Friday, July 2, 2010

Dennis Knows Money's Location, The Black Art Of ‘Master Illusions,' USA "Failed State," Delusional NorteAmericanos & Jimmy Carter Removed by CIA/Likud

(EXTRA: If anyone could make a contribution to my PayPal account (or otherwise - contact me for further info), it will be really, really, really appreciated as I'm in quite a pickle financially right now. I sincerely appreciate everything that my kind readers have done for me in the past financially and otherwise. Especially, otherwise, as the support group for this blog is beyond belief. My belief anyway. Again, my heartfelt thanks. . . and now . . . back to your regular viewing.) A few words about the economy: WE (US) are a big, rich country. (Like the way we're all WE when the news is bad?) At least the ones of us who have done well throughout the go-go richies Cheney-Bush and now Obama years. - and, thus, we/they are out partying. They know that the only ones who will suffer through the next decade or so will be the ones who didn't do very well, because somebody's got to pay for that great pile of spurious financial sham wealth that was previously generated. After watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (something I've never felt the need to do before) and CNBC's "Squawk Box" (something I spent the go-go 90's before the dot-com explosion doing) this morning, it becomes pretty clear that they also know that the good go-go times are at an end (and why wouldn't these script-readers?) - and that they should rapidly convert into full-time blame-the-underclass-for-its-wicked-ways networks. Even the fake market makers seem to be ready to go into full flight as The Wall Street Journal headlines "Fear of a Stall Hits Market" for today with scary charts detailing consumer confidence falling off the cliff from 100 to 20, and a chart showing investors fleeing from the market to Treasuries en masse (you know, those government-guaranteed investments that can't be trusted to pay the Social Security claims?), with the yield on 10-year notes falling below 3% to their lowest level since April of 2009. But not to worry as who in the underclass is keeping up? And the answer is not many as they've already bought into the Coming Recovery unless they have nothing better to do than go to the library and read The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and worry themselves sick because they have no idea when or where they will get a real job again - and they don't think that Census jobs or call-a-million-people-on-your-own-phone-and-try-to-sell-them-a-piece-of-the-pie-in-the-sky jobs are real jobs. Sadly. So, how did we get here? I've been writing about the economics shell game that has been operating during the Cheney/Bush Fake War Years for over three years now, with a little bit of politics and culture news dashed in for flavor. Today I'd like to address the politics behind all this flim-flam while there is still an open internet channel to comment on these facts available. There are so many sides to this hexadecimalateral that it's hard to address these issues in just a few words. But, here goes. In addition to the financial illusions, we have the "master illusions" that have been worked on the educated-to-be-blind population since the ending of World War II in order to assure that the winner of WWIII would be the same guys (and I'm just wildly guessing here as the raison d'etre may be only that they wanted to ensure their buddies in the defense industry had a ready stream of frightened national cash).

Good planning, what?

Dennis Kucinich knows all about it. And where the current missing money is hidden. Or at least where it was hidden.

Kucinich: We Are Losing Our Nation to Lies About the Necessity of War

WASHINGTON - June 28 - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement on the floor of the House concerning an expected vote on a $33 billion supplemental war funding bill: "In a little more than a year the United States flew $12 billion in cash to Iraq, much of it in $100 bills, shrink wrapped and loaded onto pallets. Vanity Fair reported in 2004 that ‘at least $9 billion' of the cash had ‘gone missing, unaccounted for.' $9 billion. "Today, we learned that suitcases of $3 billion in cash have openly moved through the Kabul airport.

One U.S. official quoted by the Wall Street Journal said, ‘A lot of this looks like our tax dollars being stolen.' $3 billion. Consider this as the American people sweat out an extension of unemployment benefits. "Last week, the BBC reported that "the US military has been giving tens of millions of dollars to Afghan security firms who are funneling the money to warlords." Add to that a corrupt Afghan government underwritten by the lives of our troops. "And now reports indicate that Congress is preparing to attach $10 billion in state education funding to a $33 billion spending bill to keep the war going." Back home millions of Americans are out of work, losing their homes, losing their savings, their pensions, and their retirement security. We are losing our nation to lies about the necessity of war.

"Bring our troops home. End the war. Secure our economy."

See the video here.

Bob Herbert knows of which he speaks. Obama is in BIG TROUBLE. And it's not just about the inability to find the missing Cheney/Bush/Obama(?) cash barrels. (Also, it's not like Bob enjoys reporting this fact, but there again he also remembers Obama's seeming lack of emotion about being a one-term President.) (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Mr. Obama had campaigned on the mantra of change, and that would have been the kind of change that working people could have gotten behind. But it never happened. Job creation was the trump card in the hand held by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, but they never played it. And now we’re paying a fearful price.

Fifteen million Americans are unemployed, according to the official count, which wildly understates the reality. Assuming no future economic setbacks and job creation at a rate of 200,000 or so a month, it would take more than a decade to get us back to where we were when the Great Recession began in December 2007. But we’re nowhere near that kind of sustained job growth. Last month, a measly 41,000 private-sector jobs were created.

We are in deep, deep gumbo.

The Obama administration feels it should get a great deal of credit for its economic stimulus efforts, its health care initiative, its financial reform legislation, its vastly increased aid to education and so forth. And maybe if we were grading papers, there would be a fair number of decent marks to be handed out.

But Americans struggling in a down economy are worried about the survival of their families. Destitution is beckoning for those whose unemployment benefits are running out, and that crowd of long-term jobless men and women is expanding rapidly.

There is a widespread feeling that only the rich and well-placed can count on Washington’s help, and that toxic sentiment is spreading like the oil stain in the gulf, with ominous implications for President Obama and his party. It’s in this atmosphere that support for the president and his agenda is sinking like a stone.

Employment is the No. 1 issue for most ordinary Americans. Their anxiety on this front only grows as they watch teachers, firefighters and police officers lining up to walk the unemployment plank as state and local governments wrestle with horrendous budget deficits.

And what do these worried Americans see the Obama administration doing? It’s doubling down on the war in Afghanistan, trying somehow to build a nation from scratch in the chaos of a combat zone.

. . . Mr. Obama is paying dearly for his tin ear on this topic. Fifty-four percent of respondents believed he does not have a clear plan for creating jobs. Only 45 percent approved of his overall handling of the economy, compared with 48 percent who disapproved.

It’s not too late for the president to turn things around, but there is no indication that he has any plan or strategy for doing it. And the political environment right now, with confidence in the administration waning and budgetary fears unnecessarily heightened by the deficit hawks, is not good.

It would take an extraordinary exercise in leadership to rally the country behind a full-bore jobs-creation campaign — nothing short of large-scale nation-building on the home front. Maybe that’s impossible in the current environment. But that’s what the country needs.

Read more here (and learn to pray hard).

Joe Bageant gives us a world-spinning judgment. And I do mean world-spinning (or -ending). (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

The uniformity on Planet Norte is striking. Each person is a unit, installed in life support boxes in the suburbs and cities; all are fed, clothed by the same closed-loop corporate industrial system. Everywhere you look, inhabitants are plugged in at the brainstem to screens downloading their state-approved daily consciousness updates. iPods, Blackberries, notebook computers, monitors in cubicles, and the ubiquitous TV screens in lobbies, bars, waiting rooms, even in taxicabs, mentally knead the public brain and condition its reactions to non-Americaness. Which may be defined as anything that does not come from of Washington, DC, Microsoft or Wal-Mart.

For such a big country, the "American experience" is extremely narrow and provincial, leaving its people with approximately the same comprehension of the outside world as an oyster bed. Yet there is that relentless busyness of Nortenians. That sort of constant movement that indicates all parties are busy-busy-busy, but offers no clue as to just what they are busy at.

We can be sure however, that it has to do with consuming. Everything in America has to do with consuming. So much so that we find not the slightest embarrassment in calling ourselves "the consumer society." Which is probably just as well, since calling ourselves something such as "the just society" might have been aiming a bit too high? Especially for a nation that never did find enough popular support to pass any of the 200 anti-lynching bills brought before its Congress (even Franklin Roosevelt refused to back them).

On the other hand, there is no disputing that we do reduce all things to consumption. Or acquiring money for consumption. Or paying on the debt for past consumption. It keeps things simple, and stamps them as authentically American.

For example, now faced with what may be the biggest ecological disaster in human history, I'm hearing average Americans up here talk of the Gulf oil "spill" (when they speak of it at all - TV gives the illusion those outside the Gulf region give a shit), in terms of its effect on: (A) the price of seafood; and (B) jobs in tourism and fishing. Only trolls stunted by generations of inbred American style capitalism could do such a thing: reduce a massive ocean dead zone to the cost of a shrimp cocktail or a car payment.

Meanwhile, even as capitalism shows every sign of collapsing upon them under the weight of its sheer non-sustainability, Norteamericanos wait like patient, not-too-bright children for its "recovery." Recovery, of course, is that time when they can once again run through the malls and outlet stores, the car lots and the fried chicken palaces eating, grabbing and consuming. No doubt, something resembling a recovery will be staged for their benefit, thereby goosing their pocketbooks at least one more time before the rest of the world forecloses on the country.

. . . On Planet Norte nothing is finite. Not even money, which, under the flag of the consumer society, you can keep borrowing forever. Equally limitless is oil, infinite quantities of which are being hidden from us by a consortium of energy companies. Several people here in the States have told me that the size of the Gulf oil spill is proof that there is plenty of oil in still in the ground, and that this "peak oil stuff" is a scare tactic, an excuse to keep the price up. They were dead serious.

Considering the inexhaustibility of Planet Norte, it's no surprise its inhabitants have never doubted the "American Dream," the promise that every generation of Americans can be fatter, richer and burn up more resources than the previous one, ad infinitum.

All of which makes folks like me, and probably you too, want to run pulling out our hair and screaming, "What the fuck has happened to these people? From the start, it was clear that Americans were never going to win any prizes for insight. But this is ridiculous. Is it the hormones in the meat? Pollution? A brain eating fungus? How on God's (once) green earth can a nation so frigging 'out of it' manage to survive each day - much less constitute an ongoing threat to the rest of the world?"

. . . This theme of engorgement and spectacle endures, thrives really, year after year, despite even the slowly unfolding world economic collapse. But it is Americans in particular who become stupider by any historical measure of intelligence.

. . . And just when you think you've seen every possible insult to the democratic process a degraded society can vomit up, some new one comes hurtling in your direction. Like those fat women in pink sweatpants leering from our TV screens, dangling teabags and vowing revenge for they know not what.

For a thinking person, a low-grade depression settles in, alongside an unspoken fatalism about the future of the human race, particularly the American portion. That's the point I reached a year or so ago. I would probably be ashamed to admit it, if I did not receive hundreds of emails from readers who feel the same way.

If nothing else though, in the process of building our own gilded rat cage, we have proven that old saw about democracy eventually leading to mediocrity to be true.

Especially if you keep dumbing down all the rats. After all, Dan Quayle, Donald Trump and George W. Bush hold advanced degrees from top universities in law, finance and business. The head rats, our "leaders," (if it is even possible to lead anybody anywhere inside a cage), have proven to be as mediocre and clueless as anyone else. Which is sort of proof we are a democracy, if we want to look at it that way. While it is a myth that virtually anybody can grow up to be president, we have demonstrated that nitwits have more than a fighting chance. During my 40 years writing media ass-wipe for the public, I have interviewed many of "The best of my generation", and believe me; most of them were not much.

Naturally, they believe they are far superior by virtue of having made it to an elevated point in the gilded cage, closer to the feed, water and sex. Because they believe it, and the media echoes their belief, hovering and quoting them, discussing their every brain fart, we tend to believe it too.

Nothing shakes our belief, not even staring directly into the face of a congenital liar and nitwit like Sarah Palin, or a careening set of brainless balls like Donald Trump or a retarded jackal like George W. Bush. Americans are unable to explain why such people "rise to the top" in our country. We just accept that they do, and assume that America's process of natural selection - survival of the wealthiest - is at work. These people are rich; therefore, they should run the country. God said so. It's a uniquely American principal of governance, which in itself, makes the case for our stupidity.

. . . Control huh? Nothing could be easier to obtain. Just sit back allow those who want total control of the government to have it. The GOP is sure to come up a candidate willing to pistol whip this country into shape. And that solution looks more attractive by the day. As violent competition for survival increases and resources diminish, the public demands more government control. Control of borders, drug lords with entire armies of their own, pillaging by banks. Who else but the government is capable of beating all those sociopathic freaks out there into submission?

No less a personage than Thomas Jefferson pointed out that, whether for good or evil, controlling the people is the main thing all governments do best. Both Jefferson and Stalin understood this. They also understood that government control is a one-way street - it never voluntarily contracts, never shrinks. Government grows incrementally in the best of times, and balloons exponentially during the worst.

When the people are anxious or fearful, when the have-nots are coming out of the woodwork for their share and there is genuine risk of losing something, the citizens always demand more government control. Given enough time, all government control, regardless of type or stripe, metastasizes - whether it be into the religious control of a theocratic state, or the democratic totalitarianism of the United States.

Although totalitarian democracy is well solidified in the U.S., it is difficult, if not impossible, for its citizens or the outside world to name the beast, due to the outward appearance of freedom. Petty liberties are left intact. The process of orderly elections is maintained, thus retaining the world's general respect as a free country. After all, the people do "exercise their will" by voting.

Beyond that, the people have no further participation in, or effect upon the government's decision-making process regarding the public's will. From that point onward, an economic, political, and military élite interpret the general will as what best fits their own interests. A media elite then sells their decisions, such as war or destruction of the social safety net as the people's choice. Wars are packaged and marketed as "Operation Iraqi Freedom," fought by "our heroes." Policies kicking the slats from under the old, the poor and the weak are sold as "eliminating wasteful, unfair entitlements," such as elder care and child nutrition. Everybody knows that words such as entitlements, elder care and child nutrition are code words in capitalism speak. Elder care wastes money on worn-out old fuckers who can no longer work and pay their own way. Child nutrition is just a nigger/wetback feeding program that causes them to multiply even more, draining off valuable funds the already rich could have put to better use.

Liberty nonetheless abounds in a totalitarian democracy. Open elections verify majority rule. The slaves are free to elect their masters, and that is enough to satisfy most folks in the land of the free. That, along with 100-plus cable channels to keep us entertained inside the cage. We know we are powerless, but better the devil you know than evil socialism, where you are not allowed to take out a second mortgage on your cage.

. . . In the big picture however, the hardening of our totalitarian state is a piffle, compared to what drives the people to accept such a state. That driver is the escalating social pressures of six billion humans, and the ecocide caused by our disastrous hydrocarbon culture. Would that the state and its media allow the public enough information to make the connection between things like global warming, peak oil, desertification and the state's wars we pay for and die in.

From the dawn of agriculture, human civilization has been a net subtraction from the environment on which we depend for life. Consider what once existed, and what little of it is left. Consider the burgeoning hordes everywhere burning, smelting, polluting, and generally devouring what remains. Where is that leading us?

You don't need to call the Harvard's environmental science department for the answer (even though the profs and scientists there maintain the charade that we do, to protect their rackets). Despite the rule of scientism and the fashionable modern disdain for human intuition, common sense is still a viable option. Does common sense and experience tell you that all six billion of us are suddenly going to come to Jesus and save the planet? Suddenly be seized by the spirit of universal cooperation and pagan love for Gaia? Are those billions going to quit doing what our species has done for 15,000 years - attacking nature first with the stone axe, then the plow, and later with atomic energy?

Call me a grim old fatalist, but I just do not see the human race turning things around. Not because humans are inherently evil (although pimping Gaia to death comes close), but because we are what we are. In any case, we are not going to stop eating, shitting, burning up stuff to stay warm, or following the genetic imperative to breed. How can we solve the problem when we are the problem, other than by self-extinction?

So here it is, top of the ninth round, and Gaia is on the ropes with cuts over both eyes, and no referee on the mat. Homo sapiens are moving in for the killer punch. It's been an ugly fight. But the truth is that there will be no winner. Certainly not man, considering that his triumph results in the specter of human self-extinction, dieback or die-off, or at least by massive die-back.

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream. Informed and globally conscious people are sickened, heartbroken by the spectral truth. But to use the same Neal Cassady quote for the second time this year: "To have seen a specter is not everything."

In fact, it even has a good side. Transformation. Once you honestly accept what you have seen, you are changed, released from the previous stress and fear. Like so many feared experiences, it is its own psychodynamic, and is about "coming out the other side" of the experience. Accepting such a truth - especially for pathologically optimistic, cheer stressed Americans - shatters many painfully held illusions. The chief one is that we are the animating force behind all significant change, and that the massive damage we do is "progress"). In their place grows a new inner awareness. Although it does not conform to any popular definition as such, the easiest way to describe it is "spiritual," Who in these times, you may ask, believes in the spirit as an animating force of mankind? My answer is: Those who can be still enough to see that spirit moving.

With it comes the awareness and acceptance of forces far more powerful than our puny anthropocentric illusions of planetary authority. We can arrive at this understanding by way of thinking, logic and reason. The mind is a cumbersome and inefficient way to go about escaping traps you build with your mind, but yes, it can be done. Most educated people in this science-worshipping age prefer the convoluted path of logic and rational exercise, over calmly opening one's eyes and heart to the world before us, as wiser men have done for thousands of years.

I can see why. Pay the money and put in enough university time, and it's relatively easy to end up certified, acceptable, and equipped with the professional jargon necessary to impress yourself and others that you are an expert of some sort. One of society's answer guys, the kind universities and corporations pay good money to own. But it's downright hard to be calm, to maintain inner stillness. Beyond that, inner stillness does not much impress or frighten others in the rat fight for a good spot at the feeder. Worse yet, it's free. No money it.

But stillness of mind opens onto the fathomless void, where we are dwarfed into utter insignificance. It makes clear how little we comprehend - how much we do not know and never will, and that the greater the fire we build, the more darkness is revealed.

(Joe Bageant is the author of Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War. His newest book, Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir, deals with America's permanent white underclass, and how it was intentionally created. To be released in September in Australia and October in the United Kingdom, Rainbow Pie is available for preorder from Amazon-UK and Amazon-Canada. In Australia, the book may be pre-ordered at Scribe Publications.)

I've always respected and admired the reporting of John Pilger. Below is an article that may help you to feel the same way, and dispel a few illusions you may also have entertained. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
The Black Art Of ‘Master Illusions’ By John Pilger How do wars begin? With a “master illusion”, according to Ralph McGehee, one of the CIA’s pioneers in “black propaganda”, known today as “news management”. In 1983, he described to me how the CIA had faked an “incident” that became the conclusive proof of North Vietnam’s aggression”. This followed a claim, also fake, that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had attacked an American warship in the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964.

“The CIA,” he said, “loaded up a junk, a North Vietnamese junk, with communist weapons — the Agency maintains communist arsenals in the United States and around the world. They floated this junk off the coast of central Vietnam. Then they shot it up and made it look like a fire fight had taken place, and they brought in the American press. Based on this evidence, two Marine landing teams went into Danang and a week after that the American air force began regular bombing of North Vietnam.” An invasion that took three million lives was under way.

The Israelis have played this murderous game since 1948. The massacre of peace activists in international waters on 31 May was “spun” to the Israeli public . . . preparing them for yet more murder by their government, with the unarmed flotilla of humanitarians described as terrorists or dupes of terrorists. The BBC was so intimidated that it reported the atrocity primarily as a “potential public relations disaster for Israel”, the perspective of the killers, and a disgrace for journalism.

A similar master illusion currently preoccupies Asian governments. On 20 May, South Korea announced that it had “overwhelming evidence” that one of its warships, the Cheonan, had been sunk by a torpedo fired by a North Korean submarine in March with the loss of 46 sailors. The United States maintains 28,000 troops in South Korea, where popular sentiment has long backed a détente with Pyongyang. On 26 May, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Seoul and demanded that the “international community must respond” to “North Korea’s outrage”.

She flew on to Japan, where the new “threat” from North Korea conveniently eclipsed the briefly independent foreign policy of Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, elected last year with popular opposition to America’s permanent military occupation of Japan. The “overwhelming evidence” is a torpedo propeller that “had been corroding at least for several months,” reported the Korea Times. In April, the director of South Korea’s national intelligence, Won See-hoon, told a parliamentary committee that there was no evidence linking the sinking of the Cheonan to North Korea. The defence minister agreed.

The head of South Korea’s military marine operations said, “No North Korean warships have been detected [in] the waters where the accident took place.” The reference to “accident” suggests the warship struck a reef and broke in two. To the American media, North Korea’s guilt is beyond doubt, just as North Vietnam’s guilt was beyond doubt, just as Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, just as Israel can terrorise with impunity. However, unlike Vietnam and Iraq, North Korea has nuclear weapons, which helps explain why it has not been attacked, not yet: a salutary lesson to other countries, such as Iran, currently in the crosshairs.

In Britain, we have our own master illusions. Imagine someone on state benefits caught claiming £40,000 of taxpayers’ money in a second home scam. A prison sentence would almost certainly follow. David Laws, chief secretary to the Treasury, does the same and is described as follows: “I have always admired his intelligence, his sense of public duty and his personal integrity” (Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister). “You are a good and honourable man. I am sure that throughout you have been motivated by wanting to protect your privacy rather than anything else.” (David Cameron, prime minister ). Laws is “a man of quite exceptional nobility” (Julian Glover, the Guardian).

A “brilliant mind” (BBC).The Oxbridge club and its associate members in politics and the media have tried to link Laws’s “error of judgement” and “naivety” to his “right to privacy” as a gay man, an irrelevance. The “brilliant mind” is a wealthy Cambridge-groomed investment banker and gilts trader devoted to the noble task of cutting the public services of mostly poor and honest people.

Now imagine another public official, the force behind one of the great war criminals and liars. This official “spun” the illegal invasion of a defenceless country that resulted in the deaths of at least a million people and the dispossession of many more: in effect, the crushing of a human society. If this was the Balkans or Africa, he would very likely have been indicted by the International Criminal Court.

But crime pays for the clubbable. In quick step with the Laws affair, this truth was demonstrated by the continuing celebration of Alastair Campbell, whose frequent media appearances provide a vicarious thrill for the liberal intelligentsia. To the Guardian, Campbell is “bullish, sometimes misdirected, but unafraid to press on where others might have faltered”. The Guardian’s immediate interest is its “exclusive” publication of Campbell’s “politically explosive” and “uncut” diaries. Here is a flavour: “Saturday 14 May. I called Peter [Mandelson] and asked why he didn’t return my calls yesterday. ‘You know why.’ ‘No, I don’t.’ He said he was incandescent at my Newsnight interview . . . .’ ”

In a promotional interview with the Guardian, Campbell dispensed more of this dated incest, referring just once to the bloodbath for which he was a principal apologist. “Did Iraq lose us support in 2005?” he asked rhetorically. “Without a doubt …” Thus, a criminal tragedy equal in scale to the Rwandan genocide was dismissed as a “loss” for New Labour: a master illusion of notable profanity.

Once again, Dr. Roberts tells us a known but hardly reported fact. (Sorry this is running so long, but there again - it's all just not hit the networks). (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

A Plague Upon The World: The USA is a "Failed State"

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

(Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary US Treasury, Associate Editor Wall Street Journal, Professor of Political Economy Center for Strategic and International Studies Georgetown University Washington DC) Question: Dr. Roberts, the United States is regarded as the most successful state in the world today. What is responsible for American success? Dr. Roberts: Propaganda. If truth be known, the US is a failed state. More about that later. The US owes its image of success to: (1) the vast lands and mineral resources that the US “liberated” with violence from the native inhabitants, (2) Europe’s, especially Great Britain’s, self-destruction in World War I and World War II, and (3) the economic destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism. After World War II, the US took the reserve currency role from Great Britain. This made the US dollar the world money and permitted the US to pay its import bills in its own currency. World War II’s destruction of the other industrialized countries left the US as the only country capable of supplying products to world markets. This historical happenstance created among Americans the impression that they were a favored people. Today the militarist neoconservatives speak of the United States as “the indispensable nation.” In other words, Americans are above all others, except, of course, Israelis. To American eyes a vague “terrorist threat,” a creation of their own government, is sufficient justification for naked aggression against Muslim peoples and for an agenda of world hegemony. This hubristic attitude explains why among most Americans there is no remorse over the one million Iraqis killed and the four million Iraqis displaced by a US invasion and occupation that were based entirely on lies and deception. It explains why there is no remorse among most Americans for the countless numbers of Afghans who have been cavalierly murdered by the US military, or for the Pakistani civilians murdered by US drones and “soldiers” sitting in front of video screens. It explains why there is no outrage among Americans when the Israelis bomb Lebanese civilians and Gaza civilians. No one in the world will believe that Israel’s latest act of barbarity, the murderous attack on the international aid flotilla to Gaza, was not cleared with Israel’s American enabler. Question: You said that the US was a failed state. How can that be? What do you mean? Roberts: The war on terror, invented by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney regime, destroyed the US Constitution and the civil liberties that the Constitution embodies. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated. The Obama regime has institutionalized the Bush/Cheney assault on American liberty. Today, no American has any rights if he or she is accused of “terrorist” activity. The Obama regime has expanded the vague definition of “terrorist activity” to include “domestic extremist,” another undefined and vague category subject to the government’s discretion. In short, a “terrorist” or a “domestic extremist” is anyone who dissents from a policy or a practice that the US government regards as necessary for its agenda of world hegemony. Unlike some countries, the US is not an ethic group. It is a collection of diverse peoples united under the Constitution. When the Constitution was destroyed, the US ceased to exist. What exists today are power centers that are unaccountable. Elections mean nothing, as both parties are dependent on the same powerful interest groups for campaign funds. The most powerful interest groups are the military/security complex, which includes the Pentagon, the CIA, and the corporations that service them, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the oil industry that is destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Wall Street (investment banks and hedge funds), the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the agri-companies that produce food of questionable content. These corporate powers comprise an oligarchy that cannot be dislodged by voting. Ever since “globalism” was enacted into law, the Democrats have been dependent on the same corporate sources of income as the Republicans, because globalism destroyed the labor unions. Consequently, there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, or no meaningful difference. The “war on terror” completed the constitutional/legal failure of the US. The US has also failed economically. Under Wall Street pressure for short-term profits, US corporations have moved offshore their production for US consumer markets. The result has been to move US GDP and millions of well-paid US jobs to countries, such as China and India, where labor and professional expertise are cheap. This practice has been going on since about 1990. After 20 years of offshoring US production, which destroyed American jobs and federal, state and local tax base, the US unemployment rate, as measured by US government methodology in 1980, is over 20 percent. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled. Millions of young Americans with university degrees are employed as waitresses and bartenders. Foreign enrollment comprises a larger and larger percentage of US universities as the American population finds that a university degree has been negated by the offshoring of the jobs that the graduates expected. When US offshored production re-enters the US as imports, the trade balance deteriorates. Foreigners use their surplus dollars to purchase existing US assets. Consequently, dividends, interest, capital gains, tolls from toll roads, rents, and profits, now flow abroad to foreign owners, thus increasing the pressure on the US dollar. The US has been able to survive the mounting claims of foreigners against US GDP because the US dollar is the reserve currency. However, the large US budget and trade deficits will put pressures on the dollar that will become too extreme for the dollar to be able to sustain this role. When the dollar fails, the US population will be impoverished. The US is heavily indebted, both the government and the citizens. Over the last decade there has been no growth in family income. The US economy was kept going through the expansion of consumer debt. Now consumers are so heavily indebted that they cannot borrow more. This means that the main driving force of the US economy, consumer demand, cannot increase. As consumer demand comprises 70% of the economy, when consumer demand cannot increase, there can be no economic recovery. The US is a failed state also because there is no accountability to the people by corporations or by government at any level, whether state, local, or federal. British Petroleum is destroying the Gulf of Mexico. The US government has done nothing. The Obama regime’s response to the crisis is more irresponsible than the Bush regime’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Wetlands and fisheries are being destroyed by unregulated capitalist greed and by a government that treats the environment with contempt. The tourist economy of Florida is being destroyed. The external costs of drilling in deep waters exceeds the net worth of the oil industry. As a result of the failure of the American state, the oil industry is destroying one of the world’s mostvaluable ecological systems. Question: What can be done? Roberts: The American people are lost in la-la land. They have no idea that their civil liberties have been forfeited. They are only gradually learning that their economic future is compromised. They have little idea of the world’s growing hatred of Americans for their destruction of other peoples. In short, Americans are full of themselves. They have no idea of the disasters that their ignorance and inhumanity have brought upon themselves and upon the world. Much of the world, looking at a country that appears both stupid and inhumane, wonders at Americans’ fine opinion of themselves. Is America the virtuous “indispensable nation” of neoconservative propaganda, or is America a plague upon the world?

This info is news to me although I have heard quite a bit about the possibility of it since it happened over 30 years ago. Funny how every event eventually becomes just another history lesson, isn't it? (Although the disconnecting of the internet may cause news like this to disappear for a very long time.)
The CIA/Likud Sinking of Jimmy Carter

By Robert Parry (A Special Report) June 24, 2010

As the Official Story of the 1980 October Surprise case crumbles – with new revelations that key evidence was hidden from investigators of a congressional task force and that internal doubts were suppressed – history must finally confront the troubling impression that remains:

that disgruntled elements of the CIA and Israel’s Likud hardliners teamed up to remove a U.S. president from office.

Indeed, it is this disturbing conclusion – perhaps even more than the idea of a Republican dirty trick – that may explain the longstanding and determined cover-up of this political scandal.

Too many powerful interests do not want the American people to accept even the possibility that U.S. intelligence operatives and a longtime ally could intervene to oust a president who had impinged on what those two groups considered their vital interests.

To accept that scenario would mean that two of the great fears of American democracy had come true – George Washington’s warning against the dangers of “entangling alliances” and Harry Truman’s concern that the clandestine operations of the CIA had the makings of an “American Gestapo.”

It is far easier to assure the American people that no such thing could occur, that Israel’s Likud – whatever its differences with Washington over Middle East peace policies – would never seek to subvert a U.S. president, and that CIA dissidents – no matter how frustrated by political constraints – would never sabotage their own government.

But the evidence points in that direction, and there are some points that are not in dispute. For instance, there is no doubt that CIA Old Boys and Likudniks had strong motives for seeking President Jimmy Carter’s defeat in 1980.

Inside the CIA, Carter and his CIA Director Stansfield Turner were blamed for firing many of the free-wheeling covert operatives from the Vietnam era, for ousting legendary spymaster Ted Shackley, and for failing to protect longtime U.S. allies (and friends of the CIA), such as Iran’s Shah and Nicaragua’s dictator Anastasio Somoza.

As for Israel, Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin was furious over Carter’s high-handed actions at Camp David in 1978 forcing Israel to trade the occupied Sinai to Egypt for a peace deal. Begin feared that Carter would use his second term to bully Israel into accepting a Palestinian state on West Bank lands that Likud considered part of Israel’s divinely granted territory.

Former Mossad and Foreign Ministry official David Kimche described Begin’s attitude in his 1991 book, The Last Option, saying that Israeli officials had gotten wind of “collusion” between Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat “to force Israel to abandon her refusal to withdraw from territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Kimche continued, “This plan – prepared behind Israel’s back and without her knowledge – must rank as a unique attempt in United States’s diplomatic history of short-changing a friend and ally by deceit and manipulation.”

However, Begin recognized that the scheme required Carter winning a second term in 1980 when, Kimche wrote, “he would be free to compel Israel to accept a settlement of the Palestinian problem on his and Egyptian terms, without having to fear the backlash of the American Jewish lobby.”

In his 1992 memoir, Profits of War, Ari Ben-Menashe, an Israeli military intelligence officer who worked with Likud, agreed that Begin and other Likud leaders held Carter in contempt.

Begin loathed Carter for the peace agreement forced upon him at Camp David,” Ben-Menashe wrote. “As Begin saw it, the agreement took away Sinai from Israel, did not create a comprehensive peace, and left the Palestinian issue hanging on Israel’s back.”

So, in order to buy time for Israel to “change the facts on the ground” by moving Jewish settlers into the West Bank, Begin felt Carter’s reelection had to be prevented. A different president also presumably would give Israel a freer hand to deal with problems on its northern border with Lebanon.

CIA Within the CIA

As for the CIA Old Boys, legendary CIA officer Miles Copeland told me that “the CIA within the CIA” – the inner-most circle of powerful intelligence figures who felt they understood best the strategic needs of the United States – believed Carter and his naïve faith in American democratic ideals represented a grave threat to the nation.

Carter really believed in all the principles that we talk about in the West,” Copeland said, shaking his mane of white hair. “As smart as Carter is, he did believe in Mom, apple pie and the corner drug store. And those things that are good in America are good everywhere else. …

“Carter, I say, was not a stupid man,” Copeland said, adding that Carter had an even worse flaw: “He was a principled man.”

These attitudes of “the CIA within the CIA” and the Likudniks appear to stem from their genuine beliefs that they needed to protect what they regarded as vital interests of their respective countries. The CIA Old Boys thought they understood the true strategic needs of the United States and Likud believed fervently in a “Greater Israel.”

However, the lingering October Surprise mystery is whether these two groups followed their strongly held feelings into a treacherous bid, in league with Republicans, to prevent Carter from gaining the release of 52 hostages then held in Iran and thus torpedoing his reelection hopes.

Carter’s inability to resolve that hostage crisis did set the stage for Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in November 1980 as American voters reacted to the long-running hostage humiliation by turning to a candidate they believed would be a tougher player on the international stage.

Reagan’s macho image was reinforced when the Iranians released the hostages immediately after he was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 1981, ending the 444-day standoff.

The coincidence of timing, which Reagan’s supporters cited as proof that foreign enemies feared the new president, gave momentum to Reagan’s larger agenda, including sweeping tax cuts tilted toward the wealthy, reduced government regulation of corporations, and renewed reliance on fossil fuels. (Carter’s solar panels were pointedly dismantled from the White House roof.)

Reagan’s victory also was great news for CIA cold-warriors who were rewarded with the choice of World War II spymaster (and dedicated cold-warrior) William Casey to be CIA director. Casey then purged CIA analysts who were detecting a declining Soviet Union that desired détente and replaced them with people like the young and ambitious Robert Gates, who agreed that the Soviets were on the march and that the United States needed a massive military expansion to counter them.

Further, Casey again embraced old-time CIA swashbuckling in Third World countries and took pleasure in misleading or bullying members of Congress when they insisted on the CIA oversight that had been forced on President Gerald Ford and had been accepted by President Carter. To Casey, CIA oversight became a game of hide and seek.

As for Israel, Begin was pleased to find the Reagan administration far less demanding about peace deals with the Arabs, giving Israel time to expand its West Bank settlements. Reagan and his team also acquiesced to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, a drive north that expelled the Palestine Liberation Organization but also led to the slaughters at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

And, behind the scenes, Reagan gave a green light to Israeli weapons shipments to Iran (which was fighting a war with Israel’s greater enemy, Iraq). The weapons sales helped Israel rebuild its contacts inside Iran and to turn large profits, which were then used to help finance West Bank settlements.

In another important move, Reagan credentialed a new generation of pro-Israeli American ideologues known as the neoconservatives, a move that would pay big dividends for Israel in the future as these bright and articulate operatives fought for Israeli interests both inside the U.S. government and through their opinion-leading roles in the major American news media.

In other words, if the disgruntled CIA Old Boys and the determined Likudniks did participate in an October Surprise scheme to unseat Jimmy Carter, they surely got much of what they were after.

Yet, while motive is an important element in solving a mystery, it does not constitute proof by itself. What must be examined is whether there is evidence that the motive was acted upon, whether Menachem Begin’s government and disgruntled CIA officers covertly assisted the Reagan-Bush campaign in contacting Iranian officials to thwart Carter’s hostage negotiations.

On that point the evidence is strong though perhaps not ironclad. Still, a well-supported narrative does exist describing how the October Surprise scheme may have gone down with the help of CIA personnel, Begin’s government, some right-wing intelligence figures in Europe, and a handful of other powerbrokers in the United States.

Angry Old Boys

Even before Iran took the American hostages on Nov. 4, 1979, disgruntled CIA veterans had been lining up behind the presidential candidacy of their former boss, George H.W. Bush. Casting off their traditional cloak of non-partisanship and anonymity, they were volunteering as foot soldiers in Bush’s campaign. One joke about Bush’s announcement of his candidacy on May 1, 1979, was that “half the audience was wearing raincoats.”

Bill Colby, Bush’s predecessor as CIA director, said Bush “had a flood of people from the CIA who joined his supporters. They were retirees devoted to him for what he had done” in defending the spy agency in 1976 when the CIA came under heavy criticism for spying on Americans, assassination plots and other abuses.

Reagan’s foreign policy adviser Richard Allen described the group working on the Bush campaign as a “plane load of disgruntled former CIA” officers who were “playing cops and robbers.”

All told, at least two dozen former CIA officials went to work for Bush. Among them was the CIA’s director of security, Robert Gambino, who joined the Bush campaign immediately after leaving the CIA where he oversaw security investigations of senior Carter officials and thus knew about potentially damaging personal information.

Besides the ex-CIA personnel who joined the Bush campaign, other pro-Bush intelligence officers remained inside the CIA while making clear their political preference. “The seventh floor of Langley was plastered with ‘Bush for President’ signs,” said senior CIA analyst George Carver, referring to the floor that housed senior CIA officials.

Carter administration officials also grew concerned about the deep personal ties between the former CIA officers in Bush’s campaign and active-duty CIA personnel who continued to hold sensitive jobs under Carter.

For instance, Gambino, the 25-year CIA veteran who oversaw personnel security checks, and CIA officer Donald Gregg, who served as a CIA representative on Carter’s National Security Council, “are good friends who knew each other from the CIA,” according to an unpublished part of a report by a House task force that investigated the October Surprise issue in 1992. [I found this deleted section – still marked “secret” – in unpublished task force files in 1994.]

Blond Ghost’

Perhaps most significantly, Bush quietly enlisted Theodore Shackley, the legendary CIA covert operations specialist known as the “blond ghost.” During the Cold War, Shackley had run many of the CIA’s most controversial paramilitary operations, from Vietnam and Laos to the JMWAVE operations against Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

In those operations, Shackley had supervised the work of hundreds of CIA officers and developed powerful bonds of loyalty with many of his subordinates. For instance, Donald Gregg had served under Shackley’s command in Vietnam.

When Bush was CIA director in 1976, he appointed Shackley to a top clandestine job, associate deputy director for operations, laying the foundation for Shackley’s possible rise to director and cementing Shackley’s loyalty to Bush. When Shackley had a falling out with Carter’s CIA Director Turner in 1979, Shackley quit the agency.

Privately, Shackley believed that Turner had devastated the agency by pushing out hundreds of covert officers, many of them Shackley’s former subordinates.

By early 1980, the Republicans also were complaining that they were being kept in the dark about progress on the Iran hostage negotiations. George Cave, then a top CIA specialist on Iran, told me that the “Democrats never briefed the Republicans” on sensitive developments, creating suspicions among the Republicans.

So, the Republicans sought out their own sources of information regarding the hostage crisis. Shackley began monitoring Carter’s progress on negotiations through his contacts with Iranians in Europe, Cave said.

Ted, I know, had a couple of contacts in Germany,” said Cave. “I know he talked to them. I don’t know how far it went. … Ted was very active on that thing in the winter/spring of 1980.”

Author David Corn also got wind of the Shackley-Bush connection when he was researching his biography of Shackley, Blond Ghost.

Within the spook world the belief spread that Shackley was close to Bush,” Corn wrote. “Rafael Quintero [an anti-Castro Cuban with close ties to the CIA] was saying that Shackley met with Bush every week. He told one associate that should Reagan and Bush triumph, Shackley was considered a potential DCI,” the abbreviation for CIA director.

Some of the legendary CIA officers from an even earlier generation, those who had helped overthrow Iran’s elected government in 1953 and put the Shah on the Peacock Throne, also injected themselves into the hostage crisis.

Carter, a ‘Utopian’

Miles Copeland, one of the agency’s old Middle East hands, claimed in his memoir, The Game Player, that he and his CIA chums pondered their own hostage rescue plan while organizing an informal support group for the Bush campaign, called “Spooks for Bush.”

In a 1990 interview, Copeland told me that “the way we saw Washington at that time was that the struggle was really not between the Left and the Right, the liberals and the conservatives, as between the Utopians and the realists, the pragmatists.

“Carter was a Utopian. He believed, honestly, that you must do the right thing and take your chance on the consequences. He told me that. He literally believed that.” Copeland’s deep Southern accent spit out the words with a mixture of amazement and disgust.

Copeland’s contacts at the time included CIA veteran Archibald Roosevelt and former Secretary of State Henry Kissingerboth of whom were close to David Rockefeller whose Chase Manhattan Bank handled billions of dollars in the Shah’s accounts, a fortune that the Iranian mullahs wanted to lay their hands on.

“There were many of usmyself along with Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, Archie Roosevelt in the CIA at the time – we believed very strongly that we were showing a kind of weakness, which people in Iran and elsewhere in the world hold in great contempt,” Copeland said.

As Copeland and his friends contemplated what to do regarding the hostage crisis, he reached out to other of his old CIA buddies.

According to The Game Player, Copeland turned to ex-CIA counter-intelligence chief James Angleton. The famed spy hunter “brought to lunch a Mossad chap who confided that his service had identified at least half of the ‘students,’ even to the extent of having their home addresses in Tehran,” Copeland wrote. “He gave me a rundown on what sort of kids they were. Most of them, he said, were just that, kids.”

One of the young Israeli intelligence agents assigned to the task of figuring out who was who in the new Iranian power structure was Ari Ben-Menashe, who was born in Iran but emigrated to Israel as a teen-ager. Not only did he speak fluent Farsi, but he had school friends who were rising within the new revolutionary bureaucracy.

In his memoir, Profits of War, Ben-Menashe offered his own depiction of Copeland’s initiative. Though Copeland was generally regarded as a CIA “Arabist” who had opposed Israeli interests in the past, he was admired for his analytical skills, Ben-Menashe wrote.

“A meeting between Miles Copeland and Israeli intelligence officers was held at a Georgetown house in Washington, D.C.,” Ben-Menashe wrote. “The Israelis were happy to deal with any initiative but Carter’s.

“David Kimche, chief of Tevel, the foreign relations unit of Mossad, was the senior Israeli at the meeting. … The Israelis and the Copeland group came up with a two-pronged plan to use quiet diplomacy with the Iranians and to draw up a scheme for military action against Iran that would not jeopardize the lives of the hostages.”

Arms Dealing

In late February 1980, Seyeed Mehdi Kashani, an Iranian emissary, arrived in Israel to discuss Iran’s growing desperation for spare parts for its U.S.-supplied air force, Ben-Menashe wrote.

Kashani, whom Ben-Menashe had known from their school days in Tehran, also revealed that the Copeland initiative was making inroads inside Iran and that approaches from some Republican emissaries had already been received, Ben-Menashe wrote.

“Kashani said that the secret ex-CIA-Miles-Copeland group was aware that any deal cut with the Iranians would have to include the Israelis because they would have to be used as a third party to sell military equipment to Iran,” according to Ben-Menashe.

In March 1980, the following month, the Israelis made their first direct military shipment to Iran, 300 tires for Iran’s F-4 fighter jets, Ben-Menashe wrote.

Ben-Menashe’s account of these early Israeli arms shipments was corroborated by Carter’s press secretary Jody Powell and Israeli arms dealer William Northrop.

In an interview for a 1991 PBSFrontline” documentary, Jody Powell told me that “there had been a rather tense discussion between President Carter and Prime Minister Begin in the spring of 1980 in which the President made clear that the Israelis had to stop that [arms dealing], and that we knew that they were doing it, and that we would not allow it to continue, at least not allow it to continue privately and without the knowledge of the American people.”

“And it stopped,” Powell said. At least, it stopped temporarily.

Meanwhile, Carter also was learning that Begin was siding with the Republicans.

Questioned by congressional investigators in 1992, Carter said he realized by April 1980 that “Israel cast their lot with Reagan,” according to notes I found among the unpublished documents in the files of a House task force that had looked into the October Surprise case.

Carter traced the Israeli opposition to his reelection to a “lingering concern [among] Jewish leaders that I was too friendly with Arabs.”

Closer Enemies

The President also may have had political enemies close to his inner circle.

Jamshid Hashemi, an Iranian businessman who was recruited by the CIA in January 1980 along with his brother Cyrus, said that in spring 1980, he encountered Donald Gregg, the CIA officer serving on Carter’s National Security Council staff, at Cyrus’s Manhattan office.

Jamshid Hashemi said his brother Cyrus was playing a double game, officially helping the Carter administration on the hostage crisis but privately collaborating with the Republicans. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

The alleged involvement of Gregg is another highly controversial part of the October Surprise mystery. A tall man with an easy-going manner, Gregg had known George H.W. Bush since 1967 when Bush was a first-term U.S. congressman.

Gregg also briefed Bush when he was U.S. envoy to China. Gregg served, too, as the CIA’s liaison to the Pike Committee investigation when Bush was CIA director.

“Although Gregg was uniformly regarded as a competent professional, there was a dimension to his background that was entirely unknown to his colleagues at the White House, and that was his acquaintance with one of the Republican frontrunners, George Bush,” former Carter NSC official Gary Sick wrote in his book October Surprise.

As the Iran crisis dragged on, Copeland and his group of CIA Old Boys forwarded their own plan for freeing the hostages. However, to Copeland’s chagrin, his plan fell on deaf ears inside the Carter administration, which was developing its own rescue operation.

So, Copeland told me that he distributed his plan outside the administration, to leading Republicans, giving sharper focus to their contempt for Carter’s bungled Iranian strategy.

“Officially, the plan went only to people in the government and was top secret and all that,” Copeland said. “But as so often happens in government, one wants support, and when it was not being handled by the Carter administration as though it was top secret, it was handled as though it was nothing. … Yes, I sent copies to everybody who I thought would be a good ally. …

“Now I’m not at liberty to say what reaction, if any, ex-President [Richard] Nixon took, but he certainly had a copy of this. We sent one to Henry Kissinger. … So we had these informal relationships where the little closed circle of people who were, a, looking forward to a Republican President within a short while and, b, who were absolutely trustworthy and who understood all these inner workings of the international game board.”

Desert One

Encircled by a growing legion of enemies, the Carter administration put the finishing touches on its hostage-rescue operation in April. Code-named “Eagle Claw,” the assault involved a force of U.S. helicopters that would swoop down on Tehran, coordinate with some agents on the ground and extract the hostages.

Carter ordered the operation to proceed on April 24, but mechanical problems forced the helicopters to turn back. At a staging area called Desert One, one of the helicopters collided with a refueling plane, causing an explosion that killed eight American crewmen.

Their charred bodies were then displayed by the Iranian government, adding to the fury and humiliation of the United States. After the Desert One fiasco, the Iranians dispersed the hostages to a variety of locations, effectively shutting the door on another rescue attempt.

By summer 1980, Copeland told me, the Republicans in his circle considered a second hostage-rescue attempt not only unfeasible, but unnecessary. They were talking confidently about the hostages being freed after a Republican victory in November, the old CIA man said.

Nixon, like everybody else, knew that all we had to do was wait until the election came, and they were going to get out,” Copeland said. “That was sort of an open secret among people in the intelligence community, that that would happen. … The intelligence community certainly had some understanding with somebody in Iran in authority, in a way that they would hardly confide in me.”

Copeland said his CIA friends had been told by contacts in Iran that the mullahs would do nothing to help Carter or his reelection.

“At that time, we had word back, because you always have informed relations with the devil,” Copeland said. “But we had word that, ‘Don’t worry.’ As long as Carter wouldn’t get credit for getting these people out, as soon as Reagan came in, the Iranians would be happy enough to wash their hands of this and move into a new era of Iranian-American relations, whatever that turned out to be.”

In the interview, Copeland declined to give more details, beyond his assurance that “the CIA within the CIA,” his term for the true protectors of U.S. national security, had an understanding with the Iranians about the hostages. (Copeland died on Jan. 14, 1991.)

A Unified Campaign

In summer 1980, Ronald Reagan wrapped up the Republican nomination and offered the vice presidential slot to his former rival, George H.W. Bush. As Bush’s team merged with Reagan’s campaign, so too did Bush’s contingent of CIA veterans.

Reagan’s campaign director William Casey – a spymaster for the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services – also blended in well with the ex-intelligence officers.

Many of the October Surprise allegations have Casey and his longtime business associate John Shaheen, another OSS veteran, meeting with Iranians and other foreigners overseas.

Casey also had secret meetings with Kissinger, according to Casey’s chauffeur, and with banker David Rockefeller and ex-CIA officer Archibald Roosevelt, who had gone to work for Rockefeller, according to the Sept. 11, 1980, visitor log at the Reagan-Bush headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

On Sept. 16, 1980, five days after the Rockefeller group’s visit to Casey’s office, Iran’s acting foreign minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh spoke publicly about Republican interference.

Reagan, supported by Kissinger and others, has no intention of resolving the problem” with the hostages, Ghotbzadeh said. “They will do everything in their power to block it.”

Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr held a similar opinion from his position in Tehran. In a 1992 letter to the House task force on the October Surprise case, Bani-Sadr wrote that he learned of the Republican back-channel initiative in summer 1980 and received a message from an emissary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: The Reagan campaign was in league with pro-Republican elements of the CIA in an effort to undermine Carter and wanted Iran’s help.

Bani-Sadr said the emissary “told me that if I do not accept this proposal they [the Republicans] would make the same offer to my rivals.”

The emissary added that the Republicans “have enormous influence in the CIA,” Bani-Sadr wrote. “Lastly, he told me my refusal of their offer would result in my elimination.”

Bani-Sadr said he resisted the GOP scheme, but the plan ultimately was accepted by Ayatollah Khomeini, who appeared to have made up his mind around the time of Iraq’s invasion of Iran in mid-September 1980. However, still sensing a political danger if Carter got the Iranians to change their minds, the Republicans opened the final full month of the campaign by trying to make Carter’s hostage talks look like a cynical ploy to influence the election’s outcome.

On Oct. 2, Republican vice-presidential candidate Bush brought up the issue with a group of reporters:

“One thing that’s at the back of everybody’s mind is, ‘What can Carter do that is so sensational and so flamboyant, if you will, on his side to pull off an October Surprise?’ And everybody kind of speculates about it, but there’s not a darn thing we can do about it, nor is there any strategy we can do except possibly have it discounted.”

Multiple Channels

One congressional investigator who was involved in the Iran-Contra and the October Surprise inquiries told me recently that his conclusion was that the Republicans were pursuing every avenue possible to reach the Iranian leadership to make sure Carter’s hostage negotiations failed.

Former Israeli intelligence officer Ben-Menashe, in his book and in sworn testimony, said the ultimately successful channel was one involving both former and current CIA officers, working with French intelligence for the security of a final meeting in Paris and with Israelis who were given the task of delivering the payoff in weapons shipments and money to Iran.

The key meeting allegedly occurred on the weekend of Oct. 18-19, 1980, between high-level representatives of the Republican team and the Iranians. Ben-Menashe said he was part of a six-member Israeli support delegation for the meeting at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.

In his memoir, Ben-Menashe said he recognized several Americans, including Republican congressional aide Robert McFarlane and CIA officers Robert Gates (who had served on Carter’s NSC staff and was then CIA Director Turner’s executive assistant), Donald Gregg (another CIA designee to Carter’s NSC) and George Cave (the agency’s Iran expert).

Ben-Menashe said Iranian cleric Mehdi Karrubi, then a top foreign policy aide to Ayatollah Khomeini, arrived and walked into a conference room. “A few minutes later George Bush, with the wispy-haired William Casey in front of him, stepped out of the elevator. He smiled, said hello to everyone, and, like Karrubi, hurried into the conference room,” Ben-Menashe wrote.

Ben-Menashe said the Paris meetings served to finalize a previously outlined agreement calling for release of the 52 hostages in exchange for $52 million, guarantees of arms sales for Iran, and unfreezing of Iranian monies in U.S. banks. The timing, however, was changed, he said, to coincide with Reagan’s expected Inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981.

Though the alleged participants have denied taking part in such a meeting, the alibis cited by the Americans have proved porous. For instance, Gregg produced a photograph of himself in a bathing suit on a beach with the processing date stamped on the back, “October 1980.”

There have been others reasons to doubt their innocence. An FBI polygrapher working for Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh’s investigation asked Gregg in 1990, “were you ever involved in a plan to delay the release of the hostages in Iran until after the 1980 Presidential election?” Gregg’s negative answer was deemed deceptive. [See the Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, Vol. I, 501]

Corroboration

Meanwhile, other evidence has surfaced supporting Ben-Menashe’s testimony. For instance, Chicago Tribune reporter John Maclean, son of author Norman Maclean who wrote A River Runs Through It, confirmed that he was told by a well-placed Republican source on that weekend in October 1980 that Bush was flying to Paris for a clandestine meeting with a delegation of Iranians about the American hostages.

David Andelman, the biographer for Count Alexandre deMarenches, then head of France’s Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre-Espionage (SDECE), testified to the House task force that deMarenches told him that he had helped the Reagan-Bush campaign arrange meetings with Iranians on the hostage issue in summer and fall of 1980, with one meeting in Paris in October.

Andelman said deMarenches insisted that the secret meetings be kept out of his memoir because the story could otherwise damage the reputations of his friends, William Casey and George H.W. Bush.

The allegations of a Paris meeting also received support from several other sources, including pilot Heinrich Rupp, who said he flew Casey from Washington’s National Airport to Paris on a flight that left very late on a rainy night in mid-October 1980.

Rupp said that after arriving at LeBourget airport outside Paris, he saw a man resembling Bush on the tarmac. The night of Oct. 18 indeed was rainy in the Washington area. Also, sign-in sheets at the Reagan-Bush headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, placed Casey within a five-minute drive of National Airport late that evening.

There were other bits and pieces of corroboration about the Paris meetings. A French arms dealer, Nicholas Ignatiew, told me in 1990 that he had checked with his government contacts and was told that Republicans did meet with Iranians in Paris in mid-October 1980.

A well-connected French investigative reporter Claude Angeli said his sources inside the French secret service confirmed that the service provided “cover” for a meeting between Republicans and Iranians in France on the weekend of October 18-19. German journalist Martin Kilian had received a similar account from a top aide to intelligence chief deMarenches.

As early as 1987, Iran’s ex-President Bani-Sadr had made similar claims about a Paris meeting. Finally, a classified report from the Russian government regarding what its intelligence files showed about the October Surprise issue stated matter-of-factly that Republicans held a series of meetings with Iranians in Europe, including one in Paris in October 1980.

William Casey, in 1980, met three times with representatives of the Iranian leadership,” the Russian report said. “The meetings took place in Madrid and Paris.” At the Paris meeting in October 1980, “R[obert] Gates, at that time a staffer of the National Security Council in the administration of Jimmy Carter, and former CIA Director George Bush also took part,” the report said.

“In Madrid and Paris, the representatives of Ronald Reagan and the Iranian leadership discussed the question of possibly delaying the release of 52 hostages from the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran.” (The Russian report had been requested by Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana, as part of the 1992 task force investigation of the October Surprise case. It arrived on Jan. 11, 1993, just two days before the task force was to release its own report rejecting the October Surprise suspicions.

(According to Hamilton and task force chief counsel Lawrence Barcella, the startling Russian report may never have been shown to Hamilton, until I sent him a copy this spring. In recent interviews, Hamilton told me, “I don’t recall seeing it,” and Barcella said in an e-mail that he didn’t “recall whether I showed [Hamilton] the Russian report or not.”[See Consortiumnews.com’s “Key October Surprise Evidence Hidden.”])

Last-Minute Nerves

Despite the alleged Paris agreement, the Reagan-Bush campaign remained nervous about the possibility that Carter might still arrange a pre-election hostage release.

The Reagan-Bush campaign maintained a 24-hour Operations Center, which monitored press wires and reports, gave daily press briefings and maintained telephone and telefax contact with the candidate’s plane, according to a secret draft report of the House task force, which added:

“Many of the staff members were former CIA employees who had previously worked on the Bush campaign or were otherwise loyal to George Bush.”

Bush and Shackley took personal responsibility for making sure the Republican campaign was not caught off guard.

According to Richard Allen's handwritten notes for Oct. 27, 1980, Bush called Allen at 2:12 p.m. as Bush was heading off to campaign in Pittsburgh. Bush had gotten an unsettling message from former Texas Gov. John Connally, the ex-Democrat who had switched to the Republican Party during the Nixon administration. Connally said his oil contacts in the Middle East were buzzing with rumors that Carter had achieved the long-elusive breakthrough on the hostages.

Bush ordered Allen to find out what he could about Connally's tip. Allen was to pass on any new details to two of Bush's aides. According to the notes, Allen was to relay the information to "Ted Shacklee [sic] via Jennifer." In a "secret" 1992 deposition to the House October Surprise task force, Allen said the Jennifer was Jennifer Fitzgerald, Bush's longtime assistant including during his year as director of the CIA. Allen testified that "Shacklee" was Theodore Shackley, the famous CIA covert operations specialist, the "blond ghost." [To see Allen's notes, click here.]

Yet, despite the last-minute GOP worries, Carter failed to get the hostages out. The coincidence that the anniversary of the hostage-taking fell on Election Day 1980 further damaged Carter’s hopes as Americans were forced to relive the humiliations of the previous year.

Reagan romped to victory in a landslide, winning 44 states and bringing with him a Republican Senate. Among the Democrat casualties were key figures in efforts to rein in the powers of the imperial presidency – and of the CIA – including Frank Church of Idaho, Birch Bayh of Indiana and George McGovern of South Dakota.

In retrospect, some of Carter’s negotiators felt they should have been much more attentive to the possibility of Republican sabotage. “Looking back, the Carter administration appears to have been far too trusting and particularly blind to the intrigue swirling around it,” said former NSC official Gary Sick.

Tough Talk

As the Inauguration neared, Republicans talked tough, making clear that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t stand for the humiliation that the nation endured under Jimmy Carter. The Reagan-Bush team intimated that Reagan would deal harshly with Iran if it didn’t surrender the hostages.

A joke making the rounds of Washington went: “What’s three feet deep and glows in the dark? Teheran ten minutes after Ronald Reagan becomes President.”

On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1981, just as Reagan was beginning his inaugural address, word came from Iran that the hostages were freed. The American people were overjoyed.

Privately, some Reagan insiders laughed about their October Surprise success. For instance, Charles Cogan, a high-ranking CIA officer, told the House task force in 1992 that he attended a 1981 meeting at CIA headquarters between Casey and one of David Rockefeller’s top aides, Joseph V. Reed, who had been appointed to be Ambassador to Morocco.

Cogan testified that Reed joked about having blocked Carter’s hostage release. A task force investigator, who spoke with Cogan in a less formal setting, said Reed’s wording was, “We fucked Carter’s October Surprise.”

In the months and the years that followed, many of the key figures in the October Surprise mystery saw their career paths veer steeply upward.

Besides Casey's appointment to head the CIA, Gregg became Vice President Bush’s national security adviser. Robert McFarlane later became Reagan’s NSC adviser. Though relatively young, Robert Gates vaulted up the CIA’s career ladder, becoming head of the analytical division and then deputy director. (He is now Barack Obama’s Secretary of Defense.)

As for Israel and Iran, the arms network flowed with weapons to Iran and millions of dollars in profits back to Israel, with some of the money going build new settlements in the West Bank. In summer 1981, this hidden Israeli-Iranian pipeline slipped briefly into public view.

On July 18, 1981, an Israeli-chartered plane was shot down after straying over the Soviet Union. In a PBS interview nearly a decade later, Nicholas Veliotes, Reagan’s assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East, said he looked into the incident by talking to top administration officials who insisted that the State Department issue misleading guidance to the press.

“It was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could transship to Iran some American-origin military equipment,” Veliotes said.

In checking out the Israeli flight, Veliotes came to believe that the Reagan camp’s dealings with Iran dated back to before the 1980 election. “It seems to have started in earnest in the period probably prior to the election of 1980, as the Israelis had identified who would become the new players in the national security area in the Reagan administration,” Veliotes said. “And I understand some contacts were made at that time.”

In the mid-1980s, many of the same October Surprise actors became figures in the Iran-Contra scandal, another secret arms-for-hostages scheme with Iran that was revealed in late 1986, despite White House denials.

According to official Iran-Contra investigations, the plot to sell U.S. weapons to Iran for its help in freeing American hostages then held in Lebanon involved Cyrus Hashemi, John Shaheen, Theodore Shackley, William Casey, Donald Gregg, Robert Gates, Robert McFarlane, George Cave, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Loony Bin

Yet, even as the cover-up of the Iran-Contra operations crumbled, key figures in Washington battled to keep the even more explosive October Surprise suspicions relegated to the loony bin of conspiracy theories, not to be taken seriously by the American people.

By the time the October Surprise case was gaining traction in 1991, neoconservatives had established themselves as important gatekeepers in the U.S. news media. Controversies that threatened to put Israel and Likud in a negative light were hotly contested.

So, in fall 1991, as Congress was deliberating whether to conduct full investigations of the October Surprise issue, Steven Emerson, a journalist with close ties to Likud, produced a cover story for the neoconservative New Republic claiming to prove the allegations were a “myth.”

Almost simultaneously, Newsweek published its own cover story also attacking the October Surprise allegations. The article, I was told, had been ordered up by executive editor Maynard Parker who was a close associate of Henry Kissinger and was known inside Newsweek as a big admirer of prominent neocon Elliott Abrams.

The two articles were influential in shaping Washington’s conventional wisdom, but they were both based on a misreading of attendance documents at a London historical conference which William Casey had gone to in July 1980.

The two publications put Casey at the conference on one key date – thus supposedly proving he could not have attended one of the Madrid meetings with Iranian emissaries. However, after the two stories appeared, follow-up interviews with conference participants, including historian Robert Dallek, conclusively showed that Casey wasn’t there.

Veteran journalist Craig Unger, who had worked on the Newsweek cover story, said the magazine knew the Casey alibi was bogus but still used it. “It was the most dishonest thing that I’ve been through in my life in journalism,” Unger later told me.

However, even though the Newsweek and New Republic stories had themselves been debunked, that didn’t stop other neoconservative-dominated publications, like the Wall Street Journal, from ladling out ridicule on anyone who dared take the October Surprise case seriously.

Emerson also was a close friend of Michael Zeldin, the deputy chief counsel for the House investigative task force. Though the task force jettisoned Emerson’s bogus Casey alibi, House investigators told me that Emerson frequently visited the task force’s offices and advised Zeldin and others how to read the October Surprise evidence.

Subsequent examinations of Emerson’s peculiar brand of journalism (which invariably toed the Likud line and often demonized Muslims) revealed that Emerson had financial ties to right-wing funders such as Richard Mellon Scaife and had hosted right-wing Israeli intelligence commander Yigal Carmon when Carmon came to Washington to lobby against Middle East peace talks.

In 1999, a study of Emerson’s history by John F. Sugg for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s magazine “Extra!” quoted an Associated Press reporter who had worked with Emerson on a project as saying of Emerson and Carmon: “I have no doubt these guys are working together.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that Emerson has "close ties to Israeli intelligence." And “Victor Ostrovsky, who defected from Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and has written books disclosing its secrets, calls Emerson ‘the horn’ -- because he trumpets Mossad claims,” Sugg reported.

Besides Emerson’s cozy relationship with task force deputy counsel Zeldin, Zeldin’s boss, chief counsel Lawrence Barcella, was a close personal friend of another influential neocon, Michael Ledeen, who was linked to the October Surprise mystery in the secret draft report prepared by Barcella’s staff.

However, after speaking with Ledeen, Barcella deleted references to his friend from the final report, the one that was issued publicly. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “October Surprise Crystal Ball.”]

Barcella also was the person inside the task force who apparently decided to withhold the damning Russian report from task force chairman Lee Hamilton.

Conflicts

In other words, a key “journalist” who supposedly debunked the October Surprise investigation is now recognized as something of a Likud propagandist, and the two lead investigators for the task force allowed neoconservative friends to influence the course of the inquiry.

However, even as Likud operatives and allies worked to derail any serious investigation, one top Likud official was more forthcoming.

In 1993, I took part in an interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in Tel Aviv during which he said he had read Gary Sick’s 1991 book, October Surprise, which made the case for believing that the Republicans had intervened in the 1980 hostage negotiations to disrupt Carter’s reelection.

With the topic raised, one interviewer asked, “What do you think? Was there an October Surprise?” “Of course, it was,” Shamir responded without hesitation. “It was.” Later in the interview, Shamir, who succeeded Begin as prime minister in the 1980s, seemed to regret his frankness and tried to backpedal on his answer, but his confirmation remained a startling moment.

The current knock on the October Surprise story is that it’s now ancient history and that it’s wrong to dig up unpleasant facts about the late President Ronald Reagan, who has become something of an icon on the Right and someone that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews recently deemed “one of the all-time greats” among presidents. Further, Jimmy Carter is held in disdain by many Washington insiders, considered a “failed president.” In other words, the prevailing view is that things worked out just fine in replacing Carter with Reagan no matter how it was done and it makes no sense to rehash any of this unpleasantness.

However, there is another way to read the history: If Carter had freed the hostages and won a second term, the United States might have continued on a path toward alternative energy, the federal deficit would not have soared, and deregulation of corporations would not have opened the environment and the financial sector to such dangers.

Further, the United States might not have embarked on a massive military buildup or engaged in the aggressive intelligence operations that went with it. And, Israel might have been pushed into an equitable peace with its Palestinian neighbors three decades ago, rather than pursuing a settlement policy that now makes such an agreement close to impossible.

Possibly even more important, if the sabotaging of Carter’s reelection in 1980 had failed or at least if it had been exposed in the 1990s, the United States might now enjoy a much healthier democracy – based on hard truths, not comforting illusions.

[For the most detailed account of the October Surprise case, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege. It’s also available as part of a three-book set for only $29, click here.]

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there.

Very interesting bit of research with which to end this essay. And you've just got to gasp a little bit here (if you're not entirely cynical already) at the hubris of these truly non-Conservatives (unless you think they know they only mean "conserving their power.") (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
Why Conservatives Hate You

How Our Politics Relies on Creating Disgust for Opponents Are you someone who struggles to understand why people behave the way they do in politics? Perhaps you've been confused by all the fervor against gay marriage. Or maybe you're taken aback by the strong emotions waged against government-sponsored health care.

To understand political behaviors like these, you'll need to become familiar with the psychology of disgust. Researchers have learned a lot about it in recent years: Disgust, like all emotions, is biological and can be explained through the workings of the brain

Disgust is the physiological foundation for moral notions of purity and sacrilege Disgust, once felt, creates a persistent association that is very difficult to get rid of Disgust is a powerful motivator of behavior, helping deter us away from perceived threats to our health

So what does this have to do with politics? In a word, everything.

Politics on the Brain

If you've read the work of George Lakoff, Drew Westen or Jonathan Haidt you know there's quite a buzz in the academic world around recent discoveries into the political mind. Distinct moral worldviews have been systematically explored. Profound biases have been demonstrated in the ways brains process information depending on whether the person identifies as a liberal or conservative. And distinct moral sensitivities have been found across different political groups that correspond with key social emotions. As I argued in a recent article, the understandings coming out of this research are critical for cultivating a political culture that is conducive to participatory democracy. This is especially true for the emotion of disgust. Emotions are physical. They are complex processes that occur in our brains, each serving vital purposes for our survival. Disgust in particular is the result of our bodily need to avoid toxic substances, especially rotten and poisonous foods.

Thus it is most closely associated with bodily functions having to do with digestion. At its most basic level, disgust can be thought of as the unpleasantness that arises when the body is contaminated. The brain has sensors to recognize when the body has been contaminated and it uses specific chemical markers to remember events that may have lead to the unpleasantness that followed.

The Feeling of Morality

For a long time, the study of morality was relegated to the halls of our philosophy and political science departments.

This has changed in a serious way. There are now a wide variety of scientific research programs dedicated to understanding the physical, biological and evolutionary foundations of morality. When Sam Harris took up this topic a few weeks ago, he barely scratched the surface of what is known today. Research centers include the International Institute on Cognition and Culture at the London School of Economics, the Greater Good Science Center in Berkeley, the Institute on Cognition and Culture in Belfast and the Center for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture in Vancouver, to name a few. One of the major discoveries so far is that morality is grounded in our bodily experience. We literally feel right and wrong in our bodies.

Disgust is a physical experience that applies to notions of moral purity, moral health and our judgments about how to handle situations like incest, cannibalism and rape. For each of these emotionally potent topics, the strength of our feelings corresponds directly with our sentiments about how they should be handled in society. Research tailored to the study of moral purity and the emotion of disgust was conducted by Paul Rozin, Jonathan Haidt and Rick McCauley. (A copy of their seminal article can be requested here.) They showed that the physical experience of disgust provides the bodily foundation for the moral concept of purity. Put succinctly, when you experience the feeling of moral disgust – via the tainting of something you hold sacred and pure – it is produced by the same neural and chemical process that arise after biting into a moldy piece of bread or some rotten fruit.

Avoiding the Rotten Apple

The experience of disgust is very persistent. Once we associate those negative feelings with an idea (like "liberalism" or "Obama the Muslim") it is very hard to shake off. The explanation for this comes from the field of evolutionary psychology, which explores the evolutionary origins of human thought and behavior. Animals that remember the foods that make them sick are more likely to survive and reproduce. So those who have a long memory of disgust are better adapted for survival. Applied to politics, this phenomenon implies that once a political idea becomes a rotten apple it will remain a rotten apple. Disgust tends to stick around. This is why so much time, effort and money is dedicated to painting the opposition with negative feelings. If a disgust response can be evoked, it will tend to stay around.

Think about the ramifications for gay marriage. If children are taught that homosexuality is disgusting, they will want to stay far away from it. As their moral sentiments develop, they will begin to see homosexuality as a contaminant in society. When thinking about the sacred institution of marriage, they will feel the threat of this impurity to something they want to keep clean. It's pretty easy to mobilize them against this threat because the feeling is long-lasting and easy to activate with a political sound bite. There are two lessons to learn from this. First, if you want someone to support your idea (like the notion that addressing global warming might be a sensible thing to do), don't let it get associated with disgust (such as how people feel about the elitism of scientists -- be it real or imagined). Second, if you want someone to oppose an idea, just riddle it with associations to the profane and impure. Do so with references to basic bodily functions and you'll be particularly effective. These tactics have long been used in politics to the detriment of civil society.

Click on the title link to read the rest of this hugely informative essay.

I think that last sentence said it all.

Happy Fourth! Suzan _______________

5 comments:

Greendayman said...

Wow! That was one blogasmic post!! You know how to keep it going Suze!

These bastards shrink from the light of day but as long as the Internet and blogs stay free, and as long as there are Frankens, Kusiniches and Graysons around there is a glimmer of hope. I remember the whole Carter/Reagan Iran fiasco, there in real-time and getting my first glimpse, as a rational political being, of corruption at the highest levels of our "esteemed" government and was quite surprised. Not shocked, I had not built up enough awareness yet but that came soon enough.

We are still young, as far as established countries go, and learning. Unfortunately - the lessons of the past do not seem to permeate the greed of the present.

Ah... the Sales Guys govern all, persuasive, pseudo-fact filled, good eye contact while selling you the Brooklyn bridge with a straight face. It's all about sales in a Capitalistic society and that's why the sales guys, no matter how crooked, as long as their monthly figures look good - rule.

That's all Beck and Limbaugh are - really good sales guys.

Unfortunately, short-sighted, cruel and ignorant as they are, they succeed in selling a destructive bill of goods to a public that has no clue they are being sold.

I taught my kids how to recognize good marketing early on, appreciate it for the twisted art form it is, find the product being sold and the string used to sell it, then avoid it like the plague. Their young enthusiasm and awareness probably saved me hundreds of bucks on useless shit they would have wanted without that training. We did it every time we watched TV. I would ask - what are they selling? How are they trying to get you to buy it? Can you feel the pull of the advertisement?

Teach your children to avoid the marketing and the rest is gravy. It spills over into life as well - example: my daughter now able to recognize a slippery potential boyfriend using the same sales tactics. Believe it, it works.

Teach your children well... they'll be the ones picking out your nursing home.

Suzan said...

Thanks, sweetie!

Sometimes I think you're the only one reading the long ones.

But it's hard for me to stop when the internet pump keeps the exposes coming, and everyone needs to know the real facts in light of the no-light news readers prevalent at all networks.

Your kids must be amazing. I tried to do the same with mine and it worked (a little bit anyway) although her closets are still stuffed with crap she just had to have - and I have to admit that it's quite nice - but still . . . .

Why, oh why, do we have to continue to turn out little consumerists when we know the evil of those ways?

Thanks for all your comments.

I grow richer as a result.

S

Sue said...

Suzan I slowly got the mouse to move as frustrating as it is! (please can I say FUCK!!!!) This damn comment section is even trying to kill me!!!

Anyway, where was I?? I sometimes wish I was not a political junkie because the truth about our countries politics is SCARY!! Much of your writing is so far over my head it's hard for me to comment, but I learn so much from reading your blog!
I'm with Greendayman, thanking God for Grayson, Kucinich and Franken, we need more like them and we need to end these horrific wars, NOW!!! But our evil America loves war!

Gotta go sweetie before I shoot myself and this computer! I'll be back!!

Suzan said...

Sue,

I feel so awful . . . .

Aaaarrgghh.

For you.

Just click the key (once) and go make a cup of coffee. I'm sorry it's soooooo slow.

Call me and I'll help you fix your computer if there's a maintenance fix I know that you haven't tried yet.

It's what I do for a living (and you notice that since nobody has hired me in a looooong time (it's the economy, stupid! - BC), that's why I keep having to beg for donations for my writing efforts - which would be offered entirely without begging otherwise), and I'm very happy to do it for you gratis!

Thanks for the great suggestions. Without readers like you and Greendayman and Lisa and a few others I would feel that no one at all was reading. Just people who like to leave porn ads in Chinese script on my site. And I can't even interpret them!

Thanks for all your comments. You are a good friend! Just holler at me at "cmputrwizard@gmail.com" and we'll get right on making that computer download faster!

Love ya,

S

Sue said...

Suzan I believe it's the blogs with alot of videos that slow me down because it's just yours and one other I had to stop visiting last year.
BTW, you have alot of visits and readers even if they aren't commenting. Keep up the good work, you are a master at it!

xo