Voice of Russia
December 19, 2013
With the restructuring of the Russian media there are many people worldwide who are hopeful that the changes will produce a balance and a counterweight to the 5 worldwide newswires that are controlled by the West and possess a true and barely transparent bias. The way in which private news agencies make news and information only accessible to governments and bodies and effectively lock out the common people is more like the selling and buying of intelligence. This control of information by the NSA, CIA and other private companies run by the intelligence services are all part of a new paradigm that Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff call “information totalitarianism”. Information should be free, and as WikiLeaks says: “Information wants to be free.”
Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Rozoff: We have to be honest about this, it’s the new totalitarianism and it is information totalitarianism. And amongst other things the Internet not only permits me to communicate with you but it permits any powerful entity, governments in the first instance, to monitor the activity of its citizens and citizens in the world.
What else have we learned by the exposé about international security agency, but just that? That the US is monitoring down to the most minute particular, every telephone call, every key stroke, every visit of everyone on the planet.
You would need a million George Orwells today to anticipate something this far reaching this comprehensive and this frightening. And the fact is the person in charge of the National Security Agency four-star general Keith Alexander, is the same person who was put in charge of US Cyber Command, which is a cyber “warfare” command, pure and simple.
It should certainly alert people to the fact that what you are dealing with right now is the new mode of conducting warfare. What the Pentagon is referred to in terms of cyber warfare – the 5th battle space after land, air, sea and space.
Robles: And it is not against armies or governments or state actors, the target appears to be you, and me, and Joe Blow, and Mary Smith.
Rozoff: In the initial stages. And what I would suspect is that this is almost war time, blackouts and other activities so as not to alert the enemy to the presence of potential bombing targets or something, but in this case it is almost seeing who in a period of crisis might put out heterodox or unapproved information and so let’s compile a dossier on them so that if it ever comes to a serious crisis, military in the first instance, so we know who they are and we know how to round them up.
Robles: Preventative surveillance. Do you remember the film with Tom Cruise? “The Minority Report” I believe it was called. Where they had police that arrested people before they did a crime. You’ve got preventative detention in the US, now we get preventative surveillance.
Rozoff: For our own good of course!
Robles: Of course! It is against every Al-Qaeda terrorist, it is hiding behind every lamppost in Springfield, Illinois.
Rozoff: Actually they may be receiving military training by the Illinois National Guard, I wouldn’t put it past them. That is how they terrify us but in fact they are taking training courses at air training facilities in Florida and so forth. That is true. That is simply the truth, God knows where else they are getting training or arms.
The façade of combating terrorism, I was thinking about that earlier today: if there is one thing the US Government has no right to ever contend, is that it is combating terrorism.
It is certainly recently, currently in Syria, they may be less high profile about it, but they are supporting, as you described accurately with a lengthy series of hyphenated adjectives, the worst kind of terrorists probably known in history are being actively supported by the US.
Let’s end this nonsense about fighting terrorism.
Robles: I think William Blum who I had the honor of speaking to several times put it best, and he was quoted by Osama bin Laden himself, when he said that it is all the meddling by the US in these Middle Eastern Islamic countries that has caused the terrorists to terrorize.
Rozoff: Even that is too kind of a perspective. I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t believe that Osama bin Laden had any legitimate complaint against the US government. Quite the opposite. He would have been the playboy non-entity that he was prior to emerging as whatever he became but for the fact that the US ran a proxy war against the Soviet Union and the Afghan Government out of north-west Pakistan in the 1980s – that is where Mr. Osama bin Laden became a so-called political figure and that is where he became a terrorist in good earnest. And it is not that he had any complaints whatsoever against the US Government, which helped his jihad to win in Afghanistan.
Robles: Remember that Tim Osman, he was Mr. Tim Osman and he was known to the FBI station chief at the time in Los Angeles when he was staying at the Hilton, there have been documents released then, so no big secret there.
Rozoff: Yes, but I know there is an argument that but for US meddling around the world, that the Osama bin Ladens of the world would not be able to pick up support because people wouldn’t be disgruntled or upset, and even that I contest.
The fact is I don’t doubt that there are elements in the US government as well as in so-called al-Qaeda that exploit dissatisfaction or dissention around the world. There is no question about that they do. But that as often as not and far more often than not they’ve been at the beck of the US government working hand and glove with them.
Robles: Anything else you want to finish up about media? It’s been a pleasure speaking with you all these years. I hope we will be able to continue speaking to each other somehow and getting your voice out there and getting the voice of everybody else we’ve talked to and all the wonderful people I’ve interviewed over the years.
Rozoff: We just mentioned William Blum. And he is someone who has written several books and the fact that somebody like him who around the world is viewed as an authority, with good reason, he’d been published in Russia as a matter of fact, celebrating the anniversary of one of his key books.
And the fact that this man cannot even appear on a local college TV station because of the news blackout and censorship in the US but has been interviewed by yourself several times, where he is exposed to a world audience, I think makes our point as concretely and as effectively as it can be made. This is exactly why you need to continue running your show.
Honestly, this is what is needed. We need a fifth one (newswire) in the world, because all you’ve really got is the German Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the France’s Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press.
Here is another thing. DPA and AFP are really the best. They are maybe better than the Associated Press, they have correspondents in every damn country in the world. And they have news stories. But here is the thing. This isn’t public, you’ve got to subscribe to their press wire service. They don’t have a website except to sell their service.
So, if you are a government agency or you are a big corporation or a think tank, you’ve got access to all the DPA and AFP; I have none.
About 7-8 years ago or maybe 10 years ago I contacted the North American bureaus and I said: “How much does it cost to subscribe to get your material?”
The lowest rate I could get if I called myself an independent journalist was $600 a month, $7,200 a year, 10 years ago.
I contacted Interfax North America, they were going to give me $2,400 a year, but I could not reproduce anything.
So, this isn’t news John, this is intelligence for sale. This isn’t meant to get news out and information out to people. It is meant to be an intelligence service like Jane’s Defense Weekly in England, or Stratfor here, where these CIA, ex-CIA and MI-5 guys get together and they set up a news service to be sold to businesses and governments.
So, in that point if a real press agency would develop, that is a Russian press agency in English, that would be wonderful!
By the way, I have said for years too, the big mistake is that Mercosur and particularly Alban, Latin America have not put out a press agency in English.
Robles: What about ITAR-TASS? You haven’t been on their site?
Rozoff: ITAR-TASS is not very good. It is bad English, bad editing, it’s circumscribed news.
Now and again you find a good story; they have just reformatted and you can’t even read it now.
In the last week they’ve reformatted it, you can’t find anything. Whoever did that should be fired. They’ve made it worse and worse.
Robles: They are good for Russian news because you are not going to find it in very many other places.
Rozoff: Okay, okay, Interfax, if you go to their site, each page has 20 stories, 2 of their stories are accessible, you have to pay for the others.
They tease you, they give you a couple of hyperlinks, they draw your attention or that is maybe the way it is on the west. Why not sell theirs? Because you don’t get anything for free here. That is for sure. The only thing you get for free is the government sources, Radio free Europe, Voice of America etc.
They are more and more themselves relying on the services like AP, Reuters.
Robles: You are telling me that all the news, you have to pay for it. You have to go through a corporation to get it.
Rozoff: You have to go online, take out your credit card and pay maybe $10,000 dollars a year to read what is happening in downtown Bangkok.
Robles: It is going to get so bad pretty soon, they are going to bring back the short waves.
Rozoff: Exactly, like during the resistance in Nazi occupied Europe.
Robles: Maybe that is a good idea with all the surveillance because the shortwave is a way to reach people where they know they are not being surveilled.
Rozoff: Good point. With satellite surveillance now they are going to catch everything.
Robles: Can they actually pick up a shortwave radio when you turn it on?
Rozoff: I don’t know.
Robles: I suppose they can put a small transmitter chip in there or something.
Rozoff: If they want total surveillance, they are going to have it. The only way of combating that is fighting an information war, a clean information war, an above board one.
Let it be known, you are defending a position, but make it a decent position.
You were listening to part 3 of an interview with Rick Rozoff the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and as always I wish you the best.
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