When investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker broke the story four years ago that a DC-9 (N900SA) “registered to a company which once used as its address the hangar of Huffman Aviation, the flight school at the Venice, Florida Airport which trained both terrorist pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center, was caught in Campeche by the Mexican military … carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine destined for the U.S.,” it elicited a collective yawn from corporate media.
And when authorities searched the plane and found its cargo consisted solely of 128 identical black suitcases marked “private,” packed with cocaine valued at more than $100 million, the silence was deafening.
Big Brother Deploys Snooping Sensors on Private Networks
Rather than addressing an impending social catastrophe, Western governments, which serve the interests of the economic elites, have installed a “Big Brother” police state with a mandate to confront and repress all forms of opposition and social dissent. — Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Preface, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century, Montreal: Global Research, 2010, p. xx.
In a sign that illegal surveillance programs launched by the Bush administration are accelerating under President Obama, The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that a National Security Agency (NSA) program, PERFECT CITIZEN, is under development.
With a cover story that this is merely a “research” effort meant to “detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants,” it is also clear that the next phase in pervasive government spying is underway.
Since their 2007 launch, the whistleblowing web site WikiLeaks have been the subject of “hostile acts” by state and private security services for spilling the beans on crime, corruption and violence perpetrated by the capitalist deep state.
But rather than being deterred by government threats or overt acts of violence, including the murder of two human rights attorneys in Nairobi last March, who provided the whistleblowers with reports on extrajudicial killings by Kenyan police, WikiLeaks have turned the tables on the CIA.
A truism perhaps, but before resorting to brute force and open repression to halt the “barbarians at the gates,” that would be us, the masters of declining empires (and the chattering classes who polish their boots) regale us with tales of “democracy on the march,” “hope” and other banalities before the mailed fist comes crashing down.
Putting it another way, as the late, great Situationist malcontent, Guy Debord did decades ago in his relentless call for revolt, The Society of the Spectacle:
“The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same isolation. From automobiles to television, the goods that the spectacular system chooses to produce also serve it as weapons for constantly reinforcing the conditions that engender ‘lonely crowds.’ With ever-increasing concreteness the spectacle recreates its own presuppositions.”
Relevant questions begging for answers include: Who made the decision not to “connect the dots”? Are right-wing elements and holdovers from the previous administration actively conspiring to destabilize the Obama government? Was the attempted bombing a planned provocation meant to incite new conflicts in the Middle East and restrict democratic rights at home?
As with the 9/11 attacks, these questions go unasked by corporate media. Indeed, such lines of inquiry are entirely off the table and are further signs that a cover-up is in full-swing, not a hard-hitting investigation.
Nearly one month after passengers foiled an attempted suicide bomb attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day, new information reveals that the White House and U.S. security agencies had specific intelligence on accused terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, far earlier than previously acknowledged.
In the wake of the Flight 253 provocation, over-hyped terrorism panics, and last year’s Big Pharma and media-engineered hysteria over the H1N1 flu pandemic, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13528 on January 11.
Among other things, the Executive Order (EO) established a Council of Governors, an “advisory panel” chosen by the President that will rubber-stamp long-sought-after Pentagon contingency plans to seize control of state National Guard forces in the event of a “national emergency.”
According to the White House press release, the ten member, bipartisan Council was created “to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards.”
New revelations about the failed Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 continue to emerge as does evidence of a systematic cover-up.
With the White House in crisis mode since the attempted bombing, President Obama met for two hours January 5 with top security and intelligence officials. Obama said that secret state agencies “had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot … but that intelligence officials had ‘failed to connect those dots’,” The New York Times reports.
The latest iteration of the “dot theory” floated by the President, aided and abetted by a compliant media, claims “this was not a failure to collect intelligence” but rather, “a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
“Mr. Obama’s stark assessment that the government failed to properly analyze and integrate intelligence served as a sharp rebuke of the country’s intelligence agencies,” declared the Times uncritically.
The Obama administration’s recent declaration on bioweapons would simply be another run-of-the-mill example of our “change” president’s duplicity were it not such an unmitigated disaster.
Recapitulating sinister Cold War practices that informed American ruling class consensus when it came to secretly toying with nature’s most deadly pathogens, (a) because they could, (b) because it was, and is, highly profitable and (c) because they got with it, the profound failure by the administration to rein-in out-of-control corporate grifters, militarists and scientists thirsting after an endless flow of taxpayer dollars, have put us all on a potential glide path towards the abyss.
And why not. As the interface between state and private criminality, following the money trail is oxygen and combustible fuel for rooting out corruption in high places: indelible signs left behind like toxic tracks by our sociopathic masters.
After all, there’s nothing quite like exposing an exchange of cold, hard cash from one greedy fist to another to focus one’s attention on the business at hand.
And when that dirty business is the subversion of the American people’s right to privacy, there’s also nothing quite like economic self-interest for ensuring that a cone of silence descends over matters best left to the experts; a veritable army of specialists squeezing singular advantage out of any circumstance, regardless of how dire the implications for our democracy.
President Barack Obama instructed Justice Department attorneys to argue last week in San Francisco before Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker, that he must toss out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Shubert v. Bush lawsuit challenging the secret state’s driftnet surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications.
This latest move by the administration follows a pattern replicated countless times by Obama since assuming the presidency in January: denounce the lawless behavior of his Oval Office predecessor while continuing, even expanding, the reach of unaccountable security agencies that subvert constitutional guarantees barring “unreasonable searches and seizures.” EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston wrote:
As social networking becomes a dominant feature of daily life, the secret state is increasingly surveilling electronic media for what it euphemistically calls “actionable intelligence.”
Take the case of Elliot Madison. The 41-year-old anarchist was arrested in Pittsburgh September 24 at the height of G20 protests.
Madison, a social worker and volunteer with The People’s Law Collective in New York City, was busted by a combined task force led by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and Pittsburgh’s “finest.” The activist was charged with “hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime,” according to The New York Times.
Like a vampire rising from it’s grave each night to feed on the privacy rights of Americans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is moving forward with programs that drain the life blood from our constitutional liberties.
From the wholesale use of informants and provocateurs to stifle political dissent, to Wi-Fi hacking and viral computer spyware to follow our every move, the FBI has turned massive data-mining of personal information into a growth industry. In the process they are building the surveillance state long been dreamed of by American securocrats.
While the American far-right rants against alleged “Obama death panels” and other Freddy Krueger-like scarecrows to frighten–and divert–the kiddies, our capitalist masters, as they are wont to do, gaze at the spectacle, laugh, and then tighten the screws.
Health care for all derailed? Mission accomplished!
Meanwhile, despite alarm amongst civil liberties groups, public health researchers and other “reality-based” evil-doers who haven’t slaked their thirst with “birther” kool-aid, the Obama administration “is quietly dusting off an effort to impose new federal quarantine regulations” to “contain” the H1N1 flu virus, Politicorevealed.
“While any discussion of quarantine may stoke public fears of barbed wire camps filled with infected Americans or closures of international borders” Politico reports, “public health experts said that sort of approach to H1N1 flu would not be effective.”
The history of bioweapons research in the United States is a history of illicit–and illegal–human experiments.
From the Cold War to the War on Terror, successive American administrations have turned a blind eye on dubious research rightly characterized as having “a little of the Buchenwald touch.”
While the phrase may have come from the files of the Atomic Energy Commission as Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Eileen Welsome revealed in her 1999 book, The Plutonium Files, an investigation into secret American medical experiments at the dawn of the nuclear age, it is as relevant today as the United States pours billions of dollars into work on some of the most dangerous pathogens known to exist in nature.