Of course we understand that college is largely inflated in value and benefit. This is yet another example of how the federal government creates inflation and lowers quality in any market they touch.
Vaccination May Increase Risk of Rare Psychiatric Childhood Disorders, Study Finds
Children with anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety and tic disorders were more likely to have had a recent vaccination, according to a new study.
Frontiers | Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Case–Control Study | Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Abstract Background: Although the association of the MMR vaccine with autism spectrum disorder has been convincingly disproven, the onset of certain brain-related autoimmune and inflammatory disorders has been found to be temporally associated with the antecedent administration of various vaccines. This study examines whether antecedent vaccinations are associated with increased incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa (AN), anxiety disorder, chronic tic disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder in a national sample of privately insured children.Methods: Using claims data, we compared the prior year’s occurrence of vaccinations in children and adolescents ages 6 to 15 years with the above neuropsychiatric disorders that were newly diagnosed between January 2002 and December 2007, as well as two control conditions, broken bones and open wounds. Subjects were matched with controls according to age, gender, geographical area and seasonality. Conditional logistic regression models were used to determine the association of prior vaccinations with each condition. Results: Subjects with newly diagnosed AN were more likely than controls to have had any vaccination in the previous 3 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.80, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21-2.68). Influenza vaccinations during the prior 3, 6-, and 12- months were also associated with incident diagnoses of AN, OCD, and an anxiety disorder. Several other associations were al…Abstract Background: Although the association of the MMR vaccine with autism spectrum disorder has been convincingly disproven, the onset of certain brain-related autoimmune and inflammatory disorders has been found to be temporally associated with the antecedent administration of various vaccines. This study examines whether antecedent vaccinations are associated with increased incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa (AN), anxiety disorder, chronic tic disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder in a national sample of privately insured children. Methods: Using claims data, we compared the prior year’s occurrence of vaccinations in children and adolescents ages 6 to 15 years with the above neuropsychiatric disorders that were newly diagnosed between January 2002 and December 2007, as well as two control conditions, broken bones and open wounds. Subjects were matched with controls according to age, gender, geographical area and seasonality. Conditional logistic regression models were used to determine the association of prior vaccinations with each condition. Results: Subjects with newly diagnosed AN were more likely than controls to have had any vaccination in the previous 3 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.80, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21-2.68). Influenza vaccinations during the prior 3, 6-, and 12- months were also associated with incident diagnoses of AN, OCD, and an anxiety disorder. Several other associations were also significant with HRs greater than 1.40 (Hepatitis A with OCD and AN; Hepatitis B with AN; and meningitis with AN and chronic tic disorder). Conclusions: This pilot epidemiologic analysis implies that the onset of some neuropsychiatric disorders may be temporally related to prior vaccinations in a subset of individuals. These findings warrant further investigation, but do not prove a causal role of antecedent infections or vaccinations in the pathoetiology of these conditions. Given the modest magnitude of these findings in contrast to the clear public health benefits of the timely administration of vaccines in preventing mortality and morbidity in childhood infectious diseases, we encourage families to maintain vaccination schedules according to CDC guidelines.
About 40 years ago, economist Bruce Yandle went to Washington to work for the Council on Wage and Price Stability, ready to apply his knowledge of economics and educate his fellow workers. After all, he reminisces, one eye-rolling, head-scratching decision after another was coming from government regulators that surely someone versed in economics could expose as stupid, wasteful, and downright ridiculous.
Government Serves the Interests of Government
At some point, Yandle realized that the lay of the regulatory land looked quite different in Washington than it did in Clemson, South Carolina, where he was on the faculty at Clemson University. Regulators — and the representatives of the enterprises they regulated — were not looking to create an atmosphere in which the government tried to find the “optimal” set of regulatory policies that both minimized regulatory costs and allowed for the maximum removal of whatever “externalities” were created.
No, as Yandle writes:
… instead of assuming that regulators really intended to minimize costs but somehow proceeded to make crazy mistakes, I began to assume that they were not trying to minimize costs at all — at least not the costs I had been concerned with. They were trying to minimize their costs, just as most sensible people do.
The more he examined the situation, the more he realized that all of the various actors in the system were acting in their own perceived self-interests — regulators, politicians, and those being regulated — and the combination of their interests created perverse outcomes. The “big picture” view that those on the outside of the situation might have is irrelevant to what actually happens, and understandably so.
Far from the stated goals of the regulators and those involved in the process — that regulation was pursued in order to promote a lofty “public interest” — the real purpose of the regulatory apparatus is the promotion of the regulatory apparatus. The system exists to preserve and protect itself.
Socialists Are Interested in Control, not Economic Prosperity
As I observe (and participate in) a few discussions on Facebook and elsewhere about socialism, I have come to a few conclusions about the nature of the arguments and the reasons why socialists remain socialists even as we see the utter failure of socialist economies throughout history. Maybe the meme that appears once in a while — “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists” — might be true, but I doubt it. As I see it, the purpose of establishing socialism is to further promote socialism, not improve the lot of a society and certainly not to promote prosperity.
First, and most important, the minds of socialists work differently than do the minds of economists that see an economy as a mix of factors of production, prices, final goods, markets, and entrepreneurs that drive the whole route. Those of us who are economists are fascinated by this process because we see human ingenuity, the coordination of the goals of numerous people, and, when the system works, a higher standard of living for most people.
Socialists, however, don’t see what we see. Instead, they see chaos and unequal outcomes. Not everyone benefits, right? In some situations, someone may lose a job or a way of doing things becomes obsolete. In the end, some people won’t be helped at all, at least not directly, and in the mind of someone that has an organic view of society, the fact that certain entrepreneurial actions taken by some individuals have created goods that meet the needs of others is irrelevant. Society should be providing those goods for free! People should not have to pay for what they need!
Are you a surgeon who had done well financially because you have performed medical miracles for people who desperately needed your services? You have exploited sick people! Are you like Martha Stewart, who became wealthy in part by showing people how to make holiday celebrations better? What about the poor? They don’t have nice houses!
When I first started writing about economics nearly 40 years ago, I was like Bruce Yandle, believing that all that was needed to convince socialists to stop being socialists was a well-reasoned economic argument. You know, explain that entrepreneurs don’t earn profits by exploiting workers, but rather entrepreneurs make workers better off by directing resources to their highest-valued uses. You know, explain how a price system really does result in morally-just outcomes because, in the end, it directs resources toward fulfilling the needs of consumers. And so on.
I still believe the arguments, and over the years have come to understand them even better than I did when I wrote my first article for The Freeman in 1981. (It’s funny how Economics in One Lesson continues to become increasingly relevant to my thinking each time I read it.) However, I believe that the end of all of this activity is — or should be — the improvement of life for people in a way that is not predatory and brings about voluntary cooperation among economic actors. In other words, economic activity is a means to an end, and the end is free people gaining in wealth and standards of living.
A socialist does not and will not see things this way. The end of socialism is not a higher living standard or even making life better for the poor, as much as a socialist will talk about the well-being of poor people. No, the end of socialism is socialism, or to better put it, the ideal of socialism. Once socialism is established, as it was in Venezuela or in the former USSR or Cuba, the social ideal had been met no matter what the actual outcome might be.
Avoiding the Word Collapse
Funny how the interviewer tries to blow over the any uncomfortable reasons why Michael Burry would only be investing in farmland and gold.
In the latest fake news CNN controversy we see the network, once again, terminate an interview after the “F word” was mentioned.
Lemon interrupted to shut down Dennard’s use of the term “fake news,” minutes before the show ended.
“Fake news is when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know that it is wrong,” he said.
“This story that we’re doing right now is not to intentionally deceive anyone. We are simply talking about the cost to keep a president safe,” he continued.
“Please stop it with that stupid talking point, that it is a fake news story. If you don’t want to participate in the news stories on this network, then don’t come on and participate. But don’t call them fake because you don’t agree with them. Go on.”
Dennard insisted that “this is a fake news story,” after which Lemon ended the segment altogether. (The Hill)
Fukushima Aborts Latest Robot Mission Inside Reactor; Radiation At “Unimaginable” Levels | Zero Hedge
Two years after sacrificing one robot, TEPCO officials have aborted their latest robot mission inside the Fukushima reactor after the ‘scorpion’ became unresponsive as it investigated the previously discovered hole where the core is believed to have melted.
Why The Melted Fuel Under Fukushima Could Poison Our Planet With Nuclear Radiation For 1000s Of Years
Six years ago, an absolutely devastating tsunami caused a triple meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power facility. It was the worst environmental disaster in all of human history, and even though six years have passed since that time, nobody knows where the three melted cores are. Just recently, authorities believe that they spotted some melted fuel underneath reactor 2, but even from a distance the level of nuclear radiation that was detected was being described as “unimaginable”. Essentially what we are talking about are three enormous “dirty bombs” that are continuously emitting tremendous amounts of nuclear radiation into the air, water and soil. Some of the radioactive elements that are being released have half-lives that are measured in tens of thousands of years, and so the poisonous effect of these “dirty bombs” could potentially be with us for generation after generation.
Personally, I don’t know why the big mainstream news outlets in the U.S. are almost entirely ignoring Fukushima these days. Fox News did a story on the “unimaginable” radiation at Fukushima just a few days ago, but that was about it.
To me, it is certainly newsworthy that nuclear radiation inside reactor 2 at Fukushima is at the highest level ever recorded…
Radiation levels inside a damaged reactor at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant have hit a record high, and are the worst since the plant suffered a triple meltdown nearly six years ago. The latest readings now pose a serious challenge as officials prepare to dismantle the stricken facility.
Radiation levels inside the containment vessel of reactor No. 2 at Fukushima has reached 530 sieverts per hour—a figure described by experts as “unimaginable.”
Previously, the highest level of radiation measured at Fukushima was 73 sieverts per hour, and just a small fraction of that amount would be fatal to most humans…
Needless to say, this plant is not fit for human life. Just one dose of a single sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea. Exposure to four to five sieverts would kill about half of those exposed to it within a month, while a single dose of 10 sieverts is enough to kill a person within weeks.
At 530 sieverts per hour, the radiation is so intense that even robots can only last for a couple of hours in that environment. The Japanese hope to eventually remove the melted fuel from these reactors someday, but first they have to figure out if it is even possible.
And the truth is that the level of radiation in reactor 2 may actually be far higher than 530 sieverts per hour. That is because the recent reading was taken “some distance from the melted fuel”…
The 530 sievert reading was recorded some distance from the melted fuel, so in reality it could be 10 times higher than recorded, said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center.
Experts are also warning that the levels of radiation may be much higher than 530 sieverts per hour in reactors 1 and 3. Nobody knows, because the melted fuel in those reactors has not even been located yet.
Even though so much time has gone by, there is still very much an urgency to this crisis. In a newly published article, Mike Adams of Natural News explained why this is the case…
In effect, Fukushima has become the world’s largest dirty bomb, and the remaining fuel rods could explode (achieve criticality) at any moment. Even right now, the radiation is so intense that robots built to explore the wreckage can only survive for a few hours before their circuits are destroyed. Thus, there’s almost no scenario in which Japan, Tepco or anybody in the world figures out how to clean up the wreckage, reclaim the melting fuel rods and reestablish control over the nuclear reactions that are still ongoing.
You can’t even successfully build a containment vessel on top of it all because the melting nuclear fuel has already burned a massive hole in the floor and is melting its way into the ground water.
What most people don’t understand is that the melted nuclear fuel under Fukushima is going to be with us for a very, very long time. Some of the fuel rods contained plutonium-239, and plutonium-239 has a half-life of approximately 24,000 years…
Do they think a one-meter hole magically appears in nuclear containment vessels due to random chance? No, it’s melting fuel rods, you morons. And some of that fuel is MOX fuel, which contains plutonium-239 that boasts a half life of 24,000 years. So sometime in the year 26000 A.D. the Fukushima nightmare will be HALF as toxic as it is right now. What a wonderful, progressive future to look forward to, eh?
Plutonium-239 is one of the most dangerous substances known to humanity. As nuclear expert Steven C. Jones once explained, it would not take much plutonium-239 to kill every man, woman and child on the entire planet…
To give one an example of how lethal radiation is, one pound of plutonium evenly distributed into everyone’s lungs would kill every man, woman and child on Earth. There are literally “tons” of radioactive plutonium (among other radioactive elements) that have been released into the air and ocean environments since March 11th. Another critical fact to remember is that radioactive plutonium, for example, remains lethal (killing life) for thousands years as it has a half-life of 24,000 years. Some other radioactive elements such as uranium have a half-life of 4.47 billion years.
And remember, more radioactive material is being released from Fukushima every single day. The following comes from an interview with Kevin Kamps, the radioactive waste monitor at Beyond Nuclear…
There are claims that “it’s all contained, don’t worry about it.” It is indisputable that there is a daily flow of radioactively contaminated groundwater into the ocean. The figures something like 80,000 gallons per day of relatively low-level radioactive waste water. Then you’ve got those storage tanks – we’re talking 800,000 tons of highly radioactive water stored in tanks. Every day they pour a hundred tons of water on each of these three melted down cores. Sometimes they lose those tanks. They leak, they overflow – it is an ongoing catastrophe.
Are you starting to understand how serious this is?
Newly-declassified documents show that a senior CIA agent and Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence worked closely with the owners and journalists of many of the largest media outlets:
The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press:
Wikipedia adds details:
After 1953, the network was overseen by Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA. By this time, Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services.
The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan [i.e. the rebuilding of Europe by the U.S. after WWII]. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.
In 2008, the New York Times wrote:
During the early years of the cold war, [prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock] were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of “soft power” in American history.
A CIA operative told Washington Post owner Philip Graham … in a conversation about the willingness of journalists to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories:
You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.
Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein wrote in 1977:
More than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty?five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters.
In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.
Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were [the heads of CBS, Time, the New York Times, the Louisville Courier?Journal, and Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include [ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters], Hearst Newspapers, Scripps, Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald Tribune.
There is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements.
The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management.
Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings.
Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Time magazine’s foreign correspondents attended CIA “briefing” dinners similar to those the CIA held for CBS.
When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency. “Frank Wisner dealt with him.” Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency’s premier orchestrator of “black” operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his “mighty Wurlitzer,” a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.)
In November 1973, after [the CIA claimed to have ended the program], Colby told reporters and editors from the New York Times and the Washington Star that the Agency had “some three dozen” American newsmen “on the CIA payroll,” including five who worked for “general?circulation news organizations.” Yet even while the Senate Intelligence Committee was holding its hearings in 1976, according to high?level CIA sources, the CIA continued to maintain ties with seventy?five to ninety journalists of every description—executives, reporters, stringers, photographers, columnists, bureau clerks and members of broadcast technical crews. More than half of these had been moved off CIA contracts and payrolls but they were still bound by other secret agreements with the Agency. According to an unpublished report by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Representative Otis Pike, at least fifteen news organizations were still providing cover for CIA operatives as of 1976.
Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side ….
“There were a lot of representations that if this stuff got out some of the biggest names in journalism would get smeared” ….
An expert on propaganda testified under oath during trial that the CIA now employs THOUSANDS of reporters and OWNS its own media organizations. Whether or not his estimate is accurate, it is clear that many prominent reporters still report to the CIA.
A 4-part BBC documentary called the “Century of the Self” shows that an American – Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays – created the modern field of manipulation of public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his techniques.
John Pilger is a highly-regarded journalist (the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson remarked, “A country that does not have a John Pilger in its journalism is a very feeble place indeed”). Pilger said in 2007:
We now know that the BBC and other British media were used by the British secret intelligence service MI-6. In what they called Operation Mass Appeal, MI-6 agents planted stories about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, such as weapons hidden in his palaces and in secret underground bunkers. All of these stories were fake.
One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. “I have to tell you,” said the spokesman, “that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don’t have to do any of that. What is the secret?”
Nick Davies wrote in the Independent in 2008:
For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.
The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. I’ve spent the last two years researching a book about falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media.
The “Zarqawi letter” which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media.
This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new and essentially benign structure of “strategic communications” which was originally designed by doves in the Pentagon and Nato who wanted to use subtle and non-violent tactics to deal with Islamist terrorism but whose efforts are poorly regulated and badly supervised with the result that some of its practitioners are breaking loose and engaging in the black arts of propaganda.
The Pentagon has now designated “information operations” as its fifth “core competency” alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own “psyop” element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department’s campaign of “public diplomacy” which includes funding radio stations and news websites. In Britain, the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations in the Ministry of Defence works with specialists from 15 UK psyops, based at the Defence Intelligence and Security School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.
In the case of British intelligence, you can see this combination of reckless propaganda and failure of oversight at work in the case of Operation Mass Appeal. This was exposed by the former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter, who describes in his book, Iraq Confidential, how, in London in June 1998, he was introduced to two “black propaganda specialists” from MI6 who wanted him to give them material which they could spread through “editors and writers who work with us from time to time”.
The government is still paying off reporters to spread disinformation. And the corporate media are acting like virtual “escort services” for the moneyed elites, selling access – for a price – to powerful government officials, instead of actually investigating and reporting on what those officials are doing.
One of the ways that the U.S. government spreads propaganda is by making sure that it gets its version out first. For example, the head of the U.S. Information Agency’s television and film division – Alvin A. Snyder – wrote in his book Warriors of Disinformation: How Lies, Videotape, and the USIA Won the Cold War:
All governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.
Another casualty, always war’s first, was the truth. The story of [the accidental Russian shootdown of a Korean airliner] will be remembered pretty much the way we told it in 1983, not the way it really happened.
In 2013, the American Congress repealed the formal ban against the deployment of propaganda against U.S. citizens living on American soil. So there’s even less to constrain propaganda than before.
One of the most common uses of propaganda is to sell unnecessary and counter-productive wars. Given that the American media is always pro-war, mainstream publishers, producers, editors, and reporters are willing participants.
It’s not just lying about Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction … the corporate media is still selling lies to promote war.
Former Newsweek and Associated Press reporter Robert Parry notes that Ronald Reagan and the CIA unleashed a propaganda campaign in the 1980’s to sell the American public on supporting the Contra rebels, utilizing private players such as Rupert Murdoch to spread disinformation. Parry notes that many of the same people that led Reagan’s domestic propaganda effort in the 1980’s are in power today:
While the older generation that pioneered these domestic propaganda techniques has passed from the scene, many of their protégés are still around along with some of the same organizations. The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urging of CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond’s NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year.
Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Shadow Foreign Policy.”]
Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing U.S. interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan’s article for The New Republic, entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan’s criticism of Obama’s hesitancy to use military force.
Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is bigger than ever ….
Another key to American propaganda is the constant repetition of propaganda. As Business Insider reported in 2013:
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, a highly-respected officer who released a critical report regarding the distortion of truth by senior military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan ….
From Lt. Col. Davis:
In context, Colonel Leap is implying we ought to change the law to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will.”
The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 appears to serve this purpose by allowing for the American public to be a target audience of U.S. government-funded information campaigns.
Davis also quotes Brigadier General Ralph O. Baker — the Pentagon officer responsible for the Department of Defense’s Joint Force Development — who defines Information Operations (IO) as activities undertaken to “shape the essential narrative of a conflict or situation and thus affect the attitudes and behaviors of the targeted audience.”
Brig. Gen. Baker goes on to equate descriptions of combat operations with the standard marketing strategy of repeating something until it is accepted:
For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product. The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.
And those “thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs” appear to serve Baker’s strategy, which states: “Repetition is a key tenet of IO execution, and the failure to constantly drive home a consistent message dilutes the impact on the target audiences.”
Government Massively Manipulates the Web, Social Media and Other Forms of Communication
Documents released by Snowden show that spies manipulate polls, website popularity and pageview counts, censor videos they don’t like and amplify messages they do.
Propaganda isn’t limited to our own borders …
Sometimes, the government plants disinformation in American media in order to mislead foreigners. For example, an official government summary of America’s overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950′s states, “In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq” (page x).
The CIA has also bribed leading foreign journalists.
Everyone Who Challenges the Status Quo Is Labeled As a Purveyor of “Fake News” … Or Worse
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of the press from censorship by government.
Indeed, the entire reason that it’s unlawful for the government to stop stories from being printed is because that would punish those who criticize those in power.
Why? Because the Founding Father knew that governments (like the British monarchy) will always crack down on those who point out that the emperor has no clothes.
But the freedom of the press is under massive attack in America today …
For example, the powers-that-be argue that only highly-paid corporate media shills who will act as stenographers for the fatcats should have the constitutional protections guaranteeing freedom of the press.
A Harvard law school professor argues that the First Amendment is outdated and should be abandoned.
When financially-savvy bloggers challenged the Federal Reserve’s policy, a Fed official called all bloggers stupid and unqualified to comment.
And the government is treating the real investigative reporters like criminals … or even terrorists:
- Obama has gone after top reporters. His Department of Justice labeled chief Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen a “criminal co-conspirator” in a leak case, and for many years threatened to prosecute Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times journalist James Risen
- The Obama administration also spied on Risen, Rosen, the Associated Press, CBS reporter Cheryl Atkinson and other media
- In fact, top NSA whistleblowers tell Washington’s Blog that the NSA has spied on reporters for well over a decade … to make sure they don’t reveal illegal government programs
- The Pentagon smeared USA Today reporters because they investigated illegal Pentagon propaganda
- Reporters covering the Occupy protests were targeted for arrest
- The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge
- In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this)
- The NSA and its British counterpart treated Wikileaks like a terrorist organization, going so far as to target its employees politically, and to spy on visitors to its website
While most people with an interest in the history of CIA will have heard of “Operation Mockingbird,” which weaponized the press for propaganda purposes through the “Office of Policy Coordination,” there is another side to program that’s much less well-known. A declassified memo from 1965 reveals a network of journalists that regularly received intelligence from Ray S. Cline, one of CIA’s senior analysts and at that time the Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence. Several of these journalists were former intelligence officers and were not only involved in information and propaganda dissemination, but other ongoing CIA operations.
Joseph Alsop, for instance, agreed to report on the 1953 Philippine elections for the Agency as cover for gathering information for the Agency. According to Mr. Cline, he met with Alsop whenever the reporter requested it “to discuss international events of interest to him for the purpose of writing his columns, giving him guidance as to my thinking on these subjects whenever it was possible.” These meetings were also held at the request of the Director of Central Intelligence, who preferred for Alsop “to write reasonable columns [rather] than to have misinformation published.”
A 1965 report to the Director makes it clear that the information flowed in more than one direction. According to the report written by Mr. Cline, Joseph Alsop began to provide him with information about Viet Cong strength without asking for his view on it.
In addition to identifying a number of journalists involved in this CIA network and providing some basic information about their activities, the memo praises the leaks and the use of the press to manipulate the public’s perception of the Agency in the context of “impaired public confidence.”
As part of giving the journalists information that would help further the Agency’s goals and improve public perception of it, Ray Cline gave extensive briefings based on briefings given to the National Security Council by the Director of Central Intelligence. One such briefing was given to Stewart Alsop, the brother of Joseph Alsop and a former officer in the Agency’s World War II predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services. “at the Director’s instruction” and excluded military weapons data. The Director similarly instructed Mr. Cline to maintain similar briefings “without disclosing classified information” to Joseph Alsop.
The memo repeatedly states that all the information provided to the press was either unclassified and not sensitive, or “general analysis.” One such example of general analysis, given to Time Magazine correspondent Jess Cook, remains a secret.
While the information was given the press for publication, even a brief description of that information and analysis is redacted because it would “reveal the identity of a confidential human source, a human intelligence source, a relationship with an intelligence or security service of a foreign government or international organization, or a non-human intelligence source; or impair the effectiveness of an intelligence method currently in use, available for use, or under development.” Unfortunately, this is a classic example of the Agency improperly attempting to use a broad exemption to withhold information – Mr. Cline explained that he provided the information so that Jess Cook and TIME would give “a reasonable treatment of [the subject].” The information was explicitly intended for publication, meaning it was already revealed to the public.
The journalists identified in the memo as having been a part of Ray Cline’s network are:
Missouri man accused of planning ISIS terrorist attack on Kansas City | The Kansas City Star
Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., 25, of Columbia, was arrested Friday and accused of plotting a Presidents Day jihadist terrorist attack on buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City…
“He was arrested Friday after a final meeting with an undercover FBI employee he believed to be an Islamic State sympathizer, according to court documents.”
“During subsequent social media communications, the FBI employee arranged for a meeting between Hester and like-minded ‘brothers.'”
“An FBI employee told Hester that the attacks were planned for Presidents Day in Kansas City.”
“During a meeting Jan. 31, the undercover employee provided Hester with a list of items to purchase, including 9-volt batteries, duct tape, copper wire and roofing nails.”
The undercover employee told Hester the materials were needed “to make … things … to bring some kind of destruction.”
In 2016, future Attorney General (then senator) Jeff sessions spoke out against the increase in immigration from troubled countries. He gave a list of 20 vetted refugees that ended up being radicalized.
This doesn’t necessarily justify Trump administration policies but it does add some nuance to the mainstream narrative that open immigration is natural and
– On May 25, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Bilal Abood was sentenced to four years in prison for making a false statement to the FBI. Abood, an Iraqi translator for the U.S. military, was admitted to the United States through the Special Immigrant Visa program for Iraqi translators in 2009, and subsequently became a citizen. Abood enlisted in the Army and went through basic training at Fort Jackson in 2010, but left for unknown reasons. According to court documents, after being prevented from boarding an international flight, Abood told FBI agents that he intended to go to Iraq to visit family. Subsequently, Abood left the United States through Mexico and then traveled through various countries to get to Syria to join ISIS. A subsequent search of his computer revealed that he pledged an oath to the leader of ISIS, despite denying that he had ever made such a pledge.
– On January 7, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab was charged with providing materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations to the United States government. He was separately indicted on March 17, 2016 for attempting to provide material support to acts of violence overseas. Al-Jayab – a Palestinian born in Iraq – was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2012. According to the criminal complaint, beginning in October of 2012 – the very same month he first arrived in the United States – Al-Jayab began communicating with numerous individuals about his intention to go to Syria and fight for terrorist organizations. In April 2013, Al-Jayab made multiple statements to another individual (later identified as Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan) regarding his experience handling weapons and killing individuals in Syria. In November 2013, just one year after being welcomed to the United States as a refugee, he traveled to Syria and posted on social media that he was fighting with various terrorist organizations, stating “America will not isolate me from my Islamic duty. Only death will do us part.”
– On January 7, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan was charged in an indictment with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, making false statements, and attempting to procure citizenship or naturalization unlawfully. The indictment states that he attempted to provide training, expert advice and assistance, and personnel – specifically himself – to a terrorist organization. Al Hardan – a Palestinian born in Iraq – was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2009, and obtained a green card in 2011. When applying to become a U.S. citizen, he knowingly responded, certified, and swore untruthfully that he was not associated with a terrorist organization when, in fact, he associated with members and sympathizers of ISIS throughout 2014. During an interview in October 2015, Al Hardan falsely represented that he had never received any type of weapons training, when in fact he had received automatic machine gun training. According to media accounts, Al Hardan told his wife “I will go to Syria. I want to blow myself up. . . . I am against America.”
– On August 12, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, Fazliddin Kurbanov was found guilty of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessing an unregistered destructive device. Kurbanov is a native of Uzbekistan who came to the United States as a refugee in 2009. U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin stated that he “conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil.” According to press reports, Kurbanov began his life as a Muslim, but his family claimed that they faced persecution after they converted to Orthodox Christianity. After coming to the United States with his family as a refugee, Kurbanov is said to have converted back to Islam and radicalized.
– On April 20, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Guled Ali Omar was charged with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Omar was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, and sources indicate he came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. Omar is the younger brother of another indicted fugitive, Ahmed Ali Omar, who left the United States in 2007 to fight for Al-Shabaab. Another one of his brothers, Mohamed Ali Omar, was convicted in March of 2015 of threatening federal agents when they came to the family’s residence to interview Guled Omar. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Andy Luger, said that Omar “never stopped plotting,” and had previously attempted to leave the United States.
– On April 20, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Abdurahman Yasin Daud was charged (along with six others) with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Daud, a Somalian refugee who came to the United States as a child, and subsequently obtained a green card. Daud and another individual drove from Minnesota to San Diego to attempt to get passports, cross the border into Mexico, and fly to Syria in to join ISIS.
– On February 18, 2015, Al-Hazmah Mohammed Jawad was arrested as he attempted to board a flight to Jordan to join and fight with ISIS in Iraq. Jawad was admitted to the United States in 2013 as an Iraqi refugee and he subsequently obtained a green card. Jawad was charged with making a false statement to U.S. government officials. He also stated that he “had been to the shooting range and had been running to get in shape and prepare for his upcoming travels,” and that a uniform was waiting for him in Iraq.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and for making a false statement in his immigration paperwork. Ibrahim is a native of Somalia who came to the United States as a refugee in 2007 at the age of 22 and subsequently obtained a green card. Ibrahim knowingly lied on his citizenship application and previously lied in his request for refugee status, by falsely claiming that he was of a member of the minority Awer clan in Somalia and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan. Ibrahim was actually a member of the Hawiye clan and not subject to persecution. In fact, according to court documents, “Ibrahim’s family was famous . . . [and] [t]hrough his clan lineage, Ibrahim was related to known Somali terrorists[.]” Ibrahim also admitted he lied on his citizenship application by having previously lied on his refugee application by falsely claiming that he had not provided material support to a terrorist group, when he had in fact provided material support in the form of cash to an Al-Shabaab member.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Abdullah Ramo Pazara was named in an indictment against six individuals. Pazara, a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, later obtained a green card and became a citizen in 2013. Pazara was never charged in this case because he is believed to be dead. According to court documents, the others who were indicted provided material support to Pazara, who left the United States to go to Syria and fight with ISIS just 11 days after becoming a citizen. Among other things, Pazara allegedly told an individual about a mission where they “captured a large area, killed eleven individuals, captured one, and added that they intended to slaughter the prisoner the follow[ing] day.” According to press reports, at the time Pazara was purportedly killed in Syria, he was a deputy to one of the top ISIS commanders.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. Hodzic is a native of Bosnia, and a purported Bosnian war hero who came to the United States as a refugee. According to the indictment, among other things, Hodzic obtained money that he used to “purchase materials and supplies including: United States military uniforms, tactical combat boots, military surplus goods, tactical gear and clothing, firearms accessories, optical equipment and range finders, rifle scopes, equipment, and supplies . . . intending that the materials and supplies would thereafter be transferred to, and used to support” Abdullah Ramo Pazara and ISIS.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Sedina Unkic Hodzic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Sedina is the wife of Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee. According to the indictment, Sedina, along with her husband, collected money from third parties and wired it to terrorists abroad. Also according to the indictment, Sedina shipped six boxes of U.S. military uniforms, combat boots, tactical clothing and gear, military surplus items, firearms accessories, rifle scopes, optical equipment, first aid supplies, and other equipment to terrorists abroad.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Armin Harcevic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists. Harcevic is a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee, and subsequently obtained a green card. According to the Indictment, Harcevic collected money from third parties and wired it and his own funds to terrorists abroad.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Nihad Rosic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. Rosic is a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. According to the indictment, Rosic sent funds to terrorists abroad, and attempted to travel to Syria to join terrorists in Syria and Iraq. According to press accounts, Rosic was a truck driver and former mixed martial arts fighter who had previously been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after punching a woman in the face while she held a child, and in a separate incident, was charged with assault after allegedly beating his girlfriend with a belt.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Mediha Medy Salkicevic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Salkicevic is a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. According to press accounts, Salkicevic was formerly an employee with a cargo company that deals with items coming in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. According to the indictment, Salkicevic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad.
– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jasminka Ramic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Ramic is a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. According to the indictment, Ramic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad.
– On January 29, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a federal warrant was unsealed for the arrest of Liban Haji Mohamed for allegedly providing material support to Harakat Shabaab Al-Mujahidin, also known as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. Mohamed is a native of Somalia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. He is believed to have left the United States on July 5, 2012, with the intent to join Al-Shabaab in East Africa. Mohamed previously lived in the Washington, D.C. area and worked as a cab driver, and is believed to have snuck across the border to Mexico after being placed on the no-fly list. Carl Ghattas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office emphasized the importance of locating Mohamed, “because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings . . . [t]his makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.”
– On January 31, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Mohamud was admitted to the United States as a refugee from Somalia. He worked as a cabdriver in Anaheim, California where he raised money for the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab. According to the Department of Justice, “[t]he United States presented evidence that Nasir . . . conspired to provide money to al Shabaab, a violent and brutal militia group that engages in suicide bombings, targets civilians for assassination, and uses improvised explosive devices.”
– On November 18, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Issa Doreh was sentenced to ten years in prison for “conspiracy to provide material support to terrorist, conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and providing material support to foreign terrorist organization.” Doreh was admitted to the United States as a refugee from Somalia and subsequently obtained a green card and became a citizen. Doreh worked at a money transmitting business that was at the center of the conspiracy, which also involved Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud.
– On January 29, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Waad Ramadan Alwan was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison, followed by a life term of supervised release for a number of offenses related to terrorism. Alwan is a native of Iraq who was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2009. According to the Department of Justice’s press release, “Alwan, whose fingerprints were found on an unexploded IED found in Iraq, pleaded guilty earlier in the case on December 16, 2011, to all counts of a 23-count federal indictment. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to AQI; and conspiring to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles.” (emphasis added). During the investigation, while “unwittingly working with an FBI informant, Alwan drew diagrams of roadside bomb models and boasted about attacks on American troops in Iraq.” In a discussion with an FBI informant, Alwan allegedly said that he was skilled with a sniper rifle, and that his “lunch and dinner would be an American [soldier].”
– On January 29, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi was sentenced to life in prison for a number of offenses related to terrorism. Hammadi is a native of Iraq who was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2009. According to the Department of Justice’s press release, “Hammadi pleaded guilty on August 21, 2012, to a 12-count superseding indictment. Charges against him included attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to AQI; conspiring to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles; and making a false statement in an immigration application.”