, to get on television?'|''

In the highest circles of the British monarchy and its Club of Isles, this great power is not taken for granted. Rather, it is carefully manipulated and directed, as Becker describes from a limited standpoint, to create and mold popular opinion. In a 1991 report published by the Malthusian Club of Rome, entitled ``The First Global Revolution,'' Sir Alexander King, top adviser on science and education policy to the royal family and Prince Philip, wrote that new advances in communications technology will greatly expand the power of the media, both in the advanced and developing sectors. The media, he proclaimed, is the most powerful weapon and ``agent of change'' in the fight to establish a ``one-worldist,'' neo-Malthusian order that will transcend and obliterate the concept of the nation-state. ``It is certainly necessary to engage in a broad debate with the journalists and the top media executives involved to study the conditions for them to be able to define this new role,'' King wrote.

In his project, King's Club of Rome can count on cooperation from the media cartel, which is a British asset, as documented in our report. It can also call on the capabilities of a mass psychological warfare machine, also run by the British and their assets, which extends into key phases of media production, and includes writers and psychiatrists who help shape the content, and the pollsters who fine-tune and analyze the impact on targetted populations. Beyond this interacting network, there are millions of participants involved in the production, distribution, and transmission of media messages, whose thinking, in turn, has been shaped by the content of the media product, and who are, effectively, self-brainwashed by the culture within which they live.

The Tavistock "Mother"

The historic center of this mass psywar apparatus is based outside London, in the Tavistock Center. [2] Established in the aftermath of World War I under the patronage of the Duke George of Kent (1902-42), the original Tavistock Clinic, led by John Rawlings Rees, developed as the psychological warfare center for the royal family and British intelligence. Rees and a cadre group of Freudian and neo-Freudian psychiatrists, applied wartime experience of psychological collapse, to create theories about how such conditions of breakdown could be induced, absent the terror of war. The result was a theory of mass brainwashing, involving group experience, that could be used to alter the values of individuals, and through that, induce, over time, changes in the axiomatic assumptions that govern society.

In the 1930s, Tavistock's extended networks developed a symbiotic relationship with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, created by European oligarchical networks, which focussed on the study and criticism of culture from a neo-Freudian standpoint. In the late 1930s, with its operations transferred from Germany to the New York area, the Frankfurt School coordinated the first analysis of the impact of a mass media phenomenon, i.e., radio, on culture--the Princeton-based ``Radio Research Project.'' [3]

With the outbreak of World War II, Tavistock operatives took effective control of the Psychological Warfare Directorate of the British Army, while its allied network in the United States embedded itself in the American psychological warfare apparatus, including the Committee on National Morale and the Strategic Bombing Survey.

By war's end, the combined influence of Tavistock (which became the Tavistock Institute in 1947) and of the former Frankfurt School operatives, had created a cadre of ``psychological shock troops,'' as Rees called them, and ``cultural warriors'' numbering in the several thousands. Today that network numbers in the several millions around the world, and it is the single most important factor in determining the design and content of mass media product.

The "Pictures in Your Head"

In 1922, Walter Lippmann defined the term ``public opinion'' as follows: ``The pictures inside the heads of human beings, the pictures of themselves, of others, of their needs and purposes, and relationship, are their public opinions. Those pictures which are acted upon by groups of people, or by individuals acting in the name of groups, are Public Opinion, with capital letters.'' Lippmann, who was the first to translate Sigmund Freud's works into English, was to become one of the most influential of political commentators. [4] He had spent World War I at the British psychological warfare and propaganda headquarters in Wellington House, outside of London, in a group that included Freud's nephew, Eduard Bernays. [5] Lippmann's book Public Opinion, published one year after Freud's Mass Psychology, which touched on similar themes, was a product of his tutelage by the Rees networks. It is through the media, Lippmann writes, that most people come to develop those ``pictures in their heads,'' giving the media ``an awesome power.''

The Rees networks had spent World War I studying the effects of war psychosis, and its breakdown of individual personality. From their work, an evil thesis emerged: Through the use of terror, man can be reduced to a childlike and submissive state, in which his powers of reason are clouded, and in which his emotional response to various situations and stimuli can become predictable, or in Tavistockian terms, ``profilable.'' By controlling the levels of anxiety, it is possible to induce a similar state in large groups of people, whose behavior can then be controlled and manipulated by the oligarchical forces for whom Tavistock worked. [6]

Mass media were capable of reaching large numbers of people with programmed or controlled messages, which is key to the creation of ``controlled environments'' for brainwashing purposes. As Tavistock's researches showed, it was important that the victims of mass brainwashing not be aware that their environment was being controlled; there should thus be a vast number of sources for information, whose messages could be varied slightly, so as to mask the sense of external control. Where possible, the messages should be offered and reinforced through ``entertainments,'' which could be consumed, without apparent coercion, and with the victim perceiving himself as making a choice between various options and outlets.

Lippmann observes in his book that people are more than willing to reduce complex problems to simplistic formulas, to form their opinion by what they believe others around them believe; truth hardly enters into such considerations. Appearance of reports in the media confer the aura of reality upon those stories: If they weren't factual, then why would they be reported? Lippmann says the average person believes. People whose fame is in turn built up by the media, such as movie stars, can become ``opinion leaders,'' with as much power to sway public opinion as political figures.

Were people to think about this process too much, it might break down; but, he writes, ``the mass of absolutely illiterate, of feeble minded, grossly neurotic, undernourished and frustrated individuals is very considerable, much more considerable, there is reason to think, than we generally suppose. Thus a wide popular appeal is circulated among persons who are mentally children or barbarians, whose lives are a morass of entanglements, people whose vitality is exhausted, shut-in people, and people whose experience has comprehended no factor in the problem under discussion.'' Stating that he saw a progression to ever-less-thought-provoking forms of media, Lippmann marvels at the power of the nascent Hollywood movie industry to shape public opinion. Words, or even a still picture, require an effort for the person to form a ``picture in the mind.'' But, with a movie, ``the whole process of observing, describing, reporting, and then imagining has been accomplished for you. Without more trouble than is needed to stay awake, the result which your imagination is always aiming at is reeled off on the screen.'' Significantly, as an example of the power of movies, he uses the D.W. Griffith propaganda film for the Ku Klux Klan, ``The Birth of a Nation''; no American, he writes, will ever hear the name of the Klan again, ``without seeing those white horsemen.''

Popular opinion, Lippmann observes, is ultimately determined by the desires and wishes of an elite ``social set.'' That set, he states, is a ``powerful, socially superior, successful, rich urban social set [which] is fundamentally international throughout the Western Hemisphere and in many ways, London is its center. It counts among its membership the most influential people in the world, containing as it does the diplomatic sets, high finance, the upper circles of the army and navy, some princes of the church, the great newspaper proprietors, their wives, mothers, and daughters who wield the scepter of invitation. It is at once a great circle of talk and a real social set.'' In a typical elitist fashion, Lippmann concludes that coordination of public opinion is lacking in precision. If the goal of a one-worldist ``Great Society'' is to be realized, then ``public opinion must be organized for the press, not by the press.'' It is not sufficient to rely on the whims of a ``super social set'' to manipulate the ``pictures in people's heads''; that job ``can only be managed by a specialized class'' which operates through ``intelligence bureaus.'' [7]

The "Radio Research Project"

As Lippmann was writing, the radio, the first major mass media technology to invade the home, was coming into prominence. Unlike the movies, which were viewed in theaters by large groups of people, the radio provided an individualized experience within the home, and centered on the family. By 1937, out of 32 million American families, some 27.5 million had a radio set--a larger percentage than had cars, telephones, or even electricity.

That same year, the Rockefeller Foundation funded a project to study the effects of radio on the population. [8] Recruited to what became known as the ``Radio Research Project,'' headquartered at Princeton University, were sections of the Frankfurt School, now transplanted from Germany to America, as well as individuals such as Hadley Cantril and Gordon Allport, who were to become key components of Tavistock's American operations. Heading the project was the Frankfurt School's Paul Lazerfeld; his assistant directors were Cantril and Allport, along with Frank Stanton, who was to head the CBS News division, and later become its president, as well as chairman of the board of the RAND Corporation.

The project was presaged by theoretical work done earlier in the studies of war propaganda and psychosis, and the work of Frankfurt School operatives Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. This earlier work had converged on the thesis that mass media could be used to induce regressive mental states, atomizing individuals and producing increased lability. (These induced mental conditions were later dubbed by Tavistock itself as ``brainwashed'' states, and the process of inducing them called ``brainwashing.'')

In 1938, at the time he was head of the music section of the Radio Research Project, Adorno wrote that listeners to radio music programs: ``fluctuate between comprehensive forgetting and sudden dives into recognition. They listen atomistically and dissociate what they hear.... They are not childlike, but they are childish; their primitivism is not that of the undeveloped, but that of the forcibly retarded.'' The Radio Research Project's findings, published in 1939, backed up Adorno's thesis of ``enforced retardation,'' and serve as a brainwashers' handbook.

In studies on the serialized radio dramas, commonly known as ``soap operas'' (so named, because many were sponsored by soap manufacturers), Herta Hertzog found that their popularity could not be attributed to any socio-economic characteristics of listeners, but rather to the serialized format itself, which induced habituated listening. The brainwashing power of serialization was recognized by movie and television programmers; to this day, the afternoon ``soaps'' remain among the most addictive of television fare, with 70% of all American women over 18 watching at least two of these shows each day.

Another Radio Research Project study investigated the effects of the 1938 Orson Welles radio dramatization of H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, about an invasion from Mars. Some 25% of the listeners to the show, which was formatted as if it were a news broadcast, believed that an invasion was under way, creating a national panic--this, despite repeated and clear statements that the show was fictional. Radio Project researchers found that most people didn't believe that Martians had invaded, but rather that a German invasion was under way. This, the researchers reported, was because the show had followed the ``news bulletin'' format that had earlier accompanied accounts of the war crisis around the Munich conference. Listeners reacted to the format, not the content of the broadcast.

The project's researchers had proven that radio had already so conditioned the minds of its listeners, making them so fragmented and unthinking, that repetition of format was the key to popularity. [9] The "One-Eyed Babysitter"

Television was beginning to make its entrance as the next mass media technology at the time the Radio Research Project's findings were published in 1939. First experimented with on a large scale in Nazi Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, TV made its splashy public appearance at the 1939 New York World's Fair, where it attracted large crowds. Adorno and others immediately recognized its potential as a mass-brainwashing tool. In 1944, he wrote, ``Television aims at the synthesis of radio and film ... but its consequences are enormous and promise to intensify the impoverishment of aesthetic matter, so drastically that by tomorrow, the thinly veiled identity of all industrial culture products can come triumphantly out in the open, derisively fulfilling the Wagnerian dream of Gesamtkunstwerk--the fusion of all arts in one work.'' As was obvious from even the earliest clinical studies of television (some of which were conducted in the late 1940s and early 1950s by Tavistock operatives), viewers, over a relatively short period of time, entered into a trance-like state of semi-awareness, characterized by a fixed stare. The longer one watched, the more pronounced the stare. In such a condition of twilight-like semi-awareness, they were susceptible to messages both contained in the programs themselves, and through transference, in the advertising. They were being brainwashed. [10]

Television moved from being a neighborhood oddity, to mass penetration of especially urban areas, during approximately 1947-52. As Lyndon LaRouche has observed, this coincided with a critical period in the nation's psychological life. The dreams of millions of World War II veterans, and their high hopes of building a better world, crashed to earth in the morally corrupt leadership of the Truman administration and ensuing economic depression. These veterans retreated into family life, their jobs, their homes, their living rooms. And, in the center of those living rooms was their new television set, whose banal images provided assurance that the corrupt moral choices they had made were correct.

The earliest programming fell back on the tested models of radio, as described in the Radio Research Project: the situation comedy, or ``sitcom,'' the game shows, the variety shows, sports, and the ``soaps.'' Many were in serial form, with interlocking characters, if not stories. All were banal, deliberately designed so.

The children of these unhappy veterans, the so-called baby boomers, became the first generation to be weaned on what LaRouche calls ``the one-eyed babysitter.'' Television viewing was encouraged by parents, often as a means of controlling the children, who would stare at whatever was on the screen for hours on end. The content of the first children's programs was banal (but no more so than the television programming in general), and mentally destructive; even more destructive was the replacement of real family interaction by television viewing, as the dinner table was replaced by the ``TV dinner'' in front of the tube. Not surprisingly, the children fixated obsessively on the items advertised by the media, demanding that they be given such items, lest they not be like their friends. [11]

In the mid-1970s, Eric Trist, who, until his death in 1993, headed Tavistock's operations in the United States, and Tavistock's main media ``expert,'' Fred Emery, reported on their findings of the impact of 20 years of television on American society. In Emery's 1975 work, Futures We Are In, they reported that the content of programming was no longer as important as the sheer amount of television viewing. Average daily viewing time had risen steadily over the two decades since the introduction of the medium, such that by the mid-1970s, it ranked as a daily activity only behind sleep and work, at almost six hours a day (since then, it has risen still further, to more than seven hours, with the addition of video games, home videos, and so on); among school-age children, the time spent viewing television ranked just behind school attendance. These findings, Tavistock indicated, strongly suggested that television was like an addictive drug. Similarly, Emery reported on neurological studies which, he claimed, showed that repeated television viewing ``shuts down the central nervous system of man.''

Whether this claim holds up under scientific scrutiny, Emery and Trist present persuasive argument that general, extensive television viewing lowers the capacity for conceptual thinking about what is being presented on the screen. The studies show that the mere presence of images on television, especially within appropriate news or documentary format, but also within general viewing, tends to ``validate'' those images, and imbue them with a sense of ``reality.''

Trist and Emery find nothing wrong with such developments, which indicate that television is producing a brain-dead generation. Rather, they show how this development fits into a larger global plan for social control, implemented by Tavistock and its allied networks on behalf of its sponsors. Society, they state in A Choice of Futures, a book published in the same time period, has been plunging through progressively lowered states of mental awareness, to a point where even the Orwellian fascist state is not attainable. At this point, thanks to television and other mass media, mankind is in a state of dissociation, whose political outcome will be manifested in a ``Clockwork Orange'' society, named for the book by the late Anthony Burgess, in which roving youth gangs habitually commit acts of random violence, and then return home to watch the news about what they have done on the ``tube.''

The brainwashers point out that this development, for which they say the violence of Northern Ireland is a model, was not induced by the effects of television alone. Society has been put through ``social turbulence'' in a series of economic and political shocks, which included the war in Vietnam, the oil price shocks, and the assassination of political leaders. The psychological impact of those events, for whose responsibility they neglect to properly ascribe to the Anglo-American establishment, were magnified by their being brought into homes, in gory and terrifying detail, by television news broadcasts. Under the Trist-Emery scenario, one can imagine hearing the tag line for a future late news program: ``The end of the world. Details at 11.''

Consolidating the Paradigm

In a 1991 anthology of the work's of Tavistock which he edited, Trist wrote that all of the international ``nodes'' or centers of the institute's brainwashing apparatus were deployed for the central purpose of consolidating the paradigm-shift to a ``post-industrial world order.'' Their goal, he stated, was to make the shift irreversible. In this work, and in other locations, Trist, like Alexander King, urges a mass ``reeducational'' campaign to break the last vestiges of national resistance, especially within the United States, to this new, one-world order.

Approximately ten1 years earlier, another of Tavistock's minions, Bertram Gross, in a paper delivered to a 1981 World Future Society conference attended by Al Gore, provided a glimpse of what this ``new world order'' might look like. Gross argued that in the period ahead, the world would be offered what Tavistock likes to call a ``critical choice''--a set of options, all of which appear to be bad, but, because of applied terror and pressure of events, a choice is nonetheless forced and the ``less bad'' option taken. Western industrial society will break down into chaos; this chaos can, he said, either lead to a fascism of the authoritarian type that the British helped install in Nazi Germany, or to a more humane and benevolent form of fascism, which Gross called a ``friendly fascism.'' The choice, Gross proclaimed, is to attempt to go back to the old industrial paradigm, under which there will be Nazi fascism; or, to embrace post-industrialism, where there will be a ``friendly fascism.'' The latter, he said, is clearly preferable, since it is merely a transition to a new ``global information world order,'' which will involve more personal choice and freedom, a true open and participatory mass democracy.

For Gross, the choice is clear: In any case, there will be pain and suffering; but only the ``friendly fascism'' of the global information order, of a society wired together by cable television, satellites, and computer lines, offers hope for a better ``future.''

Who shall administer this ``friendly fascist'' world order? Gross explained that there now truly exists a ``Golden International,'' a term that he credited to the late Communist International (Comintern) leader Nikolai Bukharin. It is an enlightened international elite, based within the powerful European-centered oligarchy that controls the global multinational communications industry, as well as other critical resources and global finance. This elite must be instructed and informed by the intelligence of the Tavistock networks; they must be shown that the great masses of television-fixated mental zombies can be won easily to this brave new world, through inducements of entertainments and the endless supply of ``information.'' Once the masses are won over, through ``education,'' then the resistance within national sectors will collapse.

In 1989, under the initiative of Trist, Tavistock convened a seminar at Case Western Reserve University to discuss the means to bring about a ``stateless'' international fascism--a new global information world order. In 1991, Tavistock devoted its journal, Human Relations, to the publication of the papers from that conference. In several of the papers, the call went out for the deployment of the mass media on behalf of this project.

In addition, since 1981, there was now a new technology at the disposal of the brainwashers--the Internet. According to Harold Perlmutter, one of the participants at the Case Western seminar, the Internet represented a subversive means to penetrate national borders with ``information'' about this new world order; it also serves as a glue for a network of non-governmental organizations, all circulating propaganda for the new world order. These NGOs are to be the superstructure upon which the new world order is to be built. Perlmutter, and other conference participants, argued that their movement cannot be beaten, because it doesn't exist, in a formal sense. It resides in the minds of its conspirators, minds informed by Tavistock's mass-media brainwashing machine. As television was the information drug during the last half of this millennium, so the Internet, with its glut of mostly useless chatter and ``information,'' with its subversive, programmed messages, is to be the new ``drug'' of the next millennium, Tavistock boasts. [12]

``Americans don't really think--they have opinions, feelings,'' said the Futures Group's Hal Becker in a 1981 interview. ``Television creates opinion, then validates it. Are they brainwashed by the tube? It is really more than that. I think that people have lost their ability to relate the images of their own lives without television intervening. This really is what we mean when we say we have a wired society. We are headed for an Orwellian society, but Orwell made a mistake in 1984. Big Brother doesn't need to watch you, as long as you watch it. And who can say that this is really so bad?''

The Fly in the Ointment

But, even within the elitist circles of Tavistock's international networks, there is a faint glimmer that something might be seriously awry in their plan. It was expressed by an author quoted by Emery back in 1973, who wondered aloud what might happen when the television-addicted baby-boomer generation fully takes over the reins of leadership. Have we really prepared them to lead? Can they think and solve problems? Emery dismisses the problem, indicating that there is enough time yet to train such leadership cadre.

But the questions linger. In 1981, at the World Future Society event at which Gross delivered his paean to the ``friendly fascist'' ``global information order,'' Tony Lentz, an assistant professor of speech at the Pennsylvania State University, observed that he had witnessed destruction of oral and written skills, by the mass media and television; not only could most students not write coherently, but they could not even speak intelligently. This was not merely a function of miseducation, he stated in his paper, ``The Medium Is Madness,'' but also because they had no desire to think. Arguing that Plato states that our knowledge of the world must be based on knowing the mind of someone who knows something about it, Lentz said that television has left people with the idea that mere images represent knowledge. There is no questioning, no effort to get inside the mind of someone, merely dialogue and image, sound and fury, that certainly signify nothing. [13]

``Allowing ourselves to be influenced by the subtle but powerful illusions presented by television,'' wrote Lentz, ``leads to a kind of mass madness that can have rather frightening implications for the future of the nation ... We will have begun to see things that aren't there, giving someone else the power to make up our illusions for us. The prospect is frightening, and given our cultural heritage we should know better.''

Comment

JFK Airport Plot Has All The Hallmarks Of Staged Terror

Near-retarded "ringleader", paid government provocateur mirrors legion of previous cases

Paul Joseph Watson

Prison Planet

Monday, June 4, 2007

An alleged plot to blow up fuel tanks, terminal buildings and fuel lines running beneath Kennedy International Airport has all the hallmarks of being another staged terror alert, having never advanced beyond a rudimentary planning stage while being prodded and provocateured by a paid government informant.

In every single major terror sting we have researched in the west since 9/11, not one single plot has been absent the ingredient of a government provocateur, save the cases that were outright manufactured by imaginative government propagandists in alliance with the corporate media.

In this case, the provocateur was "An informant with a criminal history including drug trafficking and racketeering agreed to work with investigators on the case, in exchange for payments and a reduced sentence," according to the New York Times.

Officials have refused to say how they became aware of the plot in the first place, but in every previous case of this nature we have found that it is the government agent provocateur who radicalizes the group and formulates the plot. The cover story is that the group is infiltrated by the informant having already planned the attack but as more details emerge, inevitably the plot always reveals itself as an artificial creation on behalf of the intelligence services.

What's the motive? The war on terror is the most politically exploited concept since the cold war. The propaganda boon from hoodwinking Americans into thinking they are constantly under threat from terrorists is unsurpassed. On the very day that this alleged plot was announced, Rudy Giuliani was already using it to inflate his presidential campaign.

In addition, the new head of the Arkansas Republican Party, Dennis Milligan, told a reporter this past weekend that America needs to be attacked by terrorists so that people will appreciate the work that President Bush has done to protect the country.

Once again we learn that "the plot was only in a preliminary phase and the conspirators had yet to lay out detailed plans or obtain financing or explosives," and yet the event is reported by a jingoistic and frothing media as if an imminent attack on the scale of 9/11 has been averted.

But as always, the devil is in the details, because even if the group had managed to acquire the financing and explosives to enact the plot, it would have been unsuccessful, due to "safety shut-off valves would almost assuredly have prevented an exploding airport fuel tank from igniting all or even part of the network."

The sum of the group's planning for the alleged attack amounts to nothing more than visiting Google Maps and printing off photographs.

It appears that part of the agenda in hyping the alleged plot is to undermine Hugo Chavez, since the ringleader, Russell Defreitas, has links to Jamaat al-Muslimeen, a Muslim group headed up by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, and in turn Bakr has been affiliated with Chavez.

As Kurt Nimmo writes, Neo-Con websites are already exploiting these tenuous links to demonize Hugo Chavez, who - whatever you think of his domestic policies - has been a constant thorn in the side of the Globalists and was subject to an attempted CIA coup in 2002.

Defreitas is described by one law enforcement official as “a sad sack” and “not a Grade A terrorist,” who would have been incapable of carrying out any attack. A friend described him as "not smart enough" to have carried out the attack.

In several other cases, we see a pattern where near-retarded individuals are used as patsies for terror plots orchestrated by intelligence agencies because they are easily manipulated and cannot defend themselves after the fact.

From out of nowhere, Defreitas goes from embracing American culture and enjoying jazz music to dressing in traditional Muslim garb and referring to himself as Mohammed while planning a devastating attack due to his supposed hatred of the west.

The basic tenet that the terror threat has been overhyped and magnified a thousand-fold for political propaganda is proven alone by documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that show only 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were terrorism related, despite the fact that the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that it is the primary focus of the DHS.

As more details leak out, there seems little doubt that the JFK airport plot will dissipate into nothing more than another hyped terror alert - coddled, molded, and directed by the government, before being unleashed on an increasingly skeptical American public in another vain attempt to prop up the flagging legitimacy of the "war on terror".

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What If Our Mercenaries Turn on Us?

By Chris Hedges

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Link

Sunday 03 June 2007

Armed units from the private security firm Blackwater USA opened fire in Baghdad streets twice in two days last week. It triggered a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, a reminder that the war in Iraq may be remembered mostly in our history books for empowering and building America's first modern mercenary army.

There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 armed security contractors working in Iraq, although there are no official figures and some estimates run much higher. Security contractors are not counted as part of the coalition forces. When the number of private mercenary fighters is added to other civilian military "contractors" who carry out logistical support activities such as food preparation, the number rises to about 126,000.

"We got 126,000 contractors over there, some of them making more than the secretary of defense," said House defense appropriations subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D., Pa.). "How in the hell do you justify that?"

The privatization of war hands an incentive to American corporations, many with tremendous political clout, to keep us mired down in Iraq. But even more disturbing is the steady rise of this modern Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard in ancient Rome was a paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse, and eventually plunged the Roman Republic into tyranny and despotism. Despotic movements need paramilitary forces that operate outside the law, forces that sow fear among potential opponents, and are capable of physically silencing those branded by their leaders as traitors. And in the wrong hands, a Blackwater could well become that force.

American taxpayers have so far handed a staggering $4 billion to "armed security" companies in Iraq such as Blackwater, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.). Tens of billions more have been paid to companies that provide logistical support. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) of the House Intelligence Committee estimates that 40 cents of every dollar spent on the occupation has gone to war contractors. It is unlikely that any of these corporations will push for an early withdrawal. The profits are too lucrative.

Mercenary forces like Blackwater operate beyond civilian and military law. They are covered by a 2004 edict passed by American occupation authorities in Iraq that immunizes all civilian contractors in Iraq from prosecution.

Blackwater, barely a decade old, has migrated from Iraq to set up operations in the United States and nine other countries. It trains Afghan security forces and has established a base a few miles from the Iranian border. The huge contracts from the war - including $750 million from the State Department since 2004 - have allowed Blackwater to amass a fleet of more than 20 aircraft, including helicopter gunships. Jeremy Scahill, the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, points out that Blackwater has also constructed "the world's largest private military facility - a 7,000-acre compound near the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina." Blackwater also recently opened a facility in Illinois ("Blackwater North") and, despite local opposition, is moving ahead with plans to build another huge training base near San Diego. The company recently announced it was creating a private intelligence branch called "Total Intelligence."

Erik Prince, who founded and runs Blackwater, is a man who appears to have little time for the niceties of democracy. He has close ties with the radical Christian Right and the Bush White House. He champions his company as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military. His employees, in an act as cynical as it is dishonest, take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. But what he and his allies have built is a mercenary army, paid for with government money, which operates outside the law and without constitutional constraint.

Mercenary units are a vital instrument in the hands of despotic movements. Communist and fascist movements during the last century each built rogue paramilitary forces. And the appearance of Blackwater fighters, heavily armed and wearing their trademark black uniforms, patrolling the streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, may be a grim taste of the future. In New Orleans Blackwater charged the government $240,000 a day.

" 'It cannot happen here' is always wrong," the philosopher Karl Popper wrote. "A dictatorship can happen anywhere."

The word contractor helps launder the fear and threat out of a more accurate term: "paramilitary force." We're not supposed to have such forces in the United States, but we now do. And if we have them, we have a potential threat to democracy. On U.S. soil, Blackwater so far has shown few signs of being an out-and-out rogue retainer army, though they looked the part in New Orleans. But were this country to become even a little less stable, outfits like Blackwater might see a heyday. If the United States falls into a period of instability caused by another catastrophic terrorist attack, an economic meltdown that triggers social unrest, or a series of environmental disasters, such paramilitary forces, protected and assisted by fellow ideologues in the police and military, could ruthlessly abolish what is left of our eroding democracy. War, with the huge profits it hands to corporations, and to right-wing interests such as the Christian Right, could become a permanent condition. And the thugs with automatic weapons, black uniforms and wraparound sunglasses who appeared on the streets in New Orleans could appear on our streets.

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Bush Running Kidnapping Ring

39 More “Disappeared" Found

by Sherwood Ross

Let’s face it: we’ve got a president in the White House who is running an international kidnapping ring. Six human rights groups(HRG) today (June 6) named for the first time 39 more kidnap (they call them ‘disappeared’) victims of the Bush administration. Not only have Mr. Bush’s apparatchiks dumped the terrorist suspects in secret prisons but they abducted some of their wives and children, too.

The sons of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, aged seven and nine, were kidnapped and tossed into an adult detention center for months “while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father’s whereabouts,” HRG said in a news release. And when Tanzanian national Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was seized in Gujarat, Pakistan, in July, 2004, his wife was kidnapped with him. Shades of Joe Stalin, notorious for abducting Soviet defectors in their foreign sanctuaries!

“The duty of governments to protect people from acts of terrorism is not in question. But seizing men, women and even children, and placing people in secret locations deprived of the most basic safeguards for any detainees most definitely is,” said Claudio Cordone, a spokesperson for Amnesty International, one of the HRG involved in today’s revelations.Adds Meg Satterthwaite, of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the NYU School of Law:

“Since the end of Latin America’s dirty wars, the world has rejected the use of ‘disappearances’ as a fundamental violation of international law. Despite this universal condemnation, our research shows that the United States has tried to vanish both the people on this list and the rule of law… Enforced disappearances are illegal, regardless of who carries them out.”

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano dismissed the HRG report. He told Reuters the CIA acts in “strict accord with American law” and that its counter-terror initiatives are “subject to careful review and oversight.” Operating secret prisons turns the kidnapped victims into ghost prisoners kept “off the books.” It prevents scrutiny by the public and the courts, “and leaves detainees vulnerable to abuses that include torture and other ill-treatment,” the HRG said. It also blocks the Red Cross from exercising its right of visitation. In the past, the CIA has denied the International Red Cross visitation to its prison in Kabul, Afghanistan. That’s hardly in accord with American law, as international treaties the U.S. has signed obligate Red Cross visits to prisoners. And, of course, none of the 39 disappeared have been brought to public trial, still a right under U.S. law.The organizations bringing the charges against the Bush administration are Amnesty International, Cageprisoners, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law(CHRGJ), Human Rights Watch, and Reprieve.

Last September, President Bush conceded his administration held prisoners in secret. It is unlikely he compared this practice to the foreign kidnappings that characterized Stalin’s Soviet regime, just as he undoubtedly failed to see the self-satire of his speech the other day calling upon Russia to act more like a democracy. But Vincent Warren, of the Center for Constitutional Rights, has a broader vision: “Our client Majid Khan was subjected to torture and abuse while in secret CIA detention for three years. His family didn’t know if he was alive, let alone where he was. ‘Ghost’ detention is incompatible with basic respect for human rights and the rule of law.”If you think it’s ugly stuff for the White House to jail children, keep in mind the U.S. detains 800 Pakistani boys between 13 and 15, some of whom the Red Cross charges have been tortured. By the estimate of Human Rights First(HRF), as of April, 2005, at least 108 innocent (well, they were never tried, were they?) foreign detainees “perished” in U.S. custody.

Kidnapping by the CIA, which the Bush-Cheney regime is converting into a Soviet-style KGB, got its start under President Bill Clinton, who signed off on the first “extraordinary rendition” in 1996. The invasion of the body snatchers, though, made the jump into light speed under Mr. Bush.

Right now, Italy has warrants out for the arrest of 22 CIA agents who four years ago abducted Milan resident cleric Hassan Osama Nasr, and flew him to Egypt to be tortured. HRG says the disappeared victims it identified were snatched in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan. Although Mr. Bush fibs “we don’t torture,” there have been verified reports to the contrary, particularly relating to the kidnap victims. Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it a crime for an American to commit torture outside the U.S. The offense is punishable by fines and prison terms of up to 20 years, and if deaths result, the killers may be jailed for life or executed.

At least 20 high Bush administration officials authorized, and hundreds of U.S. military or other government employees participated in, crimes of torture against prisoners taken in the Middle East or scooped off the streets of Europe. This list begins with President Bush, for his arbitrary suspension February 8, 2002, of the Geneva Conventions that protect prisoners and includes Vice President Cheney, top White House officials, Pentagon flag officers, CIA agents, and interrogators.

One very curious sentence leaps out of the new HRG report. It’s this: “Interviews with prisoners who have been released from secret CIA prisons indicate that low-level detainees have frequently been arrested far from any battlefield, and held in isolation for years without legal recourse or contact with their families or outside agencies." Put that together with the fact almost none of the captives at Guantanamo or in any of the other prisons have been brought to trial and it raises several questions: What if thousands of innocent men have been arrested to give the appearance of a vast “terrorist” conspiracy against America where none exists? What if, apart from Al-Qaida, the terrorists are just nationalists defending their turf when invaded? Otherwise, why hold these men in secret prisons? Is it to keep the public from hearing what they may say in open court?

Sherwood Ross is a free-lance reporter. Reach him at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com

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Goodbye to America which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many of its youth die in war

by Cindy Sheehan

Global Research, May 31, 2007 Daily Kos - 2007-05-28

I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground. Being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance" are some of the more milder rebukes.

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an "attention whore" then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford , Texas ? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too...which makes the property even more valuable.

This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement. This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

It’s up to you now.

Global Research Articles by Cindy Sheehan

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