Sunday, September 29, 2013

Operation Mockingbird and the past, present, and future of media manipulation

The National Security Act of 1947 is one of the most important documents in American history, but it is one with which few people are familiar.  In addition to establishing the US Military in the form we know it today, it established the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Central Intelligence Agency.  It did more than simply found the CIA, it established the guidelines for the agency; what they could and could not do.  As revealed during the Church committee hearings, the CIA paid little attention to the "could nots," taking whatever actions they saw fit in the name of national security.  This included but was not limited to political assassinations abroad, spying on American citizens, and running operations inside the US -- all of which were expressly forbidden.

Today we will focus on the latter two: operations within the United States.  The most infamous of these is the MK-ULTRA program, which was dedicated to experiments involving mind control in an attempt to create a "Manchurian candidate."  Much has been written about MK-ULTRA both in conspiracy circles and the mainstream media, so I would like to focus on a project less well-known but perhaps even more insidious, Operation Mockingbird

Mockingbird and MK-ULTRA had the same goal -- the control of the mind -- but, rumors aside, there can be no argument on the fact that Mockingbird was the more successful of the two.  Mockingbird was the CIA's media influence program or, more aptly put, their American propaganda strategy.  Frank Wisner, director of Special Projects/Policy Coordination, referred to the American media as "the mighty Wurlitzer" in reference to the fact that he could make it play any tune he wanted.  Hugh Wilford's 2009 book The Might Wurlitzer: How the CIA played America is a wonderful resource outlining Operation Mockingbird.  Wilford, however, comes to the naive conclusion that the CIA stopped this sort of thing once they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar as a result of the Church committee.  Wilford ignores the fact that Reagan and George W Bush essentially removed all restraints placed on the CIA as a result of the Church committee in EO12333 and EO 13355 and EO13470, respectively, even returning to the agency their ability to use assassinations. Furthermore, in a story reported only in Europe, the government embedded "psy-ops" -- psychological operations -- teams inside CNN during the Kosovo conflict in an effort to "manage" the news agency's reporting.  And, while we're on the subject, CNN poster boy Anderson Cooper used to work for the CIA

In addition to spin, intelligence agencies aren't above making their own news when it suits them. Remember Desert Storm? A tipping point for support for US intervention was the testimony of Nayirah, who told a Congressional panel that Iraqi soldiers were murdering babies in Kuwaiti hospitals.  She was lying.  She was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador and was working with PR firm Hill & Knowlton, whose client list has included the tobacco industry, Scientology, Prozac, and, currently, the oil fracking industry.  They also represented BCCI, meaning that if they aren't a CIA front company, they aren't too far removed.  Also: Remember when the liberated Iraqis tore down the statue of Saddam Hussein?  That was faked too

Suffice it to say, there is a good deal of evidence that American intelligence agencies take an active role in "perception management" within the United States in regards to how news is presented, and even if it is presented at all.  After all, once you've had your hands on the Mighty Wurlitzer, why would you ever stop playing?  Let's look for examples of manipulation in our current news -- or lack thereof.

The American news media has been completely silent about Islamic extremist violence in Africa, particularly the Kenyan mall attack.  Granted, there's never been a shortage of racism in the American media when it comes to ignoring African issues, but al-Shabaab's attack on the West Gate mall is the type of thing that should be a lead story.  History has shown us that Africa is used as a "testing ground" for Islamic extremist attacks.  The 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya was the first act in a campaign of terror directed against the US that culminated in 9/11.  Al-Shabaab isn't done according to reports, and a college in Nigeria was attacked this morning by a related group.  Clearly, the attacks in Africa represent a more concrete threat to America than whether or not Syrians used chemical weapons on one another, but, then again, Kenya produces less oil than Puerto Rico or Ireland, so there's less of a financial motive.

Perhaps the silence regarding the West Gate mall attack is for an altogether different reason.  The Kenyan Foreign Minister has stated that at least three of the terrorists were from Minnesota.  So rather than rabid fundamentalists from the Middle East, this violence was carried out by American teens.  That's not all, Great Britain is in on the action as well.  "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite is believed to have been involved.  Lewthwaite earned her nickname by being the widow of 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay.  I'll take this opportunity to remind you of the theories presented by the film 7/7 Ripple Effect  that claimed that the 7/7 bombing suspects believed they were working for British secret services on a drill.  Is the lack of western reporting on the West Gate attack because it is a special ops? We will hopefully learn more in the coming days as the Kenyan authorities seem to be more willing to discuss the matter than ours are.

File this under Bizarre: The Kenyan Daily Post is reporting that al-Shabaab's code words for their potential targets are based on Freemason lodges in Charlotte, North Carolina.  If this is true, that's pretty incredible.  For what it's worth, the information in the post is correct: Lodge 738 is the West Gate lodge in Charlotte.   Even more bizarre is the fact that Ft. Bragg, North Carolina is headquarters of America's Special Forces.  To be even more specific, it's the home of the 3rd Division of the Special Forces which is.....(drum roll, please)....in charge of Sub-Saharan Africa.  I'll admit that no one else is reporting this so I couldn't get secondary confirmation of the code words.  However, it would have been a lot of research for a hoax, and the Kenyan Daily Post didn't make the connections to US Special Forces in their article.

The FBI has released their file on Michael Hastings on their FOIA site. It's heavily redacted of course and doesn't feature any new information, but it is proof that journalists that don't play ball are heavily scrutinized.   

In regards to perception management, Seymour Hersh has reemerged stating that the Bin Laden narrative is "bullshit."  Those of you unfamiliar with Hersh's work are advised to familiarize yourself with him ASAP because, now 76 years old, Hersh is back and turning his attention to the current administration.  He's got a book coming out soon that will undoubtedly be worth a read, and it is notable that he's stating that the press is less free under Obama than they were under Bush.

Navy Yard Shooting: I mentioned last post that the BBC was the only outlet to report the "stand down" order.  There's no update except that the SWAT team is still waiting for an answer.  The two most important things about this story is that the BBC isn't back tracking and that there still hasn't been a word about this in America.  In fact, there hasn't been much reporting at all on the Navy Yard shooting since it occurred.  We'll hit the two week anniversary tomorrow, and the story has completely fallen off the radar.  That is, except for this one story, which is the epitome of the Might Wurlitzer playing the government's tune:

Same company did background checks on Alexis, Snowden

See what they did there?  Whistleblower Edward Snowden is mentioned in the same breath as Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis.  Since the average person only skims headlines, this effectively makes the two one and the same.  Exposing the NSA's spying on US citizens is equated to gunning people down at their job.  Don't think for a second that this is accidental.  Eight words is sometimes all it takes to change someone's mind, and whoever wrote this headline -- which was duplicated verbatim across multiple outlets -- probably got a raise.  The Mighty Wurlitzer plays on...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Our Regularly Scheduled Ritual

In remarks made to Telemundo on Monday, President Obama described the September 16th Navy Yard Shooting as an example of "a ritual we go through every three or four months."

I'm a strong believer in the power of language, particularly of words.  Analysis of phrasing and word choice can tell you far more about a person than the literal meaning of what they say, even sometimes far more than they want you to know.  I've written before about Oswald's famous "I'm just a patsy" comment and how the word "patsy" has a very different connotation than its synonyms.  Most people interpret his statement in the literal sense to mean "I've been framed" or "I'm just a scapegoat."  Unlike these terms, "patsy" has a very specific meaning in the American vernacular of the early twentieth century, and with the types of people with whom Oswald is known to have associated.  A patsy isn't innocent.  A patsy is a fall guy, someone who is "in" on whatever crime is being committed, but is left "holding the bag" so to speak by his cohorts.  Oswald's statement implies that he was involved with or at least aware of something illegal and that it has now dawned on him that he's the one being left to take the rap for it. 

Ritual, like patsy, has a specific meaning.  Two specific meanings actually.  The first of course is "ritual" in the religious sense.  In the coming days and weeks, you're going to have no shortage of theorists who will tell you that is exactly what the Navy Yard Shooting was: a religious rite orchestrated by persons unknown for nefarious purposes.  Such theories are entertaining to contemplate, but ultimately there is no identifiable proof. I prefer to stick to what can be proven, which ties into the second meaning of ritual: convention or habit.  A case can be made that the Navy Yard Shooting is very much a ritual in this regard.  So much about the event strikes us a familiar.  Even in these first few days after the event, its connection to previous patterns we've seen is already clear. 

The following is a summary of what is currently known about the shooting and the shooter and their similarities to other suspicious events:

The SWAT Team received a "stand down" order.
The most famous incident of a "stand down" order was on 9/11 when no jets were sent to intercept the hijacked planes, despite the fact that NORAD had sufficient time to scramble fighters from any of the multiple bases on standby.  A full timeline of the 9/11 stand down can be found here, which also features information regarding the drill underway during 9/11 that allegedly confused things.  Reports of drills scheduled during the Sandy Hook massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing have not gone unnoticed in the alternative media.  It bears noting that the story broke on the BBC website; not exactly known for being a den of conspiracy theorists.

Shooter Aaron Alexis had made some bizarre statements to the police in August 2013.
Specifically, Alexis stated that he was being followed and electronically harassed by three people after an incident in the Virginia airport.  For those of you not familiar with certain dark corners of the conspiracy realm, the technical term for what Alexis described is "gangstalking."  Differing explanations of the gangstalking phenomenon can be found here and here, with videos offering more detail here and here and here.  There are a significant number of people who believe that they are currently being gangstalked, meaning Alexis was not alone in this belief.  Belief, however, does not necessarily imply truth, and yet the sheer number of alleged victims and their various evidence warrants more consideration than most people have given the subject. 

The concept of gangstalking has roots in reality.  It is common knowledge that both law enforcement and intelligence agencies surveil individuals in the course of their duties.  Targeted individuals,  or TIs, as they call themselves, rarely connect their stalkers with any legitimate authorities and state the purpose of the stalking is harassment, not intelligence gathering.  In my research I have come across very few targeted individuals who could offer a tangible reason for the stalking other than being randomly singled out for persecution.  In summation, gangstalking appears to be a huge plume of smoke emanating from a very small fire.  I do not doubt that there are some individuals out there who are being surveilled by persons unknown, but the bulk of TIs are likely mistaken.

Alexis also mentioned the use of electronic harassment -- another frequent claim of TIs -- and it was revealed yesterday that he had carved "My ELF weapon" into his shotgun.  ELF, or extremely low frequency, is considered by some to be either a form of electronic harassment or mind control.  A good overview of ELF theories ranging from the proven to the extremely specious can be found here, but the fact that the US military is interested in so-called "non-lethal weapons" is not exactly a secret or a conspiracy theory.  In 2010, the US Marine Corps requested proposals from contractors, stating they were specifically interested in "studying advanced non-lethal RF directed-energy weapons and non-lethal laser weapons able to cause temporary blindness, painful heating of the skin, and other kinds of pain."  The request was part of what is know as the US Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, which the Department of Defense is so proud of they gave it its own website.  It's already working too.  The Army uses these handy briefcase-sized "Escalation of Force" kits and the Navy uses the "Acoustic Hailing Device" which does double-duty as a communications device and a weapon.  It bears noting that it has been mentioned that Alexis reportedly heard voices: The Acoustic Hailing Device reportedly allows individuals to speak to one another from over a quarter-mile away by using the device.  A good overview of the past, present, and future of Electronic Warfare can be found in this article, published a week before the shooting. 

Mainstream media articles (like this one) have been quick to point out that belief in ELF is the domain of the "tinfoil hat" crowd, all the while failing to mention any of the above listed examples of the real-world existence of electronic harassment technology. 
(Not me.  I promise)

I'll grant you that you'd have no trouble finding a lot of people who claim to be electronically harassed that are simply just paranoid.  However, the fact that Aaron Alexis believed that he was the victim of ELF does not necessarily mean he was wrong or crazy.  The technology exists.  It was being used by the US Navy, for which he was a former member and a then-current contract employee. 

Aaron Alexis' personal life was perhaps more bizarre than his claims of harassment.
Several items jump out at me from what we know about Alexis' life in the months leading up to the shooting:
  1. He was employed by The Experts, a government contractor for IT services. According to their "About us" page, CEO Thomas Hoshko's previous jobs include working for the Pentagon in: "Directed operations of the Special Intelligence Communications Center for the Chief of Naval Operations, Director of Naval Intelligence and Joint Chiefs of Staff, including but not limited to, secure communications (DMS) , satcom and cryptography for the DOD, NSA, White House and intel agencies."  Is The Experts a CIA-front company?  According to this timely article, the CIA has recently developed a taste for investing in IT startups.   
  2. Alexis was a IT consultant for one of the military's top contractors.  He had a "Secret" clearance and apparently performed his job well enough to travel for his company regularly from Texas to Japan to Rhode Island and finally to the DC-area.  My knowledge of this field leads me to believe that he was well compensated for his work.  Just using round numbers, it would not be unreasonable for him to have been making between $75,000 and $100,000 annually.  This would actually be the low-end estimate, as secret clearances typically are able to command a higher wage since the pool of potential employees is smaller.  Alexis wouldn't have been "wealthy" by anyone's standards, but he would have been able to live comfortably for a single man in his mid-thirties with no dependents.  Why then did Alexis not have a permanent residence?  Granted, his position as a contract worker who travelled frequently would have made a buying a home a bad decision, but as recently as May of this year, Alexis was living and working with the owners of Happy Bowl Thai in White Settlement, TX, just outside of Fort Worth.  Alexis should have been able to A) afford to live somewhere else and B) if he was able to secure a job with The Experts and get a secret clearance in 2013, he would have been able to find more lucrative employment. 
  3. Alexis spoke fluent Thai, better than some native speakers according to his former boss.  How and when Alexis learned to speak Thai is unknown.  It is possible that he received training during his time in the Navy, but he had never been stationed overseas and typically the military doesn't offer language training unless it is a requirement of the job.  We are left to assume that Alexis learned it on his own, as the Happy Bowl Thai owners stated he already knew Thai at the time that they met him.
  4. The current media narrative that Alexis was mentally unstable and had anger issues isn't corroborated by any of his close associates.  The most that is being said is that he was frustrated with his job, but apparently no more or no less than any white-collar worker would be.  There's an odd synchronicity here with Lee Harvey Oswald, who was alternately described as a loner or a very friendly guy and an abusive husband or a loving spouse depending on who was telling the tale.  Alexis -- like Oswald, Mark David Chapman and David Berkowitz -- was a very intelligent man who took menial jobs despite being overqualified.

Where does this leave us? Nowhere definite.  But whether this a conspiracy or merely a criminal matter, there are definite aspects of this event that are going unreported by the mainstream media.  The story seems to have already slipped down the memory hole of the public consciousness.  As of this writing (three days after the event), news about the shooting is buried in the middle of the page on CNN.com, as a small sidebar on MSNBC.com, and not at all on the front pages of FoxNews or the DrudgeReport. 

When, and if, any of the above questions are answered, I will keep you updated.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Battle at Home: The Wars on Journalism and Privacy

Bill to protect journalists clears the Senate Judiciary Committee

Drowned out by barrage of saber-rattling at Syria and now Iran, the Senate Judiciary Committee quietly approved a new media shield bill on Thursday.  Protecting journalists is a good thing, but since legislation often brings with it a Monkey's Paw-style unintended consequence, this new law will actually do more harm than good. What actually occurred is more clearly spelled out in this article from USA Today.  In short, the bill will define who is and isn't a "journalist" for the purposes of legal protection.  The original wording extended protection to anyone engaged in investigation for the purposes of disseminating information to the public.  Sounds good to me.  But the text was amended via compromise over objections that it went too far.  Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein was the biggest opponent, stating that she didn't want to extend legal protection to the Edward Snowdens of the world or to bloggers.  So there is now a "test" to determine who is and is not a legitimate journalist.  A journalist is someone who is "an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have to have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years."  Essentially, if you don't get paid for it, it's not "journalism." 

A big issue with the bill is the so-called "Wikileaks exemption" which means that not only is Wikileaks not covered, but any journalist who is viewed as compromising national security isn't either.  Basically, the bill fails to protect journalists when they need it most.  You can read the full text of the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2013" here.  If you're not fluent in legislation-ese, I'll translate: You're protected until we say you aren't. 

It's all just more smoke and mirrors, and few people seem to care.  Imagine for a second that the bill defined a "gun owner" as someone who bought their gun from a brick-and-mortar store only, and thus anyone who was gifted a gun or bought one from another individual wasn't protected by the Second Amendment.  The uproar would be deafening, but this bill is ignored.  Never mind the fact that is in direct violation of the First Amendment, regardless of which school of interpretation you belong to:

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

The "Free Flow of Information Act" does both.  While I'm a supporter of gun rights (and basically anything else which doesn't harm others), the Second Amendment gets undue attention.  Society has a constant public debate about what does and doesn't impinge on our Second Amendment rights, all while the rest of them are being eroded at a dizzying pace.  But what do I know, I'm not a journalist.

Speaking of the War on Journalists, there's an update in the Michael Hastings case.  The FBI is still investigating him even after his death.  The memo that was released was heavily redacted because it's part of an "on-going criminal investigation."  Here's more info about the article referenced in the documents.

In other news you might have missed: The "Monsanto Protection Act" was extended for three more months.  The bill shields BioAg companies like Monsanto and Cargill from being sued for any damages caused by consuming their products.  Although Monsanto et al. constantly gets carte blanche from the US government, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is related to something very specific that hasn't bubbled to the surface yet. 

There's going to be a new Fed Chairman soon, and the word is that Obama wants it to be Larry Summers.  I'll let you read for yourself what Larry Summers has done in his career, but suffice to say that he's pretty much directly responsible for most of the things wrong with America.  It would be terrible if he was nominated, but I think we can all agree that the real travesty is that he's walking around a free man today. 

Also flying under most people's radar this week is the latest news from Edward Snowden: the United States' "black budget" for intelligence is $52.6 billion.  If you're not familiar with the term, "black budget" is name for funds allocated to government agencies for which there is no accountability or reporting.  You can read the released document here.  This should give everyone pause since A) you're paying for it and B) other recent revelations have shown most of it is being used to spy on you.  As proof, here's a long, well-written article on all the NSA has been doing to make sure they can read your emails

In Other News:
More on the new inquiries into the death of Princess Di.  It's interesting to note that this exact scenario has long been touted by conspiracy theorists after it was revealed that a similar plan was considered to kill Slobodan Milosevic. 
Hitler's bodyguard died.  Note that he says, "We heard no shot, we heard nothing," in regards to Hitler's suicide.  Misch states he was present at the cremation of the body, but fails to mention that Hitler had as many as six doubles, and at least one of them had been killed previously to make the Allies think Hitler was dead.  What am I getting at?  Nothing really, because only insane people -- like President Eisenhower -- think that Hitler survived.  Hitler surviving is a possible explanation for Marina Oswald's diary, aka Warren Commission exhibit 106.  It has "Schicklgruber, Adolf (H.)" written on the back cover.  Schicklgruber was Hitler's father's adopted last name.  How Marina Oswald, a 22 year old Russian immigrant, would have known this is never explained.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lest We Forget: 9/11 twelve years later. Part II

Apologies in advance for the length of this post and the previous one.  I pride myself on the brevity of my writing because exorbitant length is counter-productive to my goals.  I'm trying to get my readers to think about these topics on their own rather than simply beating them over the head with what I think.  It goes back to the theorists vs. believers issue.  I've found it disappointingly common that most people will readily allow you to think for them simply because they don't want to or can't be bothered to, and keeping things short and to the point (hopefully) prevents someone from adopting my beliefs as their own. 

Length here is necessary, however.  These are my first, last, and only posts exclusively on 9/11.  It isn't that I'm not interested in the topic, but that the issues of 9/11 have been adequately covered elsewhere.  I feel that my time is best used on more obscure events that have traditionally received less attention; the very type of things that have been overshadowed by 9/11 conspiracy theories.  I believe that is in these smaller events that one gets a better look into the inner workings of things -- the participants and the motives behind them.  9/11 is perhaps too big to adequately get one's arms around.  To do the topic justice would require a level of dedicated research that I'm not currently willing to devote to a singular topic.  Furthermore, my limited insight into what my (small) readership likes tells me that you're more interested in the obscure rather than this very familiar topic.  So, barring a massive new revelation like a whistleblower, this will likely be the last you'll hear from me on 9/11 short of connections made to other topics.

Just to continue the aside for a moment, the lack of a whistleblower is a frequent criticism thrown up by skeptics in regards to every conspiracy theory and 9/11 in particular.  "Someone would have talked by now," is the mantra repeated most often, as if keeping a secret was beyond the capabilities of mere mortals.  History shows us that disciplined people, such as those in the military or intelligence agencies, are particular talented at keeping secrets.  In fact, it's what they do best.  Case in point: Iran-Contra was kept a secret for years, even from other people inside the same organizations running it.  It wasn't until a freak occurrence -- the downing of Eugene Hasenfus' plane -- that it began to surface.  The current Edward Snowden media circus revolves around the fact that the NSA was spying on Americans for years and, to date, only one out of the thousands of people involved wasn't able to keep the secret.  That fact also means the corollary argument -- "it would take too many people...the truth would leak out" -- also goes out the window since thousands of people routinely keep the same secret.  The "lot of participants" argument is shot as well, since in regards to 9/11 the government's theory only involves about 30 people tops: the 19 hijackers, Bin Laden, and some top lieutenants.  If 30 people pulled off 9/11, what could 50 do? A 100?

While I'm delaying the inevitable: the topic of 9/11 is still very relevant to current events.  It strains credulity to think that the timing of the Syrian conflict is mere coincidence.  The administration has made it clear that this is going to happen whether or not Congress approves or not and has ignored the fact that the American public has stated -- with rare unanimity -- that they absolutely do not want this.  The rest of the world isn't too keen on it either.  It is difficult to imagine a less popular course of action than war in Syria, but it is also becoming increasingly difficult to fathom anything else happening at this point.

Now on to Part II: the "Hows"
  • The companion to the ubiquitous false flag theory is the theory that World Trade Center was brought down via controlled demolition.  This is the position of one of the most vocal and respected 9/11 critic groups, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a group of experts on this sort of thing.  Another vocal proponent of controlled demolition is Dr. David Ray Griffin, who, despite the highly technical descriptions of things found in his writings, is not an expert at this sort of thing -- he's a doctor of philosophy and theology.  That's not an attack on Dr. Griffin, simply a reminder to readers to be conscious of what information you're getting from whom and whether or not they are qualified to give it.  Controlled demolition theories range from appeals to common sense ("just look at how it fell," etc) to extremely detailed discussions of architecture, psychics, fire science, and demolitions.  AE911's website is a treasure trove of information on this theory written at various levels of detail.  I'll paraphrase the most tantalizing quick facts used in their literature to support this theory:
1. The WTC's steel support frame should have slowed the decent, but in fact the opposite occurred, with the building collapsing at near free-fall speeds.
2.  "High velocity ejections" -- i.e. lateral explosions of material coming perpendicular to the buildings, were observed and are highly indicative of explosions from inside the building.
3.  Complete destruction of the building materials, including the mid-air pulverization of 18,000 tons of concrete, cannot be accounted for simply via building collapse.  Along those same lines, the existing debris fell within the footprint of the original buildings; again indicative of controlled demolition.
4.  Many scientists find it unlikely that jet fuel and ignited debris would have been sufficient enough fuel to generate the necessary 2800 degree Fahrenheit temperatures required to compromise the WTC's steel supports and account for the reports of molten steel.
  • The controlled demoltion theorists are divided into several camps for theories on just how this would have been accomplished.  The most prevalent is the idea that thermite explosives were placed on the supports in the period leading up to 9/11.  AE911 and Dr. Griffin support this theory and both cite evidence of thermite in the buildings' rubble as proof.  9/11-as-occult-ritual theorists are fond of stating that the explosives were planted inside the building as it was built, with the idea that the towers were built to be destroyed having resonance with them.  This theory ignores the fact that explosives typically don't age well.  On the outskirts of this theory are the ideas of Dimitri Khalezov, who states in his film "The Real Truth about 911" that the towers were brought down by atomic bombs placed beneath them before they were built.
  • The "smoking gun" of controlled demolition theory is the collapse of WTC Building 7, which wasn't hit by a plane or any significant pieces of debris.  Building 7's collapse is a marquee issue for all stripes of 9/11 theorists since it, even more so than the rest, is least supported by the official version of events.  To make matters worse for the government's case, both CNN and the BBC both reported that the WTC7 collapsed before it actually happened.  Watch both clips to see the anchors discussing the collapse with the building clearly visible in the background.  Remember Building 7 is currently one of the more popular 9/11 truth movements.
Adding credence to the controlled demolition claims is the fact that the World Trade Center was specifically designed to withstand an airplane strike.  In fact, there are some who are surprised the planes were able to penetrate the building's superstructure at all, given that in a battle of aluminum vs. steel, steel will always win regardless of the velocity and mass of the aluminum object.  This has led to claims of objects other than planes being used.

"No planes" theories come in a variety of flavors.  The missile strike theory is a popular one, with several theorists claiming that -- from the right angle -- one can clearly see a missile, not a plane, striking the WTC.  The "remotely controlled plane" theory was popular in the years immediately following 9/11, but has for some reason lost favor now despite the fact that we know about drones.  A growing aspect of conspiracism is the idea that all events are completely faked; simulated by media trickery.  This claim has been levelled against the Aurora massacre, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Bombing, but it got it's start with 9/11.  September Clues is the definitive "9/11 as simulation" film, and if you click the link you can watch the full film.  You're better off hearing it from them rather than me.

Of course the most well-known "no planes" theory is the one that has the Pentagon being struck by a missile.  The small size of the entry hole into the Pentagon caused many to believe that it was impossible for a large commercial plane to have made it, and many trained pilots are on record stating that the alleged path of descent is impossible with that type of aircraft.  The biggest Pentagon missile conspiracy theorists are, surprise!, government officials.  Just listen to Tim Roemer slip up. Donald Rumsfield says he never saw any plane debris. And for good measure, here's a CNN report from a reporter on-site who states he can't see anything resembling a plane

There are about a thousand or more theories regarding 9/11; far too many to cover here.  The best researched site on 9/11, Killtown, is unfortunately no longer available but can be viewed on Archive.org. 

An excellent timeline of key events and hard data about the planes.
Complete list of oddities surrounding the event.  An amazing piece of research.

More information on 9/11 can be found in an instant via Google, but, again, I'd like to suggest that you do your own research and devise your own theories.  Libraries, newspapers, and books are still an excellent source of information on every topic.  As you can see from the above, Internet sites have a habit of disappearing.  It could turn out that you spend some time looking into 9/11 and reach the conclusion that the official version is 100% correct.  Even if I don't agree with you, I'll respect you infinitely more for thinking for yourself than simply believing what you're told.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lest We Forget: 9/11 twelve years later. Part I

It has become commonplace to refer to 9/11/01 as "the day everything changed."  So overused is this phrase that it has lost any sense of meaning and is now simply a slogan invoked by politicians and newsreaders to elicit an emotional (not logical) response.  It is therefore important to remember how much of American life did not change on that date.  Politics is still a dirty game played primarily by sociopaths more concerned about lining their pockets than benefiting society.  Capitalism continued the slide into reckless abandon inaugurated by the Reagan and Bush administrations -- and abetted by Clinton -- until the point where the country's financial infrastructure essentially collapsed in 2008 and has since been kept on life-support by the American taxpayers.  Shortly after 9/11, football games resumed, awards shows went on as planned, fast food companies continued pumping out facsimiles of food -- American life went on as normal. 

Some things did change, however.  9/11 dissipated some of the "fog" of government.  Things previously done in secret now could be done in the open; the politicians finally had a good excuse.  The USA PATRIOT Act parts I and II stripped away many of the freedoms government and society had been paying lip-service to for years.  Case in point: the DEA has been recording every phone call made on AT&T since 1987.  Stop and take a second and read that sentence again.  The fact that the DEA's database was larger than the one the NSA was gathering thanks to the Patriot Act has been called out in most reports, but if you read the entire articles you'll see that the DEA was simply collecting the data for the rest of the agencies.  The entire alphabet soup -- FBI, CIA, DEA, NSA, DHS, and the IRS -- was using the data.  Furthermore, they were instructed to keep quiet about it.   Pre-9/11, this horrific abuse of trust, misuse of authority, and frankly put -- fascism -- would have been a major news story.  Post-9/11 it's page 3 news. 

The changes to conspiracism that took place after 9/11 cannot be denied though.  It is truly a different field today than it was 12 years ago.  First and foremost, it's a hell of a lot more crowded.  The JFK assassination in 1963 created thousands of conspiracy theorists, but 9/11 created millions of conspiracy believers.  There's a vast difference.  A theorist does research, studies the facts, analyzes the available data, and comes up with a theory supported by evidence.  A believer hears what someone else tells them and simply believes it.  Conspiracism is now overrun by believers; people who ascribe to one, two, or a thousand conspiratorial beliefs as truth without ever having investigated the topic on their own.  They simply believe.  It is not unique to conspriacism.  Our society is teeming with eager believers -- people programmed to accept anything as truth as long as it is presented to them in the correct way.  This is a symptom of our mass media conditioning and there are hundreds of people working in conspiracism today who readily take advantage of that fact at every opportunity.  So the next time you hear a "conspiracy theorist" ranting about "the sheeple;" bear in mind that almost everyone listening to them -- and likely the speaker themselves -- is as much a "sheeple" as those they're insulting.

It's a shame.  We need more theorists and less believers.  We have work to do.  The "watchdog" media has been asleep at the wheel since the early eighties.  The new Woodward and Bernsteins are too busy supplementing their articles with cat gifs to optimize their page views to break the next Watergate.  If someone's going to uncover the truth, they are going to have to come from outside the mainstream.  So I'm deputizing you, dear reader, to become a theorist rather than a believer.  To do the hard and boring work of fact checking and cross-referencing so that when people think of "conspiracy theorists" they'll think of someone with evidence and proof backing up their claims and not a lunatic screaming "FALSE FLAG! FALSE FLAG!" every time things don't go their way.

Since 9/11 really did change everything in the world of conspiracism, let's take a look at some of the most enduring theories to emerge from that event.  Most conspiracy theorists promote a mishmash of separate individual theories, but for ease of understanding, I've divided these up into two separate posts: the "Whys" and the "Hows." 

Part 1: The Whys
  • The most persistent theory regarding 9/11 is the idea that the government either allowed or orchestrated the event to facilitate a political goal.  This is typically referred to as the false flag theory; the idea that we attacked ourselves and blamed it on Al-Qaeda. The persistence of this theory is due to the fact that it is the most plausible logically and has the most evidence to support it.  The 9/11 Commission Report itself cites multiple intelligence failures as a significant contributing factor to 9/11, and one must wonder where to draw the line between intentional and unintentional "failures."  Chapter 11 of the report is a masterpiece of double-speak, wherein it is admitted that government knew Al-Qaeda was planning to attack the US with hijacked airplanes but was unable to "understand" the significance of this information.  The two possible conclusions to draw from this are 1) that they did fully understand the significance and didn't care or 2) American intelligence agencies and policymakers are so painfully inept that they couldn't see what was staring them in the face.  If you're keeping score, the conspiracy theorists pick #1, the government picks #2.  Fun fact: if you're bad at your job, you get fired.  If the government is bad at theirs, they get a raise.  The 9/11 Commission Report is the pinnacle of governmental obfuscation since it gives the reader all of the facts and simply tells them that they mean different things than the obvious.  There are, of course, a considerable number of important details left out of the Report.  Here is a list of 50 government officials who question the Report's findings.  Pay particularly close attention to Rep. Max Cleland of Georgia, who resigned from the Commission claiming the White House "had played cover-up," and the words of Ray McGovern, who is perhaps the most eloquent of the critics.
  • While on the subject of the 9/11 Commission: the Committee was loaded to the brim with spooks and other questionable people.  After Bush's initial push to get war criminal Henry Kissinger to head the commission, the bland, inoffensive Thomas Kean was chosen.  Like Earl Warren before him, Kean was simply the acceptable public face of a group that contained some rough customers.  Two former Watergate figures, Fred Fielding and Richard Ben-Veniste, were on the panel and both had played important roles in the Senate Sub-Committe's cover-up of why exactly the Plumbers were in the Watergate Hotel that night.  Fielding represented Blackwater, the "military consultants" (mercenaries), that made huge profits post-9/11.  He wasn't alone, all of the members were on the take from the airline or defense industries
  • The False Flag theory remains so popular because it is no secret that members of the Bush administration really, really wanted something exactly like 9/11 to happen.  They said so themselves.  The Project for a New American Century was formed in 1997 by Bill Kristol and Bob Kagan, and it was essentially a think-tank dedicated to bringing about the Fourth Reich.  Kristol and Kagan make a living passing themselves off as impartial observers on news programs and they've been praised by both the Right and the Left (Obama loves Kagan) despite the fact that they are dyed-in-the-wool fascists.  PNAC was calling for regime change in Iraq back in 1997 and making the now infamous statement: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor."  Read it here (pdf), and, no, it's not taken out of context. Essentially PNAC was saying that in order to usher in what they called "Pax Americana," we needed a big catastrophe to get the ball rolling and grease the wheels of public opinion.  And, boy, did they ever get it.
  • The signatories and associates of PNAC reads like a roll-call for the Legion of Doom or the Masters of Evil, right down to the fact that they're all cartoonish Nazis and megalomaniacs.  Seriously, go to their wikipedia page.  They actually wanted to develop a "race based" biological weapon; one that would only kill members of a certain ethnic group. Don't think for a second that it's strictly a Republican thing, either, as the majority of the members aren't politicians per se, but professional policymakers that stay in the government regardless of who is in charge.  Admittedly I'm being a bit glib about the PNAC because, frankly, those involved are a terrifying collection of people who had done this country irreprable harm well before the PNAC was established and to see them united on anything is frightening.  PNAC essentially hung it up in 2006, presumably because they had achieved all of their goals. 
Although variations of the False Flag theory are far-and-away the most prevalent, there are still a number of other, more "exotic" theories regarding why 9/11 occurred:
  • The destruction of the Twin Towers was intended as a symbolic act.  Freemasonic lore places a heavy emphasis on pillars or towers, and some theorists point to WTC 1 and 2 as being symbolic of Jachin and Boaz, the two pillars supporting the temple of Solomon.  The two pillars represent the dual nature of life and death, male and female, light and dark, etc. and, as you'd expect, any ritual involving them would be of particular importance.  This theory is particularly popular with those who attribute every conspiratorial event to the Freemasons.
  • Apart from just the Freemasons, the occult symbology aspect of 9/11 is a popular theory.  I won't bother linking you to all of them since they are easily found via Google, but suffice to say that the numerological aspects of 9/11 are particularly rich as are the various aspects of building symbology
  • The importance of the psychological trauma inflicted on the American public is a recurring idea.  Such theories place a greater importance on the results of the event rather than the event itself, with some even supporting the "official version" of the event and citing the existence of a conspiracy in how it used by the media. 
  • There's this. A not-insignificant amount of people believe that 9/11 was used to open a stargate to another dimension
I'll be back soon with Part II, the "Hows," analyzing the various theories of what exactly took place on 9/11 and how it differs from the official versions. 

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Syria, the surveillance state, and more

September 1st marks the anniversary of the German invasion of Poland and the start of World War II.  This fact is well known, but considerably less spoken about is that the justification for the invasion was the result of a plot known as "Operation Himmler." The short version of Operation Himmler was that Nazi soldiers and agents obtained Polish army uniforms and identification papers and attacked German radio stations and outposts along the Poland-Germany border to make it appear as if the Poles were invading Germany.  It worked like a charm, as predicted by Hitler when he told his generals, "The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth."  This was not the only time World War II saw false flag actions, with Nazi uber-commando Otto Skorzeny tricking the Allies using Operation Greif, and the Soviet Union shelling their own city and blaming it on Finland.

More recently, the 49th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident just passed.  Used as an excuse to authorize military involvement Vietnam, it is now agreed that the alleged "attack" never occurred.  Sources differ on who knew what and when they knew it, but no one in the Johnson administration was going to pass up an opportunity for escalation.  Everyone, it now appears, was lying to each other about the incident, with most of the bad information coming from everyone's favorite eavesdroppers the NSA, who were doing the most egregious data manipulation to suit their own ends. The NSA "deliberately skewed," a fancy way of saying they lied, about the event and, to quote historian Robert Hanyok, "The overwhelming body of reports, if used, would have told the story that no attack had happened...so a conscious effort ensued to demonstrate that an attack occurred."

The past is relevant today because history has an uncanny ability to repeat itself.  I'm a firm believer in this fact, and truly believe the only way to understand the present is to examine the past.  Case in point: Sec. of State John Kerry says that the US has independent verification of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but won't say who performed the verification.  "First responders" is all we know, but we don't know if these first responders are adequately trained to detect the unique properties of Sarin gas, or that the samples were handled under the correct conditions to prevent a false positive reading.  This isn't the first time the US government has been "fuzzy" on the particulars of Sarin gas in Syria, though, and it is unlikely they'll clarify the position despite the impending Congressional debates on the topic.  Further muddying the waters is the fact that it was the UK that sold Syria the Sarin components, and that the rebels admitted it was they who used the gas.

It is also unlikely that Congress won't authorize a military intervention in Syria.  One side of the aisle is slavishly loyal to the President, the other, to their military-industrial backers.  They ALL want this for their own reasons, and the fact that the President has already placed ships in the region only lessens the likelihood that an individual legislator will be willing to be branded as the one that made the US look weak. 

In short, the government is saying "trust us on this one."  You don't have to be a student of history to know that when someone asks you to trust them, it's usually in your best interest not to.

In other news:

Today is also the thirtieth anniversary of the downing of Korean Air Flight 007 by the Soviet Union.  In the CNN article on the event they go out of the way to make sure that no one believes any pesky conspiracy theories about it, although the ones they highlight were news to me.  I was unaware that anyone actually thought the passengers of KAL007 survived being shot down, and knowing about these things is sort of my job.  Why CNN would single out the least plausible of the several conspiracy theories on the event is in keeping with their standard mode of operation, whereby if they can establish that one of the "wackier" theories isn't true, it paints all theories in the same light.  Here's a Wikipedia page that lists all the theories, including the one mentioned above, and BONUS it has a picture of the giant crabs that some people think ate the bodies. 

Noticeably absent from this page are the theories of Mae Brussell, who wrote "Who Killed Congressman Larry McDonald" for Hustler in 1984.  Having some knowledge about how both CNN and Wikipedia operate, my guess is that it is intentional Mae's theories aren't there, because they can't be debunked with a glib, three sentence jab at the end of an article.  Or at all. 

You can and should read the article above if you want to know anything about KAL007 and I won't attempt to recap it here.  I will, however, update some of the information contained in the article.  Congressman Larry McDonald was the head of the John Birch Society, a right-wing, anti-communist organization with intelligence ties.  More importantly, though, McDonald was the head of the Western Goals Foundation, a right-wing, anti-communist data collection agency with intelligence ties found guilty of stealing police files on suspected "radicals" for electronic dissemination to right-wing groups nationwide.  The board of Western Goals was a who's who of government officials, so no one should have any illusions that this was a private corporation acting independent of the Reagan administration.  It was merely "outsourcing" to allow the government to have a layer of denibility between itself and Western Goals should the lid blow off, which it did.  The ACLU's suit against Western Goals effectively ended them, but rather than give up on spying on the American public, the government just brought it back in house. 

REX84's continuity of government exercises reportedly established the precedent of spying on everyone all the time, but the NSA's Main Core program was started two years prior in 1982.  It isn't too much of a leap to place Western Goals' activity within the context of Main Core.  After all, Western Goals was caught entering LAPD records into a home computer and it could be hypothesized that this was simply data entry for a larger project.  Main Core was established by a National Security Decision Directive (NSDD), which was the Reagan administration's favorite way to circumvent the democratic process.  I'd let you read it, but it's still fully classified of course

I also believe that somewhere yet uncovered there's an intersection between Western Goals, Main Core, and the PROMIS scandal that the late Danny Casolaro was working on.  Get Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith's book on the latter if you're unaware of PROMIS.  I recently re-read it and it takes on a new dimension in light of recent revelations.

Speaking of mysterious journalist deaths:

I'm possibly the last person following the Michael Hastings death.  If nothing about this case has freaked you out yet, check this out:

On May 6 of this year, the CBS TV show Castle aired an episode titled "The Human Factor."  Here's a summary:

"When Homeland Security inexplicably seals the crime scene of a car bombing, Castle and Beckett find themselves with two mysteries on their hands: who murdered the victim, a government whistleblower, and why are federal agents trying to take over the case? The plot thickens when they discover that the victim wasn't killed by a car bomb but by a missile from a military drone."

Post-9/11, spotting evidence of "predictive programming" in popular media became a full time job for a segment of the conspiracy community.  Some of their findings are laughable, but the above is another example of the few that are credible.  Other examples include the well-known pilot for "the Lone Gunmen" which had rouge elements of the US military flying planes into the World Trade Center, and the lesser known short-lived series "Seven Days" which aired an episode called "Pinball Wizard" in 1999 where a missile is guided into the Pentagon. 

Misc scary links:
Fukushima radiation levels '18 times higher' than thought